Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bessie Morgan and her brother Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan.

I’ve always wished we had more pictures of Grandmother Bessie Morgan Rex. Her daughter, Helen Rex Frazier (my mother), explained away the lack with, “Mother didn’t like to have her picture taken.” Surprisingly, Bessie did have her picture taken rather frequently while she was growing up in Salt Lake City.

It wasn’t until I began blogging two years ago, met cousin Karen M., and she sent me copies, that I knew of their existence. They were in Karen’s grandfather Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan’s collection of family pictures. Nicholas was Bessie’s older brother.

Perhaps Bessie wore this smocked dress to the Assembly Hall when she graduated from the 8th grade. She looks like she might be fourteen years old. I wonder who did the smocking on her dress, she or did her mother, Helen Melvina?

You can read other posts of Bessie’s life linked from the Rex Family Index Page here:

Cousin Karen Gray Matthews just published this book, Copyright 2010, using Blurb creative publishing service at

This volume contains twenty-five letters written by Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan while he attended law school in Washington D.C. to his mother, Mellie Morgan, in Salt Lake City. The book includes picture postcards, dozens of beautiful pictures, additional historical insights, and is full of wonderful information about the Morgan family.

Nick mentions his sister Bessie (1891-1938) in the following excerpts from his letters. These letters to his mother tell us a little about his younger sister, his affection for her, and their relationship.

Oct 3, 1907, pg3: Bess’s letter was also very welcome and interesting. I offer congratulations on her promotion to head teacher in the kindergarten Dept. at Sunday School. I am afraid tho, that now that Bro. D has been sustained as my successor Bessie will consider him more earnestly and give him another chance. Don’t Bess—don’t turn a fellow down just because he is a Dutchman.

Nov 9, 1907, pg8: How is Bess getting along in her school work?

March 8, 1908: My dearest Mother, I received your dear letter of last Sunday and also Bess’s which accompanied it.

Apr 25, 1908, pg2: I received your welcome letter of the 19th inst and was as usual delighted with its contents. … Perhaps Bess is the most sensible one of us all she seems to be unaffected by the [illegible] smiles of the young gentlemen.

June 22, 1908, pg5: I know Bess will make a no. 1 teacher and also that she will have no trouble in passing the examination. Lots of girls who have developed into the best teachers have started out before graduating.

(To be continued.)

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