Tuesday, May 3, 2011

1936 Bessie Morgan Rex voted for Alf Landon for President.

This is the last of three pictures of Bessie Morgan Rex that came from her brother Nicholas Morgan's collection of family pictures. Bessie's surviving daughters, Winnie and Flora, conferred together over them a few months back. They concluded then that the two pictures posted here and here could be of their mother, as a young woman; however, they didn't think this one was. I see enough similarities to believe it is Grandmother Bessie, and I'm posting it here with that explanation. Posts about Bessie's life are linked from the Rex Family Index page here.

The letters that follow were written to Harold Morgan Rex by his mother, Bessie, and sister, Helen, while he served a mission in Brazil, South America from 1936-1938. Thank you cousin Yara S. for sharing copies with me.

They are not unlike the letters Helen Melvina (Mellie) Groesbeck Morgan received from her son and saved. She first encouraged her children (Bessie included) to write to their brother, as she was doing, during the years Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan was in Washington D.C. attending law school, 1907-1911.

July 26, 1936, from Bessie to Harold.

My dear son,
Well, I think if I fill this page, that will be all the envelope will hold. Hope the girls have told you all the news.

It is a beautiful morning. The men are leaving for the field—all except Morgan—he is on the lift. My flowers are all blooming . This is the nicest time of the year. I suppose Winnie told you she was home. I am glad that operation [appendectomy?] is over with, and she is home well & sound.

Politics are getting hot. I should certainly like to see Alf Landon get in. He has such a good face & I certainly think he could do better than the present incumbent in that office. See—I’m still a red hot Republican. Well dearie I hope we get a letter tonight. I surely love to hear from you. You could be in no better place for your advancement. Make the best of your time. Love & kisses & the Lords blessing we all send & wish for you.
Lovingly Mother

Note: The brief letter above was on the back side of a letter dated July 26, 1936 from Helen Rex to her brother Harold. Within Helen's letter she wrote:

My dear 21 Year Old Brother:

Politics are getting hot. Governor Landon is surely a grand man. In his acceptance speech, he said, “In accepting this leadership I pray for divine guidance to make me worthy of the faith and the confidence which you have shown in me.”? I surely think that is grand.

My Dear Missionary,
We just received your letter of Sept 5. I am simply stunned by your account of how you were treated by that mob. It is a good thing there was nothing about it in the papers here or I should have been frantic. As it is, I am—well, just (flabbergasted). My dear—be careful. Those people are not to be trusted. I do hope you have been transferred. What did your mission president think of it? Of course, your grandfather [John Hamilton Morgan] stood that kind of treatment for many years, but I don’t want my boy to have to go thro’ it in these days. Hope by now you are in civilization.

We were surely glad to hear from you. We hadn’t had a letter for two weeks. Yesterday was general conference. All the mission presidents from everywhere but S. A. spoke. I said you might as well be on another planet. Conference was grand on the Columbia broadcast, which lasts for half an hour.

Apostles Widstoe & Ballard spoke. They were simply fine. Bro. Ballard should convert the world. He is surely fine.

We received your report today also are you in debt? It shows you have spent more than you have had. I wonder what you are doing for money.

I was in S. L. [Salt Lake] last week & saw Winnie. She looks fine, & is so sweet. She had not heard from you for two weeks.

It is turning cold & the leaves are nearly gone from the Cottonwood trees. Never mind, let the seasons fly fast and the sooner you will be home.

I hope you have written to Bro. Larsen & Mrs. Jones. Mrs. Jones brought you in a dollar you know. Calvin is in the hospital with heart trouble. Paul has been sick all summer. She has had lots of trouble this summer.

Rachel Wilson & Alice were in last eve. Alice has been home from the hospital for about two months with poisoning. She looks bad. Don’t forget to send a pressed orchid if you can. Rachel took the stamps off your letter. Matt likes the Y just fine.

Morgan helps at the picture show. He is sleepy this morning. Up at 5:30 to milk Elmo Jackson’s cows. Elmo is off working.

My, I thought I should quit with one

page & here is another.

Did Helen tell you Jean was married? Some transient C.C.C.

Aunt Agnes had her tonsils out. Ruby & Glen will soon be in their new home. Politics is flying in the air. I entertained the Natl Committee woman last week from S. L. She knows Rulon Howell. The presiden [sic, present] authorities are all voting for Landon. I hope he gets in, but I am afraid. Bishop is up for Rep. again. His own people here tho’ would down him. I get angry. Gov. Blood hasn’t a chance. He is down the list in the straw polls. It will all be over by the time you get this. Do you get a paper with news from U.S. Say, I’ll bet the news of a mobbing wouldn’t be allowed to get out of Brazil. It would be censored.

Here Daddy will be in for his breakfast & I haven’t got it ready.

Willa T. is taking German at the Y [B.Y.U.]. I’ll tell her to write to you when she gets along a little with it. Mearl certainly did some talking I think to get these kids down there. He is certainly an influence for good in the town. He is so sensible & has such high ideals.

These teachers who have been in college but have no mission are nothing to compare with one like him.

I sent a story into the Tribune. I expect it back tho’ Haven’t much faith have I? But if they will show me my mistakes I shall be happy.

Well dearie, I must close now. I can’t help but worry some about you. Do be careful.

I’m afraid the news will be all over town this morning. Maeser told his daddy in front of some men down at the corner.

Well love & kisses and our prayers are with you. I know you are protected. Write soon and as often as you [can] to keep us reassured.

Lovingly, Mother

Now I understand why this picture of Alf Landon was in Bessie’s scrapbook and filled an entire page. Grandmother Bessie was a patriot.

I almost expected to see a picture of George Washington, leaning against the pillar of his home in Alexandria, with a woodchip on it, just as her brother Nick described it in his letter home to Bessie and their mother in an earlier post here. I don't recall seeing a picture of George Washington in her scrapbook.

The picture of Alf Landon is from Bessie's scrapbook.

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