Friday, November 25, 2011

Nicholas and Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's sealing in the Endowment House. 1857.

This history of Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck is continued from here.

Early in the year following their October 1856 arrival into the Salt Lake Valley, Nicholas and Elizabeth went to the Endowment House and were sealed there on February 19, 1857. Elizabeth had accepted the doctrine of plural marriage, the opposition of which led to her estrangement from the Church in the years following her 1841 Nauvoo baptism. On February 19, 1857 Nicholas was also sealed to Elizabeth McGregor in the endowment House. That marriage however ended in divorce. According to New Family Search NFS their sealing was cancelled April 24, 1859.

The Utah War confrontation lasted from May 1857 until July 1858, and the Groesbecks, along with everyone else in the Salt Lake Valley, packed up all of their belongings and moved South (some time after baby Josephine’s October 1857 birth). Nicholas settled his family in Springville, Utah where he set up another store, stocked with the merchandise he brought with him from Salt Lake.

The following year, 1858, when the Saints were given the go-ahead to return to the Salt Lake Valley Nicholas and Elizabeth left the store with their son Nicholas Harmon, who remained in Springville and purchased the business from his father.

The Groesbecks returned to an adobe house and an adjoining lot on the southeast corner of Main Street and 2nd South upon their 1858 return to Salt Lake. They lived there until 1864 when Nicholas purchased a home and land from Alfred Randall at 1st North and West Temple. There they were members of the 17th Ward, and Nicholas and Elizabeth lived out their lives in the home on the land that became known as the Groesbeck Homestead.

Nicholas built the Kenyon Hotel on the southeast corner of 2nd South and Main Street, where the family lived from 1858 to 1864. It is not yet clear to me when he built the hotel, but looking at the picture of it does clarify why his son-in-law John Hamilton Morgan aspired to do the same thing.

Nicholas Groesbeck became a very wealthy man, and any privation Elizabeth suffered as the oldest of ten children in the back woods of Pennsylvania surely was alleviated by the affluence she enjoyed as an adult.

A granddaughter wrote, “The floors of her home were covered with fine English velvet carpets. The furniture was made of the old solid walnut of those days. Her finest china was imported from France and she enjoyed buying the very best in silver, jewelry and glassware. Her choice was always in good taste. Her children and grandchildren are now enjoying the use of the lovely things she left to them.”

DUP Pioneer History of Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck written January 28, 1999 by granddaughter Barbara Rex Wade

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful details.

    It's interesting to drive through a city like Salt Lake and think of the layers upon layers of history. There certainly isn't an adobe building on Main and 2nd South, or a hotel, either. Sometimes I wonder if the employees in the high rise buildings there now ever think about the pioneers who once lived in the same place.