Thursday, December 29, 2011

March 1936 letter written by Bessie Morgan Rex

Thanks to cousin Gail for this picture of Bessie Morgan Rex and her sisters; Gail Morgan Clayton and Helen Melvina Morgan Burt Austin. Bessie probably didn’t get to Salt Lake City often. This picture could have been taken in the summer of 1930 when the family gathered for their mother, Helen Melvina “Mellie” Groesbeck Morgan’s funeral.

Bessie Morgan didn’t travel very far from her birthplace in Salt Lake City when she married P. H. Rex in 1912 and made her home with him in Randolph, Utah. Randolph is in the northeastern corner of Utah about 123 miles north of Salt Lake City, and became her new world. Her mother and most of her siblings resided in Salt Lake City--that was a long ways to travel a hundred years ago. In 1936 Bessie’s son Harold went to Brazil, South America to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

At Bessie’s insistence the family wrote to Harold weekly. Harold and his wife preserved the letters, and their daughter let me copy them. I’ve posted a few on my blog in the past. I’m going to put the others up here week by week, as I once told a cousin I would. I’ll tag them BMR for Bessie Morgan Rex, add the year and month they were written, add other applicable tags, and they'll appear in the alphabetical index in column to the right.

When I can make the time, I’ll transcribe them, otherwise only the original letter will appear. Click the hand that appears when you run your cursor over the letter—it will enlarge so you can read Bessie’s letter in her hand.

Bessie’s biography part 1. Links to Bessie’s biography and other family stories are on the Rex Family Index Page.
Randolph, Utah
March 2, ‘36
My dear son,

It is Monday morn at 7. I am just wondering where or what part of the country that flying train is taking you. I’m wondering if you are twisting in a chair car seat or if you got a Pullman. And how did you like Denver. The old world has vaster open spaces than you dreamed of, I’ll bet. I know New Orleans will be interesting so hope you have time to sight see. How do you like the South. You will have to write long letters to satisfy me. Hope this letter finds you before Red Sails in the Sunset carry you out. Suppose you have met Fred & did you hug each other.


(page 2) It is rather foggy and dreary here this morning. Yesterday was a beautiful day, however, and the snow melted so, it made walking difficult. Helen had a bad dose of asthma. The worst she has had this winter but I think she is better this morning. Saturday the boys went with Daddy & Maeser’s face looked like a piece of beef steak of your flannel shirt. He surely burnt himself
Morgan dug the lane out to let Fab in with a load of coal & now we have a pile 4 or 5 ft. high on the west side of the drive. You would think we lived in Alaska.

I do hope you got your watch. Your pictures came


(page 3) but we are broke until tomorrow. Will send one to Clara Wed.

Three young men came in Sat. eve. They were selling knit goods. They said they had met you in Evanston the week before. They were the talkingest kids I ever saw but we got quite a kick out of them. They want your address in S.A. Two are going to the B.Y. next winter. It ended up with Helen buying a beautiful knit outfit from them. It is surely pretty. I really did admire them.

Hope some relations were at the station to see you . I know Winnie was. Oh we were so dis-

(page 4) appointed. We wanted to come so badly.

Well I have written much more than I tho’t I would.

Hope you enjoyed the cake & hope your bill of fare wasn’t too much on the train. Be careful with your money so it will last out.

Must close now and send Winnie a few lines. We have neglected her this last week.

Oh do send us a line from Havana & any ports you may stop at. We want the stamps besides hearing from you.

Love & kisses from all of us.


  1. It's always amazing the mental picture you have of someone you have never meet and then you learn more about them and you have to change that picture. It is weird that she called Grandpa daddy???

  2. Thanks for your comments Nancy. I love these letters. By faithfully writing her son, Grandma Bessie kept a journal of her family's life and times. We can better come to know her (she died in 1938 before any of us were born) by reading what she wrote in her letters to Harold.