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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day!

John Morgan Rex marker 2009 in Memory Grove,
Salt Lake City, Utah

Family Veterans Remembered here.
are across the road from the veterans markers
in Memory Grove.

Agnes Rufi Frazier is my grandmother [Emily Rufi Frazier's] sister.
Agnes' son Stephen Frazier was killed in World War II.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Elizabeth Thompson and Nicholas Groesbeck arrive in the Salt Lake Valley October 3, 1856.

This picture of a caravan of covered wagons wending their way down Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake Valley is from a Nicholas Groesbeck pamphlet written by his grandson Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan, 1963. The John Banks 1856 emigration train may have appeared similar to these travelers.

This concluding post of the Elizabeth Thompson and Nicholas Groesbeck family’s trip to the Salt Lake Valley in the John Banks 1856 company is continued from here.

The following notes comes from a typed history of Nicholas Groesbeck I found among my mother’s [Helen Rex Frazier 1913-1982] papers. The sources and the author are unknown. The reference to Groesbecks and Humpherys diaries is most interesting.

[1856] Not much can be found in Church History per the trip up the River nor as they left “Outfitting” camp. Both the Groesbecks and the Humpherys diaries give the first of July activities. “We left Florence and covered 3 or 4 miles, finding a good camp, we stopped to celebrate our Nation[’]s founding. We sang songs, offered prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord, bore our testimonies, related experiences, upbuilding our faith. There were games played, duties, repairs made. The journey then continued.”

“September 4th, we camped for the first time on the banks of the Sweetwater River, a half mile west of Independence Rock. It was called ‘Register of the Desert,” because it was so flat the pioneers had carved their names on it and many famous people who had passed that way. It was a very hot day.

The last of September, we hurried to Echo Canyon, and wended our way downward, at Devil’s Slide, a big crevice in solid rock like someone chiseled it out, was passed. The trip was good from there on in, with little to mar our happiness in at last reaching our goal.

1 Oct 1856 the St. Louise Company halted. The Bunker group arrived 2 Oct. We prepared for descent into the Valley. President Young sent a military escort with a brass band of music at the foot of “Little Mountain” in Emmigration [sic Emigration] Canyon to great these companies and escort them into the city. The populist turned out en-mass to receive them. They pulled their wagons to Pioneer Camp, “at Union square, (where West High School now stands) and camped.”

Thus ended the long, tedious treck.

It took three and one-half months or more to come from St. Louis to Salt Lake, 1856 …

After camping at Pioneer Square for three weeks, Nicholas Groesbeck purchased a two story adobe home across the street on the Northeast corner, 2nd West [now 3rd West] and 1st North. He moved his family there and set up a store with the merchandise he’d freighted to the valley. The family lived there, and Nicholas operated his store from there until May 1858, when President Brigham Young evacuated the city from the path of the approaching Johnston’s Army[Utah War]. On October 13, 1857 daughter Josephine was born to Nicholas and Elizabeth in this home.

This picture of the Groesbeck's first home is from the Nicholas Groesbeck pamphlet mentioned earlier. The home was later occupied by the Union Academy, the University of Deseret, and the Deseret Hospital.
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel records of the John Banks Company lists Mary Sudbury Humphreys (45) traveling with her seven children