Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bessie Morgan Rex - letter written April 8, 1936.

Maeser Morgan Rex looks like he's wearing a white shirt on this horse.
 Sunday afternoons are a good time to take pictures.
April 8, 1936
My dear son,
Each week slips by so quickly. I can hardly think it is time for me to start writing again. I must get it started & maybe with several interruptions, I shall manage to finish it. We received your very very welcome airmail letter last Sat. I was so glad to know you had landed safely. And I suppose it was one grand voyage. Maybe it wouldn’t have suited you so well, but I should much rather have been there than Clara. I’m sure you would not have seen the beauties of the night if Clara had been there. Everybody ask [s] if we have heard from you, and now we are anxiously awaiting your diary of that trip.

I must tell you about conference. It was Saturday, Sunday & Monday in S.L. Daddy & Helen were down. I am sure Winnie will tell you all about the Sunday broadcast. It was nationwide in the morning. The congregation sang “How Firm a Foundation.” Pres. McKay then spoke on the subject. “He who loses his life shall find it.” Then Pres. Clark spoke on “Faith, belief & knowledge.” Pres. Grant then read from the D&C. The congregation sang

 “An Angel from on High.” Then “Doxology.” It was very inspiring. All the meetings were very good, but Mon. morning Pres. Grant called Bro Stoof from S. America to the stand. Well, that was the grandest talk of the whole conference. Several have said so. It was thrilling. He was so full of the spirit. If there are many there like him I shall not worry about you.

I better give you the local news next.  Let me see. Aunt Edna is in the hospital. She was operated on for appendicitis. Spring is coming—slowly, slowly. The snow banks are still here, but the moisture is gradually going into the ground. Daddy has had to buy more hay. Helen has a lovely new Spring outfit. She surely looks well in it. School isn’t like it was when Mr. Law was here. Not the same spirit at all. Oh- and old Tenet passed to the happy hunting grounds. Maeser suggested a funeral & place in the garden for burial, but of course that couldn’t be. Losses last week-- 1 horse, 1 cow—2 calves. Mustn’t let that happen very often or we will be in the red. The wind blows cold every evening & the nights are frosty.

Better that than floods, tho.’ I ran out of other paper but must finish this & get it off in the morning. I haven’t written to Win this week & I must tonight. Our radio is on the blink & you know how I would miss it. I do have to hear the news. There is history being made in the world today.

Have been reading Pres. Ivins “Mormonism & Free masonry." It is very good. You should have read it before you left.

Tomorrow is Good Friday & I must make hot cross buns. Flora and Maeser have candy rabbits on the piano, but if Easter doesn’t hurry they wont’ have any feet or ears. Nobody touches them, of course.
Tuesday was Flora’s birthday & she had a party. Of course the presents were the principal things about the party. I think birthday parties & showers (gimmie parties) should be abolished. Oh dear, the sun is far in the West & I must get my clothes in. That is usually a job I have to do on the day I write to you isn’t it. I still scramble over drifts to hang them out. Such a scrambled letter. I am not much good on news & I am not like Win. I don’t have interesting experiences doing my work like she does.

The man & wife that Dallas converted are here. They came from Maine in a ten year old car. The woman weights 325 lbs, quite an addition to the ward.

Here it is seven a.m. This letter isn’t finished and it must go off. I told some of the others to write but they haven’t done it.

Another beautiful sunshiny day. And I hope the snow goes into the ground all day. It is surprising how much the earth can soak up.

Sunday is Easter, and Maeser has  made a chicken from a boiled egg. Put feathers for tail & side wings, nose & comb on it. He is quite original.

Dear dear me. I shall have to listen to the radio or tell you something I have read pretty soon. I am so poor on news. I guess we better cut out the news items and send them to you.  But they don’t amount to very much.

They just got the Laketown road open Tuesday. It has been closed for over two weeks. The mail went horseback.

Well I must come to an end and get this off to you, or one week may pass without a letter and you wouldn’t like that, would you. Have you been homesick at all. I hope not. Work hard and time will fly fast. They spoke of the exceptionally fine men they had sent there to preside over those missions.  Surely do hope you enjoy your work there.

Maeser is spelling aloud & it surely mixes me up so will close for this time. We think of you so much and now somebody always stands up for you if any of your foolish ways are mentioned. Well try to write earlier in the week & surely hope it wont be long before we hear from you. Love & kisses and Heavens’ blessings we all wish for you my dear. Lovingly, Mother 

Sunday, January 22, 2012


One of the poems clipped and pasted into Grandmother Bessie Morgan Rex's Scrapbook.

The index to the letters Bessie Morgan Rex wrote to her son Harold Morgan Rex during his mission years in Brazil (1936 - 1938) is found here on the Rex Family Index Page.

Good Timber, 

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck. 1878-1882.

A 1951 gift from my cousins.

Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck’s life story is continued from this 1872 visit to her father.

The first Primary was organized in 1878 by Aurelia Spencer Rogers in Farmington, Utah.  She felt younger boys in the community were becoming unruly and mischievous. In her first primary meeting, “boys were specifically taught not to steal fruit from orchards and girls were taught not to hang on wagons.” With permission from church leaders and under the initial direction of General Relief Society President Eliza R. Snow, a primary was organized in the 17th Ward.

30 November 1878
At a special meeting held in the seventeenth Ward meeting house on this date, a Primary Association was organized by Sister Eliza R. Snow with the following named officers.

President:  Elizabeth Groesbeck
1st Counselor:  Clarissa S. Williams
2nd Counselor:  Sarah H. Burbidge
Secretary:  Edith Smith
Treasurer:  Rosena Lemon

No history available for 1879

20 June 1880
Pres. Groesbeck resigned and the Primary Association was reorganized at this time, Sister Eliza R. Snow being present, as follows,

President:  Serepta M. Heywood
1st Counselor:  Lavina T. Clayton
2nd Counselor:  Lucretia L. Heywood
3rd Counselor: Minnie Felt
Secretary:  Elizabeth Smith
Treasurer:  Rosena Lemon

Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck was then called to assist Sister Eliza R. Snow at the new Deseret Hospital.

In 1882 when a woman’s hospital became a reality in Utah, the Deseret Hospital was established on August 1, 1882. Eliza R. Snow was president of the Deseret Hospital Association and Zina D. young, vice president.  Elizabeth Groesbeck was listed as one of a ten member finance committee.

Church History Library, Primary Association Minutes and Records, Seventeenth Ward, Salt Lake Stake, Microfilm,  LR 8240 18. Our Pioneer Heritage Vol. 6, compiled by Kate B. Carter, 1963, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, “Pioneer Women Doctors, ‘The Deseret Hospital,’ ” Pgs 413-414.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bessie Morgan Rex - letter written March 31, 1936.

Horse drawn sleigh in front of Percy Harold Rex Randolph home.
Randolph, Utah
March 31, 1936
Your big sis’s birthday

My dear wandering boy,
Another week means another letter and it seems so strange to be writing letters to someone who doesn’t answer to give me something to write about. Well, we just received a letter from that dear girl [Winnie] in Salt Lake. She says she writes to you every week, but will soon run out of gab if she doesn’t get an answer. She writes the nicest letters. She sent a birthday card to Helen. She is a dear. 4 “shes” in a row. I am sitting by the kitchen stove watching a fruit cake. Have a piece? And now let me tell you it has snowed about 18 ins. Of good wet snow since Sunday. Are we wet. Maybe we’ll drown this summer. The roads are nearly blocked. Skies are still gray, but it has stopped for a few minutes. Dear, dear, how slow I am. Two days have passed & I am holding up the family’s budget of letters to you
So I must finish this and get it in the mail. It is a beautiful wintry spring day today. Snow 3 ft deep in places, but I believe the sun has made an impression on it. Spring must soon come – or else –

I just read a piece in an old Era about Brazil. I’m wondering what you are thinking of it. Black beans and corn bread don’t sound very good to me. Hope you fare better than that. The picture of the chapel at Joinville is quite nice. I do hope you don’t have to go native but then, you are not there for personal gain, and I suppose there are people there who must hear the Gospel.

Yesterday I saw the nicest girl at Mary McK. Tingey’s shower. She was with her Mother. Oh yes—they came from Evanston. Don’t you wish you had been in my book?

We are hoping they will soon get started fixing the meeting house and building a new amusement hall but so many are kicking about it.

I must tell you, you are a poor trader. That other black & white calf died. We are paying for dead horses

Helen and Harold Rex with their 4H calves in perhaps 1934-36. 
I don't know who the boy in the rear is. Is
 it Morgan?
Or calves, I should say, yet. Oh, yes & I hope you learn that banks aren’t in business as a charity organization. Morrell Booth presented daddy with a bum check signed by a certain H.M.[Harold Morgan] Rex. You are some boy & if you were here I should give you—well you know—just one good old scolding.

Charles Stacy brought Mrs. Burdett & the girls down yesterday & they had to get out and shovel snow. Isn’t that the limit the first of April.

Well if I write too much I shall have to put on an extra stamp, so I mustn’t do that. Hope you have received your money all right.

Next Sunday is conference in S.L. [Salt Lake] We are going to listen right here. I don’t suppose the mission president from there comes to conference, does he. I heard Bob Wamsley had been right in the flood area. It has been so terrible & today they said there had been a bad storm in Georgia that had

Killed fifty people and had done a million dollars damage. I read the 24th Chap. Of Matthew the other night. The prophecies are surely coming true.

My washing is out waving on the line & I must bring some of it in. It is nearly five p.m. and supper to get. Poor old Tenet, I’m afraid, is doomed. She doesn’t get better. Flora is playing with Eloise. She was to come home at 3:30 but if she had I should have fainted.

Make the best kind of use of your time. Are you learning German? Let it help you with your English grammar. Do study that—and spelling. Don’t be afraid to look up a word. I want to see plenty of improvement in two years. Are you quite sophisticated yet for rubbing shoulders with the world? I surely hope it does you much good. I also hope you are enjoying a missionary’s life by now and that you make a real one. It will mean so much more to you if you do really enjoy it. We all send love and kisses and prayers for the Lord to be with you always. We are anxiously waiting for a letter from the Land of the Southern Cross.
Lovingly Mother 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

John Hamilton Morgan Family Website.

A picture of remnants of the Civil War Battle Flag John Morgan carried during the 1865 Spring attack on Selma, Alabama. The picture lines the inside book cover of The Life and Ministry of John Morgan, “For a Wise and Glorious Purpose,” commissioned by his son, Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan, and written in 1965 by Arthur Richardson.

Three of John Hamilton Morgan’s grandchildren passed away during 2011. Their obituaries have been added to the family information you’ll find on the John Hamilton Morgan Family Website.

Use the link to the right, above the Google Search Window, to stay up to date with the new information John Morgan descendant Flora Lee is adding to her Website.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

History of John Morgan Commercial College

This month's DUP Lesson includes this history of John Morgan's Commercial College, founded on January 1, 1867.  Amy wrote about his college on the Ancestor Files.

Note 9 on page 211, Malouf, "Pioneer Education, 400.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bessie Morgan Rex - letter written March 25, 1936.

Maeser and Flora Rex about 1941.

The next of the letters Bessie Morgan Rex wrote to her son Harold while he served a mission in Brazil.
Randolph, Utah
March 25, 1936

My dear son [Harold],
Here it is 5 in the after-noon and I have been going to write all afternoon. Tonight is the missionary pic-ture show, so I cannot write it then. I must hurry. Let me see, I suppose that within the next 24 to 36 hours, you will feel the good earth again. I wonder if you will be glad. We are sending $25 to the church office in the morning. Hope you received the other 20$. We will send it down to be sent on the first from now on.

Would you like something to cool you off. The snowbank out in front of the house that they shovelled [sic] to get the big gate open is still about three feet in the air. It has stayed quite cold and the meadows are still covered with snow. Last Sunday was stake conference. It was held in Evanston again, on account of the condition of our buildings.

I shall have to write on both sides to save postage. Daddy & Helen went up. Of course a little girl [Clara] grabbed daddy & took him right up there. He said there was a big picture of a good looking guy on the bookcase. Am glad you got your fountain pen back. The bishopric is trying to get this repair & building job going. It is hard. People haven’t enough community pride & they are so afraid it will take a penny out of their pockets. I hope we can keep you there ourselves. Money seems to come some way. Daddy’s loan has just been approved. He is very glad & thankful. Town [Randolph] news? There isn’t much worth while. Vella S. [Smith] Kennedy has a baby boy next door. I think we told you Mary & Francis [Frazier] were married. I simply don’t get the gossip. I’ll tell you what Flora said. Max A. [Argyle] spoke to them in Primary. She said it was a grand “spoke” too. She wishes Maeser would be more “kindly.” Maeser and Morgan still go the rounds and Maeser wishes his big brother were here to deal the middle sized brother a little misery. Well I wasn’t going to write any at night, but it must be or I

[That ends the letter. Sadly the next or final page is missing.]  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's 1872 visit to her father.

Union Township, Ripley, Brown County, Ohio, north of the Ohio River
 Germantown, Maysville, Kentucky, south of the Ohio River.

John Amberson Thompson [1791-1881]
 Elizabeth’s son, Nicholas Harmon, wrote that he traveled to New York City and other eastern cities for the first time in 1871. That fall he was called to travel east again to fill a mission to his relatives in Illinois, Kentucky, and Ohio, which he did, returning home in the Spring of 1872.

Later that summer in August, 1872, Nicholas Harmon, and his wife Rhoda, invited his mother, Elizabeth and her fourteen-year-old daughter, Josephine, to travel with them to New York and Maysville, Kentucky. There they visited Elizabeth’s father, John Amberson Thompson, and her eldest sister, Mary Dunlap. One can imagine the thrill of that six-seven week trip when Elizabeth reunited with her sister and father and their families--it being highly unlikely they’d seen one another since the Groesbecks immigrated to the Salt Lake Valley in 1856.

Mary Dunlap’s husband, Nathanial was a millwright at Union Township, in Brown County, Ohio. They lived across the Ohio River from Germantown, Mason County, Kentucky where Elizabeth’s father, John, his second wife Sarah, and their seven children lived in Maysville, Kentucky, where John was also a millwright. Depending on how one traveled, the two families lived about fifteen to twenty-five miles away from one another.
John and Sarah Thompson family in the 1870 Mason County, Kentucky Census. 

Nathaniel and Mary Dunlap family in the 1870 Brown County, Ohio Census.

From Nicholas Harmon Groesbeck, August 1916 Autobiography.