Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nicholas Groesbeck (1819-1884). "He possessed a character of rigid integrity, and his word was always his bond".

I found this undated Nicholas Groesbeck "Our Gallery of Pioneers" clipping in his folder at the DUP Museum History Room yesterday. I'm looking for a source, and a date, of GG Grandfather Nicholas Groesbeck's conversion and his baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Hyrum Smith.

I thought I might at least find the date of the newspaper clipping by looking through the Utah Digital  Newspaper Project. No luck. I didn't find that clipping, however, I found the following March 31, 1900 clipping. It didn't answer my specific question, but gave me a lot. My favorite is the author's description of this grandfather, He possessed a character of rigid integrity, and his word was always his bond.

"The important part which the late Nicholas Groesbeck took in the founding of Salt Lake City is well testified to by the monument of his industry  and energy which still stands in the Groesbeck and Wasatch blocks on the corner of Main and Second South Streets.  Mr. Groesbeck belonged in the foremost rank of our financial pioneer stalwarts whose pictures have already appeared in this series of articles, but he was almost the only one of them who made the bulk of his fortune through real estate properties. He also engaged somewhat in merchandising and mining. His death took place on Sunday, June 29, 1884 at the age of 64. He was born at Buskirk Bridge, Rensellaer  [Rensselaer ] county, New York, September 5th, 1819. He joined the Church in 1837, and moved to Springfield, Ill., where in 1841 he married Elizabeth Thompson, who remained his companion for years, and whose death occurred only six months before his own. While living in Springfield he became one of the bondsmen of the Prophet Joseph Smith who was tried there on trumped up charge in 1842. Although never living at Nauvoo he made frequent trips to that city, and was engaged in coal mining and contracting there. He emigrated [immigrated] to Utah in the fall of 1856, passing a division of Johnston’s Army on his way, and saving his goods only by a narrow chance. He was noted for his energy of character and for his incessant hard work at his business.  He possessed a character of rigid integrity, and his word was always his bond. His name is perpetuated in that of the Groesbeck Company today, which owns the property he left behind. The stock is now held by others than his own family, business reverses having overtaken nearly all his heirs. The president of the company, however, is Hon. John HenrySmith, who married one of Mr. Groesbeck’s daughters [Josephine]."

Some posts about Nicholas Groesbeck's life are here and here.

Additional information will follow soon.

[Note: the first newspaper clipping is too difficult to read. It follows here:]

"A native of New York state, where he was born in 1819, and a prominent citizen of Utah from 1856 until his death in 1884, Nicholas Groesbeck left in the local community many marks of his loyalty and business  sagacity . He joined the Church in 1838 in his native state, and removed to Illinois the next year, making his home in Springfield. Here he engaged in trading, for which he had a natural aptitude, and acquired considerable wealth, so that when he decided to come to Utah he was well equipped for entering at once upon his career of future prosperity. He performed adventurous and valuable service upon the plains during times connected with the western movement of Johnston’s army, and at the time of “the move,” he located and went [text missing] turned to Salt Lake where he thereafter made his home.  As early as 1858 he purchased what was later known as the Wasatch corner, Second South and Main streets (now the Kenyon) and built upon it. In 1869 he began to engage in mining, and in his operations in Little Cottonwood he opened up and later sold the famous Flagstaff mine. Everything he touched seemed to prosper, and he was always on hand to join in any enterprise that promised the development and up-building of the country. He performed two or three missions, and was steadfast and consistent in his religious belief. He was at one time a member of the city council, and he was ever a public spirited and exemplary citizen generally. He died wealthy, being a large holder of real estate, mining [text missing]."

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