Thursday, May 31, 2012

#3 Beryl Burt Sanborn. Concluded.

In 1976 Beryl joined the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP), Hanauer Camp.
She was proud of her ancestors and cherished her pioneer heritage.

 It is evident from this well-used list of ancestors,
 she turned here frequently to keep track of family members, and their names.

After Pete's retirement, they frequently vacationed with friends, 
Harvey and Veda Danks (Harvey must have taken the picture).

In 1962 Richard, Beryl, Pete, with Ringo.
Beryl enjoyed playing the slot machines whenever they vacationed in Nevada, 
and she liked to win!
In 1979 their children invited friends and family to celebrate
 Pete and Beryl's fiftieth wedding anniversary.

Elizabeth is her youngest grandchild, and is shown here in 1984 near Beryl
with the family kitten on her lap. 

Beryl was always the care giver. In the last few years of her life, Beryl's family had the opportunity to reverse roles with her. She lived in her daughter Marlene's home, until she passed away on December 22, 1986.

Pete passed away the following September 21, 1987.

After Beryl began receiving Social Security she had a little money to call her own. She did with it whatever she chose, and tithing was on the top of her list. She was a great one for stashing money in a “safe place,” and sometimes had a difficult time remembering where it was. 

A pile of books from Pete and Beryl’s house was headed to “good will” following their passing and the sale of the home. Their son Richard rifled through the pile, retrieving a few he could use, a good dictionary in particular. Months, or a year or more, later one of her grandchildren picked up that dictionary to look up a word, and out fell a hundred-dollar-bill. Forever after they searched through anything that came from their grandparent’s house—looking for one-hundred-dollar-bills.                          

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Bonus picture here

Sunday, May 27, 2012

John Morgan Gravestone Project completed.

Thank you to everyone who encouraged my efforts and contributed to the John Morgan Gravestone project. The engraving on the east side of the stone in the Salt Lake Cemetery was completed in time for Memorial Day. I think it looks beautiful!

Having John Morgan’s wives recognized on the blank side of his gravestone has been a pet project of mine for a couple of years. In order to solicit $money contributions$ from my cousins I sent them the following explanation:

“I've felt compelled to see that the two women who whole-heartedly embraced the teachings of the Church at that time (1880’s), laid everything on the line, married this good faithful man, had his children, and were good and faithful to the end need to be acknowledged with his first wife (our great grandmother) on his monument.”

Helen Melvina “Mellie” is buried next to John Morgan. The cemetery coordinates for his other wives gravesites are now on the monument. A visitor would need to get a copy of the cemetery map from the sexton’s office to go to their gravesites.

It took SL Monument an entire day and one-hundred pounds of sand to sand-blast the new lettering into the gravestone.

Contributions for this project continue to be welcomed. Send me an e-mail at: I see the creamery (written all together) @ Comcast [dot] net for a mailing address.

Friday, May 25, 2012

2012 Springtime Visit to Manassa, Colorado. Concluded.

The only railroad running during the week of our trip to Manassa was the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Prior to Memorial Day, the trains from Alamosa, Durango, and Antonito, Colorado keep an off-season schedule.

When the transcontinental rail link was completed in Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869 the line bypassed Denver. The Union Pacific chose the gentler grade to the north, through Cheyenne, Wyoming. The following year they built a 106-mile spur south to Denver that was completed June 24, 1870. Thereafter they aggressively developed an extensive narrow gauge network throughout Colorado.  I’d have to do a lot of hunting through John Morgan's journal to determine whether or not he traveled the Durango to Silverton leg we took.

The narrow gauge train from Durango to Silverton ran The High Line, and traveled half-way to Silverton and returned. The single day adventure was great fun, the weather was beautiful, and I felt it was an excellent example of the late 19th century Colorado trains John Morgan rode.

The 45-mile extension of track, originally called the Silverton Branch, was constructed by the Denver & Rio Grande Railway in 1881-82. It followed the course of the Animas River.

Narrow gauge track in Colorado was laid at a width of 3 feet between rails, instead of the 4 feet-8-1/2 inches of separation with standard gauge rail. It was capable of making sharper curves, and thus more suited to the mountainous terrain found in much of Colorado. The track weighed one half that of standard gauge track at the time, and D&RG was able to operate lighter, less expensive equipment on its narrow gauge lines.

An 1886 John Morgan Journal account of a similar train that was detained for days because of inclement weather and blocked railroad tracks is posted  here.

America’s Railroad, The Official Guidebook by Robert T. Royem, 2nd edition 2007, pg 17.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Percy Harold Rex - letter written November 15, 1936.

Randolph, Utah
Nov. 15-36.

My Dear Son,

Just a few lines to let you know we are still living up here in the states at home, we are all pretty well and having some of the nicest weather for this time of the year.

I guess you think your father is a very poor letter writer. I guess this is the mark he would get if it were put to the test.

We sold the cattle the other day in fact it was a week ago yesterday. We received 6 ¢ a pound for the steer,  12 in number, and 3-1/2 ¢ for two cows, and 4¢ for four cows. They brought a fairly nice little check if we had a few more to sell it would make things worthwhile.

We have most of the cattle in now and it looks like a pretty good calf crop, and some very fine calves.

There has been some fellows out this last week over the divide gathering up the tail end and got about sixty head.

Since I wrote you last we have gone through one of the most bitter campaigns in the history of the nation and I guess you have heard that Pres. [Franklin D.] Roosevelt was selected and he surely has a good opinion of himself, and he surly got a very large majority of the votes. It went strait [sic] Democrat throughout the nation. The republican elected Bishop Johnson to go to the State Legislature and Wm. Reese for a four year county commissioner, for which we were greatful [sic] , both very good men for the offices they hold.

Last week the Randolph ward choir and Bishopric went to Kemmerer [Wyoming] to sing and do the Preaching for sacrament meeting. We had Helen Kennedy and Dalles Johnson, also Bishop [Lawrence Johnson, 1888-1968] for speaker, and they were very good. Helen is as good a lady speaker as you will hear in a long time.

As I read your letters you must be getting something in the back of your head to be able to speak 30 or 35 minutes in German.
Mr. Will Wimmerer and Worth were here the other day and ask how you were getting along, and when I told [them] you could speak 30 minutes in German they said how wonderful, and that was equal to 3 years of college.

College reminds me that U. S. A. C. [Utah State Agricultural College] has the Rockey [sic] Mountain championship in football under their belt for 1936, defeated U of U [University of Utah], 12 to nothing, in fact they have not been scored against this year, which is remarkable.

You will see by this picture of the building that we are getting along with it, by the time you get this I hope we are in it. I don’t know weather [sic]we will have it all paid for or not, but a very big share, as we are having pretty fine success in raising funds.

By the time you receive this letter it will be nearly Christmas again. The time surely does roll by, the first thing I know I will be an old man and nothing to show for my life work, not having had the opportunity of going out in the world to preach the gospel and convert souls into the kingdom of heaven.

I hope you will be able, with inspiration of the Lord, to accomplish your desires in righteousness and fulfill an honorable mission.

I was down to Salt Lake two weeks ago and met a young fellow by the name of Stevens who is coming down to your mission and he will bring some things for you. He seems to be a very nice young man. There is also a young man from Midway, where Rubbie is from, going with him, so you will be more or less acquainted when you meet, if you have the chance.

I see I am getting near the end of my paper so I had better close now, asking God to ever bless you in your labors for good and the spread of his gospel and shield you from harm and sickness, is the prayer of your father, with Loads of Love.

P.H. Rex

Note: I added some punctuation to Grandpa P.H. Rex’s letter.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

2012 Springtime Visit to Manassa, Colorado. Part 3.

The next morning it snowed again, and we visited Sanford, Colorado.
An early brick home.
Large trees remain without early homes and farms.
A couple of old San Luis Railroad Cars were retired to this field.
These Sanford horses reminded me of John Morgan. 

From John Hamilton Morgan's journal, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.
May 23 –  [Salt Lake City, Utah] Looked around to buy some horses.

May 29 – [Springville, Utah] Used Jno. G’s buggy in driving around and bought four mares during the day.

May 30 – Bought another mare this a.m. and in the afternoon, carried all five of them over to Spanish Fork Station where I found Peter Rasmussen and William Jackson with eight more.

June 6 – [Salt Lake City] ... Paid freight on horses. Met with LeGrand Young and A. F. McDonald about organization of company in Mexico. Attended the Theatre in the evening with Mellie, “The Old Homestead,” by Denman Thompson.

June 7 – Drove out with wife [Mellie] and accompanied her to the dentists and got an impression of her mouth for a new set of teeth. About home during the afternoon.

June 8 – Arranged with Hyrum G. [Groesbeck] for some means to aid in paying for horses.

June 9 – Obtained $300.00 from Hyrumn, paid some freight and sent the remainder due Crandall and Royland on horses. Busy arranging to start to Colorado. Bid the folks goodbye and left on 4 p.m. U. C. train for Utah County and Juab.

June 10 – Returned to Provo and had breakfast. At 10 a.m. came to Springville and had dinner at Rhodas [Groesbeck]. As the train was late, went to meeting and spoke to the folks. At 4:20 p.m. train passed, bid the folks goodbye and left for Colorado. Obtained an upper berth. All there was left in the car.

June 11 – Had breakfast at Cimmaron and passed through Black Canyon in an open car. Had a pleasant day and made snowballs on top of Marshall Pass. Dinner at Salida and arrived in Pueblo at 6 p.m.

June 12 – Woke up at 2 a.m. Dressed and at 2:45 a.m. left for Manassa. Walked over from the railroad. Home, and found all well. Remained at home during the rest of the day. Tired.

June 13 – Attended a Sunday School Jubilee held in the bowery. Well attended and fairly carried through. In the evening drove to LaJara with brother Jackson. A heavy wind and some sleet during the trip.

June 14 – Bought wagon from William Christensen for $1110.00 and a set of harnesses from Co-op at $40.00. Hitched up and drove about town a while.

June 15 – Brother J. H. [John Henry] Smith and wife [Josephine], myself and wife [Annie], drove across the river to the ranch.

Sanford looked very much to me like Manassa.
An abandoned adobe building in Sanford.
LaJara is on the railroad tracks that run south through the San Luis Valley
from Alamosa, Colorado to Antonito, Colorado. This is their train station.

Numerous Morgans settled in Conejos County, Colorado
George Morgan (unknown to me), from Utah, and his five sons lived in Sanford, Colorado
1910 Sanford, Colorado Census.

John and Annie Morgan's son, John Albemarle Morgan, lived in Sanford, Colorado
1920 Sanford, Colorado Census.

The Amateur Mormon Historian led me to a great picture collection housed in the Alamosa Library, and on-line here.  There are some great early Manassa and Sanford pictures in it. Most of them are identified. On a few of the photographs there is a notice that reads:  This photograph cannot be identified. It is one of 21 photographs found in the bottom of a trunk belonging to Joseph Morgan Valentine, grandfather of Raymond Valentine, who is the husband of Roberta Valentine of Alamosa, Colorado. This photograph may have been taken in Mississippi. Joseph Morgan Valentine migrated to Manassa, Colorado, in the 1890’s.

A couple of favorite pictures from this collection are here and here and here.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 4
(To be concluded.)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

2012 Springtime visit to Manassa, Colorado. Part 2.

The engraving above the door identifies this as the San Luis Stake Office. 
Cousin Flora Lee visited here in 2008 and was told it had been the tithing office.
This building is kitty-cornered through the block from the plaque
marking the first church and school building.
An online picture of the grounds in summer green is here.
The Old Manassa Cemetery is about five blocks south of
Main Street on 5th Street, just as the instructions I found online here said.
This plaque lists those buried in the cemetery,
 but does not give directions to their grave sites.
There is not water at this cemetery. 
It rests beneath the hill to the south of town marked by  an M.
The mold used for John and Annie Morgan's daughter's headstone
is a popular one in the cemetery, and appears to be made of concrete.
You can find John Morgan's journal entries about Myrtle's passing here
This gravestone marks Myrtle's grandfather's grave site and is next to hers. 
The row these two graves are on is P, 17.
Looking north from the cemetery are groups
of large trees, remnants of early farms.

Looking South from Manassa
Looking from about the same spot as above, this time to the East,
 where I imagine John Morgan's ranch, over the river, might have been.

The large cranes in this picture give away
 the present use of John Morgan's corner.
The John Morgan corner is tightly concealed
from the west by the trees he planted there.
This is a nice online picture of Manassa, 
green trees concealing all but the top of one crane. 

Two of John Morgan's Springtime journal entries while at Manassa, Colorado:

1886 - April 12, Planted thirty-nine fruit trees today. A very cold windy day.

1888 - March 17, Annie, Ray, brother Jackson and myself drove across the river this a.m. and visited brother Beecroft's place. In the p.m. we drove to Ephriam calling at Brother Corays. From there to Sanford where we bought some trees of brother Jones. Returned late in the evening.

Part 4

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

#3 Beryl Burt Sanborn. Part 4.

Pete and Beryl's grandchildren in front of their grandparents' home.
l-r; Suzanne, Gina (in front) Dawn [(behind her) Dawn Valene Silotti Newren 1952-2001], Jimmie [James Kevin Sanborn 1954-2000], Becky, Sherry, and Vicki Gwen Sanborn [ 1951-1999].

Beryl treasured her grandchildren. There were seven when this photo was taken in about 1963, ultimately there would be thirteen. Beryl was a modest woman and not inclined to boasting. She enjoyed reading a good book, being with her family, her favorite soap opera, quilting, and attending relief society.   

In the final year of her life she wrote, “We have 12 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. Pete helps Richard at his antique shop so between times we are kept busy cutting lawns and keeping our garden weeded.” 
Beryl is the lady in the front on the right of the quilting frame.
This picture was undoubtedly taken in the Millcreek 1st Ward .

Beryl is the second lady from the left.
The other ladies in both pictures are unknown to me.

The garden! Pete and Beryl's garden was something to behold, encompassing most of their back and side lots; perfectly pruned rose bushes producing glorious roses, and peonies--huge peonies, and a bounty of vegetables. Produce enough for the family and neighbors. Traditionally the grandchildren sold much of the harvest to raise money for their school shoes and clothes. The annual ritual of the garden, the work  and the reward, is now fondly remembered by her grandchildren.

Beryl wrote, “The first time Pauline [Burt, her sister-in-law] had me go to R. S. [Relief Society] I had left beans on cooking and had to leave. I was secretary in R. S, then I was put in [as] organist for a while [James Burt purchased a piano for his children, and Beryl learned to play the piano as a girl]. Oral Greening was president and she asked me to cook & serve on workday. So I got my dear friends Leola Austin & Veda Danks to help so we were in charge of that for a year.”

Veda Danks and Beryl in Pete and Beryl's living room.

In 2004 Beryl’s descendants wrote their memories.

Daughter Marlene: “When I think of the years after my marriage and when my girls were little, I really know what a wonderful mother I had. I was so miserable during my pregnancies and Momma was always helping me.

“When I hurt my back doing yard work and had to stay in bed for a month Momma came up every day. If I had to take one of the girls to the doctors (which was often with Becky) she was my chaffer.

“During those years we were just barely getting by money wise, she would always buy me a dress for church.

“I had a huge ironing to do every week, so early every Tuesday morning she would come up with her iron and ironing board and help me do it. She always brought something nice for lunch. I know that is why I have always liked to iron. Whenever somebody in the ward needed help I have offered to do their ironing.”

Son-in-law, Gene:  “Every year for many years we would go to Payson [Utah] and hunt pheasant. We would bring home the pheasants along with some cotton tail rabbits, Beryl would cook a big meal of rabbit and pheasant for the whole family. (Next to the [Beryl’s] pot roast this was my second favorite meal). I think that her Thanksgiving dinners were a close third.
“Pete never seemed to get enough of yard work, he loved being outdoors and in his gardens. The way his yard looked with his flowers and the (raked) gravel driveway, was a testimony of this. Not to mention the best corn in the valley. Which brings us back to his love of hunting .... It seems that the pheasants loved Pete’s corn too. Pete would get his 22 rifle using a 22 short (a bullet which makes very little noise) standing inside his backdoor he would shoot at the pheasants .... A few minutes later Beryl would go out with a dishpan [to] hang out some clothes and come back in with dinner.

Daughter-in-law, Joanna: “Remember Grandpa’s Iris and Rose Gardens. They were the prettiest things on that street.

“Planting corn in the Spring and the harvesting it in about August and then letting the kids go door to door selling it for school clothes. It was the best and sweetest corn I have ever eaten.

“Nobody could fix pot roast like Grandma. It makes my mouth water now to think about it.

“I remember when Grandma and Aunt Leah [Sanborn] would go to Salt Lake maybe 2 times a month. They would have lunch and then take in a movie. (This was about when they started rating movies). Well, they went into the old Rialto Theatre on 3rd South. They got their tickets and proceeded in. The usher met them and explained that the show was x-rated. They said that was fine. About 10 minutes elapsed and 2 red faced women came out. Aunt Leah asked the Usher why he didn’t tell them it was a dirty movie. He said I told you that it was x-rated. They thought he meant the movie had been x-rayed.”

(To be concluded.)