Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Helen Melvina Groesbeck and John Hamilton Morgan gravestone. Sept 15, 2012.

Smiling into the sunshine on Saturday, September 15th, some John Hamilton Morgan descendants gathered at his grave site in the  Salt Lake City Cemetery. We were celebrating his life, and that of our grandmother Mellie Morgan, and the completion of several projects at their grave sites.
This new Helen Melvina and John Hamilton Morgan gravestone was recently completed and replaced the former deteriorating poured stones, placed there after Grandmother Morgan’s 1930 death. They had become increasingly difficult to read.

A big “thank you” to cousin Karen M., who led the way to the new gravestone's plan, design, completion, and purchase--and to all who contributed.
Gathered around the east facing side of the John Morgan Monument are L-R John Hamilton Morgan descendants; Claudia S., John Morgan G., Karen M., Rick P., Nancy B., Yara S., Bessie S., Judy H., Tom H., John Hamilton Morgan, Jr., in front Tom K. H., and Perry H.   

John Hamilton Morgan, Jr., grandson of Great Grandfather John Hamilton Morgan was with the group in the cemetery. His father was born February 7, 1894, just months before Great Grandfather Morgan's death.
Earlier updates at the John Morgan Family cemetery plot are posted here and here. Additional pictures will be posted at the John Hamilton Morgan Family Website in the near future.

Monday, September 24, 2012

John Morgan's Commercial College, The Pioneer College of Utah. March 1869.

On Saturday The Ancestor Files posted this pamphlet for Morgan’s Commercial College. Seeing it in its entirety answers and poses a variety of questions.

All eight pages appear in The Life and Ministry of John Morgan, “For a Wise and Glorious Purpose,” by Arthur Richardson, copyright 1965, Nicholas G. Morgan, Sr., pgs 51-58. Thanks to modern technology, internet access, and Amy’s discovery anyone can study and enjoy this little pamphlet, as it appeared in 1869.

The following is my list of questions and answers triggered by reading The Pioneer College of the Rocky Mountains pamphlet.

1-- After the lengthy vacation students have been treated to, caused indirectly by the illness of the Principal, the work is taken up with renewed interest; and during the time of the vacation arrangements have been made perfect for the more complete control of the school, and an entire reorganization of the management coupled with the experience of the past, satisfy that the college will excel its previous success---unparalleled as that has been in the territory. What illness did John Morgan suffer from that caused his school’s lengthy vacation?

2—"Change of Base to the Music Hall."  J. Morgan, M. A., Principal, Music Hall, First South Street, Salt Lake City, Utah.   Was the “Music Hall” John Morgan moved his school into on First South Street the site of the future Morgan Hotel?

3— Great Grandmother Mellie Groesbeck is listed in the “Ladies Class” and as a teacher in the Music Department after she became Mrs. Mellie Morgan, Teacher, Piano-Fortes because the students listed on pages 3-4 are a “List of Students who have attended the College between Feb. 1, 1868, and Jan. 31, 1869.” Mellie Groesbeck married John Morgan October 24, 1868. 

4—In an earlier time this pamphlet was considered “Very Rare,” which is penciled on the top of the cover, perhaps because Samuel Auerbach is listed as a student on page 3.  It looks as though a “book dealer” was hoping to get $25.00 for it.

5—I would have liked to audit Grandfather John Morgan’s Commercial Course on “Railway.”  I wonder if he could have imagined at that point in his life, the expert on railways he would become in the remaining twenty-five years of his life.

Picture of John Morgan from Richardson, pg. 45. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Buskirk Bridge area New York.

 Buskirks Bridge

Cousin Geraldine M. lives in New York and has done a lot or research on the Groesbeck Family. Three or four years ago she visited the area where Great Grandfather Nicholas Groesbeck (1819-1884) lived. She sent me pictures from that area to share here.

 She said, “I don’t know precisely who each of these gravestones belong to, but they are our Groesbecks.“

Thank you Geraldine for sharing these beautiful pictures!

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]."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bessie Morgan and Percy Harold Rex Letters - February 17, 1937.

 This card to P.H. Rex was in his wife, Bessie's scrapbook or boot box. 
I scanned the card, but didn't note which son sent it to him. 
My guess is Harold.
P. H. Rex about 1937
Randolph, Utah
Feb 17, 1937

My dear son,

I really am ashamed of myself for being so indolent when I know a boy way down below the equator is waiting for a letter. Days come and go so fast, I just can’t keep up. Winnie was home last week and just for a day or so. It was short, but it did seem good to have her here. Of course it took some of my time trying to get straightened up. I am so slow. But she is going to send me some iron. That is what I need.

We are all feeling quite sad here this week. Delbert Fackrell died last Sun. and is to be buried tomorrow. Everybody liked him, and now everybody can see his good points.

I have been quite busy this last week with a Relief Society lesson and a Mutual lesson on Shakespeare. There is always plenty to do.

We received your letter of Jan 15 last evening. Am so glad you are enjoying your work. Now you are in for another scolding. I do hope our letter[s] have had 

Some effect on you. I mean, in regard to Clara. Don’t be so mean to her. She is a lovely girl and she waits for a letter from you. We know she is going with nobody else. Did I ever dream one year ago today that I should be scolding you now for not writing. How fickle men are anyway.

We had a terrible blizzard here last night. The snow [plows are kept busy. However we haven’t as much snow this year as last. It has been cold though. It is clouding up again now. I hope it is a good day for the funeral tomorrow. Bishop is down to the legislature & may not get home. He is some busy man.

Morgan has made me a nice magazine rack. Here it is next morning & daddy has written you a long letter. So I will close with this. Daddy told you not so much wind. Well it has surely been howling the last two days. Snowdrifts aren’t so deep either. Well enough for now. Love & kisses and our constant prayers go with this.

Lovingly, Mother

Give my regards to Mrs Duke.

I am so thankful for funds raised up to help my boy.

Randolph, Utah.
Feb. 17, 1937

My Dear Boy in the Land of the South,

I will try and pen you a few lines again to let you see that I have not lost the use of my right hand, although it does cramp some when I write. We received your letter of Jan. 15, Monday Feb. 15. It seems we always get your letters on Monday nite. And we always look forward to your letters & I am sorry you don’t get your mail, you should as there are more letters written than you get. We are all well and happy at the thought that you are out in the world as an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is where you get the real joy out of life, is in his service. And from your letters you seem to be receiving your share of His Joy, and may you continue to receive more as you become more efficient in your labors. As time goes on and you study and become older in the service, you will receive this.

We are having some real winter again this year, about the same amount of snow as we had this time last year or more, but
hardly as much wind and I don’t think that it is in hardly as big piles here in the valley as a year ago, but I think we have as much or more moisture in the ground as last year. I think the Lord has us in the hollow of his hand, so to speak, when we look around and see what other people have. They are just getting fixing up after the floods down the Ohio and Missi. Valleys. It must have been terrible there the water was so deep it covered up houses in places. We saw some pictures in the paper where the water was up to the eves of the homes all down the street. And on one street corner where they had the red and green lights, the water was up to the light. It would be awful in a condition like that.

Bishop Johnson is in Salt Lake now in the legislature and it sort of leaves the ward more or less with Willard and myself. We have to conduct the Funeral services for Delbert Fackrell tomorrow, he died Sunday morning in the Hospital in Montpelier Idaho. He died of Gangreen or infection of the naval and bowels, he had had the flue and had not been very well after it, but was sick only about six days before he died. This leaves us
with another widow in our ward.

We are using the new Amusement Hall for church and amussements [sic] too, as we can warm it up so nice. We have the Basement [presumably at the Church] all torn up, and it makes the upstairs harder to warm up, so we are saving fuel by using the Hall.

It’s sure some place you would think you were in some place much larger than Randolph. I say it is the Best Hall this side of the Coconut Grove in Salt Lake City. If I told you this before just skip this as we are so thrilled with it we may tell you the same thing twice.

Winne was home over Sunday she sure is some lovely girl if I do say it myself being her dad, but I am real proud of my 3 oldest children, I think any parent could be proud of children of the same type as you are. I hope that the 3 younger ones will follow in your footsteps. I hope you will always bring joy and happiness to us, as it will be a pleasure to you to do this, if you continue to live for it.

Morgan has become more or less
Neglectful of his duties in the church. Maybe if you gave him a little sermon it may help a little. He is a good boy, any other way. He helps to run the picture machines and makes him a little money. He is here reading about the fellows who are going to skie jump next Sunday at Ecku [perhaps Echo] Hill.

He bought him a new pair of skis and has been giving them a coat of wax here tonight. He said to tell you he jumped 21 feet on them. He was off last Saturday doing it and was so stiff Sunday, he could hardly move.

We are sitting here writing to you and waiting for the 10:30 news over the radio as there has been a prize fight in the East and we want to hear who beat in the fight.

I think you had better take time to write your grandmother Rex a few lines that she may read, she is showing her age some, but has pretty good health for here.

I will close now asking the Lord to let his choicest Blessing attend you in all that you do in righteousness, is the prayer of your Father with Loads of Love.

P.H. Rex

[I added some punctuation to Grandpa P.H. Rex’s letter.]

Friday, September 7, 2012

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan--NEW gravestone.

William and Mary Elizabeth Brough Rex descendants gathered in about 1980.
Barbara Rex Wade, Ada Rex Pugmire, Jean Rex Stanley, and Amy Rex Gerber.

John Hamilton Morgan descendants met for lunch in 2009.
Claudia, Flora Lee, Karen M., Bessie
Granddaughters Flora, Margery, and Winnie seated in front.

About the same time John Hamilton Morgan granddaughters
and great granddaughters identified family members
 at the John Hamilton Morgan Salt Lake Cemetery Plot.

Several projects over the last three years have added new information
and headstones to the plot. John Morgan family descendants
 are invited to join together on Saturday, September 15th at 1:00 p.m.
to see the updated cemetery plot,
 and the beautiful NEW John and Mellie Morgan headstone.