Sunday, March 24, 2013

John Morgan and Joseph Standing--Missionary Companions.

Camelback Bridge, Normal, Illinois, Wikipedia

Continued from here.
The journal page (if one exists) that follows entries in the preceding post is missing from my collection. Getting a copy will require a return to the Marriott Library. In the interim I will share some of John Morgan and Joseph Standing’s shared missionary experiences as John Morgan recorded them in his journal.

John Morgan and Joseph Standing were called to serve missions in October 1875. In early 1878 they were again set apart for missions to the South.  [1]  

John Morgan received permission to visit his family in Normal, Illinois prior to reporting to his first call to the Southern States Mission.  He hadn’t seen his parents since following his 1861-1865 Civil War service.

John Morgan began his journal on November 15, 1875 in Normal, Illinois. “…I spent the afternoon in conversation with parties who are anxious to learn the truth and they appear to be honest of heart. I gave them some passages of scripture to read and think about. I was at my father’s home in the evening and listened to an argument between father and another man, and was struck with the uter lifeless character of the argument. Surely I have abundant reason to be thankful to God for the knowledge he has bestowed upon me and for the friends he has raised up to me.”

Five days later, his second journal entry, dated November 20, 1875, Normal, Illinois  “Have been very busy during the past few days bearing my testimony to different individuals, talking and conversing upon the scriptures and have enjoyed myself very much indeed. I have felt the good influence of the Spirit of God made manifest to me in numerous ways and on various occasions. I have met with many friends and found that the promises made to me are being fulfilled to the letter for which I feel thankful indeed and especially as to the fact that my faith can be proven by scripture and that those who try to sustain themselves by the wisdom of men fail.”

January 31, 1876, Normal, Illinois  "Returned to Normal Saturday night, found all well, and several letters awaiting me with news from my family and also news that Brother Joseph Standing was coming to assist me in the work here, for which I felt truly grateful.  I visited Sister Beeston, found her strong in the faith and increasing in health. Dr. Ferguson called to see me twice today, feels well, and I am satisfied he believes. Wrote several letters and fixed up a scrapbook with considerable information relative to our faith and some statistics. Feel well and thankful to God for His mercies."

February 3, 1876, Normal, Illinois  "Have been at Father’s since Saturday. Leave tomorrow for Towanda. Snowing hard. Have gathered together some considerable information in Scrapbook form for use. Visited Dr. Ferguson and Miss Beeston. Feel well in my work, have a little too much to do, but trust Brother Standing will be here soon."

February 9, 1876, Money Creek, Illinois  "Spoke last night at Wilcox School House to a small audience, owing to the inclement state of the weather. Rained very hard last night and during the day. Today almost impossible to get around.  Am staying at Mr. Wilcox’s today and tonight, who I find to be a pleasant and good sort of a man, but not a member of any Church. A bitter feeling against me on the part of some of the people while an opposite feeling is coming out on the part of others."

February 14, 1876, Money Creek, Illinois  "Spoke at Mr. Maple’s on Thursday night and at Mr. Lukenbill’s on Saturday night to good houses. Met. Bro. Joseph Standing from the 12th ward on Saturday night and feel so much better and stronger. He will assist me greatly and together with the help of the Spirit of God I trust we shall do good. We are stopping at present at Mr. Johnson’s and will speak tonight at Wilcox’s School House." [2]

Map of McLean County, Illinois, Wikipedia
(To be continued.)
[1] The New Georgia Encyclopedia, John Morgan, Joseph Standing.
[2] John Hamilton Morgan Journal, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
Mr. Johnson and many of the people John Morgan meets in these entries, are the Johnsons he returned to visit with his wife, Helen Melvina, in 1883.


  1. What valuable historical information! It's been awhile, so can you remind me if this is from a typescript of his journal? If so, does the original still exist?

  2. Yes, Amy, it's from the typescript copy of John Morgan's journal that his son's family donated to the library. No one knows what happened to the originals.

  3. Thank you for going back to Great Grandpa's journal. I enjoyed reading these entries.

  4. I intend to follow John Morgan's missionary service with Joseph Standing here for a while.

    An interesting note from last week's visit to the Marriott Library and Special Collections. The library plans on making John Morgan's papers available on-line SOON! Not certain what that means. The librarian I spoke with said they have already digitized the typed copy of his journal.