Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rex Family Memorial Day Gathering. May 27, 2013.

William and Mary Elizabeth Brough Rex buried six of their thirteen children, as children, here in the Randolph, Utah Cemetery. Visit this beautiful updated William and Mary Rex Gravesite at the cemetery on Memorial Day, May 27, 2013! One month from today!

Flora Lee extended an invitation to interested family members to drop by her childhood Randolph home at 85 W. Canyon Street on that day. There will be visiting and refreshments and she will hold a P.H. Rex Family meeting there at 2:00 p.m.

The William and Mary Rex children are:
William Thomas Rex (1875-1962)
Charles Rex (1877-1882)
Alfred George Rex (1878-1956)
Mary Elizabeth Rex (1880-1880)
Olive Celeste Rex (1881-1882)
Samuel Rex (1883-1967)
Arthur H. Rex (1884-1952)
John Osland Rex (1887-1967)
Percy Harold Rex (1889-1977)
Ada Estella Rex Jackson (1892-1974)
Myrtle Rex (1894-1894)
Alfreda Rex (1895-1901)
Hyrum Mack Rex (1901-1902)

There is a footstone with each child's initials on it. They were leaning around the main Rex headstone for years. That too was deteriorating. Last year William and Mary Rex descendants, Nancy and Flora Lee, set out to “fix” that. They solicited support and donations from other family members. As you can see, the upright, repaired stones are completed and ready for you to view in the Randolph Cemetery.

I haven’t seen many grave footstones. Some graves in the 18th century contained footstones to mark the foot end of the grave. Footstones were rarely annotated with more than the deceased's initials. Many cemeteries and churchyards have removed those extra stones to ease grass cutting by machine mower. In some United Kingdom cemeteries the principal, and only marker, is placed at the foot of the grave.  

It appears that the first William and Mary Rex baby was buried in 1880. Perhaps thereafter they placed a small footstone for each child. Or sometime later other descendants may have  added all of the footstones.

I know of only one other family grave that has a footstone. The picture below is poor and crooked. It does, however, show Myrtle Morgan's grave on the left with her footstone further on at the foot of her grave. Myrtle Morgan is John and Annie Smith Morgan's daughter. She died July 28, 1890 and is buried in the Manassa, Colorado cemetery

I took this picture to illustrate what had happened to her grandfather's headstone to the right. It appears a truck backed into it and the corner of the nearby plot. It is a project that needs attention.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

John Morgan and Joseph Standing - 1876 Missionary Companions - March.

Pioneer School House 
at This is The Place Pioneer Village, Salt Lake City, Utah

1876 Springtime Illinois weather was unpredictable. Missionaries John Morgan and Joseph Standing had rain, snow--and more--rain and snow. They continually sought people to teach.  On March 19 at Kirkpatrick, Illinois—John recorded, ”very cold and unpleasant. Freezing and thawing alternately. Walked 23 miles and feel very stiff and sore.“

Elder Morgan named over twenty-two schools and homes where they held meetings during the month; Wilcox School House,  Old log school,  Prairie College School House, Four Corners School House,  Buck Creek School House, Two or three school houses, Hayner School House, Hemi School House, Union School, and a Methodist Church. And he named the countless people he met and talked to.  Mr. Doughtery, Mr. Robert McClure, S. S. Barnes who invited us to stay for dinner, Mrs. Smith who refused us lodging, Mr. Shirley where we now are, Mr. Kirkpatrick and J. E. McDaniels, an Indiana man, are just a few.  

Elder Morgan wrote on March 20th, “Came on the RR to within four miles of the above place [Hoopston, Illinois]”... The walking on the RR was very wearysome and tired us out very much. Has been storming and snowing terribly and the roads are impassable."

“We are now getting a thickly settled portion of the country that is among the oldest part of the State. We have every reason to feel thankful to God for his care over us and kindness and goodness to us. We trust to be able to open up a good mission in this locality…” 

At Rossville on the 23rd, “…Tried to obtain a hall to hold meeting in but failed to do so…  Secured the school house to speak in.  Snowing some and muddy.”

March 24, 1876 “Joseph came to me this morning from where [he] stayed and informed me that the Director, Mr. Snyder, had refused the house when he found out that we were Saints. I called to see him and found the Spirit of the Devil rampant. Joseph went North to see the other Director, I went South to secure school houses and got three to speak in. Was well treated. Stayed all night with George Miller.”          

March 24 [25], 1867, Rossville, Illinois. “Came over to Mr. Gates in the morning. Joseph went to town to get our mail. Rained hard all day. Could not hold over meeting on account of the storm. Was sheltered all day at the house of Mr. Jno. Bivens, a Methodist, who treated me kindly and asked me many questions.

March 28, 1876 – Rossville, Illinois. “Woke up this morning and found a terrible storm raging which continued without intermission for the entire day. Walked from Mr. Rop’s to Mr. George Miller’s facing one of the worst storms I ever faced, over the worst roads imaginable. Could not hold meeting owing to the storm. Stayed all night at Mr. Miller’s conversed with the folks until tolerable late in regard to Utah. Cannot think but that God helps us by day and by night…

To be continued.
John Hamilton Morgan Journal, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bessie Morgan Rex. August 1937 letter to her son Harold.

On Bear Lake about 1923. Morgan Cousins named left to right below.

This letter wasn't dated, but appears to fit here. It follows the previously posted letter from Bessie Morgan and P. H. Rex to their son Harold who was serving a mission in Brazil in August 1937.

Unknown date
My dear boy,

I have been neglecting you sadly. It seems there is so much to do & I am so slow. I put things off so, especially letter writing. We haven’t had a letter for over two weeks from you. Don’t you know that makes me worry about you.

It is so nice to have Winnie home. Wish I could keep her here, but of course that is out of the question.

We have been canning vegetables. Next year I’ll can some for you, wont I. Peas, beans, leeks, greens etc. We have been having beautiful weather for haying

 Did we tell you about Blaine Marshall. He had a nervous breakdown. I am afraid his mind is affected. They should never have sent him.

Uncle Jack & Gail [Clayton] were here last Sat & Sunday, & we had a very nice time.

Morgan sent for his gas motor, & is all up in the air about it.

We had those pictures you sent to Clara here. I am so slighted . To think you couldn’t send me a nice picture like the one standing by your bike. I nearly wore them out.

It isn’t much use to tell you how pretty my flowers are. Useless, when one is living in such beautiful surrounds as you are.

Aunt Gail is trying to get Jack on a mission. Maybe an inspirational letter from you might help. She would be tickled to death.

Well it is getting near mail time. Flora will take this down. She looks so funny, lost her front teeth. She is surely growing up.

I shall surely do better next time, dearie, or try to.

Helen does so much planning about getting married. I’m thinking you wouldn’t have put it off so long.

Well, here is Flora, so I must close.

Love & kisses & hoping we get a nice long letter next week.

Helen is laughing at my stationery.

Lovingly, Mother.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

St. Augustine, Florida lighthouse. John Hamilton Morgan and descendants. 1885 and 2013.

 Orange Tree in my daughter's backyard, Jacksonville, Florida, March 2013.

John Hamilton Morgan’s 1885 trip to Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida is posted on my blog here.

Historic 1893 picture of Jacksonville, Florida from Wikipedia.

Spring Break this year found me with family in Florida driving to St. Augustine. There we drove across the inner coastal waterways and the Matanzas River atop the Bridge of Lions. At Anastasia Island we climbed 140 feet above the city to the top of the Historic St. Augustine Lighthouse. When John Morgan first climbed to its top in 1885 it was fairly new, having been built in the 1870s. The present restored lighthouse, 1876 keeper’s house, gardens, and a play area, make it a pleasant site.

After I returned home and again read through Great Grandfather Morgan’s account of his January-February 1885 trip to Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida, I was amazed at how similar our trips were. I was accompanied by six other family members, including a six-year-old who couldn't bear to climb clear to the top because of the SPACE between each step. John Morgan was accompanied to the lighthouse with his brother-in-law Nicholas Harmon Groesbeck, and friend Henry Dinwoody from Utah.

 St. Augustine, Florida Lighthouse, March 2013

From John Hamilton Morgan’s Journal
January 31, 1885 [traveling by train]
Arrived at Jacksonville, Fla. At about 7:30 a.m. and went to the Grand View House. Raining considerably during the morning. At noon cleared off and was warm. We visited the principal point’s of interest about the city, including the vegetable and fish markets, public, and business street, museum, etc. Crossed over the river and visited Ex-Gov. Reid’s orange orchard eating oranges that we picked ourselves. Very many northern people here for the winter. Flowers are in bloom, oranges hang on the trees, on the side-walks, and in almost every yard. [Note: Most especially in my daughter’s present Jacksonville back yard.]

The original bridge to Anastasia Island, before The Bridge of Lions was built.  from Wikipedia

February 1
Took train at 9 a.m. for St. Augustine arriving there at 10:20. It is the oldest city in America, inhabited by Europeans. Here Ponce de Leon landed. In 1565 Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed and took possession in the name of the Spanish King. Many old buildings are still standing, erected 300 years ago, of a conglomerate called Coquina composed of sea shells and land. During the day we visited the Atlantic Beach and gathered some shells. Crossed the Mantauzas River in a sail boat. Attended U. S. Military Dress Parade. Visited some orange groves, the old Fort San Marco, the cathedral, Plaza, City Gates, etc. N. H. G., H. D., [ Nicholas Harmon Groesbeck and Henry Dinwoody] and myself remained all night at the Cleveland House.

St. Augustine Lighthouse Stairway to the top!

The times are changed. Our mode of transportation and communication are light years apart, but the thrill of standing atop that lighthouse and taking in the view can’t be too altered. With my daughter beside me, “where we had a splendid view of the coast,” I was thrilled.

View from the Lighthouse top, March 2013.

John Hamilton Morgan Journal, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Friday, April 5, 2013

"Have a little too much to do, but trust Brother Standing will be here soon."

Violet - Illinois State Flower from Wikipedia

John Hamilton Morgan Journal entry 
February 15, 1876
Spoke last night at the Wilcox School House to a small audience. Joseph [Standing] bore his testimony and spoke a few moments very well. Stayed all night at Mr. Wilcox’s and was well treated.

February 16, Money Creek, 
Spoke last night at an old log house to a pretty fair audience who paid close attention. Bro. [Joseph] Standing spoke well and we were blessed with a portion of the Holy Spirit. Visited a Mr. Willoughby and had an opportunity of teaching many points of my father to him and others. Cold and freezing weather. Feel well. Held meeting at the old log house tonight, but few in attendance; but enjoyed a good spirit and trust that we did good, but feel that our mission is about ended and I think it best for us to strike out toward Ind. Soon, holding meetings as we travel, going slow and preaching as we go. May God bless us in our effort to proclaim His Gospel.

February 18, Money Creek,
Visited Mr. Johnson’s folks on yesterday and had dinner. Also called on Mr. Lukenbill and had supper. Spoke at Mr. Phillip’s on the Baptism for the dead and had a good congregation who paid close attention to what I said. Enjoyed a portion of the Spirit of God and feel that we are still doing good here.  Weather pleasant and agreeable and a good time to hold meetings. Were invited to dinner at Mrs. Argle’s where we expect to go today
February 24, Money Creek,
Left Money Creek on the 21st to go to Normal and see the folks. Walked to Towanda and went down on the train. Visited Miss Beeston and Dr. Ferguson. Spent three days very pleasantly and agreeably. Returned to Mr. Johnson’s today and from there came over to Mr. Albert Ogden’s where we are tonight. Pleasant weather, Go to the Macinaw tomorrow. 

(To be continued.)

Note: The people John Morgan stayed with and became acquainted with in Illinois and Indiana, are the people he  returned to visit in 1883 when he traveled East from Salt Lake with his wife Mellie. Some of the family names John Morgan mentioned in his journal appear in this newspaper article of the settlers who pioneered this Illinois area. 
John Hamilton Morgan Journal, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.