Saturday, May 25, 2013

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina "Mellie" Morgan lose their first son. December, 1881.

Mellie probably had this picture taken to send to her husband John while he served as president of the Southern States Mission [January 1878 – January 1888] 

Gravestone for baby John Morgan was placed in the family plot by descendant Flora Elizabeth Rex Lamborn and others in 2010.

From the Southern States Mission Field
In late 1881 John Morgan wrote from St. Louis on December 2, “met brother Cowley who accompanied me to the St. James”.

December 3, 1881. – Attended meeting at the Saints Hall p.m. and evening. A small attendance. Received a letter from Mellie stating that the baby was sick. Wrote and telegraphed home.

December 4 – Attending morning service and had dinner at Mr. Martins. At the p.m. meeting I preached on the Apostacy of the Church. After meeting brother Cowley handed me a dispatch announcing the death of my little boy.
At 8:20 started for home via Wabash R.R.

December 5 – Arrived at Omaha at 10:40 and met Mr. C. C. Stebbins who gave me a pass over the U.P. to Ogden. Left for the west at 12:20.

December 6 and 7  -- On the road these two days. Storming some and quite unpleasant. Arrived at Ogden at 6 p.m. and met brother [Nicholas] Groesbeck. Arrived at home at 7:40 and met my family in deepest sorrow. It was one of the severest trials of my life to have to look in the face of my dead boy.

December 8 – At home all day. A few called to see us and made preparation for the funeral which was appointed at 12 o-clock tomorrow.

December 9 – At 12 the front room was filled by friends to attend the funeral. Pres. Jos. F. Smith spoke to the people. We then followed our dead to the cemetery and layed him to rest.

December 10 and 11 – At home these two days. Brother Jas. Mart called and had a talk about emigration.

December 12 – Went up to brother Groesbecks today.

December 13 – Called on Pres. Taylor today and had a talk about mission matters.

December 14 and 15 – At home resting up and enjoying the society of my dear ones. Applied for a situation in the Legislature.

December 25 and 26 – At home these two days and enjoyed Christmas with my family. Most beautiful weather all through month.

January 9, 1882 -- Have been at home most of the time since the 26th. This a.m. met with the Legislature and was elected Engrossing Clerk and took the oath of office.

January 28 -- Attended the Legislature since last record, and wrote a number of letters. At a party last night.

February 3, 1882 -- Attended the sittings of the Legislature since the 28 ult. Wrote a few letters and mailed quite an amount of papers, tracts, etc. Weather quite cold and clear.

February 8 -- Attended the Priesthood meeting Saturday at the assembly Hall and meeting on Sunday, also at the Ward. Brother Andrus and myself addressed the meeting p.m. Sunday. Dispatches of the 7th given the passage of a bill disqualifying a polygamist from a seat in Congress. Weather quite cold and pleasant.

February 10 – Attended a party at the Social Hall. Had a pleasant time. Writing in the Legislature. Weather warm and pleasant.

Note: These scant journal entries are John Morgan's only entries during this time. John Hamilton Morgan Journal, Special Curriculum, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bessie Morgan Rex. Letter to son Harold. August 29, 1937.

Randolph, Utah. Aug 29 [1937]
Sunday afternoon, at home.

My dear neglected son,

Here I have been wasting this whole afternoon and have not written one line to my kiddies. I am awful, but it seemed good to just lie around and rest. I guess I was tired. You see, I have had a cannery here and I have been putting up vegetables for all I have been worth. They will be so nice this winter. My dear, we did not receive a letter from you this week. I cant imagine where these letters go that each of us never receive. Last week is the first week we have missed writing for months. Daddy and the boys work from 6:00 in the morn until 8:00 at night, and they are so tired when they get in, and we are all so tired after supper that we all go to bed, but haying will soon be over. School starts soon, however, but probably it will be a good thing. Maeser looks so tired. I think this is a hard country to earn a living in.

My flowers are still pretty, but it is feeling pretty cool outside. It rained last night and this morning, and I am afraid my beans will go down tonight. Rilla Peterson just sang over the radio. She has a very nice voice. Daddy is in Evanston with the Bishop. The boys are out milking. Helen has been to Woodruff to preach for the M. I. A.  I have listened to the radio and read Shakespeare’s biography.

Do you get the world news. It is certainly in a chaos. I am beginning to think that the prophecies about nations visiting against nation and wiping each other out is being fulfilled.

Well the typewriter makes my shoulder ache so I quit. Then I wasn’t feeling so hot so went to bed & had rather a bad night. I’m all right this morning. Just a bad head left.

Must hurry this off tho, & get a line to Winnie. Helen suffered with neuralgia part of the night & I’m wondering if she will be able to work today. Got the men off.  Maeser is some lad, but quite a sweet kid with all his funny ways.

The meeting house is to be decorated this fall. It is sadly in need of it. Suppose Helen told you of Dallas’ wedding. Free picture shows this week too.

I hate to write such uninspiring letters to you, but when I have much to do my brain doesn’t work very well. Shall try to do better when I can get outside. No wonder a poor farmer doesn’t advance very far intellectually. When your body is all tired out you can’t think even.

I suppose you hear from Clara don’t you. Helen was telling me how pretty she looked when she saw her last.

Well dearie, I’m afraid this will have to do for this time. Suppose you know you only got $25 last month. We have been rather shy of money, but will try to increase it.

Love & kisses, and a prayer for the Lords’ choicest blessings to be with you my dear.
Loving, Mother

Picture from Wikipedia
Pictures of daughter Winnifred canning in her kitchen.
Pictures of granddaughter Carol canning in her kitchen.

Monday, May 20, 2013

1887 Tennessee Conference Mobocracy.

Sensational Scene in a Meeting--
Manifestation of Mobocracy.
Lawrence County, Tenn.,
September 17th, 1887

Editor Deseret News, from A. L. Fuller

Yesterday’s comment from Dale on an earlier blog post here led me to locate the mentioned newspaper article.

Dale's commentI found this post through Amy's blog. Asahel  L. Fuller is my great grandfather. As clerk of the West Tennessee Conference, he wrote an account of this incident to the editor of the Deseret News. Fuller's account is much more detailed than the above. He gives the location as Wolf Creek, Lawrence County, Tenn.

I agree with Dale, his Great Grandfather Fuller’s Deseret News account is much more detailed. Since I was able to locate it, I have included it here for any interested. Click on the image to enlarge.

Elder Fuller's closing sentence is very interesting: "We desire to make special mention of sisters Hattie Blackburn and V. E. Grimes , who showed more courage than all the men present in quieting the mobocrats."

Note: Further information on this occurrence has been posted by The Ancestor Files and  the Amateur Mormon Historian.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bessie Morgan, Nokomish Literary Club, 1910.

 The Salt Lake Tribune’s January 30, 1910 Woman’s Society and Club Page noted what Grandmother Bessie Morgan Rex was up to. She is mentioned in Club Notes.

Had her picture been included on this page,
 I believe this one would have worked well.

From Club News

The Nokomish club met Monday afternoon at the home of Miss Bessie Morgan, at 359 Bryan avenue, and elected officers for the ensuing year. The new officers are: Miss Bessie Morgan, president; Winnifred Saunders, secretary and treasurer: Ahna Rohlfing, editor of the Nokomish Comet, a paper published by the club. Light refreshments were served after the election and arrangements were made for the taking up of a study of higher branches of literature.

The first Ladies’ Literary Club in Salt Lake was formed in 1877 by a small group of broad minded and forward-looking women. It was one of twelve chapters founded in America and the first west of the Mississippi River. At that time becoming a club woman required great courage. The majority of the women involved were non-LDS women, looking for a social outlet and the opportunity of self-education.  The organization welcomed all women interested in “literary pursuits and the development of mental culture.” The club’s purpose was to provide an environment where ladies could educate themselves and each other in many different aspects of culture and knowledge. The club was divided into sections including art, drama, music, literature, history and others. Ladies could belong to one or several sections depending on their interests. [1]

By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest

Nokomis is the name of Hiawatha's grandmother in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, The Song of Hiawatha. Nokomis is an Iroquois Indian name meaning "Daughter of the Moon" and "Grandmother". Nokomis nursed and educated Hiawatha after his mother died in childbirth. [2]

The literary club's name interests me, as does these young women’s interest in “taking up of a study of higher branches of literature”. That interest never left Grandmother Bessie. She continually thirsted for knowledge and studied. Her sister called her the “brain”. Bessie had a sharp intellect and was interested in literature, music, politics and current events—local and worldwide.

It is interesting to me now to recall my own mother’s interest in The Song of Hiawatha when she helped me memorize it in grade school.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Grange Hall, Illinois, April 4-8, 1876. Elders Morgan and Standing.

Grange halls can be found all over the United States.
The Grange was a movement or organization
Started by farmers in the late 19th century.
It started out as a social organization
And later got involved in politics.

On April 4, 1876, after traveling three miles southeast of Bismark (Continued from here) Elders John Morgan and Joseph Standing arrived at Mr. Daniel Johnson’s and he invited them to have breakfast with him. It was an excellent beginning to their day, and to a new location.

“Joseph went back up the R.R. 7 or 8 miles for our mail. Walked 2-1/2 miles to the school house where the Township’s election was going on, obtained the use of the Hall and two school houses to speak in. At the invitation of the crowd I spoke to them some length of time relative to our views.  Was kindly treated. In the afternoon came back to Mr. Johnson’s and stayed all night. Was well treated and enjoyed myself very much. Looks like rain, some."  

The next day Elder Morgan spent at Mr. and Mrs. Stan’s. He wrote a long letter to the (Deseret) News on the school question and other points, talked with several different gentlemen, and had a long talk with his hosts “about an expose of Mormonism they had.”

On April 6 they stayed overnight at State Line City, Illinois, there they “Spoke to a large audience at Pleasant Brown School House who gave close attention and treated us very kindly. Plowed a round or two, the first in many years. Our conference assembled today in Salt Lake City. May the spirit of God be with them and may his blessings be poured out on them.”

Grange Hall, April 7, 1876 – "Came up to Mr. Sol. Starr’s and spent the day. Assisted to pick some potatoes and went to the Grange Hall where I addressed a large audience upon the subject of cooperation and our temporal work. Good attention was paid and a good spirit manifested by those who listened. I spoke two hours almost. Stayed all night with Isaac Johnson. Was kindly treated, but had to endure a terrible storm of poetry that was poured out upon me by the author. The Grange movements here is quite strong and is doing a good work. The people treated us kindly and considerately."

State Line, Illinois, April 8, 1876 - "Came to Esquire Johnson’s and obtained a shelter. Went to State Line City, two miles distant with Mr. Thomas Cox. Called upon Col. A. E. Wall’s father and had a pleasant interview. Walked about town awhile. Came back in Messrs. Cox and Allion’s company and had some considerable conversation with them on our views and ideas. Joseph cleaned up the school room and addressed the crowd. After some length of time, I spoke. The house was crowded full. At Mr. Johnson’s they had a dance and Mr. Johnson and I argued on the scripture until between two and three o’clock."

(To be continued.)

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

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"Sunset clear and promise of better weather." April 1, 1876.

Sunset from atop the Salt Lake Conference Center, May 2009. 

John Morgan and Joseph Standing missionary experiences  Continued from here.

On the 31st of March, 1876, while Elders John Morgan and Joseph Standing were  in Rossville, Illinois,  John Morgan wrote,  “spent a very pleasant morning talking and looking at flower specimens” with Mr. Gates. He then went, to Mr. Bivans “where I made the day of it, reading and talking. During the afternoon, Mr. B. came home and gave me rather a cool reception. Went to the schoolhouse at about 7 to hold meeting, but found it locked and no one there. Went to a house close by owned by a man by the name of Miller and occupied by [illegible] who refused me shelter on account of my religion though it was nearly 8 at night. He drove me away from his house and refused me shelter from the storm. Went back to Mr. John Bivan’s where I stayed over night. Treated me well. Looks like storm.”

Rossville, Illinois, April 1, 1876 “Went to Rossville this morning to get our mail. Got a postal from Jimmie [John Morgan’s brother James]and waited all day for more mail. Called on Mr. Millegan who has a relative living at Kanosh by the name of Crane. Met Joe at the [post] office and failed to get any letters. A man by the name of Thompson followed us around and tried to create difficulty. Came out to George Miller who received us and treated us kindly. Held meeting at the schoolhouse, a large audience who manifested a good spirit and treated us very kindly. Terribly muddy, the road from Rossville was the worst I ever met with, next to impossible to travel. Sunset clear and promise of better weather. Joseph made several appointments to preach next week south of here and held one meeting.”

Alvin, Illinois, April 2, 1876—“Raining and sleeting this morning; started from Mr. George Miller’s about 11:00 A.M. to come to this place, found the creek up so that we could not cross, had to make along detour to a bridge. Mr. Benedict invited us to dinner. At 3:00 P.M. we started again, waded and walked across the fields to the R.R. feet very wet and boots hurting me severely. Filled our appointment to a good sized congregation considering the condition of the roads and the weather. Some ladies attended. Was invited home by Mr. Jno. Gorrity to stay all night. Kindly treated.”

Bismark, Illinois, April 3, 1876—“Remained at a Swiss Gentleman’s for dinner and then started to come to this place to hold meeting tonight. Arrived at about three. Tried to get a stopping place all over town, but failed to do so until quite late. Went without supper and slept in a boarding house. The man refused to give us breakfast the next morning. Spoke to the hardest crowd of men that I have met with yet, there was a terrible stink in the room that was so strong that we had very little freedom of speech. This will doubtless be a lesson to us to avoid R.R. towns after this and not go about them. We feel to thank God for his testimonies to us so far.”

(To be continued.)
John Hamilton Morgan Journal, Special Curriculum, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.