Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ACTION! Susan Frazier, resolutions and reflections.

Susan Frazier (1951-2006) hiked the Zion, Utah Narrows 
at Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier Family Reunion in 2001

Susan and Finnette Walker Shupe (1947-2014), in the red,
 seated with unidentified friends in the Bethesda,
Maryland condo they shared in about 1984.

Susan with visiting niece and nephews on condo patio in about 1986.

A Salt Lake visit with nieces and nephews about 1985.

Note:  Scroll down on the Susan Frazier link to read her obituary.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Helen Melvina "Mellie" Groesbeck Morgan's Sister Wives.

A cousin recently shared some family documents with me.

Mrs. Helen M. Groesbeck Morgan, 359 Bryan avenue, widow of John Morgan, died early Monday morning as a result of injuries received in an automobile accident in Oakland, Cal., according to word received by N. G. Morgan of Salt Lake.

Mrs. Morgan was visiting relatives in California during the last three weeks.
She was born in Springfield, Ill., February 7, 1852, and crossed the plains with her parents, Nicholas and Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck, in 1856. She had lived in Salt Lake since 1856.

Surviving are the following children: Mrs. Helen M. Austin, Mrs. Ruth Kunkel, N. G. Morgan, Mrs. Gail Clayton and Judge John H. Morgan, all of Salt Lake; Mrs. Percy Rex of Randolph, Utah, and G. E. Morgan of San Francisco; one sister, Mrs. Josephine G. Smith, and two brothers, Joseph F. and Samuel Groesbeck of Salt Lake.

The obituary doesn't name Mary Ann Linton Morgan as a family member.  The Deseret Mortuary Company Automobile List for Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan’s June 20, 1930 funeral shows Aunt Mary Morgan’s inclusion in the “second automobile.”

Very very little was written or said in my mother’s family [P.H. and Bessie Morgan Rex] about her grandfather John Morgan's polygamy. Only that it was and it included Aunt Mary and Aunt Annie. 

Some years ago when I found each of their grave stones far away from one another in the Salt Lake Cemetery I could not understand why and I was saddened.

I've since attempted to rectify some omissions. John Morgan’s headstone, placed at his Salt Lake City grave site by Southern States Missionaries several years following his 1894 death, had a blank side just calling for an explanation. I enlisted descendants participation in a project to add his wives names to his grave stone.  

Engraving added to John Morgan marker in 2012.

This post was triggered by James Tanner's post The Shadow Wife at Genealogy's Star this morning.

See also December 11, 2014 post The Shadow Wife - part 2.

And here I've contributed to Amy's cautionary tale  "Middle Name Creep"  posted yesterday. I do concur with Amy, I've never found an early source for John Hamilton Morgan.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Smiling Faces and Merry Hearts!

P. H. Rex Family Thanksgiving Celebration in the 1960's. Family gathered in P.H. Rex's Randolph home seated around wall to wall tables. 

Keepapitchinin's post this morning And there was Prayer and Thanksgiving

reminded me of this gathering over fifty years ago. 

Smiling Faces and Merry Hearts!

This last picture appeared here earlier.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Eliza Ann Morgan Smith history concluded.

Eliza Ann’s family grew like her mother and father's did. She and Frank resided in Salt lake City and by 1913 they had ten children. That year James Frank Smith died, leaving Eliza Ann widowed with numerous small children. Not unlike her father, John Morgan’s, 1894 death left her own mother.

Eliza's children are:

Laura Smith (1895-    )
Eliza C “Lila” Smith (1894-1980)
James Pence Smith (1896-1962)
Helen Melvina Smith Buckley (1899-1992)
Alan Smith (1901-1901)
Richard B. Smith (1901-    )
Nicholas Smith (1903-    )
Alice M. Smith (1906-1925)
Clair Smith (1909-    )
Lillian D. Smith Ort (1913-1980)

According to Utah Marriage records Eliza Ann was married to John Robinson in Davis County, Utah on August 14, 1920.[i] Mr. Robinson was twenty-five years Lyle’s senior. He passed away in 1928.[ii]

It is not known when Eliza Ann moved to California. She was living there in 1938 when Bessie’s oldest daughter Helen Rex and new husband Glenn Frazier visited her family in early 1938. Helen explained in her January 20, 1938 letter to her brother Harold.

“A week ago last Sunday we went out to see Aunt Lile. We met her daughter Lila and husband where we got off the street car, and they took us to Aunt Liles. She has a married daughter and an unmarried daughter living at home with her. Then we met her son Jim. He reminds me a lot of Uncle Earl. Tall and thin.”

Eliza Ann was residing there in 1930 when her mother Mellie visited her and suffered a fatal fall. Mellie passed away on June 15, 1930. 

Eliza Ann  passed away in Solano, California on January 15, 1952. She and Frank are buried in her father’s family plot in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

[i] “Utah, marriagaes, 1887-1966,” index, Family Search (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F8GK-732: accessed 05 Nov 2014), John Robinson and Lila Smith, 14 Aug 1920; citing Davis Co., Utah; FHL microfilm 484357
[ii] State of Utah—Death Certificate File No 1044, 152, John Robinson, 18 No. Chicago St, Salt Lake, buried City Cemetery (Anna Robinson, wife, signed death certificate).

Friday, November 14, 2014

Eliza Ann Morgan married James Frank Smith in 1893.

James Frank and Eliza Ann Morgan Smith (daughter of John Hamilton
 and Helen Melvina "Mellie" Groesbeck Morgan) were married in 1893.

Recently I came across this history of the man who married Eliza Ann Morgan. He was certainly an industrious gentleman.

“James F. Smith one of the most prominent young lawyers in Salt Lake City, and who has already made an enviable career in his chosen profession, was born in this city in 1872. He is a son of James Smith, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, who came to Utah in 1869. His wife, Mary (Bowdidge) Smith, the mother of the subject of this sketch, was a native of the Island of Jersey, a British possession near the coast of France. She emigrated to the United States in 1865, in which year she arrived in Salt Lake City
“Their son James was educated in the public schools of this city and later took a course in All Hallows College here.  Owing to the limited means of his parents, and the necessity of earning his own living, at the age of eleven years, he secured employment as cash boy for the Zion Co-operative Merchantile Institution, where he remained for about one year, and then secured employment in a grocery business.  He later mastered the painting and glazing trade, and followed that occupation for five or six years. His next business was with the glass firm of G. F. Culmer Brothers, where he remained for about four years and then entered the employ of the Salt Lake Building and Manufacturing Company, remaining with this latter establishment for about two years.  He was early alive to the importance of increasing his store of knowledge, and with that end in view, took a course at the Salt Lake Business College, and was later a clerk in the Morgan Hotel during which time all his spare moments were applied to his studies, and in 1894 he began the study of Law, reading with the firm of Chas J. Pence. And C. E. Allen. He continued to work in the daytime and study late in the night during 1895. On September 15th  of the following year he accepted a position in the office of this firm where he pursued his studies until his admission to the bar of the Supreme Court of Utah. He then opened a law firm and struck out for himself. His first start was in a room about six feet wide and ten feet long. His equipment was, to say the least, as far as his books were concerned, of a very limited order. His application to his study and the ability he demonstrated in the successful conduct of the cases entrusted to him, soon led to an increase in his practice, and he is now one of the most successful young attorneys in Salt Lake City.

“Mr. Smith was married in 1893 to Miss. Eliza A. Morgan, daughter of Elder John M. Morgan , President [sic] of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His wife’s mother was a daughter of Nicholas Groesbeck, one of the early settlers of Utah.

“In political life Mr. Smith is a firm believer in the principles of the Republican Party, and while he has taken an active part in its work, has never sought or held public office. He, like his parents, is a member of the Mormon Church, and has been a faithful worker in its behalf.   He has acquired a prominent place in the legal and social circles of Salt Lake, and enjoys a wide popularity.” [i]

(To be continued.)

[i] Biographical Record of Salt Lake City and Vicinity: Containing Biographies [over 500] of Well Known Citizens of the Past and Present, published in 1902 by the National Historical Record Co., Chicago. Pg 220.

Note: At the above "clerk in the Morgan Hotel" link scroll down to the second newspaper article, “The Ford Hotel Changes Hands.” Click on it to enlarge. Note the sentence. “Mr. Snyder, Mr. Morgan’s son-in-law tried in vain to keep the business afloat." I’d always wondered who Mr. Snyder might be.  I believe he was James Frank Smith. Familiar with the building industry Frank managed his father-in-laws hotel in those depressed times.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Samuel and Elizabeth Brough daughters of Randolph, Utah.

Samuel and Elizabeth Bott Brough are pictured in the center of this family picture. I'm going to attempt to identify the who and when of the picture I posted here in 2009 before I realized how essential it is to identify everyone you possibly can. 

Great great grandfather Samuel Brough passed away in 1911 at 71 years. It is not known the date this picture was taken. It was on an occasion when everyone dressed up and the sons wore a boutonniere on their lapels. It appears to me to have been taken inside of a home.  

I took a copy of this 8-1/2 x 13-1/2 inch Brough picture to Marion, Utah on a visit to my Aunt Winnie (Winifred Rex Andrus) in about 2007-8. She identified each of these people and I penciled their names behind their picture.  

Clockwise from the lady in the upper left corner are, 1-Adria Muir, 2-Will Brough, 3-Prud Weston, 4- George Brough, 5-Aunt Ema Longhurst, 6-Jane McKinnon, 7-Benjamin Brough, 8-Hanna Telford, 9-Mary Elizabeth Rex (my great grandmother).

These people are also identified on the Brough Family History Website. It’s possible my Aunt Winnie reversed the identity of Adria and Hanna. They do have similar looks and their names are reversed from what I've typed here on the Brough website.

About the time I was coming to understand who was who in the Brough family my Aunt Flora (Elizabeth Rex Lamborn) sent me a wonderful Christmas present—two Brough sister pictures—with everyone identified. In one picture the sisters are dressed in hats and coats, braced for the harsh Randolph, Utah cold. In the other they are enjoying a mild weathered day in Randolph together.

These matriarchs have mothered some of the finest families of northern Utah.

This Staffordshire cup and saucer is purported to be the pattern early Brough family members brought to Utah from their England home.

Thank you cousin Flora Lee for introducing me to the Randolph Brough descendant who showed us her pretty things. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Bessie Morgan Rex. Letters to Harold. Mid August 1938. Mid June 1938

Bessie's sons: Maeser, Morgan, Harold.

The following pages are from two different undated letters. Readers might imagine how they fit in.

[undated, mid] August, 1938

My dear boy,

Here it is near the end of the letters I shall write to Brazil and I am sending a mere note. My it seems there is so much to do. The R.S. is putting on a program Sunday & I am held responsible for it. Then I put up beans and beets this week. I hope Winnie has told you all the news. She is a dear. We are going to wash today and it is getting late now. It was so cold last night. Nearly everything has frozen. This has been a poor season.

Time is moving slowly now. I do hope you are home by Thanksgiving. My wont we celebrate.

Am sending you David Kennedy’s address and Vash Young’s. Now I want you to be sure and call on Vash. He will be an inspiration to you. He gave me a very urgent invitation for me and my family if we were ever in N.Y. to call on him, so please put this address where you wont lose it. David would tell you a lot about Wash. Steve K. is there also. Well, I’ll write a long one next week. Your letters are scarcer now, but then I’ll soon have you here so, Auf Viedersehem Mother

2nd page of an undated June 1938 letter

By all means go down to Washington. I’ll get David Kennedy’s address for you. He can tell you about what chances you would have there. Young Steve Kennedy is there with him now. I’m sure he could help you.

What has changed your mind about school. Why the U of U. I’m not so keen about it, but then, you have been on a mission, and I wouldn’t worry so much about you.

Received a grand letter from Helen last night too. She is such a dear. Am enclosing newspaper clippings of Winnie’s graduation. It is a beautiful morning. But it has been quite cold. The gardens are slow but, it usually is like this the first part of June.

Am feeling so much better. I think the sunshine I am getting is helping. Am going to close this and get it off, only see your father once a week. He is wrapped up in that B. Q. We will get your money off around the first of August. Now please don’t write and say never mind then. We all send our very best love, and wishes for your success and happiness.

Lovingly, Mother

Thursday, October 30, 2014

1885 Groesbeck Masquerade Ball -- Salt Lake City

222 North West Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah

Cousin Karen M. comes up with the most fascinating items. The February 2, 1885 Salt Lake Harold article she recently sent me is my new favorite.

The Groesbeck Masquerade

The first masquerade ball held in Utah [1] was at the Faust Hall (an unfinished hay-loft over a livery stable in a brick building.) where "a fearful row occurred, in which Police-Officer Smith was considerably injured" on February 1, 1872. [2]

Masquerade parties in Utah only got better.

A couple of weeks before the Groesbeck's 1885 masquerade party the Salt Lake Harold  published an invitation to a Grand Masquerade Ball at the Walker Opera House, 34, 36 and 38 West Second South in Salt Lake.

The Groesbeck Masquerade was held at Mrs. Groesbeck's residence on First North Street. Perhaps that home had become Joseph and Sarah Groesbeck's residence following the passing of their parents Nicholas and Elizabeth Groesbeck. Elizabeth passed away in December 1883, her husband Nicholas passed away June 29, 1884. Or did another Groesbeck family reside on First North Street?

The party was held in February, 1885.

Could G. A. Smith be fifteen-year-old George Albert Smith? Could Mrs. S. F. Smith be his mother Sarah Farr Smith? Is Elias Wright the Elias Smith Wright who served in the Southern States Mission (1886-1888) under President John Morgan? 

This gathering reads like a who's who in the Groesbeck-Morgan family. Presumably Mrs. [Helen Melvina "Mellie" Groesbeck] Morgan, listed first, and masqueraded as  Dinah, is Mrs. John Hamilton Morgan. Her brothers John or Joseph, Hyrum, and Samuel and wives were there. Perhaps John's wife Ann or Joseph's wife Sarah was the hostess. 

Thank you Karen for this interesting piece of Groesbeck-Morgan family history.

Notes: 1. The Historical Record, Vol 9, edited by Andrew Jensen
2. Tullidges Quarterly Magazine of Utah, her founders. Vol. 1

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bessie Morgan Rex. Letter to Harold August 8, 1938.

This picture is titled haying on the Rex ranch.
 It could just as well be at the B.Q.

Randolph, Utah
August 8, 1938.

My dear son,

It is 4:45 p.m. and I am sitting across the table from my graduate nurse. She is writing genealogy. My girls are heavy on that. I have a cake in the oven, and if it is good you may have a piece. How will that be? We just had a lovely shower, and everything smells so fresh.

We received your very welcome airmail letter. We send it to Helen. I know your letters are rather scarce. We have discussed you pro and con, have decided what you must be and what you must not be. Have decided you will be changed.

(Say Winnie has so much to tell me I cant get this written. Now she must be quiet) She has had some experiences sure. My children are gaining so much worldly knowledge, their mother is quite dumb.

page 2-- It is so nice to have Winnie home, but of course she will have to go again unless she gets this co. nurses job. In some ways I should like her to get it but oh dear there is nothing here for a girl.
Daddy said to tell you he thinks of you, but they are very busy, at the B. Q. haying. 4000 tons of hay to be put up. Oh so much hard work.

I’m so glad you appreciate your mission.—and it is no drain. I’m sure you have had experiences that will influence your whole future life.

So you were rather a stiff Romeo were you? I have mentioned to the folks several times that the girls do not seem to have bothered you much down there.

Oh dear, somebody keeps interrupting me, and then my mind wanders. Fancy you going to a R.S. quilting. Even our bishopric never dare come near our R.S.

I am taking charge of the drama in Mutual this winter. It might prove

page 3--too much for me, but I’ll try it.

Here it is Tue. Morning. This must go this day sure. We had a practice last night and nobody got to write at all. Morgan has gone to milk. He has a milk route too. He makes a little and it all helps. My how these boys are planning, so you fellows can have money to go to school on.  Maeser  figures out to me each week how many steers you will need and how many he will have. It is a very good idea for them. Something to work to.

Well dearie, I think you will have plenty of letter for this time and I have a report to send in for the R.S. so better close now. I must try hard to write better letters to you, more inspiring, as it is nearing the end. Oh my dear, it will be a happy day when we have you home with us again. It seems so long since you went down there. We all send our best love and prayers that you will soon be with us again so until then, piles of love from Mother.

Note on B. Q. “Father continued working at the B.Q. Ranch. (B.Q. stands for Beckwith and Quinn. It was a large ranch north of Randolph.) He would come home on Saturday night and go back Monday morning. Some weeks he’d come on Wednesday night for an overnight.” "Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex History," Histories of Percy Harold Rex, Bessie Morgan Rex, Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex and their descendants," published 2014, pg 64. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

PH REX Family History Book. October 2014.

A couple of very nice pictures surfaced following 
the completion of our P. H. Rex Family History Book.

Here is Percy Rex with his horse Margo (I presume)
 in the driveway to the northeast of his home.

Five Rex Brothers at William's 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1949
Alfred, Percy, William, Sam, Arthur
from page 114 William Rex History Book

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dearest Helen! A brother's loving concern for his sister.

                                         Helen Rex                 Harold Morgan Rex
                                        (1913-1982)                    (1915-1988)

Last week's Men and Women of Faith lecture "My Dear Sister: Joseph F. Smith's Letters to His Sister, Martha Ann Smith Harris" by Dr. Richard Neitzel Holzaphel was excellent. I was grateful to be in the Assembly Hall. The loving and caring relationship President Smith and his sister shared was reflected in the letters they wrote one another. They reminded me of my own mother's relationship with her brother Harold.

Harold saved all of the letters Helen wrote him during his 1936-1938 mission to Brazil and his family gave them to me. I've yet to read and study through all of them.

The following counsel from Harold in this Fall 1937 letter is an early favorite.

Harold and Helen had written each other about the biggest problem they each faced at the time. Harold's was, shall I borrow some money before returning home so I can travel in Europe? Helen's was, how much longer shall I wait to marry Glenn Frazier, who had moved to California for work and education?  

Harold wrote:

Jaragua do Sul, Sept. 27, 1937

Dearest Helen,

You asked wether I had things planned for my return. I certainly have. I have no other idea in my head than that, that I am going to school immediately upon returning. I know I can, if I try hard enough, and I shall surely try. I guess you read the letter wherein I asked about the trip to Europe. What do you think I should try to do, even if it is possible to borrow the money? I don’t know whether I should or not. I am almost afraid that $150.00 is too much to load upon a persons shoulders where he is trying to get an education. I am going to ask Pres. Howells when he comes two weeks from now.

The only thing is that the chance will probably never come again at least for quite a few years. Right now I need that experience. Traveling is really a wonderful experience. That would be something that very  few people get to see. I am very much in doubt though, as to whether or not I should try to borrow the money. Maybe you could give me an idea or your opinion as to what I should do.

Helen I think your idea about getting married is a very good idea. That is the only thing for you and Glenn to do. You have gone together long enough. You would both be much more happy. I hope the climate down there helps you. Write and tell me if it does.

My advice not long ago to Winnie is that we should all be married in the Temple. Helen if it is at all possible get married in the Temple. If you just can’t make it, then go down to California and get married. Then as soon as possible get through the Temple, but by all means do it just as soon as possible, and use no procrastination about it.

Not long ago I read an article written by President Grant. He said that it was his first intentions with his first wife not to get married in the Temple just at the time they were to be married because they lived down in Southern Utah, and would have to have made the trip with team and wagon, and that would have taken to much time. At which time he was very busy. But they finally did decide to be married in the Temple instead of putting it off until the next year. They were married and shortly after they were married his wife died. Had he not married in the Temple when he first got married, he wouldn’t have been able to go through the Temple with that wife. He would have had the work done for his wife. He is a Prophet of God and he advises all people to be married in the Temple. So Helen if it possible get married in the Temple. But if it is not at all possible then go to California and get married.

I hope that you and Glenn will be happy and I am sure you will, if you keep active in the church.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bessie Morgan Rex. Letter to Harold. July 29, 1938

Crawford Mountains and Randolph, Utah as dusk approaches. 
From cemetery hill.
2nd week of September, 2014

Randolph, Utah
July 29, 1938

My dear son,

My conscience is at work and I am feeling guilty. These three letters a week seem to come very often. I mean when I have to write, but far far between when received.

We received your airmail letter saying you had changed your mind about Europe. You are certainly “off again, on again, gone again;” aren’t you. I enjoyed your letter very much, and sent it to Helen to read, so if you don’t get to write to her, I will send yours on from here.

Winnie will be home next week, so you can write to both of us together. Oh my dear, when you get this it will be getting down to weeks. Or what is this I hear? Pres. Howell better not come home and leave you there.

Wayne got home last Sat. He put on his old crushed hat & boots, & you would never have thot he had been away. Just the same Wayne. Thinner is all. Did I tell you Bob W. & his missionary companion talked in church. His companion was a fine fellow, and has learned much from his mission.

Jack Clayton saw Fred out to the Lake. He didn’t treat his girl much like a

Pg 2
gentelman should & Jack ran across him by a beer stand with a bottle of beer in his hands. I cant think much of him.

Myron gets his release next month. He is going to travel some before coming home.

Oh dear, nobody writes but I, but really dearie I suppose every body is too busy. Daddy & Maeser are at the B. G. Up on Sundays is all. Morgan milks the cows, and hauls milk for the creamery. Busy bunch around here.

I am doing some painting. I didn’t clean house this Spring so am taking all summer to do it. I’m just going to visit when Winnie comes home tho’. In one way I wish she could get this co. nurse job here, but there is nothing here for her, outside of home. I should love to have her home for a while, but I don’t want her to settle down here.

This has been such a cool summer some of my flowers haven’t done much. We work so hard for so little here.

Well, I thought I could fill two pages, but I’m wondering. This is a very quiet place, & I dare not discuss world news with you. Received your Brasionian yesterday. Are you trying

like the donkey to live on the last straw, or do you sponge a little. 61$ for the quarter not much. We have missed sending you one 15$, but we will make it up when we send you money to come home.

We all thot of you on your birthday Sunday. Wayne spoke for the first time, and Carrie M. reminded us it was just one year since they received word their missionary was so sick. He doesn’t come out much now. Anniversaries bring joy to some and pain to others, certainly.

Dallas’ wife has a baby girl. He is another who is not emotionally grown up. Nothing like his father.
I am tending to the water and haven’t done much with it yet so must be closing.

I feel content with the thot that you are doing well, or you would not be where you are. I am always so very thankful for my children. They have given me nothing to worry over much so far, and ever pray the Lord will keep them in that straight path. Our best love & wishes for your continued success and soon a safe journey home to us all again.

Lovingly Mother 

Note: My scanner won't accurately scan these letters, so I'll complete them this way.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Groesbeck/Morgan Gathering. September 20, 2014

I met formerly unknown cousins at our recent Groesbeck/Morgan Gathering at the Evergreen Library, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Descendants of great great grandparents Nicholas and Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck gathered there for a reunion on September 20, 2014 where we visited, shared histories, and a delightful afternoon.

John Hamilton and Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan descendants attending:

Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan [born 1884] grandchildren (4) great grandchildren (2)

Gail Morgan Clayton [born 1888] grandchildren (3)

Bessie Morgan Rex [born 1891] grandchildren (3)

John Hamilton Morgan [born 1894] grandchildren (3)

And (5) spouses

Cousin Karen M. shared a beautiful slide presentation with histories of our Groesbeck grandparents and uncles and aunts.

I shared slides of my Spring trip to John Morgan Country: Rome, Haywood Valley, Chickamauga Battlefied, Georgia, and Lookout MountainChatttanooga,Tennessee.

Those who weren't there were missed. We will do this again.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bessie Morgan Rex. Letter to Harold. July 7, 1938.

 Randolph Recreation Hall, a couple of weeks ago.

I hadn't noticed this plaque on the corner of the building before. 
This family played a huge role in its construction.

Randolph, Utah
July 7, 1938

My dear boy,

So far this week, again I have had no letter from you, but I suppose anticipation helps to quiet any disappointment I might feel. Time is getting short now, and I surely am counting the letters I shall write or receive, the months left; & weeks too. Will it be Dec. before you get here? Everybody thinks it is such a grand opportunity for you, to travel I mean.

Here Roy’s father died a week ago yesterday and I haven’t written you. Roy got home about five minutes before the funeral. He was in the Northwest selling knit goods. He flew to S.L. They had such a time locating him. Broadcasted from three or four [radio] stations. You might write a letter to him and his mother. She could forward it to him. I think he is going back. She doesn’t want him to stay here.

We have had miserable cold weather for the past week. Frozen every night. A kind Providence kept our garden from freezing.

Didn’t you ever get my letters telling you that Lynn N. was in Sweden on a mission? Myron gets his release next month, but will travel a little before coming home.

Morgan has sent for a gas motor for his gas model plane. I wish you could see it. He is quite a builder. Maeser is going to the B. G. [The ranch they found work on.] Monday. Morgan will stay here & milk the cows, help me tend the garden, etc. They started haying down there today.

Well dearie, there isn’t much to tell you, so you know who will do the talking when you get home. We have the quiet life here.

Will ring off and do my ironing. We are all very fine here. I suppose your next letter will be from Sao Paulo. Love & best wishes for every success in your work, and I shall try to not be too impatient waiting for you to get home now.

Lovingly Mother

Did I tell you Arch McK. is going to marry Norrine Wahlstrom’s sister (the nurse) in Sept. She is a very sweet girl.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bessie Morgan Rex letter to Harold. June 26, 1938.

Bessie Morgan Rex's Randolph, Utah home last week.

Randolph, Utah
June 26, 1938

My dear son,
I am sitting in the leather chair on the front porch, trying to concentrate my thot’s on a letter to you. No letter from you last week, but I don’t worry. Just like to get one tho’. Daddy is to a meeting of the Broughs to plan a reunion. I tried to turn the earth over yesterday. I am not much good today. But it is glorious to feel able to do a day’s work. The boys have gone to milk—as usual.

Have been reading a book “From Immigrant to Inventor” by Michael Pupin. What an inspiring book to any young fellow starting out in life. A Serbian immigrant landing in N.Y. with 5 [cents symbol] in his pocket and a thin suit on his back. I want my boys to read it—surely. He studied at Columbia UY., Cambridge & in Berlin, but he always found so much in science to enrich his own life, so much to keep his feet on the ground. He is a grand character.

Well, daddy came home, and I guess we don’t get the Brough reunion here. It is to be at Lagoon.

Main St. is being oiled. Fine gravel is piled high in the center of the street & oiling machine is here. Then they will put in cement curbing. It all helps.

Sanborn 1911 map of Lagoon from Wikipedia.

Pg 2. [This page appears to be from a different  letter.]
deciding. That Smith Hughs work in agriculture is a very fine field & Mr. Guymon was sure you would like it.

There – is that a sermon? Well my dear it all totals up – be yourself & don’t be a snob. Ina Jeane home, but she wouldn’t speak to the neighbors. Oh, such people make me sick.

The boys have gone to milk early. Tonight is the big fight & they wont get back to hear it.
I’m afraid this will be a cool summer. It freezes about one night a week. Rather discouraging to people trying to raise beans and posies. However, mine haven’t been hurt yet.

The Broughs are going to have a reunion here this summer. I think. They are planning it. Helen & Glenn, I’m afraid, are not going to make it home. Money is pretty tight right now all over the country.

Here it is the next morning. A beautiful morning too. I hope things grow better now. Such cold freezes and frosty mornings we have had.

Kennedys have been on a 2000 mile trip up thro Mont. & Idaho. And coming back this place looks bare & dry.

Pg 3. Suppose you have heard from Winnie & how she came out in state exams 90 is a good average isn’t it. I shall be so glad to have her home for two or three weeks.

Randolph seems much like the little Serbian village Pupin came from, but I believe our boys and girls can make a success of life if they try. People are so asleep tho’, in these small places. However the Mr. Cook, whom Mary Rex worked for, in Calif. Told her he thot he would have been happier on a small farm, and he is director of Skagg’s stores. Success brings money and sometimes money wrecks people’s lives. They have both forgotten their religions and drink & smoke, & go a pretty pace.

Well here it is Monday morning. Cloudy & warm. Here’s hoping it rains.

I’m also hoping this letter reaches you for your birthday. Getting up in years aren’t you. That is all right if the years bring added wisdom.

Your time is getting short. It will be hard to leave a land you are nearly certain you won’t see again wont it. I can just imagine. Well, it will always bring pleasant memories, I’m sure.

Must close now with a prayer for your well being and success in your work my son.

Lovingly Mother

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

P. H. Rex Family History Books available!

(These are some of the descendants who wrote the book.)

This is the last call to purchase your volume. 
Payment needs to be to me before August 26, 2014.

Contact me here in the comment section (or at the e-mail address below) if you are interested in purchasing your 600-page volume, including 120-color-pages, and have not already placed your order. 

Percy Harold Rex
Bessie Morgan Rex
Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex
Their descendants 

The next P. H. Rex Family Reunion will be held in Randolph, Utah on the first Saturday following the Labor Day weekend in 2015.

 William Rex  (1844-1927) as a missionary in England.

At this year's P. H. Rex Family Reunion held Saturday, July 26 in Randolph, Utah
3rd great grandson Michael modeled William Rex's long-tailed coat.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sarah Austin Rex Fielding. May 1, 1810 to May 7, 1877

New gravestone (about 2012) in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Deseret News
May 16, 1877

Sarah's gravestone is to the left of this new Amos Fielding headstone. 
I happened upon them a couple of years ago, soon after they'd been set there.

Back side of Amos Fielding's grave stone above, indicates he was the Church's emigration agent in Liverpool England in 1851 the year Sarah sailed to America with her brother, William Rex's family.

The history of William and Sarah Rex's family and their trip to America is included in these six posts.
Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.

I recall my mother, Helen Rex Frazier, being concerned because she didn't know what had become of William Rex's sister, Sarah, following her brother's untimely death.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Leon Morgan's empty bible.

Leon Morgan, son of Leonidas and Mary Rice Morgan

Four months ago I shared what I’d recently learned about John Morgan’s nephew Leon Morgan.

His friend, Mary Robak, wrote me back and asked if I would like Leon’s bible. My answer was a resounding YES!  She didn’t know anyone else who might be interested she said, and she included other memorabilia and papers to fill a small thirteen pound box. Leon’s interest in a variety of things filled the box.

She'd searched the bible and said there didn't appear to be any family history information.

During the years of their friendship Mary said Leon told her he was engaged at one time, but never married.
My guess is this back street filled with snow and car tracks was the one Leon Morgan used to reach his Chicago, Illinois home. That may be him standing with a cane partway down the alley. It was the only snapshot among his things.

Besides his bible and a copy of the book he wrote, which I posted a picture of earlier, the box was filled with papers and pamphlets, his college writing assignments, a World War I enlistment form, and a variety of his advertising and publishing projects.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Early Family Dugouts.

I hiked up Pioneer Village Main Street on Monday to have a look at the dugout at the top of the hill.  The Ashby Dugout is on the northern edge of the This is the Place Pioneer Village and is representative of the many dugouts pioneers built following their arrival into the Utah Territory.

In the spring of 1864 my great great GrandfatherSamuel Brough built a dugout in the Porterville, Utah hillside for his family. Writing of that family, my mother, Helen Rex, wrote,

“On 15 Aug 1863 they started across the plains in the Samuel D. White Company. Snow had fallen before they reached Salt Lake City on 15 Oct 1863. It was cold and miserable. They lived in Bountiful, Utah the first winter and in the spring, moved to Porterville, Utah in Morgan County. There they lived in a dugout in the hillside. It was lined with adobes, and there was a fireplace in one end. In the spring when the snow started to melt, the frost came out of the ground and the water washed down the chimney and part of the wall caved in.”  [1]

My husband’s ancestors lived in a dugout when they moved to Paradise, Utah. 

Sarah Jane Smith Sanborn was born in Iowa in 1856 while her parents were in route to Utah.  Upon arrival they lived in Draper for two years before moving to Paradise, Utah where their first home was a dugout.  In 1935 Sarah Jane recorded, recalling that early home,

“The pioneer living in dugout were obliged to keep a fire in the fireplace all night or the wolves would come right down the chimneys. They could be heard on the roof howling and scratching trying to get into the dugouts. They would keep a fire all night so the smoke going up would keep the wolves from coming down the chimneys.”  [2]

This dugout in the side of the Stephen Vestal Frazier Ranch hillside in Woodruff, Utah may have been lived in during its earliest years. In the late 1870’s when the Fraziers moved onto their homestead land they would have needed shelter while great Grandfather Stephen Vestal built his “long log home.” I’ve yet to find an account to substantiate my speculation.

In the late 1940’s while our family visited and lived on the ranch the dugout housed large farm equipment and potatoes. It was reported that in the early years of life on the ranch that dugout housed a large enough cache of ice blocks cut from the Woodruff Creek during the winter months to stock the family’s summer long refrigerator needs. And they churned home made ice cream for every birthday celebration.

1. The History of the Broughs of Staffordshire, England, and their English, American and Australian Descendants, compiled by Robert Clayton Brough, Catharine Ann Brough Hind, Richard Brough Family Organization, 2004, “History of Samuel Brough and Elizabeth Bott,” pages 117-122. Histories on file at the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah written by daughters MarJean Thomson, Randolph Utah; Vendla K. Roberts, Ogden, Utah, Jan 1986; and Mary McKinnon Crompton, great granddaughter, November 1970. And Helen Rex Frazier family records.

2. Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Sarah Jane Smith Sanborn, a Utah Pioneer of 1856 by Da. Fla Barton Nov 1936, Camp 25 Salt Lake County.