Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vash Young, childhood friend of Bessie Morgan Rex.

In this Waterloo (Farmer's Ward Area)  School class picture, Bessie Morgan
is #25 counting  L-R from the upper left corner. Vash Young is #8.
According to the photo services stamp on the reverse side of the picture, Bessie Morgan Rex received this copy in 1938. She then identified and wrote the names of the classmates she remembered on the back.

Bessie mentioned Vash Young in a few of the letters she wrote her son Harold between 1936-1938 linked here and here and here. Her letters and those she saved from Vash Young helped me come to understand why.

Vashni Young was born in Salt Lake in 1899. His paternal great-grandfather was one of Brigham Young's brothers. The 1900 census listed Vash and three younger siblings living with their grandparents; John F. and Margaret S. Cahoon.  

Vash Young became an American author of motivational and self-improvement books with a poplar following during the Great Depression. My Grandmother Bessie Morgan Rex became one of them.

His early life was one of deprivation and hardship. His father was more often absent than not, and his mother died when he was twelve years old. His schooling was cut short when he had to help support the family. Tragedy struck Vash again when his grandmother died and he left Salt Lake at sixteen to live with an older brother in Chicago. He struggled with unemployment, his lack of education and not enough money. He eventually moved to New York where he continued to battle depression, self-doubt and failure until the revelation that turned him into a success.  

The series of books he wrote explained his philosophy which placed great emphasis on helping others. He became a successful author, speaker, and insurance salesman. His final book Fortunes for All put together the background, philosophy and methods that secured his fortune and became a model for generations to follow, including Dale Carnegie. Vash Young died during retirement in Florida when he was 78. [1]

Vash Young
50 East 42nd Street
New York
April 10, 1936
Dear Bessie:

This is the first opportunity I have had to acknowledge one of the most interesting and entertaining letters I have ever received in my whole life—yours of March 4 which was handed to me by Hamilton Park when I was in Salt Lake last month. I remember you and your sister [Gail] very well and I also remember as though it were yesterday, all the incidents and characters mentioned in your letter. Incidentally, you have a very descriptive style and I want to place my order now for any book you may ever write—whether it is published or not.

I had one of the grandest times of my entire life during my last visit to dear old Salt Lake. It is too bad you could not have been there. Minnie Margetts [2] arranged a meeting of a number of our old classmates and in addition, I addressed two public meetings. I enclose reprint of an editorial from the Salt Lake Tribune. It was one of the finest compliments I ever had paid to me.

As I look back over my life it all seems like a fairy tale. I have been wonderfully blessed and am grateful beyond words. As a matter of fact, all I live for is to try to show my gratitude and appreciation by doing all I can for others.

It was a real treat to hear from you, Bessie, and I hope that some day our paths will cross. If and when I get out home again I will attempt to look you up. Meanwhile, if you or any of your family come this way please be sure to look me up.

With kindest regards

Sincerely yours,

(To be continued.) 

[1] Vash Young, Wikipedia. Fortunes for All. Wikipedia.
[2] Minnie Margettes was the daughter of Salt Lake pioneer actor, Phil Margetts (FamilyTree). She was 55, single, head of her household and a librarian in the 1930 Salt Lake City, Utah Census.
Picture and letter from Bessie Morgan Rex collection. 


  1. That was a fun read! Thanks!!!

  2. And "Thank You" Nancy for all you do to gather and perpetuate this family's history! I appreciate you!