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.


  1. Thank you for you kind post. The inclusion of Mary Morgan's name on the grave marker is much appreciated by me and my family. We visited there this last Spring and had photos taken with the grave marker. I was mainly concerned about her life as a widow for so many years and the omissions from the David King Udall histories. I had just seen the biography of David King Udall by Pearl Udall and Mary Morgan was not even mentioned. Thanks again for your wonderful website and all you do.

  2. Yes, Bessie this is a lovely post.