Saturday, December 12, 2015

Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck and money! From her journal.

February 13, 1867 Nicholas wrote the following from his mission in England home to Elizabeth, ... “If you see him [Porter Rockwell] please to remember me to him and remember me to all of my renters, or your renters, for it is all one, William Showell, Smith McGarth and wife and all others. Please in your next to state what rooms are empty, if any; it does very well to fill up with, and it interests me some at the same time. Please state whether blacksmith shop rented or not; when you wrote last you did say who rented it and was not certain how long they would keep it.”

An account of Elizabeth’s generous nature was shared in the March 2009 Capitol Hill Neighborhood Council Bulletin (pictured above). A family, destitute because of illness and unemployment, rented a cottage (according to some reports this was the house at 76 West 200 North) from the Groesbecks. A puzzled friend asked the husband where he got the money to pay the rent. The man replied, “We receive the rent money from Mrs. Groesbeck. She comes around with the rent money a day or two before her husband comes around to collect it.”

Discovering Elizabeth's 1875-1883 journal clarifies many things. She felt entitled to direct some of her family's money to things she valued.  The account preserved in this 2009 Community Bulletin is reflected further in these journal entries.
March 1st 1877 I rose prity early went down stairs get the churning redy then I went upstairs to do the work there   found Brother Groesbeck rather cross about sum vases that Mellie had got for apreacnt [a present] for me   this maid me feel raither bad as he had let agrait meney thousands of dolers go   I felt to say never mind those litel vases they wold not brake eneyone up   make your self happy as you can for I shall spen all the money I git holt of    I attended a funerel in the after noon of a littel boy by the name of Olson [Olaf Chas. Olson 1872-1877 (]
January 1878 Wednesday 16th I went to the picture gallery and thare I seen apicture of Jeneral Washington  I liked it and bot it   paid tenn dalers I knew that my Husband wold not like to have me spend
And thus Elizabeth needed to do some things in secret.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

And then I went to my sewing. A little from Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's journal.

This 1882 picture by Sydney P. Hall of North American Indians being baptized appears to have originated here

On the 1st day of March, 1875 great great grandmother Elizabeth Groesbeck wrote in her journal that her relief society president, Sister Hide (Marinda Nancy Johnson Hyde, president of the 17th Ward Relief Society) asked her to sew some clothing for the Indians “to go threw the house.”

While transcribing Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck’s journal it was presumed she was referring to the Endowment House.

Page 1 1875
Monday March 1st helpt to do the washing and in the afternoon Sister Hide [Hyde] called on me and wanted me to help fix sum close for the Indians to go threw the house [Endowment House] 

Journal entries from Frederick Kesler, a mill-wright and bishop of the Salt Lake 16th Ward, in this Juvenile Instructor blog post by J. Stapley, indicate he was building a house and font for the Lamanites.
[Frederick] Kesler's March 20 [1875] entry simply states: "Looking after materials for indian House & font to Baptising them in[.]" In the following days Kesler secured wood, piping, and the services of carpenters to construct this house and font. Then on Sunday, March 28, Kesler attended the dedicatory services for the font. I'm not exactly sure why they didn't use the endowment house font, in which Kesler frequently baptized people (first baptisms as well as for the renewal of covenants). The details about this font are, however, liturgical gold. At the end of the dedicatory details, Kesler notes that it was "the first Font build & Dedicated by the Holy priesthood for the Baptizing of the remnants of Jacob in this last dispensation & by myself[.]" In the following days, Kesler records baptizing in it.
Continuing with Elizabeth's journal
Page 2 March 1875

Wedens 3rd helpt with the work in the morning then I went to help make sum dreses for the Lamonits [Lamanites]

Thursday 4th  don sum sewing and then I went to the relief society and after I returned Ann cum over and tuck me to the book store and I paid six dolers for the books I had bot

Friday 5th Sarah Birbedg cum over and staid all day  Mis Cook cald to settle sum disabell fealins [disagreeable feelings] with Rosena

Saturday 6th done the baking and cleaning and then I went to my sewing but did not domutch before I had comeney cum in.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sale of Sinking Fund Lands.1851 Garrard Morgan

James Tanner's post last week, Plumbing the depths of the Library of Congress for Genealogy, provided a link to a treasure chest.

The Chronicling America, Historic American Newspapers project

There I found 1851 newspaper articles listing Great Great Grandfather Garrard Morgan  property in Indiana's weekly "Sale of Sinking Funds Land." And I found the reason he may have packed up his family and moved west from Decatur, Indiana to Mattoon, Illinois soon afterwards.

The Sale of Sinking Land Funds was listed weekly. Garrard Morgan's land was listed in four issues just as it is seen above. 

October 9, 1851
October 16, 1851
October 24, 1851
November 20, 1851

Laws of the State of Indiana 1851, Chapter CLXX – An Act for the relief of the owners of lands mortgaged to the sinking fund, February 14, 1851, offers an explanation as found in this google book.

Among the three land parcels named in Decatur County land mortgaged to the Sinking Fund is that of James Eward who may be part of the Hamilton family.

Note: The Links to Garrard Morgan and his move to Mattoon, Illinois are from Amy's Garrard Morgan histories at  The Ancestor Files blog. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Garrard Earl Morgan. John and Mellie Morgan's tenth son was an artist.

 As a two-year-old, Earl was the older of the two baby boys his widowed mother raised following his father’s August 1894 death.

Born October 8, 1892 to John and Helen, Melvina “Mellie” Groesbeck Morgan Garrard Earl grew up in the old Farmers Ward where his family lived on Bryan Avenue. There he attended the Waterloo School with his siblings.

Earl signed his 1917-1918 US World War I registration card as “E. Grard Morgan.” His occupation at that time was Window Trimmer for The Vine Company, Chicago, Ill. The registrar reported he was tall, slender, with blue eyes and auburn hair. Earl claimed “exemption” because “wife solely dependent.” He’d recently married Merin Birgita Engman, a Swedish immigrant. Their only child was named Garrard and was called Jerry.

In 1928 his family lived on Wilson Avenue in Salt Lake City and his niece Helen Rex of Randolph, Utah spent the school year in his home while she attended the L.D.S. High School.
Sometime later Earl and Merin were divorced. Merin and Jerry lived with Grandma Mellie Morgan for a time.

I’d learned from Morgan descendants that Earl was very artistic. Several of his paintings hung in his mother’s home but none of them could be accounted for. I was understandably thrilled to see one emerge from my deceased Aunt Winifred Rex Andrus’ home this past year. It was signed G E Morgan and her daughters said they had never seen it before.

Its unknown when Earl painted this 10 x 12 inch oil on pressed board.  With my cousin’s permission I had a Giclée disc and print made of the original and offered copies to interested family members. I recently purchased a copy for myself and had it wrapped around an 1-1/2 inch deep frame with the edges cloned.

I’d be happy to order a copy again for interested family members. The print is still $37 on canvas. Having it wrapped onto a frame as I did doubled the cost and then some. Please let me know if you’d like me to order you one next time around.

Wikepedia. Giclée; The name originally applied to fine art prints created on IRIS printers in a process invented in the late 1980s but has since come to mean an inkjet print. It is often used by artists, galleries, and print shops to suggest high quality printing but since it is an unregulated word it has no associated warranty of quality.                                                                                                                

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck ... then I went to my sewing ... concluded.

(Elizabeth's journal entries regarding her friendship with Harriette White, continued from here.)

March, 1877, Thursday 15th don the work up stairs   then I had to tack another trip to the store for sheating bot 20 dolers worth [1]   met Sister Hook on the way to see me   she cum hom with me and helpt to make eaight sheets   Brother Groesbeck had gon to York  and would not be home til evening  I went to the Society for afew minets after that we went to see Sister [Harriet]White

That was Elizabeth’s last journal entry wherein she mentioned Sister White.  Elizabeth wasn’t writing in her journal at all leading up to Harriette’s October 14, 1877 [2] passing.

Early the following year Brother White went to talk with Elizabeth.

February 1878, Monday 11th started to cut out sum shirts for Joseph just then Brother [John] White cum in and asked for me   I told him to cum in and so he did    he told me that his Daughter Maryann had seen her Mother agane   I felt rather seuryesus [serious] as she had seen me in the room with her Mother
Elizabeth wrote a week later that she went up to see Brother White and found both of his daughters at home with him. Elizabeth didn’t write anything further about that visit. Nor did she write about their mother Harriett. Nor did she again mention Maryann having seen Elizabeth with her mother.

On Thursday April 9, 1878, Elizabeth wrote that she took the cakes over to the school house and told the sisters she would help, if there was anything she could do. They told her there was plenty of help without hers.
I cum home went and got Mellie and then we attended Brother Whites weding  had areal nise time
John White (1808-1885) married Sarah Wheeler (1813-1895) on April 9, 1878.
Elizabeth wrote on Sunday, August 25, 1878
read sum in the morning  attended meating in the after noon  Mellie and Josephine ware both at home with  us   sister White[‘s] [Harriet Prosser White] Daughter Betsy [Elizabeth White, 1840-1908] cald to see me the first time sence hers [mother’s] deth
October 1878, Wedenesday 23rd went to see Josephine  found her prity well  went over to Mellies and she was better then she had ben the day befour   got [back] at noon   went with my Husband down to see William and his family  found them all well  from thare I went to see Brother [John] White but he was not at home  had avery plesent talk with his wife  the wether had ben very blustry in the morning but cleared up fine in the after noon
Thurday 24th had acall from Brother [John] White  I told him to cum and stop with us  I finished a scirt I had comenced sum time befour  attended the society in the after noon  the wether very fine
October 1878, Monday 28th felt sick in the morning yet I helpt with the work  cut out acupel pair garmen[ts] for brother Groesbeck  Rosena [White] Barnet came to spen[d] a littel while with me  Sister Susana [Susannah] Hunter cald in to see us   after that Sister [Miranda] Hide came to git alittel help for a family that was in want
I presume Sister Miranda Hide continued as the Seventeenth Ward Relief Society President, the calling she received the evening Elizabeth was assigned to the 6th block.

—compiled by great great granddaughter Bessie Sanborn, October 7, 2015, from Elizabeth’s newly published (September 11, 2015)  journal transcription.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

[1] Elizabeth frequently sewed bedding and made rugs for her husband’s hotel.
[2] Obituary of Harriet Prosser from the Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star, No 46, Vol. XXXIX, Monday, November 12, 1877 (Volume 39, p. 752). Ancestry. Com.
[3] I recently took the picture of the marble bench facing East in the Salt Lake Cemetery where Harriette White and another White family member were buried. Nothing remains of any 1870 gravestones near that knoll. The bench was placed there following the April 6, 2014 passing of another White family member (perhaps a descendant).

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck journal ... then I went to my sewing ... Part 3.

Joseph Smith Groesbeck was born December 18, 1864

Samuel Smith Groesbeck was born July 14, 1860

(Continued from here.)

July, 1875, Wednesday 14th had a good deal of werk on hand as it was the Berthday of John and Samuel [John [26] and Samuel [15] and I wanted them to eat supper at home and so they did   I sent for Mellie and her Husband   Brother and Sister White …
August 1875, Tuesday 3rd cut my rapper and prity near mad it  Sister [Harriet] White cum down  she felt very poorly  I baitherd her faice with cumfeur   so she felt better… said I shold  have my reward but I told her I get it every day    we talked about the goodeness of hour hevenly Father to ward his children … 

August 1875, Sunday 8th looked to the mornings work then drest and laid down for a littel while but had not laid but afew minets when Josefine cum and asked me if I wold like to see Brother Heaton   I rose and went in to see him   he wanted to see Brother [John] White   I tuck him up to see him I  stopt about four hours  herd Brother White relate sum of his expearence which was very interesting to me …
Monday 9th helpt with the washing in the four noon then I cut out a pair of pillow slips fer Sister f White   maide them and tuck them to her
Tuesday 10th attended to the work in the morning  Mellie cum over  cut out my duster and I worked on it the rest of the day
Wednesday 11th after breckfast Josephine and me went to the store  got sum print fer cumfirts  in the after noon I maid the cape of my duster and visited with Sister [Harriet] White                                                                                         
Thursday 12th at home all day   worked sum on my duster   sister White cum down to spend a littel while with us … 

[December 1875] Monday 6th I helpt to wash and worked on Brother Whites garments

Tuesday 7th maid Rosenia [Rosena Lemon] a cloak  started her to school

Wednesday 8th finished John Whites drawers and went to the store  bot sum dishes and abuten [a button] for Hyrum
Thursday 9th went around the Block in the four noon and attended the Society in the afternoon …

Elizabeth made only six journal entries during the entire year of 1876 and she did not mention Harriett White in any of them.
(To be concluded.)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's journal ... then I went to my sewing ... Part 2.

Part 2, continued from here.

[March 1875] Thursday 11th helpt too do the work in the morning and then I went to dress and Elizabeth cum to tell me that I had compney and shareneph [sure enough] they had packed Sister White down on a chair and so she spent the day with me …
Saturday 02th [20th] don the backing and then I don sum sewing went to see Sister White spent a few minets with her and then returned to help git supper ...
Saturday 27th  don the backing cakes and pies and bread then Brother pool cum in spent an hour with us then Willey Rounds called in and by this time Elenor com with Ann  they cum to go with me to surprise party at Sister [Harriet] Whites  we had a very splesent afternoon ...
April, 1875 Thursday 8th don sum bakeing and finished the carpet   felt rather poorely all day   went to see Sister [Harriet] White and we had a few minets talk about that better land whare sorrow never cum and I often think how cairful we shold be to keep hourselves wright and speak nothing that wold not bair investigating by any faithful saint …
May, 1875 Firiday 7th helpt with the work in the morning and then I went over to see Ann stopt and tuck diner   then Ann lent me her buggy to take sister White out for adrive …
Monday 10th helpt with the washing and then I went to the store with Josephine bot sum cups and sasers [saucers] also a dress for sister [Harriet] White a young man by the name of Ford cum to see Hyrham  
Tuesday 11th at home all day  Mellie and sister White and sister Volce spent the afternoon with me I told them about this friend of Hyrhams  Brother [Robert] Ford thay all said that they shold like to see him and I said I was shure thay wold recive grait light by visiting with him as the gospel was all his thiem …
Robert Henry Ford (1831-1890) served a mission to Engalnd in 1887. Died in an accidental fall while working to build the Salt Lake Temple (
June, 1875 Wednesday 30th helpt to do the work in the morning  then I finished sum shirts that I had been making  I maid an apron for myself  went to see Sister [Harriet]White for a littel while just then Ann cum over and wanted father and me to go over to her house to take supper and so we did  she was allway very kind to us both and I thot a grait meney times I should be very lonely with out her … 
(To be continued.)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

from Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's 1875-1883 journal . . .

… then I went to my sewing

Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck’s  first journal entry is dated
 February 23rd, 1875

It isn’t clear why Elizabeth started her journal then or if she’d been a journal keeper earlier in her life. The recent discovery and transcription of her journal for 1875 to 1883 is miraculous and it’s important for this descendant to learn some life lessons from the writings she left.

Elizabeth had been in the Salt Lake Valley since October 2, 1856 when she and her family arrived from Springfield, Illinois with the John Banks Company.  She’d been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since her April 6, 1841 Nauvoo, Illinois baptism. In 1854 missionaries found her and her family among the “lost sheep” of Springfield, Illinois where they taught them the truth about baptism and the principle of polygamy. Elizabeth was baptized again and she and her family prepared to immigrate to Salt Lake.

She was an early member of the Salt Lake Seventeenth Ward where she’d been called to be an “assistant to the 6th block” the night their Relief Society was organized in 1868.  It was a calling she served in all seriousness and magnified in every sense of the word. Nine times during her less than consistent journal entries she mentioned “went around the block, visited around the block, etc.”

May, 13, 1875 went around the block in the four noon and attended the society in the afternoon had the head ack
Wednesday 41th [14th], 1877 after breckfast I went to the store bot sum bedticking and fthers [feathers]   in the after noon I maid four pilows and eaight slips   I visited around the block
March 16, 1880, went around the block and found the people very glad to see me
During the first two years of the journal her entries about a dear friend Sister Harriett White jumped out at me. They were filled with testimony and light and illuminated their heartfelt love for one another.

1875, Tuesday 2nd attended to the work in the morning then I went to see how Sister White was giting along
Harriet Prosser White [1819-1877] and John White [1808-1885] also lived in the Seventeenth Ward. It’s unclear if they were part of Elizabeth’s 6th block district. They were definitely very dear friends.

March, 1875 Wednesday, 10th don sum sewing spent about all the day with Sister White  she told me many things about the poverty she had past threw in England but that she had allways felt her trustinGod and he ben her friend
This brief account of Elizabeth's association with Sister Harriett White will be continued and appear in four parts. Links will follow here after they are posted: part 2, part 3, conclusion.

Elizabeth's journal is as she wrote it. We did not add any capitalization or punctuation, nor did we change any of her spelling. Some clarification is included in brackets.

(To be continued.)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Nicholas Groesbeck purchased a corral and horse stables in Salt Lake in 1861.

Nicholas Groesbeck (1819-1884)

Amy at the Ancestor Files has been researching Wills and Probate and gave us a link to Ancestry's new collection. She is using it to gather information for several projects. In the midst of her work she located the following document and knew I would be interested. Thank you Amy.

The tedium and discipline necessary to work my way through the document evidences her skill and patience in gathering facts from this kind of record. It contributes to more than one fascinating story.

It seems my great great grandfather Nicholas Groesbeck stepped in and purchased a mortgaged coral [corral] and horse stables in Salt Lake following the 1860 misfortune of two Salt Lake business men. Thomas S. William and Palmanio A. Jackman mortgaged their properties for a venture to California where they were killed by Indians. The following year N. Groesbeck paid $1238.31 for their mortgage and interest, "in which is included one hundred dollars which I hereby agree to pay to the widows of the said William & Jackman part in gear and part in flour as they may severely need the same."  He also agreed to pay their delinquent taxes. 

This is an example of one way Nicholas Groesbeck acquired real estate in the 1860's.

William descendants include an account of this unfortunate incident on their grandmother's find a grave memorial.  

Utah State Archives Series 1621 Case 67 P A Jackman Probate 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

P. H. Rex Family Reunion, September 12, 2015.

Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's 1875-1883 journal.

Saturday, September 12, 2015, the Randolph Ward whiteboard we rolled into the cultural hall there looked like this. As we began discussing Nicholas and Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck' family tree, Nancy added  names and connections on the white board, and we had a wonderful family history discussion--Nicholas Groesbeck Family 101--if you will.

It all began when Flora Lee asked PH  Rex family members gathered in Randolph for this year's reunion to share our favorite memory of our grandmother Bessie Morgan Rex. She was a granddaughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth Groesbeck and the 9th child of their daughter Helen Melvina and her husband John Morgan.

I enjoyed listening to each cousin's memory as we passed around a skein of yarn and each cut off a length. It determined how much time we'd have to share. 

Everyone was anxious to learn and understand how four Groesbeck descendants recently came up with our great great grandmother Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's 1875-1883 journal. It is quite an incredible story. And it isn’t easily explained. Charting her family history on a whiteboard helped.

Cousin Claudia’s prologue in the front of the newly transcribed and annotated volume clearly explains how it happened. 

This year's P. H. Rex Family Reunion proved as wonderful and happy a gathering as any I've enjoyed throughout my life. Thank you to everyone who came and made it happen. We missed everyone else.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this volume, you can contact me in the comment section below, or send me an e-mail at b.sanborn @ [typed all together].

Sunday, July 19, 2015

April 13, 1876, There appears to be a different atmosphere here [Indiana].

A stained glass window from
the new  Indianapolis, Indiana Temple

As an early 1876 missionary John Morgan spent some time with his parents who lived in Illinois. He and his companion, Joseph Standing, traveled from there towards the southern states mission. They worked hard during their stay in Illinois, attempted to hold meetings, and found many doors closed to them. After leaving Illinois the atmosphere changed.

Morgan wrote on April 13, 1876: We are now in Indiana and have been well treated and kindly received by all. There appears to be a different atmosphere here to what there is in Illinois. Am in hopes that we shall be able to do a good work in the neighborhood.

John Morgan’s birthplace of Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana is about fifty-miles from the new Indianapolis, Indiana Temple.

Monday, June 22, 2015

MELL Mellie Groesbeck Morgan ephemera. 1887.


Ephemera[1] from Great Grandmother Morgan’s life and times
 In 1887 she was 34-years-old

I've always just driven our DUP company histories over to the museum because it is so convenient, and I enjoy walking through the displays into the history department. Last week as I left I began looking in a case that frequently changes--presently filled with memorabilia of various nationality emigrant gatherings. It occurred to me I might spot some evidence of Swiss gatherings at Saltaire. And I took time to look. Thus far in my years of wondering I've yet to see those gatherings written about. 

Grandma Emily Frazier told me that her father Jacob Rufi used to sing and yodel at Z. C. M. I. employee gatherings at Saltaire. The display case was filled with ephemera from various gatherings, even at Saltaire. They didn't mention any Swiss yodeling competitions.

But my eye was caught by a beautifully printed dance program that attendee's would have received at the door with a tassel and pencil.

Grand Select Ball, Fri ev'g Feb 11 '87
Fourteenth Ward Assembly Hall
[My Morgan grandparents, John and Mellie, lived in the 14th Ward.]

It was a dance program, and some of the numbered dances had a name penciled in beside them. I presume it was a gentleman's dance program, because Dance #21, Pop Goes the Weasel had penciled in MELL, followed by Morgan written in cursive.

I know that great grandmother Helen Melvina "Mellie" Groesbeck Morgan was known as Mell on Fourteenth Ward Relief Society records. I've seen her name written that way there. 

Could Mellie have worn this gown t the ball?
Whose dance card did she write her name on?
How does one dance to Pop Goes the Weasel?
From Helen Melvina, to Mellie, to Mell!

I was so pleased to learn that grandmother enjoyed her life at home in Salt Lake some of the times her husband was at work in Tennessee in the Southern States Mission. That's where he was the night of this ball.

1. Ephemera: (Wikipedia) items of collectible memorability, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The People We Remembered Today!

This collage from my daughter last night summed up our Memorial Day 2015.
Thank you Elizabeth.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

73rd Anniversary of Broome's One Day War

Mr. Dion Marinis of the Broome, Australia Historical Society sent this picture on March 3, 2015. It was the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Broome and the loss of so many innocents. John Morgan Rex, and the entire crew (save one) of the B-24 Liberator they were on, and the wounded and citizens they were attempting to evacuate to safety, were lost in the sea.

Thank you for remembering these patriots with these beautiful flowers.

Note: Until I get the size of my blog view fixed, these flowers will fill the screen nicer than my grandmother's soap recipe did.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Grandmothers made/created their own washing soaps.

Several Groesbeck cousins are collaborating to transcribe and annotate great great grandmother Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's journal. In the course of gathering materials, cousin Karen M discovered the following recipes and receipts among her Grandfather Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan's papers:

These licenses and recipes belonged to Elizabeth Groesbeck
 and assured her rights to create and use the compounds.

Securing soap recipes in this manner was not unusual in Elizabeth's time.

G. W. Jackson and Company's Universal Washing Compound. The Baltimore company issued these certificates as a way to cut down on the infringement of their formula, which is included on this imprint dating from 1867. 

 Elizabeth's Family Right was dated February 1, 1868.

My Grandma Emily Rufi Frazier (1886-1972) was a famous soap maker. After our family moved from her Woodruff, Utah home in 1951 she continued to make and supply our family with her soap. I remember it as a dirty milk color. She set her boiled and brewed concoction in 9 x 13 dripper pans. After they set up she cut the soap into squares. My parents washed our laundry with those bars of soap. Upon the advent of the automatic washing machine, they shaved the bars and continued to use the soap to wash our clothes.

Emily and her descendants swore by her soap’s effectiveness to clean their clothes. I was trying to recall the smell of the soap. I can only come up with the smell of “clean.” That’s amazing when you think we collected drippings from bacon and mutton tallow in separate cans we kept on the back of the stove. They were not to be mixed for some reason I don’t remember. They were used to make grandma’s soap. Ashes and lye were the other two ingredients I am aware of. Whenever we’d travel to Woodruff, which was rather frequent, we’d take our cans of grease to Grandma. She’d send home bags of her soap whenever she finished a new batch, with whomever was traveling to Salt Lake City.

That's Emily's automatic washing machine in the front left corner of her kitchen. 
Her sons Elmer and Glenn Frazier, seated to the left, appear to be watching
 their wives and mother work at the kitchen sink
 and drainboard in the mid 1960's.

My parents, Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier (1913-1982), and I, 
used a twin tub wringer washing machine to do the family wash in the 1950's.
This 1961 photo is of Helen hanging up her clothes
 on the backyard umbrella clothes lines.
White whites was extremely important to Helen. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Susan Frazier (1951-2006) Loved Music!

1958 seven-year-old Susan Frazier with the family pet, Rebel.

Susan played the bass fiddle as a 6th grader, and on through
 junior high school. She also learned to play the piano.

Susan was a good record keeper and recorded each of her friends' names.
She was also a faithful journal keeper.

A song is a wonderful kind of thing,
So lift up your voice and sing!
Just start a glad song, let it float, let it ring,
And lift up your voice and sing!

We shall make music to brighten the day;
Music will help us to lighten the way.
Lift up your voice! Lift up your voice!
Lift up your voice and sing!

Children’s Songbook 252
Words and music: Richard C. Berg, b. 1911

D & C 25:12 For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with blessings upon their heads.

13: Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.

A few of Susan's journal entries:
December 26, 1976  [a resolution] — "Memorize and sing songs while I’m driving. Scriptures, too"

March 27, 1977 “A lot has happened in the last 2 months. I really enjoy 306 [Nursing course] now. Dr. Hames is a great teacher. He teases me about being a Mormon, since he’s only been here 3 months from Michigan. I’ve learned so much in the last 2 months it’s incredible.

“State Board results should be coming some time now—I hope I passed!

A week ago we went up to Flora Lee’s homecoming, when we received word that Grandpa Rex passed away. When Aunt Flora came in to tell Aunt Marry, I knew what she was going to say. We will miss him but I think it’s wonderful that he can be with Grandma Rex (after 39 yrs.), Uncle Morgan, and his 12 brothers and sisters. His services were lovely! The granddaughters sang “The Lord is My Shepherd” and “Abide With Me.” Richard Lamborn and I played “Oh My Father” on the piano and organ. Richard is really a special cousin to me. Even though we tease each other miserably, I really love him!” [1]

Susan loved music! She loved to play it on the piano, on her bass fiddle, and accompany others perform. She listened to it always and collected it. She sang solos, duets, in quartets and always belonged to a choir. As a teenager she participated in roadshows. In junior and high school she was part of all of the musical productions. She and her friends, Pam, and Debbie, and Debby formed a quartet. In the style of Peter, Paul, and Mary and The Carpenters and they sang the music of their day—I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane —Rainy Days and Mondays Always get me Down—they harmonized beautifully.

The summer following her high school graduation (about 1969-70) Susan worked in Commissioner Garn’s office during the day “and performed in Promised Valley at night. That was a great experience with Nancy and Pam." [2]

At her passing I gave much of her music to those who could use it. A walk through what remains in her music file is heart warming:

Prayer of the Children
I am a Child of God
I Know that My Redeemer Lives
God Bless America
Lift Every Voice and Sing
Jesus Loves Me
Let us Break Bread Together
There is a Balm in Gilead
Peace, Peace
A Child’s Prayer
A Poor Wayfaring Man of Greif
As The Dew
As Sisters in Zion & We’ll Bring the World His Truth
I got Shoes (spiritual)
Joseph Knew (for mixed chorus)
How Beautiful
You’re Not Alone
Pachelbel’s’ Canon
Precious Lord Take My Hand
These Are the Days
Oh My Father
In Perfect Faith
O Come O Come Emanuel
Shine for Me Again
Star of Bethlehem
Ding Dong Merrily on High
Oh, Hush Thee My Baby
How Beautiful
Infant Holy Infant Lowly

On December 16, 2006 a memorial service was held for Susan in the Chevy Chase Ward, Bethesda, Maryland. The following note was left in her guest book.

"Susan, I remember many beautiful days of picnics under the azaleas with the young women at the Arboretum, and walks by daffodils and cherry blossoms. I remember baking apple pies with fresh picked apples in our kitchen with all the young women and you, who appreciated the good things of life. Many choirs and solos and duets we have done together, and talent shows at the Mt. Pleasant Branch. Your sense of humor, your wry observations, and your sensitivity to the Spirit always reminded me why we are really here on this earth. I love you and I will carry on, following in your footsteps, and always singing those beautiful hymns you loved. You will be a part of my music forever. Thank you for being a part of my life! Love, Natassya"  [3]

(to be continued) From time to time I will post parts of Susan's life story here.

Notes: 1. Histories of Percy Harold Rex, Bessie Morgan Rex, Mary Elizabeth Herbert Rex and Their Descendants, 2014, pg 162.
2. Ibid 156
3. Ibid 182