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.

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