Monday, March 2, 2009

Morgan 4: John Morgan Biography—Salt Lake City

John Morgan found lodgings in the home of Bishop Joseph L. Heywood and with the encouragement of Superintendent of Common Schools Robert L. Campbell, lost no time in opening The Morgan Commercial College early in January 1867.

He started the College in a small downtown building but quickly moved to larger quarters at 257 South Main Street rented from Nicholas Groesbeck.

On November 26, 1867, Robert L. Campbell baptized John Morgan a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nicholas Groesbeck sent his children to the College in exchange for part of the rent. In January 1868 his oldest daughter, Helen Melvina, began her studies. John asked Mellie to marry him in June 1868. He described the day in his journal.
In the language of Don Brucoult, I have slept on it, and all that I saw or dreamed of was: “Why don’t you propose?” My sleeping thoughts would go wandering through dreamland accompanied by the echo of: “Why don’t you propose?” In dreams me-thought I met an old friend and with ghastly grin he asked: “Why don’t you propose?” and then fled from me with a loud laugh that echoed back: “Why don’t you propose?” Awakening with a start, the watch that lay tick, tick, ticking on the table said as plain as words could say: “Why don’t you propose?” Sleeping, or working, or thinking it was all the same, and it all said: “Why don’t you propose?” The aspen tree—the water in the ditch in front seems to gurgle out: “Why don’t you propose?” There’s a bird that’s singing from branch to branch and singing merrily: “Why don’t you propose?” Turning to the blackboard on the wall, I see written plainer than was the inscription that the prophets of old interpreted: “Why don’t you propose?” The tinkling bell hanging from the neck of old crumply horn as she wends her way to the green pastures across the Jordan, chimes in: “Why don’t you propose?” The murmuring breezes as they float listlessly by seem to say: “Why don’t you propose?” The clock in the Old City Hall chimes out: “Why don’t you propose?”

So I did.
John and Mellie were married in the Endowment House on October 24, 1868. They set up residence in an apartment over the school.
The College continued to grow until it had to move to a larger site at 144 West 1st South Street. It had up to six hundred students enrolled at one time.

John and Mellie’s first child, Helen Melvina Morgan, was born in January 1870. Additional children were born in 1872, 1875, 1878, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1888, 1891, 1892, and 1894. At least three of the children died in early childhood.

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