Thursday, December 31, 2009

Morgan 8 & 9: Garrard Morgan III and Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan, Part 4

John visited his parents and family from time to time but they were not interested in joining the church, although his brother James moved out to Manassa, Colorado. John recorded these visits in his diary and the accounts are found in posts on Ancestral Ties. He saw his parents in November 1883.


Garrard Morgan III


Garrard died April 10, 1889. The family genealogical files do not include data on his burial location, and I can't find the information in online cemetery records in either Mattoon or Greensburg.


Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan


 
 Leonidas Morgan



Garrard Morgan IV



Luella Morgan



Eliza spent her last years living in Middletown, Henry County, Indiana, with her son William. She died April 18, 1901 and was buriedthe next day in South Park Cemetery in Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana. A note in the family history states that she was buried in a plot belonging to her brother David W. Hamilton.

The 1900 census notes that David N. Hamilton, born Dec 1817 in Kentucky, was living in Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana, with his wife Julia. They were married in 1864 and had no children. His father was born in Ireland and his mother was born in Kentucky. If this is Eliza's brother, and if the census information is correct, then the father's birthplace of Ireland contradicts Mary Linton Morgan's research into the family origins of the Hamiltons which claimed that they tied into an old Kentucky family. Once again, more work needs to be done on these lines.

The 1900 Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana census showing David and Julia Hamilton.

Looking into the family has left me with a lot of questions. Many birth, marriage and death dates, particularly of John's brothers and sister, need to be tracked down. Additionally, here are a few questions I had as I looked at records:
  • Did Garrard Morgan I fight in the Revolutionary War?
  • What were the family's religious experiences in the Second Great Awakening?
  • Were the Kentucky Morgans slave holders? (Some Morgans show up as slave owners in the 1850 Nicholas County Slave Census, but I have no idea if they were relatives.)
  • Why did the Morgans move to Indiana?
  • During their Civil War service, did John and Will Morgan have to fight any of their Kentucky cousins?
  • Who's going to do all the nitty-gritty research and track down all the records?

The pictures are from Bessie. Thanks!

This being the last day of 2009, I am going to start posting stories and information from my Wessman family. I will continue to post from the Morgan and Tanner families as I have time to research and information to share. Happy New Year!

    Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    Morgan 8 & 9: Garrard Morgan III and Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan, Part 3


    The Life and Ministry of John Morgan notes that Garrard and Eliza moved their young family to a farm at Summit, Coles, Illinois, which was about a mile outside Mattoon, Coles, Illinois, when John was ten years old (about 1852). The book notes that they moved to the area due to the railroad being located at Mattoon.

    I cannot find any historical proof of the place name "Summit" in Coles County. There is a Summit Township about ten miles away in Effingham County, but that's quite a stretch to be "a mile."

    Perhaps their neighborhood was briefly but never formally called Summit.

    In 1853, surveyors from the Illinois Central Railroad and the Terre Haute and Alton Railroad realized that their railroads would cross at Mattoon, and a land rush began. This is when the Morgan family moved to the area, and young John Morgan would have seen the construction of the two railroads, and all the excitement surrounding which railroad would reach the Mattoon area first. This was undoubtedly the beginning of his lifelong love of rail travel.

    The town site was mapped out in 1854, the railroads crossed in 1855, Mattoon became a village in 1857 and a city in 1861. Local farmers produced record amounts of corn and broom corn. Once again, the Morgans participated in the life of the community, including attending the Fourth Lincoln-Douglas Debate in nearby Charleston, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln's father and mother-in-law lived.

    On August 2, 1861, John's older brother Will Morgan joined the 38th Illinois US Infantry. A year later in August 1862, John Morgan joined the 123rd Illinois US Infantry. John Morgan served for the duration of the Civil War, and Will probably did as well, although I cannot find his discharge record since he joined the Signal Corps in November 1863. Here are some posts on their Civil War service.

    During their Civil War service, did John and Will Morgan have to fight any of their Kentucky cousins? John Morgan spent good parts of his Civil War service chasing Southern General John Hunt Morgan around the South, but I cannot find any proof of the two families being related.

    John and Will returned home to their parents after the war with many tales to tell, but John left soon afterward for New York, and Will returned to live in Indiana.

    ...to be continued...


    Coles County Illinois Genealogy and History. Illinois Genealogy Trails.

    Photo of the old train station in Mattoon from www.flickr.com/photos/bap824/3511767568/.

    Tuesday, December 29, 2009

    Morgan 8 & 9: Garrard Morgan III and Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan, Part 2

    Garrard Morgan III and Eliza Ann Hamilton were born in Kentucky and married in Kentucky or Indiana, as mentioned in Part 1 of their history. (The Life and Ministry of John Morgan notes that they were married in Kentucky.)

    Their six children were born in Indiana and Illinois:
    • William (1840)
    • John (1842)
    • Luella or Sarah (1845)
    • Leonidas (1847)
    • James (1850)
    • Garrard IV (1854)
    A history of Decatur County, Indiana tells that in this early period of settlement in Indiana, children were educated at subscription schools, with parents paying a fee for each child they sent to school. It was not until 1853 that the Indiana legislature established free public schools.
    The usual school term in Decatur county during the early days was three months, and the school day began early in the morning and lasted until sundown. The teacher would be at his desk at sunrise and the first pupil to arrive at the school house would be the first to recite. This privilege of reciting first was much sought by those more eager for knowledge and there was usually keen competition among the star pupils, and consequent early rising. There were a few drones, however, who cared little whether school kept or not, and therefore, as if to show their contempt for learning, would come straggling in about ten o'clock, or in plenty of time for the noon recess.

    Early schools were held in vacant log cabins, chinked with mud, provided with puncheon seats and oiled-paper windows. Text books were the American Primer, Dilworth's and Webster's spelling book, Guthrie's or Pike's arithmetics, the English Reader, the Bible and, sometimes, Weem's Life of Washington. This last book was a novel, but won a place in the list of text books because of the excellence of the moral carried by the cherry tree story....

    Sometime near 1840 Miss Jane Bartee taught a school in the southern part of the county. She must have possessed an ear for both rhyme and rhythm, for she gave her school rules a metrical embodiment. The following classical fragment is still extant:

    "No rippin', no tearin'.
    No cussin', no swearin',
    No clingin', no swingin', to trees."

    The father of this poetical school ma'am was a justice of the peace, and, by virtue of that office, a member of the county board, which performed the duties of the present-day county commissioners. When the board met in Greensburg, Mr. Bartee would walk thither, barefooted and garbed in undyed homespun, and, thus attired, enter upon his official duties with all due dignity.
    Along with a man named J.S. Grant, Garrard Morgan was one of the first teachers of the school outside of Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana.
    In the early days, not much preparation was required in order to "teach school." The pedagogue looking for a school for the winter, with an opportunity to "board round" and so eke out his scanty earnings, went to the township trustees, applied for a place, and if they liked his appearance he was hired without much of an examination into his qualifications. In most cases, the trustees themselves were men with very little education and would not presume to question the ability of anyone seeking a position as teacher.
    During spring, summer, and fall, Garrard would have carried on his pursuits as a farmer, on his farm about a mile south of Greensburg, but come winter, he taught the three month school term.

    Somewhere along the line, Garrard's son John received enough education to write beautiful although not impeccably-spelled or -punctuated letters (at the age of 20, a letter to his father, and at the age of 21, a letter to his mother) and eventually became a noted author, teacher, lecturer, and public speaker.

    When John Morgan arrived in Salt Lake City in December 1866 at age 24 with less than a year's study at Eastman Business College (not Eastman Commercial College, as previously stated) as the grand total of his advanced education, what could have induced him to start his own school? First, due to this note in the Decatur County history, we know that he had seen his father serve as a teacher, and, second, he had attended the business school that Harvey G. Eastman had established a few years before John Morgan attended the very successful school. The bar for establishing and running a school was not as high in the mid-18th century as it is now, and John Morgan had found his calling in life, and was widely influential in his role as teacher and business school administrator.

    ...to be continued...


    Harding, Lewis A. History of Decatur County, Indiana: Its People, Industries and Institutions, with Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families. Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1915, pp 182-184.

    Richardson, Arthur M., and Nicholas G. Morgan. The Life and Ministry of John Morgan: For a Wise and Glorious Purpose. : N.G. Morgan, 1965.

    The picture of Southern Indiana from www.flickr.com/photos/32955736@N00/2182429350/.

    Monday, December 28, 2009

    Jens Christensen and His Family

    As my dad went through his aunt's genealogical papers, he found a copy of a history written by a woman named Lena Marie Hansen Pack. The history is called Kirsten's Courage and Tears: The Story of Kirsten and Anders Christian Christensen Jensen and Nicolena Christensen and Charles F. Nelson.


    Jens Christensen and Karen Marie Johannesen Christensen were from Denmark. As mentioned previously, their daughter Mary married Ove Oveson and Mary and Ove were my grandfather's great-grandparents. Jens and Karen's adopted son Marinus married Fanny Thomas. They were my grandmother's grandparents.

    Anders was Jens Christensen's younger brother. Anders and Jens and their wives and children left Denmark and came to America in 1866 in the ship Kenilworth and traveled in the Scott company to Utah.

    Lena Pack notes that Anders and Jens' father, Christen Jensen, had died in Denmark in 1862, and that their widowed mother, Christiane Christensen, came to America with her sons and accompanied Anders and his family to Brigham City, Utah, where she died over 30 years later.

    This ship record shows a Christian Christensen who traveled with Jens, but the Kenilworth ship register notes that this person was a 59-year-old male farmer.



    Unfortunately, when I copied this record off Ancestry.com, I did not know that the people listed in the bottom of the image were family members of Jens, so I do not have a copy of the entire family group, and I don't currently have an Ancestry membership to be able to look up this record. I'll try and look it up next time I have access.

    Jens Christensen and one of his two daughters died on the plains.

    His widow and two surviving children, Mary and Marinus, settled in Ephraim, Sanpete, Utah, where Mary married Ove Oveson. Mary's mother Karen lived with them until she died in 1874. Marinus was raised in the Overson family along with their twelve children, and accompanied them to settle in Arizona.

    Meanwhile, Jens' brother Anders and his wife Kirsten took their children and Anders' widowed mother to Brigham City. New Family Search claims that Christiane Christensen died in Brigham City in 1865 or 1896, and Anders died in a farm accident in 1867, and all contact between the family in Brigham City and the family in Ephraim and later Arizona was lost until Lena Pack wrote Kirsten's Courage and Tears and tracked down Jens' family.

    Kirsten's Courage and Tears has a number of touching stories. A copy is available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Here is the catalog entry:
    Anders Christian Christensen Jensen (1836-1867) married Kirstine Marie Pedersen in 1857. They became Mormon converts in 1864, and in 1866 immigrated from Denmark to Brigham City, Utah. Due to the change of Danish law regarding patronymics, he used both surnames (first Christensen and later Jensen). One of their daughters, Nicolena, married Charles Frederick Nelson (1853-1913) in 1875 and lived in Brigham City. Descendants of both families lived in Utah and elsewhere. Includes ancestors in various parishes in Århus, Hjørring and Viborg counties in Denmark. Includes Burt, Hansen, Roskelley and related families.
    As a curiosity, the book tells an interesting story about Danish patronymics. Patronymics is a system for giving names. A Danish son would take his father's first name as his surname and add -sen to the end. A daughter would take her father's first name as her surname but add -datter to the end. Danish women did not take their husband's names when they married. This system started to change in the nineteenth century. Anders Christensen died when he was 30 years old. His wife lived for 50 years after that, and as was the custom in Denmark, she kept her father's name, Jensen (alternately Jensdatter). The family hereafter assumed that Jensen was the family name of her husband, which complicated their genealogical research.

    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    Merry Christmas!

    How has our family celebrated Christmas over the years? It has been a time for celebration, and also a time for starting journeys.


    James Glade, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1870s-80s

    He spent long hours at his baker’s bench, often 12 hours a day. He always had good work. He and his wives were industrious. They had a good home life.

    For special occasions like Christmas, James baked fancy cakes and candies when sugar was $1.00 a pound. The nuts had to be shelled and raisins and fruit cleaned. The family sat at the table working and whistling to keep the children from eating the nuts and fruit.


    Ove C. Oveson, Ephraim, Utah, December 1865

    This Month not much of Ennyting, I workt in Town. and tended Mitings as before Chrismas Day the Soldier Celbrated with musick and Drums & fifeyrs and Shuting to Honnor the Captain.


    John Tanner and family, Lake George, New York, and Kirtland, Ohio, December 1834-January 1835

    On Christmas day he commenced his journey, a distance of 500 miles, with all his earthly effects and in the dead of winter. He reached Kirtland about the 20th day of January 1835. On his arrival there, he learned that at the time he received the impression that he must move immediately to the body of the Church, the Prophet Joseph Smith and some of the other brethren met in prayer meeting and asked the Lord to send them a brother or some brethren with means to assist them in lifting the mortgage on the farm upon which the temple was then building. ... [Description of amounts loaned and given to the work.]... His open-heartedness was a very striking proof of his confidence in the Prophet and in the validity and importance of the work he had embraced.



    George and Ann Jarvis, Woolwich and London, England, December 1848

    While here he met Lorenzo Snow and Franklin D. Richards, Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He went home that night and told his wife what he had heard—That an Angel had appeared to Joseph Smith and that the Church had been organized as it was anciently, and now Missionaries were visiting the people, being sent out as the Apostles of Christ were.

    Ann listened intently to all he told her and then said “George, it’s True.” They were both baptized by Ira Bradshaw on Christmas 1848, in the Thames river.


    Beverly Wessman, Salt Lake City, Utah, December 1942

    Grandmother Green and May her daughter were waiting for a bus to go to the Layton family to see their Christmas. John Wessman was a friend of theirs in the 20th ward. He drove by and asked where he could take them. So he took them to the Layton home on Christmas day 1942. The Lucile and Lester Glade family was there as they always got together on Christmas morning to see each others presents and have breakfast together. John was invited in and met the families. He then took May and Grandmother to the Glade home. As I was showing off my Christmas I'd steal a glance at that good looking John and wish I could date him.


    John Wessman, Salt Lake City or Ogden, Utah, December 1929

    When I was twelve years old, I received for Christmas a small, 12-bass accordion, along with my brother Paul. He didn't enjoy it, but I learned the technique of playing it; after considerable practicing, I became accomplished with it and Wilford Kapp, a friend of mine in the same grades at the Burch Creek School, also acquired one and started to learn it. We both became able to play together, and soon joined a couple of other boys in the school to make a small orchestra; one was Jack Solomon who played the piano, and the other was Jack Everett who played drums. We become known throughout the county and were called on to perform on programs, occasionally being called to play for dances.



    James and Mary Hamilton, Paisley, Scotland, mid-1800s

    Christmas was celebrated with the same customs as here. Stockings were hung up, but the exchange of gifts was reserved for New Years Day.

    Shortly after the New Year had been heralded in, visiting one’s friends was next in order. It would have been very absurd to have gone to a home empty handed, the usual packing being: a man, a bottle of wine; the woman, a cake of shortbread. It was considered lucky to have a dark-complected and favored person first to cross the threshold....


    Elizabeth Hayward and her parents Philip and Martha Pugsley, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1850s

    At Christmas time a common gift was an apple and a homemade doll.


    Sarah Hayward, San Diego, California, December 1900

    My Dear Harry & Lizzie

    They have all gone out to the ranch; Sarah, Frances, Libbie, Ernest & the two boys so there’s a jolly crowd of them, so I preferred to stay at home and write a few letters to those who have so kindly remembered me. I thank you both for your good wishes and Christmas gifts and wish you a happy and prosperous new year. We have been having it very cold the past 3 weeks but it is warmer now and to day it is beautifull [sic], we spent Christmas at the ranch had a sucking pig, plumb pudding & ec. [sic] had a pleasant time would liked to have had more of my family with us but that could not be so we made the best of it.


    Jessie Morgan, St. Johns, Arizona, early 1900s

    We would hang up our stockings and my brothers would hang up their pants. They would tie the legs at the bottom. They got a .22 Rifle once. The card said that it was to both boys. We owned a half of a block in town and down below was just the alfalfa and over to the side was the corral and then the wood pile and then the house....

    Dad said he was going to go out and show the boys how to shoot by the poplar trees. So he told them to do just as Daddy did. They went out in the poplar trees and he was going to show them the gun and how to handle it. Just as he shot, the old milk cow, Bossy, walked out. She fell down and all her legs went up in the air and she was dead. The neighbor across the street came over and they skinned the cow and brought into the house a big chunk of meat and my mother said they could just take it out because she wasn’t going to cook old Bossy.


    The photos "Christmas 1946," "Christmas 1944," and "Ann at Christmas 1947" are from my parents' collections.

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    In the Days Before Email



    This is a 1958 letter written by Lois Jarvis Graham to her sister Margaret Jarvis Overson discussing family matters (page 1) and the Jarvis Family Organization and Reunion (page 2).



    And here is a picture of Margaret and Lois with their sisters Annie and Stella:

    Standing (L to R): Annie Prior Jarvis Overson (1880-1968), Stella Jarvis Peterson (1883-1974), Lois Jarvis Graham (1894-1985). Sitting: Margaret Jarvis Overson (1878-1968).

    They all had large families. Margaret had one daughter and eight sons, Annie had nine sons and three daughters, Stella had nine daughters and three sons, and Lois had four daughters and three sons.

    Margaret, Annie, and Stella spent most of their lives in St. Johns, Arizona. Lois accompanied her mother Margaret Jarvis to Salt Lake City for obstetrical training and later returned there to nursing school and married a Scottish returned missionary named Hugh Graham and, as far as I can tell, spent much of the rest of her life in Salt Lake City.

    Friday, December 18, 2009

    Southern Star Obituary for John Morgan


    It is with profound reverence and sorrow that record is here made of the death of Elder John Morgan. He may justly be termed the father of the Southern States Mission. Through the storms and tribulation of twelve years, he served the mission with fervent zeal and untiring devotion. To his remarkable tact, his manly attributes, and his ability as a ruler among men, the Southern States Mission owes largely the glory of its present attainments, and the name of Elder John Morgan shall forever stand first and foremost upon the pages of its roll of honor. The death of this worth servant of God occurred in August last, and a report of the sad event should have been engrafted in the record for that month.

    The Deseret Evening News has the following obituary:

    It is with feelings of deep sorrow that we make the announcement of the death of Elder John Morgan, of the Presiding Council of the Seventies. The sad news will come with great and sudden force upon the people, for notwithstanding the fact that Elder Morgan has been seriously ill for about five weeks past, his demise was unexpected until a very short time before it occurred. He was suffering from typhoid malaria, which culminated in his death at 5:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon, Aug. 14th, 1895 [Ed.—it was 1894], at Preston, Idaho. During his illness he received careful nursing and medical attention, but the body worn by toil and anxiety was overcome by the added burden of the disease which assailed it, and the spirit took its flight from mortality.

    "Elder John Morgan was but five days over 52 years of age, having been born near Greensburg, Decatur county, Indiana, Aug. 8th, 1842. His parents were Garrard Morgan and Eliza Ann Huntington [Hamilton] Morgan. During the war of the rebellion, which broke out when he was 18 years of age, he joined the Union army, and served with honor and distinction, participating in several of the most important battles. Coming to Utah at the close of the war, he was soon engaged as an instructor in the University [inaccurate], when that institution was conducted in the Council House. Later he established the Morgan Commercial College, on First South street, in the building now occupied by the Morgan hotel.

    "On Nov. 26th, 1867, he became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some years later he responded to a call as a missionary to the Southern States, which position he filled with ability and zeal.

    "He was next appointed to the Presidency of the Southern States Mission, and in that capacity his devotion and energy in spreading the Gospel made for him a bright and enduring record. On the 7th of October, 1884, he was selected as one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies, in which position he labored with diligence and faithfulness up to the time of his being stricken down. He also has held other positions of importance in the community, having been a member of the Utah Legislature and Speaker of its House of Representatives.

    "Elder Morgan was a man of strict probity and honor. Possessed of keen intellectual power and marked personal courage, he was an able, fearless expounder of Gospel truths; especially were these virtues exhibited during his long Presidency of the Southern States Mission, at a time when in that section of country feelings were high against the Latter-day Saints. His ministrations were attended with power, and to the last his energies were earnestly devoted to the cause of truth which he had espoused. He has done much traveling and preaching among the Saints during the closing years of his life. In his death a true and good man has been called away, and the hearts of all Israel will be bowed in sorrow with his family at the departure from our midst of a beloved servant of God.

    "At the funeral services, which were attended by an immense concourse of people, Elders B.H. Roberts, J.G. Kimball, C.D. Fjested [sic], George Goddard, John Henry Smith, Seymour B. Young and President George Q. Cannon spoke. The remaining six members of the Council of the Seventies acted as pallbearers."

    John Morgan was a marvelous man in many respects. It can truthfully be said that he made "footprints in the sands of time." Elder J. Golden Kimball in a sermon preached in April, 1899, made the following remarks concerning Elder Morgan:

    "I picked up a Chattanooga Times one morning, and I was very much delighted to see in print these words, speaking of Elder John Morgan. It said: 'To shake his hand was to be his friend.' I have never forgotten it. When you shook John Morgan's hand and he looked into your face you always knew that you were his friend."


    Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 2, No. 10, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, February 3, 1900, pp 73-74.  

    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    Life in the Dark Ages, Part II


    Long ago I told a story about a cow, as I remembered my grandmother telling it. ("Life in the Dark Ages.") I used the names "Bert and Ethel" for the relatives in the story, but as I found out this evening while going through a hard drive full of genealogical information scanned by my father, their names were Viola and Clyde...

    This is a funny little story about the pursuit of simple entertainment on a quiet evening "out" during the earlier days in St. Johns:

    Frequently my Mother and Dad (Viola Forrest and Clyde Charles Overson, Sr.) would go to the movies, as it (the movie) changed about once a week here. The old movie-house used to be down from the Whiting's Motel. There were no street lights then, and you know how very black it gets at night; so they would leave before dark and it was after dark before they came home. On the walk home they had to pass Uncle Henry's house (Henry Christian Overson). His corral was right next to the sidewalk. (This was not unusual, because all of us who lived in town kept our milk cows and our horses with us, and our farms were out beyond the town of course). And I wouldn't say all the time, but frequently, Uncle Henry's cows would bed-down right there on the sidewalk.

    This night, Mother and Dad were walking home as usual from the movie, when all of the sudden, Mom fell flat over this cow of Uncle Henry's! Before she even knew what had happened, the poor cow was getting up and she found herself sitting in the street. I suppose it was a rather rude awakening for the cow... what would you do if a big woman fell on top of you? Well, Mother wasn't hurt, although I am sure her feelings were, and her pride. It must have frightened her, too.

    To my knowledge, no one ever complained to Uncle Henry about how his cows were all out in the street like that. It was a way of life, that was just the way it was. Uncle Henry's cows were always out on the sidewalk and we knew it.

    Phelps, Arla May Overson. "A Collection of Early Memories," July 29, 1986, St. Johns, Arizona, p 1.

    Photo of the cow's eye from www.flickr.com/photos/foxypar4/918567682/.

    History of the Southern States Mission, Part 34: John Morgan Finishes His Service

    The year 1888 forms an interesting epoch in the history of the Southern States Mission. Elder John Morgan, who for ten years had presided over the Mission, was honorably released from his labors by President Wilford Woodruff. The same may be truthfully said of him as was said of Alfred the Great. He left the Mission "better, happier and wiser, in all ways, than he found it." By his untiring efforts large numbers of Saints had emigrated to the stakes of Zion, branches of the Church had been built up in the south [sic], and a larger force of earnest workers were laboring in the field than at any time previous. Elder William Spry [future governor of Utah, as I've mentioned a time or two], who had been honorably released from his labors as President of the Georgia Conference to assist in the office at Chattanooga, was called to succeed President Morgan, and on January 4th the affairs of the Mission were placed in his charge. Everything was propitious for a successful year's work. The Elders were contented in their labors and their health was exceedingly good.

    Jealousy arose in Western Tennessee because of the success of Elder R.A. Shipp; he was severely beaten by six men, who inflicted forty strokes with a barrel stave. The brutal fellows endeavored to exact a promise from him that he would leave the country, but failed. A few baptisms were reported during the month, and in some instances there were prospects for more.

    The month of February was uneventful. Names from Saints were coming in who desired to emigrate, and the arrangements were being perfected. President Spry visited the Elders laboring near Augusta, Ga., and found them vigorously pursuing their labors. After a few days' visit he returned to headquarters to meet a company of Elders. Toward the latter part of the month there was considerable threatening, and in some cases mobs were organized, but no violence was done.

    During the months of March the Elders prosecuted their work in peace. Many of them assisted the Saints in preparing to go west, and through the untiring efforts of all, many were rewarded for their diligence. Elder William J. Woodbury returned home, having filled an honorable mission. The new Elders started for their fields of labor with a determination to do their duty and fill honorable missions, and with but one or two exceptions the Lord blessed them and gave them health. The month closed as it began—quiet.

    April opened with great activity in preparing for emigrants, and on the 3d instant 177 Saints, in charge of Elders Morgan and Spry, left Chattanooga; 133 went to the settlements in Colorado, the remainder to points in Utah. The trip was a pleasant one and all reached their destination enjoying perfect health. Early in the month Elder Elias S. Wright was taken from his bed into the woods, where he was threatened vehemently, and a rope was placed around his neck and thrown over a limb. Elder Wright talked earnestly with the mob upon the unchristian act, and finally was released unharmed. The hearts of the men were softened, and after the Elder had explained to them the Gospel they were as willing to assist him as they were formerly to punish him.

    In May President Spry returned from the west, bringing Elders Shepherd and E.T. Wooley, the latter having previously taken Elder Royal Gardner home. Each was assigned a field of labor, and attention was then turned to the affairs of the Mission. Some baptisms were reported during the month, and the Elders were meeting with fair success; as a natural result persecution increased, the adherents of the "isms" could not stand to see their numbers decreased, and this despised sect grow, so they resorted to the method that has been the only successful weapon used against truth and reason—brute force.

    Early in July President Spry visited the Georgia Conference, calling on the Saints in Polk county. He held a series of meetings and made many new friends. After leaving here he proceeded to Augusta, Ga., and remained several days with Elders Bunnion, Smith and Van Leuven. Much good resulted from the visit with these brethren, and President Spry was elated with the prospects. Shortly after the return to Chattanooga, a company of thirty-three Saints started for Manassas [sic], Colorado, where they arrived safely on the 23d inst. Toward the close of the month a circular was sent to the Elders, advising them to be very cautious not to stir up the people, as most of their serious persecutions came in this season. The work of the Elders was confined principally among Saints and friends, much good being done. Some sickness was reported in the Mission, and Elder Loyd was obliged to leave for home because of his ill-health.


    Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 38, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, August 19, 1899, pp 297-98. 

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    Mary Sutton's Death

    This document is from my father's collection of family memorabilia and papers. It shows information about Mary Ellison Sutton at the time of her baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), as well as the witness (John Ashcroft—the only one I can find is here, but it's a little difficult to search for someone of that name), the missionary who baptized her (William Houghton—perhaps the father-in-law mentioned in this obituary), and the missionary who confirmed her (John Bradshaw).

    The reason I am posting the certificate here, is because in the center of the document, some child of the Suttons (probably Ellen since her certificate is in the same collection) wrote, in pen:
    Died Nov 20 1869
    Father Died March 4 1865
    This is the date that is found in the newspaper notice of Mary's death and which contradicts the information found in New Family Search and elsewhere.

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    History of the Southern States Mission, Part 33

    For more information on the attack on John Morgan mentioned later in this post, see the Ancestral Ties post "1887, September Southern States Conference."

    On June 1, 1887, President Morgan returned from the West and began making preparations for the emigration of a company of 120 Saints, who were to leave Chattanooga on the 14th instant. Arrangements were perfected and the company, in charge of President Morgan, left on the above date.

    About the middle of the month a party of rough men entered the house where Elders Spencer and Bennion were holding meeting and disturbed those present by their boisterous conduct. Elder Bennion accompanied a friend home, and when they approached the crowd, who were quarreling, Elder Bennion was struck a severe blow, which rendered him unconscious. On his recovery he thanked Maddox, who had hit him, that it was not more serious, and entreated his friends not to resent. The Elder's quiet demeanor won the respect of all present and no other violence was felt in the vicinity. Elders Barlow and Ruby, of the Mississippi Conference, were surprised by a mob, who detained them eleven hours, but after much threatening they were allowed to depart unhurt.

    July was a very unpleasant month. There was considerable sickness among the Elders, and as is usually the case in this month, there was a lot of threatening indulged in by the mobocratic element, which in some cases materialized. In Augusta, Ga., persecution was very bitter, but the Elders were comforted and preserved by the power of God. Elder Richard Hartness, a local Elder of South Carolina, was unmercifully whipped and driven out of York county. Notwithstanding the threats and strained circumstances, considerable good was done during the month, a goodly number of baptisms were recorded and persecution created more and more the desire to gather to Zion.

    The month of August was very hot and unhealthy, but by following counsel the health of the Elders improved. The work of the Elders was principally confined to Saints, who were built up, encouraged and strengthened in the work of the Lord. Arrangements were made to hold council meeting with the various conferences and the health of the Elders being usually good, an enjoyable time was anticipated. By the first of September reports were in from all the conferences, showing a gratifying increase in the number of baptisms over the years previous.

    On the 10th and 11th of September the Mississippi Conference convened. Council meetings were held both days and all the Elders presented their views in relation to their labors and received timely instructions from President Morgan. The meetings were a complete success. The Elders were encouraged and left for their fields of labor with renewed determination to warn the people and present to them the glorious Gospel truths.

    The West Tennessee Conference was held on the 17th and 18th, in Lawrence county. The meetings on Saturday were well attended and a good spirit prevailed, but on Sunday when President Morgan arose to speak he as assaulted by one Gilbert, who attempted to hit him with a crutch, but owing to the force of the blow being broken, President Morgan easily caught the crutch with one hand. After other fruitless attempts the villain and his associates withdrew. [The Life and Ministry of John Morgan (p 446) identifies this event as happening in Ilutts School House, Cowpers Creek, Alabama. I can't find a place of that name in either Alabama or Tennessee.] The Alabama Conference (24th and 25th) passed pleasantly. Owing to the great amount of territory it was deemed advisable to divide the conference; accordingly President W.J. Woodbury went into the southern part of the state and also opened work in Northern Florida. Another Elder was selected to preside over the north. Several baptisms were recorded during the month and prospects bid fair for a good work being accomplished during the coming season.

    On the 1st and 2d of October President Morgan met the Elders of the Georgia Conference. Elder A.R. Smith was called to preside over the conference as successor to Elder William Spry [future mission president (1888-91) and governor of Utah (1909-1917)], whose time was to be solely devoted to the work in the office at Chattanooga. A good spirit prevailed throughout the conference. The East Tennessee Conference was held at Baird's Mill, Wilson county, on the 9th and 10th. Reports were so favorable it was decided to divide the conference, and thus the Middle Tennessee Conference was created. These conferences were in better condition than they had been for years, and a spirit of love and union was felt among the Saints and Elders. When the Virginia Elders assembled at Irish Creek it was decided to separate Maryland from the Virginia Conference and Elder Henry W. Miller was called to preside. From here President Morgan went to Jarrold's Valley, West Virginia, where he met the Elders on the 22d and 23d of the month. A gloom was cast over the assembly by the sad news of the demise of Elder J.E. Johnson's wife. Good instructions were given by President Morgan and the conference was left in excellent working order. The North Carolina Conference convened on the 29th and 30th. Few attended the meetings, as nine inches of snow had just fallen. The last of the conferences, South Carolina, was visited Nov. 5 and 6. Large crowds attended all the public meetings and a good spirit was felt. Elders were counselled to move out into new fields. Much energy was expended in preparing for the emigration of some Saints, and on Nov. 22 146 Saints and 16 Elders went to Zion.

    Nothing of a striking nature transpired in December until the 23d inst., when Elders Milo Hendricks and John W. Tate, of the Virginia Conference, were assaulted by Jack Ramsey on the line of Augusta and Rock Bridge, in the neighborhood of Irish Creek. The Elders were making their way from Stony River to some Saints' homes, and in passing along the road were accosted by Ramsey and two young men, who prohibited them from proceeding further on the road. The Elders turned and went another road; in the meantime Ramsey and the boys took a path through the woods and again threatened the Elders. The brethren turned to take still another road, when Ramsey fired both barrels of his gun, the first only taking effect. Sixteen shot were found in Elder Tate's leg and six in Elder Hendricks'. The Elders had a hard task in reaching the home of friends, where their wounds could be dressed.

    This year closed with the most encouraging results. New and fruitful fields had been opened and the future seemed brighter than ever before. The growth of the work was realized and a large number of Elders came in the months of November and December. The health of Elders was good. They were energetic in promulgating the principles of the Gospel and there were more workers in the vineyard than at any time previous.


    Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 37, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, August 12, 1899, pp 289-90. The picture of Irish Creek Valley in Virginia from www.flickr.com/photos/jakehall/2465415618/.

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    The Deaths of John and Mary Sutton


    John Sutton's obituary as found in the Deseret News (April 12, 1865). It says:
    In Nephi, Juab county, March 4, of lung fever, JOHN SUTTON, formerly of Parr, Lancashire, England, aged 77 years, 1 month and 15 days.
    Deceased embraced the gospel in England, in 1851, emigrated to Utah in 1853; was ordained a High Priest in 1857. Brother Sutton assisted many saints to emigrate, and was very much respected by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. He truly lived and died a saint indeed, and leaves a much respected family. [COM.
    [Mil. Star please copy.
    This date agrees with the family records. "Mil. Star please copy" means that this is news that the Millennial Star, the church newspaper published in England, should pick up and print to inform members and missionaries in England of the death. I can't find a mention of his death in the 1865 or 1866 Millennial Star.


    The death notice in the Deseret News (December 15, 1869) for Mary Sutton is near the bottom of the second column above the word "Obituary." It reads:
    DIED suddenly on the 20th of Nov., at the residence of Elder A.F. McDonald, Provo, Mary, relict of the late John Sutton, of Nephi, aged 71 years.
    This directly contradicts a death date of 24 November found in her biography, in family files, in Family Search, and in New Family Search. Anyone have a death certificate?

    Who is A.F. McDonald (or MacDonald)? He also shows up in repeated notices for the estate of John Sutton, for example:


     It says:
    Adminstrators' Notice!

    Having been appointed by the Probate Court of Juab County, Administrators of the Estate of the late JOHN SUTTON, of Nephi City, Juab County, U.T.:

    We hereby give notice to all persons having claims against said Estate to present them for payment, and those knowing themselves indebted to said Estate are requested to settle immediately.

    Communications addressed to A.F. MacDonald, Provo City, U.T.

    Mrs. MARY E. SUTTON,
    A. F. MACDONALD.

    June 1st, 1868.

    I can't find an A.F. MacDonald in the Sutton or Ellison family. Family Search only finds one A.F. McDonald in Utah, and he would have been 13 in 1868. But a Google search easily finds the following:


    He was a Scottish convert and he was the manager of the Provo Tithing Office during the 1860s.

    Before that, he had been the President of the Liverpool Conference of the Church, which is undoubtedly where the Sutton family had gotten to know and trust this man and his family. The MacDonald website is well designed and easy to read.

    So to recap:
    • John and Mary Sutton emigrated from Lancashire, England, to Utah in 1853 with their seven living children.
    • John died twelve years later in 1865 in Nephi, Utah, at the age of 77.
    • Mary died in 1869 in Provo, Utah, at the age of 70 at the home of A.F. Macdonald. Her death date needs to be confirmed.

    Friday, December 11, 2009

    Morgan 23: Mary Ellison Sutton

    Mary Ellison Sutton was born at Welsh Whittle, Chorley, Lancashire, England on August 13, 1799 a daughter of Adam Ellison and Ellen Glover. She married John Sutton and to them were born eight children, seven of whom lived to adulthood and came to America for the Church. She was baptized a member of the L.D.S. Church on January 12, 1851 by John Ashcroft at Parr, Lancashire, England. Her brother, James Ellison, joined the church the same time as her husband, John Sutton, on March 8th of the same year. At that time her husband was the owner of a store.




    In 1853 on February 13th, the family sailed for America to join the Saints. They sailed on the ship "Elvira Owens," and came across the plains with the company of Captain Joseph W. Young, traveling as an independent detachment using their own means. John and Mary with all seven of their children having with them three wagons, one carriage, two horses, nineteen oxen and three cows. They camped September 22, 1853, at the Big Sandy in Wyoming. After arriving in Salt Lake Valley they lived for a while in the 13th Ward. Later they moved to Nephi, Juab County, and there Mary Ellison Sutton died November 24, 1869.

    Written by Frank A. Johnson, a great grandson.


    [Chorley, where Mary was born, is the location of the Preston England Temple. The pictures were taken by me or my husband in and near Chorley and Preston, England.]

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Morgan 22: John Sutton

    John Sutton, son of Henry Sutton and Sarah Yates, was born January 19, 1788 at Billinge, Lancashire, England. His father had a large farm where he was raised. He had two older brothers, Peter and Henry, and two younger brothers, William and Robert, along with two older sisters, Ann and Mary.


    He married Mary Ellison, a daughter of Adam Ellison and Ellen Glover, of Welsh Whittle, Chorley, Lancashire. She was christened August 13, 1799. To them were born eight children, seven who lived to adulthood. Their fifth child Henry died while young. The other children are Ann, Sarah, Ellen, Mary, Alice, Peter and Henry John.

    Mary Ellison Sutton and her older children were baptized members of the L.D.S. Church on January 12, 1851 by John Ashcroft, and her husband joined the Church March 8th of the same year. They were living at that time at 220 Parr Stocks, Parr, St. Helens, where John ran a grocery store and Ann, age 22, the oldest daughter, helped him. Sarah, age 20, worked making straw hats. Ellen was living at this time with an uncle, Joseph Greenough, a coal proprietor. They left England for Utah, sailing on the ship, "Elvira Owens," February 15, 1853, and came across the plains with the company of Captain Joseph W. Young, traveling as an independent detachment using their own means. John and Mary with all seven of their children, having with them three wagons, one carriage, two horses, nineteen oxen, and three cows. They camped September 22, 1853, at the Big Sandy in Wyoming. The following is a statement written by Henry Pugh, the secretary of the Company to President Brigham Young on this date.
    Difficulties we are now encountering in the want of grass and the consequent daily loss of some cattle, 13 gave out on the 20th and 5 or 6 yesterday.
    They arrived in Salt Lake Valley in October, 1853. John Sutton was ordained a High Priest by Heber C. Kimball in 1855.

    John and Mary with some of their children moved to Nephi, Juab County where they remained the rest of their lives. John died March 4, 1865 and Mary died August 13, 1869.
    Ann Sutton married Charles Langson
    Sarah Sutton married James Holiday Durney
    Ellen Sutton married Samuel Linton
    Mary Sutton married George Goddard
    Alice Sutton married Thomas Naylor
    Peter Sutton married Mary Duncan Park
    Henry John Sutton married Emaline Louise Knowles

    From this wonderful couple came many descendants who are faithful members of the church.

    Written by Frank A. Johnson, a great grandson.

    Friday, December 4, 2009

    Morgan 14 & 15: David Nathan Thomas and Adeline Springthorpe Thomas


    David Narhan [Nathan] Thomas was born on the twenty-third of August, 1820, in Comorganshire [Carmarthenshire], Southwales [Wales]. He was the son of David Thomas and Sarah Nathan.

    David Thomas was a weaver by trade. He had a wife and four children. One son, John, died of small-pox at the age of twenty. With the exception of David Nathan, none of the family joined the Mornom [sic] Church. The wife and mother of David Nathan was very bitter toward the church, and had nothing to do with her son after he joined it.

    David Nathan Thomas had a wife and four children at the time he joined the church. His wife, Mary Howell, was a sufferer of T.B. Since the doctors advised them not to make the long trip to America, they waited for fifteen years, hoping that the wife would get strong enough to make the trip to Zion, in order to be with the Saints. During this time, their home was always open to the elders. Many found rest and comfort there. The family's great wish for their mother was never realized. When David Nathan was ready to come, he made the trip with his four motherless children.


    The Saints on board the ship were very kind to David and his family. One young woman especially helped care for the children, and at the same time she brought joy to David. After the long voyage on the water and the long tiresome trek across the States, the woman, Frances Springthrop [Adeline Springthorpe], and David Nathan were married. The marriage took place on Frances' [Adeline's] twenty-seventh birthday, the same day they reached Nephi, Utah, on September 5th, 1862. [As I mentioned before, this date is before their wagon train reached Utah. And, to make things more complicated, David Thomas was probably also married to Frances Springthorpe Hewitt (1832-1879), relation to Adeline unknown.]

    To this union two children, Frances Ann and David John, were born. Frances Ann was born in Nephi, Utah, on the fourth of May, 1864, and David John was born in Knosh [Kanosh], Utah, on the fourth of November 1866 [1865?]. The family lived in Knosh [Kanosh] for about ten years, and then they moved to Circleville, where they lived until Frances Ann was seventeen years old, when Brigham Young called David Nathan to help settle Arizona. [Brigham Young must have called from beyond the grave, since he died in 1877.] They reached St. Johns in November, 1882.

    David Nathan Thomas was ordained a High Priest on the thirty-first of December, 1887, by E.N. Freeman. He was a black-smith by trade, a good provider, and a true Latter Day Saint. He died in August, 1888.

    Frances Springthrop [Adeline Springthorpe] was the daughter of James and Frances Springthrop. She was born in Lestershire [Leicestershire], England, on September 5th, 1837. [The date seems to be right even though the name is wrong!] Her mother was blind for years before her death. Frances sacrificed her chances of marriage and devoted her time to taking care of her mother. Before her mother died, she counseled her daughter many times to draw her money from the emigrant saving fund as soon as she had passed on, and to go and live among the saints in Zion. She carried out her mother's wish and left for America soon after her mother died.

    Frances [Adeline] was an excellent cook and house-keeper and a good Latter-Day Saint. She died in Manti, Utah, on March, 1891.


    Anonymous. "Biography of David Nathan Thomas." Take the information in this record with a grain of salt.

    Pictures of David Nathan Thomas and Adeline Springthorpe Thomas from family collections.