Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Morgan 2: Harold Morgan, Part V

On March 28 of the following year Jessie and I were married at her home, the ceremony being performed by President David K. Udall. The same afternoon we left on our honeymoon to Salt Lake City. We spent our first night in Hunt at the insistence of my mother. This incident we both have many times regretted. At Holbrook we took the train. What a wonderful trip.

In Denver we boarded a ‘rubber-neck’ bus for a tour of the city. Enroute we had our picture taken. We bought a print, but much to our regret in later years it became lost or misplaced. When we left St. Johns we thought we were dressed in the best of fashion. The picture certainly deluded us of any thoughts along this line. My hat came up to a peak and Jessie’s hat, the best in Whiting’s store [in St. Johns] was hardly the latest Paris fashion. The whole affair has given us many a good laugh.

When we boarded the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad that evening, the porter recreased my hat and shined my shoes. While traveling over Tennessee Pass of the Continental Divide, our Pullman and two coaches ran off the track but did not overturn. It gave us quite a fright but in two or three hours we were again on our way.

On arrival in Provo we went to the home of Jessie’s sister and brother-in-law, Andy and Addie Gibbons. They had three lovely children. [Eventually five, including Francis Gibbons, author and former member of the Council of the Seventy.] We were there a few days and then went on to Salt Lake City. We took rooms in the old Morgan hotel, which had greatly deteriorated since my father built it.

The Salt Lake Temple in 1912.

Our marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple April 8. Officiating was Alvin Smith, a son of Church President Joseph F. Smith. It was an all day session. The following day we returned to Provo, spent two days there. Then short of funds but long on love we started our return to Arizona. Andy Gibbons tried to persuade us to stay in Provo and go to the Brigham Young University, but for some reason which we still haven’t figured out, we rejected the offer.

Never will I forget the long two day and night ride. We had nothing to eat the last day but peanut butter sandwiches. It was a long time after this before I could stomach peanut butter. On arrival in Holbrook I cashed a check. However, we had a lousy breakfast and we were glad to get out of there. On arrival in St. Johns we rented what had been the family home of the Udalls for many years. I went back to work on The Observer. While there may have been many disappointments and frustrations, I recall few of them. All I remember is that we had much fun raising a small garden, consisting largely of summer squash. For this I still have a hankering.

Marinus and Francis Christensen

The next year on May 2 our beautiful baby Helen was born in the home of Father Christensen. [“Father Christensen” was Jessie’s father Marinus Christensen, the town blacksmith.] Harking to the advice of some of the Udalls we secured the services of Dr. Garland Pace, their osteopath son-in-law. It turned out he knew little about obstetrics. Jessie after being in labor about 16 hours was delivered with instruments by Dr. T.J. Bouldin. Except for a few head abrasions, the baby was fine but Jessie hovered between life and death for more than two weeks. After about two months she was finally well enough to return home. During Jessie’s confinement John H. Udall’s wife Ruth, died during an operation in Los Angeles. [John Hunt Udall was a son of David King Udall. He married Ruth Woolley Kimball on 5 June 1912. She was President Spencer W. Kimball’s sister.] Shortly after we accepted his invitation to live in his newly built home on the hill overlooking the town.

That same year I purchased The Observer from Montross. Jessie often came to the office with the baby. On publication day she would feed the papers into the press while I set type by hand for the next issue.

One day while attempting to show her something about the operation, my left hand in which I held some type was caught in the press. The type saved my hand from being crushed, but it was badly lacerated. The impact crushed the knuckle.

To be continued...

Photo of the Pullman Coach from wikipedia.
Photo of the Salt Lake Temple from: Frederick Converse Beach and George Edwin Rines. The Americana; A Universal Reference Library, Comprising the Arts and Sciences, Literature, History, Biography, Geography, Commerce, Etc., of the World. New York: Scientific American compiling department, 1912.
Photo of zucchini from flickr.com/photos/yashima/2545504317/.

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