Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The John Morgan Monument

John Morgan died in August 1894 at the early age of 52. His death was a shock to his wives and children and associates. He left his families in impoverished circumstances and they were not able to afford a gravestone to mark his grave. The missionaries who served under their beloved mission president took up a collection to put a monument on his grave. Unfortunately, there is no picture of the marker in findagrave. The University of Utah photo collection has a photo but it is not online. Anyone in Salt Lake City want to take a nice springtime drive to the cemetery to locate the grave?

This letter was published in the Deseret News (February 18, 1899 and November 25, 1899) and the Southern Star (March 4, 1899).

The John Morgan Monument

For some years there has been more or less talk among the Elders who labored in the southern states under the presidency of the late Elder John Morgan, of erecting a monument over his grave as a token of their esteem for the man they learned to love. At last the matter has taken definite form, as will appear from the communication addressed by the brethren signing it to the Elders who labored under Elder Morgan’s presidency:

To all Elders Who Labored in the Southern States Mission Under the Presidency of Elder John Morgan:

Dear Brethren—For some time past a number of prominent Elders connected with the southern states mission during the long presidency of the late Elder John Morgan have been considering the propriety of manifesting in some way or other their regard for him and perpetuating his memory to future generations. Recently it became known to some of them that the First Council of Seventy contemplated the erection of a tombstone over his grave, and that they had made an appropriation for that purpose. The amount appropriated by the council was the same as that appropriated for a like purpose in the case of other such presidents who have died. But as this amount would only be sufficient for the erection of the plainest kind of a tombstone it was thought by some of the Elders who had labored in the south under Elder Morgan’s presidency that if it was only known that a tombstone was to be erected over the remains of their beloved president that they would not only be willing but anxious to make a contribution that in the aggregate would so swell the amount appropriated by the First Council of Seventies as to erect a more pretentious monument to perpetuate the memory of this great missionary president. Accordingly it was determined to afford them such an opportunity; and after consultation with, and approval of those rightfully concerned in the case a committee was appointed to take the matter in hand.

B.H. Roberts, J.G. Kimball, William Spry, Elias S. Kimball and Ben E. Rich were made the committee.

The plan of procedure of the committee is very simply. The object is to give all the Elders who labored under Elder Morgan in the south—from January, 1878, when he took the oversight of the mission, to January 4th, 1888, when he was honorably released—an opportunity to express their regard for the man under whose direction and wise counsel so many hundreds labored in the southern states mission during those years that were so fraught with many dangers to the servants of God and bitter prejudice against the message with which they were commissioned.

A letter, therefore, setting forth this purpose has been sent to as many of the Elders who labored under Elder Morgan’s presidency whose present addresses can be ascertained, asking them to contribute what they may seem proper for the purpose of erecting a suitable monument over his grave.

Elder J.G. Kimball has been appointed treasurer of the fund, and all remittances should be promptly forwarded to him. His address is No. 36 East First North street, Salt Lake City. After a reasonable time has been granted to afford all an opportunity to contribute, such funds as may have accumulated in the hands of the committee will be employed in the erection of the monument contemplated.

We do not feel called upon the [sic] urge the worthiness of the late Elder John Morgan to be thus remembered; his lasting friendship and devotion to the Elders who labored with him in the south are remembered by all those who were so fortunate; and to afford them this opportunity to perpetuate his memory in the way proposed is all sufficient to secure the necessary response.

In consequence of so many of the Elders who labored under Elder Morgan having changed their addresses since they were released from the South, this letter is published in the “News,” and all those who become acquainted with the matter in this way, but who may fail to receive a letter upon the subject because of the inability of the committee to locate them, we ask them to consider this published letters [sic] addressed to them personally and respond accordingly.

Truly your brethren,

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 14, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, March 4, 1899, p 112.

No comments:

Post a Comment