Friday, May 1, 2009

Where did John Morgan Die?

In Matthias Cowley's home in Preston, Idaho:

As I understand it, John Morgan went to Preston, Idaho, to visit his third wife, Mary Morgan, who was in hiding there due to the polygamous persecutions of the time, and to see their three sons, Linton, Harold, and one-month-old Mathias Cowley Morgan. Mary must have been staying with the Cowleys.

While in Preston, Morgan suffered an attack of “Typho-Malarial fever”, probably a relapse of malaria due to infection during his service as a Union soldier in the South or during his time as President of the Southern States Mission. He died at the age of 52, leaving three families, one in Salt Lake City, where he had established his college; one in Manassa, Colorado, where he had settled so many converts from the Southern States Mission; and the family in Preston, who returned at that point to live with Mary’s parents in Nephi, Utah.

Matthias Cowley served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve from 1896 to 1911. He was removed from the Quorum for opposing the Manifesto (termination of the practice of plural marriage). Almost a decade after John Morgan's death, Cowley reportedly performed the post-Manifesto plural marriage of Morgan's widow Mary Linton Morgan to David King Udall. I have seen the location of this marriage listed as being performed either in Preston, Idaho, or in Mexico.

(The information on the Cowley home is thanks to a reader's comment on my very favorite Mormon history blog and subsequent email communication from the commenter and kind blog owner. The address of the Cowley home is 110 South 100 East. The commenter also mentioned that John Morgan's infantry unit "barely missed going with Sherman on his march to the sea." [Email communication, April 30, 2009.])


  1. Thanks for some interesting details that I didn't know.

  2. When you showed the pictures of John Morgan's gravestone, I was wondering where he died. Is he also buried in Idaho?

  3. John Morgan was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. I assume his wives were also buried there. I will ask the descendant who emailed the photos of the gravestones and then put that information in that post.

    Right now, I'm working on a post about the Morgan monument located at 257 South Main Street in Salt Lake.