Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Adding Information about John Morgan's Wives to His Grave Marker

Bessie at Ancestral Ties is heading an effort to add information about John Morgan's wives to the back of his grave marker. The missionaries from the Southern States raised money to have this marker engraved and placed on their former mission president's grave.

See Bessie's post about the project (John Hamilton Morgan gravestone, October 2010) and her post about donating to help fund the project (John Morgan Salt Lake Cemetery Plot).

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The John Tanner Daguerreotype [Update February 26, 2012]

Since there is a lot of interest in a picture recently posted online and reported to be a daguerreotype of John Tanner, and since I have had a number of requests from Tanner relatives, I will be writing and posting an extended article about the daguerreotype at the end of this week [Feb 23:] beginning of next week. [Update, February 26:] This will probably be a multi-day post, from March 5th through the 9th. Once I started writing the post, it got longer and longer, and there is a lot of material to cover, and is too much to try to condense into one day.

John Tanner lived at Lake George, New York, before he and his family joined the Church and moved West. Shown above is a view of Lake George as painted by Marie-Francois-Regis Gignoux. The picture was provided to Wikipedia by the Brooklyn Museum, which owns the 1868 work.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sketch of Roseinia Sylvester Jarvis, Part 4

St. George Temple. From Wikipedia.

When the persecutions became so great against those who had taken more than one wife, and after Father's return from his Mission, he was arrested by the U.S. Marshalls and told to appear at Beaver for the September Term of Court. My brother Orin and myself were also suppoened [sic] to appear at the same time as well as Aunt Rose. When the time came, my Father was very critically ill, and a Doctor's Certificate had to be sent telling them of his severe illness and excusing him from attending Court, but the rest of us had to go. My brother Orin, a lad of twelve years of age, and inexperienced at driving a team acted as teamster, driving a pair of young animals fresh from the Range, and with Aunt Rose’s Assistance at driving, we finally arrived in Beaver, after many exciting experiences. Once can imagine the chagrin and embarrassment of appearing before a room full of men—the Grand Jury, who quizzed and questioned all sorts of “flings” at her as well as to each of us in turn but alone in the room with the Jury. It was surely a very trying time, and we all tried to forget it as much as possible, but the memories are still as fresh in my mind now as it was then at that time.

After her health failed her and she had to give up teaching, she devoted most of her time to Research and Temple Work. She was called to be an Ordinance Worker in the St. George Temple in the Spring of 1908, and she worked there until sickness overtook her and confined her to her bed in November of 1912. In the meantime, she had decided to sell her home on Main Street, and she moved to the house across the street from her husband's home,—the old Second Ward School-house, which my husband, E. D. Seegmiller had worked over into a dwelling house for us after his return from his mission to Germany, and which we lived in until 1908, when we moved to the part of town where we are now living. She used the means received  from the sale of her home for furthering the Research and Temple Work which she was so interested in, and which she devoted her later years in accomplishing. She also made it possible for her Kinsfolk to assist her in the work, even after she had passed on, or until the names she had gathered of her Ancestry, had all been taken care of at the Temple, and their work all been done.

Along with her education, in her later years, she attended Summer School at the B.Y.U. where she studied music and painting along with other studies, thus showing that she had a love for the cultural Arts and Beauty.

After the completion of the Washington Field Dam, and the higher ground was then available for cultivation, my Father procured some land under the new canal that was built around what was formerly called "Dry Lake", but which was included in the new field. As he had been so critically ill after his return from his mission, and his health was far from being what it should be, he was not able to get out and work as he had formerly done, so, in order to procure the necessary machinery for him to run his farm, Aunt Rose furnished him with the necessary funds or means, which she had procured from her teaching, thus enabling him to go on and till and cultivate his newly acquired ground to raise his crops. This showed her great generosity and big-heartedness in assisting those in need, and that was just a sample of what her life was always with her family and her husband's family, as well as her husband.

As was stated before, she was taken ill in November of 1912, and confined to her bed. She had been troubled with what was called, "Addison's Disease of the Kidneys" for four years previous to this, but at this time the disease appeared to be getting the upper hand of her condition, and she died on January 1, 1913, at the age of nearly fifty-six years, just lacking one month and a few days.

Although in her life, she was not blessed with children of her own, and which was a constant sorrow and regret to her, yet it did not deter her or keep her from doing for and showing to others that she was able to take a "mother's" part to others in need of such care, and she is remembered for her great love and kindness in this regard.

She died a faithful and consistent Latter Day Saint, with hopes of a glorious Resurrection, and loved and missed by many who mourned her passing.

This was a biography written by Ella [Eleanor] Jarvis Seegmiller. My biography of Rose Sylvester Jarvis can be found at (Roseinia Sylvester Jarvis). It is one of a series of biographies of the women of early St. George, Utah.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sketch of Roseinia Sylvester Jarvis, Part 3

Roseinia Sylvester Jarvis and George Frederick Jarvis.

Besides teaching in most of the early wards of St. George, if not all of them, she also taught out in the County and vicinity—at Toquerville, Leeds, Kanarra, Rockville, at Littlefield in Arizona and at Bunkerville, Nevada, during the winters, and in the summer-time for several years, she taught at Pine Valley and Grass Valley. It was while teaching in the old Second ward, where she had an ungraded school of near eighty pupils, that she used me for her Assistant, although I was very young in years. I would prepare the lessons the day before they were to be given, at home with "Auntie's" help or the assistance of my mother, who was ill, then the next day when the older students needed help with their lessons, they would raise their hands and I would go and give them the needed assistance in solving their problems, so that they would not have to call upon the over-worked teacher. Sometimes, some of the older boys would take advantage of their opportunity and call on me to answer some simple questions, just to have me leave my studies and to try to tease me, they told me afterwards. Although at the time I thought it was quite a hardship not to be able to take part in the games and other forms of amusement with the children after school, I later admitted that it was very helpful to me, as the assistance and help I was required to give them in the school, impressed those phases of the lessons very indelibly on my mind and were of lasting benefit, to me.

In Church work, she was very active and she held various positions. In the early years of the M.I.A. she was Stake Secretary to Sister Elizabeth (Libby) Snow Ivins, and later she was Stake President of the Y.L.M.I.A. of the St. George Stake, holding that position for around fifteen years. During her time in that position, the M.I.A.'s and the Relief Societies would visit all of the Stake, which reached from Springdale on the East, to St. Thomas, Nevada on the West and South or to the Southwest, and to the White River Settlements in Nevada to the Northwest with all of the settlements lying in between these various points. These visits would necessitate several weeks travel with team and wagon or buggy, and much time spent. During these visits, she met many young people who became very much attached to her, and often the young women, who were under her in the M.I.A. when coming to the Temple to be married, would stay with her at her home and she would accompany them to the Temple, which they appreciated very much.

She was President of the Primary Association of the old Second Ward and an active Sunday School worker and teacher, also. In those organizations, as well as the others wherein she labored, she was greatly loved and respected by all with whom she came in contact.

She lived in the same house with my Mother, (Eleanor C. W. Jarvis), until after Father returned from his Mission to England in March, 1890, when to comply with the laws of the land under the Edmunds-Tucker Act, she was obliged to have a home of her own or to live apart from her husband, so she rented the home, later owned by William Whitehead. She lived there for several years or until she had a chance of purchasing a home of her own. In time, the home of Ute Perkins, located on the corner of Second South and Main Streets, was offered for sale, and she purchased it, paying for it with her earnings from teaching school. While living there in her own home, she had some of her Nieces or Nephews live with her for company and to assist her with her outside chores, while attending school. She had done the same while living at Mother's home, as she was very anxious that they obtain an education, which they could not get at their home at Bellevue, (or Pintura, as it is now called) where there was no school held. She also took a great interest in the education of her husband's children while living with them at the old home.

To be continued...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sketch of Roseinia Sylvester Jarvis, Part 2

The Pintura (formerly Bellevue) area. The picture is from Yes, it shows the interstate—it's a different road than when the Sylvesters lived there, but still gives an impression of the people who traveled through the settlement.

They usually kept an open house for travelers, especially in the winter time, —those who could not afford to stop at the Gates Hotel, and the children often remarked, that "the hotel keeper took the money while their father took the gratitude and blessings of the people," but some of them paid their way so they managed to live. Sometimes, years later, men have called at the door and said, "Mrs. Sylvester, I called here when I was broke and hungry and you fed and warmed me, and now I wish to pay you for it," and the mother would have forgotten all about the circumstances.

When Roseinia was thirteen years of age, she went to live with Mrs. Gates, a neighbor, who kept a hotel, or entertained the traveling public. Here she had a good course of training in Domestic Science and Physical Culture, for Mrs. Gates had lived in a gentlemen's family's home in England, and had become an accomplished cook and housekeeper, hence she was a competent teacher. As she was in very delicate health, Roseinina (or Rose as she was usually called by her family and friends) was put to cooking and house work, and great pains she took to have everything just right, as her cooking was criticised [sic] by every member of the family from the Father down to the youngest child.

When company came Mrs. Gates would sit in her chair and assist and direct Rose, when unable to stand by her. Among those who were entertained at this Station were President Brigham Young and party as they traveled to and from St. George, also Apostle Erastus Snow and other Church Officials who were always welcome, and their conversation was thoroughly enjoyed by Rose, at least. Mrs. Gates also taught her many kinds of fancy work. The "Physical Culture" consisted in carrying water to, feeding and milking four or five cows, feeding calves, pigs and chickens, etc. which was fine out-door exercise and she grew up strong and healthy. In fact, the roses in her cheeks were so perfect that she was accused of painting them, which greatly annoyed her. Then in the summer time came the fruit to be taken care of. Oh, the delicious lucious [sic] fruit with all its hard work! With this kind of work and a similar training at home, with the addition of assisting her father plant and reap,—as he had only one small boy at home to help him,—she took great pleasure in doing all she could that would be of assistance to her family. 

Thus she grew to womanhood. She had a happy peaceful happy home, though all worked hard to make a living and to make a home at the same time. The Mother and her three daughters spent the long winter evenings mainly in knitting men's and boy's socks, for which they received a good price, as these articles were in great demand in the mining camps and were readily disposed of by the Peddlers. They also knit chair tidies and other fancy work as well as crocheting the curtains for the windows and and the spreads and the pillow shams for the beds, while the Father read aloud to them or played the violin or other musical instrument, when there were no travelers of company to be entertained in his "open house for travelers" who could not afford to put up at the Hotel near by. The Mother always kept dry clothes and extra bedding for travelers, and they often came in handy, too.

Rose felt the lack of an education, as schools were scarce and rare in those days. As has been stated before, her Mother had taught her to read, write, and spell, but she longed for more. One day she expressed this desire to a young mechanic who was plastering her sister's house there in Bellevue. He invited her to come to his home in St. George and attend school there that winter. She gladly accepted the invitation and spent a pleasant winter there, and the next summer she taught the children at her home in Bellevue.

This young mechanic just referred to, happened to be my father, George F. Jarvis, who was working for Joseph Birch at Bellevue at the time plastering his house. Upon Rose accepting the invitation of my father, she and my mother became quite well acquainted and very good friends. After five years of married life, my mother consented for her husband to marry Rose as a plural wife. They were married January 11, 1877, the day the St. George Temple was opened for Endowments and Ordinance work, and a number of marriages took place that day. Their life together was very congenial, and after Mother's health failed, Rose, who had no family of her own, took a mother's part to Eleanor's children, and they looked upon her as a "Second Mother." To show how she had become an integral part of the family, the children in their play, would name the father, mother, and Aunt Rose, as the family unit or group, when characterizing them with their models, or "make-believes."

Having no family of her own, she decided to fit her self to teach school, as she was a lover of children. Among the schools which she attended, were those taught by Libbie Snow, Elida Crosby, Miss Mary Cook, Mr. Eugene Schoppmann, and others. She began teaching in 1882, and continued to teach school for twenty-five years, being counted as a very successful teacher and considered one of the "Veteran Teachers" of St. George and vicinity. In 1889 and 1890 she taught in the St. George Stake Academy in the Basement of the Tabernacle along with Nephi M. Savage and John T. Woodbury. Among her papers is her Certificate received from the Church Authorities, after passing the required Examination necessary to teach in the Church Schools. It was signed by the Board of Examiners consisting of Karl G. Maesar [sic], D.L.D.; James E. Talmage, D.L.D. and PhD.; and J. M. Tanner, D.M.D. Also by Wilford Woodruff President and George Reynolds Secretary of the General Board of Education. She was also a Teacher in the Religion Classes held here in the late 1890's and early 1900's and a Certificate for that teaching is among her papers.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sketch of Roseinia Sylvester Jarvis, Part 1

Top (left to right): Roseinia Sylvester Jarvis, Joseph Sylvester, Althea Sylvester Gregerson. Front (left to right): Joshua William Sylvester, Lovinia Sylvester Berry, Rebecca Nicholson Sylvester.

Sketch of Roseinia Sylvester Jarvis

Written and compiled from Notes by herself and others, by Ella J. Seegmiller for the Dixie Camp of the D.U.P. at St. George, Utah and read by her at the Camp Meeting, December 12, 1947.

Roseinia Sylvester Jarvis was born at Springville, Utah, February 9, 1857. She was the seventh daughter and the nineth [sic] child of James and Rebecca Nicholson Sylvester.

Her parents were Converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from Sheffield, England, and they arrived in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake in 1852.

They lived in Provo for a while, then moved to Springville where they resided for nine years. It was there that Roseinia was born, and she was five years old when they left there. She remembers a broken arm and a sun-stroke which nearly cost her her life while living there. They endured many hardships incident to Pioneer life, such as Indian Wars, grasshoppers, crickets, etc. They had plenty to eat, such as it was, -- squash pies and Melon Preserves made in Beet Molasses, were among the delicacies, but they had bread, milk, butter and meat, also vegetables in plenty.

Her father had always desired to live in a warm climate, so when the Call was made for the Saints to settle the southern part of the Territory of Utah, he volunteered to go. There was also another reason for him wanting to go, as his oldest daughter, Mary, had married Joseph Birch, who had been called to go. Brother Sylvester sold out his property at Springville and started south with his family, traveling with ox teams. He had considerable stock, and as it was late in the Fall, he concluded to winter at Gunnison, it being a warm open valley, and then he would go on south in the Spring.

That winter the new settlement of Gunnison was visited by Apostle Orson Hyde, who advised all who were there to remain. James Sylvester went to him and explained his condition, to which Apostle Hyde replied, "Brother Sylvester, stay here and make your mark!" so he bought land and built a two-room log house that winter. In the spring during the high-water season, the Sandpitch River overflowed its banks and spread over the Valley. It was two feet deep in their house, and it covered the garden which was looking so fine before. It was then deemed necessary to move the town from the river-bottom to the Bench Land. Brother Sylvester, along with the rest, tore his newly built house down, and moved it to the new town-site. He was prospering very well when the Black Hawk Indian War broke out, which necessitated another "move." This time into a Fort for mutual protection against Indian raids. Roseinia's brother Joshua was a soldier boy at the time and he had many narrow escapes during that time. The War lasted four years and the people lived in constant dread of the Indians raiding their homes and robbing them of their horses and cattle. Roseinia remembered falling off the foot-bridge which crossed the Sandpitch River and she came near being drowned. After the War her father built a rock house on his City Lot at the upper end fo the town, and was quite comfortable again.

The family next moved to Nephi where the father had charge of a grist mill. Roseinia and her sister attended the first Sunday School held there, and they enjoyed it so much that the mile walk from their home to town was not noticed by them. When she was ten years old, she came to St. George to stay with her sister, Mary Birch, for the summer. While here, her sister Eliza, a beautiful girl of fifteen, died at Nephi. Brother Birch took her back, but thought it a kindness not to tell her of the trouble at home, as she would fret and worry along the way. Upon arriving at Chicken Creek, or Levan, near Nephi, at her brother's home, she ran in and asked how her sister Eliza was, as she had been told that she was sick. "How is she!" was repeated in tones which told her too plainly what the situation was, and then she realized what had really happened. She rushed rushed out of the door, and there outside, alone in the darkness, she sobbed out her grief and disappointment. She listened to the recital within, of her sister's illness and sudden death, and also learned that Eliza had been buried three weeks. It was a sad homecoming for her, as a favorite sister who had urged her not to leave home, had departed this life.

Brother Sylvester could not give up the thoughts of going to Dixie. His daughter Mary and her husband were constantly pleading for him to join them, so he finally disposed of his property there and arrived at Kanarra in July, 1868. Later, he decided to locate at Bellevue, where he pitched a tent and made a nice bowery in front of it, then placed the wagon box near by. These gave the family shelter until late in the Fall, when they moved into the Basement of their new rock house, which was completed by Spring. The children helped, — girls as well as boys — clear the land, make the rock walls or fences, around the land and plant the trees, vines, and gardens.

As time went on, their home and surroundings became more homelike and attractive. They raised their own meat— beef, pork, poultry, etc., besides milking several cows which furnished them with plenty of milk and butter. These with plenty of choice fruits and vegetables, furnished them a good living, but it was rather difficult to obtain clothes. Their mother took time to teach the children to read, write and spell, as they had no schools at first. Their father was very musically inclined, and at one time, he made a "dummy organ" marking the "make-believe" keys on a keyboard, and he and Roseinia, both practiced on it and learned a number of easy and simple selections, so that when they had a "real organ", they were able to play their numbers on it. As time went on, the father usually had some kind of a musical instrument to play, either the organ, violin or accordion, and Roseinia would accompany him on the organ as he played the other instruments. Sometimes, traveling musicians would stop with them over night, and they would have a musical evening, which was enjoyed by all so very much.

To be continued...

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hand-colored Picture of Edwin and Rebecca Hill Pettit

Pettit cousin Cheryl S. sent a copy of a picture of Edwin and Rebecca Hood Hill Pettit. The image was hand-colored, perhaps by the photographer, perhaps by someone else working in the studio.

My younger daughter was particularly impressed by Rebecca's jewelry, including her earrings, and with the color of Edwin's eyes. How much have the colors changed since the original work was done? How much have all those greens changed? Were Edwin's eyes really lavender?

Here is an interesting article about hand-colored images, including some notes about preservation. (Editor's note: the article recommends self-preservation of some images, but expert advice is appropriate in many cases.)

Thanks, Cheryl! What an amazing picture!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Arizona

Mt. Graham. From

Here are a few pictures of some of the beauties of the state, combined with some facts about our family's connection to Arizona. 

Picture of saguaros from

The first Tanner ancestors to settle the state:

1876 — Ove Oveson helped settle Brigham City. He returned to Utah to get his wife, Mary Christensen Oveson, children, mother-in-law, Karen Johannesen Christensen, and his wife's brother Marinus Christensen. The Oversons later moved to St. Johns.

1877 — Henry Tanner and Eliza Parkinson Tanner helped settle Allen's Camp, later Joseph City, and lived there the rest of their lives. Here is the story of their trip to Arizona.

1879— Charles DeFriez Jarvis and Margaret Jarvis settled first in Nutrioso, later in St. Johns. Charles and his daughter Margaret Jarvis Overson were important early photographers.

Superstition Mountain seen from Lost Dutchman State Park.
From Al_HikesAZ at

Morgan ancestors who helped settle the state:

1876 — Marinus Christensen moved to Brigham City and then St. Johns with his sister's family. He was a blacksmith, a craft he learned from his father-in-law, David Nathan Thomas.

1882 — David Nathan Thomas and Adeline Springthorpe Thomas moved to St. Johns from the Kingston United Order in Piute County, Utah.

1903 — Mary Linton Morgan and her three sons moved to Hunt and later to St. Johns when she married David King Udall.

The Grand Canyon seen from west of Point Imperial on the North Rim. From

Any event which happened in Arizona before February 12, 1912, should be recorded as having happened in "Arizona Territory," unless it happened before there was an Arizona Territory. (Arizona Territory was incorporated in 1863.)

Picacho Peak. From Wikipedia.

The best-known battle (or skirmish) of the Civil War to happen in Arizona was the Battle of Picacho Peak.

Lee's Ferry from

Ove Overson and his family crossed the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry. The Tanners crossed it at Pearce's Ferry.

"Dans l'antre d'Antelope Canyon par Franck Vervial." Antelope Canyon, Arizona. From

Members of the Overson family have lived continuously in Arizona since 1876, and members of the Tanner family have lived continuously in the state since 1877. It was a harsh place to settle, but is an amazingly beautiful part of the world.

Escudilla in the White Mountains. From

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Ongoing Story of the Jarvis-Overson Photography Collection

The East Valley Tribune in Arizona has a nice article today about my father's work with the Jarvis-Overson Photography Collection which has been mentioned here a number of times. It is a timely article: Arizona is celebrating its 100th Birthday on February 14.

Here are some links with more information about the collection and the family:

The original query in 2009 about the photography collection: (George and Ann Prior Jarvis Family Association).

The happy day when we were contacted by the cousin who had been preserving the collection: (Another Christmas Surprise).

An autobiography of Margaret Jarvis Overson: (Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson).

A biography of her father Charles Godfrey DeFriez Jarvis: (Charles Godfrey Defriez Jarvis).

Henry Overson's Missionary Journal, Volume Three: (Introduction and Links). Randy also provided access to the first two volumes of Henry's journal about his 1890s mission to England.

A copy of Margaret Jarvis Overson's funeral program which cousin Randy sent: (Margeret Jarvis Overson's Funeral).

The genealogical information we do and do not have on the Jarvis family: (Jarvis Family Genealogy).

Monday, February 6, 2012

John Morgan and the History of Manassa, Colorado

Here is an article my brother sent. He found it in a book he inherited from my grandparents. Thanks, Jared!

The Sunstone Review, June 1982, p. 15.

Friday, February 3, 2012

More John Morgan Articles

From the Deseret News, August 18, 1894, pages 9 and 14. A bit of irony for anyone who read the newspaper closely that day.

John Morgan's Death as Mentioned in the Salt Lake Herald

Death of John Morgan.

A Well Known Citizen Passes Away at Preston, Idaho.

John Morgan died of typhoid malaria at 5:30 p. m. Tuesday, at Preston, Ida. His death was the culmination of a severe illness extending over more than a month.

He was a prominent figure in politics and in educational movements, and was held in high esteem by those of his own and other faiths. Many will  mourn in his passing away the loss of the truest and best of friends.

He was born in Greensburgh, Ind., Aug. 8, 1842, and was the son of Gerard and Eliza A. H. Morgan. He served with distinction in the Union army during the war of the Rebellion. At the close he came to Utah and since that time he has been a resident of this city. He was one of the instructors in the Utah university in the early history of that institution and, later, he opened the Morgan commercial college in the building now known as the Morgan hotel. He has been identified with the Mormon church since 1867 and has served it in the capacity of president of the southern states mission and one of the first seven presidents of the seventies, which latter position he held to the time of his death.

He leaves a wife [three wives] and several children.

The remains will arrive this morning and the funeral services will be held at the Salt Lake assembly hall at 4 p.m. today.

Salt Lake Herald, August 16, 1894. (The information in the article, like many things in the newspaper, should be taken with a grain of salt.)