Tag Archives: Jesse Morgan

James Morgan – First of Jesse Morgan’s Line

James Morgan (Sr.) 1607-1685

I’ve spent a lot of time on the story of Jesse Morgan.  My 2nd great-grandfather wins the prize for the most fascinating ancestor in our line–or at least the most fascinating direct ancestor whose story came down to us by word of mouth, documented by letters in his own hand and by many other sources.

The American Morgan story, however, did not start with Jesse. In fact, it started with HIS 3x great grandfather, James Morgan (Sr.). James and his two younger brothers were the first of a Morgan clan that eventually spread out across the new land after they first arrived in Boston in 1636. That is just 15 years after William Bassett, the Pilgrim who is the direct ancestor of Mary Bassett Morgan, married to Jesse Morgan. An Early American power couple, genealogically speaking.

SOURCE of JAMES MORGAN’S EARLY STORY

The story starts in Wales where James was born probably in 1607, probably in the town of Llandaff in the county of Glamorgan. Notice that Llandaff lies just northwest of Cardiff, the capitol of Wales.

Wales - James Morgan's homeland

Map of Glamorgan County, Wales, showing Cardiff with Llandaff to the NW.

Glamorgan County lies on the far south of Wales along the Bristol Channel. Wales attaches to the west side of England.

Wales coast

Bristol Channel, along the Glamorgan Wales coast

Much of the information that I have about the early life of James –his exact birth date and place, the name of his father, etc.–needs further proof.  The 1869 book, James Morgan and His Descendants, honestly states when the author cannot prove a fact. He does not back up his stories with concrete proofs, although he seems to at least try to sort proven from unproven.

Therefore, I also will proceed with caution, attempting to warn you when proof is elusive.

For instance, although according to the book a family legend leans toward the name William for James’ father, without a birth certificate or baptism record, I cannot be sure.  It is true that there are many Morgans in that region of Wales. And my Morgan family has common names–William, John, James, Joseph. Find A Grave for England and Ireland shows a William Morgan dying in Bristol in 1649, and his age range is correct for a father of James. Plus James and his brothers sailed out of Bristol.

On the other hand, Find a Grave does not have a gravestone or death record for evidence, and Bristol could very well be the most convenient port for someone sailing out of Wales as well as southern England.

WHY LEAVE BRITAIN?

Whether the family moved to Bristol or stayed in Wales, the religious and political events brewing in England in the 1630s would have a great effect on their lives. Welsh people along the border with England joined the reform religions. The Scots beat the English King Charles in the first Civil War, a struggle over religion, in 1639. In Bristol, the Royalists stormed the port in 1642–just six years after the Morgan brothers departed. In another few years, the King would be deposed and executed.

Surely the Morgans were at least fleeing war, if not joining sympathetic Puritans streaming into North America. The younger son, John, reportedly was a minister and even Boston, according to the family history, was too wild for him.  He moved on to Virginia to practice his strict religion.

Miles became an instant leader, as he joined a group founding Springfield Massachusetts. At the age of 20, he finagled his way into the division of property which was supposed to go only to men over 21.

JAMES MORGAN IN NEW ENGLAND

So, wherever he came from and whoever his father was, we do have a record that shows James and his two brothers, Miles and John sailed from Bristol to Boston in March and April of 1636. His age is confirmed in later statements he makes in those wonderfully voluminous records kept by the New England towns. (Thank you, all you Puritan beaureaucrats!)

Are we related to J. P. Morgan?  In response to a request, I checked it out. Nope. Unfortunately, the millionaire Morgan descended from James’ brother Miles.  James family, however, claims the honor of a Presidential wife–Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of Rutherford B. Hayes descended directly from James Morgan.

Once James arrives in America, the record becomes much clearer. By 1640, he shows up in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where he marries Margery Hill. In 1643, the town grants him the rights of a freeman (full citizen.) The couple settled in Roxbury and had a daughter and four sons (the last one dying within his first year) before they moved on to Connecticut.

Boston and Roxbury

Boston area colonial map. Roxbury (south) and Cambridge (west). Note that the bay has not been filled in and Boston City is an island.

I am amused–or bemused–by the fact that my grandson, visiting in Boston, met and married a young woman from Roxbury more than 360 years after James married Margery in Roxbury.

JAMES AND MARGERY MORGAN’S FAMILY

Hannah Morgan (Royce) 1642-1706

Hannah married Nehimiah Royce in 1660 in Groton CT and when she died, they had been living in Wallingford CT. Other than birth and marriage record, I know nothing else at present time about Hannah.

Captain James Morgan (Jr.) 1643-1711

James, like his father, was both a leader in the church and in the town. He served as a Deacon in the Groton church and also as Chief Magistrate and one of the first Town Selectmen.  He was moderator of every town meeting until he died and then his two sons took over the job. James had three boys and three girls. He inherited his father’s farm. James served as the Capt. of the “train band”, local militia in Groton in 1692 and Commander of the Dragoon Force of New London County in 1693/4. Keep in mind the military service of James Jr. and his brother John took place under the British, an irony since their father presumably left Wales/England because of enimity with the British.

Captain John Morgan 1645-1712

John, my direct ancestor (6 x great grandfather) married a second time after his first wife died. He had seven children with his first wife and eight with his second.  The second of his children in the first family is my 5 x great grandfather, Samuel Morgan.  John Morgan moved from Groton to Preston Connecticut where he also took community leadership roles as Indian Commissioner and Deputy to the General Court. He had served in that office from New London in 1690 and then from Preston in 1693.

Lt. Joseph Morgan 1646-1704

Joseph and his wife and family lived in Preston, which split off from Norton Connecticut.  He had one son and nine daughters.  The one son was a colorful preacher–popular in the pulpit, but getting kicked out of a couple of churches with accusations of practicing astrology, encouraging dancing and other nefarious activities.

Two other children of James Sr.died in infancy.

PEQUOT/GROTON CONNECTICUT

In 1650, James moved his family to the new settlement of Pequot in Connecticut, later known as New London. Reading the story in the book, James Morgan and His Descendants, reminds me what a godforsaken wilderness this was that these optimistic souls were seeking to turn into farms and towns. There he built a log cabin “on a path to New Street.”

The land was rocky and the Indians had not been gone long. Later in 1650, the “James Morgan” book relates from a contemporary record, “James Morgan hath given him about 6 acres of upland where the wigwams were, in the path that goes from his house towards Culvers, among the rocky hills.”

In 1656, he moved across the river to the area that was subsequently named Groton. Apparently the land there is more amenable to farming, and he thrived. There he rose to prominence in the community, being appointed First Deputy (from Groton) to the General Court at Hartford, and being reappointed nine times. He took leadership roles in the church as well.

In another geographical coincidence, my oldest son trained in the U. S. Navy submarine service in Groton in the 1980s. He only missed his 8x great-grandfather by 330 years.

In 1668 the tax records show James as third wealthiest land holder in the town, with a worth of £250.

James died in Groton in 1685, leaving his home farm to his son James. The property continued to pass on from James to James to James for six generations, and when the family history was written in 1846, the property still belonged to a member of the Morgan clan. And many of the Morgans stayed put in Groton for a very long time.  My 3x grandfather, Jesse Morgan Sr. was born there.

James Morgan (Sr.) and his wife Margery are buried in Avery-Morgan Burial Ground in Groton Connecticut. (The Hale Headstone Inscriptions mentioned below places them in a Hartford Cemetery, but the Avery-Morgan is much more likely.) This memorial plaque honors James Morgan at the Avery-Morgan Burial Ground.

James Morgan memorial

James Morgan Memorial at the Avery-Morgan Burial Grounds, Groton CT.

(The two families are related through the marriage of James’ grandson William to Margaret Avery, daughter of James Avery)

The plaque says,

Erected to the memory of the founders of the first Avery and the first Morgan families in America whose graves are near this site.

[on the left hand side]

Capt. James Avery

1620-1700

His wife, Joanna Greenslade

[and on the right hand side]

James Morgan

1607-1685

His wife, Margery Hill

Two pioneer families joined. Just as when Mary Bassett, whose 5 x great grandfather William Bassett was the first of the Bassetts who arrived in America married Jesse Morgan, whose 3 x great grandfather, James Morgan was the first of his clan.

How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • Harriet (Hattie) Morgan Stout, who is the daughter of
  • Jesse Morgan, who is the son of
  • Jesse Morgan (Sr), who is the son of
  • Timothy Morgan, who is the son of
  • Samuel Morgan, who is the son of
  • John Morgan, who is the son of
  • James Morgan (Sr.), first settler in America.

Notes on Research

James Morgan and His Descendants, Nathaniel H. Morgan,1869, from North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000, Ancestry.com

Connecticut Census, 1668, New London, New London County, James Morgan, resident, part of  Connecticut, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-1890, Ancestry.com

Connecticut, Deaths and Burials Index, 1650-1934, Ancestry.com, James Morgan

Connecticut, Hale Cemetery Inscriptions and Newspaper Notices, James Morgan,1629-1934, Ancestry.com

Massachusetts Applications of Freemen, 1630-91, James Morgan, Ancestry.com

Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, Roxbury, 1630-1867, James Morgaine and Margery Hill, Ancestry.com

U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s, Place: Massachusetts; Year: 1636; Page Number: 49, James Morgan 1636, Ancestry.com

U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1700s-Current, James Morgan

The Last Letter Grandma Mary Morgan Received

Perhaps my headline exaggerates just a bit. My great-great-grandmother probably did receive more letters in her lifetime. Heaven knows she handled hundreds of letters when she worked as a Postmaster at the Killbuck Post Office in the 1860s and 1870s. But to set the scene for this particularly life-changing last letter, let me take you back to Killbuck, Ohio, in October 1850 and remind you of Mary’s life up to then.

An old sewing basket

The sewing basket

Mary and Jesse’s Story Up To 1850

Mary Bassett traveled with her parents to Keene, Ohio from Keene New Hampshire, shortly after the founding of that little town near the Ohio Canal. When she arrived in 1826, at sixteen years old, she already had enough education that she shortly was teaching school–privately, at a neighboring farm.  She was only 19 when her mother died and Mary met and married the merchant Asahel Platt. Asahel came from a very religious family, perhaps even more religious than Mary’s father who descended from Pilgrims, and her mother, who came from the Puritan New England family of Stone.

Mary had brought a hand-made wooden chest with her from New Hampshire, and in it she kept precious hand-woven and embroidered cloths and clothing. She also kept important letters. (Fortunately for me, her daughter also kept the letters, and did HER daughter–my grandmother.)

Mary and Asahel had only one child, who died in infancy. They had moved to Killbuck in neighboring Holmes County, where Asahel opened a general store.  But their domestic life did not last long. Asahel died young, leaving Mary a widow at twenty-three years old.  Her father died the same year, and during the next few years, Mary returned to Coshocton County. Perhaps to save money, she moved into the home her parents left.

There she met Jesse Morgan, newly arrived from the state of New York. He was educated, lively, and must have seemed a good choice after the strait-laced family of her first husband.  They were married, and to lessen the burden on his new wife, Jesse farmed out his two oldest children–both boys.  One of the girls returned to New York, but one of the girls stayed in Killbuck, with Mary.  My great-great grandmother’s marriage had taken her back again to Killbuck.

I believe that Mary would have been happier to have Jesse be a teacher, but he was the restless sort who believed there was a fortune to be made somewhere. Jesse was determined to pursue that fortune.  Mary may not have been overjoyed by his frequent absences, but she surely adapted. He traveled through the mid-West buying and selling horses and sometimes land. He wrote to her frequently when he was “on the road,” and she stored his letters away, until this last letter.  They had a baby girl, Harriet (Hattie) Morgan who would be my great-grandmother, in addition to Malvinia, the daughter from Jesse’s first marriage.

The Last Letter Arrives

I can’t imagine the agony that ensued when Mary read this last letter. There Mary sits, in Killbuck, Ohio, with her 8-year-old daughter and Jesse’s 15-year-old daughter in the small town of Killbuck. She has not heard from her husband for many months, perhaps as much as a year. (The last letter to Mary from Jesse in the bundle she saved is dated September 1847.) Although she is accustomed to his being gone for long stretches of time and correspondence is slow, it has been long enough that she must be worrying.

Letter to Mary Morgan

Letter to Mary Morgan from Jesse Morgan’s brother-in-law. Oct.1850

 

 

Dear Madame: Haveing received a letter from Jesse Morgan when he was on the road to California, and never expecting to see him back again, and I takeing the New York Tribune a paper that is in Circulation in that Country I have watched with anxiety the Deaths that take place there, I find in the paper of Oct. 14 an account of his Death in a Skirmish between the Settlers and Officers respecting Land Titles.  He may have consiterable Property there and thinking you would want to look to it.  I therefore give you notice. I should [insert]if in your place [end insert] find out the circumstances by the Tribune.  If you should need assistance I would help you if you thought proper.  At any rate I should be glad to hear from you to know how he was Circumstanced there and why he went to California. please Write to us and oblig Your Brother and Sister.

Canaan Oct. 1850                                                      Solomon Frisbie

Now she learns that he has been dead for a full two months before she knew his fate. The pain must have been terrible.

Did Mary know that Jesse had gone to California? What my mother knew of her story and the evidence of letters saved contains no hint that she knew. Surely if she had received any letters from Jesse during his trip to California, she would have kept them, since she kept so many other letters from the road. Mr. Frisbie’s letter would have been her first indication that this time the distance traveled by Jesse was far greater. But worse, he had been killed in a riot. The painful knowledge that this time he would not return from his wandering contained the blacker feeling of disgrace. Multiple shocks contained in one letter.

It would seem to me that she would have been shocked that the brother-in-law back in Pennsylvania knew that Jesse had set out for California (even written him a letter when he was “on the road”) but had not kept in touch with her. And it strikes me as very odd that Jesse’s sister and brother-in-law knew that he had married and lived in Holmes County, but did not know his wife’s name or what town he lived in. They probably were unaware that he had a child with Mary.

Delivering the Last Letter

Solomon Frisbie gets points for trying his best to find Jesse’s widow. He sent a letter to the Postmaster at Holmesville, obviously (and erroneously) assuming that Holmesville was the county seat of Holmes County. The population of Holmes County was sparse and I imagine it did not take long for this last letter to find its way to Mary Morgan.

 

Letter from Solomon Frisbie

Solomon Frisbie to .Postmasters of Holmes County, seeking the widow of Jesse Morgan. Oct. 1850

Dear Post Masters
Not haveing any one in the County to communicate with but recently haveing a Brother in Law there by the name of Jesse Morgan which went from there to California which I see by the New York Tribune Died in Sacramento City Aug. 14 and he leaveing a Wife there, in what Township I know not but wishing to convey the intelegance to her I take this way of doing it Hoping that you Sir, will take the trouble to send it from one to the other Placing your Names on from whence it went making a Circular till it gets to the Township where he belonged. In so doing you will Oblige his Brothers and Sisters remaining here. Jesse Morgan has formaly be a Merchant and Wool Carder (illegible word) Yours Respectfully, Canaan, Oct. 1850 Solomon Frisbie

Solomon Frisbie’s Letter

Besides the fact that he did not know exactly where his brother-in-law lived and did not know the name of Jesse’s wife, I am struck by  pessimism.  He clearly expected bad things to come to anyone who dared undertake the journey to California. And Solomon, who lived all his live in his corner of Pennsylvania, must have thought Jesse was a wild man. He definitely expected Jesse to die, and thus made it a point to get a newspaper that covered California news and diligently read the obituaries, ultimately ‘rewarded’ for his diligence. The other thing he has no idea about is what Jesse does for a living.  Jesse had not been a wool carder since he left Pennsylvania, many years before.

In Solomon’s letter to Mary (the anonymous widow), the brother-in-law assumes that Jesse surely must have accrued valuable property in California. (He may have considrable property there, and thinking you would want to look to it.)Perhaps, like so many others, he had fallen for the legends of riches just waiting for the taking. At any rate, he offers his assistance to the widow–perhaps hoping there would be enough to spread around, or perhaps as the husband of the sister closest in age to Jesse, just fulfilling his familial obligation.

How Will the Widow Survive?

In fact, Jesse had not been in Sacramento long enough to amass anything, and probably left Ohio with barely enough to survive the long trip.  Poor Mary at forty years old with an eight-year-old daughter was once again a widow, and this time left without financial support.

I know that she had a small inheritance from her first husband and was a prudent manager, as she invested in properties in Killbuck.But as she worked later in life as a seamstress, I have to believe that she was earning some money with her fine needlework. We found some samples of her work in the wooden chest with a hand written note by her daughter.

lace collar

Mary Bassett Morgan collar, stitched together with a cloth made by her mother.

Also, Mary did have the support of her Bassett sisters and Stone relatives in nearby Coshocton County. And unlike many widows who moved in with family or quickly remarried, she remained single and stayed in Killbuck with her daughter.  She must have loved Jessie even after what might look like betrayal from our vantage point.

Jessie Morgan: a Scoundrel or a Hero

The best evidence of that is the fact that no ill will against her husband remained in the family. My grandmother spoke of him almost admiringly as an adventurer who was ‘done wrong.’ Despite newspaper articles that accused the rioters of being unlawful troublemakers, within the family Jesse was seen as a hero to disenfranchised people seeking their rights against greedy landowners. My great-grandmother named her middle son William Morgan Stout, which she would certainly not done if she felt animosity toward her absent father.

And Jesse’s own children  used the Morgan name with their children, so they also apparently felt no ill will against him.

*You can read the details of Jesse’s untimely end in the post written by my brother about the well documented Squatter’s Riot in Sacramento. Jesse’s name even appears on a plaque. The squatters riot was covered widely in newspapers of the time, and also is described in history books. However, at the time, the squatters were reviled and nobody bothered to record where Jesse might have been buried. (One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s anarchist.)

 

More Information About Jesse and Mary’s Lives

I will return at a later date to Jesse’s trip to California with the 49ers and some further mysteries of his life and death, but a this point so much of that story is speculation that I prefer to move on to talk about some other ancestors with less vague histories.

The information in this story comes mainly from the letters, although it also contains my speculation based on family history and the deduction based on records of Mary’s and Jesse’s life and family heirlooms.

If you have not been following the story of Mary and Jesse, here is a guide to the stories of their lives.

Mary and Godey’s Lady’s Book

Postmaster Mrs. Mary Morgan

Seeking Security with Mr. Platt

The Jesse letters

Promises and Instructions 1843

Teaching and Land Speculation 1845

Canal and Lake Travel 1846

Buying land in Illinois 1847

Letter from nearby Wooster 1847

Traveling by Steamboat 1847

A Discouraged Jesse 1847

More About Jesse

Pennsylvania to Chautauqua New York1829

Letter From Ohio Lures Jesse 1835

Jesse’s Friend, Doc Woods

A Family of Achievers and Characters

Louise Morgan, born in October, 1833, was the third of my great-great-grandfather Jesse Morgan and his first wife Mary Pelton Morgan’s family– four children who lived past childhood.  Louise, also called Louisa, lived a mobile life. She moved around not just because she was the child of a wandering father, but because she was the wife of a preacher who relocated frequently.

To start at the beginning, Louise was born while Jesse and his first wife still lived in Chautauqua County, New York, the same place that her three siblings, older brothers Charles and Carlos and younger sister, Malvina were born.  And with her parents and siblings, she moved to  Ohio at a young age.  At four years of age, Louise and the Morgan family moved to the small village of Killbuck, Ohio.

Louise’s mother died the following year and I have not found a clear record of where she lived before her father married my great-great-grandmother, Mary Bassett Platt Morgan.  Jesse and Mary Bassett Platt Morgan continued to live in Killbuck, but older brother Charles went to New York to live with his mother’s family and Carlos may have moved in with relatives as well.  We only know that in 1850, younger sister Malvina was living with Mary Morgan  in Killbuck.

I did find an intriguing possible connection in the 1850 census of Westfield, Chautauqua, New York.  There is a Loiza Morgan living with a Dr. Carlton Jones.

Louise Morgan

“Loiza” Morgan, 16 with Dr. Carlton Jones family. 1850 census Westfield NY

Since Louise or Louisa Morgan is not an uncommon name, why do I think this matches, despite the lack of details? Well, the census locates her in Westfield, her birthplace, near the place her parents had spent many years. When Louise’s mother died, Jesse was not prepared to take care of a toddler so she might have gone back to New York State. I’m just betting that Luisa, the wife of Dr. Carlton Jones, is a cousin of Jesse’s, or that they lived in close proximity to the Morgan family, but I have not proven that. Another possibility would have her serving as a maid in the house, not unusual for 16-year-old girls at the time.

In 1855, a Louise Morgan is living alone in an apartment in Brooklyn New York. The birthplace is listed as Westchester rather than Westfield, but that could very well be an error. This Louise has been living in Brooklyn for two years and works in dry goods. Again, I cannot be totally certain.

In 1860 I spot a Louise Morgan teaching school in Bloomington, Indiana and living with the family of the principal of the school.  This probably tracks with our Louise, since it places her in the state where she met her husband. She married Rev. Thomas Hopkins in Indiana in February 1861, and her first son is born in December of that year, also in Indiana.

Louise’s Family 1861 to 1909

While they lived in Indiana, besides the first son James (1861), Louise and Thomas have three more children–daughter Caroline/Carrie (1863)  and sons Edwin (1866) and Addison (1868). Between April 1868 and 1870, Thomas Hopkins moves his family to Piqua, Ohio.

In the next five years, Louisa gave birth to three more children, Thomas Jr. (1871), namesake Louise M.(1873), and Wilbur (1875).

In 1880, the Reverend moved his family to Xenia, Ohio, just 45 miles away from Piqua.

Before 1900, Rev. Thomas and Louisa moved to Denver. Four of their adult children still lived with them: Thomas, Carolyn, Addison and Louise. Carolyn and Louise were school teachers, Thomas was a doctor, and Addison an attorney. A promising group of offspring, indeed.

When Rev. Thomas died in 1901, Louisa continued to live in Denver.

Most of the children stayed together after their father died in 1901. They pursued a variety of lifestyles and occupations. As in most families, Louise had children who she could be proud of and others who must have been a continual source of worry. Mother Louise died in 1909 and was buried in Fairmount Cemetery in Denver.

Jesse Morgan’s Grandchildren–The Children of Louise Morgan Hopkins

The Doctor

One who surely inspired pride –oldest son James G. Hopkins became a physician. He practiced medicine in Iola, Kansas when he answered the 1900 census. James moved to Las Animas in eastern Colorado in 1910 and to nearby Eads, Colorado by 1920. He still lived in Eads in 1930, but the trail ends there. James never married, which no doubt concerned his mother.

The Carpenter

Edwin Kirkwood Hopkins, who married in 1896, followed a twisting path. He worked as a carpenter, a miner, and a minister in various places in Kansas and Colorado. He and his wife had five children, presenting Louise with her first grandchild in 1897.

Soon after his marriage, Edwin struck out for Clear Creek, Colorado seeking gold. Clear Creek would have been a typical rough mining town at that time. What a place to raise a young family! Edwin’s family was joined by his brother according to the 1900 census.Perhaps the most interesting, and certainly the least tethered member of the family, youngest brother, Wilbur Lewis Hopkins, worked and lived  with his brother in the gold mines.

The experience at the gold mining camp apparently wrought changes in Edwin’s life, as he made a startling career change. In 1910, we find him working as a minister in Sedgwick, Colorado. Mother Louisa surely would have been relieved to see her son leave the rough life of a gold miner for his father’s profession in the church. She could have died content that he was on the right path. But the path changed before long.

Edwin’s wife died before 1920,  and he went back to his earlier occupation of carpenter. A single father of five children, he now lived in Udall Kansas. In the 1930s and at least until 1940, Edwin lived with a daughter and her family in Garden, Kansas, working as a carpenter until he retired.

School Teacher Sisters

We might call Carrie Dixon Hopkins an  “old maid school teacher”, but sister Louise narrowly escaped the title when she married at almost 40. Both women lived with their parents in Denver at least through 1890. In 1891, Louise Morgan Hopkins attended the University of Denver. In 1892 (she would have been 19) the school’s catalogue lists her as a second year student. According to a year book from the school where she taught, Caroline attended Cooper Academy.

By 1897, the family has moved to another residence in Denver, (Fillmore Street) and Louise is now a teacher.  They remain at the Fillmore Street address until 1902, after their father dies, when they move to 2710 East 12th Avenue. During that time, their brother Wilbur lives with them at various times. (See below). After nine years at the 12th Avenue address, the sisters move in 1911 to 1048 Milwaukee.  During their years of teaching, Caroline teaches math at West High School and Louise at Ashland School.

Louise married in late 1911 or early 1912, and Caroline probably lived alone until her death in 1929.  Her record in the City Directories picks up in 1913, the probable year after her sister’s marriage, living on Washington Street.  Poor Caroline can’t seem to settle down. She is in a different place in 1918, and yet another in 1919 when she lives at 933 Corona in Denver, still teaching. She moved to a yet another address in 1920, and stayed there for at least five years. Her final address seems to be 526 Steele, where she lived in 1925, 27 and 28.  Caroline is buried in the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver. She died in 1929.

A grave in the Denver Fairmont Cemetery lists Louise Hopkins Davis, B. 1873, D. 1918. It appears that Louise Morgan, daughter of Louis Morgan Hopkins, married late in life–probably about 1911, a couple of years after her mother died. She would have been nearing forty when she married and not yet fifty when she died in 1918. The same stone bears an inscription for a John Thomas Davis 1913-1922.  This must be Louise’s child, who unfortunately died at the age of nine, four years after his mother.

Mother Louise did not live to see Louise married, and I have no doubt that having two unmarried daughters was a source of worry, although she would have been glad to have them living in the same city during her lifetime.

The Surgeon

Thomas Mayes Hopkins became a physician, like his older brother James.  He practiced surgery, specializing in the throat. He was the most settled of all of Louisa’s children.

After Thomas’ marriage in 1904 in Salt Lake City, he settled in Denver where he stayed the rest of his life. Thomas not only had a distinguished career and a settled life, but he had the perfect little family of one boy and one girl.  His family buried him in Denver Fairmont Cemetery when he died in 1940. Mother Louise lived long enough to greet the little girl named after her as well as he new grandson William.

The Seeker of Gold

In 1900, Addison A. Hopkins still lived with his parents at the age of 32. However, he had become an attorney, which seemed to promise a settled life. While his father was alive, he lived with his parents and worked as an attorney in Denver (from at least 1895 through 1901).  His life record becomes puzzling after that. He seemed to wander in search of riches much like his grandfather, Jesse Morgan.

In 1910, the year after his mother died, we find Addison in Tucson Arizona, employed in a railroad shop. The census report says he is married, but the census lists no wife with him in the boarding house where he lives. And even more confusing, by the time of the next census in 1920, he is in Oregon,a widower working as a quartz miner. Obviously the man  inherited the wanderlust of his grandfather Jesse Morgan, Addison made a trip to Canada in 1929 and in 1930 the census lists him as a prospector for precious metals, living in Oroville, Washington, quite near the Canadian border. By 1935, he has moved to Talent, Oregon, another gold mining town. Although he’s been listed as single or a widower in the past, the 1940 census says he is divorced. Several marriages? Perhaps. Addison at seventy-one years old lived in Gold HIll,  Oregon, yet another gold mining community and that is the last we hear of him.

The Unsettled Son

But if you think Addison had an unusual life, take a look at the youngest son, Wilbur Hopkins. I am quite tempted to label him a free-loader.

As mentioned above, in 1900 Wilbur was counted living with his brother Edwin and also with his father.  The brothers Edwin and Wilbur were gold mining.  From 1895 to 1910, Wilbur lived with his parents or with sisters Caroline and Louise in Denver variously described as a miner or a student. In 1910 Wilbur apprenticed with a florist, a reputable job for the young brother of the two school teachers. But whatever he had been studying off and on, including flowers, fell by the wayside.

By 1917, according to his World War I draft card, and in 1920, according to the census, he lived and worked on a farm in Arapahoe, Colorado. Moving again, but still listing farm work as his occupation, in 1930 Wilbur lived with his brother, the surgeon Thomas Hopkins in Denver. Wilbur continued to live with Thomas and in 1940 reports that he is working as a handyman. Wilbur never married and never lived in a home–or even an apartment, of his own.

Surely this youngest son’s life would have caused much concern for his mother, Louise Morgan Hopkins, had she lived long enough to see him turn away from his abortive training as a florist.

Family Members Living Together

I had to make a table of locations, based on Denver City Directories to figure out where these people were in relationship to other members of their family.

In 1895, Louise Jr. was a student and she was living with Carrie, now a teacher and Addison a lawyer with their parents at 1243 South 14th Street.

From 1897 through 1901, the adult children Louise, Caroline/Carrie, Addison and Wilbur lived with their parents at 1135 Filmore Street in Denver.

In 1899, Wilbur was not at the Fillmore Street address, presumably mining with htis brother Edwin.

In 1902 and 1903, after the father died, Louise, Carrie, their mother and Wilbur live at 2710 E. 12th Street.

From 1904 through 1910, Wilbur lives with Carrie and Louise at 2710 E. 12th, but their mother is not listed in the Denver directory.

Summarizing Jesse Morgan’s Grandchildren–My First Cousins 2 x Removed.

So there are the children of Louise Morgan Hopkins–the grand-children of my great-great-grandfather, Jesse Morgan.  I tend to assign the wild streak in Wilbur and Addison to genes inherited from Jesse.  What would he have made of these grandchildren? And I can’t help wondering if my great-grandmother Mary Morgan met any of her step-grandchildren.

We met Jesse Morgan’s other children. Charles Morgan, a veteran of the Union army, had one daughter, Miranda (Leach) who in turn had two children. He also had six step-children although they were adults by the time he married his second wife, their mother. He followed his father, Jesse’s, footsteps moving to Illinois and finally to California.

Carlos Morgan also rambled westward. He married the beautiful Jane Warfield of Iowa. With her brothers family, they move to Bozeman Montana, where Carlos works as a tinner. To my knowledge, they had no children.

Malvina Morgan, the sibling closest in age to my great-grandmother Hattie Morgan (Stout), lived a typical wife-and-mother life in New York and Ohio until her husband, Austin Grimes, died. Then the independent Malvina moved to Colorado Springs where she worked in a shop of some sort according to family tradition. Malvina and Austin had two daughters, Emma and Eva.

So, counting Louise‘s seven children, I am related to the families of ten grand-children of my great-great grandfather.  Hellooooooo? Anybody out there???

How I Am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • Harriet Morgan Stout, who is the daughter of
  • Jesse Morgan, who is the father of 
  • Louise Morgan Hopkins

Notes on Research–To Come