Earlier this week one of Morgan’s oldest homes was torn down. Built in 1869, the home was originally inhabited by the Samuel and Esther Francis family.
Living in a tent home and then a dugout prior to building the home, Samuel describes the previous five years as “the existence years…the poorest years of our lives. At times it seemed impossible for us to get poorer, but with my good wife’s assistance, we pulled through.”
Esther was raised in a home with culture and refinement. She used her knowledge to help bless the lives of others—acting as both practical nurse and midwife. By the year 1869, the name “Francis” was rooted in Morgan along with the other prominent pioneer families in the valley. It was after Esther that Frances Peak was named.
During the next few years, the coming of the railroad brought opportunity. With this came new economic environment plus the availability of lime from the kilns, bricks from the brickyard and lumber from the local sawmills. It was during this time the family had the opportunity to improve their living quarters.
When the family moved into their home, they had four children. After having lived in a granary, tent, dugout and a one-room log house, they were excited to move into this new “dream home.” The home had a kitchen, dining and living room and a bedroom with stairs to an attic, which served as a large attic.
Later an addition was built to the east of the house to provide for an office, enlarge the kitchen and bedroom, as well as provide a pantry for food storage. In other additions porch was added, and later another bedroom and parlor.
At the time the homestead was quite the “center of activity” for family and friends. It was one of the most outstanding homes in Morgan.
Many years later when Morgan resident Fern Covill was born, her family lived in the home. By this time the home had been turned into a duplex and her parents Edmund and Leah Johnson shared the home with the Grant and Grace Eddington family. Edmund worked on Aunt Fanny Francis’ farm and for part of his pay he was allowed these living quarters.
Most recently Shane Robinson took over ownership after his father Neil Robinson passed away a couple years ago. John Cannon has now purchased the property and with the deterioration of the home, had it torn down this past Monday in order to make room for a new home he will be building.