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Morgan Family Pioneer Heritage
Amberzine Guston

We know so little about her....


James John and Amberzine are the only ones in Thomas Morgan's family who are not buried together. They are both in the Shelton Cemetery, but not together. The Morgan family lost track of Amberzine. The story is that her remains showed up via train at Rigby or Idaho Falls, Idaho and a local bishop was pressed into service to collect them and arrange for burial. She is buried in a plot near her mother Martha Green Guston. There is also a small metal marker there for her daughter Myrtle Morgan Ferguson but Myrtle appears to be actually buried nearby with her husband George Ferguson. Myrtles grave markers are the only time in our experience that we have found two grave markers for the same person. But she is most likely buried with her husband and we don't know why there is a marker for her in the gravesite where Amberzine is buried.


From what we have learned of Amberzine in our studies of Thomas Morgan's family it appears that mental illness played a large part in her estrangement from the family. Thomas Morgan was taking care of Amberzine's mother when he lived in Utah and there is a record of him asking the county for assistance in taking care of her. He states in his request that she is "crazy."

We assisted John Warnick, one of Amberzines grandsons, in putting together his family history record, including the reason he was adopted into the Warnick family. James John and Amberzine's youngest son, Lawrence Deloss, married Wilda Marston when he was 17 years old and Wilda was 15 years old. Amberzine was apparently upset enough about this to order Lawrence Deloss out of her house. Lawrence wound up in the Idaho State Penetentiary in Boise, and their son John Dee Morgan was found wandering the streets by a relative, Elmer Warnick, who took him in and adopted him. Elmer Warnick was married to Amberzine's sister Martha. Elmer Dee Morgan changed his name to Elmer Dee Warnick when he joined the marine corps. There are suggestions in this story that Amberzine may have not been entirely rational in her treatment of her youngest son and that her treatment of him may have contributed to his landing in prison. We don't have records to prove it but the general conclusion is that Amberzine probably suffered from some kind of mental illness.


James John Morgan is buried in the Shelton Cemetery just across the access road and a bit north from Amberzine. The story of James John and Amberzine is most fascinating. They married in Leamingon, Utah in 1979, moved to Idaho with other Morgan families in 1881, moved back to Utah from Idaho (with other Morgan families) about 1887, moved to Wyoming (with James' father's family and other Morgan families) in about 1889, and moved to Shelton, Idaho (with the other Morgan families) in 1891. They lived in the Shelton area, close to the other Morgan families they had moved with, until at least 1910, when they were divorced. They had 8 children. Those of us who have worked with the family history have reason to believe that the separation of James John and Amberzine resulted in James John being estranged from his father, Thomas Morgan. James John is simply absent from the family pictures taken late in Thomas and Ann Morgans lives.

Each of the moves described above were to new frontiers where raw land had to be broke out of sagebrush, ditches dug to irrigate it, and some kind of shelter built to live in while farming it. So these years must have taken their toll on James John and Amberzine. However, it is noteworthy that they stayed near other Morgan families, including Thomas Morgan, James John's father, through 1910, the year they were divorced. It is possible to speculate that the problems that developed between James John and Amberzine also served to drive a wedge between James John and his father. This speculation stems from the fact that James John is not in the family picture that was taken before his mother died in 1895 even though he lived close by when the picture was taken. Nor was he in the family pictures taken later. Thomas Morgan was known to be somewhat strict and he would undoubtably have disapproved of James John divorcing Amberzine, regardless of the reasons. The problems between James John and Amberzine, and the impending divorce, could easily have created problems between James John and his father.

The pictures of James John and Amberzine's headstones were put on the same page here because they are buried in the Shelton cemetery where most of the other family members they lived with most of their lives were buried. But all the other family members are buried beside each other, as was customary. These two tombstones are so close together yet so far apart while still in the midst of their families. They suffered great hardships and yet their greatest sorrows are that they were not able to hold their family together.