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Morgan Family Pioneer Heritage
The Sunbeam Homestead

Some of the best pictures we have of what life was like on a Morgan Family homestead in Idaho in the early 1900's.


This fine old picture, with John Millard Charlesworth and Sarah Jane Morgan Charlesworth sitting on top of a load of poles, is a classic illustration of how trees were brought by horse drawn wagon to the ranch to be made into buildings, corrals, fence posts and firewood. Note that the trees were cut with an axe. Apparently John did not even have a saw. Jane Morgan Charlesworth was not a large woman. But, hampered by the large skirts women were expected to wear in those days, she helped John Millard cut and haul poles.


This picture, taken in the yard of the Sunbeam Homestead in Idaho, illustrates some of the basic necessities of survival on a frontier homestead in the early 1900's. The log barn would have housed livestock such as horses and milk cows. The corral provided a means for allowing the livestock out of the barn but kept them handy for when they were needed. The buggy was used like we use automobiles today, for trips to town or wherever and for light duty hauling. The wagon was used for heavy farm hauling. The flock of chickens and turkeys provided meat and eggs. In addition, there was probably a milk cow, or even several milk cows, to provide the family with milk, cream and butter.

The wagon box could be taken off the wagon in the picture above so that just the wagon frame could be used to haul poles as in the picture at the top of the page. The wagons in both the pictures above may, in fact, be the same wagon. Being able "to do a lot with a little" was an important survival skill for these early homesteaders, who may not have been able to afford two wagons.


The early Charlesworth family on their Sunbeam Ranch. On the left are Sarah Jane (Holden) Morgan Charlesworth and her husband John Millard Charlesworth. Next is Maybell, John Millard's daughter from his first marriage. After John and Jane were married they traveled to Colorado to visit his parents and they brought Maybell back to live with them. Next is Selma Charlesworth sitting on a horse, and then Glen (Chick) Charlesworth, also sitting on a horse. On the Right is the oldest son of John and Jane Charlesworth, John William Charlesworth, standing beside a horse. He had a favorite horse, Buttons, and this may be buttons he is standing beside.

Sarah Jane appears to have a baby in her arms in this picture. Perhaps this baby was Florence, who died at about five months of age. The Charlesworth family had two more children, Lyle and Wayne, not shown in this picture, who lived to adulthood.

Selma and John W. Charlesworth

Click on the link above to see a picture of the log house built on the Sunbeam Homestead and pictures of John Millard and Sarah Jane Morgan Charlesworth's children.

John Millard Hunting

Click on the link above to see pictures of travel and hunting in pioneering times.

The Sunbeam Ranch Homestead was patented 28 May, 1914 by John Millard and Sarah Jane Morgan Charlesworth. We know the pictures on this page were taken prior to 1917. Records show that sometime before 1917 a family problem developed (John Millard got sexually involved with his oldest daughter from his first marriage, Maybell, who was living with them). Sarah Jane was a very courageous woman and she did not shrink from confronting this problem. But John Millard threatened her when she confronted him with the evidence and she was forced to file a civil complaint and divorce proceedings against him in 1917. Subsequently John Millard packed his things and left. He was never heard from again.

Sarah Jane divorced John Millard Charlesworth early in 1918 and, with the help of their 15 year old son, John William Charlesworth, struggled to run the Sunbeam homestead but it was too much for them and she sold it to her brother Alvin Morgan. Alvin Morgan notes in his records that there followed shortly a two year drought and he lost the homestead.