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October 1874


1 October 1874 • Thursday

Thurs. Oct. 1, This is the Anniversary of Mell’s wedding-day seven years ago, how terrible when I look back upon it, and yet we were all satisfied then and thought it a happy marriage, how peculiar were my own circumstances at that time [p. 51] {p. 53} and how changed since then are all things concerning me; how different I have felt since then and how, many things have transpired in my life to give me an experience, which is lasting and beneficial; went to the fast-meeting in the afternoon; or rather the society I should have said, there was some talk about a new-order1 which some of our sisters who wanted to be very good had been trying to organize but through some misunderstanding it had fallen through. This morning I went up City Creek to the place of baptism I enjoyed the walk my thoughts although solemn were not altogether unpleasant and my heart was fully alive to all [p. 52] {p. 54} the beauties of scenery and the many-hued leaves of autumn always had a charm for me, always reminded me of something pleasant in the past; how wonderfully are our minds impressed by certain objects in Nature; my heart seemed tuned to harmony with all inanimate things; I did not care to hurry home I felt I could have wandered among the mountain shrubbery for hours alone, no companion but my reflections and thoughts but duty that stern mentor whose calls are paramount recalled me to a sense of the obligations I was under and I turned my footsteps homeward; [p. 53] {p. 55}

2 October 1874 • Friday

Friday Oct. 2. I went up town in the morning was at the Tithing Office– Joseph [C.] Kingsbury and I had a long conversation, and it seemed to do me good to give me fresh courage to strengthen my faith to help me in my weakness, O he is one of the chosen ones of Israel I feel it more now than ever; I have been busily engaged in sewing all the afternoon and evening with the exception of sorting some papers and reading over some old letters; which by-the-way when we are in certain moods is very pleasant; or gratifying– Margaret [Pierce] Young called on me in the afternoon said the Prest. [Brigham Young] was better, had been out riding and thought he would be able to go to Conference [p. 54] {p. 56}

3 October 1874 • Saturday

Sat. Oct. 3 Br. [Richard] Birkbeck came to-day from Cedar City– to Conference, he is afflicted with rheumatism– is going to try the vapor-baths;2 I went to the 14th. Ward Meeting this afternoon, it was an excellent meeting the Spirit of God seemed to be there I felt well with them, Sister Horn [Mary Isabella Hales Horne] and Aunt Zina invited me to speak but I did not feel confidence to rise up–

Mellie’s eye is much worse, Will is going to bring Dr. [John D.] Thompson; I am so sorry for her and also that she has not faith to be administered to and so on; God pity her and heal her for Jesus’ Sake is my constant prayer; Annie went to the Theatre to see J. [John] C. Graham who has just returned from England. Em. went to Annie Park’s party Will was here with Mellie and I [p. 55] {p. 57} was alone after nine o’clock writing Br. Birkbeck went to bed;

4 October 1874 • Sunday

Sun. Oct. 4.

A very lovely day Br. Birkbeck was here all day long Joanna3 left after having been here one week it rained a little in the afternoon, in the evening Stan & Rudd Ort. & Heber were here also Rulie, we had a fire in the grate Will & Mell were up stairs,

5 October 1874 • Monday

Mon. Oct. 5. A most delightfu[l] day, school kept contrary to our expectation, I wish it had not so Em. could rest, Mon. Eve. Mr. Hendrie called for a few minutes promised he would come again Tues. Eve. I was at the “House” to see Laurina married mother was with me, my husband was very kind and pleasant; Mother staid [p. 56] {p. 58} all night with me, Joshua brought us some wine &c.

6 October 1874 • Tuesday

Tues. Oct. 7 <6> Today it is thirty years since my little Eugene died how long it seems and how dreadful when I remember my agony at that time my utter loneliness, my inexperience, Oh what heartrending scenes we are called to pass through,

Br. [Edwin] Holden from Provo called today Br. [Charles] Monk from Spanish Fork came and spent the evening, he had his little son with him, Newel Wells Dr. Thompson came to look at Mellie’s eye, he insisted that an operation must be performed upon it; the girls are making all preparation to go to the farm on a picnic,

I took mother up to the Tabernacle in the morning, the Prest. attended Conference today [p. 57] {p. 59}

7 October 1874 • Wednesday

Wednes. Oct. 7. The girls started off about five o’clock Br. [Edwin] & Sister [Ruia Bliss] Holden were here before they went they were very hard to entertain as he is very deaf and insists on all you say being repeated and she is so inquisitive and curious however they went to bed early which was a great relief;

Lou. sang and played on the guitar for them, they were pleased with it but seemed most anxious to talk to me of matters pertaining to church affairs, Conference items the new order and so forth, I sat up alone after they were gone to bed many hours, I had many thoughts and reflections [p. 58] {p. 60}

8 October 1874 • Thursday

Thurs. Oct. 8. Today thirty years ago since my darling4 was buried, O how my heart yearns for him into the uncertain and untried future, Holden’s went to meeting this morning and bid us good-bye– Mell. & Katie walked from the farm– being completely disgusted with the amusements I had a new bonnet today and went to the Theatre tonight– Will. & Mell, were downstairs all the evening and Em. and Annie were alone up stairs, Heber brought me home,

9 October 1874 • Friday

Friday Oct. 9. I went to Conference all day, in the morning Br. [John] Vancott and Br. [Wilford] Woodruff preached at noon I went over to the house to dinner I saw my husband for a minute in the afternoon they voted in the Authorities [p. 59] {p. 61} and Br. [John] Taylor preached Miss Cook came home with me, Carloss <W.> [Don Carlos Whitney] and David Kimball5 spent the evening here, Will was here for a short time I commenced writing some poetry,6 which I have not done for some months although I have felt strongly impressed lately to write a poem, this will only be a fragment, for a friend,

10 October 1874 • Saturday

Sat. Oct. 10, Anniversary of my marriage with Prest. Wells, O how happy I was then how much pleasure I anticipated and how changed alas are all things since that time, how few of the thoughts I had then have ever been realized, and how much sorrow I have known in place of the joy I looked forward to; [p. 60] {p. 62} I have been busy all day, no rest or cessation from toil;

in the evening Ort. Rulie & Heber were here, Mr. Hendrie came and Em. & him went up town for oysters; afterwards he came and staid until twelve o’clock– he talked to me of the book I am writing,7 in which he seems to have taken considerable interest and very kindly too, as he does not believe as we do, and he knows that write whatever I may it will be more or less tinged with Mormonism;

11 October 1874 • Sunday

Sun. Oct. 11 Mellie’s eye is very bad today– partly I think in consequence of the medicine, she went to the Dedication of the Presbyterian Church in the morning in the afternoon to ride with Will. Em. had Kit. [Lucretia Heywood] here to read Lucille[.] Kate [Catherine Wells] Emily & Josie [Mary Josephine] Whittle [p. 61] {p. 63} called afterwards Ort. Whitney then Budd and Alibo Mother came from the meeting and I went home with her Nymphas [C.] Murdock and wife8 called here; while they were <here> my husband came, my heart gave one great bound towards him; O how enthusiastically I love him; truly and devotedly if he could only feel towards me in any degree as I do towards him how happy it would make me; he seemed most happy in my company for the time being we talked of many things in the past of our first acquaintance of our marriage ceremony when Prest. Young introduced a paragraph relating to the resurrection which we had never heard made us[e] of in any other ceremony or at any other time [p. 62] {p. 64} of the Prest.’s peculiar distress and grief at Bishop Whitney’s death of his sincere friendship for him and the particular respect he had always manifested in referring refering to him;

he refered to the pleasure he felt in my companionship when we went to Provo;9 that he should never forget it; and that there had been many such periods in our associations together delightful to dwell upon, in fact that our memories of each other were altogether pleasant; it was late when he left me and he gave me a parting blessing– we never had so striking an interview; it has left an ineffacable impression upon me; [p. 63] {p. 65}

12 October 1874 • Monday

Mon. Oct. 12. This is another beautiful autumnal day, how splendidly our garden is decked out with its bright foliage; poor old garden how many hours I have spent in it happily and unhappily. I have been working hard all day with many sweet and pleasant thoughts– Daisie is not feeling well; Mr. Wilson spent the evening here, also Will,

the outsiders tried to arrest Br. Young tonight but did not succeed yet–;10

13 October 1874 • Tuesday

Tues. <Oct. 13.> they are still trying to make a fuss with our folks, which makes it very unpleasant, no news in particular been working hard all day, no girl11 yet– had a serenade [p. 64] {p. 66}

14 October 1874 • Wednesday

Wednes. Oct. 14– Em. went to the association, she does not seem very well Hanmer has lent Em his guitar, Lou. went to the Theatre–

15 October 1874 • Thursday

Thurs. Oct. 15. I have been writing considerably it has been such a busy day Mellie & Will went to the Theatre also Annie, Ort. came down, afterwards Mr. Hendrie called and as Ort & Em were down stairs he came up to speak to me and tell me he was going East [p. 65] {p. 67} he seemed most cordial and told me as he has often done before I seemed like a mother to him he loved me as his mother to no living person had he opened his mind and confided the secrets of his heart as he had done to me, it was like leaving his home and his mother to leave us, but he would soon return, May God grant him a safe and pleasant journey to meet his friends in peace and comfort and to feel blessed in their society and accomplish all the object he had in going

O my Father in heaven open His heart to receive [p. 66] {p. 68} the Gospel prepare him for repentance he bid us good bye about eleven o’clock intending to start by the morning train

16 October 1874 • Friday

Friday Oct. 16.

Br [Isaac] & Sister [Leah Bailey] Dunford from Bear Lake came to visit us and see the children, Lile came too and Mother & Joshua we had a pleasant time in the evening we were busy getting ready to start to Provo, I did not go to bed until after one, and rose at five in the morning

Sister Lucy came and told us Carrie [C. Granger] was married on the first of Oct. to George Snider [George E. Snyder] [p. 67] {p. 69}

17 October 1874 • Saturday

Sat. Oct. 14<7>. We left home before seven, had a pleasant journey and arrived in Provo, at half-past ten

George A. Smith was on the cars also Clara D. [Decker] Young and her daughters,12 Br. [Abraham O.] Smoot’s folks were very glad to see us, and we were made most comfortable met with many old friends, wrote home to the children,

18 October 1874 • Sunday

Sun. Oct. 15 <18> we went to meeting in the morning, the day was not so pleasant, it rained a little George A. Smith preached to us, from church we went to Lucy [Meserve Smith]’s and took dinner spent the afternoon, took dinner with Mr. Lowrie and another gentleman, Anna seems a very nice girl, she has three daughters and two sons, one son married– and has two grand-children [p. 68] {p. 70} we went back to Smoots’ the same evening to sleep.

19 October 1874 • Monday

Mon. Oct. 16 <19>. We went to Sister [Diantha Morley] Billings, there I left mother and went out calling– called on Mrs. Catharine [Houston] Alexander, Mrs. Giles [Almira Tiffany] Holden, Mrs. Dusenberry took dinner with Mrs. Edwin Holden, went back to Sister Billings and slept with Eunice [Billings Snow],

20 October 1874 • Tuesday

Tues. Oct. 17 <20>. We went and looked a little at the Factories13 and called on Mrs. Henry [Florence Maddison] Maiben and Smoots’ took the train at a quarter to eleven, Br. [Jesse W.] Fox was on the train also Parley [L.] Williams to whom I had been introduced at Smoots’ Mrs. [Margaret McMeans] Smoot got on at Draperville where she had been to attend a funeral, we arrived in the city at two P.M. mother got off [p. 69] {p. 71} at Br. Fox. and I came on home found Louie & Annie both sick with sore throats, also John & Harry Kemp arrived from Nevada in my absence, they left the same day for American Fork; that evening I attended the Theatre to see Laura Honey Stevenson take Kati Lennox in “Cameron Pride” received two letters one from Lettie [Thorndike Granger] sister Lucy came to tell us see if we had returned.14

21 October 1874 • Wednesday

Wednes. Oct. 21.

Went down to Mother’s a few minutes also up town,

Mary Ann [Mumford] Case called on us in the morning at evening Ort. & Budd they had a party up at the other house for the carpenters’ Annie went, Mell. & Em went to the Literary Society I was not well through the evening and was all alone, Em. & Annie did not come home until twelve. Daisie & Onie were up at Belle’s all day– [p. 70] {p. 72}

22 October 1874 • Thursday

Thurs. Oct. 22.

The weather still continues most gloriously bright and beautiful, nothing of any particular interest Belle came down I think, in the evening I was invited to the other house.

23 October 1874 • Friday

Friday Oct. 23. Callie’s birthday, she had a party Lou. went up to spend the day and night with her, her throat is a little better. Em. & Annie went up to dance also;

24 October 1874 • Saturday

Sat. Oct. 24. Em. went up to Belle’s and spent the day, we all went to the Warm Springs, their baths are all newly fitted up had a pleasant time [p. 71] {p. 73}

25 October 1874 • Sunday

Sunday Oct. 25. Children all went to Sunday School,

Louie and I went to meeting in the afternoon Br. Woodruff preached, Mrs. Eleanor Mac Clean [McComb McLean] Pratt15 died last evening, her funeral was held in the fourteenth ward today, in the evening we had a housefull of young people;

26 October 1874 • Monday

Mon. Oct. 26.

Mellie called on Lile and they went out riding together I went out for a walk in the evening met Bishop [Edwin D.] Woolley Annie’s throat is much worse to-day she has been out of school for the first time for many weeks, she can scarcely talk at all, [p. 72] {p. 74}

27 October 1874 • Tuesday

Tues. Oct. 27. Yesterday the rain commenced today it has been almost incessant, it is my husband’s birthday he is sixty years old, O what a grand life his has been, how proud and thankful I am to have borne his name and to have so noble a father for my children God grant him long life and health peace and prosperity; Hannah [Free Wells] made a dinner for all the family– he made a speech at the table after we were all seated previous to asking a blessing, it was a feast to me more than all the luxuries upon the table, I hope the children will remember and treasure up in their inmost hearts his words and <be> benefited by them,

To-night is the Masquerade in <the Theatre> [p. 73] {p. 75}

28 October 1874 • Wednesday

Wednes. Oct. 28. The rain still continues the weather is very cold Mellie has been at home all day she seems very unhappy, talks a great deal about her approaching marriage, at evening Em. & Annie went to the Literary Society up at the house; Will & Richard Taylor spent the evening here, they told us considerable about the Masquerade; Hanmer & Geneva Abbie & Dessie were there,

I sent a manuscript to the Office to-day16

29 October 1874 • Thursday

Thurs. Oct. 29. This is a beautiful day bright warm and sunshiny– Mell. went down to Mary Ann Case’s I went calling on several friends [p. 74] {p. 76} Br. Morris17 called as a teacher Harry Emery called with Ort.

30 October 1874 • Friday

Sat Friday Oct. 30. Mary Jane [Groo] & Ria [Sarah Maria] Kimball were here; Mary was helping Mellie with the children’s white dresses; they are elaborately tucked; Sisters [Elizabeth Lane] Hyde[,] [Sarah] Decker[,] [Relief Cram] Atwood and myself went to the Assembly Rooms to put down a carpet–18 were there until two. o’clock, came home went to the Post-Office met Belle on the way went home with her to dinner; in the evening Em. & Annie went to the Debating Society–19 Lou. went to the Theatre, [p. 75] {p. 77}

31 October 1874 • Saturday

Sat. Oct. 31, This is a continuation of the lovely autumnal days;

Aunt Zina called this morning Sister Brooks is here, we are in great trouble and anxiety over the preparations for Mell’s marriage; at evening Eber [P.] Case called and helped us to fix the cider-barrel– Will was here as usual indeed he is seldom absent now, Wm. was here towards evening, Onie is very sick with fever and baby is not well;

Footnotes

  1. [1]In early 1874 Brigham Young asked local leaders to form branches of a United Order in each Latter-day Saint town and in wards in the city. (Arrington et al., Building the City of God, 147–154.)

  2. [2]Vapor baths were taken in the natural mineral waters at the Wasatch Warm Springs. (Milligan, “Do I Have to Travel?”)

  3. [3]Household help.

  4. [4]Eugene Henri Harris, EBW’s first child.

  5. [5]Likely David H. Kimball.

  6. [6]In addition to verses written privately for friends, EBW published poems in the Salt Lake Herald, Woman’s Exponent, and the Contributor. (See, for example, “Fruit of the Desert,” Salt Lake Herald, 10 Dec. 1893, 15; “Mizpah,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Sept. 1879, 8:57; “Shadows and Whisperings,” Contributor, Nov. 1879, 1:38.)

  7. [7]Musings and Memories: Poems was the only book EBW published. It appeared in a first edition in 1896 and in a revised, expanded edition in 1915. (EBW, Musings and Memories, [5]; for more on EBW’s literary ambitions, see Madsen, Intimate History, 364–371.)

  8. [8]Probably Nymphas Murdock’s first wife, Melissa Barney. (“Nymphas Coridon Murdock,” Find A Grave, accessed 16 Oct. 2017, https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=27698635.)

  9. [9]EBW, Daniel H. Wells, and many others traveled from Salt Lake City to Provo, Utah Territory, in a general move south before the arrival of General Albert S. Johnston’s army in the spring of 1858. That winter, Daniel H. Wells was general in the Nauvoo Legion, responsible for planning countermeasures. Families stayed in Provo and vicinity for several months until the army moved through Salt Lake City on 26 June and established Camp Floyd in Cedar Valley, west of Utah Lake. (Alexander, Utah, The Right Place, 126–129, 134–136.)

  10. [10]James B. McKean, appointed chief justice of the Utah territorial supreme court in 1870, was determined to bring Brigham Young to trial and fine and imprison him for “lascivious cohabitation.’’ In 1873 Ann Eliza Webb Young sued for divorce with alimony, which Justice McKean granted in 1875. When Brigham Young refused to pay, McKean charged him with contempt of court. (Arrington, Brigham Young, 371–373; Firmage and Mangrum, Zion in the Courts, 249–251.)

  11. [11]Hired help.

  12. [12]Jeannette Richards, Nabbie Howe, and Charlotte Talulah Young.

  13. [13]The Provo Woolen Mills started operating in October 1872. (Arrington, “The Provo Woolen Mills,” 104.)

  14. [14]text: “(returned.” written on the following line, after “Wednes. Oct. 21.”

  15. [15]Eleanor McComb McLean, formerly married to Unitarian minister Hector McLean of Arkansas, married Parley P. Pratt in 1855 in Salt Lake City. On a trip to Arkansas in 1857 to meet Eleanor as she retrieved her two sons, Pratt was shot by Hector McLean and left to die in the road. After this tragedy, Eleanor Pratt lived in Utah Territory for almost twenty years. (Alexander, Utah, The Right Place, 129; “Eleanor Jane McComb McLean Pratt,” First Fifty Years, 665.)

  16. [16]EBW [Blanche Beechwood, pseud.], “Woman, A Subject,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Nov. 1874, 3:82. She declared, “‘Strong-minded’ women are the very ones who will make the best aids and helpmeets for their husbands.”

  17. [17]Like the Relief Society with its visiting teachers, ward leaders assigned male priesthood holders to pay visits to families, instructing family members and helping them with temporal needs.

  18. [18]The method involved laying straw on the floor, then stretching and tacking strips of woven rag carpeting over the straw. (Carter, Heart Throbs of the West, 2:480–481.)

  19. [19]One of the self-improvement societies of Salt Lake City. (Walker, “Growing Up in Early Utah,” 61–62; and Kenney, Mutual Improvement Associations, 6–8.)