January 1881


29 March

EBW deposited a photo of herself and a manuscript in the Relief Society’s Jubilee Box, commemorating fifty years since the founding of the church in 1830.

31 March

Sisters welcomed Eliza R. Snow and Zina D. H. Young back to Salt Lake city from their extended tour of stakes in southern Utah.

3 May

John Q. Cannon received a mission call to Great Britain. He left his wife, Annie Wells Cannon, and baby on 9 August to serve.

2 July

EBW reported the shooting of U.S. president James A. Garfield. In later entries, she reported on his medical treatment and eventual death.

5 July

EBW first mentioned the planned trip east of Dr. Ellen B. Ferguson and Zina D. H. Young. They departed in August, and Dr. Romania B. Pratt later joined them. The women collected family history records and talked to groups about Latter-day Saint beliefs, and the two doctors also studied medicine.

9, 18, and 23 July

EBW served as delegate to the People’s Party’s nominating convention.

E. B. Wells

1881 {p. 2}

1 January 1881 • Saturday

<Early this morn I had a remarkable dream A morning dove came and sat on the foot of my bed it was transparent> A happy new year for us in many ways. Exponent issued last evening. Remained at home all day. Annie [Elizabeth Ann Wells Cannon] & John Q. [Cannon]1 Louie [Louise M. Wells] sat down to dinner together. Rob [Robert W. Sloan] gave Louie a Jewel Case. Annie gave me a tablecloth linen The day was fair in the evening I went to the theatre and took Emily [Harris Wells]. Louie went with Rob– John Q. staid at home with Annie

2 January 1881 • Sunday

I remained at home all day. Junius [F. Wells] came. I was preparing A sketch for the Contributor.2 I cooked dinner too. Louise went to meeting. Annie did not feel very well. In the evening we were all in the parlor. Lou. went to Rob’s to dinner and staid part of the evening. Called at Mellie [Melvina Whitney Woods]’s. Dot [S. Isabel Sears] was with us. We are keeping very quiet on Annie’s account We want her to do well. Monday [p. 24] {p. 28}

3 January 1881 • Monday

Mrs. [Fannie McBride] Cole is very ill not expected to live. Annie has had pains all night. Sent for the nurse Mrs. Newton this morning. I could not rest all day. up and down I went. took Dot to the Depot then drove to Mrs. Cole’s Saw Mr. [Frank] Cole <he> said the danger was past– he was hopeful– went over to Mellie’s staid a few minutes. Went home again had May [Mary M. Wells] & Emeline [Young Wells] in the Office. Sent for Dr. [Romania Bunnell] Pratt at half past seven, all sat up and waited. Annie very cheerful.

4 January 1881 • Tuesday

At five minutes to three o clock a son3 was born to Annie; her joy was great. he was a lovely babe. weighed 8¾ pounds. She is safely delivered. John Q. is intensely happy. At ten o’clock I drove up to Mellie’s. then went to Mrs. Cole’s saw him, he told me how much better she was. I talked with him a little. May & Em. worked I ran up and down Went up to 12th. Ward house & saw Pres. [Daniel H.] Wells. [p. 25] {p. 29}

5 January 1881 • Wednesday

Today my heart has ached fearfully. I am in a most restless state, dreamed last night the Lion House4 was on fire. Had an invitation to a party could not go. Mrs. [Jane Snyder] Richards of Ogden was here and several other ladies. The Esquire5 came in and we staid here and enjoyed a pleasant evening together.

6 January 1881 • Thursday

Mrs. Cole is worse, she is in a profound sleep. I went up to see her– stood by her bedside and thought of all the promises I had made, and the peculiar circumstances of her life. I felt she would never waken more, never. Pres. Wells came down and took dinner. Administered to Annie went from here to the theatre I staid with Annie till the theatre was over and then went to Mrs. Cole’s to sit by her dying bed. [p. 26] {p. 30}

7 January 1881 • Friday

Staid all night at Mrs. Cole’s saw the damps of death gathering on her brow. turned her, to put dry things under her, bathed her face and hands, and shed for her the tear of sympathy and affection. Her baby Carl is doing well Left Mrs. Cole at seven, went home came up at ten to the Office. went up to Mrs. Cole’s about 1/2 past three. She had died 20 minutes to 2 o’clock fell asleep and never woke from eleven on Wednes. Eve to the moment of her death. Mell sat up with the corpse.

8 January 1881 • Saturday

Louie was home with Annie, I went up to see Mr. Cole, talked to him a long time. Received an invitation to attend the funeral a card. went up about eleven o’clock saw the babe– Mr. Cole was asleep did not stay as there was nothing to do. The Esq. came to see the baby– had supper here, went to the theatre. Louie & John Q. I staid with Annie– played the Banker’s Daughter [p. 27] {p. 31}

9 January 1881 • Sunday

Intended going to meeting but was delayed and found the house too full. Corrected copy, tended the new baby etc. etc. In the eve. Ort [Orson F. Whitney] came and we talked of Mrs. Cole. Will [William W. Woods] & Mell called, no word from Belle [Isabel Whitney Sears]. Everything is painfully quiet. I cannot express my feelings: my ideas seem to centre on Mrs. Cole– what her condition is at the present time. and the work which remains for me to do–6

10 January 1881 • Monday

<A funeral (Masonic) stopped in front of Pres. [John] Taylor’s Office–> Rose at nine, dressed for the funeral. walked up. met Mell. The funeral was in the parlor where she always recieved her friends. She was taken out in her beauty and <her coffin> laid in the hearse, while we sat like so many statues, going through the mockery of a <funral> ceremony. Miss Sarah Brown played. Mrs. Hamilton sang. Mr. [Walter M.] Barrows said a few words no ladies went to the grave– it seemed sad. She had many friends [p. 28] {p. 32}

11 January 1881 • Tuesday

Today Annie’s baby was blest and named George Quayle Cannon, he was blest at noon. The father held him and Pres. Wells the grandfather performed the ceremony. We had a lovely time. The baby wore an elegant robe and looked lovely. Staid late at the office answering letters. Pouring rain when I came home. Home very comfortable & happy.

12 January 1881 • Wednesday

Had a very bad night, Annie not so well this morning. Sister [Sarah Harvey] Holmes of Farmington came and invited me to go up to Conference Jan. 21. Apostle [Franklin D.] Richards came and gave me an invitation to come to Ogden to a party on Aunt Eliza [R. Snow]’s birthday. Received a letter from my Sister Delia [Woodward Holden]. Louie spent the evening at Edith [Spencer] Clawson’s with her and Georgie [Georgia Foote] Claw<son> [p. 29] {p. 33}

13 January 1881 • Thursday

Annie is better today for which I feel very grateful. Went early to the Office. Busy all day. Rec’d a note from Mr. Cole. he also called upon me. Bought a bouquet for Annie tea rose and sweet scented flowers; had a letter from Aunt Eliza. Grand R.S.7 party in 14th. Ward. We have had many callers today letter from Sister Pallas [Woodward Clark]. wrote Mrs. Cole’s obituary.8

14 January 1881 • Friday

Today has been gloomy, terrible snow slide in Alta9 many lives lost and the flourishing town has become a wreck. Lamentation and mourning in the streets. Annie has been sitting up for the first time, looking so pretty, paper nearly ready, May made all the wrappers. Louie was at school– three days before it had smoked, dismal day. [p. 30] {p. 34}

15 January 1881 • Saturday

Went up early, paper not out– had the revise and corrected. Belle came on mid-day train and all the children– Lucile [Laura Lucile Sears]’s face is dreadful–10 Emma [Whitney Sears] is as cunning as ever. Belle was quite excited when she saw Annie & baby. Rain pouring Belle has got an elegant new hat birds and plumes of ostrich very expensive. Belle & children staid all night.

16 January 1881 • Sunday

Y.[M.]M.I.A. Conference in Salt Lake Assembly Hall. John Q. & Louie went. J. Q. was chosen Secretary S.L. Stake I went down to Presendia [Huntington] Kimball’s and brought her to administer to Lucile for her face to be healed. Lucile has implicit faith in the ordinance she came washed and anointed it in the name of Jesus it will be healed I am sure. went to meeting, Belle went up [p. 31] {p. 35} to Mellie’s and took the children

17 January 1881 • Monday

Went early to the Office. A very beautiful day. Sun shining brightly. Mr. [Edward W.] Tullidge’s magazine for January contains an article about me.11 Received an invitation to attend the party in Ogden given in honor of Sister Eliza’s birthday. Complimentary. [Vincenzo] Scappatura has come down. I resume French May & Emeline have been working. baby and Annie are well. All seems prosperous with her.

18 January 1881 • Tuesday

<Prof.12 has come down from Alta> Took a <first> French lesson this morning <on second course>; feel so glad that I can commence again. Saw some of my friends. Went to the 17th, Ward to the anniversary of the Y.L.M.I.A;13 very pleasant entertainment, elegant supper 13 sat down to table. staid in the evening, music & recitations. it was at the house of Maria Y. [Young] Dougall. called at the big house14 on the way home– [p. 32] {p. 36}

19 January 1881 • Wednesday

Today Br. C. C. [Charles C.] Rich & Br. Orson Pratt were both at the Council today. A missionary [Francis] McDonald spoke highly of the Exponent in his field of labor. invited to 11th <10th>, Ward and to Mrs. E. R. [Ellis Reynolds] Shipp’s birthday party 34 years old. she is to be presented with a gold ring. Baby is not quite well, has snuffles. [Alexander T.] Greig was arrested to day for Bigamy15

20 January 1881 • Thursday

O. [Orson] K. Whitney is 51. today Went to 10th, ward meeting to Mrs. [Mary McRae] Pierce’s to dinner. Sisters [Mary Isabella Hales] Horne, [Elmina Shepard] Taylor, Mattie [Martha] Horne and I. Administered to Alma Strong who had diptheria and was low. Went to Dr. Shipp’s. made a speech at both places. Belle came down Greig was arrested in her house, his child is there (Maude) she took home Emma & Sep. [Septimus Whitney Sears] George Reynolds was released to day16 called on me [p. 33] {p. 37}

21 January 1881 • Friday

Went to Ogden by afternoon train Br. [Wilford] Woodruff & Emma [Smith Woodruff] Br. [Lorenzo] Snow of Brigham City was also on the cars. Went direct to Belle’s found her sick, Greig & [J. W.] Greenman <officer> came to stay all night. 2 doctors came and made a certificate & affidavit to answer for non-appearance at court. Sisters Richards & [Sarah Ann Garner] Herrick called on me, but I could not go until nine p.m. [Charles W.] Penrose called for me. read a poem composed by Emily Hill Woodmansee17

22 January 1881 • Saturday

Staid all day at Belle’s came down by evening train with Mr. [Septimus Wagstaff] Sears. John Q. met us at the depot. found all well at home. Greig was discharged for want of evidence. Louie had attended to home duties. Annie was better. Mrs. <E. H.> [Elizabeth Hoagland] Cannon is very ill. Mrs. [Harriet Parish] Bane wrote me a note complimenting my notice of Mrs. Cole’s death. [p. 34] {p. 38}

23 January 1881 • Sunday

Louie went up to [Hiram B. and Ellen Spencer] Clawson’s to practise. Annie came down stairs today with the young heir. George Q. Sister [Elizabeth Anderson] Howard came to dinner and spent the evening too. Miss E. [Eliza] Slade was here all night. [Robert B.] Tripp, [Joseph B.] Toronto, Sloan, [Horace G.] Whitney called. John Q. was sending out cards to the Young Men’s Ass’ns Annie helped him. George Reynold’s preached and the choir sang “Home Sweet Home[”] in recognition of his return.

24 January 1881 • Monday

This is the anniversary of the birth of Sidney Whitney Sears, Belle’s son he would have been eleven years old today. Will Woods is 40 today. Annie & baby are well Louie was taken very ill at school today and had to come home and go to bed, I sent Dr. Pratt down, Dr. [Ellen Brooke] Ferguson is very ill with heart disease, taken yesterday cold and disagreeable [p. 35] {p. 39}

25 January 1881 • Tuesday

Have been hard at work all day in the office. Louie is better. Bought Lucile18 to give to Will, bought Mrs. Ferguson a bedspread white one. Joseph E. Taylor talked to me of Mrs. Cole. Enjoyed my French lesson this morning. Sent copies of my paper to all my folks. answered many business letters. O, my heart aches for companionship. I do need sympathy I feel sad, would that I might open my heart but I cannot.

26 January 1881 • Wednesday

This is Little Sep [Septimus Whitney Sears]’s birthday seven years old. no word from Belle. Annie grows better. Our meeting today. George Reynold’s has been in to see me He is in good spirits, and looking well. I had a letter from Aunt Eliza & Zina [Diantha Huntington Young] tonight.19 Sister Richards & several other ladies have been in. Ort has been talking to me of writing the Church history in verse Went to see the Banker’s Daughter <at the Theatre>20 [p. 36] {p. 40}

27 January 1881 • Thursday

Today has been very disagreeable– busy– so busy. I feel so weary and there is no chance to be alone to do my writing. I went over to the house, my husband was very much delighted came over to the Office with me we read and talked. I read poetry to him. we had a lovely time. Sat up late to write my editorial. Louie seems languid I feel anxious about her health Will & Mell have been here. Percival [W. Percival Woods] is ill.

28 January 1881 • Friday

Today has been disagreeable stormy and cloudy. We bought a locket for Br. Reynold’s will get two pictures in it of his two wives. Went up to Mell’s at evening found Percival better– Will made me very indignant. Took tea with them. Louie wants to go to Ogden tomorrow. Took French lesson this evening Maria Larsen21 came today to live with Annie [p. 37] {p. 41}

29 January 1881 • Saturday

A very dull day. The Chinamen’s new year. Quite a demonstration of fire-works. “no wash, no iron, no workee.” Sister Pratt and I called on Maggie [Margaret Young] Taylor to invite her to Br. R’s. got the pictures in the locket. Dr. Ferguson is worse. Louisa [King Spencer] had a dinner for her mother22 and invited all the near relatives. <I was present.> Louie went to Ogden. Sep came down to stay over Sunday. rec’d a letter from Mrs. Brayman of Wisconsin)23

30 January 1881 • Sunday

Rainy day. Went to Ort’s waited for him to go to Dr. Fergusons. Walked up together, found her very ill, administered to her staid all day. At evening called on Sister [Matilda Moorhouse] Barratt spent an hour or two in her parlor. Came home just before Lou arrived from Ogden. Septimus came was in excellent spirits. Could not sleep all night. stormy evening Lou not well. Mell is going to Ogden in the morning [p. 38] {p. 42}

31 January 1881 • Monday

Aunt Zina’s birthday. We are prepared to surprise Br. Reynold’s felt ill in the morning. Quite a drizzling rain cleared up in the afternoon, ladies began to come in. Sister Newton went home today, had been here 4 weeks. The surprise party at Br. Reynolds was a complete success about 30 ladies presented him with a pretty little charm for his watch chain with photo’ of each wife inside

Cite this page

January 1881, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed May 27, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/emmeline-b-wells/1880s/1881/1881-01