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December 1881

1 December 1881 • Thursday

Lou called at the Office the month of Dec. is mild in coming in. Paper out and busy mailing. Annie and Louie have all the work to do for Maria is about leaving. Baby grows cunning every day. Sister Heywood is worse again, and most people feel she will not get better. Keetie [Lucretia Heywood] and Joe [Joseph L. Heywood] are to be pitied certainly. and poor old Nanna Nett [Janet Cook] Sharp is threatened with paralysis

2 December 1881 • Friday

Dr. [Washington F.] Anderson is lying very ill, no one admitted to see him. Letters from Dr. Ferguson and Pratt. Everything seems unfavorable towards our people at present. [John R.] McBride & [Allen G.] Campbell are trying to keep Br. Cannon out of Congress.1 However we know our trust is in the Lord and He will watch over us [p. 191] {p. 195}

3 December 1881 • Saturday

Finished mailing another letter from Dr. Pratt She and Dr. Ferguson have called on Henry Ward Beecher asking leave to hold meeting or to lecture in Beecher’s Church. He treated them with disdain I went to the theatre, was not very content. I have so much to do it seems impossible to get through with all.

4 December 1881 • Sunday

Went to the depot and took the 7 o’clock train for Sandy where we were met by the sisters from South Jordan. We went over there and held two meetings returned by afternoon train, and arrived at home in time for evening meeting. Lou was in Ogden and did not return home as we expected [p. 192] {p. 196}

5 December 1881 • Monday

Mrs. Heywood died yesterday morning and was buried today at 12– Apostle John Henry Smith, Bishop Robert [T.] Burton, and Coun. D. H. Wells2 each made remarks the singing was excellent prayers fervent. Bishop [Leonard W.] Hardy offered one and Bishop [John] Tingey the other. Keetie & Joe took on terribly

6 December 1881 • Tuesday

The week has been excitable Lou came home last night brought Lucile with her to stay a week. Belle is working so hard it makes me feel dreadful bad. Maria went away Saturday and Heber came the same day we are so bothered with work, baby and all & no help. [p. 193] {p. 197}

7 December 1881 • Wednesday

This is Annie’s birthday she is 22, we have given her a present or two I gave her a handsome workbasket, Lou gave her a collar so did Mrs. Cannon and Mell gave her a wicker workstand Belle sent a pair of shoes, Rob gave her handsome leather satchel. Will Mell Ned and the children came to dinner.

8 December 1881 • Thursday

How many of our children were born in December and many of my mothers family. This is Delia [Cordelia Woodward Holden]’s birthday she is 57 today I think. I have been very busy all day writing to friends and for my paper. How much I would enjoy this sort of work if my surroundings were different. But as it is it is comparatively a life of drudgery [p. 194] {p. 198}

9 December 1881 • Friday

Busy all day preparing copy scarcely time to breathe so much to do to get ready to go away tomorrow. I wanted so much to see Mother and Mellie and others but could not do so my heart is heavy I feel if I had my home and means independent I would be much more comfortable and it would be better in every way

10 December 1881 • Saturday

Aunt Eliza and I went to Grantsville, arrived about 1/2 past 10, and found the Conference begun– went straight to the meeting and afterwards to Sister [Jane Huntington] Eastham’s Apostle [Francis M.] Lyman was there in the afternoon and we had excellent teaching, The sisters were pleased to see us and we felt blessed in the evening I spoke to the young.3 [p. 195] {p. 199}

11 December 1881 • Sunday

We had good meetings & realized a good spirit and influence. After meeting went over to Sam. [Samuel W.] Woolley’s staid all night, realized the power of God in a wonderful degree This is Verona [Dunford]’s birthday 12 years old. I wanted to be at home but public duty called me away.

12 December 1881 • Monday

We met this morning with the Primary and had a good time After meeting drove to the station, had to wait some time, had a nice lunch at Sister [Elizabeth McMichael] Rodeback’s, we got home safe and sound, and found all well. Heard directly of the death of Sister [Elizabeth Dodd] Clegg of Tooele [p. 196] {p. 200}

13 December 1881 • Tuesday

Worked so hard after being away for it seemed impossible to make up lost time. Nettie Sharp is going gone away on a tour for her health and it is feared she will not recover There are many rumors about Nettie recovering and grave doubts are entertained in that regard

14 December 1881 • Wednesday

Hard at work no news from the East, it is rather anticipated that Cannon will be seated and that Campbell will be defeated. The ladies are working to fit up the Gardo.4 Mrs. Taylor5 has called upon me lately considerable and seems anxious to cultivate my acquaintance familiarly [p. 197] {p. 201}

15 December 1881 • Thursday

Today Mrs. Dr. [Hannah C.] Norton6 came from the East she is one of Ort’s converts, a woman of culture and intelligence. Middle-aged and growing grey. Well it is remarkable how some people receive the truth and others become bitter.

16 December 1881 • Friday

Conference in the Council House7 attended all day Sarah Kimball is very ill, we went to Margaret [Pierce Young]’s to dinner had a splendid time enjoyed it all much my husband called upon me but he was very much engrossed with his own affairs [p. 198] {p. 202}

17 December 1881 • Saturday

Sister Howard and I went to see Sarah M. Kimball and the two Mrs. Cannon’s. We had some important business to transact and were very busy. It is well that some of us are more informal or we could never do what we wish meetings were well attended and all right.

18 December 1881 • Sunday

Lou and I went to see Sister [Janet Nichol] Gibson up at Bishop Sharp’s then to Mell’s then on to Mother’s. Came home called at Dr. Anderson’s. Annie went to Angus M. [Cannon] and Louie went riding and I was left alone, Well it is over now and I am somewhat consoled Jo Heywood called to night [p. 199] {p. 203}

19 December 1881 • Monday

Went early to the Office called on Aunt Eliza. L. G. [Lula Greene] Richards called on business private, Sister King spent an hour or more. Heard Mr. Armitage the painter was very ill and in need. Lou and June went to see him and decided to help sell his picture of the Savior. Bought Onie a nice warm flannel dress Lou took her first lesson in Conventional8 painting of Mrs. [Celestia Pendleton] Gillette

20 December 1881 • Tuesday

Today I have been resting really more than usual wrote to Br. George Q. Cannon it is very fine weather indeed. At evening had my French lesson and did some writing, George Q. is not very well and we had to give him squills and make snuff & goose grease for him. Mrs. Kimball is better and Keetie Heywood went away this <morning> [p. 200] {p. 204}

21 December 1881 • Wednesday

A lovely day Aunt Eliza called, Helen Mar and Dr. Norton, Bought some Christmas presents. Gave my husband 25 dollars on the Tithing Office in orders.9 He seemed unwilling to accept it, but I insisted knowing his need of something of the kind. We had letters from John Q. Annie & Louie

22 December 1881 • Thursday

A very nice day Mrs. Howard’s son Erin [J. A. Howard] was married to day. All sorts of preparations are going on for Christmas. Annie & Louie are very busy– I have bought some presents for my folks books and so on. Bishop [William H.] Hickenlooper called and invited me to go to his house on Wednesday next and organize the children in the Ward. [p. 201] {p. 205}

23 December 1881 • Friday

More and more being done for Christmas, places all crowded. I bought Annie & Mell a desk for writing materials. Belle an album for photographs, Louie a work box– and Aunt Jo’s Scrap-Bag. A few other little gifts for dear friends. A diary for Ort & John Q. and a few cards etc. Baby is not very well, My husband has been in and spent the afternoon with me.

24 December 1881 • Saturday

Today finishes buying until after Monday, Went to the theatre to see Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Louie with me, Rob was our escort. After the theatre came home and filled the stockings– Lucile and George Q. were very much excited, Belle sent a lot of lovely things sent me a green cashmere dress– [p. 202] {p. 206}

25 December 1881 • Sunday

The morning dawned pleasantly, all were pleased with their treasures. Will came down and I rode up in the buggy and called on Mell & the children– We had a turkey for dinner I cooked it, Annie & Louie went to meeting. Rob took dinner with us, In the evening I went to the Ward meeting Pres. Cannon and Counselors were there and appointed Mellin Alwood [Millen Atwood] Bishop of the 13th Ward–

26 December 1881 • Monday

Went down to Mary J. Groo’s and fetched Mother Whitney up to spend her birthday Sister Sarah Richards & Susan [Kent] Greene were here too also L G. Richards Eliza R. S. Smith, E. Howard, H. M. Whitney, Dr. H. C. Norton E. S. Taylor, B. W. Smith, Marinda Hyde. Mother sung in tongues and others spoke– [p. 203] {p. 207}

27 December 1881 • Tuesday

Took mother up to Mr. [Erastus F.] Hall’s this morning She was quite happy & broke out in singing “What a joy will be there at the great resurrection” The Esquire came in to see me and we had some talk about Washington and the affairs of state, Spent a few hours pleasantly.

28 December 1881 • Wednesday

Went to the 6th Ward today to assist in the organization of a Primary Association. Went to Bishop Hickenlooper’s for supper. Alice the girl burnt herself fearfully today and had to go home. Baby Q has got a swelling on his neck and is quite ill. I am busy writing an article for the Contributor on Christmas10 [p. 204] {p. 208}

29 December 1881 • Thursday

This morning I was mailing the pamphlet Defense of Br. Cannon– Aftewards Sec. [Arthur L.] Thomas came and I had some conversation about the women of Utah. Sent instructions to each Stake to report for 1880 Relief Society disbursements,11 Wrote to Dr. Pratt and Belle. This evening to Aunt Zina12

30 December 1881 • Friday

Today has been full of events. Went with Sister Eliza to call upon Pres. Taylor and found him very anxious to have a memorial to Congress from the women of Utah. Telegraphed to Br. Cannon at the Capitol to know if he wanted the ladies to go down. Had more callers than any one could do justice to– [p. 205] {p. 209} Mrs. Barratt and son13 were hurt this evening–

31 December 1881 • Saturday

Very busy went to the Office and worked, was so busy that I could not go to the semi-monthly meeting. Mrs. Barratt is not so seriously injured as was at first thought. We were busy and at evening Belle came and brought the children we sat up until the New year was ushered in. We were all together except Mell and her children George Q. is still suffering with his swollen jaw.

The end of the year is a time for reflection and when one looks over the year and sees how little good they have done it seems almost discouraging especially when there is so much to be done [p. 206] {p. 210}

Cite this page

December 1881, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed July 19, 2024