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January 1883


EVENTS IN EMMELINE B. WELLS’S DIARY FOR 1883

4 April

EBW served as secretary of the Deseret Hospital board.

8 May

Daniel H. Wells introduced, “in the most careful manner,” the subject of selling EBW’s house to help pay his debts.

18 May

EBW visited Belle Harris, who was confined with her baby in the Utah penitentiary for contempt of court under the Edmunds Act.

22 May

EBW joined musician Evan Stephens to plan a benefit concert to be held on 24 July.

29 May

EBW took author Helen Hunt Jackson to meet President John Taylor and Daniel H. Wells, and Jackson visited EBW in her home. In her diary, EBW declared, “This is a day of days.”

20 June

An explosion of powder set the Council House on fire. EBW’s office burned.

1 January 1883 • Monday

The new year has dawned propitiously and yet to me it has been more unlike the bright happy new year’s day than ever before. Sister Ellen [Woodward Fuller] was here from the South and we had a nice turkey well cooked. A few calls from intimate friends who would not pass us by. After dinner we went to an entertainment of the children in the Primary 14th Ward1

2 January 1883 • Tuesday

Went to work as usual somehow there seems to be a gloom over me, I cannot tell why. Annie [Elizabeth Ann Wells Cannon] is on a committee for an entertainment and exceedingly busy. Several callers today all greeting me in the most cordial and affectionate manner. Letters too bringing compliments of the season– Meeting at the Deseret Hospital [p. 25] {p. 28}

3 January 1883 • Wednesday

Things move on much the same as though the new year had not set in. we are all busy no respite from work. Rulon [S. Wells] is to be married soon– baby2 is not well, Edith [Woodward Fuller] is so happy– no unusual stir all is calm and serene letter from Mrs. [Elizabeth Lisle] Saxon, and the news seem to need stirring up.

4 January 1883 • Thursday

This is baby’s birthday and mama Annie is so very busy. The entertainment3 will I am quite sure be a complete success. baby is not well– Sister [Elizabeth Anderson] Howard came to go with us, we were late and did not see half of it– it was excellent baby took sick in the night and we were all frightened. [p. 26] {p. 29}

5 January 1883 • Friday

Baby is very bad indeed had the croup. spasmodic[.] Dr. [Romania Bunnell] Pratt came but Annie felt she was afraid we are all greatly exercised– Dr. Pratt took me to see Sister [Hannah Tapfield] King she was very queer– we were only trying to do her good. My husband4 spent the afternoon in the office. We had a very pleasant time

6 January 1883 • Saturday

This is a day of days. baby is very sick, sent for Dr. [Washington F.] Anderson to come and see him– his throat is very sore– tonsils swollen This anxiety is very hard on us all; we look every day to see him improve but he seems in a poor way Ellen & Edith seem to be enjoying the visit– I cannot tell how her faith is in Mormonism [p. 27] {p. 30}

7 January 1883 • Sunday

Louie [Louise M. Wells] Ellen Edith & I all went to meeting, but got no seat– stood all the afternoon– it was a stormy day and yet the place was so full– after meeting we made one or two calls on our way home– in the evening we had lots of people in and baby was very ill Annie could scarcely leave him a minute–

8 January 1883 • Monday

Baby still very sick, it seems as if he was not going to be any better soon fever high– cough troublesome and mama anxious. Last night we has Joseph E. Taylor, Abram [H.] Cannon Br. Sudbery [Samuel Sudbury] & others to administer to him he cried a great deal & we had so little opportunity of exercising faith [p. 28] {p. 31}

9 January 1883 • Tuesday

Today baby is coming out with measles and we feel rather more reconciled knowing what the complaint is! He is very ill and we are calling upon the Lord constantly in his behalf. O that He would lend a listening ear and later heed to us and answer our most fervent petitions in behalf of him.

10 January 1883 • Wednesday

Today baby is just the same no change for the better. This day recalls som of the past incidents of my life– In 1849 on this day [Francis] Ashbel Pomeroy was born in a log house in the 2d ward S. L. City– his mother5 lying sick in a bed of want (one might say she suffered much with pain and privation– I felt I was greatly blest to be as I was– [p. 29] {p. 32}

11 January 1883 • Thursday

This is a stormy day, dark and gloomy, cold O so very cold– water pipes freezing up everywhere and bursting, flooding people’s houses and making lots of work and loss. My husband came in from the Endowment House6 & staid all the evening long– he seemed so kind and we had a long talk

12 January 1883 • Friday

This is Joanna [Robertson Whitney]’s birthday– and she is far away, once we did not think we could be separated at all– now years have past since we met– she would be 58 to day I think How many visions of the past does her name recall– she was a genius in her way and will no doubt come again [p. 30] {p. 33}

13 January 1883 • Saturday

I am trying so hard to get ready for mailing but the printers seem to keep the paper back, how glad I should be if they would try to help me along– I wanted to go to meeting but there are so many hindrances; baby sick copy to get ready and home affairs to look after.

14 January 1883 • Sunday

Here before I was up come Br. Holt from Spanish Fork with his team to deliver the cow and get a receipt for it I went for Aunt Zina [Diantha Huntington Young] and we went together to the Hospital– All arrangements were made, and we called on Mrs. [Christine Smoot] Taylor’s to see her and baby–7 then went to City Hall to see about the insane woman [p. 31] {p. 34}

15 January 1883 • Monday

Today I moan and groan because my paper cannot be issued befor Friday or Saturday. I have been much annoyed today with inquiries and suggestions in regard to Aunt Eliza [R. Snow]’s & Aunt Zina’s party– every one has an opinion and worst of all none of them are worth noticing

16 January 1883 • Tuesday

Sister Pratt M.D. has sent for a cloak for Aunt Eliza– and we are talking the matter up where we feel it will be acceptable. Baby is no better much his grandpa Wells came down to administer to him and he seemed to improve soon after [p. 32] {p. 35}

17 January 1883 • Wednesday

Tonight Louie has gone to the Opera– baby is a little better hope will soon be welll Mary Jane [Whitney] Groo’s birthday she is 39– born in 1844 the year of the martyrdom– she is not as earnest while the indignation of Mrs

18 January 1883 • Thursday

<Rule [Rulon S. Wells] & Jote [Josephine Eliza Beatie] were married today> Still very busy, baby not well– making all preparations for the party at the Lion House. Very cold weather, lots of people coming and going. A very severe winter and most busy time, Aunt Eliza came in after her day’s work at the Endowment House, much brain work to be done, and no quiet to aid me in its accomplish<ment> [p. 33] {p. 36}

19 January 1883 • Friday

The weather is not very agreeable, stormy and cold. Wind blowing very strong, had lots of work Dr. Pratt came and took me for a ride with her, she has been very kind Edith has the measles is quite sick in fact. It seems as if we had lots of bother– Ellen is nervous & delicate herself–

20 January 1883 • Saturday

Such a busy day went to a meeting in the afternoon, and in the evening to the theatre. Had a letter from Lucy [Woodward Hewlings] and the diamond earrings that once were Carrie [Granger Snyder]’s paid $15,00 for them, She is compelled to sell some of her things to help keep the children [p. 34] {p. 37}

21 January 1883 • Sunday

Went to meeting but was rather late had a very poor seat– had a nice time though and a delicious dinner– Louie went out for a ride with Mr. [Septimus Wagstaff] Sears & Belle [Isabel Whitney Sears]– our baby is not at all well; he is threatened with croup almost every night and frightens us all– Aunt Eliza’s birthday called to see her 79 years old

22 January 1883 • Monday

We are making preparations to give a party in the Lion House for Aunt Eliza & Zina getting presents for them giving out invitations & collecting means to carry out our intentions. The weather is not very propitious, news from Washington not very encouraging, trying to get another Edmund’s bill8 [p. 35] {p. 38}

23 January 1883 • Tuesday

Toiling away to get some leisure– Mellie [Melvina Whitney Woods]’s children9 are not well, neither is our baby, had news from John Q. [Cannon]10 Edith dreadfully nervous and tiresome with measles. not willing her mother should stir, I feel almost worn out with one thing after another to pull me down– my husband was in for some time

24 January 1883 • Wednesday

Today I was working very steadily as I had much to do and wanted to go in with my work to get a little ahead came home late & the High Council in session, found matters all right here and every one feeling pretty well. Letters came from John Q. [p. 36] {p. 39}

25 January 1883 • Thursday

This morning Walter11 came before <I was> up and said the water pipes had burst and everything was ruined in my office.12 mustered all the courage and patience I could to meet the event Aunt Eliza’s party was quite a success, gave her a cloak and Aunt Zina a desk gold pen etc.13

26 January 1883 • Friday

Every one talking of the party, seems to think it was a splendid affair Sep [Septimus Whitney Sears]’s birthday 9 years old he went to Ogden to spend the day with his father I gave him a book called Grandma’s garden, have been helping to move my pictures and other things up into the dome [p. 37] {p. 40}

27 January 1883 • Saturday

Another busy day. no place to sit and be comfortable, meetings in every room in the house, stormy & blustering– snow & wind, news of storms in the East and catastrophies on sea and land Ellen is very silent and unsociable, despondent even–

28 January 1883 • Sunday

Went up to Mell’s to dinner– Will [William W. Woods] was not very well– had a nice time bad walking though Lou went to meeting Mell’s children are not very well, had my editorial to prepare in the evening and some verses to write for Br. Stevens [Evan Stephens], Sister Howard came [p. 38] {p. 41}

29 January 1883 • Monday

Such another disagreeable storm & severe cold. Aunt Zina has gone down to Provo with little Zina [Y. Williams]. Letters innumerable to answer, calls of ladies on business some most unpleasant affairs, and no one to appeal to as I cannot confide in every body

30 January 1883 • Tuesday

Towards the close of the month there are always arrangements to make, paper to get ready & today has been busy and bustling accounts coming in and settlements to make so many things to think of and letters to answer bills to send out for the Hospital– [p. 39] {p. 42}

31 January 1883 • Wednesday

Aunt Zina’s birthday 62 today she is in Provo– a very pleasant day I like Wednesday it is somehow a favorite day of mine hard work though today getting ready for Feb. 1. issue of the paper– never had so much to do any year as this–