April 1887

1 April 1887 • Friday

To day is the time when people usually have fun but I am so low spirited I could not smile for anything it seems. Still there might be others who do not feel as I do. Mrs. Howe and her daughter in law Mrs. Nettie [Jeannette Taylor] Howe <came in to see me>. She was quite pleased with the note I sent her as an apology for not attending. Several interesting strangers have also called to get papers and make inquiries concerning our principles. Tried to finish everything ready for the press tomorrow, no letters from Louie today so sad, so sad. Annie and I had a pleasant evening together The children were very good indeed. [p. 115] {p. 117}

2 April 1887 • Saturday

A busy day and constant running up and down to the Printing Office. Papers did not come after all. Mrs. Horne had been to bid me good bye before attending the Silver Wedding of her daughter in Deseret.1 She was in deep mou[r]ning2 and so strange it seemed for one like her who does not follow fashions. She left word with me to write to her and to see that Sister B. W. Smith presided at the Saturday meetings until her return. I had many messages to deliver and bills to pay and the Hospital meeting to postpone through the papers until the next Monday on account of Matrons3 illness [p. 116] {p. 118}

3 April 1887 • Sunday

<Did not> came up town at all stayed all day with Annie resting. A sort of lazy day helped with the children and Annie cooked dinner John Q. went to the Farm and took Louise Geo. Q. went up to Sunday School and walked rode Gipsey on the way home was thrown off and came home pale as death. We thought his arm injured, and had it bandaged up before his father came back with Grey Prin[c]e & Louise so gay and stylish. Annie feared the arm was broken but I did not think it was. Sad evening [p. 117] {p. 119}

4 April 1887 • Monday

This morning John Q. came up with me and there were two letters both from San Fran. One contained indifferent news the other bad. viz. that the papers sent from [Jabez Gridley] Sutherlands office for Louie to sign had made her quite ill and she had positively refused to sign them.4 John Q. said he was not aware of their contents, I replied it should teach him a lesson to attend to his own business. We both felt very low spirited I yet tried to hope for the best. A sad night, near the approach of Conference and people talking about the offices to be filled. [p. 118] {p. 120}

5 April 1887 • Tuesday

On yesterday afternoon Mrs. Taylor asked me to make the report for the Y.L.M.I.A.5 for Conference if she had asked me on Saturday I could have had more time, but now it is so late, still I shall try and hope to make it creditable. I left Anna H. H in the Office and took every thing down home & made a fire up stairs. O, the dreadful feelings I had there alone and whenever I went to one of Louie’s drawers or touched anything belonging to her it seemed to me as if I should burst with grief. I was alone until John Q. came from the Council [p. 119] {p. 121}

6 April 1887 • Wednesday

Another seige at the same work. John Q. went over some of my figures for me to see if we had them correct and then I copied it and took it myself over to Sister E. S. Taylor. She drove up to my Office with me. I then went up to see how Aunt Eliza was and several ladies called and some brethren who had come down on Conference rates from the North. I looked up some extra things and saw Lydia Ann who is going to Conference in the morning and then Annie <John Q.> came up for me and we drove home quietly [p. 120] {p. 122}

7 April 1887 • Thursday

Both John Q. and myself have been very sad for a day or two, we have not said anything to Annie as it seems too bad to worry her about the matter at all, when she cannot help in it. The day has been a very miserable one in every respect. Sister [Agnes Cross] Douglas of Payson came and I went with her to see Aunt Eliza who was really very feeble could not speak to us scarcely. She seems very low, Sister Douglas says she feels she shall never see her again and wants me to telegraph if she passes away. I feel more low spirited than I can tell some fearful forebodings [p. 121] {p. 123}

8 April 1887 • Friday

This morning Annie and I were going to the graveyard but it was windy and disagreeable and we decided to wait until tomorrow, it is the ninth year since Emmies [Emeline W. Wells] death. O I have been feeling bad today. Was hindered from going down home until very late, and there was a letter from Belle with sad news O so sad that Louie had been confined and the baby a boy still-born on the morning of the 5th at 3. A.M. And so much more of her condition that it was enough to kill me. I do not know how I ever got back again to the Office but I did [p. 122] {p. 124} and when John Q. came at evening for me and he had a letter from Mr. Sears conveying the same news only rather more particulars Sad was the time and never to be forgotten. I said more to him than ever before for I felt it was more than a mother could endure. We went home at last and told Annie She felt very bad too A sad and sorrowful night. Such grief I have seldom known O my poor heart is broken

9 April 1887 • Saturday

Apr. 9. I went to the Office had so many callers I could scarcely make arrangements to go away. Went to see Aunt Eliza found a room full of folks [p. 123] {p. 125} Annie came up about noon and helped me put up a few things to take with me. Then I bade Annie & all good bye, she drove me to the depot with Grey Prince. Got to Ogden safe bought a ticket secured a berth and took dinner at the Hotel. Was sick all night.

10 April 1887 • Sunday

Apr 10. Easter Sunday had breakfast at a station but could not eat or drink. Asked a Dr. to give me something for pain, had to get a state room, porter waited upon me, had no rest all day, slept a little at night, but it was another phase of experience for me. [p. 124] {p. 126}

11 April 1887 • Monday

<Bell’s wedding day.> Rose early porter brought me tea and we reached San Francisco6 at the usual hour about 11. A.M. Dot met me at the Ferry and we rode over on the boat Oakland together. She told me that Louie did not know I was coming but had dreamed of me the night before. We came on a cable car & I went in the parlor first had a glass of wine to revive me I was very much fatigued. Belle was very pale, came down to me but when I went up to the sick chamber and saw my poor baby lying so pale and pitiful I can never forget the impression. O how dreadful were my feelings [p. 125] {p. 127}

12 April 1887 • Tuesday

<Sent telegram today to John Q.> Pain and distress beyond anything I have ever seen, so dreadful that I can not tell how to endure it. The groans the moans the piteous pleadings are beyond expression in words. The children are well and all glad to see me, and so nice every way. Mr. Sears too has been like a father to Louie. Went up town with Sep today and bought a Commode for Louie. They had never thought of it. It will answer much better than the Slop jar they have been using. M. S [Mr. Sears] Belle & myself all three of us have to get up in the night time after time. [p. 126] {p. 128}

13 April 1887 • Wednesday

Day after day the same pain & anxiety prayers and entreaties. It is all I can do to write a few words home to let the folks know how things are going on. We went up town Dot & I to get a few things for the sick ones, and she showed me all she could of the City. Louie cannot talk much but tells me as she gains a little strength of her situation beforehand It is painful beyond bearing almost to hear of her loneliness, her helplessness and her affliction, O, Belle has been more than a sister to her and with all her cares it does seem wonderful. [p. 127] {p. 129}

14 April 1887 • Thursday

Dot and I went for a walk and through Laurel Hill Cemetery saw so many beautiful burial places and vau[l]ts. Went in a Restaurant and had coffee and lunch bought some flowers and took home with us. found Louie in great distress. I did feel condemned but one must get a br[e]ath of fresh air now & then. Dinner was served handsomely and we had as pleasant a time as could be expected under the circumstances. Belle is pleasantly situated although her house is hardly large enough. [p. 128] {p. 130}

15 April 1887 • Friday

<My brother Hiram [E. W. Clark]’s birthday> We do have the most dreadful nights, that is Louie does and of course it keeps us up Belle & I and sometimes we have to call Mr. Sears. The Dr. comes every day and is always in the gayest humor.

Dot and I went up to Ocean Beach we had lunch at the Ocean Beach House and walked up and down the grand Pacific Ocean shore and gathered shells and admired the great sea waves. We saw the sea lions on the rocks near shore. We went to Cliffe House it was a delightful trip we went to Golden Gate Park and had [p. 129] {p. 131} a good time except for thinking of home In the evening Mr. S. & Belle went to a Concert the rendering of “Elijah” it was Belle’s first out since Louie’s illness.

16 April 1887 • Saturday

It is Elise’s birthday she is fifteen. Dot & I went up town and we bought ivery tablets for Louie to give John Q. and “Ben Hur” for me to give him. I also bought Lemon Ice for Louie and we looked around all we could. When we came home found Louie in great pain as before indeed there seems to be no cessation from the agonizing pain. [p. 130] {p. 132}

17 April 1887 • Sunday

Last evening Sep & I went to Ackermans and bought Elise some sleeve buttons for her birthday present The city looked splendid in the gas light we had to get medicines too for Louie.

This morning Mr. S. invited me to go to Alemeda [Alameda] with him Emmie went with us. We visited both Oakland & Alameda the last is a regular garden of flowers & shrubs. When we came home found Louie had passed a dreadful day and determined not to go out again anywhere, it does seem too cruel to leave her for pleasure [p. 131] {p. 133}

18 April 1887 • Monday

This is the anniversary of Dessie [Martha Deseret Wells Read]’s birthday & I have no doubt the girls will strew her grave with flowers. It is sad to contemplate but not half so pitiful as the fate of my poor girls. I do feel so bad so low spirited about Louie though it does seem barely possible for her to get well, yet there are many chances against her. It has been another day of racking torturous pain. O how can she endure much more. The Dr.’s hopeful and perhaps he is right, we are away from home from faith, from what we hold dear. [p. 132] {p. 134}

19 April 1887 • Tuesday

This is John Q’s birthday O, what a dreadful day I have had. yesterday the Herald came with a statement from him7 I secreted it, my very soul sickened when I read it. I do not know how to endure it along with all the other indignities he has heaped upon us. I do pray for wisdom for grace to know how to act under this and all other circumstances. Help me O Lord for I know not what to do or how to do it. God pity me in my hour of strong temptation and show me the right path to walk in and wisdom to guide my footsteps [p. 133] {p. 135}

20 April 1887 • Wednesday

We are just nearly exhausted, have been trying to get a nurse if only for nights. Louie is such an enormous size and we cannot hold out to lift her up and down, night and day. I have had several brief conversations with the Dr. about the case, he gives me encouragement to think that she will recover after a long and painful struggle. It will require patience unbounded and such care and attention. We cannot have any enjoyment as it is always toil and a battle against wind and water & other complaints [p. 134] {p. 136}

21 April 1887 • Thursday

Yesterday Mrs. Craybell8 came in to see Louie it is the first visitor she has had. It is a friend of Belle’s and of our people. Louie has been excessively nervous today and we have scarcely had one moments cessation from the continuous struggle to ease her pain. She gets no sleep and her face is most pitiful to look at.

My brother Manson [J. Woodward] is 66 today. The Herald brought me the news that my dear sweet old garden was sold. It nearly killed me. I sent a telegram immediately to learn particulars [p. 135] {p. 137}

22 April 1887 • Friday

<Brief letter from John Q.> Today Emily [Wells Grant] is 30 years old. H J [Heber J. Grant] has gone East and will doubtless be with her today. We have had a dreadful day too last night a new nurse who was no good at all Belle went to the Grand Opera House tonight, we felt pleased to have her go. They had a carriage to go in. Louie has been in pain all day long. We had her bedstead sawed down today three inches so we could get her in and out of bed easier She has so little sleep we scarcely know what to do and the pain is wearing her out. nurse did not come [p. 136] {p. 138}

23 April 1887 • Saturday

<Temperature 102.> Another terrible day pain, without almost any intermission sickness at the stomach no sleep, very nervous the Herald of the 20th came letter late in the afternoon including enclosing one for Louie– Later 2 papers one of the 21. one the l9th. New nurse arranged with Mrs. John Kelly Telegram 20 minutes to 5. concerning my house saying June was absent from town. No sleep again except dozing 2 or 3 minutes. Dr. came took her water with a male catheter and said we must give her oil and turpentine tomorrow. She looks much more deathly today [p. 137] {p. 139}

24 April 1887 • Sunday

<Temperature 101½> A little better night having taken a new preparation of morphin and camphor, had to help new nurse just the same but tho the pain was very great we had more quiet. She does not look quite so deathly today fever high however. never out of the sick room. Children sometimes cause me to go into the other rooms or I should scarce think of doing so. My whole soul is exercised over my sweet darling Louie and to pray & exercise faith for her is all I care to do except to nurse her tenderly [p. 138] {p. 140}

25 April 1887 • Monday

This is a beautiful day. had a letter from Annie in which she tells me that Bishop Clawson left there Saturday and if so, he will be here today. It will not We shall be very glad to have him administer to her and I am anxious to speak to him about the Hospital as well, among strangers with only our own household no friends to call upon, O what a lonely time we have at night, such pain and suffering & sorrow, sometimes we long for the morning, to dawn and Elise to be stirring in the house, and to get a warm cup of tea to nourish me. [p. 139] {p. 141}

26 April 1887 • Tuesday

<Clowsan [Clawson] came this moneing [morning] & administered to Louie> Every day is very much alike, now and then we get a Herald or a letter and there is some news from home. We cannot visit much or have a good time because we are in such trouble with the sickness Even the Dr’s. visit is a comfort he is cheery and brings a little life into the sick room which does us good. I take all my meals up here in the Chamber with my darling baby Louie I cannot bear to leave her for a moment. It seems so cruel, yet she never frets or repines, it seems so wonderful never longs after the unattainable as many do how calm she is & how submissive [p. 140] {p. 142}

27 April 1887 • Wednesday

Today Dot has been very sick indeed, and her mother has had double duty to perform, running from room to room It does seem melancholy to hear the girls Louie in one room and Dot in another groaning with pain, mustard plasters have been used for both and several other remedies but with very little effect, The nurse Mrs. Kelly is not much good, she helps lift and turn Louie and does a little rubbing, but she has no tact what ever for the sick room The Dr. talks every day about aspirating or tapping but I have not consented as yet. [p. 141] {p. 143}

28 April 1887 • Thursday

No change for the better pains increasing every day in intensity and she seems less able to bear them, she calls out to us in her agony as if we could help her. O, how hard it is to see people suffer day after day and no relief. All that love and affection can do we have done & have had the skill of two physicians in excellent standing to attend her. Dot continues about the same, she gets little attention however because Louie suffers so we are compelled to have Belle here to help us most of the time. I can do nothing for her scarcely alone, there must be two of us. [p. 142] {p. 144}

29 April 1887 • Friday

Dot is still quite ill and Louie no better. We are almost brokenhearted, she cries out every few minutes weary O, so weary. “Nobody knows nobody knows. “Mercy Mercy Mercy” she cries so pitifully but seldom ever sheds a tear, she dare not give way. She has been too lonely too disconsolate & now she has locked up her heart. Such natures are never understood but suffer and bear their cross alone, only God knows what my poor girl has gone thro’ The hard hearted cruel ones who have caused her untold pain & anguish O, heaven help me to forgive them [p. 143] {p. 145}

30 April 1887 • Saturday

<Temperature 102. pulse high> Another day weary & sorrowful All days are alike or nearly so. Dot is better has been dressed. This would have been Lestie’s [Leslie A. Dunford] birthday I suppose Mell will go to the graveyard, she has mourned for him sincerely. Poor little fellow how he suffered, the agony and pain was terrific. It will not bear thinking about. How can we endure so much upon this earth it seems impossible. Had a letter from Annie enclosing one from my husband, written at Hamilton [Ontario] Canada he had just heard rumor of Louie’s illness in California [p. 144] {p. 146}

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April 1887, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed May 27, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/emmeline-b-wells/1880s/1887/1887-04