The Church Historian's Press

July 1887

1 July 1887 • Friday

<Ort’s birthday and I gave him a book illustrated called Nature’s Hallelujah> Today I’ve been quite busy with my mailing & preparing copy for the next issue of the paper. Sister Taylor came to see me and Tina S. Y. called. It has been a tiresome day. Annie came up to spend the evening at the House in the parlor of L. [Lydia Ann] &. S. [Susan] and all the folks in Martha, Lydia Ann[,] Susan & Hannah, Frank, Kate May Emeline Lyde & Cal. Louis Mell & Steve1 Annie read the poem I had written for the birthday entertainment three years ago, when we were all so happy. Now never to be again. had ice cream strawberries & cake & drove home in the lovely moonlight– [p. 206] {p. 207}

2 July 1887 • Saturday

Annie came up with me and brought Louise I was alone much of the day though Lula Greene Richards was in for a couple of hours and Ort some time in the afternoon, Zine [Zina Smoot Whitney] called on me early in the day and told me she thought of going to Provo to be confined. I think it will be a good plan as she is very much worried about herself. I went home through the day and had a look through trunks & bureaus for some things I wanted to find, which gave me such sorrow and grief, tears flowed in such abundance as I had not thought possible [p. 207] {p. 208}

3 July 1887 • Sunday

This morning we had a late breakfast and lingered over the table talking of the past & present, did not try to do much of anything, at lunch while we were at table Br. Jessie [Jesse] West came and stayed for hours, nearly spoiling our day. The children were very good Q. went to Sunday School on Gipsey and looked so handsome. Jessie West the Teacher came in the Afternoon and after that we had dinner and Aunt Delia came and chatted. We had a quiet sort of day but accomplished nothing whatever. It was a beautiful evening and we sat up late on the porch [p. 208] {p. 209}

4 July 1887 • Monday

This morning we went up town early. Annie baby and I in the buggy & Geo. Q. Louise and Sylvester [Q. Cannon] in the pony cart behind Cannons were firing the first thing and flags were flying in all directions as we drove up the street At home we opened the dear old house but Oh how every thing is changed for me and for all of us. Annie went up for Mell & Onie [Verona Dunford] & Mamie [Mary A. Hoagland Cannon] & Emily [Hoagland Cannon] came down. to the house. We watched the procession though my thoughts were far away. We had ice cream after and then we all came home & had a cold dinner [p. 209] {p. 210}

5 July 1887 • Tuesday

We sat up very late watching the sky rockets and indeed they were beautiful but nothing seems the same to me or ever will since my flower my baby violet-eyed has gone. I came up town and learned that the fire which had frightened us so last night when we heard the bells ringing and the engine out was the roof of the Tabernacle which had caught from a balloon resting on it sent up by Alonzo [E.] Hyde, the West gates had to be dropped down. I have been busy working at my mailing which is not yet finished [p. 210] {p. 211}

6 July 1887 • Wednesday

<Constitutional Convention closed today Mr. Sears started today for San Francisco> We went up very early to see Mr. Sears off and took Gipsey Q. rode her up The remainder of the packing was done and music box fixed and Annie went with him to the D. & R. G. I had a dreadful day, never remember being more upset for years. Annie Hamilton who helps me in the Office vexed me almost beyond endurance it made me really sick, Annie came up at evening and we went together to see Hannah [Abbie Wells Chapin] & June before they started for Denver. They go tomorrow morning Mr. Sears went today So goes the world some this way & some that. [p. 211] {p. 212}

7 July 1887 • Thursday

<A lovely letter from Lillie [Lelia Tuckett] Freeze Rule’s [Rulon S. Wells] birthday I gave him Ben Hur–> Mr. [Samuel R.] Thurman came in to see me at the close of the Convention and June to announce his departure. Sister Susan Snively Young is very sick

Went to Fast meeting the first time for years & years at home though I have attended them in the country places when out on business for the organizations.

A kind of quiet afternoon Verrona started this very morning for Bear Lake Valley Bloomington [Idaho] to visit her relatives.2 Annie came up for me and we took a little ride around by the Park and drive. She had a letter today from John Q. [p. 212] {p. 213}

8 July 1887 • Friday

Today Br. Wilbraham came up with me again and I went down home for awhile. Annie was away to a Primary party. The office seemed more quiet without her and I enjoyed it though there were many interruptions by callers Mell has sent invitations for Q. & Louise to go to a party of Percival [Woods]’s tomorrow The weather is extremely hot and there is some considerable sickness In the evening we went for a ride Annie had her new buggy out for the first time, I was so exhausted with the heat and altogether that I could scarcely keep up so we went to bed earlier than usual. [p. 213] {p. 214}

9 July 1887 • Saturday

County Convention today choosing names of Legislators to be voted for at the August election. Hot as ever. Had many visitors. Wrote all a letter to Miss [Marian E.] Scoles in London to Aunt Zina in Logan to my darling Belle in San Francisco and to Sister [Harriet West] Wheeler whom I had been afraid of offending by my neglect. It was the meeting day in the 14th, Ward and Percival had his children’s party 19. little boys and girls. Annie brought Q. and Louise up they looked so sweet. Louise had a new pink dress with pale pink ribbons. We went home and had dinner sent [p. 214] {p. 215} over from the Spencer House then took a ride thro’ the Park and down the drive. Afterwards went up for the children came down very late and so dark.

10 July 1887 • Sunday

In the night a fierce wind rose and whistled and swept through the poplars and the long grass so weird & sad that it made me feel as though there was a grief corresponding to mine in the very atmosphere around the place, where once my sweet Louie had walked with the little ones and warbled her sweet songs, rivaling the very birds. At last I slept and when I woke a soft gentle rain was falling and the sky hung black & heavy. At evening a heavy rain storm came on deluging everything [p. 215] {p. 216}

11 July 1887 • Monday

Annie went up with me and we found all well and safe. It was the day of the Hospital meeting and I attended. very hot Mrs. Whipple resigned and her resignation was accepted. At evening there was a meeting at Annie’s. Br. Iverson presiding it was a good meeting. Annie spoke a few words so did Sister Hoagland and myself There were about 22 present and the Sacrament was administered We felt very glad. Annie had a letter from John Q. this morning and one from Belle in the afternoon Paper out today and witness things going on all night. So much anxiety about Lulu [Louie]’s death. [p. 216] {p. 217}

12 July 1887 • Tuesday

This morning Annie went up with me and went acts as much so as one could about going up to see up to Mell’s and took dinner, came up again in the evening. The rides are very enjoyable through the green fields and the scent of new mown hay sweet clover and wild roses are refreshing, but O my heart is so heavy that even nature’s delights once so exhilarating are no longer potent to lift me from the depths of sorrow into which I have fallen. The birds sing sweetly and are beautiful as they soar far away but my sweet bird who has soared far far away from me was far sweeter & her voice was like that of an angel– [p. 217] {p. 218}

13 July 1887 • Wednesday

Annie came up with me & brought George Q. poor little Margaret had hurt her face and we could not bring her out, we did enjoy the ride, but our hearts are saddened and a gloom so dark is over and all around us. For me whose life is so nearly done it does not seem so bad as for Annie whose early life has been so full of trial. God only knows why. We do not we cannot comprehend it. 3|I went with Mrs. Jennings today on some business for the Hospital and afterwards to ride for two hours with Sister Sarah G. Richards. had a letter from Dot. Annie has been putting up fruit. President Taylor is very ill indeed, has been for some time. [p. 218] {p. 219}

14 July 1887 • Thursday

It is very dull and cool the city is all excitement over Pres. Taylor’s illness and the prospect of statehood, newspapers outside are making comments and our own people are quite up in arms, scarcely comprehending the change that has come over the affairs, and many are in doubt as to the wisdom of such a course. Query and mystery seem the prevailing sentiments and each one asks his neighbor or his friend the meaning of all this political movement, yet no one can explain. Mellie called and asked me to let her have some old quilts as the children would go [p. 219] {p. 220} early with the team to Weber Caňon where they intend to camp.

15 July 1887 • Friday

Last night there was a heavy rain and this morning everything looks so sweet. The birds sing and nature smiles but my heart is inexpressibly sad, more so even than usual, I can never recover from the cruel blow inflicted upon me and mine. O my own darling, lying so low in the deep grave, with a broken heart, that nothing can ever heal. Why is it? At evening Annie came and I had been expecting some friends to stay over night, but they did not come and we came home late. [p. 220] {p. 221}

16 July 1887 • Saturday

Last night was dismal when we came but not so dark as my soul. So dark, so sad. I am full of gloomy forebodings of the future and the past is killing me inch by inch We went up early to let the children see the circus and afterwards to Mell’s where we had rather a serious time She is going away today, and we had such a scene it has nearly taken the life out of me. I shall never be myself again, never; with a broken heart I may live on for a time but the agony of feeling I suffer is beyond expression. May God have mercy upon me & mine [p. 221] {p. 222} and the time soon come when He shall say it is enough.

17 July 1887 • Sunday

John Q. came home about eleven after being away a month and a day. He had succeeded in finding a place to send stock for the winter. I wrote to Mell, Verona & Dot and we spent the day in quiet and such enjoyment as we could have with the little ones. The preaching in the Tabernacle was by Br. [George G.] Bywater, John Q. went to the evening meeting, and after we were in bed a heavy thunder storm came on and we were quite alarmed. rain fell heavily and it seemed quite wild. One already sad the storm the lightning and thunder were really only expressions of feeling [p. 222] {p. 223}

18 July 1887 • Monday

I went up this morning with John Q. was early it was not quite ten o’clock I kept pretty busy with my writing sent off letters to several and fixed up old accounts etc. Had lots of visitors, Annie came up after me and we came home to dine with John Q. Heard today that President Taylor was dead above his hips, and of course there can be no hopes entertained of his recovery after that. Had a letter from Belle, news from June that Abbie [Wells Young] is better. Was so tired that I could not work after coming home, we had rather a pleasant evening. [p. 223] {p. 224}

19 July 1887 • Tuesday

This morning Br. Wilbraham drove me up and I found a letter for Annie from Belle. The day was hot and tiresome, I wrote to Sister [Mary Rutherford] Irvine excusing myself from attending the meeting of the young ladies in the 19th Ward, went to see Sister Eliza and had a pleasant interview, came home early had a French reading then Annie came & we went in one of the lower wards for fruit. No particular news from President Taylor many conjectures about changes etc. [Edward W.] Tullidge came to see me today and several other people. John Q. has been mowing the land around the house and it looks so nice & green [p. 224] {p. 225}

20 July 1887 • Wednesday

<Annie was invited to Prissie Jenning’s [Priscilla Jennings] Riter’s birthday party> This morning found letters from Mell and Verona, have been kept very busy all the day. Seven strangers came who talked to me so long asking so many questions that I <was> quite worn out with fatigue Annie came up for me and we drove home, had dinner, so weary all of us. Children very sweet and good. I sat up late trying to prepare editorial copy and my thoughts were so sad and solemn. My heart is well nigh broken. I cannot scarce endure, it seems to me too much and yet I must bear up. I am suffering too in consequence of not having any teeth. [p. 225] {p. 226}

21 July 1887 • Thursday

<John Q. is busy with haying> This morning I took some gentlemen up to see Sister Eliza having asked her yesterday afternoon if I might do so. They enjoyed it very much indeed and Sister E. R. S. S. [Eliza R. Snow Smith] gave them one of her books of Lorenzo Snows Biography, also one of her first books of poems4 In the afternoon I went with Sister Ellen C. [Curtis Spencer] Clawson and her two Counselors Lydia Ann Wells & Camilla [Mieth] Cobb to Sugar House Ward to the Annual Meeting of the Primary Association, had cold dinner in the Hall and ice cream etc. came home very late. Pres. Taylor still sinking. [p. 226] {p. 227}

22 July 1887 • Friday

<June returned last evening from Denver John Q. drove up with me this morning.> A busy day Mary Freeze came in to make a call and I introduced her to Mrs. Marvin & Mr. & Mrs. Norcross the former from Washington the latter two from Chicago. She went by my invitation up to see Sister Eliza with us to the Lion House. I soon excused myself to go back to work as my time is really too precious. Mary was at the old home yesterday and today cleaning up and making the dear old place habitable once more. Took a French lesson this evening and after driving down here read my revise [p. 227] {p. 228}

23 July 1887 • Saturday

<John Q. came up with me,> I had a letter from Mell and Daisie, it is the special meeting of the Priesthood of this Stake of Zion, and the city is crowded with people from the country, the excursion to Nephi is bringing in many who are going in to the country and at three this afternoon crowds were on the street. I have had a great many callers & various opinions expressed about the condition of affairs in Utah, in the Church and in the State. Towards evening news came that President Taylor was really passing away. Have heard that Abbie [Wells Young Chapin] is still very ill has a little girl–5 [p. 228] {p. 229}

24 July 1887 • Sunday

A very beautiful morning. Q. went off to Sunday School on Gipsey. Louisa [Trautwein] took Sweetie [Louise Cannon] to the German meeting. John Q. stayed at home & we had a nice dinner and all that, but it does seem strange for the 24th. last year on this day how different everything was. My darling Louie was with me and Q. and Sweetie John Q. went out of town and all was so bright & hopeful now all is changed, and nevermore can I be the same, never, no, never! My happiness is all shrouded in darkness, and not until light from above comes to me can I again wear a smiling countenance unless the smile of patience– [p. 229] {p. 230}

25 July 1887 • Monday

John Q. went to the evening meeting and Annie & I were alone. No good news the condition of Pres. Taylor very low. His death momentarily expected. Gloom seems to have settled over the City. It is a bright morning and flags are floating but little signs of joyousness. Annie & I and the little ones drove up town and went to the graveyard, we took a few flowers in remembrance of our sweet ones, but the whole place seemed parched and dry and desolate. She is not there however we know that nor our dear Emma. Our hearts are well nigh broken with our sorrows. No news of any cheerful kind [p. 230] {p. 231}

26 July 1887 • Tuesday

Came up early and felt sure the President was dead learned about noon of the fact, the evening paper contained the news and an announcement official, from the two Counselors George Q. & Joseph F. [Smith] the city seems sad and mourning symbols are being put up in places of business and some private residences, the Gardo [House] is handsom<e>ly draped and also the offices even at our house across the way much to my regret for it seems awful. [p. 231] {p. 232}

27 July 1887 • Wednesday

Several people in & all talking of the death of President Taylor & full of conjectures as to his successor, there is not so much sadness and grief as was shown at the death of Brigham Young & nothing like the gloom that prevailed when the news of Joseph [Smith, Jr.] & Hiram [Smith]’s massacre came to Nauvoo. The funeral is to be on Friday and on that morning the body will lie in state from 1/2 past seven until 1/2 past 11. A.M. and the railroads will bring the people at reduced rates from all the settlements round <about> [p. 232] {p. 233}

28 July 1887 • Thursday

Preparations are going forward, the Tabernacle is to be elaborately draped and everything has been arranged in the most perfect order Geo. Q. and Joseph F. are at the Cannon Farm, hid up, or out of the way,6 Br. [Wilford] Woodruff has arrived and no doubt others of the Twelve are come too. Annie was invited to go up to June’s, Lena has a new piano, I thought directly it was to see her father but she was quite ill and could not go very weary, going home she nearly fainted away. [p. 233] {p. 234}

29 July 1887 • Friday

<my husband came home last night.> This morning drove up early so as to see the President there was a grand rush such crowds of people, and almost impossible to gain access to the door. I gave up once and was turning away then saw what seemed to be a better chance and persevered. He looked natural except a little more sunken in the face. At. 12. M. the people convened for the funeral and Pres. A. M. Cannon took charge of the services. Lorenzo Snow was the first speaker, there were crowds of people who could not get in, I had a poor seat for hearing [p. 234] {p. 235}

30 July 1887 • Saturday

I have been quite upset over the Esq. coming home so suddenly and my not knowing it. He is in good spirits and tolerably well. This has been a fearful day so far as my nerves are concerned, I do not know how I shall meet him it seems impossible to go through such ordeals and live, Annie feels as I do, we have had so much to endure the day has been a very happy one for little Louise who is three years old today I gave her a gold ring with a ruby in it John Q. gave her a chiffioner [p. 235] {p. 236}

31 July 1887 • Sunday

Annie gave Louise a beautiful comb & brush Q. gave her a parasol & so did Mamie and she had some other presents.

I have been lonely & staid at home all day, we had a nice dinner. at evening we were sitting out on the porch and June came driving down the lane and came in and said he wanted me to go up with him to see my husband I drove with him and met him the first time for nearly three years.7 He seemed quite as much excited as I was myself we had about three hours interview– [p. 236] {p. 237}

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July 1887, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed June 13, 2024