The Church Historian's Press

October 1887

1 October 1887 • Saturday

Meeting day in the 14th. Ward Sister Zina was there and spoke. Sister Horne presided and it is possibly the last one she will attend before going away. I was quite busy & could not go to the meeting. Had a desire to talk with Verona & to to persuade her to give up some foolish notions. She promised to come down to Annie’s in the morning and fetch me up to the City. I waited out and asked and in vain, Annie went up with me towards evening and we learned that the horse had a sore neck (Zoe) so Verona was not to blame– [p. 298] {p. 299}

2 October 1887 • Sunday

Spent a great part of the day in Annie’s parlor, did a little writing and some reading went up towards evening with Annie & the children. Had a pleasant evening with Annie. These are such beautiful days if one could only enjoy anything and feel free from sorrow and grief. Meditation is sweet in the Autumn days when leaves are falling and rustling, and birds clustering together and flying in troops. Made my report ready this evening [p. 299] {p. 300}

3 October 1887 • Monday

This morning had Verona at the Office and prepared to go to the Hospital meeting went off late as there seemed to be so much to do before leaving. Br. Clawson could not attend. Aunt Zina presided Went round with Sister [Bathsheba W.] Smith to her house afterwards and we had a conversation about matters and things in general, confidential. There are so many changes and queer things transpiring & one, who has seen many come and go in the high places cannot well avoid commenting upon the matter. Sunday School Union meeting tonight [p. 300] {p. 301}

4 October 1887 • Tuesday

<Dr. H. Fox of Chicago called on me & spent a couple of hours.> Busy as ever I could be office full of people comers to Conference from the country places. In the midst of it all for the first time since his return my husband walked into the Office, He did not stay however but wanted me to come up this evening to see him. I could not possibly make the necessary arrangements for going home so late, but went down to the house & waited there alone until the City Council was over and the evening was sad but sweet to me, for my dear absent ones seemed all around me in the empty rooms. [p. 301] {p. 302}

5 October 1887 • Wednesday

One year ago today the most trying occurrences transpired with us.1 The recollection even at this remote date is enough to chill the blood and make the heart stand still. What has passed since then would kill any one, that was not made of material that could be bent and molded and ground to pieces it has killed two of us already. What more can be I dare not think! I went to meeting this afternoon and spoke for a short time in the Relief Society. Hurried back to the Office to work and then to home to wait until I made the promised call at [p. 302] {p. 303} June’s upon my husband.

6 October 1887 • Thursday

The City is thronged with visitors from various places, who have come to attend Conference. Thales [H.] Haskell’s wife and daughter and Libby [Elizabeth Pond] Lewis and granddaughter and Janie [Cusson] Birkbeck from Cedar City. It is so pleasant to meet old friends under ordinary circumstances– but when one is just bursting with grief it is hard indeed. No one knows how I have sought to bear up under the pressure since last September and even now how hard it is to bear up daily in meeting old friends [p. 303] {p. 304}

7 October 1887 • Friday

Last night was the meeting of the Y.M. & Y.L.2 Associations at the Assembly Hall. Miss Cook was chosen to fill the place Louie held in the first organization. How strangely things come about. Apostle Lorenzo Snow presides at the General Conference, Newel [W.] Monk came in from Spanish Fork today. Janie Birkbeck slept at Mell’s last night tonight she is at Adeline’s. Verona & I drove down to Annie’s today and afterwards Verona took Janie to the graveyard. I am very despondent tonight My eyes will fill with tears in spite of my <attempts to check them> [p. 304] {p. 305}

8 October 1887 • Saturday

A very busy day indeed and so many people from the country wanting this and that. Had a letter from Belle At night Sister Birkbeck went down to the Farm with me to stay over night and see Annie & the children. We visited as much as we could, talked over the old days when my older children were little it was quite a pleasure, as much so as anything ever can be to me again. Newell Monk & Br. Hayes slept at my house. How changed everything is with me– & mine. [p. 305] {p. 306}

9 October 1887 • Sunday

<Louisa Troutvine went away from Annie’s> We came up in good time Annie drove & we called at the dear old home. How glad I always am to cross the threshold or to even see the dear old garden. Sister Birkbeck went on to the meeting and I stayed and dressed in my new black silk for the first time. How little I care now for these trifles. I have no one to help me in these matters and it does not signify. In the afternoon President Woodruff preached but his coming in was the event of the Conference and the people could scarcely suppress their glad [p. 306] {p. 307} emotions even tho’ it was the Sabbath Day and A House of Worship.

10 October 1887 • Monday

Today bought tickets for Verona her Mother & Sister Birkbeck to go to the theater the play was The Lights of London. Sister B. went up there to sleep with Verona. Mell gave her a black silk velvet bonnet, a very pretty one, she wore herself last winter. It was as busy a day for me as any of last week, besides I was mailing paper for the first of October just out, which was very disagreeable for me. Margaret the baby has been quite sick today. [p. 307] {p. 308}

11 October 1887 • Tuesday

Yesterday was my wedding day 35 years ago. I sent my husband a note and a book called “Songs & Lyrics.” I would like to have seen him but it was not possible under the circumstances He is not very well either Sister Birkbeck bade us Good bye this afternoon She will go to Provo tomorrow morning and then on home. I stayed waiting for John Q. to come from the City Council & went up to Mell’s and saw the folks. The weather is perfectly lovely & the Autumn leaves are more beautiful than ever before in the city I think [p. 308] {p. 309}

12 October 1887 • Wednesday

Today I have felt very ill all day: it has been almost impossible to keep up. Such a weary feeling & aching in my limbs. I feel nervous about little Margaret and there are many other things to annoy me. Annie’s girl has not come back and there are so many unpleasant things always transpiring that one has to be on the rack of torture as it were invariably and there is little comfort in one’s life. My own anxiety is <causing> very melancholy cannot be avoided. try to throw it off as I may went home in good time [p. 309] {p. 310}

13 October 1887 • Thursday

Still struggling on. Annie came up this morning. Spoke to Dr. Maggie C. Shipp about baby. saw Louisa Troutvine on the street. Have given Talula a pair of gold sleeve buttons of Louie’s and a book of California flowers She is going to Omaha she paid Annie a visit on Sunday. I took her the gifts on Tuesday night as I was on my way to Mell’s. My husband came in today unexpectedly it is the second time he has been into the office. I promised to go up and see him this evening and I kept my word. [p. 310] {p. 311}

14 October 1887 • Friday

So busy again had the impression taken for my teeth– had to go twice to the Dentists. Went for a ride with Sister Sarah G. Richards went thro the Park & several parts of the City. We were out two hours and a half. She is very sweet but very eccentric.

Lydia [Dunford] Alder & baby3 and daughter Florence called on me this afternoon. Aunt Zina was in at the same time. I am too nervous to stand much more. Everything worries me and I tremble for my own reason. I am so weary weary weary. [p. 311] {p. 312}

15 October 1887 • Saturday

Always a very trying day for me. Had the Revise up here early and the paper ready for the press but did not get it printed. They disappointed me as usual. It is such an annoyance and has occurred so often that one would think it a common grievance and cease to worry. Many coming in for their papers and such a disagreeable day. It is the meeting day in the 14th. Ward and the sisters come in to tell me what a good meeting it had been. John Q. went up to Armstrongs Farm today. Annie drove him up to the Mayor’s residence [p. 312] {p. 313}

16 October 1887 • Sunday

This is not a very fine day, it is the birthday of little Winnie. She would have been 12 years old; what a sufferer she was. Sweet darling Winnie! Mamie [Mary Alice Hoagland] Cannon is 20 years old today. She came over to Annie’s and had lunch with us. Towards evening I drove Grey Prince up town to fetch John Q. little George Q. came with me. We had such a nice time together, he talked all the way. Mrs. [Isabella Siddoway] Armstrong came out and invited us in We waited in the parlor until he came & then drove down home [p. 313] {p. 314}

17 October 1887 • Monday

<Had my teeth at 5 today> This morning Verona came down to help me, and went to Dr. [Samuel E.] Newton about Percival who is very sick. I went up at noon. the Dr. says it is diphtheria he has a very high fever and his throat is much inflamed inside and swollen outside. His mother is very anxious but not alarmed. Verona stayed at home to help and we thought it best as she had been exposed. O, the dreadful disease. I went to the Farm but did not sleep with the children nor in the same room I had made arrangements to go to Emery County– [p. 314] {p. 315}

18 October 1887 • Tuesday

Henry Coryden [Granger]’s birthday. Lucy [Woodward Granger Hewlings] will think of it of course, but I cannot correspond with her, she is too melancholy and depresses one so much. This morning Percival is no better though the Dr. hopes to pull him through as he says and Mell has much faith in his practice. Nina [Selina Winter Leverich] is there with Mell. Will has been telegraphed for, but he is so far away from the lines. Nina will sit up to night, and Mell will sleep with him I went down after City Council [p. 315] {p. 316}

19 October 1887 • Wednesday

This is our sweet Dots birthday and we cannot rejoice because of Percival, it has spoiled all our pleasure. I sent her a picture of Louie taken in the Lady Jane costume and dear little Eugene [S. Sears] a book called “Under Blue Skies.” He was 5 on the 14th of September. Percival is very bad they keep on telegraphing to his father but no word comes back yet. Mell has great hopes and so have I. She sits by him and waits upon him constantly and never leaves him at all. Went home again but kept from the children [p. 316] {p. 317}

20 October 1887 • Thursday

This morning went up to see Percival he has been bleeding at the nose and frothing at the mouth. It must be a dangerous case I am sure. Went up about noon, then down home for a few minutes and Verona came with Annie Hamilton after me, he was dead. so sudden at 1/2 past two p.m. The Dr. feels very bad and Annie does not know, she is very much alarmed. After the necessary arrangements for him we drove down towards the Farm and met Annie, she was on her way up. Went back and slept with Mellie [p. 317] {p. 318}

21 October 1887 • Friday

O such a terrible day. We had to get all ready at 12. M. and go over to Mt. Olivet where he was placed in a vault. Telegram from Will he knows now and is on his way but cannot arrive until Saturday night. The papers announced his death this morning. Last night Dr. Newton & Mr. [William R.] Wightman sat up with the little boy. We were lonely after coming back to the empty house. He did look sweet in white so pretty and such a nice white coffin not metallic. I scarcely went down town, stayed with Mell & Verona. [p. 318] {p. 319}

22 October 1887 • Saturday

Ellen [Woodward Fuller] came from Spanish Fork last nights train. This morning went down and did a little work got off the single wrappers. Mary Jane [Whitney Groo] came & went up to see Mell I wrote to Belle on the 20th, before the death and Annie wrote to Belle & Daisie yesterday. Terrible news for poor Daisie off there alone. I have been so worried about Belle of late she tells us She has the rheumatism but I fear the worst. Have been after singers for tomorrow. Wind blew a perfect gale. [p. 319] {p. 320}

23 October 1887 • Sunday

<Will came last night is bearing it manfully> We had to rise early as the services begun at nine. We were in time Annie took Zine Whitney in her buggy I rode up with Verona Nina & Ellen. We drove to Mt. Olivet first, then to the City Cemetery the place of burial. Many friends had come in carriages and there were many designs in flowers from friends & relatives. Rev. Mr. Thrall read from the New Testament beautiful passages of <the> Savior’s words and spoke briefly Prof. [Ebenezer] Beesley & choir sang Rest on the hillside Ort Whitney spoke a short time & [p. 320] {p. 321} Pres. [Daniel H.] Wells dedicated the grave. And when all was done we wended our way homeward. Verona & I rode home with Will & Mell. I staid there until evening and then came home alone. Ellen came down afterwards and stayed with me.

24 October 1887 • Monday

In the night I was quite sick but got along without calling Ellen. Today I have been in the office but to work seems impossible I have had some callers and have seen Kate & Lydia Ann. Went up to Mells to dinner The leaves are very grand now in Autumn colors. [p. 321] {p. 322}

25 October 1887 • Tuesday

June came over to see me about the birthday,4 Will & Mell want them to go on with it all the same. It does not seem in keeping with our great sorrows but for My husband it is proper and will perhaps do him good. The little children feel bad about Percival but do not realize it enough to check their enthusiasm, and they have been so delighted about it and Mell went into it at first with zeal and prepared verses for all the children, such sweet sentiments. John Q. called after the Council and I spoke to him about it– [p. 322] {p. 323}

26 October 1887 • Wednesday

Kate was here all last evening she and Aunt Martha & Dessie [Martha Deseret Grant] had been down to Annie’s teasing her to come up, and have the children take their parts, Louis called for Kate. I showed her a poem that could be rearranged for Ruby [Wells] and she took it up to Harry [Henry A. L. Culmer] for, him to fix. Annie came up called on Mell. I went up to dinner. Bought Verona a scrap book. Annie went home about three p.m. I got a letter from Belle soon after She has been very dangerously ill. I felt it O how can I bear to be so far from her at such a time [p. 323] {p. 324}

27 October 1887 • Thursday

<Belle sent a horseshoe of flowers from San Francisco> This is a memorable day and we had expected all the family, who are here to meet, but the death of little Percival has made a wide difference and cast a gloom over all. There were many vacancies before but for one to come just now, makes all feel melancholy. However the charm is ready it is an elegant one and engraved with the date and says from your children. I sent him an illustrated book title “Through The Year” Poetry. The children represnted a bouquet of beauty each one a favorite flower. There was a charade by Hebe, Lyde, Vie & Edna5 An elaborate supper and family gathering [p. 324] {p. 325} The horseshoe hung over the bouquet of beauty. It would have been lovely, if we were not all so sad.

28 October 1887 • Friday

Today word from Belle but not very satisfactory. I fear her condition is critical. My husband has been in twice today. He wants me to come to his room this evening, but it will be impossible as Annie is not feeling well and I must go home to see her. I went on an errand for him however and called at the door of June’s to give him an answer, then on to see Mellie then down home alone until the Council was out– [p. 325] {p. 326}

29 October 1887 • Saturday

Today is cold and disagreeable. The Young Men’s Conference convened in the Assembly Hall. Very few in attendance. Several have been in to see me and the general feeling seems to be despondent. On Wednesday night last I dreamed that Heber C. Kimball was preaching in the big Tabernacle and in loud terms and emphatic language condemning the course the people were taking etc. Went up to see my husband it is very unpleasant to creep into one’s apartments like a thief when one has a right to go openly. [p. 326] {p. 327}

30 October 1887 • Sunday

It was 12 midnight when I returned, and I enjoyed the evening as well as one can such an interview, but he is aged and intends soon to go to the Logan Temple and may perhaps remain some time, the most of the winter. There is much to talk of now, and yet what we most think of is never mentioned by either of us, We both feel the blow too keenly. time only can help us. Our sweet Louie, lovely and gentle, we shall see her no more here, but she will be there waiting to welcome us when we go to that other shore. Annie came up and we took a ride this morning through the Park [p. 327] {p. 328}

31 October 1887 • Monday

Yesterday I dined at Mell’s Turkey and a fine dinner. as cheerful as it was possible. It is Hallow e’en and there are several parties given in different places. Mamie Cannon went to one at Edna [Margaret Wells]’s. It is a very silly sort of pastime and rather of the superstitious order. All the talk is of the Receiver being appointed and what will be done in regard to Church property. Some feel very much worried and some indifferent and others excited. Judge [James O.] Broadhead & Senator [Joseph E.] Mc’Donald and wives are here pleading the cause of the Church6 [p. 328] {p. 329}

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