The Church Historian's Press

May 1888

1 May 1888 • Tuesday

<Saw my husband for a couple of hours> The first of May with blossoms gay, and over the way the lilacs bloom with a sweet perfume, and a fragrance rare is in the air, and the birds are singing, the chorus ringing. How merrily May day passed in “ye olden time.” How changed now is every thing. John Q. came down but no signs of his case coming up.1 We do not know what to depend upon however. Our lives seem to be ever full of sad forebodings. Solemn indeed are my reflections, so much so that all pleasure pulls upon my benumbed senses. No one seems thinking of celebrating the day. That is a change indeed. I slept at Mells and did a little writing. Feel very unhappy, and very melancholy. Had a letter from Belle– [p. 146] {p. 149}

2 May 1888 • Wednesday

Today I managed to get time to see Mr. [Charles] Baldwin lawyer and agent for H. B. Scott and company (Syndicate) about my place, he says he will lease me the dear old garden, and I shall take his office. I felt quite buoyed up, after my call upon him. I thought of going & having my likeness taken for it had been months since I had felt in such good spirits. I was hindered from going, for which I am very sorry as I do believe I shall be a long time, before I have that exalted feeling again. I saw my husband today, and spoke with him on the street, he seemed a little gloomy but talked of calling. At evening went down <up> to Mell’s again such a quiet evening. the other house– [p. 147] {p. 150}

3 May 1888 • Thursday

<drove to the farm with Annie–> This is Susan [Alley Wells]’s birthday and also Sister Smiths Susan is 58 and Bathsheba is 67. I gave Susan a very delicate vase for flowers. I went to the lawyer’s office and signed the lease and then down to my dear old home, and looked around and went through the orchard and put a chain around the gate and locked it up. I feel somehow more assured now that there might be an a way to redeem it, and get a home once more. I dined over with Susan & Lydia Ann, saw the Esquire and told him it was Lydia Ann’s <Susan’s> birthday. Last evening was the first time he had been out of debt for years. We had quite a nice evening and excellent refreshments. [p. 148] {p. 151}

4 May 1888 • Friday

Rather a disagreeable day hurried with my work so as to get to the 8th Ward Relief Society Annual meeting, Sister M. I. Horne, P. L. Kimball, B. W. Smith L. A. Wells. J. C. [Julia Cruse] Howe & others. after the meeting refreshments were served on three long tables in the hall at the North side of the building, and about a hundred people sat down to partake. Counselor Mc’Murrain [Joseph McMurrin] pronounced the blessing. Lydia Ann and I came home together. I had some errands to do afterwards and later on came down to Annie’s. David was there and the house was all upset with the white washing and cleaning affair, the children are not so very well especially Margaret There is so much anxiety with a family of little ones for young mothers– [p. 149] {p. 152}

5 May 1888 • Saturday

Dr. [Ellis Reynolds] Shipp came and invited me to her wedding anniversary, 32 years today since I moved into my dear old home. I shall never forget the days when we were moving, the little sweet things used to run down with things in their hands, they were so overjoyed to have a home, their own home. I recollect so well how delighted Belle was to have a room. We used always to call it Belle’s room in those days. It was the North East bedroom. We put out the trees and shrubs and watched them day by day. Every spot of ground and spear of grass and weed was dear. Where their little feet have pattered up and down, in the dear old days. I see them now as little things, as they were then in their innocence & beauty– [p. 150] {p. 153}

6 May 1888 • Sunday

Last evening I went to the party with my husband at Dr. Shipp’s. she and M. [Milford] B. Shipp have been married just 22 years and it is also the wedding day of his father [Austin Shipp] and mother [Louisa Farnsworth Shipp] and his father’s 80th birthday anniversary. We had a lovely time there and came home together and spent a couple of hours here in my rooms. It was a pleasant evening for me and one to be cherished in memory forever. Today I came down from Mell’s about 2 p.m. and stayed here writing letters, one to Aunt Zina, one to Belle and one to Sarah M. Kimball. Towards nightfall Annie came up for me and told me that John Q. had been baptized in the Jordan River by his father and that they had both stayed to the meeting and had taken the Sacrament. I was rejoiced at that. [p. 151] {p. 154}

7 May 1888 • Monday

We had quite a nice evening at Annie’s tho’ John Q. was so weary for lack of sleep, he went to bed early. It has been quite exciting for me however as it brings back so much of the painful incidents of the past <two> years. It seems incredible when I think of it how much we have endured. O, the sorrow, O, the agony. O, the horrors that I have endured and my darling, my baby, my sweet flower2 to be killed crushed into the very earth, never never can I forgive those who assailed her as they did. O, how shall I ever endure the agony, the the torture of the days that are to come & I must bear alone with the great burden resting upon me. Unspeakable and almost insupportable grief– Went down to the Hospital [p. 152] {p. 155}

8 May 1888 • Tuesday

It is 40 years today since Jethro Whitney was born. I well remember the time & the busy preparations we were making to start on our journey to the mountains. He was a fine big fellow. Mary Ann [Needham] Sears is 40 today. I suppose she will celebrate it in some way or other– Annie came up and told me little Margaret was not well at all. She feels very low-spirited even though things are shaping for the best, as we suppose and we shall not have the anxiety we have had but yet there is sorrow that never can be assuaged. I have been very busy and went up to see Br. Erastus Snow with Annie. He has been much relieved by an operation performed upon him by Drs. [Joseph M.] Benedict & [Seymour B.] Young– Minerva is very much encouraged about him. [p. 153] {p. 156}

9 May 1888 • Wednesday

This is a day on which many unpleasant memories rise up and haunt me. It is Sister Horne’s wedding day and she is to have an anniversary party– it is 52 years. The Esquire is going and also Lydia Ann & myself– It will be at her daughter Minnie [Permelia Horne James]’s house, and she will have her house dedicated. The day has been unpleasant Annie & I drove to the graveyard and more and more gloom settled down upon me. Sister Howard came in and had supper with me. Lydia Ann came over and we went together to the Party. It was drizzling & dark. The room was fairly ablaze with light and we went there Moses Thatcher whom I had not seen for many months nay! even years 2 at least. Richard Horne Sister M. I. Horne & H. [Harriet Hales] Ellis her sister [p. 154] {p. 157} were set apart, to go on their genealogical mission to England and collect material for work in the Temple. Moses Thatcher and the Esquire did <officiated in> the setting apart. The Esquire dedicated the House. We stayed very late and as the night was dark and the Esquire very feeble I had to go home alone after going with him to Hebe [Heber M. Wells]’s gate where he is now stopping.

10 May 1888 • Thursday

Thursday 10. Today is a very eventful one in my life, for I made every arrangement and had all prepared beforehand for the Esquire to see John Q. and talk to him. yesterday and they met in my parlor and now things are different to what they were before and I can feel much easier. Yet there is the old vision haunting me of the broken heart & the poor weary sufferer3 on her dying bed, groaning & crying with the excessive pain– [p. 155] {p. 158}

11 May 1888 • Friday

Last night Annie came up for me and I took her home. We had a quiet time, Margaret is better. I came up this morning with David before 8 o’clock and have felt very sad all day. John Q. came down from Ogden and called to see me told me, he intended to have the ceremony between Annie & himself consummated on Sunday evening and asked me to speak to her father for them. Pres. Woodruff and Cannon blessed him pronouncing <upon> him all his former blessings and priesthood. On the day that his father baptized him he confirmed him an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Now he has with Pres. Woodruff the highest authority on earth sealed upon him all his former blessings– and priesthood. [p. 156] {p. 159}

12 May 1888 • Saturday

I did not succeed in finding the Esquire today yesterday I mean, and Annie did not see Mell, though she came up on purpose but today she has seen her & talked to her and some of her sisters. I found my husband at last in the President’s office and he told me 1/2 past 8 tomorrow evening he would be ready also that they were to come prepared with their temple clothing. Br. Cannon told John Q. yesterday that he ought never to have left off his garments. Br. F. M. Lyman was in the office when I went in yesterday. I feel very solemn over this affair. My poor darling is always before me, and her sad countenance and sweet expressive eyes stare or beam upon me day and night. I went home with Annie & we sat up very late as usual [p. 157] {p. 160}

13 May 1888 • Sunday

We were up in pretty good time and David went to the depot to fetch John Q. When he came we had lunch and he had to do some fixing up around the barn for Kate had had a colt and it was dead & the old Swiss servant was very unmanageable and all was at sixes and sevens outside. Turkey and other good things were prepared for dinner and so I stayed and after we had partaken about five in the afternoon John Q. brought me up in town. I went home and ordered ice cream cake & candy and dressed in my best black silk. At 1/2 past 8 John Q & Annie came & repaired to the Endowment House where her father was waiting and they were sealed again. Afterwards came over to mine & about 1/2 past ten [p. 158] {p. 161} another ceremony was performed in my parlor– by Judge Elias [A.] Smith Junior a civil marriage according to the laws of the land. The witnesses were her father Daniel H. Wells Abraham H. Cannon & myself– Then when we were left alone we had some ice-cream and cake and they took me up to Mells and then went to the farm. Mell [Melvin] Wells was on the piazza with Verona and Mell waiting up alone

14 May 1888 • Monday

Monday 14. I have been busy running about Annie did not come up but I saw John Q. for a few minutes. After my day’s work came up to Mells and spent the evening I wrote to my husband but had no opportunity to see him at all. He goes away tomorrow [p. 159] {p. 162}

15 May 1888 • Tuesday

This morning my husband and others of the brethren started for Manti. Brs. [Wilford] Woodruff [George Q.] Cannon and other underground brethren went on Sunday night– and there will be a private dedication on Wednesday probably. So goes the battle the Receiver is urging new claims for property and has pushed for the Corner and Deseret News–4 The wind is very disagreeable and dust like a cloud. I am trying to get my work in order to go to the Temple dedication. Some very private conversation today with Mrs. [Priscilla Paul] Jennings and with Ort Whitney, he is very low-spirited and full of repinings. I stayed at Mell’s again, we had a nice evening and I did a lot of work. The day was tedious and unbearable almost– cold and dismal– [p. 160] {p. 163}

16 May 1888 • Wednesday

This morning the sadness of the sad event of one year ago today, is upon me with all its weight of woe and misery. I am plunged into the very depths of the valley of grief. O the sweet eyes that opened only once on that fatal morning and then closed forever. Prayer nor offering of a broken heart nor sacrifice can bring back my darling baby ever again until the gates of the eternal city open for me, to enter there to abide forever, and forevermore. Annie came and we went for some rare flowers and buds to mingle with the vines that she had brought and we then repaired to the graveyard and laid our simple tribute down. Margie [Dwyer] & Talulah [Wood] were there before us <and had covered the head of the grave with pansies> and Kate & May [Wells] had been in the early morning, by and bye the rain poured down in torrents and it seemed to harmonize with my feelings very much. [p. 161] {p. 164}

17 May 1888 • Thursday

Two years ago today I was in Washington; six years ago in the Logan Temple at the dedication– yesterday the brethren of the Apostles dedicated the Temple at Manti privately and pronounced upon the head of my husband (Daniel H. Wells) a blessing appointing him to preside in the Temple over all the work there. It is indeed an honor conferred upon him and the blessing was a great satisfaction to him. Wilford Woodruff was mouth in prayer and he said unto him “that his life and labors were accepted of the Lord” and also “that his last days should be his best days,” and he should enjoy his mission and his work in the Temple of the Lord.” I have been busy preparing to go down to the dedication. the weather is dusty and disagreeable. many callers to hinder me. [p. 162] {p. 165}

18 May 1888 • Friday

One year ago since John Q. arrived, and we met in the room where the dead lay.5 The mortal agony of that beautiful young woman was over, her spirit released;– I know not if she was there to witness the scene. It was one more scene in the terrible tragedy for me, and without her who had always borne her part, so hard a part too that it rent her life asunder. And now she had gone, we know not where or how it fared with her, or whether she had met with her loved ones, sister, brother and nieces or nephews, grandmother & so many more whom she had to love her. Went down to Annie’s and we were alone in the evening together. These are all sad days for me. The time is propitious however in that the dedication is so near. It will help me. [p. 163] {p. 166}

19 May 1888 • Saturday

This morning Annie & I rose very early. We had very little sleep and after hurrying to the depot found we had some time to wait. I was with our own folks.6 We got along very well indeed and landed safe at Nephi in time. There was the hustle & confusion, but we succeeded at last in getting seats in the regular cars for Chester, there were cattle cars & open coal cars with seats in & after a time we started out On our arrival in Chester we were provided with carriages, and wended our way onward over the dusty roads Nearing Ephraim we encountered a severe wind storm that nearly upset our vehicles and filled our eyes and ears with dirt. It passed off and we got in all right. Went to Andrew [J.] Moffitt’s & put up for the night– [p. 164] {p. 167}

20 May 1888 • Sunday

I went out to the meeting in the Tabernacle. Franklin D. Richards and Heber J. Grant were the speakers, and the house was crowded. The Esquire spent the evening and night with Hannah and I slept up stairs in the room with several young women. Sunday morning Hannah & myself started out to the Conference but we failed to get into the house and went and called on some people we knew afterwards we went to the Temple and all through it and to the very top of the East Tower. Hannah, Susan[,] May and I. Br. [Thomas] Higgs took us through, After that we went home and then Hannah and I went to the Temple hotel and took dinner. Met ever so many pleasant people. Went up to Pres. Wells room arranged with him to stay at Sister [Rebecca Atwood] Wareham’s together [p. 165] {p. 168}

21 May 1888 • Monday

We both slept there and he stayed to breakfast and I went back to Br. Moffitts. This was dedication morning and we dressed carefully & the carriage came for us. We drove up and were afterwards taken to the West door where we were admitted without so much crowding and pushing. There were about 1,500 persons present. In the upper stand of the Melchizedek priesthood sat Pres. Wells, Lorenzo Snow, F. Marion Lyman, John Henry Smith, John W. Taylor Heber J. Grant, So on Br. Snow presided, singing Lord we come before thee now, Prayer dedicatory read by Br. Snow Singing the dedication hymn, composed expressly for the occasion, then remarks were made by <Partiarch John Smith &> Apostles Snow, Smith Taylor Lyman, Pres. [John] Morgan & [Abraham Owen] Smoot Jacob Gates Wm. Cahoon [p. 166] {p. 169} and Pres. Wells at last by H. J. Grant and then after singing praise & anthem the people shouted three times “Hosannah” and so forth. The effect was inspiring and then prayer was offered and the people allowed to view the house. Afterwards we had an interview with Pres. Wells then dined and met with him again in the evening. He took his leave of us as we were to go home in the morning

22 May 1888 • Tuesday

This morning we left Manti about 5 o’clock and drove over to Chester in time for the train, got a good seat & arrived in Nephi, dined at Sister [Mary Mitchell] Pitchforth’s and took train for home where we arrived safely the same evening. I went up to Mells Joe [Joseph B.] Toronto & young Olsen were there spending the evening– [p. 167] {p. 170}

23 May 1888 • Wednesday

Came down late and soon after Mell came & we then went down to Easton’s and had dinner. I found several letters waiting for me at the office, one from Miss [Mary Ann] Quirk of Cleveland own cousin to Geo. Q. Cannon. Today one came from Belle, the mailing was all done, and I could have stayed as well as not, but I did not know that until I reached home. Annie came up in the afternoon and after a while I went home with her. She was very tired and nervous, and my back was very lame. We talked over the dedication and the various opinions concerning the manifestations7 seen in the Temple and many other things of less importance Had a letter from Belle [p. 168] {p. 171}

24 May 1888 • Thursday

Came up with Annie from her place “Solitude” this morning. Little Louise came with us. Annie went to the depot for John Q. & then they called together. Verona came down and swept up and dusted for me. We moved out the stoves from the Office & the front bedroom. V. & I dined at the other house with L. A. & Susan’s families. Pleasant conversation at dinner. Mell went to the “At Home” at Mrs. Judge Royal’s [Eliza Kirtley Royle]. There is much being said concerning the manifestations in the Manti Temple. Finished my letter to Daisie and sent her five dollars in greenbacks. John Q. came to see me & then went to the depot. Annie came back for me and we drove down: the weather has changed it is much colder. Annie’s place looks very pretty and it seems too bad not to have plenty of water. [p. 169] {p. 172}

25 May 1888 • Friday

It has been a busy day for me and I have tried to get time to go to the Annual meeting of the Primary Ass’n of the 13th Ward where Kate Wells presides. At last I managed to get through and went in pretty good time. Saw Sister [Elizabeth Matthews] Davis on my way and took her along with me. I was invited to address the children which I did with much interest. Kate presides with considerable dignity and the meeting was a good one. After the meeting several of the sisters went to see a sick girl and we administered to her and also to her mother who was worn out with fatigue and watching. Slept at Mells and rose early in the morning– was very sick last night [p. 170] {p. 173}

26 May 1888 • Saturday

Worked hard all day and went to meeting in the afternoon in the 14th Ward Assembly Rooms. There were none of the presiding officers present & I was nominated to preside, which I consented to do. I also addressed the meeting for about half an hour. After returning from the meeting I went up to see Br. Erastus Snow who was sick & nigh unto death. He seemed to be very low and I felt I should never behold him again. I had quite a pleasant evening. Went late to Br. Atwoods the Bishop’s and got my recommend8 and handed it to the Bishop of the 18th Ward9 he came and spent the evening in my parlor– [p. 171] {p. 174}

27 May 1888 • Sunday

I went to the Tabernacle Arthur Stayner was the speaker. Services were quite impressive. first hymn sung, the congregation joined in and stood upon their feet it was “Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah &c.” After meeting I had supper in my room and then went to the 18th Ward meeting in the Chapel While there word came that Apostle E. [Erastus] Snow had passed away at five minutes to seven p.m. It seemed a solemn thing. I was voted in as a member of the 18th. Ward.10 I went down home with Rule [Rulon S. Wells] and afterwards to my room and came up late to Mells to sleep, was quite ill and Mell had to wait upon me. [p. 172] {p. 175}

28 May 1888 • Monday

Did not feel well all day. went on with my work however. Lydia Ann and I both went up to see Br. Snows <folks> Sister Sarah M. Kimball came to see me and stayed some time. Several others called during the day. I was much fatigued Annie came and we went for a ride, then she left me up at Mell’s and drove home alone. The day had been wearisome and I was over-fatigued– Mell had to make mustard plasters for me and I had very little sleep. I retired early but the pain was almost unbearable. Towards morning I fell into a sleep and rose early to go away to Mill Creek [p. 173] {p. 176}

29 May 1888 • Tuesday

This morning went down very early to the Office and printing office and then started off with Lydia Ann Sister Ellen Clawson and Camilla [Mieth] Cobb and baby11 in an open two seated carriage to go to Mill Creek and attend the annual meeting of the Primary Associations of the 4 districts. It was a lovely morning and the ride through the green fields was delightful, the meeting was a full one and the children did well. At noon we had pic nic in the Vestry & in the afternoon meeting again at which we all spoke, and at the close with many good bye’s we started for the City. I went down to Annie’s to sleep– [p. 174] {p. 177}

30 May 1888 • Wednesday

This morning we were very late getting started off but at last we came up with all the flowers, we could gather. Louise [Trautwein] the German girl had made of red clover the letters L. and E.12 very unique. We brought those too– When we reached the graves we found others had been there before us and had laid some sweet flowers down. One wreath was on darling Louie’s grave. O, the sorrow, the sadness, the grief inexpressible that I cannot control. Mell had fixed bouquets for all hers and ours and we remembered also Sister E. H. [Elizabeth Hoagland] Cannon & Mother [Elizabeth Ann Smith] Whitney and Grace [Groo] and we laid sprays of roses too upon Belle’s children’s graves. <My husband came up [to] the funeral> [p. 175] {p. 178}

31 May 1888 • Thursday

Verona went out to the Lake yesterday and I stayed with Mell last night. We sat up very late waiting for her to come home. This morning I had to come away very early.

My husband came up from Sanpete on Tuesday to be here for Br. E. Snows funeral. He came to see me after the funeral was over. John Q. was down from Ogden and he was at my rooms with Annie & the children. I wrote to Belle and mailed it yesterday. Was over to the house at noon, and Verona & Mell came down in the afternoon and had supper with me. I stayed until nearly eight p.m. writing and then walked to the farm all alone13 [p. 176] {p. 179}

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May 1888, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed July 24, 2024