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October 1888

1 October 1888 • Monday

This is rather a memorable day. Mell was married 21 years ago today to W. D. [William Dunford] such a sorrowful event to look back upon and yet when it transpired we thought it a grand affair. He made every profession of being a Latter day Saint & we had no scruples whatever. Time makes wonderful revelations to us all, and in this case it came like a thunder-clap. John Q. came down on the morning train so did Sister Richards and we sat together all the way to the Hot Springs. Once at home the work and worry began. Mrs. R. came in and many others and of course all hindered me. Emeline was here today and I had letters from Mell & Belle & Verona with which I was indeed pleased. O the house is so lonely when night comes more especially– [p. 299] {p. 302}

2 October 1888 • Tuesday

Yesterday Re. [Anna Maria] Whitney Hall would have been 52 years old– so of course that is the age of her friend Katie [Catherine] Spencer Young. and Mrs. Charlotte Ives [Cobb] Kirby was born either in August or September previous. I forget now which it was. I was alone today and went over to the other house to dinner had a little talk with the folks about affairs in general and some family details. Aunt Zina has been to see me and give me her confidence in regard to her Counselors. She is undecided upon the matter. I think she would like Presendia [Kimball] & Sister [Elizabeth] Howard. or Sister Ellen Clawson. She seems very child-like in the matter; took the evening train for Ogden. Annie came to the depot and we went together to the office of the Standard <Gershom Wells returned from a two years mission to Germany to night> [p. 300] {p. 303}

3 October 1888 • Wednesday

Came down on the morning train with John Q. we were very late. Too late for the opening of the Fair. In the afternoon Aunt Zina came and talked with me about choosing her counselors, and gave me the names of several of whom she had thought and said she had fasted and prayed over it. F. D. Richards made the opening prayer at the Fair and Gov. [Caleb W.] West a speech, [Evan] Stephens singing class rendered an exercise and the band was in attendance. I could not go to the Fair and was very busy all day long any way. In the evening I worked to the utmost of my strength trying to arrange my papers and things so as to make more space. [p. 301] {p. 304}

4 October 1888 • Thursday

Annie came but it was very late and after having her teeth attended to she lunched here and we went to the Fair for a short time, then off to the train, saw her on the cars and came back alone to my lonely rooms– home I cannot call it. There is no home in it. Sad indeed is the heart when so much grace and beauty have gone out from the home, gone into the unknown. Duty bids us press onward but sometimes the loneliness is beyond expression, and we gaze into space scarce knowing how we are to go on for the remainder of our days without the brightness and buoyancy that was ours heretofore. I have tried to be brave to bear up under sorrow to acknowledge God in all things to stem the current of oppression & wrong– [p. 302] {p. 305}

5 October 1888 • Friday

This morning rushed off to the Tabernacle. Conference opened Apostle Lorenzo Snow presiding. He was also the first speaker, the attendance was small, tho’ there seems to be many in town from the country. The Fair however has a large proportion no doubt. At noon there were some coming in to pay subscriptions but comparatively few to other Conference seasons. Mrs. [Margaret Nightingale] Caine called today and invited me to spend the evening. My husband was here too and we had a little visit in the parlor during the noon hour. After I finished my work in <the office> I went up to see Sister Caine as she had desired me. Stayed until ten, Charlie [Charles A. Caine] came home with me. She gave me a chapter of her experience in Washington. [p. 303] {p. 306}

6 October 1888 • Saturday

This morning went away to Conference again, and at noon had more and more callers. Emeline has been attending the Office for me and so I had the opportunity to go to meeting, it is not very fine there has been rain during Conference and it is quite damp. There are more people in town and they keep coming in all the time from various stakes of Zion. Towards evening Aunt Zina and I went to the Fair together. There is a great variety of home manufacture & Utah products as well as other things made elsewhere. Some of the needlework ought to have special mention made of it. There is a priesthood meeting in the Assembly Hall tonight. I am here in the old house alone. [p. 304] {p. 307}

7 October 1888 • Sunday

This morning the rain is pouring down in torrents, wet and miserable under foot. Sister Jane Richards called for me and we went to meeting together. Br. Moses Thatcher was the first speaker and John Nicholson the next. The house was crowded and it was announced that there would be an overflow meeting in the Assembly Hall in the Afternoon. I went to the House over the way to dinner. Went to meeting in the afternoon with Sister Richards. Officers of the Church were voted in and B. H. Roberts was made one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventies, filling up the vacancy caused by the death of H. [Horace] S. Eldredge In the Educational Board James Sharp was put in his place. Tonight went to the [p. 305] {p. 308} meeting of the Associations in the big tabernacle. June Wells presided. Elmina S. Taylor Maria Y. Dougall, Mattie H. Tingey, Minnie J. Snow, R. E. Monch [Ruthinda Hill Moench], & M. A. [Mary Ann] Freeze were the lady speakers. The rain poured down in torrents and the night was dismal outside but in the Tabernacle the lights and whole appearance of the building was bright and glowing with warmth and beauty.

8 October 1888 • Monday

This morning the weather is more pleasant: crowds of people on the streets. It has been a large numerously attended Conference. I have been working hard to get proofs read have a most severe cold can scarcely see my eyes are so bad. Stayed alone all the evening reading proofs etc. very lonely and scarcely any sleep at night, restless & in great pain in my head eyes & ears. [p. 306] {p. 309}

9 October 1888 • Tuesday

Tuesday morning my husband left on the morning train to return to Manti. Gershom has gone with him. I felt rather disappointed at not seeing him again but on the whole rather glad of it, for I am so sick and my eyes are so painful, and my work is so behindhand I have no time for visiting. The folks all seem to think that the Esquire went away disappointed with his visit. It is too bad because he cannot come up very often and when he does ought to enjoy the time fully. I have not taken in much money during the Conference, not nearly as much as usual. Tonight I am going to Ogden and stay with Annie I feel that I need some care and nursing. John Q. has been down today Ort has been in to see me [p. 307] {p. 310}

10 October 1888 • Wednesday

This morning left on the 8 o’clock train Annie felt quite annoyed with me for coming away so early. Emeline is not here today– Ort & May have had an interview in my parlor and I have been engaged counting out money donated by the Primary Fair to the Hospital. It is 36 years ago today since the day I was married to Pres. Wells, what a change since then, how long and yet how short the years seem, so quickly they have flown and yet what an amount of joy and of sorrow has transpired in that time, O, it will not bear thinking about. It was Sunday and he came for me in a covered vehicle Steve Taylor was driving, the very house in which I am now staying was where the ceremony was performed and the room in which my office is was the room Brigham [p. 308] {p. 311} Young performed the ceremony. the Conference had just closed. He went home with me after supper and we were alone– Auntie1 kept the children in the little room and we had the big room– how crude everything was– O, it was a sad but significant day. the wind blew shrill and dust blew–

11 October 1888 • Thursday

Today has been an important one; early I was notified to go and be set apart to the office of Corresponding Secretary to the Relief Societies of all Zion– and the Church throughout. Went at eleven o’clock Aunt Zina & her Counselors Jane S. Richards & Bathsheba W. Smith they were blest first Pres. W. Woodruff blest Aunt Zina, Jos. F. Smith blest Jane Richards F. D. Richards blest Sister Smith and Pres. Woodruff blest me they were taken down in short [p. 309] {p. 312} hand by Arthur Winter, At night I went to Ogden. After the blessing we had some talk with the brethren about wheat and woman’s suffrage and then we came to my parlor together and talked over some matters, and Sister Smith blest us in tongues Aunt Zina interpreted. I had a letter from Belle kind of sad–

12 October 1888 • Friday

Today I have been working steady at the mailing Emeline helping Came down on the 10 o’clock train, Annie came to the depot with me. Lib [Mary Elizabeth Beatie] Wells has been taken very ill. Dr. Hughes, Benedict and Richards have been in consultation, think it a complication, and very serious. The greatest excitement seems to prevail in and around the dwelling. Hebe is nearly distracted with grief. She has a beautiful little daughter. nearly two weeks old now. I am so very lonely to night [p. 310] {p. 313}

13 October 1888 • Saturday

This morning the Salt Lake Herald contains the notice of Lib’s death. It makes one chill to think how sudden the shock has been. Poor Hebe so happy and prosperous, and so full of life and activity, suddenly crushed with grief. It is indeed pitiful, Mrs. Wm. Irving of New York called on me with Miss More [Mary E. Moore]2 of this City. Sister [Elizabeth Harper] Brooks and her granddaughter Mrs. Emma [Brooks] Hume also came and Emma sung and played for me some familiar old songs. John Q. has been down on business and came in to see me. In the afternoon late I went up to Hebe’s; he seemed very glad to see me, and I saw his mother and her mother and many other members of the two families. The evening is very cool, called on Maille [Marion Beattie Whitney] and went to Ogden by 1/2 past seven train. John Q. & Annie [p. 311] {p. 314} met me at the depot with the carriage. Annie had a nice supper ready for us. We had a nice visit.

14 October 1888 • Sunday

This morning I stayed in bed late. Q. & Louise went to S. S. after they came home Louise was quite sick, complained of her head and throat. Annie had to hold her most of the day. I wrote a letter to Verona and we had some talk of the trip to San Francisco and of taking Sweetie with me. Annie Q. and Margaret came to the train with me at 6 p.m. and afterwards I had to wait two hours & a quarter on the cars before starting. Came home to the lone house, and after lighting up and making a fire wrote to Sister J. E. [Joanna Coates] Childs of Orangeville Everything is as still as can be. beautiful moonlight night– but my heart is lonely [p. 312] {p. 315}

15 October 1888 • Monday

Rose late but worked diligently all day long, and tried to make time to go next day to Hunter. Had lots of callers and all sorts of hindrances. I feel more and more determined to go away for awhile and that I need the change. The folks talk of having a party family gathering only on the Esquire’s birthday. It will not be an elaborate affair at all– I am very much confused with my moving & arranging to be comfortable and my mind is never easy, it seems more than one can stand to go through all the trials and difficulties that lie in the pathway of a Latter day Saint. At night here I am alone, preparing copy for the morrow– how lonely it is and how solemn it seems to be. [p. 313] {p. 316}

16 October 1888 • Tuesday

This is little sweet suffering Winnie’s birthday and I know Mell will be full of sorrow and grief– it is a very unpleasant morning. Br. Horne & Sister Horne and Sister E. S. Taylor and myself went over to Hunter Ward and assisted the Bishop3 in organizing the Relief Society We dined at Sister Cochran [Jeanette McConnochie Cochrane]’s4 and then went to the meeting– had a very pleasant time and came home in good time. I felt great freedom in speaking and altogether enjoyed it immensely. In the evening I sat down to write and tried to be calm, but somehow my feelings overcame me and my heart was too full for utterance– lonely and desolate, and almost forsaken, I know not what to look forward <to>. [p. 314] {p. 317}

17 October 1888 • Wednesday

I am trying to be ready to go to Emery County tomorrow– bought a ring with opals in it for Dot to give her on her birthday sent it off by express today– it cost nine dollars engraved it with the initials of S. I. S. for Isabel Saraph Isabel Sears 1888– she will be sweet sixteen on the 19th of October how well I remember her birth and the time when she was born in the big house in the 20th. Ward. Worked to get ready and go to the Emery Stake Conference– Emeline will keep the office for me– I have tried to keep myself perfectly quiet, and say nothing of my journey. Jane Richards of Ogden is to go with me to Emery We leave on an early train– [p. 315] {p. 318}

18 October 1888 • Thursday

Left early without any breakfast, took dinner at Provo– at Springville the Rev. Mr. Wm. Irvine came on the train and he and his wife came into our car and we conversed the whole of the way to Price. Mormonism was the theme of the conversation and many were the questions he put to me, and the answers were in the most positive terms. Our conversation was of the highest order and although the man was a bitter opponent of our doctrines yet, the principle of baptism for the dead seemed to awaken in him a desire to know more. Castle Gate absorbed my whole attention on reaching that point, the native grandeurs’s something awful– [p. 316] {p. 319}

19 October 1888 • Friday

This is Dot’s birthday– we arrived in Price last night and were entertained at Br. [Samuel J.] Cox’s the President of the Relief Society[;] Sister Richards had known them in Ogden. They are very hospitable. This morning we drove over to Huntington <23 miles> and put up at Bessie Mc’Mullen’s there were five of us altogether, Sister Richards & Br. Cox his daughter Sarah, Sister Pauline [Bryner] Pace and baby5 and myself– In the evening we held meeting in the school house at Huntington, the first Counselor of the Relief Society Mrs. Mary Jane [Johnston] Woodward presiding. We had a very full meeting, there were many young men present. We two Sister Richards and I slept at Sister Burgess’s. [p. 317] {p. 320}

20 October 1888 • Saturday

<One year ago such a sad day.>6 Started in good time for Orangeville arrived before the meeting began, it was the Primary Conference of the Stake. Sister Childs was there who had written me many letters and with whom I felt somewhat acquainted. I gave some advice and spoke quite a long time to the children. We went to Br. [John K.] Reid’s to dinner, and then drove over to Castle Dale to the Conference in the afternoon– this was the Y.L.M.I.A. quarterly Conference and Bishop [William B.] Preston and John Henry Smith were both there. The brethren spoke after us and we had a pretty good time. We drove back to Huntington the same night and stayed at Bishop [Charles] Pulsipher’s. [p. 318] {p. 321}

21 October 1888 • Sunday

This morning we had an early breakfast and came off early to look <drive> over the to Price. It was a long and tedious drive and we were completely exhausted. The roads were dreadful and the country barren. The only beautiful feature of the country were the mountains around Castle Dale. They were indeed like castles towers and domes, old ruins and fastnesses. One consolation on our journey was a good driver and a good team. We arrived at Price in time to have a notice given out for a meeting in the evening. After a nice warm dinner with Sister [Sarah Gane] Cox and family we had a call from the Bishop then sent off a telegram & afterwards repaired to the meeting house– a full meeting and many brethren present Each of us spoke alternately. [p. 319] {p. 322}

22 October 1888 • Monday

Monday morning we went out early to call upon Sister Richards nephew John [Peter] Snider– his wife [Anna Maria Rasmussen] had just returned from Uintah. She is a very coarse uncouth woman Sister Richards tried to make a good impression upon her and get her to be baptized. The call was exceedingly unpleasant for me. On the train we were gratified by not having any inquisitive people around me. We had a good view of the scenery passing through Castle Gate. We dined again at Provo. Arriving at home found it raining and gloomy and I went to the house alone and commenced writing. I feel preparations must be made if I am going to visit Belle. I slept scarcely any my thoughts were so vivid, and my dreams disturbed and my head in a whirl as though the blood was <bubbling> [p. 320] {p. 323}

23 October 1888 • Tuesday

This morning went out trying to do some errands and down to the dress makers Miss Mathers’ to see about a dress, the one Belle sent me when Louie was there. She is going to make it for me. In the afternoon I went to take the train for Ogden, the D. & R. G. found it was behind time and had to go back and wait. At last I went in again and waited at the station, it was the time for the emigrants to arrive which was the cause of the delay. Did not arrive in Ogden until nearly midnight, Annie had given up my coming altogether. We talked over the birthday affair and the trip to San Francisco. Slept with Louise and had a good night, the best for many weeks. I am almost too much exhausted to stand anymore it seems nearly the end. [p. 321] {p. 324}

24 October 1888 • Wednesday

Went down on the morning train, John Q. with me, found the paper just issued and such a lot of work to be done. Called on the folks at the house and heard what they had to say of the birthday Had several callers, strangers and our own folks. I had a letter from Sister Standring to come on Friday & Saturday to Lehi to attend Sisters’ meetings. Wanted Aunt Zina to come but she is not at home and therefore I have sent for Sister Smith to go with me. Lydia Ann and I called upon her this evening, and she consented to go. She told us of the death of Bishop Preston’s second wife.7 That releases him from exile as he has none now but his first wife.8 After going home I sat up late writing all alone. [p. 322] {p. 325}

25 October 1888 • Thursday

Such a busy day had to go to Miss Mather to be fitted and she was not ready. Helped Emeline with the mailing and stayed alone at night again, going over old letters and papers, sorting and burning and putting away in safe places. Preparing some copy for the girls and writing business letters to people these and other things occupied my time but my heart was far far away. On Tuesday I went to the graveyard and took the flowers Mell had sent from Murray [Idaho], they were indeed very beautiful and it was a sad and solemn duty to lay them upon the graves of her little ones. My heart has been nearly broken with the many sad events of the last few years. I do not know how to control my grief and sorrow under such trials and changes. [p. 323] {p. 326}

26 October 1888 • Friday

This morning came off on the early Southern train & found Sister Smith at the depot. We had a pleasant trip to Lehi, where we called at Bishop Cutter’s [Thomas R. Cutler] who is himself in prison. His wife9 sent us in her buggy to Sister Standring’s where we had breakfast & then went to the new Relief Society Hall. It was the 21st Annual Meeting of the Relief Society and both Sister Smith and myself spoke morning and afternoon. We came home and the Esquire and Hannah were on the train coming home for the birthday. I sat with Hannah and we talked over the Manti affairs. When leaving the depot Gershom came & said his father wanted me to come up and see him. I went and stayed late until about 1. o’clock [p. 324] {p. 327}

27 October 1888 • Saturday

This is the 74th anniversary of the birthday of D. H. Wells Annie came down from Ogden and brought all the children. Geo. Q. had a handsome new suit of clothes, and Louise in her new brown flannel and Margaret in pale blue. We had a carriage and went in it about half-past seven. We had bought a silver cup and saucer, with his initials engraved on each. He had a new suit of clothes and an album of family pictures. The visit was at the 12th. Ward house, and we had a very nice entertainment in the way of eating. Afterwards the Esquire addressed his family giving much advice and testimony of the Everlasting Gospel and made some statements of his finances [p. 325] {p. 328}

28 October 1888 • Sunday

Annie stayed with me, all day until train time. Ort & Zine called and Zine spoke of going with me to San Francisco. After Annie went away I commenced sorting my things and putting away to lock all up and be ready to go. I sat up late trying to accomplish all but found it quite impossible. After tiring myself completely out at three in the morning I went to bed, so low-spirited and exhausted that I could scarcely compose myself to sleep. O, how many visions of the past rise up before me, and fill me with sorrow. Sickness trouble and death, all combined in one short space of time overwhelm me with waves of sorrow that carry me beyond comfort and there seems no sweet vale of peace in which to rest [p. 326] {p. 329}

29 October 1888 • Monday

This is a day of disagreeableness. Every one seems so annoyed with me for not saying I was going beforehand and letting them know. However I feel that my own way is the best and I will not be controlled by every wind that blows. Drew fifty dollars from my “nest egg” in the bank to pay for my ticket. Have told Emeline and one or two others. Zine is going with me. Have been preparing copy to finish the paper so it may all be done. Could not do all I expected to– but shall go at all events I am determined upon going. I had a letter from Mell today. Chloe [Young] Benedict brought a present for Belle for me to take. Another evening of looking over and sorting papers and letters etc. Such sad employment. [p. 327] {p. 330}

30 October 1888 • Tuesday

This morning I rose early as there was much to do, and it seemed so little time to get ready in. I took no time to eat, but worked diligently until train time, was disappointed about my dress and had to come away without it. At Ogden Annie met us at the depot and had a very nice dinner ready, when we got there. Ort came up with us and Racie [Horace N. Whitney] too. We went aboard the train in good time, the name of the Pullman on which we came home <here> was the Evanston. John Q. had arranged and paid for a whole section for me so I should not be annoyed. Louise was very good and was soon asleep. We were all weary and retired early– Zine’s berth opposite mine– [p. 328] {p. 331}

31 October 1888 • Wednesday

This morning we were up early and Zine went out for coffee in time for breakfast. We had a table put in and had a very good go breakfast. The ride during the day was exceedingly tedious, nothing whatever to see except the waste places of Nevada: my thoughts traveled ever so far and fast, and all the journey over that road came back to me in its vividness. When I was going to meet my darling and when I was returning bringing home the dead body with us, O how terrible it all was, and how much I suffered, but not to be compared with her sufferings, not at all. At night we sat up later but there was no variety in or out of the train. I telegraphed from Elko [Nevada] the first morning to Belle [p. 329] {p. 332}

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October 1888, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed June 15, 2024