January 1889


10 January

EBW helped organize the Utah Territorial Woman Suffrage Association.

7 April

A new First Presidency was sustained: President Wilford Woodruff and his counselors, George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith.

6–7 June

Fearing competition from a new magazine backed by the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association, EBW met with George Q. Cannon to discuss the future of the Woman’s Exponent.

24 June

EBW met her husband, Daniel H. Wells, at the Manti temple. She described the “heavenly influence” she felt as she toured its rooms and received a priesthood blessing there.

31 July

For the first time in her diary, EBW mentioned preparing her autobiographical novel “Hephzibah” for publication in the Woman’s Exponent. Its chapters ran in issues from 1 June 1889 to 15 September 1890.

20 August

EBW departed by train to visit with her daughter Mell Whitney Woods and her family in Murray, Idaho, for the first time since they had moved there in 1888. She returned 17 September.

1 January 1889 • Tuesday

Spent the day at Annie [Elizabeth Ann Wells Cannon]’s in Ogden– we had a nice dinner turkey plum pudding and other luxuries. John Q. [Cannon] and Annie played a game of checkers in the evening. Nothing going on especial– Margaret [Cannon] is better but far from well. Eugene [S. Sears] is here– I laid down awhile on the sofa and when I got up felt very strange and in attempting to leave the room fainted away.

2 January 1889 • Wednesday

Was not able to go to the train and stayed in bed most of the day– Annie & John Q. had been up with me all the night before– At evening felt better and came home. Went over to Lydia Ann [Alley Wells]’s and slept with her. Sat up late talking with the girls in the parlor– I see how very comfortable L. A. is in her cosy bedroom up stairs. much more so than I have ever been. [p. 1] {p. 28}

3 January 1889 • Thursday

<Called on Mrs. [Jennie Anderson] Froiseth with Mrs. [Emily Tanner] Richards & Mrs. Arthur [Isabel Cameron] Brown Fast day and O so much to do.> Last evening I went direct to the President’s office or rather to the Historian’s Office and there were the brethren & sisters all assembled in council. Br. Franklin [D. Richards] ushered me in to the big room. Pres. [Wilford] Woodruff,– Franklin Richards, Brigham Young [Jr.], John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant & L. John Nuttall– Zina [D. Huntington] Young Jane [Snyder] Richards Bathsheba [Bigler] Smith Sarah [Granger] Kimball Emily Richards & myself composed the meeting1

4 January 1889 • Friday

Went to Mrs. Clara Young [Clarissa Clara Decker Young]’s & <saw Mrs. [Catherine] Lewis> Today I have tried so hard to get off to Ogden because it is Q’s [George Q. Cannon]2 birthday but it really seemed impossible. Struggle as I might one hindrance after another came along and it was the train on which I left the city When I arrived the children were all in bed, but I had a visit with Annie and that was a great deal. Q. had lots of presents– [p. 2] {p. 29}

5 January 1889 • Saturday

Today I stayed all day long and we visited had a fire in the parlor and looked over Annie’s books and papers, had quite a nice time and enjoyed it very much indeed. Tried to get Mrs. [Florence Grant] Odell’s papers over to her but failed utterly, did not hear all day how Mrs. Young was. We felt very anxious knowing how dangerous she was considered to have been when I left home–

6 January 1889 • Sunday

All day we were thinking of Talulah [Young Wood] and her great grief and at the folks took me down to the train and I started for home. As soon as I came on the train Talulah came up and embraced me, and O, how glad I felt that she could control her grief as she did. Alfales [Young] Clint [Clarissa Young Spencer] & Johnnie [John D. Spencer] were all with her, her mother had died Saturday. [p. 3] {p. 30}

7 January 1889 • Monday

This morning hurried with copy so I could go to the funeral. It was indeed a very peaceful one and did not seem at all like death. Ort [Orson F. Whitney], Seymour [B. Young] & the Esquire3 were the speakers, and the remarks were very consoling. singing was excellent and there was a very long array of carriages everything was in the best of order, no confusion whatever

8 January 1889 • Tuesday

Poor girls how lonely they must be today, I am besieged on all hands to assist in organizing a woman suffrage Association and yet none who have ever been in plural marriage can have any position in it. We have had one meeting last evening and one today and it seems almost impossible to get at it in the right shape [p. 4] {p. 31}

9 January 1889 • Wednesday

Everything has to be done today and tomorrow comes the organization, and tonight the double wedding at Jennings–4 Sister Zina was here with me until almost time to go, and we went down street together– I bought a book for each of the girls for one of them “Sweet Nature” and the other one “Gems from Whittier” dressed in my gown and went in Dr. [Romania Bunnell] Pratt’s buggey, talked suffrage most of the evening.

10 January 1889 • Thursday

Organization of a Woman Suffrage Association today felt very unpleasant about the work– had the Articles to write for By Laws etc. this very morning except what was scribbled after coming from the wedding.5 Came home and went to work preparing other matters for the Credentials, Dr. Pratt and myself will have all to do. [p. 5] {p. 32}

11 January 1889 • Friday

As I expected Dr. Pratt came and we went off to get signatures etc. All is ready and as the Ch. Ex. Com.6 is sick and as the Committee are not yet in working order it was not to be expected that they could do everything without help– Sister [Elizabeth Anderson] Howard did not come according to promise and prepare the enrollment– Aunt Zina is coming tomorrow.

12 January 1889 • Saturday

Aunt Zina came early and a fire was already made in the parlor– we sent off for Dr. [Elvira Stevens] Barney to help us and meantime Sister Howard came in– the work was tedious and was not finished until after midnight– there was 60 yds of names– 8393. signatures I have been to see Sister Richards and also to get a seal made to stamp the credentials for Sisters [Emily] Richards & [Margaret Nightingale] Caine to go to Convention [p. 6] {p. 33}

13 January 1889 • Sunday

This morning it was 1/2 past 5. when I went to bed and I rose about ten and got ready to leave on the noonday train for Ogden– John Q. Annie & the children came to the depot– we had a nice dinner and pleasant afternoon and evening– and talked over all the work of the past week in the suffrage movement– sat up ever so late fire in the parlor wrote to Mell [Melvina Whitney Woods]–

14 January 1889 • Monday

Apostle F. [Francis] M. Lyman was sentenced today to 85 days imprisonment 2,00 fine and pay the costs of the Court7 Brought Eugene down tonight from Ogden came down from home and found Sister Froerar [Froerer]8 quite ill. Had to prepare copy for the paper and so on, Eugene is quite pleased letters waiting for me from the North, and from other friends– [p. 7] {p. 34}

15 January 1889 • Tuesday

First day of Eugene’s visit to Salt Lake and I am so busy it just seems impossible to give him proper attention he is such a superior little fellow and so loving– Sister Froerar is very ill and I feel so worried about her Mamie Hooper Jennings child9 is very ill her only boy– it is diphtheria and an alarming case– Aunt Zina has been up there– there is great alarm on account of the fatal disease <spreading>.

16 January 1889 • Wednesday

This is a bitter cold day– and tho’ we were so hurried with the mailing, Sister [Mary Mitchell] Pitchforth from Nephi came to spend the day and I had a fire in the parlor and we visited and talked over the affairs of state and nation as well as of individuals and had a very nice time. Suffrage Circulars <to be> sent off to Washington came in today– [p. 8] {p. 35}

17 January 1889 • Thursday

Today has been one of great confusion and my head has ached very much indeed. Emeline [Young Wells] has been helping me all this week and Eugene has been staying with me. The weather is very cold & altogether I have felt utterly miserable. So much sickness and sorrow and privation of all kinds to be endured in this world. Ort & Zina [Smoot Whitney] called tonight. Have been out with Sister Pitchforth today.

18 January 1889 • Friday

Today I rec’d a letter from my husband by the morning mail written at about the same time that mine was to him. As the Temple letters are put in a box he would get mine last night– and read it that evening.10 Several strangers have called on me today. Miss Kate Barry of Minneapolis, Mrs. Irvine of Mo. [Missouri] a very strong woman & advocate of woman’s rights. & Mrs. [Annie Reinberg] Adams– sister in law of [p. 9] {p. 36} Secretary [Arthur L.] Thomas–

19 January 1889 • Saturday

Today Sisters Froerer and Sorenson who have been staying with me went away to Dr. [Ellis Reynolds] Shipp’s & left me alone with Eugene. We were here together and had our supper and breakfast & then he went to bed and prayed to be made well of his pain and I sat up writing copy, prepared for Monday so I could stay all day with Annie in Ogden– I was up until three A.M. writing, editorial matter.

20 January 1889 • Sunday

This morning did not get up very early, Eugene was so sweet, we had breakfast together here in my own room. The Lord had heard & answered his prayers and he was much better, could walk quite well. We went to Ogden on the mid-day train, John Q. & Annie met us at the depot and we dined with them and had a pleasant evening visiting & talking over city news and matters etc. [p. 10] {p. 37}

21 January 1889 • Monday

<Aunt Eliza Snow’s birthday> This morning I lay in bed late to rest my nerves and head, and had breakfast at lunch time. Annie & I were in the parlor together all afternoon dined about five, and soon after John Q. & Annie took me in the carriage to the train– rested all the way home, as there was no one to talk and came home to a cold and lonely house. Wrote to Belle [Isabel Whitney Sears] & to Verona [Dunford] tonight

22 January 1889 • Tuesday

Such a dismal morning, went over the way and had a cup of coffee– then in to see L. A. & Susan [Alley Wells]– talked over about our homes being sold and felt very low-spirited– and indignant too– went into Kate [Catherine Wells]’s studio awhile, also called to see Mrs. C. [Claudius] V. Spencer [Louisa King Spencer] and enjoyed the call very much. had a letter from Mell this morning– wrote to her tonight also sent off Receipts & gift books Sister Richards came in today– [p. 11] {p. 38}

23 January 1889 • Wednesday

<Mrs. Judge Sanford [Sarah Poyen Sandford] called today–> Ort & June [Junius F. Wells] have both been in to see me today. June told me about dining with W. [William] D. Howells in New York and read me the letter he had received from him also the answer he had written in reply. I have been working away at my copy and this evening wrote 7½ pages of letter paper to my husband. Received two letters from him recently. Have been quite alone during the evening

24 January 1889 • Thursday

This is Will [William W. Woods]’s birthday and would have been Sidney [W. Sears]’s if he had lived. I bought a present for Sep [Septimus Whitney Sears] today and wrote him a Letter as his birthday will be on Saturday. Telegrams announce that Emily Richards has spoken in the Convention– Aunt Zina Sister S. M. [Sarah M. Granger] Kimball, Jane Richards, Sisters [Elizabeth DeFresne] Stevenson, [Aurelia Spencer] Rogers [Lucy Rice] Clark & others have been in– Finished my letter tonight 12 pages– was compelled to go out & [p. 12] {p. 39} get some one to stop off the water– the pipes burst in the summer kitchen. Drenched everything.

25 January 1889 • Friday

Today I called on Dr. Hughes [Martha Hughes Cannon] who has been thrown from her buggy– gave Talulah a Chinese cup and saucer– called on Ellen [Spencer] Clawson– Had a letter from Mell about the house and took L. A. & Susan the keys–11 have written this evening Amelia [Folsom] Young and her Br. Hyrum [P. Folsom] have been in to see me today. John Q. came down on business & called

26 January 1889 • Saturday

Have Rec’d pass on both R.R’s Mrs. Judge Sandford came and spent the morning with me. I liked her very much she is connected to Mr. [John Greenleaf] Whittier the poet. A party of strangers came while she was here. In the afternoon I went to Ogden– John Q. and Annie came to the depot to meet me. Q. on Gipsey and Eugene Louise [Cannon] & Marga<ret> [Cannon] in the carriage. Mr. [Septimus Wagstaff] Sears left for home & took Gene with him. had lunch at Annie’s [p. 13] {p. 40}

27 January 1889 • Sunday

I staid in bed late to get rested– Annie felt quite miserable– pain in her side– Received a letter from Belle and one from little Em [Emma W. Sears]– I visited all day with Annie and in the evening John Q. was with us. We had a very pleasant evening together and a nice lunch in the parlor– John Q. was reading from A Tramp Abroad & occasionally read out loud.

28 January 1889 • Monday

Came to the depot in time, John Q. Annie and little girls with me and arrived at home before . Found among my mail a letter from Verona, Matilda Joslyen Gage and several others. Emmeline [Young Wells] was busy folding. Ruby Clawson is very ill with diphtheria, I went over to the house to lunch They are preparing to move– The weather is very cold Ri [Maria Young] Dougall was here today [p. 14] {p. 41}

29 January 1889 • Tuesday

This morning commenced on the mailing. Ort came in to see me. talked about the life of his grandfather12 and my dream of the Eclipse of the sun. Had lunch at Lydia Ann’s– They are beginning to pack up in good earnest. Dr. Pratt came and read me parts of a letter from [Charles W.] Penrose– went to the Y.L.M.I.A13 in the 17th Ward, spoke a short time to the young ladies. Have not felt very well this evening

30 January 1889 • Wednesday

Have had to go out on business and do not feel very well. I am exceedingly depressed in spirits and have some strange thoughts that cause me anxiety. Have a letter from my husband and have begun writing one to him Amelia [Folsom Young] has been in Dr. Hughes and other ladies, and we have talked a great deal on Church matters & interesting affairs [p. 15] {p. 42}

31 January 1889 • Thursday

This is the birthday of Aunt Zina Young she is 68 years old. it is also Sister Jane Richards birthday she is 66. The Young girls Maria Dougall & Phebe Beattie made a party for Sister Zina and invited her particular friends (ladies) there were about thirty present– a delicious lunch was served and a meeting in the evening. It was a pleasant change for me. Sister Smith & Alice [Merrill] came home with me

Cite this page

January 1889, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed May 24, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/emmeline-b-wells/1880s/1889/1889-01