The Church Historian's Press

December 1890

1 December 1890 • Monday

This morning the ladies who are going to cooperate together to establish a Woman’s Store met here at 10 A.M. & adjourned to 3 p.m. after having transacted immediate business. I promised to help them with such advice as I would be able to give but not to be an officer in the Board. I saw a lawyer for them and made some inquiries about incorporating etc.1 The Contributor is out for the holidays and contains my story “Aunt Esther’s Sweetheart,” it was published without my ever seeing a proof and upset me very much indeed– some egregious errors. This evening I went to see Br. Nelson Empey about a poor unfortunate girl who came to me with her babe friendless and alone; she feels very bad I hope she may have consolation– [p. 359] {p. 358}

2 December 1890 • Tuesday

This morning I rose early expecting Br. Empey but he did not come. Caroline Raleigh Sister Eardly [Adella Woolley Eardley] & Dr. Barney came & others and talked over the affairs of the Store we are starting, they are purchasing goods today. John Q. has been down from Ogden, went to the Gardo to see his father. David H. [Cannon] came to give me the check for the Deseret Hospital that John W. had promised. The Templeton Hotel across the way is to open tomorrow it is a very grand affair and quite an addition to this part of the city. Sister Richards and Aunt Zina leave tomorrow morning for Sanpete to hold meetings and a Conference. I had a very nice letter today from Dr. Frances “Fannie” Dickinson in reference to the Queen Isabella Statue fund. [p. 360] {p. 359}

3 December 1890 • Wednesday

Today went with Dr. Barney to Sister Horne then to Sister [Mary Ellen Richards] Webber and home again to my work. had a Presbyterian minister and his mother call upon me. Very nice seemingly unprejudiced. Went down to the store with the Dr. to see how things were progressing. money comes in slowly. Had a notice put in the Deseret News. The Templeton across the street opened today. It is where our <the> house used to be in which my husband lived with his large family. Now how changed. he has lost all right and title and strangers occupy the places once so dear to us. Josie [Simmons] one of the typos [typographers] thinks of going to work in the woman’s Store as her eyes are very weak and the constant strain in type setting affects them seriously. [p. 361] {p. 360}

4 December 1890 • Thursday

Went to Fast meeting this morning enjoyed it very much, it was quite pleasant to sit there contented to wait and hear the testimonies of those who spoke gave a dollar for the poor and felt– to do more if I could have done– Br. Horne spoke very interestingly of the days of Joseph and bore a good testimony. Bishop O. F. Whitney made very good points in his remarks to the congregation. I called on Zine [Smoot Whitney] a minute on my way down and saw the children. Came home & worked hard the remainder of the day, at my office labors. Had lots of people come in to see me & some strangers very pleasant ones too– it helps to make variety [p. 362] {p. 361}

5 December 1890 • Friday

This is a disagreeable windy day, and not much can be accomplished the dust is dreadful and the house so dark the girls have to burn lamps nearly all day to see to set type Sister [Elizabeth Harper] Brooks birthday. she is 85 today, very bright and active for that age. Aunt Zina is not at all well and looks quite worn, she has to go so much to Aunt Presendia [Kimball] Sister Richards & I went up there and found a very sick young woman, her cousin waiting upon her, Aunt Zina was not at home then we went to Sister Smith’s saw Alice Merrill’s baby2 Mrs. Horne now such a sweet little thing with very fine clothing. went to the depot with Sister Richards– [p. 363] {p. 362}

6 December 1890 • Saturday

Today is Adeline’s birthday and I would like to send her some little thing but it is not possible. I am straining every nerve to do a few little things for Christmas, bought Annie a desert spoon for her gruel oxydized handle, don’t care much for that sort of work but it is the most stylish and fashionable. I could not get off on an early train packed off late as usual, walked to the depot and carried my bundles. Arrived about ten and had lunch with Annie children had been bathed and gone to bed. Sat and talked ever so late gave Annie the spoon John Q. gave her an elegant gold bracelet, children gloves and slippers etc. She had them all tonight as tomorrow is Sunday– [p. 364] {p. 363}

7 December 1890 • Sunday

We had a very pleasant day except that Q. vexed his mother and upset her very much. She punished him though Alma the errand boy was quite as much at fault and much older and he had nothing done to him. We had a fine turkey cooked brown and such delicious dressing and a plum pudding and everything else nearly and in the evening popcorn candy and goodies of all sorts– it was quite a happy day– the children recited their pieces, so cunning. Talula sent Annie a lovely sugar bowl and creamer to use when in bed and Belle a chinese tea set pale blue a rare piece of work. so she had quite a variety of presents. [p. 365] {p. 364}

8 December 1890 • Monday

The next morning I came down arriving about noon. copy the first greeting and the make up etc. I am not well and cannot stand too much of the rushing and bustling, going up & down and in and out and this one and that one finding fault and criticizing. The girls do not please me with their work and yet Josie is quick and does more than her share of the paper, besides making up. My sister Cordelia Marion [Woodard] Holden is 66 today or 67. well the family are getting in the sere and yellow leaf. I seldom hear a word from her, she is so occupied with her husband home & children that we are an after thought besides she is a spiritualist and does not need to associate with mortals. [p. 366] {p. 365}

9 December 1890 • Tuesday

I am weary of the tiresome way in which the girls drag on with the paper. I must expostulate with them whether they like it or not. My own interest is something and cannot be put off all the time for parties or other amusements, particularly novel reading. It is well enough for a pastime but does not do for regular employment. I get very little time to read and none for social intercourse with my friends. I would very much like to have some pleasure in visiting freely but dare not take the time from my working hours. I try to do with as little leisure as possible and were it not that I am almost compelled to go up and down to Ogden, I should have even less variety in my life. [p. 367] {p. 366}

10 December 1890 • Wednesday

May’s birthday succeeded in getting her a little booklet and took it up there, also one for Nett which I ought to have given her on the 28th of November. I had a piece of mince pie and some wine panada3 Kate fixed for me– they are so cosy and so many of them to make things pleasant instead of being alone like me. May came with me to the street cars and we stood waiting ever so long for them to come along. I was soon back home and poring over my work in the parlor, kept on until nearly morning with my mailing etc. went to bed at five and got up at seven again, such a disagreeable night no sleep and felt chilly and miserable, yet determined to accomplish what I had set out to do. [p. 368] {p. 367}

11 December 1890 • Thursday

This is Verona’s birthday she is 21. today I sent her a book “A Mother’s Song” by Mary D. Brine, I hope it will please her. went off on the 8 o’clock train after being up all night working and felt very ill, carried some things to Annie– walked up from the Broom Hotel to Annie’s, and had breakfast– then went to the Conference had an opportunity to speak & did my best to regulate the affairs of the paper with the Ogden subscribers. Went over to Sister Richards to dinner and back to the Tabernacle spoke again in the afternoon had an excellent meeting. and a large congregation. Went to Annie’s and stayed all night had a lovely evening with Annie and all the children John Q. of course had to go to work [p. 369] {p. 368}

12 December 1890 • Friday

This morning John Q. came with me to the depot and when there I saw that the body of [L.] David Hil[l]stead was boxed up to be taken on the train to Salt Lake– I recalled the time when in his boyhood he had been a frequent visitor at my house and had often taken Louie to parties and theatres. Now he too was lying cold and lifeless in the box in the Ogden depot to be taken to the cemetery in Salt Lake City. His young wife4 was grieving her life away and his mother5 trying in the midst of her own sorrow to console her. Went direct to the meeting in the 14th Ward to lay the plan and design of the Woman’s Store before the assembly. After the meeting at which I spoke with some earnestness I came home and went in to my daily labors as usual. [p. 370] {p. 369}

13 December 1890 • Saturday

This is the busiest day one could imagine for the office. I hardly know how to make the most of everything. I have been quite ill more so than I like to acknowledge to any one. I feel my need of nourishment and I scarcely know what to do to recruit my strength. Aunt Zina came in tonight when I was in such excruciating pain and advised me to get wintergreen essence [p. 371] {p. 370}

14 December 1890 • Sunday

I tried to rest and then go to Sister Horne’s to attend to Mattie’s to Biographical Sketch for the Woman’s Journal6 [p. 372] {p. 371}

15 December 1890 • Monday

Busy– [p. 373] {p. 372}

16 December 1890 • Tuesday

Today John Q. has been here & he has been particularly kind to me, he has taken pains to show me attention a[n]d seemed very natural like Louie’s time– [p. 374] {p. 373}7

18 December 1890 • Thursday

Today got up early and after hurrying breakfast and everything else hurried off to the Conference to act as Secretary in place of Sister Howard. Was hindered but came in time to call the Presidents roll– tedious taking such minutes, spoke a few minutes about the hospital etc. Went over to Sister Stevenson’s a minute and then home & had a bite to eat & go back to the meeting the first part of it was about the Woman’s Store. I had almost forgotten to write that in the morning Sister Horne chose two new Counselors to act with her in presiding at the 14th Ward meetings. Sister Zina & Sister Richards were in the meeting a few minutes but had to go on the train at 4 p.m. to Nephi, Bathsheba too with them to attend the Sisters Conferences [p. 376] {p. 375}

19 December 1890 • Friday

The Counselors chosen yesterday morning in the Conference were Elizabeth J. Stevenson & Elizabeth T. [Taft] Webb, the presiding board are M. I. Horne, Z. D. Young, B. W. Smith E. Howard S. M. Kimball Minerva W. Snow E. J. Stevenson E. T. Webb– I assisted in the afternoon in the complete organization of the Woman’s Cooperative Mercantile & Manufacturing Institution.8 I cannot possibly go to the Young Ladies Meeting today much as I wish it, it is a gloomy day too very indeed. raining heavy this evening. I am busy with my Christmas paper mailing the other one. I am so behind it drives me nearly wild. have had Mattie Wilson helping me too [p. 377] {p. 376}

20 December 1890 • Saturday

Mattie was here again today I was rather sick could not get up before nearly noon. so did not get to the Primary Conference as I had intended. I strove with all my might to accomplish it but could not worked away trying to get off my presents to Idaho and at last sent them off went by mail every one of them. Could not get Belle’s ready took some things up to Annie as she cannot get out to buy for herself– went on the D. & R.G. train and got there about 10 o’clock the Esquire came from Manti today I saw him for a moment as he passed in the buggy & called at the gate. We sat up late Annie & I talking, and going over the past– and noting the great changes in our lives [p. 378] {p. 377}

21 December 1890 • Sunday

This morning Annie & I were in the sitting room after the late breakfast as John Q. was devoting his attention to his French exercises We had a nice dinner and during the meal Annie felt in pain and very chilly. We all thought she seemed as if she was going to be sick in earnest, and sent for Dr. M. E. [Margaret Curtis] Shipp– she came up and stayed a couple of hours, meantime Mr. & Mrs. Barton came in and as John Q. was alone in the parlor I left Annie with the Dr. and went in to help entertain them: they went about 1/2 past eight or nine and Mrs. Shipp went home, and Annie got more quiet afterwards and about one o’clock we all went to bed though Annie & John Q. did not get much sleep that night. [p. 379] {p. 378}

22 December 1890 • Monday

I came down on the morning train from Ogden and found lots of work waiting for me, my husband came in soon after and said he thought of shaping things around to stay with me tonight, I want of course to make everything as pleasant as possible for him and visit with him while he is here, because we seldom have him with us. I went to the telephone and asked how Annie was she came herself to the telephone to answer me that she was well, had a meeting of the Board of Directors here today in the parlor– I did not get much time to hear what was said, but it seemed to me to be a confused affair for some reason or other. My husband had supper here and we had a pleasant time reading & talking. [p. 380] {p. 379}

23 December 1890 • Tuesday

Today we breakfasted in the parlor, Zina fixed us a nice breakfast and we enjoyed it very much and had lots of callers, and a very pleasant time indeed. tho’ I was so busy with my work. Joseph Smith’s birthday today he would have been 85 if he had been living. Wonderful man he was indeed and a great work he performed in his youth, his name will be held in everlasting remembrance by all who have ever known him and in the records of the times in which he lived, the greatest prophet since the days of the Savior. I am so busy trying to accomplish what is absolutely necessary before Christmas, hurrying up the girls to get out the paper too. [p. 381] {p. 380}

24 December 1890 • Wednesday

Today I have hurried to get ready to go to Annie’s in Ogden– I had so many parcels to carry that it was quite impossible to get to the train without a carriage such an exciting day, so many people in the stores one could scarcely get waited upon, and I had put off so many things until the last day in the afternoon. I gave Annie a silk shawl for her shoulders, and John Q. a silver key chain & Q. Louise & Margaret each a book and silk handkerchief to the girls; baby a book & a toy, that is I took them up to give. This evening I had my presents a pretty bonnet from Annie umbella from John Q. Diary Q. slippers L. & M. lots of things from San Francisco Belle 2 pair gloves Dd [Dot Sears]– silk stockings, Lucile linen tray cloth– Em. apron linen etc– [p. 382] {p. 381}

25 December 1890 • Thursday

This morning the darling children were all up early to see the Christmas tree where their gifts were hung but although Annie rose early I lay in bed late and breakfast was over before I made my appearance, such a jolly time for the children, how they enjoyed it. Annie was completely exhausted and lay down and took a nap in the middle of the day. John Q. & I were there and the silence and pleasant memories were enough for me; the older children except baby went to a dancing party in the school or meeting house, under the auspices of the Sunday School– in the evening we had a very pleasant time Annie felt better, gifts were abundant on all hands. [p. 383] {p. 382}

26 December 1890 • Friday

This morning I was quite ill and could not get up at all until nearly noon; then helped Annie sew and mend a little to get Louise ready for a visit to her grandpa Cannon’s. We came on the three o’clock train and she went off almost immediately to the Farm with her Aunts Mamie & Emily. The corner stone of the Sugar factory was laid today between American Fork & Lehi– Many citizens attended.9 In the evening I wrote on an article for the Juvenile Instructor, a pen sketch of Mrs. Mary Ann Angell Young.10 I feel very uncomfortable about Annie and also Belle who is ill. My heart is longing for my dear <absent> ones always and for those who are gone from me to a better world, I long to see them [p. 384] {p. 383}

27 December 1890 • Saturday

This morning had strangers calling early and kept busy all day long with people coming & going Kate called then Nett came and invited me to dine there tomorrow then Edna brought me a present from Hebe. She is a very quiet girl– very nice though and sweet mannered. In the afternoon strangers again and many hindrances from work, Talula came and brought me a pretty book and talked with me quite a while about Annie etc. I went down town and looked at pretty things and bought one or two “Baby’s Kingdom” for Annie against her confinement, then more callers and more work, then went to see Ellen Harrison and stayed about two hours and came home to write & meditate and be alone [p. 385] {p. 384}

28 December 1890 • Sunday

<John T. Caine’s son Alfred [Henry Caine] is very low with typhoid> This morning slept late, as I had not gone to bed until 2 A.M. had a bath & dressed for the Tabernacle wore my new bonnet Annie had given me at Christmas, after meeting went to Netts to dinner and had a very pleasant time Lydia Ann Susan Kate & May were there and Harry was in his most merry mood. I came away early as I had some thing to prepare for copy and expected my husband for the night. He came and we read the magazines and talked over the contents. Went over some old letters in search of poetic sentiment of which there is a lack in this world. Abraham H. Cannon spoke in the Tabernacle on the freedom of the Gospel & its saving capabilities etc. [p. 386] {p. 385}

29 December 1890 • Monday

<The Grand Opera House in Ogden opened today with Emma Abbott in Martha> This is Sarah M. Kimballs birthday and she is seventy two years old born in 1818. She is growing weaker I can see. I did not get up until very late and then we had breakfast in the parlor, & enjoyed the visit very much indeed he stayed until about two p.m. and left with a promise of coming tomorrow night again. We talked of our early acquaintance and courtship and my former marriage. I went down to the store after he had gone and saw Mrs. Raleigh who had so overloaded me with Xmas gifts, I took her a pretty book “My Lady’s Casket” in the evening Sister Zina and I went to hear Charles Ellis lecture on the test oath or disfranchisement– [p. 387] {p. 386}

30 December 1890 • Tuesday

<Alfred Caine died last night also Alfred [E.] Culmer of Pleasant Grove–> This morning had to go down town and make some purchases. Geo. Q. came from Ogden, Sylvester met him at the depot and brought him up to see me. I drove hard at my mailing until evening and then flew off to Ogden on the eight o’clock train, feeling so uneasy about Annie; it was storming there & had been raining here thro’ the day. I took a carriage and found Annie better. John Q. has stayed at home most of the time doing his editorials even there with her and sending over by the boy. Everything was very pleasant. Of course he could go in peace while I was there with Annie. Martin had been to the Matinée and taken Margaret that afternoon to see the Opera of Martha [p. 388] {p. 387}

31 December 1890 • Wednesday

This morning I had intended to go back to home but found it was too late to catch the morning train & then I decided to stay until tomorrow. We had a very nice day, Annie and I, and the children it snowed some but not enough to make much impression. It seemed strange without Q. & Sweetie– Annie did not feel very well in the afternoon, her head ached, such an unusual thing for her to have headache. John Q. sent home a lot of goodies and little presents we filled Margarets & baby’s stockings and hung them up under the clock shelf. I sat writing a story and chatting at the same time with Annie. At the stroke of the bells we bade each other “A Happy New Year” [p. 389] {p. 388}

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December 1890, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed June 16, 2024