The Church Historian's Press

March 1891

1 March 1891 • Sunday

Went over to Br. Caine’s and dined with Br. & Sister Caine at 222. New Jersey Ave. & then went to Albaugh’s Opera House where Caroline Bartlett Olympia Brown Ida Hultin Anna [Howard] Shaw and other women ministers officiated Br. Caine came in the evening and there were quite a number of Utah people together– passed a pleasant evening in Mrs. Kimballs & Beattie’s room Mrs. [Emma] Beckwith Dr. [Hulda] Gunn Marilla [Young] Ricker Mary Seymour Howell & Mrs. Dietrich [Ellen Battelle Dietrick] were there– we were late retiring our business about over and all talking of starting homeward except Phebe and myself who go to New York and Mass [Massachusetts]. [p. 90] {p. 87}

2 March 1891 • Monday

There was an Executive Meeting this morning and we met in the Wimadaughsis,

45 <38> of the leading women of the W.S.A.1 had their pictures taken together at Bell’s photograph gallery–

Mrs. S. M. Kimball and Electa Bullock went away at seven p.m. and also F. S. & Emily Richards [p. 91] {p. 88}

3 March 1891 • Tuesday

Phebe and I left the Riggs House and came on to Philadelphia, arrived here in such a severe storm of rain & sleet and finally turned to snow. We went to the Continental Hotel a magnificent place, such an elaborate dining room, more so than we had seen as yet– we had a very handsome room and a fire, we called on Emma [Spence] Ellerbeck and Will [Willard Y.] Croxall. and they came also Walter Ellerbeck and spent the evening with us at the hotel. Had quite a pleasant time. I sat up afterwards writing until quite late. It was a terrible stormy night, fairly shook the house– [p. 92] {p. 89}

4 March 1891 • Wednesday

We left Phil. and came to New York, in the morning we visited Congress Hall and stood under the old bell, we saw many things of antique value, historical and interesting. We went through Wannemakers big establishment that covers 14 & 1/2 acres and contains almost every thing imaginable We had lunch there in the basement, and we both bought something to remember the place by. Took the limited train for New York in the afternoon and arrived between 5 & 6 p.m. Went to the Imperial Hotel fire proof and took a room pretty soon John W. Young came and he ordered dinner in our room & ate with us. [p. 93] {p. 90}

5 March 1891 • Thursday

We visited Bartholdi’s Statue on Bedloe’s island and the Eden Musée etc. also Mrs. Bessie [Mary Elizabeth] Dean Allison and Mrs. Huldah Augusta Winters Grant nee Bennett. It was quite interesting, though the day was so very cold, we could not enjoy it so much. Still one cannot help feeling the exhilarating influence of a tremendously large city– it is in the air <everywhere> Went to the Garden Theatre to see Sara[h] Bernhardt in the play of Camille. John W. bought our tickets and Charles [M.] Cannon went with us as he could not get away from business– enjoyed her acting– exquisitely graceful in every movement [p. 94] {p. 91}

6 March 1891 • Friday

I was feeling badly this morning and could not go out with Phebe– stayed at the hotel and did a little writing, the hours are precious and yet weariness overtakes us in spite of all and we cannot always rise above it. After a while I felt better and went out with the girls Phebe Augusta & Bessee Visited Greenwood Cemetery and saw the graves of Phebe and Alice Carey, very plain, Fanny Fern’s grave is there also and many famous people lie buried there. In the Bijou theatre we saw Nat. [Nathaniel C.] Goodwin in “the Nominee”– It was quite an interesting play yet not of a <high> moral tone and I myself did not care for it but the theatre is very beautiful indeed and well worth seeing– [p. 95] {p. 92}

7 March 1891 • Saturday

This morning we <Phebe> went out and I stayed to get a little writing done– in the afternoon we went to Greenwood Cemetery and had a fine time– on the elevated railroad and with the charming views as well as the continuous crowds of people that form a perfect study for the mind– we came back and had supper with Augusta and Bessie & invited George [W.] Reed to go with us to the Theatre: we went from one to another and could not get seats & finally to the Eden Musée to see Olero dance, she is a Spanish girl elaborately dressed we also saw some Japanese juggling, but I do not like those things. When we came home found June had arrived. Arranged for West Point in the morning. [p. 96] {p. 93}

8 March 1891 • Sunday

<This is Septimus [Wagstaff Sears] birthday– 47 years.> We breakfasted in John W’s Room and started off for West Point. Went in Ferry Boat, Oswego across and then took the train on the other side– arrived about 1/2 past 11. A.M. was introduced to Col. Bridgeman who had first had Hebe <Bryant> [Briant H. Wells] in training. He came out pretty soon was very glad to see us, and we walked around until one o’clock– then Bry had to go to dinner and we came away. It rained some & when we reached New York it was pouring down, Phebe & I had dinner in the room and then she laid down while I was writing. We were both very tired. June & Phebe went up to Mrs. Bell’s and staid awhile, rain poared down in torrents. I wrote a letter to the Esquire [p. 97] {p. 94}

9 March 1891 • Monday

This morning still raining, came to station in a carriage June with me, and bought a ticket for Boston. Had quite a pleasant journey, all total strangers, but it was a rest & a change, came to the Parker House took a room had dinner and commenced writing could not find Hiram [W. Clark]– must try tomorrow morning: have finished my editorial about the Convention– Now I must write about the Woman’s International Press Association–2 of which I was one of a Committee of five– I have been alone all the evening went to bed early for me. My thoughts were busy going over the past and wondering about the folks at home– [p. 98] {p. 95}

10 March 1891 • Tuesday

This is Daniel’s birthday & the folks will surely celebrate it in some way. I went to the State House in Boston3 and met my brother there in the Halls of State. So glad to see him once more. He went out in the cab with me– around Boston for an hour or two then he went to his Committee Room and I went to the Woman’s Journal Office & bought some suffrage leaflets. Saw Miss Alice Stone Blackwell and Miss Allen who has the History of Marriage entertainment Hiram came & dined with me at the Parker House and then went back to Roll Call and at 3 p.m. we left on the Boston & Albany R.R.4 went via Palmer stopped off there for 3/4 an hour and had tea [p. 99] {p. 96}

11 March 1891 • Wednesday

Last night separated from Hiram at Barratts Station or Junction he went on to Amherst and I to Orange passed through New Salem Dana & Athol so familiar all of them. Reached Orange at tem [ten] in the evening found them sitting up for me, and so delighted to see me tho’ they had not heard one word about my being in the East. My sister5 is changed somewhat and I fancy Adeline [Woodward Earl]’s visit has made a great difference in them. Wm. [S. Clark] seems quite like himself more so than when I was here five years ago. Went to Delia [Cordelia Woodward Holden]’s at Phillipston spent the afternoon & drove home in a sleigh– [p. 100] {p. 97}

12 March 1891 • Thursday

This moning we talked again over the past; then we went to Lilian [Lillian Clark Ramsey]’s where we had dinner, it is near my first home after marriage, very near indeed and took the train for New York, went through Greenfield and so many of the old towns, Northampton and lots of others. On to Springfield where my brother lies buried took the Conn. River line from Greenfield to Springfield and saw it to such good advantage. then to Hartford,6 New Haven & New York– and arrived in a pouring rain. June came in and we went to the Palmer theatre and saw “Wealth” Mr. [Edward S.] Willard & Miss [Marie] Burroughs. [Lester] Wallack’s old theatre. [p. 101] {p. 98}

13 March 1891 • Friday

This morning Phebe and I went out after breakfast and did a little shopping;– came home and arranged our things packed our trunks and made ready to go but June did not come with our tickets and we found it was too late. John W. bought tickets for us all to go to the Madison Square theatre to see “Sunlight & Shadow”– the wind blew tremendously; it was a good play very and I enjoyed it very much. Wrote letters after returning to Verona Daisie [D. Dunford] and Sep– O my loved grandchildren how near and dear they are to me, how precious their welfare and happiness, how willingly I would make sacrifices for them [p. 102] {p. 99}

14 March 1891 • Saturday

Mr. Wright Augusta & Bessie came, over and we chatted awhile then Phebe Augusta and I went down town Broadway and made a few purchases and then back again to the Imperial, John W. had a carriage and took us Phebe June and I to the Park, (Central) saw Cleopatra’s Needle, and drove over to Riverside Park, where we visited Grant’s tomb and saw all the beauties of the Hudson etc. and then back to the Hotel. Meantime we went through the Plaza– Hotel and Mr. Smith Sec. of some <Mexican> mine showed us through. John W. gave us a sumptuous dinner in his room. & took us to the 6 o’clock train [p. 103] {p. 100}

15 March 1891 • Sunday

We came through Albany7 Rochester & other places on the Hudson & so forth & reached Buffalo & Niagara in the morning, Went to the Rapids and Whirlpool Rapids and American & Canadian Falls. Goat Island Luna Island & the Three Sisters dined at Prospect House on the American side & took the Michigan Central train at 1.38 p.m. reached Detroit where we crossed on a boat the whole train the Detroit River & then on through Ann Arbor8 Kalamazoo etc, reaching the whole length of the road before morning almost much to my annoyance as I was anxious to see Detroit most especially [p. 104] {p. 101}

16 March 1891 • Monday

Arrived in Chicago 8.15 A.M. drove to the Auditorium took a room 230– 2nd story had breakfast in the elegant dining room on the European plan. the walls of the halls and great office of this building are inlaid with onyx. It is a very grand place. I went to the Clifton asked for Mr. & Mrs. Orr Sang– they were out drove to C. C. [C. Edward] Wallin’s place of business, and then to the house 535. Dearborn Avenue saw Dolly [Dorothy Wallin] grown such a tall girl– 15 years old now. Cathie [Catherine Wallin] is at school in Kalamazoo Michigan, then went to see Clara Martyn now Mrs. Henderson she went with me to several stores Marshall & Field & Mc’Clerg & Co. [p. 105] {p. 102} We left Chicago on the 11. o’clock train and went to bed immediately,

17 March 1891 • Tuesday

this morning breakfasted in the dining car. and found ourselves well on our way. About noon we arrived in Council Bluffs [Iowa] where we sent off our telegrams and changed cars from the San Antonio in which we had been traveling to the Fairfield the same car we went over in when we went to Washington. It is a very fine car– Mr. Alfred Mc’Cune [Alfred W. McCune] was on the train and came right away and spoke to Phebe who introduced him to me– he brought & introduced to us both Mr. Bennett of New York who was enroute to Utah on his first trip West. We went to bed in pretty good time as we were very tired [p. 106] {p. 103}

18 March 1891 • Wednesday

All day we have been wending our way along on the number one flyer west. Mr. Mc’Cune has been very attentive. I have been reading a good share of the time. Mr. Mc’Cune took us both to dinner. I wrote a postal to Lucile and to Verona & had the porter mail them, we expect to reach Ogden in the morning and I shall go to Annie’s first thing. The night was somewhat dreary, we had to pass all the nice places in the dark which we were anxious Mr. Bennett should see. I had many apprehensions in returning home not knowing what awaited me, a fearful foreboding of evil, such as gives one the horrors. I had tried to be calm as much for Phebe’s sake as my own. [p. 107] {p. 104}

19 March 1891 • Thursday

This morning half past three arrived in Ogden and as soon as I could drove to Annie’s found some of them awake and Geo. Q. opened the door for me. Louise had been quite sick and Annie was wide awake– we talked a little and then I undressed and went to bed though it was nearly 5 o’clock. I rose tolerably early and after we had breakfasted Annie informed me that little Helen my first great grand child was dead, had died in San Francisco on the 13th of pneumonia– and that Verona and Daisie were there; also Barry [Barrymore N. Hillard]. Of course it was an unexpected blow to me and yet I must acknowledge the hand of the Lord in this as in all other afflictions that have come to me & mine I remained until the afternoon train [p. 108] {p. 105}

20 March 1891 • Friday

Returned last evening to my old Rookery the Owl’s nest9 and found myself locked out, went up to May [Wells] and got the key, stayed to supper and she came home with me, and we opened the rooms and made a fire. I learned while there that the Squire was up from Manti and very ill and I felt it a terrible shock. When Lewis [Louis R. Wells] came about nine o’clock he said his father wanted to see me, and was very much disappointed that I had not been to see him. O, how I wanted to go then that very night, but what reason had I for going only impulse which we should sometimes follow. I restrained it and did not go as I ought to have done and lo, what were the feelings of my soul. That I must go– must fly to him– [p. 109] {p. 106}

21 March 1891 • Saturday

Yesterday morning I was hindered in going up but went after a while and found my husband very ill, so ill as to alarm me– I stayed with him awhile and we talked a little I told him of my trip to Washington and my letters to him and he gave me two letters written to me in my absence. He was more than delighted to see me. He could not restrain the expressions of his tenderness. I felt much embarrassed but promised him to go again today which I did and O so glad am I, he is seriously ill. I stayed I would not I could not leave him. I have never loved any one before as I love him, and I must stay whatever the consequences may be Martha [Harris Wells] is to sit up with me tonight and wait upon him. [p. 110] {p. 107}

22 March 1891 • Sunday

Martha and myself have been up all night, never thought of sleeping. Once during the night he asked me if she was asleep I realized he has something to say to me, but wanted us to be alone– I told him no! He seemed disappointed! The morning came at last he was anxious to see the light of day. We raised the blinds let in the morning air. I stayed and helped to change his clothing, he was most unwilling, then I bade him goodbye and told him I was going to Ogden to bring Annie to see him. I came home and rested a little and went off to Ogden by the afternoon train, went up to Annie’s and told her his condition her children were not well. [p. 111] {p. 108}

23 March 1891 • Monday

The next <this> morning I came home I fe[l]t it was an imperative duty. Annie could not come I went up and found him very ill, the brethren came and administered. Geo. Q. Cannon, Heber J. Grant Robert [T.] Burton, Bishop [William B.] Preston John R. Winder, [Joseph Don] Carlos Young and the Dr. Seymour [B. Young] & others. I could not reatize [realize] their faith in administering it did not seem to me that there was any promise of life; the day was dismal at evening I came down and went to the telegraph office and the telephone & sent messages to Annie to come by the morning train I went up in a pouring rain we sat up all night waiting as it were for the summons I dreamed of a frightful storm, and a great tree [p. 112] {p. 109} falling with a frightful crash–

24 March 1891 • Tuesday

<Today Pres. Wells died at one p.m.> we were all there Martha, Lydia Ann, Susan [Alley Wells] Hannah [Free Wells] & myself– All night we went in and out watched his breathing and waited in breathless expectancy of some climax of our fears. the morning dawned. Again he asked that the windows be opened, the air let in– O, how sure I felt that the end was near, that my own darlings were there watching for him. O, my Louie I heard your angel-voice singing the grand anthem of release Annie came her father recognized her and embraced her tenderly– John Q. came, he signified his wish to be administered to and John Q. prayed and administered the last one to perform this sacred ordinance. [p. 113] {p. 110}

25 March 1891 • Wednesday

Yesterday at one o’clock he breathed his last in peace and grandeur; Annie was there and so was I. Many others stood around the room Hannah Martha Lydia Ann & myself of his wives, Frakie [Frances L. Wells], Rule Abbie [Wells Chapin] Gershom [F. Wells], Emeline [Young Wells], Katie [Catherine Wells] and May [Mary Minerva Wells], Drs. [Seymour B.] Young [Francis D.] Benedict and [F. H.] Harrison, and Bishop [James C.] Watson such a trying ordeal for us, but O, such a glorious entrance into the celestial world for him. It seems more like a dream than aught else, I am here alone and cannot see those who call scarcely. Mary Jane [Whitney Groo], Amelia [Folsom Young], Addie Earl, and many others have been in to see me, but I am not in a mood to see any one. It is specially hard for me. I feel as though the most terrific strorm would give some outward expression to my inward emotions. [p. 114] {p. 111}

26 March 1891 • Thursday

Another long miserable day, if he were only here, where I could even look upon his dead face, it would seem a comfort, but no, only memories, only the coming and going and parting at the door, the joy when he came the sorrow when he went as though all the light died out of my life. Such intense love he has manifested towards me of late years. Such a remarkable change from the long ago– when I needed him so much more, how peculiarly these things come about. Today Lula [Louisa Lula Greene] Richards came and took me to the graveyard, I went up to where Mell’s children were and Belle’s and mine. I went in a few minutes to see Grandma [Sarah Griffith] Richards dear old lady, I called at the house where his body lay and stayed alone with his dead presence for a few minutes. [p. 115] {p. 112}

27 March 1891 • Friday

Another day, trying to one who has so many people to meet– and my feelings are such I cannot quite do as I would like, I am not prepared for all the changes that come into my life. The lessons are very hard ones sometimes, and we do “rebel and shrink,” when we ought to be submissive– Life is wonderful indeed, and we are weak and frail & yield when we ought to be strong and invincible. I wish I could write what I have in my heart of hearts, but my soul is in the depths of sorrow and I cannot lift up my head and heart as I ought and bear the great burden imposed upon me with the heroism I should like [p. 116] {p. 113}

28 March 1891 • Saturday

And this is the last day before his body will be laid in the silent grave, He will not be there however for he has gone to Joseph [Smith] & the loved ones behind the vail, and yet to us, poor shortsighted creatures, it seems he must be in that room, where his body lays. I kept in all day but at evening I could no longer keep within bounds, and I flew as it were to the house where he was, and joined the group assembled there. How cold and formal and dismal it all seemed. I longed to cry out in my anguish of spirit, “come back, come back! and speak to me for a moment; tell me what you longed to when I came home give me the message you had for me, that you spoke of[”] [p. 117] {p. 114}

29 March 1891 • Sunday

Was there ever a more desolate day dawned for me than this one. I was alone, made my own fires, cooked my own breakfast, & prepared for the funeral of my husband. Annie, John Q. Geo. Q. and Louise came with the morning train & their carriage took me to the house, and I can scarcely remember what transpired after that We sat for awhile in the room with the <other> mourners then we took a last look at the dear dead face and seen how death disfigured him then we drove in a carriage to the Tabernacle and sat in front of the stand & heard the music and services and saw the white draping & the peals of the organ were like a requiem [p. 118] {p. 115} for the dead, and it was Easter Sunday, and the lilies were everywhere. The storm was very unpleasant and we could not get out at the grave-yard– Afterwards we went to Zina [Smoot] Whitneys and then home with Annie, stayed with her all night.

30 March 1891 • Monday

J. Q. [John Q. Cannon] was unstrucg [unstrung] as much as the rest of us, although he would not omit [admit] it. The children had been good. Q. stayed all night with Racie [Horace N. Whitney] & John Q. and Annie Louise and baby went home. We had a quiet evening and went to bed in pretty good time. Annie was very tired I think and baby must have been too. [p. 119] {p. 116}

31 March 1891 • Tuesday

John Q. came down next morning to have his picture taken with the family. It was an unpleasant day and we were there by ourselves thinking over what had passed so recently. I could not leave Annie alone very well and stayed until the four fifty train. J. Q. had not come, but I knew he would not be long after I left– so I took the train and much to my relief was alone with my grief. Reaching the city the rain poured down so I was obliged to take a carriage. I am indeed lonely desolate house full of woe and misery and yet much to be grateful for– [p. 120] {p. 117}

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March 1891, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed June 19, 2024