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April 1891

1 April 1891 • Wednesday

This is Lutie Fuller [Lucy Fuller Davies]’s birthday and also Frank Kimball’s, it is a kind of holiday and full of fun. Mattie [Martha] Wilson came to help me with the mailing, my heart is so heavy that I cannot do my regular work and am scarcely fit for any exertion. I have been all day more than half sick and at night felt gloomy, lonely and low-spirited– I went after Etta [Edna Cannon Lambert] to come and sleep with me, and felt much better than to be alone. There are certain things one has to do that cannot be put off nor passed over to another. I have not done much writing nor answered the letters I have received for it seemed impossible [p. 121] {p. 118}

2 April 1891 • Thursday

Today I have had to go out and do a few errands & make some purchases. I feel very keenly the going out before the public– but yet I know I must– my work is being neglected and I must gather courage if possible. Aunt Zina comes & the sisters many of them and speak consolingly, but it does not help me much and can never fill the void in my heart. I had a telegram from Sister Jane S. Richards to come to Ogden and Aunt Zina but neither of us went and afterwards learned it was the 70th birthday of Br. Franklin [D. Richards] the Apostle & felt very sorry we had not replied differently. I had a new girl come today Emma Swenson–1 [p. 122] {p. 119}

3 April 1891 • Friday

This is little Margaret [Cannon]’s birthday, she is five years old. Dear, sweet, pearl that she is. I sent her a silk dress and a telegram. I hope she had a happy day. And Annie my darling child, how ardently I pray for her happiness. I have tried to work hard today and to forget my sorrow. Bishop [Frederick] Kesler’s son a young man was buried today. how sad for the father & mother. Sister [Priscilla Paul] Jennings has been in to see me. this is the third time she has called. She expressed great sympathy and tenderness for me. Robert Wilson came & Br. Lee & Robert spent the evening, and talked about the Whitneys and his adoption, and such ordinances2 [p. 123] {p. 120}

4 April 1891 • Saturday

Conference begun this morning and I wanted to go but duty to my business kept me at home. Miss [Mary Elizabeth] Cook, Lula, Emily Woodmansee, and lots of others called and I had pleasant conversations with them. Sarah Jane [Jenne] Cannon & people from a distance, some Gentile ladies from Chicago– three of them who were quite interesting women. the preaching today was by Pres. Woodruff & Apostles John W. Taylor M. [Marriner] W. Merrill and Anton [Anthon] H. Lund, in the forenoon. After meeting there was a special meeting of the Relief Society and I attended. Aunt Zina was there and her Counselors & Secretaries, and many others from all directions [p. 124] {p. 121}

5 April 1891 • Sunday

This is one of the days never to be forgotten, engraved upon memory’s tablets with indelible pen. What heart-aches it calls up– I stayed alone during the morning– mailed a letter to Miss Frances E. Willard– dressed with care and prepared lunch for the folks. Lydia Ann & Susan were the only ones who came and we went to the Tabernacle together in the afternoon Br. Cannon & Franklin D. Richards & Heber Grant– I went up home with L. A. after meeting and then came back to do some of my writing and look over things for Conference of the Relief Society. So much to do and little strength or energy [p. 125] {p. 122}

6 April 1891 • Monday

<wrote to Mrs. [May Wright] Sewall sent her a photo. also to Mrs. Wederborg [Olivia Nielsen Widerborg]–> This is the sixty first anniversary of the organization by that little company of Saints who met on that momentous occasion to join their religious faith together. Some strangers came and kept me from meeting in the morning and about noon Aunt Zina and I called on the President [Wilford Woodruff] and arranged some matters with him. & Br. Cannon. Saw Jos. F. [Smith] for a few minutes, he spoke most kindly of my trouble he too has been very ill but is better. Mrs. [Margaret Walker] Salisbury come to see me and invite me to a meeting of the Fair Committee on Monday next and asked me to go with her on Wednesday to be [p. 126] {p. 123} introduced to the Mormon ladies.

7 April 1891 • Tuesday

<wrote to Belle today> After meeting in the afternoon that Pres. Cannon had spoken very emphatically, we called at the Gardo again Zina Sister Ric[h]ards Smith and myself concerning the Non-Sectarian Relief Society of Ogden. I had today after the Relief Society Conference in the big Tabernacle Dr. [Romania Bunnell] Pratt, Sister [Rebecca Smith] Standring, [Ann Beers] Pulsipher, [Elvira Williams] Harrison [Matilda Hyatt] Mitchell, Swallberg3 & [Helena Einarson] Madsen also [Mary Bainbridge] Hazen to lunch with me. Then Aunt Zina & Sister Richards came home with me and talked over some matters. It has been a tiresome day for me very indeed and I am glad it is over. Have been alone this evening. Wanted & needed rest & quiet for my thoughts & feelings. [p. 127] {p. 124}

8 April 1891 • Wednesday

Thirteen years ago today, what a terrible ordeal I had to pass through & now again nearly the same time how dreadful has been the test, yet they have met, father and daughter. And to me how significant must that meeting be. My whole soul was bound up in him. He possessed the key to the mysteries of my nature. I am not permitted however to be alone, life is too deep and active. I promised to go with Mrs. Salisbury to see some ladies & I must keep my word. Mrs. Salisbury & Miss Keogh came in a carriage and we called upon the several ladies of the Committee, then we went in to her house & had refreshments and she came to the door with me [p. 128] {p. 125}

9 April 1891 • Thursday

I have tried to be brave and keep above despondency & not be wholly useless in the midst of sorrow. Today there is a meeting here of the Directors of the Woman’s Store which I was instrumental in starting, and I expect Mrs. Salisbury to call upon me in regard to matters pertaining to the World’s Fair. I sat alone for two or three hours, I went out on an errand and some boys, ran against me with a little wagon and knocked me down and gave me a nervous shock, Mrs. Salisbury did not come, but Amelia [Folsom Young] & Miss [Mary E.] Cook kept me so late, and then I tried to catch the train for Ogden, and found it had just left, came home disappointed, wrote to Mell, Etta Lambert slept with me. [p. 129] {p. 126}

10 April 1891 • Friday

John Q. came this morning & told me of Annie & the children, I feel very sorrowful when I think my girls are suffering. Annie not well seems too dreadful– I must go to her. I went for some flowers to lay on my graves. then I was hindered by people calling, first one and then another– Minerva [White] Snow, she told me how she had been impressed when my husband gave out the last hymn in the Temple, how solemn it was & how she had remarked it was like a funeral. Such strange forebodings. At last when nearly dark I went up to the cemetery alone. I laid the flowers on the three graves, most on Emma’s it was her day, the white dove fluttered then impatient of being detained the sun was setting gloriously– [p. 130] {p. 127}

11 April 1891 • Saturday

Today it is 22. years since Belle & Sep were married and 13 years since my darling Emma was laid away in the silent earth. It has been a very unpleasant day for me, I am not well and have so many hindrances Hannah [Wells] came to see me this morning stayed an hour or more, and one after another. Mrs. Salisbury came in the afternoon I had expected her on Thursday but she did not get here; paper was ready for the press and yet it was not taken over. A storm came up, wind and dust and finally rain. I went up to Ogden on the 8 o’clock train and arrived before ten at Annie’s it was a fearful night, found all moderately well. [p. 131] {p. 128}

12 April 1891 • Sunday

Stayed all day with Annie we had the day to ourselves and little ones, almost exclusively– John Q. went out and Mrs. Wallace came over for a little while. In the evening we were all together in the parlor and chatted and visited to our hearts content. Wrote a note to Sister Richards and sent Q. over with it– she answered it.– the baby has improved very much and Daniel is growing such a great strong fellow. Sweetie and Margaret are still very beautiful and the children are all well behaved and in pretty good health and training. Annie is not very strong and seems not quite like herself. [p. 132] {p. 129}

13 April 1891 • Monday

<Emeline [Young] Wells is 34 today–> Had breakfast and went off to the train, walked all the way, Mrs. Richards was there when I arrived. Reaching home found a note from Mrs. Salisbury saying the meeting of the Committee was postponed by word from Mrs. Potter Palmer. Mrs. R. was much disappointed as she had come down from Ogden on purpose. In the afternoon Mrs. Salisbury called to make some further explanations & talk a little about matters. I wrote some letters in the evening to Mrs. Jane S. Richards, Mrs. Salisbury, Clara B. [Bewick] Colby, and Adeline Barber– June came in to see me & told me the boys were going over the letters to night and put them in parcels for the owners. [p. 133] {p. 130}

14 April 1891 • Tuesday

This morning Edna [Margaret Wells] came in to practise and it seemed quite natural to hear the piano going. Wrote today to Sister [Harriet Dye] Bunting <Kanab> & Sister [Mary Ballantyne] Farr of St. John’s [Arizona]. D. Appleton & Co. San Francisco– Walter Beattie and Jotie go to San Francisco for Jote [Josephine Beattie Wells]’s health– Jode [Joseph S. Wells] has been to see me today and May came a few minutes. Mrs. [C. Louise] Boyden came & went with me to see Charlie [Charles S.] Burton. I have written to Belva A. Lockwood Washington Emilie Y. Tracy [Swett] Parkhurst San Francisco & Jane H. Spofford Washington tonight. I feel very much depressed in spirits and careworn. My mind is on things that pertain to the other world, and yet not exactly troubled about it. [p. 134] {p. 131}

15 April 1891 • Wednesday

<wrote to Woman’s Journal Office last night> <sent for four copies Mrs. [Esther Weissbrodt] Francis Lucy [Woodward Hewlings] Maria Miller [Johnson] Lu Daton [Lucinda Lee Dalton] > <Woman’s Column> Sat up very late last night and feel very uncomfortable this morning, mailing must be done, raining again today, no word from my girls Kate [Catherine Wells] May [Wells] & Nett [Susan Annette Wells Culmer] have all been in to see me. Amelia came this evening, Sister [Jane Stoner] Cowan invited me to the 8th Ward P.A. next Monday. Pres. [Benjamin] Harrison is coming via Utah to California and will stop over a few hours. He is expected to dedicate the Chamber of Commerce– Great preparations are being made for a ball the evening before at the Exposition Building– There is a terrible mortality in New York Chicago and some other large cities on account of lagrippe. Must write to Mary F. Seymour & to Verona tonight if possible [p. 135] {p. 132}

16 April 1891 • Thursday

I worked hard at the mailing and had a great many in to see me, Amelia was here last evening and stayed quite late. I have learned that Talula [Young]’s marriage is postponed until after Nab [Nabbie Young Clawson]’s confinement– and that she has put all her into [Orson] Spencer Clawson’s hands (by advice of her sisters to see if that will make any difference with him. There are so many changes in this world and so much greed for money that one does grow to be mistrustful. I long to fly away somewhere, to be entirely away, where I could give vent to my feelings without interruption or annoyance to any one– my heart is bowed in sorrow. I wish many things had been made clearer [p. 136] {p. 133}

17 April 1891 • Friday

This morning people coming before I was up. So many bills to be paid for the Hospital and no money to pay them.

Adeline [Woodward Earl] came and was very much annoyed because I had never been to see her in her new home in Forestdale. John Q. came down this morning to see his father, who starts for San Francisco tonight Kate May & Emily [Wells Grant] called yesterday afternoon and Emily invited Louise & Margaret to Dessie [Martha Deseret Grant]’s birthday party on the 21st of Apr. she will be five years old. born the same month as Margaret. Adeline went with me to Lydia Ann’s & Susan’s where we had dinner and called afterwards to see Louisa [Free Wells]’s girls. [p. 137] {p. 134}

18 April 1891 • Saturday

Today I have worked much beyond my strength in the mailing, my back aches so I can scarcely sit up and my right arm is fearful with pain. Had a letter from Emma Kofod today. Have been invited to entertainment in the 20th Ward and Primary Annual in the 8th Ward. Mrs. Salisbury called this morning in reference to the World’s Fair Meeting, she had not yet heard from Chicago, in regard to the quarrel between Mrs. Palmer and Phebe Cousins [Couzins]. Aunt Zina is moving out of her house and Willard [Young] and wife are moving in, for temporarily, as the children are not well, and it does not agree with them at the Templeton.4 [p. 138] {p. 135}

19 April 1891 • Sunday

This is John Q.’s birthday, and I could not go up last night nor this morning early enough, but went on the 1/2 past 3 train, found Abram [Hoagland Cannon] there dining and Frank [Franklin J. Cannon] and wife came and spent the evening. John Q. seemed in good spirits and we had a very nice time altogether. He is 34 today and has a very fine family of children. Little Eleanor is growing nicely. John Q. decided to take charge of the paper for a few days while Frank goes away to attend to some business. How I wish that things were in a more settled state with us. I am left quite alone in the City and yet have so many of my own immediate family & now my husband gone– [p. 139] {p. 136}

20 April 1891 • Monday

Came down on the early train, walked to the depot, Sister Jane S. Richards came with me on the train, her son in the City is ill– and she is much alarmed about him. For some reason she was out of sorts. However I cannot help that as it is not in my power to show more respect than I have done My own heart is very sore and I have heavy burdens to bear from which she is entirely free. I had quite a number of callers, Sister Thomas came and we talked over Washington affairs. she invited me to the 7th Ward Y.L. Annual Wednesday but I cannot go– Went over to Phebe’s at night with Aunt Zina Wrote a letter to Dr. [Rosetta Luce] Gilchrist of Ohio– has received postal from her today– [p. 140] {p. 137}

21 April 1891 • Tuesday

This is my brother Manson [Jesse Woodward]’s birthday he will be seventy today I believe, I hope he will have some honor shown him, by his children & family. It is a long life 3 score & ten– and after that borrowed time Mother [Elizabeth Smith] Whitney used to say. John Q. and the children came down this morning Louise and Margaret both. They came to Dessie Grants birthday. She is five years old now. Sister Ann [Cannon] Woodbury John Q’s Aunt came when they were here. I wrote out a petition and took it to the City Hall today to have the water tax remitted. signed by myself and Dr. Pratt. Took the children up to Martha’s & dined there also Sister [Elizabeth Cooper] Pixton went up again this evening & brought the little girls home It is so sweet to have them here [p. 141] {p. 138}

22 April 1891 • Wednesday

Today the little girls Louise & Margaret are here. and it seems so pleasant to have them and reminds me of the days now gone forever when I had my own little Annie & Louie. Emily, Kate & May came and brought Dessie with them. It is Emily [Wells Grant]’s birthday she is 34– a very sweet young woman and quite taking in her ways. In the afternoon John Q. took the children off in a carriage to the depot in a great rush just when my office was full of strangers. I felt so lonely after the dear little creatures had gone, it did seem so natural to have them with me. [p. 142] {p. 139}

23 April 1891 • Thursday

This is Percival [Woods]’s birthday and I know Mell will feel it very much. Her home is lonely indeed, but she has Will and I have no one to speak to, no one to offer one word of sympathy, except as a friend comes in. I have been thinking so much of Percival today he was born on a famous man’s birthday anniversary Shakespeare’s the greatest poet of the world perhaps. I would like to write Mell but I am not in a mood to comfort any one I fear and perhaps it is better not to write at all, lest inadvertently I should say things more sad and gloomy than I would wish. I have a heart full of love for her and prayers for her future happiness [p. 143] {p. 140}

24 April 1891 • Friday

This is a sad month for me for many reasons. It always does seem full of tears. I am invited to go to Farmington but do not feel equal to speaking in public as yet. Did not succeed in getting anyone to go, tried to urge Lula Richards, but her husband seems to discourage her. I would go myself if I could get the necessary courage. Aunt Zina has moved from her own house to Phebe [Young Beatie]’s and Willard & family have rented her sweet little house. She expects soon to go to Canada and visit her only daughter Zina. Sister Jane S. Richards came in for a minute on her way to the depot. [p. 144] {p. 141}

25 April 1891 • Saturday

Today has been stormy and unpleasant in various ways. I have had so much to do and so much to annoy me also. Trying to get ready to go to Ogden and so many hindrances finally to swim all Sister Mary Ann [Parry] Schow from Escelanta came in with chest & boxes from off the train and asked me to let her stay until she could make some other arrangements. I knew something of her through other people and therefore felt justified in making her welcome. She will stay with Emma the girl while I am in Ogden– it is all right. I succeeded in catching the train and found all well. [p. 145] {p. 142}

26 April 1891 • Sunday

This morning I was late in getting up, for my back ached and was quite lame; Annie and the children were very sweet to me, it was a lovely day and we had a good visit and talked over everything concerning the family treasures & distribution etc. I had taken up the knife to show to Annie & the children & told them how all had been done. Mrs. Olive [Browning] Wallace brought her baby over to show us, it is a beautiful child and just put in short clothes today, it is named Lois. In the evening John Q. Annie & myself had a very pleasant time talking over current events. [p. 146] {p. 143}

27 April 1891 • Monday

<Jode came in & I gave him his father’s socks–> This morning came off on the U.P. train, John Q. went earlier on the D. & R.G. Frank & Mattie [Cannon] were on the train and John Watson, we sat together & chatted of this & that. Coming home had lots of mail, letters from Daisie and Verona Miss Susan B. Anthony, and one or two more. Went up to Lydia Ann’s in the evening and brought home Louie’s jewel box with my treasures in it. All alone here in my poor old home, so desolate, my husband gone forever my dear girls too so long ago– departed. I wanted to do so much today and yet so very little have I accomplished. [p. 147] {p. 144}

28 April 1891 • Tuesday

This morning I felt very ill and low-spirited and although we were making up the paper it was almost more than I could do to work at my proofs. Abbie [Wells Chapin] came and brought me some jelly and took me for a ride. We went to the Brewery over the hill past Camp Douglas and had some lunch and a glass of beer. We had a pleasant conversation on topics of interest and I enjoyed it very much. Nanna [Hannah Young Chapin] was with us. I had letters from several of my friends today, and have written to Mrs. [Matilda Picton] Teasdale of Nephi and Mrs. Howells [Mary Seymour Howell] of Albany N.Y. Sister Schow of Escalanta is still here with me. I feel very lonely tonight more so than usual. [p. 148] {p. 145}

29 April 1891 • Wednesday

This morning I felt as I do all the time nowadays very languid, but went out soon after getting up and the air seemed to do me good. I had quite a number of callers. Dr. Roby and Mrs. Waldo from Detroit & 2 children spent 2 or three hours here with me, they had letters from Dr. [Solomon S.] Stambaugh of San Francisco. I heard today that Dot was ill and it troubled me very much indeed, she has injured her back with lifting, Josephine Spencer called on me to talk literary. May came and I went up home with her, and after coming home wrote to Dot and did some other work on manuscript. Lonely indeed seems my later life I feel as though I must make an extra effort– [p. 149] {p. 146}

30 April 1891 • Thursday

This is Leslie [A. Dunford]’s birthday, dear little fellow, how I used to tend him and walk up and down the garden with him under those beautiful apple-trees, my heart so glad because of him. Now he is gone, like some of mine & we know so little and I cry out in my utter loneliness and agony of suffering & ask but all in vain, yet this I do know if I can only pass safely through the ordeals of daily life and keep the faith I shall be permitted to join the ransomed ones in the courts above. Sister [Elizabeth Anderson] Howard & Sisters Freeze (Lillie) & [Elizabeth DuFresne] Stevenson are going to fill the appointments at Morgan & Summit Conferences. I wrote Sister Frances [Emily Francis] of Morgan tonight. [p. 150] {p. 147}

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April 1891, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed June 16, 2024