The Church Historian's Press

May 1891

1 May 1891 • Friday

<May day a lovely day so many people out> Yesterday secured Sister Stevenson and today Sister Lillie Freeze to go to Summit Stake Conference of the Relief Society. Towards evening Went up to the other house Dr. Roby of Detroit and his daughter Mrs. Waldo came today with a letter of introduction from Dr. Stombaugh and spent a couple of hours very pleasantly, the Dr. is a fine conversationalist and has traveled a great deal. They told me Dot had hurt her back very much and was quite ill– a postal from Belle also informed me that Dot was ill and that she was very nervous. Br. Cannon has been ill all the week and had to remain at home. I am feeling very miserable in spirits. [p. 151] {p. 148}

2 May 1891 • Saturday

Today is quite fine, last evening I wrote some & read after my long walk, and this morning I had some one calling on me constantly, John Q. came down and I went up to Sister Clawson’s and to do some errands– Helen [Mar Kimball] Whitney has a new house just finished off and is about to move from the old homestead into it. All seem to be provided for in some way except me, how strange it does seem. Letter today from Rachel Foster Avery, and so many calls. An artist Miss Mills of Vermont among others. An underground woman & little boy who have had to leave home, came and asked me to stay over Sunday.1 Went to the graveyard with Dr. Pratt and then to Sister [Bathsheba Wilson Bigler] Smiths birthday party– [p. 152] {p. 149}

3 May 1891 • Sunday

Today I tried to rest but did a little more writing and sent off a letter to Belle and a note to Lillie Freeze also a postal to Rachel Foster Avery. Went to the Tabernacle in the afternoon and heard Elder B. [Brigham] H. Roberts preach a very thrilling discourse upon the Savior etc. painting a beautiful and telling word-picture of the crucifixion and his igneminious death, though the Savior and King of all. The anthem was a grand one– went up to Lydia Ann’s to dinner it was Susan’s birthday and she treated us to Orange wine from Santo [Santa] Barbara– after coming home wrote to Mrs. Gilchrist M.D. and to Mary Allan [Allen] West, Editor of the Union Signal, about some papers that I wanted. Today has been a lovely spring day– [p. 153] {p. 150}

4 May 1891 • Monday

This is another bright day warm and sunshiny. My heart has been sad though very indeed and I have worked very hard, went to see some pictures that are on exhibition [James T.] Harwoods at [David O.] Calder’s and others at another place on Kimball Block one of them Bougeareau’s famous painting, “The Return of Spring”– It is quite a beautiful painting idealistic in the extreme– So many callers today May, Kate, Rett, Edna & Emily Abbie & Nett, John Q. and so many more. Letter from Belle and Sister Teasdale– Notices received from the Council in regard to the meeting May 30th. in Indianapolis, sent to me– Lyde has been to me for advice & I feel to sustain her in trying to earn something [p. 154] {p. 151}

5 May 1891 • Tuesday

Today I have worked very hard at my mailing more than I was able. I had the impression taken today for a new set of teeth I never liked the others. It is an unpleasant ordeal to go through; I have had many callers today too– I bought the book “The Story of African Farm” and tonight I have been reading in it. Such a peculiar story. Life is not the same to me now, nor books, nor even poems. There is no one who understands me when I talk about them as he did who has gone. I am very weary the night is hot as July and there seems such an oppressiveness in the air. I am weary weary [p. 155] {p. 152}

6 May 1891 • Wednesday

<June started for the East on the night train> Have been invited to attend the annual meeting in the 8th Ward of the Relief Society and also a party in honor of Br. & Sister [Joseph and Mary Isabella Hales] Horne’s wedding 55 years ago. John Q. came down today Susa Young [Gates] & Mabel Bigelow were both here– Susa is very enthusiastic about a Press Federation and an Association for Utah. Aunt Zina has returned from Logan & has been to see me and we have talked over some things preparatory to her going away. The day has been very disagreeable because of wind & dust– Pres. Harrison & party will be here on Saturday and there are great preparations being made to honor him. The Chamber of Commerce is to be dedicated etc. [p. 156] {p. 153}

7 May 1891 • Thursday

<Had a letter from Dot today.> Went to Fast Meeting this morning– felt very sad– Aunt Zina and I sat together she bore her testimony the Bishop spoke of the Righteous remnant that always stood for a people. A great deal of money was received as donations– the congregation was not large, three babies were blessed two boys and one girl. Went to see about my teeth being fitted and did not get to the 8th Ward Relief Society. Sister [Elizabeth Harrison] Goddard came in to see me and I had several others In the evening I went up to see Cal [Clara Wells Hedges]’s new house out in Dorlington Place Called at Rule’s today. Florence [B. Beatie] is to be married soon in June. to young Mr. [Brigham G.] Thatcher son of George Thatcher [p. 157] {p. 154}

8 May 1891 • Friday

Lydia Ann came early this morning and I dressed in a great hurry– then Sister Howard came and Mrs. Boyden and John Q. & so it kept on Aunt Zina came in twice. She is getting ready to go on a journey to Canada– The city is handsomely decorated in honor of the visit of Pres. Harrison. On the Temple is the motto “Fear God” Honor the President– the Juvenile has “Welcome to the Grandson of Tippecanoe” and aslo also “Under Harrison Freedom dawned on Utah” which is much commented upon. The inaugural ball tonight for the Chamber of Commerce Tomorrow is to be a general holiday. No papers issued & stores closed. Josie [Simmons]’s birthday bought her a fan canary colored– [p. 158] {p. 155}

9 May 1891 • Saturday

Last night wrote to Verona, Mrs. Goddard, Rachel Foster Avery, and did so many other things, today the hurrah has been kept up pretty constantly, the party of the President went to the Park where they had speeches and exercises. Lena [Helena Fobes Wells] & Kate came to see me, and Aunt Zina, Lillie Freeze and others. This evening Sister Horne’s party wedding anniversary 55 years married. I gave her a book “Noble Women of our Time.” It was a pleasant affair and well managed. Delicious refreshments & speaking excellent. The family were much complimented. Mattie [Martha Horne Tingey] recited The New Church organ. Richard [S. Horne] sang The Steam arm. Angus [M. Cannon] made a speech [p. 159] {p. 156}

10 May 1891 • Sunday

Br. [Edward] Stevenson & Bishop [George H.] Taylor– Sarah M. Kimball, Lula Richards, B. W. Smith E. S. Taylor, Jane Richardsen [Cobleigh Richardson] Today I did not feel well enough to go to meeting and stayed at home writing and sorting things out– tried to rest me, and look up on some matters that I knew must be attended to. I went over to <see Helen [Whitney]–> It was a nice day after meeting May and Emily called and teased me to go to dinner with them– I went to Aunt Zina’s to see her and talk over some things before she should get away, but she was out, however soon after she came here and we talked until very late. Sister [Elizabeth Jackson] Chamberlain of the 8th Ward died today [p. 160] {p. 157}

11 May 1891 • Monday

Today has been tiresome Caroline Raleigh came and took me for a ride, we went up to the graveyard. and over the hills, I enjoyed it very much indeed, the day had been warm but pleasant. John Q. came in and had lunch with me and that seemed so very much like old times. Mr. Sears came from San Francisco, and spent the day in Ogden. I have written to the two railroads to see if I can get a pass or mileage or any favor– I published notice of a meeting for the Hospital and telephoned to Sister Richards of Ogden. Josie is making up the paper. [p. 161] {p. 158}

12 May 1891 • Tuesday

This morning Josie made up the paper finished it in fact. I went over and invited Abram to come and lunch with John Q. We had quite a pleasant time. I never do have any company to eat with me and it seemed very nice. the paper is out and I am trying to get some of the folding done. So much work and so little strength to accomplish it. I have had quite a number of ladies to see me, and been hindered and annoyed. A meeting at Mill Creek to which I was invited but could not go. Sister Horne and others went I cannot do all I would like. It would give me great satisfaction to be able to do more [p. 162] {p. 159}

13 May 1891 • Wednesday

<Aunt Zina left today for Canada bade her good bye on the train> This is an anniversary that is engraven on my memory– one of the days that touch the heart– I went to the Hospital meeting in the morning. Hiram [B. Clawson] came and took me in his buggy and the Board were most of them present. There was a great deal of talk and generally pretty good satisfaction at the way every thing was conducted– John Q. lunched with me. Kate had lunch here for herself and a woman who was helping her. I went to the 18th Ward in the evening to one of Mrs. Boyden’s receptions, there were a great number of people present and the children did nicely. Came home very tired– [p. 163] {p. 160}

14 May 1891 • Thursday

<Went to Helen’s new house tonight very nice & comfortable> This morning it was very hard for me to get up and go to my work, but at last I succeeded in rising. Had to prepare copy the first thing– and then lunch for John Q. It is quite cold today. Dr. [Elvira Stephens] Barney and Sarah M. Kimball called here, and Sister Douglas [Agness Cross Douglass] and Jane Cowan– and I received an invitation to go to a Surprise on Sister [Maria Young] Dougall for next Monday night. Sent off for “Dreams” by Olive Schreiner to Roberts Bro’s Boston– also sent for a Circular of the French language to a Pub. Co. New York and asked Woman’s Journal office why they had not sent the leaflets. [p. 164] {p. 161}

15 May 1891 • Friday

These are all painful days to me; this morning I expected Annie & baby and felt very much disappointed at their not coming. John Q. came and lunched with me, and Sister Sarah Jane Cannon came in to see us. May and Kate have both been in: an old gentleman came and administered to Sister Mary [Houtz] Snow and then he wanted to bless me which he did in a powerful manner. I have written to Mary [Elizabeth Rollins] Lightner and to Sister Louisa [Leavitt] Haight, and have worked hard at the mailing. It has been rather a dismal day and not very pleasant outside. There is a Democratic rally at the theatre tonight and the bands have been out playing and trying to draw a house. Lena Wells and little Abbie [H. Wells] came in to see me, Lena expects to go to New York very soon. [p. 165] {p. 162}

16 May 1891 • Saturday

I had a night of suffering; no sleep at all scarcely and O, so lonely, without any of my dear ones. This morning little Margaret came and it did seem like a ray from heaven, she is beautiful and bright such a sunny disposition; John Q. and Margaret had lunch with me, and it made me think of the old days. I have worked very hard today at the mailing. Some strangers who called on me in 1875– called today and remembered me well; told me of things I said to them then, and it did me good, proving my words had impressed them. Margaret went to the Cannon Farm with her Aunt Emily. In the evening I went with mail to the Post Office and I was very weary. too weary to write any letters– [p. 166] {p. 163}

17 May 1891 • Sunday

This morning I went to the graveyard, tried so hard to go up yesterday the anniversary of that sad, sad event, I went alone, and wandered round, in the City of the dead. I went up to the graves of Leslie of Winnie and Percival and of Lyle and Park. How many of our loved ones lie sleeping there Herbert and Sidney too I visited there. my beautiful girls and their father, they lie so close together, that is a great comfort to me. This afternoon I went to the Tabernacle, Br. John Nicholson preached, he expects soon to go to Scotland on a mission, the Anthem at the close was glorious, grand too. Pres. George Q. Cannon was there and he was the only one of the Apostles present. I wrote to Mell and sent away for Aunt Zina’s Home Magazine [p. 167] {p. 164}

18 May 1891 • Monday

Have been hard at work at the mailing, felt very ill, and low-spirited, was to have gone to a party but could not get away nor did I feel inclined. Mr. Sears came to see me in the evening and stayed quite awhile. I wrote a letter to Jane Richards enclosing one from Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery and asking other questions also wrote to Mary H. Larsen Snowflake and to one or two others on business. I received the letter from Mrs. Avery today in answer to mine. I wrote also this evening Mrs. Smith’s party for the paper. My heart is very sad all the time. John Q. has been in today and had dinner [p. 168] {p. 165}

19 May 1891 • Tuesday

Today I was too ill to get up and felt very down-hearted indeed. Several people have called Kate May & Emeline, Bishop [Orson F.] Whitney, Mrs. [Priscilla Paul] Jennings, Mrs. [Catherine Woolley] Eardley Lillie Freeze Mrs. Howard; Mrs. French from Philadelphia a stranger inquiring for Mrs. Maria Wells, she claimed to have known much about the Mormons and so on, talked rapidly and told me more than I could remember to jot down. Have been to the Post Office this evening carrying mail which I have done a great deal of lately. Ort sent away manuscript to the genealogical record of the Whitneys today. [p. 169] {p. 166}

20 May 1891 • Wednesday

Finishing off copy for the paper and mailing the last number worked hard all day long, and never went to bed at all, felt very unhappy too– Mrs. Salisbury called and I was out brought me the Dolls House it is a play instead of a story as I had imagined. Sister Richards came down from Ogden and talked of the Executive session of the Council and also about other places to be visited. She intends to go with me to Payson tomorrow although her son Frank is very ill. I had supper up at Lydia Ann’s and Kate & May came part way home with me. It rained & blew both almost all day. [p. 170] {p. 167}

21 May 1891 • Thursday

This is a sad anniversary for me; four years ago, what a terrifying scene we all passed through, how can we live through so much and still persevere and not quite give up. Sister Richards and myself arrived at Payson about half past ten A.M. we were joined at Provo by Sister Mary [Wride] John & Marilla [Johnson] Daniels. Had a sumptuous dinner at Sister Douglas’ and went to the meeting house for a two o’clock meeting the anniversary of the organization of the Relief Society. It was my first attempt at speaking since the death of Pres. Wells though I occupied 25 minutes; my heart was sad for many reasons, my thoughts were solemn ones. [p. 171] {p. 168}

22 May 1891 • Friday

Last evening the W.S.A. had a meeting and we both spoke again, I dwelt mostly upon suffrage Mrs. Richards our trip to Washington. We rose early and had a bite to eat and took the train after about a mile’s ride in the chill morning air. At Provo we said Good Bye to Sisters John & Daniels and we arrived home about 1/2 past nine. Sister Richards went up to Frank’s and I went to work when she came back after dinner we went to the Gardo and saw Br. Woodruff & Br. Cannon in reference to our Eas[t]ern Affair. They considered that a letter would answer all purposes for the present– At night I was very ill [p. 172] {p. 169}

23 May 1891 • Saturday

This was a very sick day for me. I could not hold up my head all day long John Q. came in to lunch and insisted on my trying to go to Ogden, gave me five dollars and ordered a carriage to come in time for the train at 1/2 past six o’ clock.

I had Josie [Simmons] & Mary [Davey] the typos waiting upon me, soaked my feet bathed my head and neck etc. I dressed with some difficulty and reached the train in time, and managed to sit up all the way. I received the Book “Dreams” from the publishers and read it on the train, found Daniel better and the other children pretty well, Annie tired out. baby much improved. [p. 173] {p. 170}

24 May 1891 • Sunday

I rose very late and scarcely felt able to keep up at all. Felt however as if I must make the most of this visit on account of not being able to go very often. Daniel is quite troublesome has been very ill with sore throat, baby very good indeed, Annie must be very weary toiling on incessantly. She has her children all around her though and that is the most happy time in a mother’s life, when they are grown and scattered broadcast it causes much anxiety and increased cares if not burdens. In the evening we had quite a sociable time together. [p. 174] {p. 171}

25 May 1891 • Monday

This morning John Q. went off to the City & Geo. Q. And Louise to school and a carriage came for me to go to the train; called on Sister Richards, felt very weak indeed, talked about the letter I was to write to the Executive meeting at Indianapolis and came home at eleven o’clock. Felt very weak and nervous, and quite upset with the girls being so dilatory. Had to prepare copy and see Mrs. Horne & Mrs. Smith called at both places and then on Mrs. Dougall, drew out the form of a letter and revised it two or three times. Finally felt so weary & depressed that I could not keep up any longer [p. 175] {p. 172}

26 May 1891 • Tuesday

Read for hours in bed in the Doll’s House by Henry Ibsen, this morning Mrs. Richards came down on an early train and the letter was again considered, at length made a copy and took it up to read to Frank and Emily [Richards] much to my annoyance as it is not so important a matter as that. At last the revision was completed and I rushed home copied it again & sent it off taking it myself to the Post Office. Then wrote to Susan B. Anthony and mailed that– so was hindered from attending to my mailing & was completely prostrated [p. 176] {p. 173}

27 May 1891 • Wednesday

Took the cars last evening and went up to see Cal Hedges. she was not at home, came back to Emeline’s, Kate came part way home with me. This morning set about mailing, but had so many hindrances, Sister Smith Dr. Pratt, Louie Felt [Sarah Louise Boulton Felt], May Anderson, Mrs. Salisbury and a lot more; Dr. Barney came at last and took me a long ride up on Capitol Hill and to see the reservoir such a grand view from the heights. Helen had invited me this morning to come to the dedication of her house and late in the evening I went Orson made a dedicatory prayer. His counselors and Br. Mac’Donald [John T. McDonald] were present. [p. 177] {p. 174}

28 May 1891 • Thursday

This is a very unpleasant day trying so hard to get my mailing done and copy prepared. Mrs. Salisbury came and told me some of her troubles and we talked over the difficulty between Mrs. Palmer & Phebe Cousins, and also on the question of divorce and the modern books upon these subjects. In the evening Dr. Barney called and went over her difficulties with the W.S.A. and the Directors of the Woman’s Store– she is very positive and exacting and what one cannot help calling radical in her ideas. She is very shrewd in money matters and knows how to make and to save both. [p. 178] {p. 175}

29 May 1891 • Friday

Today has been very tiresome to me, Emma Kofod went out when I fully expected her to help me and the wind & dust have kept on blowing & flying, my head aches and my heart is almost benumbed. I had a letter however from Mell and from Belle and a package by express from Belle containing a new <satin> dress and 2 pair stockings and pair kid gloves. O how I long to have things differently arranged to be near some of my own children and not so lonely my mind so oppressed and melancholy, if only I could see my way brighten up once again as in the former days– I am engaged on a poem and also on a sketch from life for the Juvenile, but my strength does not hold out. [p. 179] {p. 176}

30 May 1891 • Saturday

I wanted to go to the graveyard last evening but could not and had no flowers to take up– but tears, tears in abundance, a soft rain came and it grew so dark– this morning the city is lively with music and flags are flying but my heart is more sad than usual. John Q. came about 11 and brought a basket of lovely flowers Annie had sent from their own yard. Peonies, yellow roses and syringas such beauties, He brought a horse and buggy and asked me to ride with him, we drove around on some of the principal streets and up past the graveyard where the services were just over. Later on I went up and took the flowers all alone. [p. 180] {p. 177}

31 May 1891 • Sunday

This morning I lay in bed late to get rested and refreshed after my weary march through the city of the dead. I went to the Tabernacle in the afternoon Junius [Free Wells]– the music was grand, Pres. Woodruff spoke for a short time, Ben Cluff [Benjamin Cluff Jr.] delivered a lecture on self-culture. A letter from Jos. F. [Smith] was read which was the principal feature of the day. Sister Hunsaker of Honeyville is here staying with me. I went to the evening meeting, Moses Thatcher spoke eloquently and Angus T. [Taylor] Wright of Ogden gave a lecture on Integrity. June has been in to see me for a few minutes, quite pleasant and somewhat exultant, has only just returned from New York and is soon to go away again. [p. 181] {p. 178}

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May 1891, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed June 13, 2024