The Church Historian's Press

December 1891

1 December 1891 • Tuesday

<The Gardo House is vacated I suppose for good & all–1> Rainy day, hindrances as usual, not feeling well either– very nervous the last two nights; little sleep. Dot is not very well and seems restless and feverish. Minnie Sears birthday, she came in for a few minutes and Dot presented her with a book “Little Women.” She is twenty years old. I took Dot to the Choral or opara practise at Calder’s hall it was pouring with rain seemed as if it might be the past over again when I used to go with Louie. Sam [Samuel M.] Barratt is quite attentive to Dot. has brought her home several times, last night came in for awhile I had a fire in the parlor and read awhile alone Miss [Genevieve] Browne a little poet called on me. [p. 365] {p. 315}

2 December 1891 • Wednesday

After coming down today I went out to finish paying bills for the Hospital. A miserable day– snow, rain and sleet– Minnie’s sister Annie [Christensen Miller] and her brother and his wife came from Farmington to see Minnie etc. She is going home with them and I shall be left alone again. Have been reading proofs– wrote again about the copy right for my book to the Librarian of Congress.2 Have had no letters today. This evening is very cold. Dot is not well at all– she complains so much of her head and thinks she is going to have typhoid fever. Annie is to come tomorrow. I am invited to Mrs. Jennings to tea– [p. 366] {p. 316}

3 December 1891 • Thursday

This is my Sister Lucy’s birthday born in 1817. She has a biographical sketch in the Magazine <of Poetry> for Oct. 1891– published in Buffalo N.Y. It is very well written. I have been unusually low-spirited– Mrs. Jennings gives a party. I went about five o’clock the ladies were just having tea– when I arrived[.] I was late as we were making up the paper– I sat at the table with Mrs. Webber, Mrs. [Ann Bringhurst] Groesbeck, Mrs. Beattie & Mrs. Dougall, the tea was very aesthetic the ladies all had bouquets and ribbons etc. Spanish cream and ice of pine apple, and salads and coffee & cake of several kinds all very nice, bread and butter and flowers. called at the Historian’s Office and then came on up to Belle’s [p. 367] {p. 317}

4 December 1891 • Friday

This morning I felt very ill and bad and could scarcely get up, had not slept any scarcely and been feverish and restless. Sisters calling on me Dr. Barney, Sister [Margaret Harley] Randall of Centerville and Margaret Caine, Phebe Beattie, Lydia Ann Wells, and others. I have not felt well and been very much annoyed. I have been waiting for them to put the paper on the press, and the engine broke down News from New York that some crank had blown up Several offices on Broadway with dynamite Russell Sage and others hurt. No letters today and no word from Belle. Very cold indeed, snow and sleet– much sickness in the City [p. 368] {p. 318}

5 December 1891 • Saturday

I felt a little better this morning and hurried off to the office. Very cold weather indeed almost a blizzard it seems to me. People began to call very soon, so there was not much gained by going early. Miss Brown a young writer came with some of her poems to show me and to ask my advice about entering the lists for competition for the Herald prize– I advised her to do so. Some excitement this afternoon about the arrest of U.S. Marshall [Elias H.] Parsons for serious offences. It is a great discredit to the government to have such vile charges made against an officer. Dot brought Florence Crismon home with her to stay all night. They are great friends. [p. 369] {p. 319}

6 December 1891 • Sunday

This is Sister Adeline’s birthday sixty two born in 1829. I would like to give her something but cannot at present. I went to the Tabernacle– Br. [David] Mc’Kenzie was preaching. It was an exceedingly cold day and the sermon uninteresting to me– music good etc. Came home and tried to do some little towards my paper– Elise brought me a warm supper down which was very acceptable. Went up to Belle’s and staid with the children. Dot was at home all the evening though she had been to call on Florence Crismon during the afternoon. [p. 370] {p. 320}

7 December 1891 • Monday

I did not feel able to do anything but know I must finish my editorial, however John Q. came and said I must go up. Annie’s birthday, and I had determined in my own mind to go any way. Went off at 1/2 past 2 train p.m. John Q. on the same train, I took her Lowell’s Poems, had no money to buy anything for her, almost the first time that I had been so pinched as not to be able to do some little thing. When we reached Annie’s Q. had upset a boiler of hot suds & was burned some, they had a scare but nothing serious had happened. The children were just delighted to see me and I had dinner with them. John Q. gave Annie a dress heavy goods the children slippers, gloves and silver pin tray– [p. 371] {p. 321}

8 December 1891 • Tuesday

I came home last night on a late train, and found the children all quite sick with colds, Elise especially. Today I have persevered with my work and went to the Hospital meeting– we had a pretty good attendance. I have not been able to accomplish much at the mailing as Dot chopped her finger making kindlings and can’t write much and Elise is sick and so on. Tonight I went with the children Em. & Eugene to the Post Office and after came up to Belle’s. Elise is sick in bed and Lucile is not much better. Dot off to the Opera practise. [p. 372] {p. 322}

9 December 1891 • Wednesday

The weather is disagreeable and the walking simply terrible. I am very weary and my spirits depressed beyond everything almost. I scarcely know how to keep up. May Davey is very ill and cannot come to work. Josie not very well and paper going on slowly Lots of people coming in but no copy scarcely, I am trying to write a story as there is no prospect of getting one and no poetry either suitable for the Christmas.3 Never known it to be so barren of something readable Every night I am just worn out simply. [p. 373] {p. 323}

10 December 1891 • Thursday

This is May [Wells Whitney]’s birthday went down to the bookstores and looked round at some of the things for Xmas gifts bought Poems of Passion and sent to Verona for a Birthday present. It is really too bad but I cannot even write her a letter. They expected me in Ogden today but I could not possibly go. Geo Q. and Jos. F. Smith both attended the Conference there Sisters Zina, Smith Horne & Taylor– [p. 374] {p. 324}

11 December 1891 • Friday

Verona will probably celebrate her birthday in some way. I hope she will enjoy it and that some blessed change may come into her life to make things more pleasant. I should be glad if she could see the truth but such false views as have been presented to her are hard to eradicate. Aunt Zina came home. The sociable in the 18th Ward was quite an enjoyable event, place was crowded Dot was helping the to serve the refreshments on the Committee. Lucile & Gene were both there, We came home together Joe [Joseph B.] Toronto with us– [p. 375] {p. 325}

12 December 1891 • Saturday

Aunt Zina Went to Tooele to attend the Sisters Conference there, I could not go though I had intended to but Belle’s not coming home hindered me from it. I must try another time [p. 376] {p. 326}

13 December 1891 • Sunday

Geo. Q. Cannon preached today, went up to Belle’s to dinner and back to the office [p. 377] {p. 327}

14 December 1891 • Monday

It has been a stormy day and I have been busy working also Dot for we expect Belle is in Ogden this morning, she will spend the day with Annie up there & Brent[.] Belle came home tonight– Charles Ellis the lecturer called in and kept me kind of late Came up found Zine here, and Belle & Brent soon came, she was quite tired, but opened her trunk and showed us her boa made of feathers a perfect beauty, she brought a box of grapes Sell [Selden I.] Clawson was here and staid awhile [p. 378] {p. 328}

15 December 1891 • Tuesday

Today we have been busy and Belle could not spare the girls, so we had to go on alone– ever so many hindrances and weather stormy & cold wet snow too Belle seems to have had a good time in San Francisco and enjoyed the time very much. It is such a comfort to have her come home and assume the responsibility of the house once again. Dot does not take upon herself much management. The children are all better when their mother is at the helm, the house is different [p. 379] {p. 329}

16 December 1891 • Wednesday

This is another stormy day in fact there are no pleasant ones scarcely as far as weather is concerned. Mrs. Salisbury and Mrs. Richards have called and we have talked over some World’s Fair Matters together. There are so many subjects that they want looked into and assistance rendered that one gets heaped up under the load and can scarcely extricate herself. It is not good to undertake so much as I have undertaken [p. 380] {p. 330}

17 December 1891 • Thursday

Annie came this morning, reached Belle’s before I had gone down town; she is <not> going to the farm. has only come down to get some things for Christmas, and brought only Eleanor with her. She made some purchases at the Juvenile and some at other places. Stayed over night. slept down stairs in Belle’s room and we had quite a pleasant evening together. Sep was at home and tended baby considerably [p. 381] {p. 331}

18 December 1891 • Friday

I went to the Presidents office this morning to see Jos. F. Smith & show him some manuscript, saw the new rooms of the old place that is they are renovated Geo. Q. was there & Jos. F. Pres. Woodruff is quite sick. In the afternoon went to the Sisters Relief Society Conference Br. Geo. Q. Cannon & Jos. F. Smith both spoke occupied most of the time. Mattie Horne <Tingey> was confined today with twins; a boy and a girl4 one weighing 8 & the other 9 lbs. [p. 382] {p. 332}

19 December 1891 • Saturday

Annie went back to Ogden today, only saw her for a few minutes as she called on her way to the depot in the carriage– It keeps on storming yesterday it rained such a cold drizzling freezing rain and wind as well but the wind seemed to harmonize perfectly with my disturbed feelings and to give some relief to the pent up-distress of mind I was experiencing. Dot is in the opera of Fatanitzia [Fatinitza] and enjoys the company I think, Lucile is in the Dyer Drill which is on the stage during the play. She had a new suit and looks well in it blue cloth white braid & brass buttons cap to match. it is very stylish. Children and young people nowadays have so much done for them. [p. 383] {p. 333}

20 December 1891 • Sunday

This is an awfully cold day and miserable wind– deep snow– and everything dismal and gloomy I came down home and tried to find some of my manuscript that had been put away unfinished and I wanted to prepare it for the press but could not succeed in finding it, did not go to meeting either, Elise brought me some dinner and helped me with some of the mailing We cleared up the dining room too and went up late to the house, the folks were in bed all except Sep and his mother. She is so worried and has so much care and anxiety that it seems unbearable and I feel it very heavily too as we mothers continue to do while we live; mothers never cease to feel for their children, and try to help bear their burdens. [p. 384] {p. 334}

21 December 1891 • Monday

My mother’s birthday.5 the longer I live, the more I feel that if she had only enjoyed the opportunities given women nowadays, she would have made a mark in the world, worthy of record in the annals of history. Snow fell again towards morning, we are having lots of snow in the mountains this year, and the abundance of it will give us irrigation water in quantity equal to the need next year. Heaven grant there be no scarcity of breadstuff. Louis Wells is 29 years old today entering his 30th year and no prospect of marriage. I have worked diligently today with the mailing and hope to get through all before Christmas, not much encouragement in the way of returns for work however. [p. 385] {p. 335}

22 December 1891 • Tuesday

Still plodding on a very unpleasant, day went out with Belle to look at some Christmas gifts, spoons etc. We were in several jeweler’s shops and made some purchases. Saw a few people that we knew but money is so scarce that people are not buying largely or extravagant presents. Sleighs and sleighriding, and bells jingling make things seem more lively than they really are, the winter is bright and gay in many respects I think but to one whose life is darkened with sorrow everything wears a sombre aspect and colors all around. My work is so dreadfully behind too that I cannot keep in good spirits– Mary Davey one of the typos has typhoid fever and has been away for weeks [p. 386] {p. 336}

23 December 1891 • Wednesday

Today I have been making final purchases and getting things for home folks, packages are all off now for Ogden, Wallace & Murray.6 All I could do to make happy the hearts of those I love[.] 21. in all I think Belle Mr. Sears and six children. Elise the Swiss girl makes 9– Mell Will and Daisie three Verona and Barry 2 and John Q. Anniee and 5 children 21– in all– I am very glad to have so many and would far rather have more and make little presents even two or three cents each just a remembrance. Generally at this time of year I do try to do something for someone not so well off as I am but this time I am doing nothing except for my own. [p. 387] {p. 337}

24 December 1891 • Thursday

A very cold day and I came home for a few minutes house cold and dismal. David [H.] Cannon invited me to go for a sleighride, he had a span of horses and long wagon-box on runners– enjoyed it very much tho’ the weather is very cold and air full of frost and snow. Annie came down with all her family, called & brought me Xmas gifts. fine Yager underwear <Annie>, silk shawl John Q. Diary Geo Q. Mittens Louise, stockings Daniel & Margaret, necktie, Eleanor Belle gave me a new dress, Dot Emmie pretty white ribbon, Verona stockings 6 pair 6 pocket handkerchiefs, flannel skirt, Daisie her picture Mell a flannel dress. Zine a smelling bottle; had dinner at Belle’s with all <the children> [p. 388] {p. 338}

25 December 1891 • Friday

This is Christmas and Belle Dot and myself stayed up until we could say “A Merrie Christmas” to each other the first time for seven years that we have been together on that day. I went down home for a short time and did a little mailing and warmed up the house a little and arranged one or two things but it was very cheerless and I went back to Belle’s and had dinner and stayed there for the evening as it was cold and cheerless outside and I preferred keeping in with Belle and the children to going out in the cold besides as we expected Mr. Sears next day I felt <to improve the time> [p. 389] {p. 339}

26 December 1891 • Saturday

This is St. Stephen’s day and the birthday of Sister Sarah Richards who is 89 years old. What a great age, the day is very cold, Annie came up from the farm and we all were at Belle’s Mr. S. came home today and was very much upset by the telegram that had been sent to him– My feelings were terribly hurt, it is very awkward to be in the way in any one’s house and I certainly shall not put myself in any one’s way to have my feelings hurt like that. During the day Dot had several fancy pictures taken with a Kodak [p. 390] {p. 340}

27 December 1891 • Sunday

May [Mary J.] Earl’s birthday 32– I stayed all day at home looking up on this and that and writing letters; finished Sister Lucy B. [Bigelow] Young’s biography7 Went up to Belles in the evening Annie was there and Mr. Sears had was at home Tom [Thomas W.] Sloan came to take Dots picture with his Kodak in several positions in her costume for the opera John Q. came after we had all had dinner and were over with it and up stairs again. Mr. Sears was seemingly pleased to have him come, the evening dragged considerably but I came up stairs and we had the children playing there until late– [p. 391] {p. 341}

28 December 1891 • Monday

The first news that reached me on coming to the office [p. 392] {p. 342}

30 December 1891 • Wednesday

To day I have felt dismal much more so than usual. I am not very well and expecting this evening to have to entertain the Club, which really depends almost entirely upon me. So few people know how to give pleasure to others, and few are even willing to try. C. [Charles] R. Savage presented me with a book Home Topics & Geo. Q. Cannon “Wonderland of the Wild West” by Com. Carlton. I feel no particular interest in either one. A terrific wind storm is raging with blinding snow. We held our meeting however and the evening passed off better than I had expected. John Q. came down– Belle is making Lucile’s red dress for Harley Jenning’s party. Mr. Peters came to take Miss Davis home and staid to have chocolate & refreshments– [p. 394] {p. 344}

31 December 1891 • Thursday

This morning I left Belle’s late, kissed them Good bye and came down to the office, Sister Horne & Sister Minerva Snow have both been in to see me and wish me a happy new year, Br. Richards and Emily have both been in and I was getting ready to go by the 2 o’clock train. I came with The Bus that called at the Templeton and brought Sister [Jane Snyder] Richards up ten books of Woman’s Council, found Annie very glad to see me and all the children too After dinner I went down town and bought a few little Christmas New Years presents for Annie & the children We sat up late talking and waited to see the New Year [p. 395] {p. 345}

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December 1891, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed July 18, 2024