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January 1892


EVENTS IN EMMELINE B. WELLS’S DIARY FOR 1892

25 January

Was asked to consider abandoning the Woman’s Exponent. The question was raised again on 30 March.

14–15 and 17 March

Planned and celebrated the Relief Society jubilee.

6 April

Saw the capstone laid on the Salt Lake Temple.

24–26 May

Attended National Editorial Association meetings in San Francisco.

10–11 October

Legally incorporated the National Woman’s Relief Society.

17 October

Organized a literary association called the Reapers’ Club.

3 November

Presided over the Salt Lake County World’s Fair mass meeting at the Salt Lake Theatre.

1 January 1892 • Friday

I came up last night to Annie [Elizabeth Ann Wells Cannon]’s in Ogden and we sat up together & wished each other a happy new year then remained up until about 2– got up very late breakfasted alone. Sister [Jane Snyder] Richards came over to see me. the day was very cold Lucile Sears & Claire [Clara] Clawson came up from Salt Lake and came direct to Annie’s. During the morning Maria Harvey called and the girls chatted merrily. I did not receive any New Year’s gift, tho’ I gave some trifles. We had plum pudding and roast beef with other luxuries for dinner. John Q. [Cannon] Annie and Geo. Q. [Cannon] went to the opera and I stayed with the children. Eleanor [Addy Cannon] was not well but was quite good with the girl. I put the other little ones to bed and heard their prayers. The opera was Fatonitiza [Fatinitza].

Dot [Seraph Isabel Sears] was with the company– [p. 1] {p. 42}

2 January 1892 • Saturday

This morning I had breakfast with the family as they were all late having gone to bed late the night before. Baby seemed better and the other children were pretty well. Geo. Q. [Cannon]1 Louise [Blanche Cannon] & Margaret [Cannon] went out coasting for a little while, and Annie and I talked over many things. A letter for Annie from Mell [Melvina Whitney Woods] came by the morning post. It seemed a trifle bright in the house. I stayed until after lunch then came in a Gurney2 to the 5 o’clock train. The air was rather damp, it has been thawing all afternoon. I came up home in the bus and found house cold and desolate. letters for me from Mell and others. Came on up to Belle [Isabella Whitney Sears]’s found all very gloomy, Belle particularly so. Sep [Septimus Wagstaff Sears]3 too. Dot fearful sore throat Em. [Emma Whitney Sears] the toothache [p. 2] {p. 43}

3 January 1892 • Sunday

This morning I came home to the old house made a fire in the parlor and wrote a while and then went to the Tabernacle Abram [H.] Cannon and John Morgan preached had a fine anthem “Hallelujah The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.” Came home and did a little more work and went up to Belle’s had dinner and did some writing in the evening. It was dismal and stormy and the wind roared fearfully snow fell heavily and all looked wintry and cold, the ice is thick and glaring. How hard I have tried to keep up with my work and my correspondence and not let things worry me [p. 3] {p. 44}

4 January 1892 • Monday

<This is Geo. Q’s birthday eleven years old> This morning at half past 8 left Belle’s for the Southern train to go to Provo and attend the Dedication of the Brigham Young Academy–4 At the depot met Aunt Zina [Diantha Huntington Young] & Br. & Sister [Richard K. and Carrie Stockdale] Thomas also Br. & Sister F. [Franklin] D. [and Jane Snyder] Richards We went into the Pullman Br. Thomas paying the extra charge for us. He was very polite and we had a pleasant ride, at the dedication Pres. [Wilford] Woodruff Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon & Jos. F. Smith were present. Pres. Cannon offered the dedicatory prayer Dr. [Karl G.] Maeser read his farewell address, because he was afraid to trust himself to speak extempore on account of his feelings. He was quite sentimental– An elegant repast was served in the Hall. [p. 4] {p. 45}

5 January 1892 • Tuesday

I bought a spoon (silver) for Geo. Q. and have had it engraved. I came home on the owl train last night from Provo Sterling Williams was on the same train we came up to the Templeton in the Bus and then walked the rest of the way home. It was an awfully cold night, and we were very late. Today we had a meeting here in my parlor of the Central Board of the Relief Society Sisters Young, Richards, Kimball, Smith, Pratt Horne5 and myself, to talk about celebrating the Anniversary of the Relief Society after fifty years. This morning we had a Woman Suffrage meeting at Sarah M. Kimball’s where we considered quite a number of questions [p. 5] {p. 46}

6 January 1892 • Wednesday

This is Budd [Horace G. Whitney]’s birthday Sam [Thomas Samuel] Browning called at Belle’s. Mary Jane [Whitney Groo] came as I was going out and told me of a telegram stating that [Erastus] Whitney Hall had died at Seattle and asking what should be done with body– I went to the Telegraph & R.R. offices & finally at evening after consulting Ort [Orson F. Whitney] again we decided to put it into the hands of an undertaker Jos. Wm. Taylor. I could not rest in my own rooms for thinking of him & how his mother [Anna Maria Whitney Hall] idolized him in babyhood– and she seemed to be near me and all the time, so sad– What a B[b]elle6 she was in other days– [p. 6] {p. 47}

7 January 1892 • Thursday

This is Fast day and the first one in the year I went to the Fast meeting and sat there alone. I spoke a few minutes upon obedience and charity– Ort made some original remarks about trials being sanctified to us even if we were not patient. Called at Hannah [Free Wells]’s after services saw Abbie [Wells Young] but after having spoken and considered my call long short enough hurried home as I knew my work needed me. Dot went to the party in the 18th Ward dressed in white took Vic [Victor P.] Wells Leap Year party an aristocratic affair, gay dresses and happy hearts. I was busy with my writing– Belle was restless and we were both thinking of Whitney Hall & the sad news– [p. 7] {p. 48}

8 January 1892 • Friday

wea.7 cold

This [Eugene] Ray Hall’s birthday sad indeed to have such sorrow and he so young 17 today. It may be a good lesson to him though a sad experience– Meeting here in the parlor to consider the celebration of the organization of the Relief Society after fifty years of labor– & to prepare a letter of greeting and circular to be sent to all the branches outside in the United States & other countries as well as the islands of the sea– present Zina D. H. Young Bathsheba W. [Bigler] Smith Sarah M. [Granger] Kimball & Romania B. [Bunnell] Pratt besides myself. Apostle John W. Taylor called upon me today and also Zina [Young] Card, Mary A. [Price] Hyde Mary Jane Groo & others Elizabeth [Jardine] McFarlane <Dot went to 17th Ward party & took Charlie [Charles H.] Wells> [p. 8] {p. 49}

9 January 1892 • Saturday

wea. cold & snow

This is always a busy day and today especially so– I have tried to do so many things, and have not half finished them. Went & fetched the spoon for Geo. Q’s birthday (silver) and Belle’s too her Christmas gift, and paid some bills etc. Dr. [Elvira Stevens] Barney has been in saw Mary Jane no news from Whitney Hall. Wrote some letters etc. I am greatly behind with my work cannot hold out my strength gives way. I am so anxious to do but cannot on account of means or facilities proper. I am reading considerably of late and I have written a great deal during this winter. I am very desirous of going to Washington missed the opportunity to go to Boston [p. 9] {p. 50}

10 January 1892 • Sunday

I fully intended to go to the Tabernacle today, but tried to rest this morning and recuperate all I could coming down met Mary Jane and Vilate Groo [Taylor], told me Whitney Hall’s body had arrived and the funeral would be held tomorrow. I came home and commenced addressing envelopes and sending out New Year’s cards & greetings. Wrote some letters & prepared editorial matter. Went up late almost froze on the Way. Ursula [Mary Ursulia Pomeroy] Kimball died yesterday her mother Mrs. [Sarah Colburn] Pomeroy has been sent for to Arizona She will be kept until her mother arrives & the funeral will be in the 18th Ward chapel– She leaves five children the last twins8 [p. 10] {p. 51}

11 January 1892 • Monday

This morning made every arrangement possible to have time for going to Whitney Hall’s funeral Wanted to go with International Press Club9 to the Gas Wells. but did not get back from the grave soon enough– This is Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon’s birthday he is 65 years old today he went to the banquet at the Knutsford Hotel in the evening and made a speech, I went to Jos. [S.] Hyde’s to a dinner party in honor of Sister Mary Ann Hyde Aunt Zina was there and Sister [Laura Hyde] Miner & daughter & quite a number of other ladies we had a little meeting, Sister Hyde spoke in tongues & sister Zina interpreted. [p. 11] {p. 52}

12 January 1892 • Tuesday

Called on Mrs. [Margaret Blaine] Salisbury today, rode up in a sleigh with Dr. [Ellis Reynolds] Shipp met Mrs. L. E. [Delia Bulkley] Holden, Mrs. [Eliza Atkison] Kirkpatrick Mrs. Walker and several others,10 came home and did some work, then went up to Belle’s– am reading Hypatia by Sir Charles Kingsley, a very fine book, and one of the most interesting but sort of bewildering, it does well enough to read for a change entirely different to general novels. I see by the papers his wife died recently though he has been dead some years– [p. 12] {p. 53}

13 January 1892 • Wednesday

Sister [Julia Ivins] Mc’Donald leaves for Mexico today and expects to sell her property there, Made every preparation for Mrs. Salisbury, had Dot here though she had rheumatism. I delayed my own work very much on account of her coming and finally she sent to say she had been prevented from keeping the promise In the evening I worked as long as I possibly could until I was thoroughly exhausted, have had invitation to attend the reception at the [Hotel] Pleasanton in San Francisco tendered the <Ladies of the Press> [p. 13] {p. 54}

14 January 1892 • Thursday

Dr. Barney is much exercised over suffrage affairs and anxious to get committees in all the wards. the Jubilee affair is on hand and we have been discussing that more or less all the time Aunt Zina has given me some idea what she proposes to do and to advise and we have to meet again & consider the matter more carefully– so much that requires consideration & the sisters are all so busy and they scarcely know just what will be for the best– Sister Zina is not well, seems very weak and shows the effect of her declining years and the weight of her responsibilities. she cannot throw it off– [p. 14] {p. 55}

15 January 1892 • Friday

Attended meeting in 11th Ward today Mary A. [Mary Ann Burnham] Freeze presiding as Chairman. I spoke about 25 minutes on the subject of Woman Suffrage. We had quite a good meeting and enjoyed it very much we need some awakening on this matter– Lillie [Lelia Tuckett] Freeze made a very interesting speech of about fifteen minutes.

It is six years today since Dessie [Martha Deseret] Wells Read died, and it brings back many reflections. Her little daughter Mimmie [Emily Read] is in San Francisco with her father [Charles Read] & step mother– she is at school– how things have changed in our family all moved here & there that are living and many gone behind the vail [p. 15] {p. 56}

16 January 1892 • Saturday

Hurried down to the Office to catch the first comer– lest my brooch should be stepped on found it safe in the box with my necktie and ribbons, Had to wait for 1.15 in the depot for train (late) went off to Ogden and had lots of time to visit and help with the children– baby so sweet– had such a good time with them all– Annie is too much alone I think, has no companions of her own age and with the same cultivation. Her life is very different to what we had anticipated in days gone by. I hope sincerely that she may come back to the city among those of her own family– [p. 16] {p. 57}

17 January 1892 • Sunday

Mary Jane’s birthday Abram came to Ogden this morning and brought two of Mina [Wilhelmina Mousley Cannon]’s children, Claude [Q. Cannon] & Della [Wilhelmina Ardella Cannon], they stayed in with the children while he attended the Conference in the Tabernacle. We had quite a pleasant day and felt the better for it. He was most agreeable and seemed interested in everything concerning the family. Hurried off to the six o’clock train and we had the evening to ourselves and enjoyed it very much– talking of all the pleasant things in which we are mutually interested books and questions of the day. Matters general, political & so on– also family affairs and the children– [p. 17] {p. 58}

18 January 1892 • Monday

Came down on early morning train. yesterday was Br. [Joseph] Horne’s birthday, and today they will celebrate it. He is 80 years old– a very fine old gentleman and honorable and upright– kept very busy all day and dressed in my black silk velvet & went to the party in the evening– weather very cold in deed– Pres. Woodruff and wife Emma [Smith Woodruff], Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon & Sarah Jane [Jenne], Pres. Angus M. Cannon & Amanda [Mousley Cannon] Pres. Jos. E. Taylor & Lissa [Lisadore Williams Taylor]– Bishop O. F. Whitney & Zine [Zina Smoot Whitney] Br. [Edward] & Sister [Elizabeth Du Fresne] Stevensen, Sister [Elizabeth Anderson] Howard and about 75. Horne’s[,] Bathsheba W. Smith & Aunt Zina– delicious refreshments, and music etc. speeches– I was one called upon– of the sisters [p. 18] {p. 59}

19 January 1892 • Tuesday

<Talula [Charlotte Talulah Young Wood] is very ill, went over & heard particulars– critical case> How strange it seems in view of the past when I was just buried as it were in oblivion that I should ever speak in a public assembly, before the President of the Church– many changes have taken place in the condition of women in this place in public and in private. yesterday’s doings are given today in the Des. News. I helped Jos. [S.] Horne Bishop of Richfield to prepare them. Pres. Woodruff’s remarks were excellent. Br. Horne responded creditably and Sister Horne addressed the young people in a very suitable manner reminding them of the early pioneer life of their parents and grand-parents and urging them to duty [p. 19] {p. 60}

20 January 1892 • Wednesday

<Talula Young Wood died today such a sad death–> So much is transpiring in the affairs of this people it seems almost incredible. The national parties are holding meetings and making preparations for the coming election, which is close at hand now. The Liberals are opposing the people and using their old political dodges to outwit the real bona fide citizens. Heber Wells has been nominated by the Republican party for Mayor and he is very popular; the Liberals have picked on [Robert N.] Baskin11 & he is the most obnoxious to old settlers of any one I think. Aunt Presendia [Huntington Kimball] is very ill and Aunt Zina has gone to stay until she is better she has erysipelas– [p. 20] {p. 61}

21 January 1892 • Thursday

Another stormy day and very dismal. Dr. Barney still quite excited over the Suffrage and planning meetings– etc.12 I have had so much work and such a time to keep things going– Dot is not well and not able to help much and Mary [Davey]13 has not come back, there are so many balls & parties and such a lot of different amusements that it keeps the young people stirred up all the time. Fanny Young [Thatcher] died this morning, both lying dead at one time. Wrote notice of Talula’s death for the Herald–14 went over and saw her in the coffin tonight– tomorrow is to be the funeral– have ordered flowers for Belle Annie & myself– [p. 21] {p. 62}

22 January 1892 • Friday

Today is the funeral of the dear sweet Talula– Annie came down to go John Q. too Sep & Belle and myself Ort Whitney was the speaker– it was in the old home where her mother [Clara Decker Young]’s funeral had been and where so many happy events had transpired. How sad and solemn it all seems, such a short time to be a bride, five months only– and then to die. the Quartette of young men rendered such sweet pathetic music, “When the swallows homeward fly” was one of their pieces We went to the grave and saw the poor little creature so fine & dainty lowered into the cold frozen ground– and so she has gone & mine who loved her so– [p. 22] {p. 63}

23 January 1892 • Saturday

<Went to Fanny Thatcher’s funeral> I made every exertion to get to Ogden so as to be with Annie & baby Eleanor on her birthday worked all day the best I could and had so many hindrances of one kind and another but finally took the six o’clock train John Q. was also on that train and when I got to Ogden took a cab or gurney and went to a jeweler’s and bought a silver spoon for baby. found Annie all right– and we had a pleasant evening & enjoyed ourselves, Olive [Browning] Wallace came over too Annie always has so many interesting things to tell me about the children & herself. time flies swiftly [p. 23] {p. 64}

24 January 1892 • Sunday

wea. fine

Eleanor’s birthday, she is such a cute little thing– does not walk yet but is very forward in other ways– weather simply terrible– could not scarcely stand the cold– yet had excellent fires all day long– fine dinner, and baby lots of presents– how well I remember the day when Sidney W. Sears was born– such a miserable time how all things have changed since then– dear little fellow– never did seem well– Will [William W. Woods]’s birthday too– I wonder how they are keeping it up there– with some eclat I guess. In the evening we had candy, pop corn and ice cream & cake– it was an elaborate supper & we spent a pleasant evening– [p. 24] {p. 65}

25 January 1892 • Monday

wea. dismal

This is quite a memorable day for me– the morning I came down from Ogden and during the day worked very hard and tried to pass off the dreariness of the weather and also the feeling of gloom that seemed more than usual perhaps on account of the two sad deaths that had just taken place. Angus Cannon came in to talk to me seriously about the paper’s finances. It was most embarrassing and perplexing– I bore it as well as I could– he advised me to give it up– unless the sisters would sustain it better– but to me that seems terrible– the brethren Geo. Q. & Jos. F. had decided to pay off the in debtedness to the News. [p. 25] {p. 66}

26 January 1892 • Tuesday

wea. fine

Today is Sep [Septimus Whitney Sears]’s birthday and I went up to the Office this morning to see Geo. Q. Cannon about the paper– I had some talk with him– he understands me much better than his brother– I believe– However I soon told him that while I could work I did not propose to have my living from the Church– he seemed to feel very kindly disposed– but, I do not know how much any of them will really do when it comes to actual help– Went up to dinner in time as Belle had made a point of having dinner on time and very nice dinner it was indeed. I gave him a gold pen and he had several other presents [p. 26] {p. 67}

27 January 1892 • Wednesday

wea. snow & sleet

The storm keeps up, snow and sleet and such bad roads. Aunt Presendia is very ill– not much hope of her recovery, Jos. [S. Kimball] her son has come down from Bear Lake and is staying there with her, so is Aunt Zina regularly and several of the sisters all anxiously hoping & praying for her recovery. her son George [Buell] has been sent for to come from the East. She is a woman of mighty faith in the Lord and in his ordinances, perhaps her time is near at hand. I went in to see Angus this morning Jos. E. [Taylor] was there and I did not like to say very much but gave a few of my views on the subject– [p. 27] {p. 68}

28 January 1892 • Thursday

Sister Richards came down and urged me to go to Aunt Presendia’s with her, the day is awful but I started out and we missed each other, after waiting round I rode down with Hiram Clawson– found Aunt Presendia very low indeed. Some of the sisters had great faith for her recovery and others quite lost courage– Aunt Zina never leaves her at all. Sister Mary Grey [Mary Russell Gray], Maggie [Margaret Mitchell] Caine, Julia Hove [Julia Cruse Howe], Laura [Cravath] Pack and several others were there doing all in their power. Angus came while I was there– She knew me and seemed cheerful, thought she would soon be better and was quite composed in her feelings. [p. 28] {p. 69}

29 January 1892 • Friday

My mind has been very greatly exercised and I have had very little sleep and am not fit for my work but must persevere whatever comes along. Have had so many discouragements and the weather is particularly gloomy. John Q. is down every day working on the history,15 and so I hear regularly from Annie & the children which seems quite a blessing. She must be thoroughly tired of being up there now that he is here every day. I hope it will result in something better for him and more advantageously financially, how strangely things are distributed in this world of ours,– [p. 29] {p. 70}

30 January 1892 • Saturday

wea. snow

<Press meeting at Sister [Ruth May] Fox 14th Ward> Sister Presendia is much worse and there seems little hope of her recovery. I have nearly all the circulars sent out and letters written to a number of people who needed explanations. I am finishing work on the paper and it is now ready for the press. Always so much to be done and my thoughts go flying so fast and my pen cannot keep pace try as I will. I do try to do good to all, the damp weather has given me a pain in my back and I cannot half do what I have set my heart upon for myself or others but only keep on trying [p. 30] {p. 71}

31 January 1892 • Sunday

wea. cold

Today I went to the Tabernacle and heard two young missionaries who had just come from the islands, one spoke in <the> Maori’s language & then interpreted– young Orson Romney– the house was very cold and the day a dismal one altogether, in the evening I wrote some letters and prepared copy– I have been thinking a great deal about last evening the way Mrs. [Susa Young] Gates conducted herself and the informality of the whole evening at Mrs. Ruth M. Fox’s residence I want to accomplish some good in the way of improvement in the Press Club– if not there is no use in coming together16 [p. 31] {p. 72}

Footnotes

  1. [1]This is the son of Annie Wells Cannon and a grandson of church leader George Q. Cannon.

  2. [2]A horse-drawn cab.

  3. [3]In her diaries, EBW writes “Sep” in reference to both Septimus Wagstaff Sears (1844–1903), her son-in-law, and Septimus Whitney Sears (1874–1922), her grandson.

  4. [4]The Brigham Young Academy Building was dedicated on 4 January 1892. (Wilkinson and Skousen, Brigham Young University, 118–120.)

  5. [5]Central Relief Society board members in January 1892 were president Zina D. H. Young, counselors Jane S. Richards and Bathsheba W. Smith, secretary Sarah M. Kimball, assistant secretary Romania B. Pratt (Penrose), corresponding secretary Emmeline B. Wells, and treasurer Mary Isabella Horne. (Centenary of Relief Society, 23.)

  6. [6]text: The original manuscript shows an editorial stroke through the capital B, indicating a change to lower case.

  7. [7]text: The “wea.” [Weather] entries are preprinted in the diary.

  8. [8]Surviving children were Solomon F. Kimball, Helen Mar Kimball, Heber Chase Kimball, Zula Vilate Kimball, and Murray Kimball.

  9. [9]The Utah Woman’s Press Club was established 31 October 1891 in the office of the Woman’s Exponent. (Juie [Julia] I. McDonald, “Woman’s Press Club Organized,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Nov. 1891, 20:77.)

  10. [10]This meeting of community leaders was held to plan Utah’s participation in the Columbian Exposition.

  11. [11]Baskin, Reminiscences of Early Utah, 23–24, 28–31.

  12. [12]“Editorial Notes,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Jan. and 1 Feb. 1892, 20:108–109.

  13. [13]Mary Davey, the typographer, was sick with typhoid fever, according to EBW. (Diary, 22 Dec. 1891.)

  14. [14]In addition to the notice for the Salt Lake Herald, EBW also wrote a combined tribute to Talula Young Wood and Fanny Young Thatcher for the Woman’s Exponent. (“Two Sad Deaths,” Salt Lake Herald, 22 Jan. 1892, 8; “In Memoriam,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Jan. and 1 Feb. 1892, 20:109.)

  15. [15]John Q. Cannon was involved with the printing of Orson F. Whitney’s History of Utah. (See EBW, Diary, 2 May 1892.)

  16. [16]E. R. Shipp, “Utah W. P. Club,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 Feb. 1892, 20:117–118.