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May 1892


1 May 1892 • Sunday

This <day> has been set apart to fast and pray and beseech the Lord and offer up praise and thanksgiving for blessings vouchsafed to us, and to pay a free will offering towards completing the Salt Lake Temple in this City– I went up and I sat beside Aunt Zina and Sterling Williams. Bishop Whitney spoke a while about temples mentioning three projected in Missouri & those that had been built. John Nicholson, James [Wright] Saville, B. [Brigham] S. Young, Robert Patrick Wm. Barton and others spoke Mrs. Kirby and some one in tongues Aunt Zina interpreted and afterwards bore testimony. I had dinner at Belle’s nice dinner and afterwards came home wrote to Mrs. Sewall in reference to the International Council [p. 122] {p. 152} and then went up to the evening meeting in the ward wrote to Mrs. [Sarah Ann Sweetland] Rawle at Morgan.–

2 May 1892 • Monday

This morning May 2– did not feel well, dismal day– Ort came early wanted to talk with me about John Q. and the History of Utah, so many callers. Wrote to Mell in San Francisco, also to Mrs. Woodhouse, Almy [Wyoming] Mrs. Minna V. Lewis San Fran–1 Mrs. Armstrong Ephraim, Mrs. Nielsen Hyrum and others one to Mrs. Colby Washington ordering Woman’s Tribune2 for Mell to be sent to Idaho and one to the author of Songs of Sappho3 with price of subscription. Belle gave a dollar towards the Temple today– Sep. came in and was talking of how he would like to give to the Temple. Lucile & Emma have both been in. I am very weary tonight and it rains & rains– [p. 123] {p. 153}

3 May 1892 • Tuesday

This morning another dark one cold and damp– postal from Mell saying all well and later a telegram announcing a big fine boy,4 I rejoiced. All doing well, have had several calls from ladies, Lizzie Felt invited me to a Surprise on Louise [Bolton Felt] Thursday– Must see after some one to go to Coalville and to Morgan to Sisters Conferences. Sister Smith’s birthday she is Seventy years old party at her grand-daughters for her. Pres. Woodruff and wife Pres. Cannon & Eliza [Tenney Cannon] Joseph F. & Julina [Lambson Smith] and Bishop Preston and others were there & had a nice visit– [p. 124] {p. 154}

4 May 1892 • Wednesday

It stormed heavily when we came home last night and I scarcely knew how to get safely in, but went to bed & read until two A.M. This morning Aunt Zina came and we went up to Sister Horne’s together on business. lunched at Belle’s and wrote to Sister Richards and to Verona, Miss Brown came to see me and several other ladies. It has been a windy dark miserable day and tonight is worse still raining heavily, and cold. I was invited to 8th & 19th Ward Relief Society Annual Meetings but could not attend either because of mailing. Wrote to Aunt Zina & sent Mrs. [Mary Wride] John’s letter lest I should not see her soon enough Lucile is ill with poison oak [p. 125] {p. 155}

5 May 1892 • Thursday

All day mailing and doing errands. Lots of visitors local & a Presbyterian minister, who stayed and talked sometime about religion. Had many unpleasant things come along, and went out on several errands some of them not very agreeable. Went to the 11th, ward in the evening to a party in honor of Louie Felt’s birthday, quite a large gathering. Several speeches were made one by Pres. Jos. E. Taylor and one by Br. Penrose– songs were sung and recitations given, & of the ladies who spoke there were Lillie Freeze & E. B. Wells and R. B. Pratt– the singing by Louie [Louise E.] Felt the daughter was good, and playing pretty fair. Stayed until very late [p. 126] {p. 156}

6 May 1892 • Friday

Yesterday evening was a pleasant remembrance, as I felt specially impressed to speak of plural marriage and it was well received. Louie Felt was 40 years old on that day. She has never had children of her own.

At one o’clock today we had a meeting of the Committee on the Book of the Jubilee and Relief Society work. Sisters Zina, Horne, Kimball, [Augusta Joyce] Crocheron and myself were all that were present we discussed ways and means for defraying expenses. I proposed that letters be sent to each Relief Society asking them to subscribe money for one book to pay the first installment on the printing & to individuals likely to take one book. [p. 127] {p. 157}

7 May 1892 • Saturday

I scarcely know how one can manage to get through their work who has so many hindrances. I am pretty sure now of going to the National Editorial Convention5 & yet I do not like to say so lest I disappoint my girls. There are many letters to be answered and questions to be answered both from strangers and our own sisters. I want very much to attend the meetings in the 14th. Ward but seem to be hindered invariably. The weather is getting somewhat oppressive, but the air is sweet with honeysuckle and other varieties of fragrance and the city is beautiful everywhere [p. 128] {p. 158}

8 May 1892 • Sunday

This is one of the days I remember in the long ago when Jethro [Whitney] was born in Winter Quarters in 1848 just before we started on our journey to the Valley from that place. It is also Mary Ann [Needham] Sears birthday she was born on the same day I believe as Jethro but in Florence or Kanesville [Iowa]. I have not been very well and scarcely able to keep up but came up to Ogden on an afternoon train, so as to talk over some matters with Annie– she is not well herself and it is very hard for her to be up here and John Q. always in the City leaving her all the responsibility of the household [p. 129] {p. 159}

10 May 1892 • Tuesday

Today May [Mary Whitney] Wells had a son6 born, she suffered a great deal, child was taken with instruments and her own life in great danger– Mary Emma Grunehan [?]– was the physician and she managed it without calling for help– Ort could not be there and it was very hard for them all her Aunt Susan nursed while Lydia Ann her mother attended to outside duties– Kate is busy with her painting but does whatever else she can to make things pleasant. [p. 131] {p. 160}

13 May 1892 • Friday

This is an anniversary of an unpleasant kind and yet one that produced a good effect in reconciling matters or at least in adjusting them7 President Wells was here on that memorable day four years ago and it was on Sunday and we had some conversation and some company and it all passed off satisfactory. Some memories were revived and touched upon that gave me the heart-ache but it was not so bad as one might have thought it would be after all. It is all right now and we must let the dead past bury its dead and we must try to forget all that is disagreeable and look on the bright side of life if possible– [p. 134] {p. 161}

16 May 1892 • Monday

This is one of the saddest of all the days of the year. An Anniversary8 that can never be anything but sad in the extreme it has been gloomy weather too and I could not go to the cemetery as I wished and determined to do. I left Annie’s this morning hoping to get some flowers and go alone where my beloved dead lie in the silent tomb– but one thing crowds upon another and life seems so full of work there is no time for meditation even. whatever I do always seems to be hurriedly performed, and therefore seldom any thing but satisfactory. I have Belle near me to be a comfort and she does everything in her power to help make my life more easy. [p. 137] {p. 162}

17 May 1892 • Tuesday

This morning Annie came down and we went to Belle’s together and had lunch and then to the graveyard and wandered up and down. We found the flowers Belle had taken up the day before, but we had none to scatter ourselves for I had no money, Annie gathered some of those pale violet-hued wild flowers & as we went from grave to grave of our dear departed ones she strewed them here and there in sweet remembrance O, how my heart aches to think I can never do more for them– we looked at the designs for headstones & then after coming down town went to the stone-cutter’s and selected some designs we thought suitable and Annie had to go and I was indeed weary and lonely– [p. 138] {p. 163}

18 May 1892 • Wednesday

Today I have been busy very busy. Went with John Q. this morning and we chose a pretty Italian marble scroll for our dearly beloved Louie– It is the last we can do for her except to go and carry flowers as our heart’s best tribute of love and memory– I have been doing a little of everything almost to make ready and tonight went down to see Emeline [Young Wells] & Lyde [Eliza Free Wells] & Cal [Clara Wells Hedges]– and the children They are quite comfortably situated and seem pretty well contented, it was very late when I came home and I was so tired out and worried that it was almost more than my physical strength could endure. How strange it seems that they should be so far away [p. 139] {p. 164}

19 May 1892 • Thursday

Worked all morning to get off by afternoon train to Ogden. Went up to the President’s Office and saw Pres. Woodruff and Geo. Q. Cannon & was set apart by Pres. Cannon F. D. Richards and Abram H. Cannon Geo. Q. being mouth in speaking, the blessing was very satisfactory and I felt much gratified with it. I had not been very well Belle went to the funeral of Mary Ann Sprague Maxwell and I did not see her to say Good-bye, went by 5 o’clock train, John Q. was with, bought my ticket in Ogden and went direct to Annie & stayed until train time. John Q. went with me to the midnight train. [p. 140] {p. 165}

20 May 1892 • Friday

Slept miserable, paid half for section and had upper berth which I did not like. Sister Kimball is very well, better than I am I do believe. We went in dining car to breakfast Mr. Barnett was with us.

It has been a miserable day dusty and hot and almost unbearable. Mr. Barnett has been very attentive and we amused ourselves by eating and chatting with him and with each other; the towns in Nevada along the line are not interesting at all and Indians are about the only curiosity and to us who are familiar with them it is not an inspiring thing. I have many thoughts of how I shall be received when I get to the Convention [p. 141] {p. 166}

21 May 1892 • Saturday

Arrived early, went direct to Barry [N. Hillard] & Verona [Dunford Hillard] at 706. Van Ness Ave. San Francisco & found them all right, Verona sitting up in bed trying to do her hair and pale as a ghost, big bouncing boy, looks a month old– Barry very proud of him indeed: they had expected me by the evening train, but it was all right any way and I soon had breakfast & felt perfectly at home with them all. So many things to talk over and finally I decided to go down town and look around. Of course I had to go alone and found places all right the streets very full and all similar to when I had been here before– just five years ago this very day I arrived in Salt Lake from this city, it did seem strange & was [p. 142] {p. 167} food for thought.

22 May 1892 • Sunday

I stayed at home all day with Verona, we had dinner sent in from the Boarding House on the Avenue where the family had been boarding during their sojourn in the City, and afterwards I dressed and went out to look up some of the Pacific Coast Press ladies and see, how they expected to manage the convention affairs. I easily found Miss Minna H. [V.] Lewis whose letters to me after Mrs. [Emilie Swett] Parkhurst’s death9 had been very pleasing to me– she was very sweet and lovely to me and I thoroughly enjoyed her company. Her room is a dear little quiet place and she graces it well– her praise of Mrs. Parkhurst amounts to adulation, a gentleman [p. 143] {p. 168} friend of hers came in Mr. [George T.] Gaden to whom I was introduced. She invited me to dine with her the following day– and to go to a Reception of the W.C.T.U.10 in the evening in the honor of Mary Allen West.11

23 May 1892 • Monday

I wrote some letters and visited with Verona and baby and made ready in the evening and went to the reception. Barry had given me the most exquisite bouquet of moss roses and I wore them, they were greatly admired– I met Mr. Gaden at this reception whom I met at Miss Lewis room the evening before– Mr. & Mrs. Amos of Ohio and many more– quite a number of speeches were made & refreshments were served and finally the affair was over. Miss Lewis & Mr. Gaden accompanied me home [p. 144] {p. 169}

24 May 1892 • Tuesday

Went down to the pier to see the boat off but did not feel equal to going with such a crowd. When the military firing took place one of the artillry men named Wells had his hand shot off walked back with Miss Cora Stockham and went in to the Palace Hotel– and up to Ike [Isaac] Trumbo’s <office> At 2 o’clock went to Dr. [Frederick W.] D.’Evelyn’s and with a party of the ladies to Dr. Alice B. Stockham’s reception at the Palace Hotel12 met Mrs. Heron there of Chicago13 and heard her talk of the newspaper women in that city– Saw many of the Kindergarten workers of San Francisco and was introduced to Mrs. Sarah Wilder Pratt14 a woman of considerable celebrity in the work of reform Christian science etc. [p. 145] {p. 170}

25 May 1892 • Wednesday

Very ill all day long, did not dare try to get up or dress myself at all, I seemed quite worn out and exhausted with the vomiting and exertion altogether Verrona’s nurse Miss Wollertson waited upon me and was very kind. I regretted so much that I could not attend the Convention it did seem such a strange thing for me to be so very ill. The room was almost given up to me and I slept considerably which revived me very much indeed and towards evening I began to feel like myself– slept well in the dusk and reflected on the philosophy of life and its ups and downs. I was so anxious to be at the Convention and could not leave my bed at all possibly [p. 146] {p. 171}

26 May 1892 • Thursday

Never lifted my head from the pillow yesterday– but this morning after a night’s rest dressed and went down to the Convention and took my accustomed place with the P.C.W.P.A.15 lady delegates– they seemed specially glad to see me, and very kind– such a hurrah as the men were making was something unusual for me, the shouting cheering & applauding were terrific in the extreme– voting for officers and arranging transportation was the principal business and the confusion was more than one wanted to hear– finally an adjournment for dinner was announced and we repaired to the Occidental Hotel where some of the ladies of the party were to meet others informally [p. 147] {p. 172}

27 May 1892 • Friday

Convention adjourned yesterday afternoon about 5. p.m. it did seem that it would be impossible to get through [p. 148] {p. 173}

28 May 1892 • Saturday

This is a day to visit with Verona and baby for I shall not have much more opportunity to do so– I have been down town & bought one or two books for her and Barry it will be all I can do for them– gave Barry Longfellow’s Poems & Verona Victor Hugo– it is all I can do at present some time I may do more– [p. 149] {p. 174}

29 May 1892 • Sunday

This moning went to the Congregational Church with Miss Lewis who came and called for me and heard part of a sermon nothing edifying, the subject was the excellence of attainment, the example of the Savior. After the services Mrs. Sarah B. Cooper,16 the Kindergarten woman– gave her lesson to a Bible Class of men and women, the subject was Nebuchednezzar’s dream and Daniel’s interpretation of it. I could scarcely listen to what seemed to me to be the most incorrect views I ever heard expressed without giving my opinion, but it would not have answered– went into the Sunday School, heard some remarks about Mexico, then home with Miss Lewis had a very interesting talk with her about Mrs. Parkhurst– [p. 150] {p. 175}

30 May 1892 • Monday

This morning we had a fine early cup of tea and left about 9 o’clock in a double seated carriage and span of fine horses to drive to the Cliff House, the air was lovely and the perfume of the flowers and hedges filled the air with sweetness, all nature seemed to have donned her loveliest garments, and the air was delicious to the senses– We had a nice ride and an appetizing breakfast of fish broiled chicken & other dainties, then bought some shells and took in the ocean view, the wonderful– marvelous waves as they rose and fell– never shall I forget the Pacific, then drove to the Presidio, a charming drive– in the evening to the Reception at Mrs. [Nellie Blessing] Eyester’s17 met many literary ladies [p. 151] {p. 176}

31 May 1892 • Tuesday

This morning early Farley Granger called on me to say his aunt [Sarah Granger Kimball] who came from S.L. City with me would be ready to go, on the six o’clock boat for the night train going east. I had promised to go with Mrs. A. [Amelia] R. Hillard to the Cemetery of Mt. Calvary where dear little Helen Louise [Hillard] was buried and we left about ½ past ten the day was warm and the dust unpleasant but we reached there & found the grave (quiet and fresh everything seemed; the little lamb at the foot of the grave was very suggestive, and was made in imitation of a toy lamb with which she had played up to the time of her death almost. We lunched after returning at the Palace and then went to St. Mary’s Hospital to see Lucy [Stringham] Grant, then home and dined with Verona & packed off to the boat bidding Verona and baby good bye– not knowin <when or, where we may ever meet again> [p. 152] {p. 177}

Footnotes

  1. [1]Miss Minna V. Lewis was a member of the Pacific Coast Woman’s Press Association. EBW corresponded with her frequently in 1892. (“The Men and Women We Met,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 June 1892, 20:180–181; EBW, Diary, 22 May 1892; 26 June and 21 July 1892; 25 and 27 Aug. 1892.)

  2. [2]Clara Bewick Colby (1846–1916) edited the Woman’s Tribune, a suffrage newspaper, beginning in 1883 in Nebraska. She later moved the paper to Washington, DC, and then to Portland, Oregon, where she discontinued publication in 1909. (“The Woman’s Tribune,” Ann Lewis Women’s Suffrage Collection; “Clara Bewick Colby,” Wisconsin Women Making History.)

  3. [3]James S. Easby-Smith, Songs of Sappho.

  4. [4]Robert C. Hillard.

  5. [5]The convention of the National Editorial Association, which included both men and women journalists, met in San Francisco, California, 23–26 May 1892. (EBW, Diary, 23 and 27 May 1892; “In and about San Francisco,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 June 1892, 20:172.)

  6. [6]Murray W. Whitney.

  7. [7]John Q. Cannon divorced Annie Wells in September 1886 and immediately married Louise Wells. She gave birth to a stillborn child the next spring and died on 16 May 1887. Annie Wells and John Q. Cannon were resealed to each other in the Endowment House by Daniel H. Wells on 13 May 1888. (See Madsen, Intimate History, 233–258.)

  8. [8]Anniversary of the 1887 death of Louie Wells. (See EBW, Diary, 16 May 1887.)

  9. [9]For an account of Parkhurst’s memorial services in San Francisco, see Alma Alden, “In Memoriam,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 May 1892, 20:163.

  10. [10]Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

  11. [11]Mary Allen West was editor in chief of the Union Signal, the official publication of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.). (Burt, Women’s Press Organizations, 76.)

  12. [12]“Men and Women We Met in San Francisco,” Woman’s Exponent, 15 June 1892, 20:180.

  13. [13]Perhaps Agnes Heren of Chicago. (1880 U.S. Census, Chicago, 565C.)

  14. [14]Sarah Wilder Pratt, a member of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association, was a poet and author of children’s books. (Burt, Women’s Press Organizations, 76.)

  15. [15]Pacific Coast Woman’s Press Association.

  16. [16]Sarah Ingersoll Cooper was vice president of the Pacific Coast Woman’s Club and originated the Golden Gate Kindergarten Association of San Francisco. (Eagle, Congress of Women, 296.)

  17. [17]Nellie Blessing Eyster was president of the Pacific Coast Woman’s Press Association. (Leonard, Who’s Who in America, 1903–1905, 467.)