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May 1896


1 May 1896 • Friday

wea. wind terrific

<Mrs. Susan String[h]am buried today>

Was late this morning and felt miserable wind and dust could scarcely get up town at all– and found everything at sixes and sevens– at 12.30 was at the Headquarters but no one there and walked up and down in the wind until finally the Secretary came and after a while Mr. [Robert S.] Campbell– and then Mr. [Wesley K.] Walton and so on one by one– at last Mr. Dooley the Chairman– and we did a little business and appointed a woman’s meeting for Tuesday The day was unpropitious for May– walking although there were some parties on the hills, and though flowers are scarce there are a few– Came home in a terrific gale of wind went to Belle’s and stayed in Dot’s room– slept very little read all night long Letter from Miss Susan B. Anthony {p. 158}

2 May 1896 • Saturday

wea. dreary day some sprinkling

Worked very hard at my article for the paper then went to Federation Meeting in the Executive Building Afterwards Aunt Zina came and we had a long talk on various matters then I went part way home with her– then to Hebe’s and had dinner. Ort came and we had a pleasant chat. Hebe invited me to go to the theater and sit in his box and so I stayed and went with him and his wife. It was a comic play with a great deal of dancing & very funny, and I laughed more than for years. there was a crowded house, and much applause. Came home safe and felt very lonely and read as long as I could my head ached so much– I wrote to Will & Mell today– letter from Sister Lucy– {p. 159}

3 May 1896 • Sunday

wea. rather pleasant

Stayed in bed late– Belle came over and said Elise would go to Simonds tomorrow– she feels sorry and so do I. Louise came down to see me– I went to the Tabernacle– [James S.] Abbott who had just returned from New Zealand was the first speaker then President [Francis A.] Hammond of San Juan then Br. [Theodore] Curtis who made a few blunders. Anthem fine– went up to see Susan [Alley Wells], as it was her birthday <66>– had a fine dinner and the company was exceedingly good. Letters today from Willard Young and Mary Frost Orm[e]sby– President the International Press League– After spending some hours went to Dr. Talmage’s Lecture in the theatre on the Sun Moon & Stars Illustrated– very good– sat with Aunt Zina the Governor & wife– came home alone– {p. 160}

4 May 1896 • Monday

wea. fine morning

Quite busy in the morning heavy mail– no news from Mell– Invited Dr. R. B. Pratt to go with me to the Annual meeting of the Relief Society in the 19th. Ward– the house was decorated beautifully with flowers. the first lilacs of the season that I had seen being among the decorations Mrs. Ann E. [Elizabeth Dalton] Neal is the President and she is a most estimable lady I was the first speaker and was taken quite by surprise. Next was Mrs. [Elizabeth Laker] Noall from Honolulu then Sister Horne and Dr. Pratt after Annie Hyde & Clara [Moses] Cannon the Bishop spoke before me. I had forgotten that. delicate refreshments were served to all the congregation. Dr. Pratt and I climbed Capitol Hill to see her lots on which some day she hopes to build a home– went to Annie’s and spent the evening came home late. {p. 161}

5 May 1896 • Tuesday

wea. rainy morning and heavy rain later–

I was in pretty good time read proof etc. My sister Adeline came to see me. Meeting of Republican Women at Headquarters– went up to see Mrs. Salisbury had a private talk with her about the work for the party– rain came pouring down only a few ladies came– Mrs. [Annie] Adams, Mrs. Fox, Mrs. Bradley, Mrs. Kisley, Miss [Rosetta] Farnsworth and myself we only talked informally. and decided to meet again Friday at three p.m. Mrs. Bradley came up in the office to talk with me– and staid for hours. It is Dr. Ellis R. Shipps wedding anniversary. thirty years married– I wrote on an editorial until nine then left the office– had letter from M. A. Fales. also from Annie De Montaigu– {p. 162}

6 May 1896 • Wednesday

wea. rain and wind and cold.

Today has been most unpleasant wind and rain and cold, and hard work, tried to get all my work done and came home in the evening to write– was not well and while in bed started a verse of a poem for Sister [Mary Isabella Hales Horne] & Br. [Joseph] Horne– intending to try and make it readable and suitable. Sarah M. Kimball came in to see me– she had written a sort of eulogy for Br. Horne; and asked me if I would read it, at the party to be given on their 60th. Anniversary I have had letters coming for Mrs. John’s all along– Letter from Am. Fork asking us to hold meeting there on our return from Alpine. Dot is sick with a boil under her arm. Letter from Miss Anthony very good indeed. Some fruit trees were put out in the garden today also a syringo [syringa] in the front yard– Maxfields– {p. 163}

7 May 1896 • Thursday

This is Fast day and I was anxious to go to Fast Meeting in the 18th.Ward but failed because of press work and kept on going over to Pearl & Miss [Belle] Evans– until I was exhausted had lunch with Dr. Pratt– came down home and after dinner commenced trying to get inspiration on the poem I was preparing to finish. I wrestled with lines and rhymes until very late and then thoroughly exhausted I tried to sleep but lights flashed through my head, I could see millions of distinct atoms of light and became much excited. I tried in vain to control it for some hours and only fell asleep at daybreak.

George O. Chase whom I have always known since we came to the valley died yesterday. {p. 164}

8 May 1896 • Friday

wea. dismal & wet

<Mrs. McVicker came to see me today–>

This is a day of storm and cold– it seems fate has decreed against Republican Women’s meetings, I was in time and a few ladies came, Mrs. J. F. Grant, Miss [Sarah L.] Monroe, Dr. Curtis, Mrs. Fox, Mrs. C. C. Young, Mrs. Annie Adams, Mrs. Mary E. Gilmer Miss [Rosetta Jane] Farnsworth Dr. Elliott & myself– we decided to call parlor meetings and appointed a Committee to speak to Mr. [Don H.] Porter and ask for the use of the Templeton parlors for our first meeting at an early date. Had some conversation with some ladies afterwards and hunted for Aunt Zina, and at last found her, she goes to Centerville tomorrow to Geo. Chase’s funeral, also Zina Card. Several unpleasant things have happened Met Sister [Emily] Richards who has been to Am. Fork and took Lula [Louisa Lula Greene Richards] with her– worked hard at my poem; telephone from Am. Fork– saying no meeting {p. 165}

9 May 1896 • Saturday

wea. morning dark & rainy

Br. [Henry] Puzey was found dead last night just my age and an excellent man and a good Saint but had suffered from paralysis. and was not quite sound in mind. It is quite sad– could not make up my mind to go sick as I am to Alpine– trusted Zina Card and M. A. Caine would go, and fill the Mission I managed to go to the office just before noon Had lunch in Dr. Pratt’s and she went with me to the Meeting of the Federation Committee– Mrs. McVicker was present and gave us some good ideas on the arrangements. We held a long session, and finally adjourned to meet on Thursday the 14th. of May at 3. p.m. Came home dressed and went to Br. & Sister Horne’s party the 60th. Anniversary of their wedding day. Read my poem and came home on Midnight car– {p. 166}

10 May 1896 • Sunday

This is a very remarkable day. Murray Wells Whitney is four years old to day. One of the days when Louie [Louise Wells Cannon] suffered so much. I stayed in bed until about eleven. and as I had an appointment at 1/2 past 12. I had to get ready and go even though the storm was severe– snow and so forth. The mountains are white down to the valleys below. Dr. Curtis kept her appointment with me, and then Dr. Pratt and myself went to the Tabernacle it was the S. L. Conference & the instruction was very good particularly by Jan Geo. Q. Cannon Br. [George] Goddard was quite erratic and Br. Cannon had to correct his remarks. After meeting went up to Dr. Shipps and arranged with her for Mrs. Laura M. Johns to be her guest. She will come May 12. Went to see Annie & children and stayed over night. {p. 167}

11 May 1896 • Monday

wea. dark & raining some part of the day

Morning rather dismal again John Q. not very well– low spirited or down hearted– children all comfortably well– went to the office just after ten and began my mail– also made ready for the meeting and so on. Papers did not come over– meeting fairly well attended and business pertaining to the Federation transacted. Mrs. Parkinson from Prescott called and talked of the Idaho Amendment– We read Miss Anthonys letter– business meeting of the Press Club at which we decided some important matters of the Federation– Word from Mrs. John’s left Santa Fe, at eleven today, arrives here tomorrow night– I am very weary and very nervous.

A disagreeable night wind and storm rain & sleet– {p. 168}

12 May 1896 • Tuesday

wea. dismal and wet

I was somewhat late but kept up all right and got the day over without any sensations– the circus was in town and Annie took her children to see it. I waited up to go to the depot to meet Mrs. John’s Dr. Shipp went with me and we had a long wait in the station. She came at last and when we put her on board the Omnibus then I caught the late car and came to Main St. and waited for the Waterloo car– reached home after midnight and slept a little. {p. 169}

13 May 1896 • Wednesday

wea. dark and wet

This is a rather memorable day in its memories– John Q. and Annie went to Manti on this day seven years ago– then things were very different with me to what they are now– I waited expecting Mrs. Johns but as she did not come I went up to see Ellis [Reynolds Shipp] & visited with her there and had dinner, then we came home dressed and went to Mrs. Ruth M. Fox’s party a pleasant affair– Dr. Elliott was present and both Mrs. Johns and Dr. Elliott addressed the assemblage. Dr. Elliott on the slums of New York & Mrs. Johns the condition of our free American states where there is no suffrage Sisters present Wells Wilcox Stevenson Woodmansee, Pratt, Shipp Williams Card Badger, Taylor, Campbell Empey1 {p. 170}

14 May 1896 • Thursday

wea. snow this morning

This morning I went with Mrs. Johns to the Bank & to the President’s office, and one or two other places, gave her a picture of the Temple, Dr Pratt sent us in lunch– Aunt Zina came and one or two other ladies. I went to see Mrs. W. K. Walton about Miss McMaster and Miss Sapp.2 Then to the Committee of the Federation where we discussed various methods and so forth, and decided on many things Went up to Ellis and talked with Mrs. John’s afterwards, I am very busy with the Committee of Arrangements getting ready for the Federation and anxious too to have Mrs. John’s see the Presidency and to do whatever I can to make her visit agreeable. {p. 171}

15 May 1896 • Friday

Today I have devoted my time almost entirely to Mrs. Johns– Dr. Shipp has been very kind and good and has helped me wonderfully in this affair– She invited several sisters to meet Mrs. Johns and Dr. Elliott and made a fine dinner for us and everything particularly pleasant and happy. The girls have been too good almost and have devoted themselves to her and to making her feel at home and rest herself. {p. 172}

16 May 1896 • Saturday

This is one of the saddest anniversaries imaginable,3 it is almost impossible to compel myself to do duty and to be at all cheerful or natural on this day of days. I lingered but felt obliged to go at eight A.M. to meet Mrs John’s at the President’s office and talk about Idaho, and so on. She had already gone in and was talking when I reached there, but I helped her out a little and we got on pretty well– Br. Cannon was quite gracious and he sent us to John Q. to ask for transportation for her– I went to the Committee Meeting and such a storm of wind and dust came up saw Phebe who helped us some by taking us in her carriage to do some of the errands. Came home alone to sleep and not to sleep either– {p. 173}

17 May 1896 • Sunday

This morning I wrote some letters and rested as much as I could then went up to the Office and to Dr. Shipps and took some things I had promised Mrs. John’s we went to the Tabernacle together– Ellis stayed at home to write the Federation Poem– I went up after meeting and stayed until the carriage came to take Mrs. Johns to the depot– then I came away and went to Annie’s spent the evening and slept there John Q. and Annie had been to the cemetery–

How these days in May bring back the memories of the years that are gone– Nine years ago now– when such sad scenes occurred as break the stoutest hearts– {p. 174}

18 May 1896 • Monday

And now again we must go over the memories each year in May these days are deadening to a sensitive soul. Dr. Elliott has been in and we have talked and gone over this and that and I have told her I must have her at my house tomorrow at latest– it is fair and warm enough to be without a fire– I am trying to clean up a little and make things passable– {p. 175}

19 May 1896 • Tuesday

Everything is being got ready we have held our last committee meeting today and there is really no more to be done. Lunch and reception and program all is ready and we feel somewhat relieved. The weather is very propitious {p. 176}

20 May 1896 • Wednesday

<Dr. Pratt gave report of Reapers Club–> This morning was beautiful not many came early and the President was obliged to wait on the arrival of a sufficient number to open with, some business transacted and addresses of Welcome and response by Mrs. [Eurithe K.] LeBarthe and Mrs. McVicker, and lunch in dining room of Hall, served by the ladies, I thought everything went off very well. Afternoon full meeting, Mrs. McVicker’s address most practical and finely written. full of good suggestions. Reception in the evening everything beautiful and tempting ices, coffee and macaroons, large assembly and a dozen of us received. John Q. and Annie were there, but none of Belle’s family though all were invited. After a delightful evening I came home alone to a dismal house– {p. 177}

21 May 1896 • Thursday

Today we are having all the best exercises. Some of the papers were very fine and rendered in a fine manner, Dr. Shipp gave the report of the Press Club very beautifully– and Dr. Curtis gave our subject ample justice. The question was “Shall race distinction or nationality exclude women from entering Clubs in Utah. Dr. Curtis reached argued that it should not. She brought up many good objections to the popular views Dr. Curtis’s poem on Utah was the one choses [chosen] from the seven that were sent in to be accepted. She read it herself and received merited applause. The election of officers resulted in the election of Mrs. W. [William] C. Jennings [Martha Burgess Jennings] for President Nellie Little Secretary and Dr. Pratt for the Press Club and {p. 178} Dr. [Martha Hughes] Cannon for the Reaper’s. as Directors.

22 May 1896 • Friday

4|The day was fine the Kindergarten Association met as usual at four o’clock and transacted necessary business and discussed the Federation and critized, the various speakers and also the new President– went home in good time and did some writing in the Relief Society Record– looked up on poems for publication and made some notes for use in making up copy– Read a few hours after going to bed and altogether felt restful in consideration of the time of year which always brings the most depressing feeling hard indeed to bear up under. What an enigma is life: how unsatisfactory all our labors and sacrifices even when we seem to have done our best. {p. 179}

23 May 1896 • Saturday

So many callers always on Saturday and letters to answer and business to transact and various things to attend to that require thought. I can have very little help and my duties are such that my mind is never at rest. I long to be more at liberty to write of those things that have seemed almost real to me and have haunted my imagination for years. Dreams one might call them or open visions. Dr. Pratt is quite companionable and very sweet to me– she often invites me in to lunch and if I am too much occupied will come in here with a tray of delicacies for me, knowing I take no thought for my own physical wants & needs. Answered letters in the evening– {p. 180}

24 May 1896 • Sunday

This is one of the saddest anniversaries possible to imagine, the funeral of my youngest daughter Louie– weeping wailing and mourning does not express by any means the agony we endured on that terrible occasion, words fail me even now in remembrance of the sad event. I cannot think of it without the most poignant grief even after the lapse of nine long years; years full of sorrow and weeping, more than the heart can bear and remain regular in its currents. I attended service at the Tabernacle and tried to be at least outwardly composed no demonstration of emotion testified of the tumult within Went to Annie’s in the evening as usual and sat with Annie and the children, as though my whole soul was not throbbing within. {p. 181}

26 May 1896 • Tuesday

Today I have tried hard to make everything count, so I could get off early to come home with Sarah J. Elliott the Dr. who seems to have fascinated all of us so much. She is certainly a very wonderful person. We went to the Royal to supper and came down in time to reach here before sunset. Miss Elliott expressed herself almost enchanted with the view and with the clear blue sky and full moon as it rose over the mountain we sat and watched it from the porch. Em. [Emma Wells Sears] was here with us, we had a most delightful evening and talked over many things that had transpired in the early days and of books, noted people and organizations, clubs etc. {p. 183}

30 May 1896 • Saturday

This morning the rain was falling so heavily that the military men would not turn out in parade– the public demonstration was given up even the G.A.R.5 people held only service in the Hall where they did meet regularly and there Miss Monroe gave her address prepared for the public. {p. 187}

Footnotes

  1. [1]Women listed are likely EBW, Elizabeth Stevenson Wilcox, Elizabeth Jane Du Fresne Stevenson, Emily Hill Woodmansee, Romania Bunnell Pratt, Ellis Reynolds Shipp, Clarissa Smith Williams, Zina Young Card, Louisa Noble Badger, Ellen Colebrook Taylor, Joan Millar Campbell, and Emma Adams Empey.

  2. [2]Miss McMaster and Laura Sapp were clerks and transcriptionists for meetings.

  3. [3]EBW is referring to the death of her daughter Louise Wells Cannon on 16 May 1887. (EBW, Diary, 16 May 1887.)

  4. [4]text: Here EBW used an L-shaped mark that was perhaps intended to indicate the start of a new entry, since the last phrase on 21 May appeared under the 22 May date heading.

  5. [5]The Grand Army of the Republic was an organization of American Civil War veterans of the Union Army. (Encyclopedia Britannica Online, s.v. “Grand Army of the Republic,” accessed 19 Aug. 2019, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Grand-Army-of-the-Republic.)