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December 1896

24 December 1896 • Thursday

I was busy all day looking up on presents on which one would not have to give much money, however books were the principal thing to decide upon and so I made large purchases. These are days to bring back the fondest recollections. One cannot help realizing how vivid the past is & how closely connected with the present all depends on what has been– I have not quite satisfied myself in regard to the gifts I intend to make {p. 275}

27 December 1896 • Sunday

This is May [Mary J.] Earl’s birthday she is 37 years old– it is a fine day rather cold– I went to the funeral of Mary Houston Kimball– in the 16th. Ward Meeting house– I was late in arriving– Bishop Robert Burton was the first speaker then Joseph F. Smith of the First Presidency. I knew Mary so well in days gone by and believe she has earned her exaltation– I knew her in Nauvoo when she had many trials– she has lived a good life & now in the fulness of years has gone to rest like a shock of corn fully ripe– I wrote to the Editor of the Arena and sent off matter for Aunt Zina’s sketch and also wrote in Mrs. Alder’s Album– came home and went through papers looking for unpublished poems– {p. 278}

28 December 1896 • Monday

Today I have been in and out all day long– I have silver tea spoons old colonial style– for wedding present for Dot– engraved S. 12–29–96– price 8.00 We Aunts– Lydia Ann, Susan Hanna & myself gave Briant [H. Wells] & Mary [J. Jennings] a clock– small & pretty Christmas and two marriages in the family is pretty severe in the way of giving– one has not time for themselves– to really look up on any private affairs– {p. 279}

29 December 1896 • Tuesday

Today is the wedding day of Belle’s eldest daughter1 and strange to say she is not at home– it seems too bad, but we do not know always what is best nor why things are so, and we must reconcile ourselves to the inevitable. I went as usual to the office– a box came from Mell containing slippers & mittens for me and Xmas gift for Brent– letter from Belle for Lucile, none for me. The wedding was between five and six– decorations holly & <red> carnations, roses too– bride in shot silk with white roses & beautiful– as a dream. Bishop Whitney performed the ceremony and we all stood up– it was quite solemn– present were the Grandma E. B. Wells, John Q. and Annie W. Cannon, Lucile Sears Eugene & Brenton, Elise Gasser Mr. & Mrs. F. O. [Fredrick and Jennie] Horne & Kittie [Catherine H.] Horne and the Bishop who performed the ceremony {p. 280}

30 December 1896 • Wednesday

<Bishop John R. Winder>2 <Married in the Temple– Lieut Briant Harris Wells & Mary Jennings married> The day after the wedding I rose very late and ran over for a minute to see how Belle’s family were and found all well. And right here I wish to say that last night after the guests had departed the Rochester lamp in Dot’s room took fire in the shade and the whole house filled with smoke and we had to open doors and windows. I only wish to tell this in order to see if anything follows as it seemed so unfortunate. The evening I spent in writing and reading nothing special occurred during the day. I have been trying to get off some mail and some left over Xmas gifts– Press club to night here– {p. 281}

31 December 1896 • Thursday

The last day of the year and dull snowed during the night and came up in the wet nearly noon Went to Tom [Thomas W.] Jennings to the Reception yesterday, very striking bride– attended a sort of preliminary lecture by Miss Thomas yesterday at Dr. Pratts office on Psychology– in the evening went to Annie’s as usual on New Year’s Day and spent the night– When John Q came we had lunch in the sitting room and champagne– I had not felt very well during the day and perhaps the thought of the New Year and of bidding goodbye to the old year was weighing upon my spirits almost too much– {p. 282}

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December 1896, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed June 19, 2024