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December 1899

1 December 1899 • Friday

This morning snow and the children all out with sleds, laughing and rejoicing, really the snow and mist are very beautiful on the hills among the pines. Today we were doing our utmost to think over all the old acquaintances. as tomorrow Mell gives a luncheon for me and we shall be so busy with that. Mell has had another very elegant present from Miss Jessop in San Francisco of Berry set in case also two or three more I can’t recall. I am trying hard to do a little writing have had to give almost everything up to visit. Mell is preparing a M◊◊◊e for the ladies to guess and she wants me to do most of the entertaining, tho Daisie is to sing In the evening Will and myself did most of the talking. Mell was busy. {p. 310}

2 December 1899 • Saturday

All morning I was writing finished Belle’s letter as I had been ill yesterday did not get up till lunch time. Mell had every thing in style Name cards tied with white ribbon and a carnation– flowers on the table and such a variety of dishes, I asked the ladies after pronouncing the blessing– what novel they thought the very best– Mrs. Woods Les Miserables Victor Hugo– also Mrs. Frank Johnson. Daisie Bleak House & Mrs. Moffitt Old Curiosity Shop Mrs. McGaw Scarlet Letter Mrs. Albert Johnson Mrs. [John] Finch & Mrs. Wells Ivanhoe. Choice of greatest woman in the United States Susan B. <7> Mrs. [Jane Lathrop] Stanford 2 Helen Gould 1 Letter from Mrs. {p. 311} <Stetson>

3 December 1899 • Sunday

Spent the evening at Daisie’s hearing all the old songs until Will was disappointed, as he was too tired to come over. This morning I went with Daisie to see Wills new offices, they are very elegant rooms over a bank and his library is immense– all modern appliances fixed for convenience. This is Sister Lucy’s birthday 82 years old I hope she is happy and will enjoy herself. Everything is fixed berth telegraphed for and carriage coming the parting I do dread, all seem so sober over my going and really I don’t feel I shall ever come here again. Mell Will & Daisie all came down to the train with me. I was left alone came to Tekoa and then changed to Great Northern had a Pulman paid 2.00 got up at 3 A.M. to change {p. 312}

4 December 1899 • Monday

Had an awful headache this morning– car is Holyoke had only an upper berth after changing. Breakfast at Meecham met Charley [Charles W.] Nibley & Joseph Barton– saw the new Sugar Factory at LaGrande, Oregon, built by our people– brick and very handsome structure. Baker city about 1/2 past eleven. Huntington Weiser and Nampa1 the largest towns– talked with two ladies who had been to the camp Buffalo Hump encountered dangers one had a little girl Gay– changed cars at Nampa– name Altera felt very uncomfortable and also anxious as we near home wrote to Mell & Verona today. {p. 313}

5 December 1899 • Tuesday

Had a wretched night and felt very nervous this morning pulled into Ogden 1/2 past seven and waited until after nine took a carriage at the depot and drove home with all my things. Went over to Belle’s to breakfast. Dot has swollen breast– Marian has been cutting five teeth all at once and has made her very ill. Went up to Annie’s and saw them all and then to the Juvenile and the office, looked over my mail. Letter from Countess of Aberdeen and Mrs. [Mary A.] Fulton now in Washington. Many others unopened until my return. I have been most miserable all day long, my feet are so tender and I am not at all well, sent telegram to Daisie this evening. asked about Robert, I am alone tonight and lonely. Meant to ask Lucile to stay. {p. 314}

6 December 1899 • Wednesday

This is a beautiful morning ground white with snow & sun shining clear and bright I was not well and could barely manage to reach the office. Mrs. Caine came to talk over George Washington Memorial affairs and Sister Stevenson called. Phebe Beatie has been very ill with Quinsey. Miss Evans has come to work, Josephine Spencer came to see me. Pearl Russell Fernstrom came. Ruby [Venice] Pike called to see Lucile. News from Roberts unsatisfactory. Aunt Zina has gone to Chariton’s. I have been busy with copy. It is my Sister Adeline’s Birthday seventy years old. Saw John Q. at his desk at work. I feel better this evening though not half well. Sister Emily Dow Partridge Young is very ill. Nell Clawson’s husband2 died this morning. {p. 315}

7 December 1899 • Thursday

Rose late having passed an almost sleepless night and not feeling well did not hurry, went to see Dot & babies. Then to the office to work and had Miss Emily Cates, call on business and one or two more prepared copy and then went out to buy something for Annie. She is 40 today– it seems impossible and yet so much has transpired since that time. She married at twenty and has had ten children and we have passed thro many sorrows since that period in fact looking back I might almost say all my greatest sorrows have been since. I went down to dinner twelve of us were at table together– had a fine dinner and pleasant evening afterwards came home alone and felt very lonely and forlorn thinking over past events. {p. 316}

8 December 1899 • Friday

This is my Sister Delia’s birthday 76 today– she feels very aged in a way so tired of everything but has means to keep her all her days without any exertion I had a tiresome day at my office– proofs and copy‒. Came home early however and went to Belle’s to have dinner, came home and read and wrote until half-past one. Began a story and went over a poem to finish it. I have had some visitors that hindered me very much and annoyances. Mr. Sears has been changing the Lake on his place & putting in a floor. I saw Sep. at dinner, for the first time since he I came from Idaho. Every one seems busy with Christmas gifts. {p. 317}

9 December 1899 • Saturday

<Lettrs from Mell & Daisie today> On the way up this morning I heard of the death of Prest. Franklin D. Richards, he died just after 12. midnight. Soon after going to the office Don Carlos Young came and told me his mother Emily D. P. [Dow Partridge] Young had died about 4. A.M. and asked me to write a notice of her life and death. I prepared an Obituary for the Deseret News. It seemed strange two such prominent persons should go so near together. Both historic characters in the Church. Dr. Pratt brought over my lunch and shared it with me. Louise Margaret & Emmeline came up to see me today. Emeline Wells, Sister Thornstaff Dr. Shipp Annie Hyde Caroline Wells and others have been in. {p. 318}

10 December 1899 • Sunday

Stayed at home all day, no one came except Lucile in the evening. I spent my time resting and reading and looking up on a few things– the day was miserably gloomy and damp with frost. It is May Wells Whitney’s birthday and she is 44 years old. Dot went over to her mother’s3 to dinner took both babies. It is the Quarterly Conference of this Stake of Zion and I would like to have been in the Tabernacle very much indeed, but needed the quiet and felt it my duty to keep at home. In the evening I wrote some on a story for the paper– and then went to bed and did some reading. I feel the need of proper help as I have to carry coal wood and water all up stairs myself. There is no help to get in the City {p. 319}

11 December 1899 • Monday

Went up late found some people had been to see me– Mrs. Margaret Stewart Robbins of New York came in the interest of McClure’s Lecture Bureau. had been to see Harry Culmer and Geo. D. Pyper and Iglehart.4 She seems anxious and persistent. Wrote a letter of condolence to Sister Jane S. Richards and one to Mell sent her Roberts speech full text– went to see about birthday gift for Verona but did not find suitable things– looked up on remedying errors in pamphlet in the Daughters of the Revolution– arranged for the work to be done this week. Went on with my story and article for the Club Magazine in New York. Snowing & very cold. Dr. Shipp came with letter of recommendation {p. 320}

12 December 1899 • Tuesday

Went up late again– read my revise– Many brethren and sisters have gone to Ogden to the funeral of Fraklin [Franklin] D. Richards. Prest. Snow Prest. Cannon and Prest. Smith most of the Twelve and other people– sent off letter to Julia A. Druce and did lots of odd things. Had letter from Logan & Goshen and took time to correct my revise properly– Annie came up town but not to my office Mrs. Robbins came and we had a long talk– went to the Des. News with Mrs. Robbins introduced her to H. G. Whitney. Came home earlier than usual and begun writing– felt very uncomfortable– have not yet written Verona a birthday letter. {p. 321}

13 December 1899 • Wednesday

<Earthquake shock woke me out of my sleep– 7.10. I felt it after I woke vibrating.> This morning hurried to the office and then to the funeral of Sister Emily Dow Partridge Young Smith. It commenced at 12. noon and was a most interesting one. Brigham Young [Jr.], F. [Francis] M. Lyman, Geo. Q. Cannon and Jos. F. Smith were the speakers, singing by a Quartette as per request of herself Pyper, Ensign, [John D.] Spencer and [blank]5 the closing prayer was by John Henry Smith opening prayer by Elder Seymour B. Young of the Seven Presidents of Seventies. I went up to the grave yard in the carriage with R. R. [Rachel R. Ivins] Grant. M. G. [Margaret G. Judd] Clawson & Phebe [Judd] Kimball– Emily Richards came to tell me Sister J. S. Richards wanted me to go to Ogden to attend Conference on Thursday. {p. 322}

14 December 1899 • Thursday

Went up on morning train expected Aunt Zina to go with me but she did not come and I went on alone. Called on Sister Richards & then proceeded to the Conference spoke about half an hour; then at noon time went back to Sister Richards & had lunch then back to the Conference, pretty full house in the afternoon. Sister Mary E. [Rollins] Lightner spoke very forcibly about the days of Joseph and touched upon present troubles of the people. Counselor [Charles F.] Middleton also spoke of Joseph and of having [been] baptized by him on March 1st. 1842. in the‒ Mississippi River‒ I went over to Sister Richards and had supper then went to see Belle and then home too weary to do any work at all. only a little reading. {p. 323}

15 December 1899 • Friday

<Louise slept here the fifteenth & I was more than glad the wind blew a terrific gale till about 3.> This morning did a little folding and prepared some copy– felt very ill and in pain in my limbs. Dr. Pratt invited me to dine with her mother6 as they were going to keep her birthday, she would be 85. on the 16th.7 I did a few errands for the meeting tomorrow and tried to get through some work on hand, and attend to callers, then went to the Dr’s to dine. At table were C. W. Penrose Dr. Pratt Sister Bunnell and myself– also Josephine Hardy another daughter of hers, four grandsons of the Pratts & two granddaughters of the Hardy’s both in fact all married ten or eleven great grand children Adeline came to see me and took the pictures Mell had sent {p. 324}

16 December 1899 • Saturday

Saturday I packed off with my dress and Coptis leaves and satchel full of things so as to dress in the office for the Boston Tea Party,8 and then went down to the Public Library to get some items– and in to the Governor’s office to see him a minute– it poured with rain and when I had made all my purchases, I had to send for a cab to take me and my things. Susa came to see me but I could not spend much time in talking to her, for my hands and brain were too much occupied. Ria had the house warm & Aunts Zina & Bathsheba were both there, also Sarah Jane [Jenne] Cannon & one or two more guests. The members were slow in coming. I had thirty carnations ferns & coptis bows of red white & blue ribbon with the flags on and Aunt Zina opened with prayer– {p. 325}

17 December 1899 • Sunday

Today is the celebration of the George Washington Memorial Association in the theatre or to night commencing at 8. p.m. Mrs. Corinne M. Allen is to give an address and the Rev. Clarence Brown the Congregational Minister– chorus singers etc. I was so ill all day long I could not go even to Belle’s or to Dot’s. And at evening felt no better. Tried to write on copy about Br. Richards and got about through that a very cold day indeed. I have been suffering with my limbs swelling so I can scarcely walk, and feel much worried about it. Lucile came in the evening to see me a few minutes. {p. 326}

18 December 1899 • Monday

Today is the anniversary of my moving into this house or the dedication of it and my sleeping here alone for the first time– I have certainly enjoyed this house for many reasons. Sometimes I have been lonely and often afraid yet glad to have a shelter of my own. At present I need help very much– but pray for strength to go forward with my work. Bishop John R. Winder’s birthday was celebrated in the Temple today 79 years old. Meeting of the Reaper’s Club in my office and Reminiscences of Joseph Smith the prophet given. Letter from May Wright Sewall on business and from Mell also– Bob [Robert Hilliard] better. So weary tonight {p. 327}

19 December 1899 • Tuesday

Called on Belle this morning, & went up town early for me. Sarah J. Cannon came in and later Br. Gourley9 from Goshen and Nett Culmer and Kate Wells, also had a talk with the Governor and Dr. Pratt and went down to Annie’s saw the twins, they have grown wonderfully. Stayed about an hour Annie read me the Libretto she has written for Prest. Cannon’s birthday, it is quite original. She has done the work quick. I think they might well be proud of a woman like her in the family– I have felt a little better today than yesterday. News of General [Henry W.] Lawton’s death at Manilla [Manila province, Philippines] came today, shot dead while in front of his company. Kate came for me to go to the Art Exhibit but I did not feel well enough {p. 328}

20 December 1899 • Wednesday

<Dec. 18 by mistake> This morning received business letter from May Wright Sewell, Indianapolis, Ind. in regard to her appointment to Paris to represent the Council. also a letter from Mell saying Bob was better for which I was very glad. Reaper’s Club met and had reminiscences of the Prophet Joseph Smith– ten members present– a gloomy day for me. and no work accomplished. Sent off cloth bound book of poems to Mell as per order wrote a note to Miss Evans. have been ailing all day long. Came home at 8 p.m. Saw Will Buchholz a minute. begged me to go over but felt too weary. Br. J. R. Winder’s birthday celebrated in the temple today. 79. years old.

Mrs. [Matilda Moorhouse] Barratt’s party10 the first presidency and apostles with their wives were present, quite a sm[a]ll affair I was urged to {p. 329} speak of our trip to England and did so.

21 December 1899 • Thursday

Dec. 21 My mother’s11 birthday and also Louis [R.] Wells & Grace Grant. I have been to a meeting of the George Washington Memorial Association, and heard of the services in the theatre. Went up to Aunt Zina’s and succeeded in getting her signature to some documents, she insists that she has no letters from the East on business. Mell sent me a fruit cake by express‒ Eugene took it home for me. I came down from Aunt Zina’s after dark, and sent off book to Verona for her birthday, The World Beautiful by Lillian Whiting third series. I have no courage to do this sort of thing because my work is so behind. {p. 330}

22 December 1899 • Friday

Today crocheted slippers from Daisie, Xmas card Mrs. Barratt

Several cards ang [and] gifts came in from friends. I am trying very hard to get on with my mailing– weather very cold and the swelling of my limbs is painful– so that it really hinders my work. Mrs. [Elizabeth Drake] Roundy came today and asked me to lend her the picture of Emma Smith for an entertainment in the ward and as the glass was broken it had to be repaired, so I had it taken to Midgley’s to fix and they sent it from there to the 16th. Ward. I was much annoyed with visitors who really wanted nothing and was trying to get copy ready for my Christmas paper– Annies babies have dreadful colds. {p. 331}

23 December 1899 • Saturday

This is a very stormy and unpleasant day‒ how many recollections are called up in the minds of the Latter-day Saints by the memories of the birth of Joseph Smith the Prophet– all of us who ever had the privilege of seeing and knowing him can never forget his wonderful personality and marvelous power and the great work he accomplished in the few years of his presiding over the Church. I was invited to attend the memorial services in memory of him in the Sixteenth ward but did not feel equal to the exertion. The Deseret Evening News issued an elaborate edition of the paper for Xmas 40 pages of matter– articles from Lorenzo Snow Geo. Q. Cannon & Jos. F. Smith– Prize Story and prize poem. Sister Minnie J. Snow {p. 332} <came to see me and gave me a very pretty lace handkerchief– her own work>

24 December 1899 • Sunday

I stayed at home all day really did not feel able to go to meeting wrote to Mell a long letter and did some few odds and ends in the house– felt low Spirited and miserable and did not even see any one until evening when Belle came over for a minute or two & invited me specially to go to her place to dinner, then went up to Annies to be there Christmas Eve & morning. They have a fine Christmas tree and many beautiful things– dolls & other appropriate gifts for the children. I slept with Emmeline my little namesake, and enjoyed myself very much I had my gifts this evening– shoes from J. Q. & Annie– diary Geo. Q. Lace tie Louise mittens Margaret Daniel handkerchief‒ Em. & Kath‒ apron– Cavendish garters {p. 333}

25 December 1899 • Monday

This morning the children were rejoiced– lights were beautiful– and all was gay– I stayed until after lunch & then came home and wrote letters to Daisie and Verona–then went to Belle’s to dinner and had a very pleasant time. Belle gave me two bottles of wine and the girls gave me a vinegrette quite handsome gold top with amethyst. Eugene gave me a pretty handkerchief– at the dinner table were Mr. & Mrs. S. W. Sears host & hostess and all the family except Em & Jack [John G. Roberts]– and my self present. eleven in all with the two babies. I stayed a part of the evening and came home to my writing and reflections, holidays are always full of reminiscences of one’s past life– generally melancholy {p. 334}

26 December 1899 • Tuesday

St. Stephen’s Day always kept in England among the Church people. It was the birthday of Sister Sarah G. [Griffith] Richards and of Elizabeth Ann [Smith] Whitney two heroines in the Church of Latter-day Saints. I had dinner over at Dr. Pratt’s tho’ against my inclinations, yet she insisted. The Doctor is really the one nearest to me now of the Relief Society Board and almost the only one I see often enough to keep in touch with. Aunt Zina is away at West Weber now at her son Chariton’s. Sister Jane S. Richards is in Ogden and has recently buried her husband Aunt Bathsheba always in the Temple officiating and so it goes. I have sent out a few Xmas cards to some of my dear friends. {p. 335}

27 December 1899 • Wednesday

Here is another birthday May [Mary Josephine] Earl’s now Cross only recently married in Chicago– seems rather strange to be married at forty. Better late than never perhaps. My Sister Lucy has gone to Chicago to be with her two grandsons– Carrie [Granger Snyder]’s boys12 that she raised herself after the death of their mother– I sincerely hope she will be happy and satisfied, to remain with them; her life is very lonely. May our Father in heaven give her consolation in her declining years. I am astonished at the remarkable longevity in our family. Lucy 82. Pallas 80. Delia 76. Myself 71.– Adeline 70– Ellen 68– Hiram the youngest 63– Manson [J. Woodward] died last year 77–James [D. Woodward] died much younger in the fifties, It seems wonderful Emily [A. Emily Woodward] died young & mother at fifty {p. 336}

28 December 1899 • Thursday

Still plodding on and on– Annie has been writing an Operatta of the life of Geo. Q. Cannon as seen in a dream by his mother, so the fairies tell it and it is quite a masterpiece of its kind; she does seem gifted and wonderfully clever at this sort of thing. I am sure she could excel in literary work– but her domestic affairs preclude any such opportunities for trying‒ her efforts. There is much sickness in the City and the fog is said to be one of the causes. Hebe has scarlet fever in his family and several of his neighbors. Annie’s twins have very severe colds and a cough. I would like to hear from my folks in the East‒ no letters for so long, but pretty good news from Idaho– Mell & the girls. {p. 337}

29 December 1899 • Friday

Worked hard all day and tried to get home in time to dress myself in better things to go to Dot’s than my office costume. Very cold and late getting off so only barely catched the car on which Will [C. William Buchholz] was going home to dinner & went right along over with him. Dot’s wedding day– she had her father mother, three brothers and one sister13 there to dinner and also myself– Turkey and all the fixtures same as one would have for Xmas. A fine evening– all went off well. I presented her with Marie Correlli’s book the “Sorrows of Satan” and also Ideal Motherhood. Her mother gave her Longfellow’s Poems complete latest edition. She is a very sweet contented wife. I feel quite sure– and I am so glad it is so. {p. 338}

30 December 1899 • Saturday

Went to Press Club after a busy and very hard day’s work we met in a social way at Sister Emma [Howell] Jensen’s. The house was decorated with holly and flowers also flags etc. large rooms and many pretty ornaments and curiosities from various parts of the world Br. Andrew Jensen the host gave me a pebble he brought from the Mount of Olives in the Holy Land– where I have so much desired to go. There were a number of visitors present by invitation– Some very sweet singers– Miss Judith Anderson particularly so– I only reached home at midnight and it was very lonely after the evening’s entertainment– especially just at the close of the year and on Saturday night or Sunday morning. My work so behindhand more than any other preceding <year> {p. 339}

31 December 1899 • Sunday

I stayed in bed late and tried to rest knowing how much I needed recuperation and to nerve myself for the New Year, did some writing on an article for the Club Woman’s Magazine which I had long ago promised and had postponed from time to time. Louise & Katharine came down– I left home and went up to Annie’s after dark having waited on and on, to finish more writing. We had a pleasant time and refreshments late– waited up for the bells and whistles and talked of all the wars and rumors of wars of Roberts and the Congress of the United States and of new books and old ones of great men in the Church and many other things. So ends 1899– {p. 340}

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December 1899, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed June 19, 2024