The Church Historian's Press

April 1903

1 April 1903 • Wednesday

<at Omaha [Nebraska] sent letter to Susa> Crossed the Mississippi river during the night and found this morning we were in Iowa at breakfast time Marshalltown Iowa. Crossed the Missouri stayed long at Omaha had a good view of Council Bluffs [Iowa] thought much of the old times in Winter Quarters [Nebraska]– at Fremont [Nebraska] sent telegram to President B. W. Smith saying we were delayed etc. then a wreck occurred and two men hurt engineer seriously kept us waiting 2 hours. Meantime I was quite calm– Columbus Mo.1 {p. 103}

2 April 1903 • Thursday

We were journeying on towards home very steadily when we came to Omaha the train was divided and we were in the last section of the train. A few hours out the forward section run in to a freight train and broke up a caboose and two engines, two engineers were hurt one seriously and one not so much, not so severely– they were taken to be treated by physicians and we moved on more slowly after four and a half hours delay. We knew it was our last day together and were quite sociable talked over Council matters and home affairs {p. 104}

3 April 1903 • Friday

Arrived home just in time to walk into the Conference without any preparation and began regular routine Annie helped me with minutes and I managed the rest. Went to Sister C. S. Williams and took dinner Sister B. W. Smith was there with me.

In the afternoon President Jos. F. Smith spoke to us very forcibly upon the Relief Society work its importance and what might be accomplished. John Henry [Smith] the Apostle also spoke, then I reported our trip and visit to New Orleans and Mrs. Williams followed making the report very complete. Went down to Cannon Farm it was Margaret [Cannon]’s seventeenth birthday. I gave her a teaspoon I had brought from New Orlean Evanston– came home very late quite exhausted. {p. 105}

4 April 1903 • Saturday

Conference opened this morning I wanted very much to be present, but felt that I must keep the office open Many sisters came in at noon and talked about affairs I went first to Belle’s and saw Mr. Sears, realized he was a very sick man, his cough is dreadful, incessant, and he suffers terribly– it is painful to be near him. I came home in fairly good time thinking perhaps I could help Belle in some way. {p. 106}

5 April 1903 • Sunday

Sunday Conference I felt too weary to get up in the morning, so stayed in bed writing and preparing report and rose about noon and went over to see how Mr. Sears was. then to the Tabernacle– most of the time was taken by the Presidents of Stakes {p. 107}

6 April 1903 • Monday

Did not try to go to the Conference but wrote out the notice of R.S. Officers Meeting and took it to the stand to be read, then went back and received visitors and those who came to ask questions etc. {p. 108}

7 April 1903 • Tuesday

This morning the first news was that Septimus W. Sears had died at fifteen minutes past three– the undertaker was already there and preparations being made to keep him. {p. 109}

8 April 1903 • Wednesday

This morning is very pleasant it is twenty five years since Emmie [Emeline W. Wells] passed away, such a sad anniversary with Mr. Sears lying dead over the way– I went up and bought some flowers and then went to the cemetery, took some heliotrope and nasturtiums. How very sad it makes one feel to see such an immense city of the dead. A monument of pure white marble has been put over Scott [Daniel H. Wells III] by his mother.2 I am satisfied that my girls lie there at their father’s head– seems so strange that such should be the case when one looks back over the circumstances. {p. 110}

9 April 1903 • Thursday

Today has been fairly fine I have been at the office most of the time trying to see to things– called on Mrs. Fox took Emmeline with me and also called on Mrs. M. W. Wilcox and spoke to Bishop [Nelson A.] Empey about Frank Taylor being spoken to about Mr. Sears death. When I came home we went over to Belle’s Emme and myself and had dinner there. {p. 111}

10 April 1903 • Friday

Went over to see Belle and family this morning Emmeline was with me & we went together on the car. Sister Ann C. [Cannon] Woodbury came in to see me and paid me on the Exponent twenty dollars. Sarah Jane Cannon came and stayed a few minutes then Rosannah C. [Cannon] Irvine came for me to sign her pioneer papers.3 then Sister B. W. Smith came and spent a few hours. Afterwards President Jos. A. McRae of the Colorado mission. Mrs. Hortense M. Jones and Mrs. [Ada Calder] Winder from Uintah Stake. both to talk of Mothers classes, also Mrs. Lois [Hunt] West granddaughter of Addison Pratt. In the evening Ida Smoot Dusenberry and the Kindergarten sisters etc besides Ida there were E. S. [Emily S. Tanner] Richards, C. S. Thomas, E. S. Wilcox, Ruby [Naylor] Morse Miss [Florence] Scholes and myself to act upon Mrs. Wilcox’s coming. {p. 112}

11 April 1903 • Saturday

This is rather an unpleasant day and cold very, I was in the office most of the time; one or two people came and I attended to them and I really felt very much depressed I do not know why. Some circumstances were unpleasant. Amelia F. [Folsom] Young came and urged me to go out with her and finally I went out and heard that President Brigham Young [Jr.] of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was really dying, he had been ill so long that when it came it seemed as if one was prepared for the shock. He has suffered much. I went home early to look up some manuscript for Mrs. [Eliza Stewart] Udall in St. John’s [Arizona], and sent Sister Walden off with it to the 16th. Ward. I was over at Belle’s and saw all the folks, seemed to have everything in readiness I read and wrote retired late. {p. 113}

12 April 1903 • Sunday

This morning coffin came and flowers & flowers in great abundance, all very beautiful– Brigham Young the Apostle died last night at half-past ten o’clock. Sister Elizabeth H. [Harrison] Goddard at ten or so this morning. The people came late to the funeral members of the D. A. & M. Society4 and Presidents Jos. F. Smith and Jno. R. Winder– Apostle John Henry Smith– several old friends of Mr. Sears, John Nicholsen, Geo. Reynolds, John Watson, Rale [Rule] Watson, Bishop Empey Bishop [Robert T.] Burton and others. Seymour B. Young made the opening prayer, speakers were Brs. Winder & Nicholsen, O. [Orson] F. Whitney read Mrs. Heman [Felicia Browne Hemans]’s poem The Hour of Death then John Watson & Bshop Empey and John Henry Smith each spoke. singing Nearer my God to thee– O my Father etc. A. [August] W. Carlson dismissed– {p. 114}

13 April 1903 • Monday

This morning I run over to see Belle before going to the office and found her very low-spirited, things were to be put away and so much that was depressing to be attended to. It is Emeline [Young Wells]’s birthday she was born in 1857 and is therefore 46. today I have been busy trying to get material ready for the paper. Sister Elizabeth H. Goddard a very dear old friend died yesterday morning and will be buried tomorrow. I am very weary and not well at all but I must go there, and yet I am not well enough to stand so much that is depressing {p. 115}

14 April 1903 • Tuesday

This has been a most disagreeable day wind and dust I hurried through my work and finally succeeded in getting to the funeral of Sister E. H. Goddard. Bishop Empey was in attendance presiding and Claudius [V.] Spencer was the first speaker, there was also Br. George Reynolds, Hamilton Park and Henry W. Naisbitt– the exercises were comforting, many excellent things were said but it seemed to me if some one woman who knew her had spoken it would have been much more appropriate. However time will bring these things to pass and by and bye public sentiment will be in favor of expression of woman’s views on many subjects. A place had been reserved for me to go in one of the carriages to the cemetery and I felt I ought to go having known her so long. {p. 116}

15 April 1903 • Wednesday

<Went with Amelia Young to see Apostle Brigham Young and was there when he was put in the casket> This morning early I went up to Sister Lucy B. [Bigelow] Young’s to see Susa Y. Gates, she is a shadow of her former self thin and pale and weak, so reduced and so changed yet she talked some and tried to be brave in the midst of it all. One sad event follows another quickly this afternoon the funeral of Brigham Young was held in the large Tabernacle It was beautifully draped & decorated with lovely flowers. Exercises conducted by Prest. Jos. F. Smith, the Apostles taking active part. Music very fine, at the grave all was peaceful and suitable music and prayer. Floral offerings superb {p. 117}

16 April 1903 • Thursday

Mrs. Dusenberry and others were in the office making arrangements for the reception and entertainment of Ella Wheeler Wilcox on the following day. {p. 118}

17 April 1903 • Friday

This morning we learned that Mr. [Robert M.] & Mrs. Wilcox arrived last night and were at the Knutsford– Mrs. Richards and Mrs. Dusenberry went forthwith and brought her in a carriage to the office and invited me to go to Mrs. Richards and have lunch but I could not consistently as I wished to attend the funeral of the babe Rebecca [Wells] of Melvin [D. Wells] & Lizzie [A. Elizabeth Young] Wells little girl, so I went to the house of mourning instead of the house of feasting. The funeral was simple in its arrangements but sweet and tender in all its details. I rode to the cemetery in the carriage with the Governor and after returning to the office came home and dressed for the reception at Mrs. Richards, where I helped to receive with Mrs. Wilcox‒ 200 people present {p. 119}

18 April 1903 • Saturday

This morning bustled about making ready for trip to Saltair– we had permission for a party of 20 or 25. only one man with us C. W. Penrose and wife Dr. R. B. we had a fine afternoon. However I had been with Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox in the morning to Sister Lucy B. Young’s to see Susa and she had been in my office and registered and presented me with her Poems of Power, and I gave her my book Musings & Memories. then we took her to the Alta Club to dine with her husband and other gentlemen and later we had the meeting of the Lake etc. then she told our fortunes and said many clever things she told me I would die suddenly and that no man had entered much into my life I had made my own life and that I had great good luck5 {p. 120}

19 April 1903 • Sunday

This is John Q. Cannon’s birthday he is 46. today I went over to dinner and also to call upon Ella Wheeler Wilcox at the Knutsford hotel– she is charming, and magnetic, her husband came in while I was there, and I did not care to stay longer. I did not take any present to John Q. because I had stayed so long at the hotel. {p. 121}

21 April 1903 • Tuesday

This would have been my brother Manson [J. Woodward]’s 82nd birthday anniversary, but he has gone from earth and will know no more pain or sorrow. Emily Wells Grant is 46 today, she is a most unhappy woman with all the comforts she enjoys, she is wretched.6 {p. 123}

22 April 1903 • Wednesday

Emily Grant’s Dessie [M. Deseret Grant]’s birthday, I presume they are celebrating it. She is a very nice girl and very promising. Emily has a number of children and all seem superior. The meetings in my office are very often now and seem to lap over each other. Sister Smith came to see me today and we had a long talk about matters, and she seemed very determined, and I hope it may prove advantageous and that she will hold to her views and not change her mind again. {p. 124}

23 April 1903 • Thursday

This has been a very fine day Margaret Caine Ann Cannon and myself went to the Royal and had lunch together and a pleasant interview. Then I went back to the office and tried to go on with my work. It is little Perceval [Percival Woods]’s birthday anniversary and I am sure Mell & Will [William W. Woods] will be thinking it over Dr. [Washington F.] Anderson is being buried today– Bishop Empey attended to the services, John Nicholson was one of the speakers, Ort read the poem “O, say what is truth,[”] Seymour Young offered prayer. News came of my Brother Manson’s wife’s7 death– she was buried on the 21st. his birthday. He would have been 82 on that day she would be 76 in July {p. 125}

24 April 1903 • Friday

<Letter this morning from Celia [Woodward] Thurman telling me of her mother’s death on the 18th. burial 21st.> This morning soon after reaching the office Sister S. J. Cannon came in and Mary A. C. Lambert one or two more and then two gentlemen Jules Huret a French journalist from Paris‒ reporter on the Figaro and Dr. Ramsyner [Achilles A. Ramseyer] a member of our Church. I had some conversation with them and made an appointment for the evening– at 5.45. A meeting of the Kindergarten was to be held at 1.30 the Woman’s Council at 2. & another Mother’s Congress at 3. then our General Officers meeting at 4.30. and another interview with the two Frenchmen at which were present‒ Dr. R. B. Penrose, Phebe Y. Beatie, Ida Smoot Dusenberry A. E. Walden Kate Wells & Belle Evans. Another kindergarten meeting was held at 7. p.m. and I left in the midst of it to come down to see Belle and tell her a few of the events of the busy day. {p. 126}

25 April 1903 • Saturday

<Letter from May Wright Sewall George Q. sprained his wrist> Today is very full of things too much almost for one to keep one’s wits. I went down to Annie’s saw her new crepe dress grey beautifully embroidered, and she is just about ready to go. I hurried back after lunch to send down some of her things, and could not possibly go to the meeting of the pioneers where I was expected to be and to give an anecdote. After a while I went up to see Hannah and had some supper there and came back to the Press Club, and gave them an address on my trip to New Orleans. Mary [Sutton] Goddard and Miss Van Norton were here and told me of Sister Goddard’s life and many trials. Mrs. Webber came and told me of the Flag to be sent to St. Louis Exposition The party including John Q. and Annie left six o’clock train p.m.8 {p. 127}

26 April 1903 • Sunday

Sunday stayed home except going over to Belle’s had dinner there with Belle Lucile [Sears] & Brent wrote Seven letters to Presidents of Stakes, felt very ill and wretched, my heart is troubled about my beloved ones. The weather seems so changable and one’s nerves are wrought upon then there are many troublesome things that distress and make one feel unsettled. I am anxious to write something more creditable than any of my articles in the past have been, and yet I do not get in the mood. I went over in the evening to see Belle again, Sep and Gertrude were there and they had a fine wood fire in the grate Belle misses Mr. Sears everywhere she cannot get over it– do what she will. {p. 128}

27 April 1903 • Monday

This morning heard from Annie’s folks they are all right. I am very glad. The morning I spent over at Sister Smith’s about letters and affairs and the Reaper’s Club met here at 2.30. p.m. I could not give the talk I had intended as I was not well had a severe headache. Heber A. Bowman came down from British Columbia and called to see me. It brought back many old-time recollections and we had a long conversation about his travels and the past. He is going to Park City to look up on some mines there. I have done very little today, talked some with callers and written some. This evening wrote to Lexia [Curtis] Harris who is in the City of Mexico among native women and Sister Vilate [Porter] White in Wyoming. {p. 129}

28 April 1903 • Tuesday

Early again this morning and visitors Aggie [Agnes Stewart] Campbell disappointed me– but others came Louise, Sister Sarah Jenne Cannon, Mary E. Bassett, Margaret A. Caine Bathsheba W. Smith to whom I read the letters I had written and she signed them, Sister [Augusta Joyce] Crocheron two or three gentlemen and so on; time seems to go rapidly and ere one is the aware the day is done. Aggie Campbell came and we prepared a conjoint letter for the two great organizations9 to be printed signed and circulated through all the organizations. Louise had a letter from her mother a sort of family letter she read to me. Lieut. [Richmond P.] Hobson speaks at the theatre tonight. I came home early had tea at Belle’s and have been looking over old journals. Miss [Mercy R.] Baker a student of expression has been in to see me {p. 130}

29 April 1903 • Wednesday

Felt a little better this morning and went up in good time. Letters waiting found Sister Sarah J. Cannon and then Martha [Harris Wells] and Lulu and Margaret Caine and Aggie Campbell and Sister Van Orden and more work etc. Went up to the President’s office saw Br. Winder Nuttall, Clawson Spence and Hyrum [M.] Smith and after a while Sister B. W. Smith came and I read her the letters and replies which she signed and stayed some time. Belle came up. Louise and George Q. were both in and altogether the day has been a busy one. Nell Clawson asked me to have tea at noon and I did and she was quite gay and sociable. Came home and found Lucile had fainted and was feeling very bad of course Belle was upset– {p. 131}

30 April 1903 • Thursday

Went up early and over to the Journal Office saw Mrs. Gates, who told me she intended to resign as Press Chairman– and spoke of selecting one of the Y.L. girls to take her place mentioned Miss Neff favorably. The circulars for Peace Meetings having come in we sent out to the several Stakes of Zion one or more for each ward to be distributed, to start the ball rolling. Sister B. W. Smith came and signed the Instructions and we had a nice visit, Margaret helped with the Peace Circulars, we had a number of callers. I was also trying to do my own mailing and to attend to callers. We finished late I was indeed very weary. Came home late very cold and Belle’s folks were in bed. Wrote five letters and did a little reading. {p. 132}

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April 1903, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed June 25, 2024