January 1908


28–29 February

EBW observed her eightieth birthday. Six hundred people attended a reception in her honor at the Lion House.

15 April

EBW began another series of biographies, “Women of the Past,” in the Woman’s Exponent. Later in the year, on 24 August, she talked of writing a brief history of the Relief Society.

17–18 July

Thieves stole EBW’s satchel and threw her papers into a water barrel. Fortunately, she recovered her diary and some letters—and eventually the satchel too.

15 September

EBW participated in a Granite Stake program in honor of Daniel H. Wells.

28 October

Women distributed campaign literature out of EBW’s office. The efforts helped elect Republican leaders in the city despite a challenge from the American Party.

10–30 December

At the invitation of her daughter Melvina and granddaughters Verona and Daisie, EBW spent the Christmas season in Spokane, Washington.

1 January 1908 • Wednesday

<Lydia Ann [Alley] Wells birthday 80 years wrote a poem> New Year’s morning was misty and not favorable as to sunshine news from Minnie J. [S. Ephramina Jensen] Snow very sad indeed, no hope whatever and totally unconscious, although even that is better than intense agony such as she had been undergoing for the past few days, The day has been very full of work and a few calls, one has many serious reflections on these festive days, something comes to mind of the past and premonitions of what the year may bring. We know it will bring many changes and yet know not what they may be. We know this that whatever comes we must endure as bravely as we can find strength and power to do. The days are full of mysteries to us all and yet rich with mercies and good gifts. And so in sorrow some of us begin this new year 1908. Will [C. William Buchholz] has stayed with Dot [S. Isabel Sears Buchholz] and the children and that is comforting to them in their deep sorrow.1 {p. 37}

2 January 1908 • Thursday

This is George Q. Cannon’s and Ruby [Derr Cannon]’s baby boy’s2 birthday. I could not go down but sent him a bank by Margaret [Cannon] and asked her to put some money in it. He is a fine baby and we are all proud of him. First news this morning was Sister Minnie J. Snow’s death at 1.40 this A.M. It is a great relief to those who saw her suffer so intensely and so long. She has been very brave and courageous and borne great physical pain with fortitude and faith. Our folks are making her clothes Lydia Ann Wells had a dinner party yesterday. I wrote her a poem and read it. Her brothers George H. [Alley] & Stephen [W. Alley] were there and Martha [Harris Wells] Susan [Alley Wells] & Hannah [Free Wells] as well as myself of the wives all her children and Susan’s too Kate [Catherine A. Wells] was the true hostess of the party many callers after dinner {p. 38}

3 January 1908 • Friday

This was the day of the Board meeting and it was as usual not exactly a battle of giants but strong-minded women. We had a few subjects that were not satisfactorily settled, left over[.] it is to be the end of the controversy on Dr. [Ellis Reynolds] Shipp’s class and that is really something to be grateful for, Sister [Bathsheba Wilson Bigler] Smith will never forgive her until she can prove certain statements that seem to reflect on her unfavorably, but I am sure she meant right. I do pray for the spirit of charity to prevail more than such iron rule. Christ manifested Charity for the sinner, we must forgive if we hope to be forgiven. I am in doubt about many things I have the utmost reverence for Sister B. W. Smith and cannot bear to think her in the wrong about this matter– Lord help me!3 {p. 39}

4 January 1908 • Saturday

This is George Q’s birthday and the day that the President of the United States Grover Cleveland signed the document that gave us statehood I recall the day our George Q. was born in the old home on State Street where we dwelt so many years I did not get down to see George Q. & Ruby and baby but sent him five dollars by Annie [Elizabeth Ann Wells Cannon] to get what he wanted. I feel very intensely interested in his welfare and pray most ardently that he may be guided in the path of honor integrity and uprightness and become a man of God in very deed. that no obstacles may hinder his upward pathway but he may attain to excellence and power in the holy priesthood and help to redeem his kindred and mine. May he soon find place and opportunity to open up a career of usefulness. {p. 40}

5 January 1908 • Sunday

The Fast meeting in the Temple Sister B. W. Smith would have me sit by her and Sister Rhoda [Taylor] Lyman next to me, there were not so many there as sometimes, but there was a beautiful spirit and some fine testimonies borne, sick ones were prayed for and Pres. Smith made powerful remarks, President [John R.] Winder and [Anthon H.] Lund were there also Francis M. Lyman and John Henry Smith George A. Smith and Hyrum [M.] Smith also George F. Richards, Junius F. Wells After meeting I came home as I expected Sister Buchanan from her Xmas visit home to Venice. She came about six p.m. I am as usual busy with reports The weather is very cold and gloomy and much sickness prevailing makes one depressed, there are also many deaths I am busy writing {p. 41}

6 January 1908 • Monday

Reaper’s Social met today a very good meeting, quite a number present, it seems strange that the ladies have kept the Club together when so many were fearful about it and could not see the benefits or the results. Sister [Mary Alice Cannon] Lambert is not very well. Lilly [Lambert] Woodbury’s mother4 is very ill at her home in Orchard Square. I am greatly in favor of the reading from Church history. It brings so much to one’s remembrance {p. 42}

8 January 1908 • Wednesday

Hon. John T. Caine’s birthday 79 years old, he is a very fine man in appearance for his years, was a good Delegate in Congress some years while Utah was a Territory. I was quite fond of Mrs. [Margaret Nightingale] Caine while in Washington she carried herself very well I went with her to make calls on wives of members several times, she dressed in good taste and was well respected. Miss [Susan B.] Anthony was fond of John T. he was a good friend of the Suffrage women, always spoke for suffrage on all occasions, gave them money too to help the cause. I would have sent a message to Brother and Sister Caine only I could not get their telephone. I have had several calls today from members of the Board who are interested in Sister Shipp’s case and sympathize with her against those who are trying to hurt her. {p. 43}

9 January 1908 • Thursday

This is said to be my best day by some who foretell events. Perhaps it is so, it is not my favorite day but it is a day that seems restful as I have no meetings on Thursdays, and generally try to get some letters written and sent off, sometimes callers hinder away my time although perhaps it is good to exchange ideas and thoughts with people who have different views and environments and yet are just as sincere as are ourselves are, I have had strangers today who were very much interested in me personally one of them had called here ten years ago or more and had vivid recollections of me and my granddaughter, when my office was in the historic house behind the wall. I do not feel at all well but must go on bravely with my work just as if nothing ailed me {p. 44}

10 January 1908 • Friday

This is a day of hard work and it has stormed, wind blew and snow flew. A typical winter day, 59 years ago to day Ashabel [F. Ashbel] Pomeroy was born in the old fort, Belle [Isabel Whitney Sears] was 2 months old. he is a Doctor now in Oregon he married Charles C. Rich’s daughter.5 I am trying very hard to finish my mailing and it is wearisome to have it drag on so long. There are so many things transpiring that one can never tell what will come next Annie and family are busy with the birthday preparations and the children have rehearsals up in town at the several houses of relatives {p. 45}

11 January 1908 • Saturday

This is the Cannon party at Cannon home at John Q.’s and Annie’s and I am invited. There is to be a fine program and everything in perfect order. John Q. will be master of ceremonies and the refreshments are in charge of Miss Olander and a competent committee of Cannons. Exercises were excellent refreshments all that a connoisseur could wish and all excellent Chronicle good and humorous, singing and children’s parts very well done. I was invited to speak much to my surprise but I responded with reminiscences of President [George Q.] Cannon in Congress as Delegate from Utah. The party was a very good celebration the best of the Cannon’s that I have heard or witnessed. We talked it over after the guests had gone, and had some singing of hymns. {p. 46}

12 January 1908 • Sunday

At <Came> home all day trying to finish report and do some other odd things. Sister Buchanan went to the Tabernacle this morning stayed in bed late and Clarissa [Smith] Williams telephoned me, Annie was going away to a meeting and I had to come down and strain every nerve to listen, same annoyance about money matters with Annie Taylor Hyde, this is the second time she has made the confusion over money matters.6 Annie [Wells Cannon] went off to some Ward Conference and I went down stairs and had a visit with Margaret she is a very reticent girl and few people know her true worth. Annie has a fine family not one that is lacking in good sense, all up to high water mark came home at evening and did some little writing. Sister Buchanan is always here getting her lessons. {p. 47}

13 January 1908 • Monday

Today Clarissa leaves for Chicago to visit her daughter Tessie [Clarissa Williams Van Law] she is not well at all herself I wrote to Br. [German E.] Ellsworth to tell him she was coming at her request. She had permission from the Board or was authorized to do any work there that would be needed I have been busy with my work on the paper. Clarissa is very much troubled about the way in which Annie Hyde treated her about the money– it is very trying to us all at least Sister B. W. Smith and myself as well as Clarissa. Strange she should be so importunate when she has plenty of money of her own. Sister Smith talks of removing her from being her Counselor but lets it go on, and does not take any necessary steps, perhaps she could not as so many think she herself is incompetent.7 {p. 48}

16 January 1908 • Thursday

This is Helen [L.] Hillard’s birthday she would be eighteen years old today how strange it seems, she was very beautiful, and a most welcome child when a babe <in> long clothes her mother8 brought her to Salt Lake and she was in the old house behind the wall where so many wonderful things had taken place and the last visits with Prest. [Daniel H.] Wells. Today was the meeting of the D.R.9 in my office and I presented the Regent the Secretary and others with a copy of Plet by Ernest Lambourne10 which he had given me to distribute among my friends, Alice [Merrill] Horne had the subject Columbus Florence [Scholes] Sears had {p. 49}

17 January 1908 • Friday

Today is our meeting again and let us hope and believe it will be more harmoniouss than the last or many others however we got through and succeeded in suppressing all unpleasantness. I had an idea it was Dr. Ellis R. Shipp’s birthday but was mistaken it is on the 20th. Sister Smith feels dreadful about Annie Hyde will not forgive her, because of her duplicity in the money affair,11 she was very profuse in her good wishes for me as she was leaving, and said she hoped I would have the best birthday I had ever had in my life. There were 13. at the meeting, an incident I do not relish at all, but must not be too superstitious. {p. 50}

The names of those at the meeting were Bathsheba W. Smith Annie Taylor Hyde Emmeline B. Wells Sarah Jenne Cannon Julina L. [Lambson] Smith Julia P. M. [Murdock] Farnsworth Annie Wells Cannon Minnie H. [Horne] James, Carrie S. [Caroline Stockdale] Thomas, Rebecca E. [Mantle] Little, Emily S. [Tanner] Richards.

18 January 1908 • Saturday

Today has been very busy as usual on Saturday and many coming in for this and that, making confusion and so forth. {p. 15}

19 January 1908 • Sunday

All day here trying to go ahead with my writing finally had a message to go to Hugh [J.] Cannon’s to dinner and spend the evening, it was his birthday 38 years old. Went off by myself and reached there before John Q. & Annie, May [Wilcken Cannon] Hugh’s wife is very agreeable and hospitable and her father Charles Wilkins [Carl Heinrich Wilcken] is a very fine man been in the German Army and there were a number of agreeable people. Refreshments were served to all guests, Br. & Sister Langford were there and Dorothy Cannon Hyde who is very entertaining. She told some funny incidents Sarah J. Cannon Hugh’s mother was there and she is going this week to Los Angelos [Los Angeles] or Alameda [California] on a visit {p. 52}

20 January 1908 • Monday

Today although so very busy managed to be ready in time to go with Sister Julia P. M. Farnsworth to dine at Dr. E. R. Shipp’s– fine dinner, she was handsomely dressed in black silk a present from her children. Sister Farnsworth and myself were the only guests though others were invited she is most intensely desirouus of pleasing, Olea [Shipp] san[g] for us Love Divine. After we came back I had a number of callers and did not get much work done only talking. I am very much behind and keep getting more so. Mell [Melvina Whitney Woods] is sick and that worries me. I am constantly praying for divine aid to help me to do my necessary work {p. 53}

21 January 1908 • Tuesday

My party in honor of Sister Eliza R. Snow was a perfect success. I had planned it in my mind beforehand but had not invited any one until the last minute as it were and included 45 in my invitations but only 27 came 18 stayed away and sent no word at the time. Sister Bathsheba W. Smith sat by me and I conducted the affair. we sung first “Come come ye Saints” then I asked Sister Mary Alice C. Lambert to make the opening prayer. Then I invited Sister Smith to make an address to start the others almost every one present spoke Sister Annie W. Cannon read Sister Eliza’s Poem What it is to be a Saint[,] Sister Farnsworth had a written tribute to the memory of Sister Eliza[,] Claire Little Clawson made a telling speech referring to the birthday spent in Rome in 1873. On that day she was 18 years old and Sister Eliza 69– born in 1804. {p. 54}

22 January 1908 • Wednesday

The day after the party is always more or less tiresome and this is no exception, though mail came from Miss [Clara] Barton printed matter in abundance to explain her new work. Annie and myself went to see Annie Eva Fay [Pingree] at the Kenyon, had an amusing time, talked of Miss Barton and Mrs. Pingree’s home at Melrose Heights– Annie went with me to lunch at Franklin’s then she went home and I to the office, there is something fascinating about Glen Echo the home of Miss Clara Barton in Maryland just out of Washington {p. 55}

23 January 1908 • Thursday

I had been invited to Sister Priscilla [Paul] Jennings to dinner and spend the evening and had a lovely time All day I felt ill and depressed and after going up there my spirits grew light and the dinner was very appetizing and most enjoyable. There were at table Frank [W. Jennings] and Margie [Dwyer Jennings] besides the hostess (the mother) her sister Susan [Paul] Brooks and her grandchild Priscilla [Jennings] a girl fourteen or perhaps only twelve and myself. After dinner Mrs. Jennings and myself went up stairs into her bedroom and talked confidentially for hours, I am sure it was good for her, and not disagreeable for me {p. 56}

24 January 1908 • Friday

This is a day in our history when events have transpired worthy of note. Sydney [W. Sears] Belle’s baby boy was born on that day and so was Annie’s Eleanor [A. Cannon] and Will [William] W. Woods’ Mells husband was also born on that day. These dear little ones have passed away but the memory remains pure and tender. It is the wedding anniversary of Brigham Young and Amelia [Folsom Young], she has kept it for years by inviting a few friends or a large party. Today is very damp and dark but she has sent for me and I will go down for a little while. The Club of Sixteen12 had met there to cheer her up bringing flowers and dainties I hope it will be a solace to her to remember the time[.] I took her a book “A woman’s Confessional,” she gave me a carnation from each bouquet the ladies gave to her {p. 57}

25 January 1908 • Saturday

A busy day for me work and callers, and late coming up I am so ill and sleepless at night and get no rest scarcely at all. Days are never long enough for my many duties and one must rest some. Cavendish [W. Cannon] came to help me and we went down to the favorite Tea House to dine. He is a wonderfully intelligent child and is good company. Junius came to see me. I am very fond of him but his deafness is distressing one feels so sorry for him and one cannot do anything else but try to entertain him when he comes. He is so intellectual and such a zealous Latterday Saint, it is so pitiful because he could do so much I came home very weary and must rest tomorrow. Emmeline [Cannon] & Cavendish are graduates of Lafayette School exercises held this evening John Q. & <Annie are there> {p. 58}

26 January 1908 • Sunday

This is another anniversary that is quite telling in our family. Belle’s boy Septimus [Whitney Sears] was born in 1874 and he grew to manhood a handsome young man, often remarked upon for his fine figure and presence. Recently he has been most unhappy and has caused his mother and in fact all of us great anxiety. I have been in my room all day. My house keeper went out to spend the day. and I have tried to look up on a few things. The sisters ask me for material to get up papers or lectures and I try to be helpful if I can. It is the Quarterly Conference of Pioneer Stake and John Q. and Annie have gone to Conference and Margaret <and I went> in the afternoon. Hyrum Smith & O. [Orson] F. Whitney were the speakers this afternoon. Wrote letters to Dr. R. B. [Romania Bunnell Pratt] Penrose and Ida S. [Smoot] Dusenberry {p. 59}

27 January 1908 • Monday

<George Crismon died at eleven this morning–> This morning I could scarcely get to the office so it seems the rest of yesterday did not prove very effective my cold is still quite severe. The day is damp and gloomy and there is a heavvy fog. Emmeline started to the University today L.D.S. Cavendish to the High school. Both seem quite elated John Q. was in and seemed in high spirits as well. Have had so many callers could not work. Reaper’s Club too and a very interesting meeting I could not finish my mailing. Letter from Mrs. H. C. Jones in Los Angelos [Los Angeles] telling of the Macks, I took it to President Jos. F. Smith– at the office. He seemed very much occupied with business, I came home in a dense fog could not see my way, felt very wretched in body and in mind. Wrote to Lydia [Pond] Rich Morgan sent Verses {p. 60}

28 January 1908 • Tuesday

This morning felt a little better went off late however and had letter from Earl Dusenberry containing notice of Ida’s speech in New York, took it to Br. [Janne M.] Sjodahl for the Evening News. Visitors today were Junius F. Wells John Q. Cannon, Cornelia H. [Horne] Clayton Samanthia B. [Brimhall] Foley, Mrs. Jos. Davison [Lois Harwood Davison], Emmeline Y. [Young] Wells and dozens more. Actually completed my mailing unless there are some odd ones. [G.] Alberta & Ivie Blanche Barton this evening– came home nine o’clock car as usual and commenced writing and thinking. It is late now all the lights are out except mine. It is just on midnight hour and I must get into bed. Blessed sleep how it refreshes the body and soul. Was informed today a Jewish lady had said I was as great as Julia Ward Howe. Surely a compliment– {p. 61}

29 January 1908 • Wednesday

This morning I lingered to be rested and keep thoughts clear knowing how much might come to annoy me during the day. It was noon when I reached the office Sister [A. Eulalie] Walden was there with news & news and Br. [Heber J.] Sheffield of Kaysville on R.S.13 matters, I soon went to the News to make up the paper. Annie came up and went to her Committee on history, and Sister B. W. Smith came too but I had to go back to the Seventh floor of the News and finish the make up. Belle came to go to the Pioneer meeting at the Lion House.14 We met Susa [Young] <Gates> & Josephine Spencer and both saluted us with good words. I saw Dr. Ellis R. Shipp and reminded her of the Pioneer Meeting on Friday. Wrote to Mrs. [Lillian M.] Hollister this evening mailed the letter. I am very weary, car was delayed on the way home, had to change into another care– made us late {p. 62}

30 January 1908 • Thursday

Have had a night of terrors this morning dark and gloomy snow began to fall about eleven A.M. When I arrived at the office the snow was coming down in great flakes. The office was very cold, a letter from Mell saying she was recovering slowly was very satisfying, and I telephoned the girls and read thee letter to Margaret who came into see me. Sister [Jemima Hough] Midgeley had been to see me about the 12th. ward incorporation of the Relief Society the 12th. & 13th are united in one ward now called the 12th. 13th. Bishop [Franklin B.] Platt the Bishop of both combined. Sister Phebe Woodruff Snow has also been and told me all about Minnie [Jensen Snow]’s and her influence with him15 in relation to his family. She is a very weak woman but as strong mentally as many others of the wives of great men. I read my revise, Louise [Cannon Andrew] has been up, she looks sort of pitiful. I wrote a long letter to night to my sister Cordelia [Woodward Holden], {p. 63}

31 January 1908 • Friday

This morning went to look over the makeup of January 1908. then to Bee Hive House to go with others to Ensign Stake Conference, Sister Bathsheba myself and Julina were to go– but Pres. B. W. Smith and Julina could not either of them go and has invited Sister Clarissa S. Williams to represent the President, so we two went together, it was held in the Meeting house in the 12th.Ward, and was well attended R. [Richard] W. Young & J. T. Caine were there also Bishop Platte, Sister [Margaret Thomas] Romney presided– I was the speaker first called then Sister Williams afterwards Sisters [Rebecca Neibaur] Nibley and Thomas, came home <to office> and prepared for Press Club at which I was expected to speak. I made Aunt Zina [Diantha Huntington Young] my subject and we had a poem by Dr. Shipp and other things Annie gave her talk on the Red Cross and Clara Barton today in Pioneer Hall and made the Nurse Class special guests of the day, I am home tonight but not well have been chilly all day {p. 64}

Cite this page

January 1908, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed May 22, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/emmeline-b-wells/1900s/1908/1908-01