The Church Historian's Press

January 1918


20 February

EBW fell into the elevator shaft in the Bishop’s Building. She grabbed a cable and was steadied by her daughter Belle Sears until she could be rescued.

28 February

The Relief Society board members honored EBW on her ninetieth birthday with a luncheon in the “President’s suite” at the Hotel Utah. A reception followed at which about eight hundred people stopped by to see her. On 1 March close friends and family gathered for birthday cake, memories, and songs.

1 April

Visiting dignitary Jane Addams of Hull House in Chicago visited EBW and toured Relief Society headquarters before speaking to the Bonneville dinner group in the Hotel Utah, where EBW was seated next to Addams.

17 September

While crossing the street, EBW was hit by a streetcar and severely injured.

19 November

President Joseph F. Smith died after an illness. “I am greatly grieved,” noted EBW in her diary. In December she composed a tribute to him to be published in the January 1919 Relief Society Magazine.

23 November

The Quorum of the Twelve reorganized the First Presidency, ordaining Heber J. Grant as president. He selected as counselors Anthon H. Lund and Charles W. Penrose, both of whom had served with President Smith.

21 January 1918 • Tuesday

Belle [Isabel Whitney Sears] and I stayed up to watch the passing of the old year. Annie [Elizabeth Ann Wells Cannon] & others called up to wish the New Year’s happiness for us. When Belle left she wanted me to go with her but I do not like to go so far this time of year. I walked over to the R.S.3 home4 to see Cornelia [Horne] Clayton then called on Sophia [Lyon] Hyde where I had dinner Sister E. Hammer was there. Belle came up and we went together to the Bee Hive House to Edith Smiths wedding.5 Belle did not stay but Katharine [Cannon] was there and she went home with me and stayed all night. Tom [Thomas W.] Sloan died about 5. o’clock to night I was greatly shocked [p. 1] {p. 5}

2 January 1918 • Wednesday

Katharine went off early to school and I went over to R.S. rooms. Annie came in about noon. She had been to see Edna [Wells Sloan] and she explained the circumstances of Tom’s death. He died with pneumonia after a very brief illness.

My dear friend and associate Sister Priscilla P. [Paul] Jennings died this afternoon <evening> Gone to her rest after weary weeks of pain.

Ida [Smoot Dusenberry] came up to day to attend the teachers convention. Sister Georgina [Geertsen] Marriott and my grand daughter Margaret came to see me. Belle at night [p. 2] {p. 6}

3 January 1918 • Thursday

I had Jennie [Acord Hyde] send roses up to the Jenning’s home. The Genl Board6 held its first meeting after the holiday vacation and there is considerable business to attend to. A committee was appointed to draw resolutions about Sister Jennings Ida Dusenbury and daughter Margaret [A. Dusenberry] were here in the evening. Katharine staid at night [p. 3] {p. 7}

4 January 1918 • Friday

Today was Tom’s funeral in the 18th Ward. I did not feel quite equal to going but never the less am greatly grieved. After the funeral Annie came to see me and told me all about it. She also read the evening paper. Later she went down to see George Q. [Cannon] it is his birthday. 37 years. Belle was with me at night. [p. 4] {p. 8}

5 January 1918 • Saturday

Sister [Rebecca Neibaur] Nibley called to take me to Mrs Jenning’s funeral. There were of course very many people and beautiful flowers. Not many members of the board were there and after the services I went to the cemetery with Hebe [Heber M. Wells] and Emily [Katz Wells]. We have buried today one of my best friends and a true woman. Annie came up to stay with me at night. She was rather late and I was very tired. Dr [George W.] Middleton came to see me also Sister [Julia Murdock] Farnsworth Hebe came up to the room when he bro’t me home [p. 5] {p. 9}

6 January 1918 • Sunday

Annie walked over with me to the Temple Gate, We met Hiram [Hyrum M.] Smith and Ida [Bowman Smith] just going in they stoppe[d] to shake hands with us and I went into the fast meeting with them. Ida sat by me. It was a very interesting meeting Among others June [Junius F. Wells] spoke and spoke very well. Louise [Cannon Andrew] came at noon and helped me dress in my blue silk for a picture to be printed in the “New West”7 It was taken on the Mezzanine floor. Little Jack [John Q. Andrew] was with her. Amy [Brown Lyman] & Margaret Lyman came In the evening Dot [S. Isabel Sears Buchholz] & Will [C. William Buchholz] came to see us. Belle was with me. [p. 6] {p. 10}

7 January 1918 • Monday

Surely a “blue Monday”. Nothing particular at office. I went as usual for lunch at Z.C.M.I.8 Annie went to a meeting of Woman’s Republican Club and they elected her historian. She came to the office to see me after the meeting. Katharine came to stay at night. [p. 7] {p. 11}

8 January 1918 • Tuesday

Edna Wells Sloan and son Lawrence [W. Sloan] left to day for the east He expects to sail shortly for France and Edna will stay with Mary9 for awhile. The day passed as usual some company. The girls in the office all busy and I went out as usual to lunch.

Belle came up to stay at night. [p. 8] {p. 12}

9 January 1918 • Wednesday

Alberta Barton Ferris came to see me. Her husband10 has been drafted into the army and is assigned to his post She is going to Washington to stay with her sister11 while he is away.

Annie came up to stay with me at night. [p. 9] {p. 13}

10 January 1918 • Thursday

We had our meeting of the Genl. Board and attended to many matters. The question of filling the vacancy came up but I thought it too soon and would not have it discussed at all.

The Susan B. Anthony Amendmnt to day was passed in the House of Representatives.12 There is great rejoicing among the suffragists [p. 10] {p. 14}

11 January 1918 • Friday

<Thursday Continued> The stake presidency of Ensign Stake came to see me about Mary [Snyder] Murdock. I sent for Sister [Lydia Dunford] Alder to go to the hospital when Mary Murdock was there sick. and they came to talk about it. I was very unhappy about Sister Murdocks death and funeral and that it was all over with before I knew about it. Belle here.


Ida & Sister [Carrie Stockdale] Thomas came, Ida bro’t letter about Sister Jennings Alberta B. Ferris came for a blessing before going away. She bro’t me a jar of cold cream [p. 11] {p. 15}

12 January 1918 • Saturday

This is rather a lonely day. Abram [H. Cannon] came up to see me. Violet McClure came over to see me in afternoon. Belle was here at night. [p. 12] {p. 16}

13 January 1918 • Sunday

It is very cold weather and quite depressing. I went as usual to the Tabernacle and came home feeling very cold and not at all well. Miss Woolf13 the grand daughter of William Hyde cane home with me. The Woolf family were among the Canada pioneers.14

Annie stayed with me at night. [p. 13] {p. 17}

14 January 1918 • Monday

After Annie left me I went over to the building. my voice is quite hoarse and I am not so very well. Ellen C. [Hitchings] Harrison came to see me It is a very long time since I saw her. She looked quite nice and seems very satisfied with her life. Belle was here at night [p. 14] {p. 18}

15 January 1918 • Tuesday

Annie was here at night. [p. 15] {p. 19}

16 January 1918 • Wednesday

Annie went over to office with me and stayed until about noon. We went over some Exponents and papers.

June came to see me Belle was here at night. [p. 16] {p. 20}

17 January 1918 • Thursday

This morning I attended the wool growers meeting.15 The hotel is very crowded with delegates to the convention. We had our regular board meeting this afternoon. Julina [Lambson Smith] is not well enough to come. Clarissa [Smith Williams] and I went up to see her. In the evening there was music down stairs Horace [S.] Ensign sang a number also some lady. I met and talked with Mrs Henderson Brent [E. Brenton Sears] came up. Belle was here at night. [p. 17] {p. 21}

18 January 1918 • Friday

Seymour [B. Young] came to talk about the Indian War Pension. He has been much interested in getting that for me. Mrs Alice Pinborrough [Vince Pinborough] called also Brent was here. Belle stayed at night coming over from the Temple. [p. 18] {p. 22}

19 January 1918 • Saturday

Annie came up about one o clock and went with me to lunch in Z.C.M.I. later we went over to the hotel and she stayed with me until about four o’clock. I went down stairs and sat in the lobby for awhile. It is very lonesome on Saturdays. Katharine came up in good time and we had a pleasant evening. [p. 19] {p. 23}

20 January 1918 • Sunday

To day was the conference of the Liberty Stake. Katharine did not go away very early I went to the Tabernacle in the afternoon and then back to the hotel. Sep [Septimus Whitney Sears] came to see me. His mother was here to stay with me at night. [p. 20] {p. 24}

21 January 1918 • Monday

After Belle went home I went to office and out as usual to lunch Katharine came up to stay at night and brought a new book, “A Daughter of the Morning.” It is a story of the new woman. To day is the birthday of Eliza R. Snow. The first one I think that we have not noticed in some way. [p. 21] {p. 25}

22 January 1918 • Tuesday

To day I wrote a letter to Dr Middleton He has been gone for some time. The weather is very cold and unpleasant I went as usual to the office and had lunch at Z.C.M.I Belle came up at night. She is not very well and I am worried about her. [p. 22] {p. 26}

23 January 1918 • Wednesday

I was very much up set this morning over a report that Hiram Smith was dead. He is very ill indeed. I was quite late going out to lunch Mrs Luffborrough called on me. Sister [Ruth May] Fox came in the evening and Annie was here for awhile. I went with Ruth Fox to hear Dr [George H.] Brimhall give his lesson on the Doctrine and Covenants. Belle was here with me at night. Hiram M. Smith died at ten o’clock to night. [p. 23] {p. 27}

24 January 1918 • Thursday

We had our meeting of the Board all day beginning at ten in the morning. Susie [Susa Young Gates] is reading her history.16 We went together to dinner at the hotel and went into session again at two o’clock There was a great deal of business to attend to. Belle was here at night. Brent came up for awhile. Horace Ensign was married to Ara Elizabeth Hunsaker to day. [p. 24] {p. 28}

25 January 1918 • Friday

Belle went over to Temple as usual and I went to office. Had lunch at Z.C.M.I. Annie came up to see me after her officers meeting. I had a letter from Phebe [Young Beatie] and Walt [Walter J. Beatie] with an article from the Los Angeles Times about the Young family in the war. I took it over to Jno. Q. [John Q. Cannon]

Katharine stayed with me at night. [p. 25] {p. 29}

26 January 1918 • Saturday

Katharine left quite early to go to the University to study and prepare some papers. I had lunch at Z.C.M.I. and then went up to see Nell [Young Clawson] Brown. She put the vibrator on me and it made me feel much better. June came in to see me and bro’t Bro & Sister Austin17 I lent him my book of Augusta [Joyce] Crocheron’s poems.18 Belle came rather early and stayed with me at night [p. 26] {p. 30}

27 January 1918 • Sunday

Sister Nibley called and took me in her auto to the Tabernacle to the funeral of Hiram Smith. It was a very long funeral, there were many speakers and most beautiful flowers Tributes were paid by Ort [Orson F. Whitney], Dr [James E.] Talmage, F. [Frank] Y. Taylor Heber [J.] Grant, Bro [Charles W.] Penrose & Bishop [Charles W.] Nibley. I went to the cemetery with Clarissa and Emily [Tanner] Richards. Had dinner at hotel and Katharine came up to stay at night. [p. 27] {p. 31}

28 January 1918 • Monday

Katharine went off early to school and I went for a while to the office Belle came up quite early to go with me down to Eleanor [Rhein Sears]’s to a party. She gave a linnen shower for Emily Smith, her friend. It was an exceedingly nice party There were about 30 there. We had a very nice time and came home rather late. Emily and her mother, Lucy [Woodruff] Smith, went down on the same car with us. Belle stayed with me at night [p. 28] {p. 32}

29 January 1918 • Tuesday

Belle stayed with me until about 2 o’clock. Will came up to see us and went over to the R.S. rooms with me and Belle. They then went away. In the evening Mr Putnay of Massachusetts came in to see me and talked a good deal about old places and land marks. He is rather interesting. Annie came up to stay and brought a new book Comrades by Mary Dillon She read me two chapters before we went to bed. [p. 29] {p. 33}

30 January 1918 • Wednesday

Clarissa telephoned quite early to know if we would meet tomorrow at the Bee Hive House as Aunt Julina is too sick to come out. I consented and was going to have the members of board notified when word came that Julina was not so well so we will have our meeting as usual in our own rooms. Clara [Woodruff] Beebe came in in the evening and she went with Belle and me to hear Dr Brimhall give his lecture on Church doctrine. [p. 30] {p. 34}

31 January 1918 • Thursday

I had a rather busy day There was a long meeting of the Genl. Board.19 Ida came over afterward and had supper with Belle & me. She then went to the theatre with her neice Annie Smoot. Kate [Catherine Wells] came to get Aunt Susan [Alley Wells]’s money Brent came up for a little while. Belle here at night. [p. 31] {p. 35}

Cite this page

January 1918, The Diaries of Emmeline B. Wells, accessed July 24, 2024