The Church Historian's Press

December 1907

1 December 1907 • Sunday

Fasted. and attended to duty. At 10 A.M. meeting there were present 1117. At conclusion I occupied 25 minutes with good liberty & satisfaction on the subjict of Temple work including gathering.

From 12 to 2 o’clock we were setting apart & ordaining men [p. 54] to office &c. I was mouth in the following ordinations.

John Frederick Nash 2nd Counselor to Pres. Kimbal in St. Joseph Stake Prisidiny [Presidency]

August Evans High Counselor.

Andrew Christian Peterson Bishop of Thatcher Ward.

Crozier Kimball Bishop of S. David Wd.

Edmond Dysart Howard High Priest & 2nd Counseler to Bp. Hancock Hubberd Ward.

Nathaniel Gains Nalms [Nelms]. High Priest & Second Counselor to Bp Hunsaker. Globe

Archibald Orrell Lamoreaux High Priest

We administered to Bro. Elisha F. Hubbard. I sealed the anointing.

At 2 P.M. Meeting there were present 1231. I occupied 25 minutes. Temple work. That which I have recorded above as talk of the morning was given in afternoon meeting. In morning I spoke upon genl Gospel subjects.

Took Supper at Father Clarages and at evening meeting occupied 40 minutes on Gospel doctrines & evidences of the Gospel. Good liberty. Present [blank]

Wrote letters to my Son in Chicago. Received letter of 27th ult reporting Edith some what improved. [p. 55]

2 December 1907 • Monday


Elder Geo A. Smith & I attended the Devotional Services at the Academy and each addressed the School. I occupied about 20 minutes subject Origin & purpose of the School A Church organization &c. Habits block our way to progress & success & cause opportunities to pass us by.

After this meeting had a council meeting Bro. Smith & I with Bro. Williams a presiding Elder of [blank] Branch & another man [blank] Socialists answered questions.

Drove over to Center Ward and held meeting at 2 P.M. I was the first Speaker and occupied 45 minutes considering the personality of God. After the meeting conversed with some who could not indorse the doctrines that the Father and the Son are two separate personages. We discovered five persons of this character[;] one [first and last names redacted] had been cut off the Church for Apostasy. We left them our testamony & warned them to repent as the Spirit will not always strive with man.

Attended a Meeting of the High Council and Circle meeting in the evening. Took supper with [p. 56] Brother & Sister Nash.

3 December 1907 • Tuesday


Pres. Kimball & wife & Pres C. M. Layton drove Bro. G. A. Smith & me over to Safford where we took train for Juarez Reached El Paso at 6 P.M. Sister McCune with us. Took rooms at St. Regis Hotel. Had bath, trimmed beard, had clothes pressed & repaired, wrote a letter to my wife. Also made report of our labors in St. Joseph Stake to the Stake First Presidency.

At the El Paso Ry Station we met Pres. Jos. E. Robinson, Sisters Spencer & Brown <of Kanab> & Bp. Johnson & wife from Colonial Colonia Diaz. They were boarding West bound train. Weather pleasant. I took some cold during the night. We staid at St Rigis Hotel.

4 December 1907 • Wednesday

El Paso, Texas.

We left El Paso about 7:30 A.M. on car for Ciudad Juarez across the Rio Grande River which forms the line between US & Mexico. Then took train for Dublan the terminal of the road a Mormon town. We were met at station by Pres. Anthony W. Ivins and Helaman Pratt. Were taken to the latters home where we spent [p. 57] the night. Elder G. A. Smith occupied the Same bed and slept well.

5 December 1907 • Thursday

Dublan. Mexico.

We left Colonia Dublan about 9:45 AM and reached Colonia Juarez about 12:45 1:45 P.M. with Pres. Ivins 16 miles from Dublan. The new bridge at Juarez having just been completed by the people of Juarez at a cost of $8,000.00 was just ready to turn over to the Mexican Authorities as a gift & Several of the representatives of the government were present as were also many of the Juarez people also the Juarez Academy Uniformed band and a juvenile band of the Mexicans from Casus Grandus the County Seat between Dublan and Juarez. I [A] brief service was held as follows.

1. Pres. A. W. Ivins made a formal turn over of the bridge to the official present who made a brief speech of acceptance both speeches in Spanish. Prof. Wilson made two brief talks and Elder G. A. Smith made a talk the bands playing between times. Bro Smiths & Bro Wilsons talks were interpreted and [p. 58] I was one of the first to pass over the bridge.

On our way we saw the anscient ruins of settlements, walls of houses. <&c.>

Was disappointed in not finding letters from home on my arrival at Juarez. Slept at Bro. Wilsons.

6 December 1907 • Friday

Juarez Mexico.

After breakfast I attended the Academy devotional and addressed the Students. Looked through the departments of the Academy. Wrote letters to my wife and my son LeGrand in Holland. With Pres. Ivins & others went down the river about five miles to the headquarters of the [blank] Ranch which comprises several millions of Acres & two hundred thousand head of cattle & horses i.e. the ownership of this man is thus extensive. Drove about the town on our return. Took supper with Pres. Ivins. Read the paper &c and in the evening I called in & saw the young folks dance for a short time. Weather pleasant and but for slight cold my health is good.

7 December 1907 • Saturday

Juarez. Mex.

I attended 10 A.M. Conference meeting. Occupied about 20 min. [p. 59] Get acquainted meeting. Praised the people for their virtues & their accomplishments.

At afternoon we heard from two returned missionaries, from Pres Helaman Pratt & from G A Smith, the latter occupying 40 minutes.

In forenoon, Pres. Ivins spoke 35 minutes, Sister McCune and Horace Cummings spoke the latter having come in to town the night before in interest of Religion class & Church School work. We held a meeting with the Church School Board of the Stake from 4 to 6 P.M. At 7:30 Attended Stake Priesthood meeting. Large attendance. Pres. Ivins, myself & Elder Geo A Smith were the Speakers also Bro Cummings. I spoke upon the Subject of tithing, Honoring the Priesthood we bear and grading up the lesser priesthood. occupied about 25 minutes.

John W. Taylor was present at the meeting.

8 December 1907 • Sunday

Juarez. Mexico

Attended S. School from 9 to 10:30 and addressed the School for about 20 minutes. Attended Conference meeting from 10:30 to 12 noon. [p. 60] Held council meeting with the Stake Presidency & H. Council.

Attended 2 P.M. meeting, large attendance. I occupied 40 minutes with good liberty on the restoration and evedences of the truth of Mormonism. The Lord assisted me by his spirit. Met with the Stake Presidency 4 P.M. & missionaries to Mexican Mission and I was mouth in Setting apart one of two Walter Joshua Stevens. Attended evening meeting of 2 hrs 30 min. duration. Did not speak at this meeting. A very busy day.

9 December 1907 • Monday

Juarez, Mex.

I wrote letters to my wife, to my Son George at Chicago and to Wm Asper of my Circle. Attended council meeting of Stake Presidency between 9 & 10 A.M. Attended Mutual Convention at 10 and 2 o’clock. I spoke briefly at each. These were very interesting meetings. Inteligent consideration of the Subjects assigned Elder Geo. A. Smith and I took dinner with Bro Romney Pres. of the Mutuals.

During my stay at Juarez I have Slept at Bro. Wilson’s (Guy) [p. 61] and have eaten part of the time at Pres. Ivins’ and at the two homes of Bro. Guy Wilsons. Ate meals with Bro. Harper.

We have had a nice time while here.

Sister Elizabeth McCune and two of Elder Grants daughters leave this afternoon for Dublan where they take train this tomorrow morning for home.

10 December 1907 • Tuesday

Juarez, Mex.

Bro. Horace Cummings rode with Bro. Guy Wilson from Juarez to Dublan between the hours of 9 & 12

Attended ward Priesthood meeting at 1 P.M. and ward meeting at 2 P.M. Bro. Albert D. Thurber was Sustained as Bp of Colonia Dublan with Gaskel Romney as first & Anson Bowen Call as second counselor. Elder Geo A. Smith ordained Bro. Thurber a Bishop & Set him apart and I ordained Bro. Romney <a High Priest> & Set him apart & Bro Ivins set Bro. Call apart. Bros. Call & Thurber were already High Priests.

Bro. Ivins made a few opening remarks and presented the business and the ordinations followed. I then spoke 30 min [p. 62] bolstering up the action appealing to the people to Support the new Bishopric and to right all wrongs as the Lord through the revelations had directed and to live in peace to-gether. To make the Sacrifices required. Lay at the feet of the Bishop your substance to be used for the Cause which is one of common interest. Elder Smith Spoke 30 minutes in Conclusion. Bro. Ivins left before close of meeting to go by Special train with Ry officials to El Paso on important business for the People.

At 5 P.M. we met the New Bishopric at Pres. Pratt’s home where we instructed them in their duties, answered questions &c.

No letters from home since we left Thatcher last letter dated Nov. 24th.

I took supper with Edwin Booth of Grantsville, later Oakly who has been residing here for a couple of years. Had new potatoes for supper. Sister Booth is half sister to Jos. W. McMurrin. Her mother, Sister McMurrin and her sister, Hilton, were also present.

At evening meeting I occupied [p. 63] about 20 minutes in conclusion Subject. Beautify your homes, secure your water rights, Do your work for the dead &c. Slept at Bro. Pratts.

11 December 1907 • Wednesday

Colonia Dublan, Mex.

We left Dublan about 6:30 A.M. and reached Colonia Diaz about 5 P.M. a distance of 55 miles, 35 miles of which is through the Corralitos Ranch I was quartered at Bro. [blank] Becks. Had good visit with Bro. Beck and had a good night’s rest. Our trip was very dusty & dirty and it required about an hour & a half to clean our clothes & ourselves.

12 December 1907 • Thursday

Colonia Diaz, Mex.

Attended the opening of the Schools and made a brief talk to the pupils Subject obedience & Application. In our Company from Dublan were besides myself, Elder Geo. Albert Smith, Horace Cummings, Guy Wilson, Helaman Pratt, & wife and A. B. Call & wife.

I wrote from here to my wife at home also to my sons George at Chicago & LeGrand at Holland and to my brother Fred at Fielding.

Attended afternoon meeting and occupied about 40 minutes. Subject. [p. 64] Obedience applied especially to word of wisdom.

After meeting I went home with Sister Primrose Lee Violet Bevan Johnson & husband Called on his young wife and assisted Bro. Johnson in administering to her baby. Took supper with Bro Fillerup & family two wives, last one has but one babe and that about a year old. Attended evening meeting and occupied the last 20 minutes Subject. First principles of the Gospel the door into the kingdom. No other way. The deception & fraud of teaching that faith without works is all that is necessary &c. Sat up until after 11 oclock with Bro. Beck & wife talking.

13 December 1907 • Friday

Colonia Diaz.

I arose at 6 A.M. wrote up my journal for yesterday before making a start for Dublan.

My work now is finished and in the enjoyment of good health and in good spirits thankful for the blessing of the Lord in our labors I make a homeward stark [start].

We drove from Diaz to Dublan between 7 A.M. & 7 P.M. A dusty, dirty trip. I brushed my clothes, blacked my shoes, cleaned up & with Bro. Anthony W. Ivins who had just arrived from [p. 65] El Paso and was staying at Bro. Pratts’ with me, we went down to Jesse N. Smith’s Jr and visited with Elder Geo. Albert Smith. Heard letter read by Bro. Ivins addressed to the First Presidency and the letter was delivered to me to bear to the Presidency. Returned to Bro Helaman Pratts where I had a bath and retired to bed about 10:30 P.M.

14 December 1907 • Saturday

Colonia Dublan.

I left Dublan homeward bound on the 6:30 A.M. train mountain time. Windy weather soon after leaving Dublan. Reached El Paso about 3 P.M. and went out to Green Wood Cemetery where Bro. A. O. Woodruff is buried & Saw his grave. Posted letters to Geo F. Jr. & to LeGrand. Left Elp <P>aso about 8:30 P.M.

15 December 1907 • Sunday

On train between El Paso and Colton Cal. A very dusty and warm. Electric fans in operation at thermom<etor> at 77° We passed by the Satlon Sea 680 square miles of surface covered. Saw schools of large fish as we were crossing a neck of the Sea. They were to be seen by the dozens on the surface of water after scraps which [p. 66] had been thrown in the water from the train. We reached Colton three miles west of San Bernedeno about 7 P.M. Checked my grips and went up town and attended the meeting in the Baptist Church. A new Pastor made opening talk. Read John 20:11 to 20 verses. Laid stress upon the doctrine that Jesus had a body & what his hands showed. 1. He earned his bread. 2. He intercedes for us with the father with up lifted hands showing what he has suffered. It is no more important that we observe the 7th day as a day of rest than that we observe the six days of the week as days of labor. He believes in God the Father, & in His Son Jesus Christ as the Redeemer and in the Holy Spirit. I was rested and refreshed by what I heard and witnessed.

I took train at Colton at 11:40 P.M. Mountain time. But few passengers on train.

16 December 1907 • Monday

On S.P.L.A. & S.L. Ry train from Colton to Salt Lake. Had good rest & sleep last night. At Las Vegas 11:20 A.M. I wrote up my journal for yesterday. Spent the day reading <&c.> [p. 67]

17 December 1907 • Tuesday


Reached home S.L.C. 6:30 A.M.

Took Suit to taylor Anderson, Called on Pres. Lund & Bro. J. H. Smith at Pres. office Called on my mother & Sister Nerva at my Sister Asenath’s. Looked over my mail, wrote to LeGrand &c.

18 December 1907 • Wednesday


I attended Council meeting, meeting of Church Bd of Religion Classes & Circle meeting in the evening. Wrote letter to my Son George.

19 December 1907 • Thursday


My appointment for next Sunday is Ensign Stake Conference. Have also consented to speak upon the Subject Life of Christ at the 27th Ward Sunday night.

I remained home in forenoon & Studied Life of Christ from New Testament. In afternoon I attended a meeting of the Gen’l Committee on Anniversary Celebration of Vermont Monument party expedition. Attended to some business down town. Called on my Mother in the afternoon and on Pres. Lyman in the evening.

Received letters from George and [p. 69] from LeGrand and wrote to both in evening.

20 December 1907 • Friday


I spent the day home studying the scriptures. Alice went down town and sent $25.00 to LeGrand through President’s office.

21 December 1907 • Saturday


I spent the day home reading and writing. Weather cold. Snowed last night. Folks well.

22 December 1907 • Sunday


I attended Ensign Stake Conference in Assembly Hall at 10 A.M. Present of our Council on the Stand—Prests Winder & Lyman & Elder Hyrum M. Smith & I. Reports made by Pres. R W Young & his Counselor Bro Knight. Elder H. M. S. occupied 20 minutes and I occupied the remaining 35 minutes. Subject Tithing & Sacrifices required by the Gospel.

Attended meeting in the Large Tabernacle at 2 P.M. Pres. B. H. R. occupied the time. Subject Jos. Smith His greatness & accomplishments.

Attended evening meeting at the 27th ward and by previous [p. 69] appointment, spoke upon the Life of Christ. I was preceded by one Sister Grant Taylor who occupied 25 minutes Subject. Life of Jos Smith I occupied 50 mintes with good freedom & liberty. Treated the Subject of Christ’s Eternal life as a representation of our faith in evolution or evolution as we understand it.

1. His Spiritual birth

2. His Spiritual existance

3. His Physical Birth

4. His Physical existance

5. His Spiritual existance of 3 days

6. His Reserected existance

7. His Immortal existance

8. His Second coming

23 December 1907 • Monday


This is the one hundred second anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Jos. Smith.

First thing this morning I received a telephone call from Dr Stephen saying that Lenora Smith Nelson had passed away very unexpectedly about twelve o’clock last night. I broke the News to Asenath and Mother.

Later Alice and I went down town and did some trading, had [p. 70] Oliver’s hair cut &c. Then we went down to Joseph Nelsons where we spent an hour or two. Met there Pres. Smith, my sister Sarah, C. W. Nibley & wife and members of the family. Had an experience in the mud. Nerva came in from Tooele. I called on Pres. Windor to learn if Council meeting would be held as usual next Wednesday & learned not.

I wrote letters to my son George, to my Sister Alice & Bro Fred & others.

24 December 1907 • Tuesday


I spent a couple of hours with Mother. Wrote letters to my son Geo F. Jr. & others as follows.

Pres H S Gowans & Counselers.

Aunt Alice Watt

Aunt Ann Whitney

Sister Nerva

M. J. Richards

W. W. "1

E. F. "

Did not go down town to-day.

Mother and Nerva spent several hours down town. We had a christmas tree and had it dressed and made beautiful and many presents on it laden [p. 71]

25 December 1907 • Wednesday


This is a merry Christmas for our children. The fact that some of our friends are plunged into sorrow over the death of Nona Smith Nelson who is now lying instate at her home causes us sorrow too. I called on Pres. Lyman a few moments about noon.

Went down to Mother’s and brought her up and she spent the afternoon with us. Had a good dinner about 4:30 P.M.

I attended the tabernacle services at 2:30 P.M. Nephi L. Morris was the Speaker. Letters from George & LeGrand.

26 December 1907 • Thursday


I went down to Jos. Nelsons about 10 A.M. Alice and my daughter Nerva with me. Attended the funeral services at 17th ward house at noon. Had carriage and Sister Nerva rode with us to the cemetery. I by request of Pres. Smith thanked all who had in any way contributed to the comfort of the mourners and to the Success of the service of burial &c. [p. 72]

In the evening I with my wife, my daughter Nina & my Sister Nerva went down to Dr. Stephens & spent a few hours in pleasant chat.

It commenced to Snow about 7 P.M. and during the night it snowed about 10 inches.

Folks well.

27 December 1907 • Friday


Remained home in forenoon reading & writing. Attended a missionary meeting at 2 P.M. which continued until about 4:30 P.M. About thirty five missionaries were set apart. I was mouth in setting apart the fol.

James R. Ware of Monroe, Utah to Scandinavia

Alfred Alex. Johansen of Brigham to do. [ditto]

Moses Peter Jorgensen Logan to do.

They were instructed by the following

J. W. McMurrin

J. G. Kimball

R. S. Wells

Geo. A. Smith

S B Young

G. F. Richards

O. F. Whitney

H. J. Grant

in order as given here2

W W Sagers of Lake View Tooele Co. was set apart to England.3

I spent the evening at home. Read the News. &c C. R. McBride Called. [p. 73]

28 December 1907 • Saturday


Snowed during the day which makes us appreciative our home and its comforts.

Spent the day home studying.

29 December 1907 • Sunday


Devoted the forenoon to Study. Bathed. Attended Tabernacle meeting at 2 P.M. Present on Stand. Prests. Windor & Lund. Elders. J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, R. Clawson H. M. Smith, Geo. A. Smith & myself. Elder Geo A. Smith occupied about 13 minutes, I followed for 38 minuts and Elder J. H. Smith concluded in about 20 minutes. My subject was. The Godhead The personality, character, perfections and attributes of the Father, of the Son & of the Holy Ghost. A correct understanding of which is necessary to the exercise of faith in God. The product of which faith is repentance, baptism & the Holy Ghost. Forgiveness of sins & testimony of the Gospel’s truth. Also Faith, Repentance, Baptism & the Holy Ghost & testimony over4 life & his acceptance of the Gospel is accepteble to the Lord. Forgiveness of others also necessary as a means of getting forgiveness.

The world have the bible as the light to their path and the [p. 74] lamp to their feet. We have this also the Book of Mormon which contains a fullness of the Gospel B of C. 27: Art Faith 8 & 9. Also Doctrine in Covenants & P. of G. Price and the Living oracles. We get the truth direct from the Lord & harmonize the scriptures with the truth. &c. I had good liberty, good language, good help from the Lord. I did some writing and studying between meetings and after meeting and wrote letters to Geo. and LeGrand. Retired at 11 P.M.

30 December 1907 • Monday


I attended a committee meeting with Elder Geo. Albert Smith and H. S. Cummings for the purpose of formulating a report of our findings in Mexico.

Received from German E. Ellsworth Pres. Northern States Mission, by mail, a beautifully bound Copy of Book of Mormon. I acknowledged receipt of same. I wrote several letters.

Alice, daughter Nerva, Son Oliver & I spent an hour or two with my mother at her home in the evening after which Oliver went down town and posted letters &c.

Appropriate winter weather prevails with sleighing good. [p. 75]

31 December 1907 • Tuesday


I spent most of the day home studying and writing. Wrote a number of letters. In the afternoon I went down town. Called at Pres. Office & got allowance and made a deposit in the U N. Bk. got a feed put in my fountain pen. Called at office of Horace H Cummings and signed a report to be made by him, Geo. A. Smith & myself of our findings in Mexico.

In the evening Alice & Nerva went to the theatre “Under Southern Skies.”

I went over and visited my mother and Sister Asenath & family an hour or longer. Returned about 9 P.M. and wrote checks in payment of accounts owing & prepared for mailing. Wrote to my son George. We had just retired to bed when the midnight bells began to ring and whistles to blow &c. The old year out and the New year in.

The past year has been one of prosperity and blessing to me & mine with but few causes for sorrow.

My Son George & Wife have had the misfortune of losing by death their little boy <Geo.> Arnold and the [p. 76] baby born dead. Sister Nona Smith Nelsons death was a sad thing. Nina’s sickness and opperation at the hospittal was hard but we rejoice that she is with us still and well. We rejoice we are all so well including my aged Mother She will in April be 80 yrs old.

I am resolved to be studious, industrious and faithful in the year to come. As in a school I hope to make progress and each year be in better condition to carry the responsibilities resting upon me.

My son George is completing his third years’ course in Dentistry in Chicago. Expect him home in June. My Son LeGrand who has been absent more than thirty-two months laboring as a missionary in Holland is expected home in February. His has been a successful mission. The Lord has great<ly> blessed him in the acquirement of the Dutch language and in the preaching of the Gospel. Geo Lawrence Tate has been absent about 20 months in Southern States. He has been blessed in his labors. My daughter Nerva has been working in the Tooele Post office and has assisted in his keep. [p. 77] Joel and the younger children are in school and hard worked. All are devoted to their religeous work. I will be 47 yrs of age Feb. 23 and Alice will be 44 in May. We have had fourteen children all well born without blemish. Two have died. Amy at 4 years of Pupuria Hemingia and Alverda at 16 mo. of Scarlet fever. George my son has had & buried three children. Nerva has had one girl now 3 yrs old.

Weather delightful. Fair sleighing. Not extremely cold but seasonable. We are happy. Our finances are not most favorable but I hope to soon be on sure footing.

[1/2 page blank] [p. 78]

Cite this page

December 1907, The Journal of George F. Richards, accessed June 13, 2024