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April 1909

1 April 1909 • Thursday


I worked all day on the lawn, raked off the rubbish, sowed grass seed in front part and the parking out side and scattered a load of dirt on same & raked it it [in]. The rear lawn yet to be seeded over and the load of soil to be scattered. Bathed and dressed for an entertainment at our own home. The Sunday School officers of the 27th ward have a surprise arranged for for LeGrand who has been their Superintendent.

Weather beautiful, health of the family good. Oliver in bed to rest his lame leg.

2 April 1909 • Friday


I attended to some business, paying bills &c. Called on my mother and in the evening Alice & I went to the Theatre, Othelo.

3 April 1909 • Saturday


I met with my brethren of the Twelve [p. 73] and Mission presidents in the temple from 10 to 1 o’clock and from 2 to about 7 P.M.

4 April 1909 • Sunday


Gen’l Conference opened in the Large Tabernacle with an overflow meeting in the Assembly Hall over which latter Elder O. F. Whitney presided. The members of the First Presidency were the Speakers. An excellent meeting.

At the meeting in the Assembly Hall in the afternoon I presided by appointment and made a brief talk at conclusion. A large meeting was attended on the grounds at same time. See Conference pamphlet for account of meetings & what was said & by whom.

Attended a Sunday School Union Meeting in the evening. An excellent meeting largely attended. Stephen L. Richards Jr. was sustained as 2nd assistant Supt. of Sunday Schools. We had a number of people to dinner & Supper.

5 April 1909 • Monday


At 10 A.M. meeting I occupied 25 minutes Subject tithing. Had good help from the Lord. Attended Conference meeting at 2 P.M. and after meeting I pronounced a blessing upon James Fawcett of Lund, Nevada assisted by Elder D. O. McKay. Attended general Priesthood meeting in the evening. Account of meeting given in conference pamphlet. At the Priesthood meeting Pres. Joseph F. Smith referring to Elders who have fallen while on missions said [p. 74] There is only one thing to do in such cases and that is to excommunicate them <from the church> and let them go to the Devil if they will not repent later. Excommunication is imperative.

6 April 1909 • Tuesday


Weather stormy. Snow.

Conference reconvened in the large Tabernacle at 10 A.M. At time for closing meeting it was snowing hard. The President presented a proposition to continue the meeting to hear from Pres. Lyman & Elder John Henry Smith and present the authorities and conclude the conference. The proposition carried and the conference concluded at 1 P.M.

Arnold D. Miller and his two sons A. D. Jr & John went home with me to dinner After dinner the two former and Alice & I with Estella & Edna (children) took a walk up into the Cemetery.

I feel that it is better to conclude the Conference on Sunday as a rule when it can be done. We then conclude while we are at the climax of attendance.

7 April 1909 • Wednesday

Home. Weather cool

I attended Special priesthood meeting in the assembly hall from 10 A.M. to 12:30 o’clock

After meeting I called at A. F. Doremus’ and saw Aunt Alice Watt and from there I walked home. Called on my mother and at my daughter Nervas but did not find the latter at home.

Alice and I met the First Presidency & [p. 75] the Twelve <& their wives> at Pres. Winder’s at 5 o’clock where supper was served and the evening was spent in song, speeches & story telling. A very pleasant evenings entertainment.

8 April 1909 • Thursday


Our folks at home fairly well. My Mother went to bed sick last night about 5 o’clock I knew nothing of it until this morning when I phoned down. I went down and sat with her an hour or longer. Before leaving, I at her request administered to her. I assisted in setting apart missionaries at the Temple annex from 2 to 4 P.M. between forty and fifty were set apart. Elder Rudger Clawson & I set apart ten. I was mouth in blessing and setting apart the following.

1 John S. Sagers of Basin Idaho to South Africa

2 Orrin P. Hansen of Logan to Scandinavia

3 James M. Jensen of Logan to Scandinavia

4 Lide Chapman of Basin Idaho to So. Africa

5 Jacob A. Van Duuren of S.L.C. to Netherlands

Went with my brethren of the Twelve to the office of the First Presidency by request of the President where we sat in council from 4 to 7 P.M. Several important matters were considered. First Enterprise Reservoir in Wn. Co; Irrigation Canals in Uintah; Oil wells in Byron, Big Horne County Wyo.; Right of way for railroad through Church lands in Parowan valley &c.

Spent the evening at home reading and writing.

9 April 1909 • Friday

Home. Good Friday

Folks usually well. Doctor’s Stephen [p. 76] and Gill called, took the bandages from Oliver’s leg and liberated him from bed. He is very weak and can scarcely stand. Can not say how he will be as to lameness. Mother is better and is up and about the house.

I spent the forenoon working on the lawn at rear & repairing top. Planted grass seed and scattered a load of soil over the lawn.

LeGrand left on 1 P.M. train for Portland where he expects to make his future home I accompanied him as far as Ogden. Returning from Ogden I stopped off at Farmington and visited a couple of hours with my Sister Minerva. Found her sick in bed with Lagrip but better than she had been in the forenoon or the day previous. I administered to her.

Called and saw my mother on my way home. Sarah France Robinson Hinman and her sister called in the evening and they accompanied us to the performance of “Alabama” in the 18th Ward Hall. Joel was one of the performers. Of our family there were in attendance George F. Jr. & wife, Nerva & husband, Sarah, Ruby, Lucena, Nina, Edna, Mama & I. I was disappointed in the play it was at most or best but mediocre.

10 April 1909 • Saturday


I read through from page 13 “Thrilling Experiences” a small book of 157 pages by Solomon F. Kimball presented to me with his compliments. I also [p. 77] wrote him a letter acknowledging receipt of and thanking him for same.

The reading of the above book reminds me of some experiences which should go into history, my history.

A Naration.

When I was about 12 or 14 years of age, as nearly as I can remember the date, I was with my brother Stephen L and my half brother Myron J. Richards on the mountain due East from Farmington our then home, between Rudd & Steed Canyons near the head of the former in what was known as the Thos. Abbott pasture. We were either looking for cattle or had just taken some cattle up there to range, I am not quite sure which. My brother was riding a horse up through the high brush along a trail made by stock and a loose horse following. I think Stephen had caught the horse and was scouting about and the horse’s mate followed. As they approached I stepped to one side as well as I well could for the brush while they passed but as the loose horse came a long he became frightened and with both hind feet kicked at me. One foot struck me between the temple and eye on the left side and laid open a gash perhapse two inches long and rendered me almost unconscious. Myron tore a piece from the tail of his shirt with which they bound up my head and one on each side ahold of my arm assisted me home. I leaned upon them and made the distance [p. 78] in a somewhat dazed condition. Jonathan Smith was called in and dressed it using Mustang Lineament and powdered rosin and it healed in a remarkably short time. Had the blow struck a half inch lower it might have put my eye out. Had it been a half inch higher striking me in the temple, it might have killed me. Thus I narrowly escaped death. I bear the Scar to this day.

An other Naration.

When I was a young man perhapse sixteen years of age, my Sister Asenath Grover had come up from Nephi for a visit and as there was no one at the depot to meet her she left her valise and I later borrowed a hand cart with high buggy wheels and with two or three of my boy friends went to the depot for the valise. The Ry. Station was just at the foot of a steep hill which has later been graded down. I was in the cart when we started down that hill and Harry Bird of Nephi who was staying at J. D. Wood’s, his brother–in-law, had hold of the handles. He started on a run and when part way down the hill he turned the cart quickly and it tipped over throwing me out and one wheel struck me back of the ear mashing my scull into a jelly and rendering me unconscious from which I did not recover consciousness for hours. While in this unconscious condition I walked with the boys home [p. 79] a distance of about a mile, conversed with the boys &c. I must have been living in another world, so to speak, as I have had no recollection of it since The last remembered is starting down the hill and the first after the accident was while lying in bed. When I began to regain consciousness, the pain became excruciating. This I regard as a narrow escape from death.


While hauling Cedar stumps from Little Mountain South west from Tooele about ten miles. After loading the wagon, a double bed, with Stumps and while going down the gulch at head of canyon, I was thrown from the wagon falling between the front wheel and the bank which crowded me against the wheel, my head and shoulders against the wheel. By some providence the team came to a stop and I was released from my perilous position. My son LeGrand was with me and I think George was also but they were small at that time.

11 April 1909 • Sunday


The day was one of diversified weather. It would snow a while, then the Sun shine a while. It must have snowed as many as twelve or fifteen times during the day.

I accompanied Elder Hyrum M. Smith to Ogden. We were met by Pres. Wotherspoon and taken to Far West ward several miles North west of Ogden where we attended a Priesthood meeting of the ward at 1 P.M. and general meeting [p. 80] at 2 P.M. The ward population is 300 and the number holding priesthood 90.

Attendance at Priesthood meeting 63

" "1 2 P.M. meeting 241

Bp. Martin & Counselors were honorably released from the Bishopric and Bro. [blank] Chugg was sustained as Bishop & by Elder H. M. Smith ordained a Bishop and set apart. Bro. Joseph Stephenson was set apart by me 1st Counselor & Bro. [blank] Brown 2nd Counselor by Pres Wotherspoon. Two babies were blessed. Elder Smith blessed one & I the other. I blessed Nona Esther Brown.

At Priesthood meeting I occupied 20 minutes and at 2 P.M meeting 25 minutes. Subject Sustain officers & make this one of the best of the Stake. And Faith necessary. If we had sufficient faith we would make any sacrifice.

Took dinner at Bp. Martin’s and while there we administered to Sister Taylor, an invalid Sister of Sister Martins.

Returned home at 7 P.M. Alice and the four youngest children being down to Grandma’s I went down and found Uncle Willard & wife there. I had a talk with uncle Willard on religion. Returned home in a snowstorm, wrote up my journal &c.

12 April 1909 • Monday


I spent the day home reading Church History. I finished reading Vol 1. By request of Pres. Francis M. Lyman, I went into his home [p. 81] and assisted him in administering to a sister Nellie Hill who is almost deaf as a result of Catarrh. Pres. Lyman Anointed her head and her ears and I sealed the anointing. Am hopeful she will receive a restoration of her hearing. Later Pres. Lyman & I administered to our little boy Oliver. I anointed his limb and his head and Pres. Lyman sealed the anointing.

13 April 1909 • Tuesday


I spent the forenoon home reading. My brother Fred & his wife came to town with their son Leo last evening and staid at my Sister Asenath’s and They, excepting Leo, called on us for a short time.

At 12 o’clock I met with a committee of investigation of the Elks Coal Co. at the Presiding Bishop’s office Present of the above named <Co> officers Bros. South, Dr. E. G. Gowans, Bp. Woodruff, Bros. Yates & Dalley. Of the investigating Committee Pres. Francis M. Lyman, Elders John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant and myself. As Complaining parties for the people a Presiding Bishop Chas W. Nibley, Pres. Isaac Smith of Cache & Willard Hansen of Fielding. A letter which was the cause of the investigation was read from a banker in St Anthony a non mormon whose name was not given to the Committee. Complaint was made that the Agents of this company are over pursuading poor men & women to invest, some even [p. 82] mortgaging their homes to invest. We sat from 12 until 3 P.M. and from 5 until 6:30 P.M. Adjourned until Thu 22nd at 10 A.M. to meet at same place.

The weather pleasant.

Our boy Oliver Seeme to be very much improved. May the Lord be praised.

14 April 1909 • Wednesday


I attended regular council meeting from 10 A.M. to 2:35 P.M. Received appointment with Elder Hyrum M. Smith to the Benson Stake Conference to be held at Richmond Cache Co. Utah next Saturday and Sunday.

After meeting Elders D O McKay & Anthony W. Ivins and I accompanied Patriarch John Smith to his home Cor. 3rd South & 1st West where we administered to his married Son Joseph. Elder McKay prayed while we all knelt. Elder Ivins anointed him and I sealed the anointing. I attended to Some business & attended Religion Class Board meeting Attended prayr circle meeting in the temple at 6:15 P.M. Present 21. The name of [blank] James was suggested by Bro. Wm. Asper to fill the vacancy in the Circle caused by the removal of my son LeGrand to Portland and his consequent release from the circle.

15 April 1909 • Thursday


Weather beautiful. Folks usually well.

This is my mother’s 81st birth day and in the afternoon She and a number of the family met at Uncle Willard B. Richards’ at his invitation where we had sup[p. 83]per and spent a very pleasant few hours. The forenoon I spent at home studying Scripture anscient & modern. I committed to memory the first six verses of the 76 sec, D&C and the first 12 verses of Mat 5th Chapter. Christ’s sermon.

16 April 1909 • Friday


I met Elder Heber J. Grant and with him went to office of Elk. Coal Co. to examine books of Co. Had a conversation with Bro. Ed South Mgr. but did not examine books. I did a few errands and returned home & made ready to leave on 3:55 P.M. train for Richmond where I attend Benson Stake Conference. Pres. Alma Merrill met Elder Hyrum M. Smith and me at the Ry. Station and took us to his home where we made our home while in Richmond.

17 April 1909 • Saturday


Weather pleasant. My health good

I attended 10 A.M. Conference meeting Present 201. Speakers wer[e] Pres. Wm Waddoups, Elder Hyrum M. Smith and myself. I occupied 25 minutes, Generality.

At 2 P.M. meeting attendance 311. The Speakers were in order as follows, Brigham A. Hendricks of the Stake Presidency Elder Price, myself & Elder H. M. Smith. My subject, Dan 2: Restoration 35 minutes.

After afternoon meeting we drove to Lewiston and held meeting in the evening. We divided the Lewiston First ward & made a new ward & called [p. 84] it Lewiston 3rd ward. Installed the following bishopric. Thomas S. Karren Bp., Philo W. Auston 1st Counselor and Loren W. Marler second counselor.

I ordained & set apart the bishop & second Counselor & Elder Smith set apart the first Counselor. Elder Smith occupied about 30 or 40 minutes. I talked about 20 minutes. We returned home after meeting reaching Richmond about 11.30 P.M

18 April 1909 • Sunday


Attended Sunday School at 9 A.M. and spoke. Subject, obedience.

At 10 AM meeting attendance 631 I occupied 25 minutes Subject obedience.

At 2 P.M. meeting held in Tabernacle Attendance 911 I occupied about 35 or 40 minutes Text Rev. 14:6, 7

8 P.M. Conjoint Mutual in meeting house. Bro. Smith & I each spoke.

My subject was The Eternity of the marriage covenant.

19 April 1909 • Monday


I returned home from Richmond arriving in Salt Lake at 12 noon, and left on 1 P.M. train for Elko via Kemmerer. Edward South joined me at Cache Junction. He had with him a miss Mathison. We reached Montpelier about 9:30 o’clock P.M. and put up at the Burgoyn hotel.

20 April 1909 • Tuesday

Montpelier. Idaho.

We took 5:15 A.M. train out of Montpelier [p. 85] for Elko, 65 miles east of Montpelier.

We reached Kemmerer about 9 A.M. and by team went on about ten miles past Diamondville and Oakley. Arriving at Elko we went through the mine owned and worked by the Elk Coal Co. Rode horse back over the claims of the Company in the hills and after dinner drove back to Kemmerer where I had a wait at the Ry. Station of about three hours. Got train about 7 o’clock and reached Granger at 8:30. Went to Goodmanson hotel and got two & a half or three hours when I was called but had two hours wait at the depot. Got train at 2 A.M. and arrived in Salt Lake at 9 A.M.

21 April 1909 • Wednesday


I reached home at 9:30 Took bath & went to regular Council meeting in the temple at 10:20. Meeting adjourned at 2:30

Went home and wrote up journal, record &c. Sadie France Robinson Hinman and her Son-in-law & her daughter Addie Wilso called to see us. I attended circle in the evening, 19 present.

22 April 1909 • Thursday


I met with Elders F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H J Grant and others investigating Elk Coal Co. affairs from 10 to 1:30 o’clock. Called & Saw my Mother. Wrote several letters &c.

23 April 1909 • Friday


This is the 26th anniversary of my Son [p. 86] George’s birth.

I made journal entries and brought records up to date.

I met Pres. F. M. Lyman and Elder Heber J. Grant at the Presidents office where we made verbal report of our findings in the Case of Elk Coal Co. The Presidency ask that we make our report in writing and file same with them that they may have it to refer to if necessary at any future time. Pres. Lyman requested me to formulate such report which I did later in the day. I also presented to Pres. Smith the Name of Parley James to become a member of our Prayr Circle & he was indorsed.

In the evening Alice & I with two of the children Nina & Moselle together with my son George & wife attended a Japanese Operetta presented in the 18th ward Amusement hall by members of the 11th ward.

24 April 1909 • Saturday


In company with Bp. O. P. Miller I left Salt Lake on the 7:50 A.M. RG train for Heber City to attend the Wasatch Conference. We should have arrived at 10:45 A.M. but were delayed on account of a land slide which deposited a quantity of dirt upon the Railroad in Logan [Provo?] Canyon so that it was about 12:30 o’clock P.M. when we arrived. We went to Pres. Murdock’s home where we were welcomed and very kindly cared for.

At the afternoon meeting the speak[p. 87]ers were in order as follows. James C. Jensen of the Stake Presidency, Bp. John M. Ritchie of Charlston, a brother Robinson of the High School. Supt. and myself. The difficulties had over high school matters were considered by all the parties speaking. There seems to be considerable feeling of an unpleasant character in the Stake over chosing a sight for the High School, over the bonding of the district for High school purposes, some desiring to withdraw from the district notably Charleston people &c. I occupied about 40 min. principally upon these points of difficulty and differences.

After meeting Bp. Miller Pres. Murdock & I visited several sick people and administered to them namely John M Murdock, Pres. of High Priests quorum and his two wives and brother Edwin Everett. We called to See Ex Pres. Hatch but the folks were absent from home.

We inspected the New Opera house and fount at tithing office.

In the evening we attended a theatrical home production.

25 April 1909 • Sunday

Home Heber.

Attended prayr circle at 8:30 and Conference at 10 A.M. Attended a council meeting with the Presidency and the bishops at 4 P.M. and a public meeting at Charleston in the evening. Between afternoon and evening meetings we administered to sister Giles. Took supper with brother & Sister Jensen of the Stake Presidency. I did not talk at the Sunday A.M. meeting [p. 88] but did at all the others attended. In the afternoon I spoke upon the Subject of obedience and repentance, had fair liberty and occupied 45 or 50 minutes.

I feel that we have had a profitable conference and no bones broken and nothing said that I would have re-called. Pres. Murdock and I went to Charleston and attended meeting and I feel sure our efforts attended by the blessing of the Lord will prove profitable.

My health and spirits are first class. Thank the Lord for all blessings.

Saturday 24th I ordained Christian Burgie an High Priest.

26 April 1909 • Monday


I arose before 7 A.M. wrote up my journal, read the paper and after breakfast went with Pres. Murdock and his counselor Jensen and Bp. Miller across the river to Midway and inspected the fish hatchery property. Returning to Heber Bro Miller and I attended High School devotional and each talked. Subjects

1. All great educational institutions have but humble beginnings. I feel sure there is a great future for the School, be patient but while waiting work. Speak well of the school and try and make it as good as you represent it to be, as you would have it to be. Loyalty to School, to the Priesthood, to parents, to teachers & officers of the school, to Seniors in age &c.

Advantages of higher education

1. Financially

2. Religiously, socially &c. [p. 89]

We looked through the Mercantile building &c.

Left Heber on 1:50 P.M. train and arrived in Salt Lake about 5:30 P.M.

Wrote up my journal and did other writing Folks well and weather fine My health & Spirits good.

27 April 1909 • Tuesday


I spent an hour with my Mother.

Attended a committee meeting consisting of Pres. Francis M. Lyman, Elder H. J. Grant and myself. We completed report to submit to the First Presidency on the Elk Coal Co. investigation.

I called at the Doctor’s office & had my teeth cleaned. While at the office I wrote a letter to LeGrand and mailed same.

Did some studying and spent an hour or there abouts with Pres. Lyman at my home.

Weather cloudy during the day and towards evening it commenced to rain and rained hard.

This evening Lucena aged 15 yrs went to a dancing party in Eighteenth ward Social hall with Rega Card a grand son of B[r]igham Young. This is the first time she has gone out to a party with a male escort other than her brothers.

28 April 1909 • Wednesday


I attended regular Council meeting of the Presidency and the Twelve in the Temple and was in at [illegible] Elder Clawson and I were appointed by the President to attend the funeral services of Sister Martha Shurt[p. 90]liff Miller wife of M M Miller held in MillCreek Ward Meeting house. We were excused from our council meeting at 1 P.M. on this account. At the Services Elder clawson and I each spoke after hearing from Bps. Price & Hamilton and Pres. T. Y. Taylor and Jos. E. Taylor. I was the last speaker. A very peaceful service. After the Services I was introduced to the deceased’[s] brother Mr. Shurtliff and his two sons and had with the former a conversations. As Mr. Shurtliff was about to leave the car he said he did not understand how that if there is a just God, he should permit his Sister, so good, to suffer and said he would like mo [me] to explain some time that matter which I intend to do perhapse by letter and will refer him to Job’s experience and the attitude of his comforters?

I attended my Circle meeting in the evening 22 in attendance.

Weather stormy and very threatening

29 April 1909 • Thursday


A heavy snow storm on.

I wrote up my journal, wrote an epistle to Brigham Shurtliff of S.L.C. see yesterdays diary. Attended to some business at the bank &c

Attended the funeral Services of Eddie Lougy held at 25th ward house and spoke briefly. Wrote letter to my Son LeGrand at Portland, Oregon. &c.

30 April 1909 • Friday


Pleasant but cold. It froze hard last night [p. 91] I[n] company with Pres. Seymour B. Young, I left Salt Lake on 7:10 A.M. O.S.L. for Ogden thence by U.P. Train to Carter Wyoming arriving there about 2 P.M. Thence 11 miles South by team to Lyman. Bro. [blank] Brough teamster. We were taken to the home of Bro & Sister Guild where Pres. Young & I made our staying quarters. In the evening we held an informal meeting with the Presidency, Bishops & others at the home of Bro. Guild where we were staying. A very pleasant and profitable meeting was held. I questioned all the brethren as to their manner of living and instructed the Presidency to do thus occasionally with Stake officers and the Bishoprics of the wards and for these to teach these things by example and precept to the people.

It was nearly eleven o’clock when we retired to bed.

Weather windy and cold.

My health and spirits good. May the Lord be praised.

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April 1909, The Journal of George F. Richards, accessed June 16, 2024