The Church Historian's Press

October 1884

1 October 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday October 1, 1884. My son David who brought us up to the party drove me down this morning. We are having busy times now down at my place. I am trying to get some soil hauled to level up around my houses and making preparation for the winter. My children are going to school and I am compelled to hire help to have this done. At the Office attending to correspondence. Wrote a letter to A. F. Clarkson Esq, of San Francisco concerning our principles. At 2 p.m. met with the Apostles in the Endowment House and held a lengthy meeting. Took my daughter Mary Alice down with me tonight.

2 October 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Oct 2, 1884. The Utah Central made a dividend of 1% on its stock. It brings some relief though I have borrowed $800 from the railroad, for which they have my note. I paid $400 of it today and got them to give me three months to pay the balance. Paid $186 in tithing, not that I owe the amount, but I have found when I am in a close place it has been attended with good results to pay tithing for what I would like to get instead of what I have. At 11 and 3 oclock the Apostles met at Pres. Taylor’s office. Bro Erastus Snow and Bro. Jos. F. Smith reached here last night, and the former met with us today. Bro. Smith is kept away from observation as the grand jury is in session, and it is said that they are after him as a witness.

The subject of furnishing labor for the poor I brought up before the council. I thought it a matter that is pressing upon us and should receive our careful consideration. We expend thousands of dollars in sending our missionaries abroad and bringing them back, and they spend years of time in preaching the gospel and gathering out the Saints, and when they are gathered out they are dropped down in this city, or wherever they are landed, and they are left to shift for themselves, only receiving such chance help in the shape of counsel and direction as the busy men around them can afford to give them. The Bishops have so much to do that they cannot attend to this as well as it ought to be attended to. I compared it to a man preparing his field, plowing it, getting it in good condition, and sowing the grain, harrowing it in, attending to its irrigation, and then harvesting it carefully and hauling it into the stackyard, and after that leaving it exposed. There are many helpless people who have no idea of setting themselves to work or of obtaining employment unless it is in the lines to which they have been accustomed, and it seemed to me that some organization should be entered into or something be done to furnish those people with employment. Idleness is dangerous. The adversary is always ready to take advantage of idle persons, to darken their minds and destroy their faith.

3 October 1884 • Friday

Friday Oct 3rd 1884. Busy at the office all day. Conference begins tomorrow.

4 October 1884 • Saturday

Saturday Octr 4, 1884. Met in the Tabernacle this morning, and had a tolerably fair attendance. Prest. Taylor, after the conference opened, occupied the time, followed by Bro. Woodruff. In the afternoon Elders Lorenzo and Erastus Snow occupied the time. After the conference all attended a meeting of the stockholders of Z. C. M. I., at the Social Hall. As one of the Committee who had been appointed to investigate the affairs of the Institution, I gave a report to the stock holders at the request of the chairman, Bp. John Sharp. A dividend of five per cent was declared, and all seemed satisfied. In the evening there was a meeting of the Young peoples Mutual Improvement Associations in the Assembly Hall presided over by Brother Woodruff, which I attended.

5 October 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Oct 5, 1884. Bro. F. D Richards spoke at the Conference for about 50 minutes. I followed. I enjoyed this meeting exceedingly. In the afternoon the general authorities of the church were presented to the Conference. Elder John Morgan, as the successor to Elder Wm W. Taylor, as one of the First Presidents of the Seventies. Before his name was submitted I requested him to express his feelings to the conference, which he did. My son John Q. was also presented, as second counselor to Presiding Bishop Wm B. Preston. He also was called upon to state his feelings to the conference. Respecting his nomination to this office I wish to state my feelings: A day or two ago Bishop Preston, after the matter had been mentioned to him, presented a list of names to Pres. Taylor and myself of men whom his mind had rested upon as Counselor. He mentioned Bro. Elias Morris, but it was felt that his numerous labors would prevent his attending to the duties of the office as they should be. In this list were the names of a number of young men, and among them was my son John Q’s. When he mentioned it I said I thought John Q. was too young for the position; besides there was another obstacle in my mind — he had not obeyed the law of celestial marriage. Besides I did not want my sons put forward unless it was clearly the mind of the Lord to that effect. Prest. <Taylor> thought that being my son should not be a drawback, that if one of our sons were suitable for position, that because he had a faithful father it should not be a reason why he should not be appointed. His mind seemed to rest on John Q. as also did Bp. Preston’s. Pres. Taylor told the Bishop he would think about the matter; and when the names were presented he said that his mind rested on him still. But it had not been submitted to the Twelve. He had Bishop Preston & Bro. Burton, his counselor, called into the stand after the meeting, also the Twelve, and mentioned his feelings to them, and they all agreed to the appointment. Respecting his not having a second wife, he said he was a young man and had plenty of time to obey the law. He <(John Q.) had> expressed himself as having faith in it. After the authorities were presented Bros Moses Thatcher and Heber J. Grant addressed the meeting. At 7 oclock in the evening we had a priesthood meeting in the Tabernacle and Pres. Taylor occupied the time, followed for a few minutes by Bro. Woodruff. We also held our usual meeting at the Endowment House and had prayer. The congregations today in the Tabernacle were very large, that of the afternoon especially.

6 October 1884 • Monday

Monday Octr 6, 1884. At the request of Pres. Taylor I submitted several reports to the conference, after which Bro. F. M. Lyman and Bro. George Teasdale occupied the time. In the afternoon I read some more reports, also the names of missionaries. Prest. Taylor occupied the remainder of the time. In the evening we had a very large meeting of the Sunday School Union in the Tabernacle, which was lighted up for the occasion. One of the most interesting features was a report of the Comtee, which was read by Bro. Reynolds, giving the history of the Sunday School Union in the Territory. The meeting to me was very interesting.

7 October 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday Octr 7, 1884. We met again <at> the Tabernacle. I presented some more missionaries, and Prest. Taylor occupied most of the time. Bros Heber J. Grant and John W. Taylor each spoke a few minutes. Conference then adjourned.

At 3 oclock we met with the Board of Trade at the Social Hall, when a report of the Comtee on investigation of the Iron Company’s properties was read. Much interest was manifested in the business.

8 October 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday Oct 8, 1884. Council Kanalima met this morning at 10 oclock in the Social Hall. At 2.30 in the afternoon we met with the Twelve Apostles, Presidents of Stakes and their counselors, the First Seven Presidents of the Seventies and the Presiding Bishopric, and had a very interesting time. Much instruction was given. At 7 oclock we had a meeting of the Central Board of Trade in the Social Hall

9 October 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Oct 9, 1884. Attended Council Kanalima. Bros John W. Taylor, Seymour B. Young and my two sons John Q. and Abraham H. Cannon were admitted members. The Presidency and Twelve met at three oclock in President Taylor’s Office and attended to business. At this meeting Pres. Taylor and myself assisted by Bishop Preston set apart his counselors, R. T. Burton and John Q. Cannon, ordaining the latter a High Priest. Prest. Taylor was mouth in setting apart Bishop Burton, and afterwards, at my request, in setting apart John Q. Joseph E. Taylor and C. W. Penrose were also set apart as counselors to Angus M. Cannon, President of the Salt Lake Stake; Pres. Taylor and myself and A. M. Cannon laying on hands, I being mouth in setting apart Bro. Taylor and Prest. Taylor in setting apart Bro. Penrose.

10 October 1884 • Friday

Friday Octr 10,1884. At 11 oclock, attended a meeting of the Directors of Z. C. M. I.

11 October 1884 • Saturday

Saturday Octr 11, 1884. Meeting of the First Presidency and Apostles held at the Office.

12 October 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Octr 12, 1884. Met with my children at Sunday School this morning. Afterwards attended meeting in the Tabernacle. Bros Teasdale and B. Young spoke. Afterwards had meeting in the Endowment House.

13 October 1884 • Monday

Monday Oct 13, 1884. At the office. Prest. Taylor received an invitation from a Dramatic Company playing in the Opera House to occupy a procenium box; he was desirous that I should accompany him, and I did so. I enjoyed the play very much. The play was Filetia.

14 October 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday Octr 14, 1884. Had an interview this morning at the Gardo House with Bp. Preston, Bp. Sheets, M. D. Hammond, and E. D. Woolley, talked over the condition of the herd grounds south, and the advisability of occupying them so as not to be taken up by non-residents with their gangs of cow-boys

15 October 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday Octr 15, 1884. At the Office. At two oclock met with the Presidency and Twelve at the Endowment House. After I left the office this evening I met while riding in my buggy one of my nephews who told me that a United States deputy Marshall was hunting me. I drove to my brother Angus’ place. He told me he thought there was something more in this than merely a subpœna as a witness in the Clawson case. He suggested that I stop at his house; but I declined. He sent his son on horseback ahead of me, as I said I did not wish to be subpoened tonight. He came back and told me the Marshall had been to my house, and that if I wished to avoid him I would have to take another street, which I did. I found my family all excited, my daughter Mary Alice being aroused to anger. If she had been a man I expect there would have been trouble.

16 October 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Oct 16, 1884. Marshal Ireland came down early this morning and visited my houses, interrogated my family, and finally searched one of my residences without any papers except a subpoena. Such proceedings were entirely uncalled for as I had been at the office every day where I I could have been seen and had papers served upon me. I determined I would keep out of his way until I learned the nature of his papers, for I do not feel like submitting to arrest on a bench warrant. I drove this evening and went to a friends <Bro. Brigham and Sister Lizzie T. Young’s)> house and stayed all night.

17 October 1884 • Friday

Friday Oct 17th 1884.l Remained quiet today until I learned that I was wanted only as a witness. I then proceeded to the court directly after Prest. Taylor went down to give his testimony, and had a subpœna served on me by Deputy Marshal Fergus Ferguson. I was then shown to the witness room where I remained, with several other witnesses, until Court adjourned. This case of Rudger Clawson is exciting considerable interest, and every effort has been made to secure witnesses.

18 October 1884 • Saturday

Saturday Oct 18, 1884. At 10 oclock I reported to the Courtroom and did not remain long until I was called in and was interrogated upon several points principally to know who solemnized marriages, and whither a record was kept of marriages or not.

19 October 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Oct 19, 1884. This morning I took my wife Sarah Jane and accompanied Prest. Taylor, who had two of his wives with him, to Ogden to attend conference. Bro. L. W. Shurtliff took us to his house. After some business was done Prest. Taylor called upon me to speak[.] I occupied the forenoon and enjoyed considerable freedom. He occupied the afternoon delivering a very powerful discourse. I found my daughter-in-law, Frank’s wife, quite ill from cold; the baby was also suffering. It rained very heavily this evening upon our return.

20 October 1884 • Monday

Monday Octr 20/84 At the office.

21 October 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday Octr 21/84. At the office. In the afternoon a meeting of the Directors of the Iron Company kept us most of the afternoon. Bro. James H. Hart came from the north and I had considerable conversation with him about the condition of affairs in Oneida Co. and Idaho. The attempt has been made to indict the leading men of our people so as to make trouble during the pending election, and to effect the purpose they have in view — in obtaining control of the county.

22 October 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday Octr 22, 1884. The jury in the Clawson case disagreed; last evening they were discharged. I wrote an article for Prest. Taylor and myself to sign, to appear in the News, concerning the families and the Saints in Tennessee who were compelled to move out by the action of the mob in threatening their lives if they remained beyond a certain date.

We held our usual meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve at the Endowment House this afternoon. My nephew, David H. Cannon Jr, who has been on a mission to the Southern States laboring in Texas, arrived last night and called upon me today in company with Elder Maughan, son of Bp. Wm Maughan, of Wellsville. I was glad to see David, for I was uneasy about him. He was reported as being in very poor health, but he has been improving very much in the last three weeks.

When we returned to the office from our meeting Bro. Jennings brought in two Japanese, G. Hamaguchi and his private Secretary, K. Takashima.

A new trial in the Rudger Clawson case was granted this afternoon. The prosecution had succeeded in finding his alleged second wife, Lydia Spencer

23 October 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Oct. 23, 1884. At the office most of the day. Held meeting with the brethren who were interested in John Beck’s enterprise.

Salt Lake City,

Oct. 27/84

[On Thursday, Oct. 23/84, I met with Caroline Aiana [Caroline Partridge Young Croxall], the woman who was separated from her husband [12 Hawaiian words redacted because they address deeply personal matters]. She is a daughter of President Brigham Young. We both met together at the house of Brigham Young Jr. We conversed together for one hour about things relating to her. I heard that she wanted to be sealed as a wife to me. I asked her if she would enter into an ordinance with me and become my legal wife. She consented. I met with her again on Saturday, Oct. 25/84, and conversed with her again about these matters.], 1

24 October 1884 • Friday

Friday Octr 24, 1884. At the office. Spent most of the day with the John Beck company. At 4 oclock met with the Deseret News company. Just before I left for home this evening I was called over to the Gardo House and found Bro. F. S. Richards there who wished to lay the condition of the Clawson case before Prest. Taylor and myself. The prosecution had put Lydia Spencer, the alleged second wife, on the stand this afternoon. She had refused to either take the oath or an affirmation, and said that she would not testify. The judge had warned her of the consequences and had given her till tomorrow morning to reflect upon the matter before deciding. She was a witness of the prosecution, and the defense — that is Rudger Clawson’s lawyers — could not interfere in her behalf without exposing themselves to the charge of complicity in inducing her to be silent. She was without any attorney, and the question which he wished to ask was: Should she not be provided with some attorney? We were decidedly of the opinion that she should have somebody to stand by her. After considerable talk in which Bishop H. B. Clawson participated, he having joined us, the choice lay between Sheeks & Rawlins, as one firm, and Arthur Brown as another, and as Prest. Taylor left the matter with Bro. F. S. Richards to decide which firm he should employ, He and Hiram Clawson cast lots, they being undecided as to which was the best. The lot fell to Sheeks & Rawlins. I felt, and so expressed myself, that this Sister Spencer should not be required to hold out, unless she herself had made up her mind that she would not be a witness, for it is evidently the intention of the prosecution and the court to have her severely punished, it may be for one year in a house of correction away from the city, or at best in our own penitentiary which is a wretched place for a woman in a delicate condition as she is said to be. I think that she should have the matter fairly stated to her, and not ask or expect her to refuse and take such serious consequences without a full knowledge on her part as to what she might expect; for if she should be punished and break down over the punishment, either mentally or physically, the consequences would be very serious. On the other hand, she ought to be told, I said, what she would have to meet in case she gave evidence against her alleged husband. After talking about it we all agreed this was the best, and the brethren left for the purpose of communicating with Sheeks & Rawlins as to having them act in the matter.

25 October 1884 • Saturday

Saturday Octr 25, 1884. Lydia Spencer came into court this morning and stated she was willing to be sworn, that she was the wife of Rudger Clawson, and that they were married in this city in 1883. She was then released. The case, of course, then went against Rudger Clawson. It seems that last night the counsel — that is, Sheeks & Rawlins — went to the penitentiary where she was confined, and laid the matter before her; they also bore a letter from her husband, Rudger Clawson. She did not tell them what she would do, but said that she would take the night to reflect upon it. After she was brought to town this morning she had another interview with them, and even then she would not tell them what she intended to do. The jury returned a verdict of guilty against him on both counts — that is, on polygamy and unlawful cohabitation — and after argument the Judge allowed him bail until sentence is passed upon him. There has been considerable excitement in town over this case, and the people were considerably stirred up, it being evident that the prosecution mean to make all the trouble that is possible for every one whom they can ensnare.

26 October 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Octr 26, 1884. I took my nephew D. H. Cannon Jr down home with me last evening, and brought him back to town in time for meeting. I held Sunday School with my children this morning and had a very interesting time. There was a large congregation for this time of the year in the tabernacle. It was quite chilly, but the people appeared greatly interested, no doubt drawn together with the desire to hear what might be said respecting affairs in Court. Prest. Taylor thought we ought to speak to the people and desired me to address them first, which I did, reading some passages from the Book of Mormon and occupying fully half an hour. I felt very well in speaking. He followed and occupied about fifty minutes, speaking many encouraging and comforting words.

At the request of Bishop Pollard I attended meeting in the 15th Ward. My Brother Angus occupied a few minutes, and I the remainder of the time.

27 October 1884 • Monday

Monday Octr 27, 1884. At the Office attending to various matters. I felt it important that we should have some means of learning from the Grand Jury what they are doing so that, if any of our brethren and sisters are likely to be drawn into trouble, that they might have timely warning and get out of reach, for it is the evident design of those people to bring our folks into bondage and imprison them. Suggested this to Prest. Taylor and he sent for Bishop Sharp to have the necessary steps taken looking to this end. He arranged with Captain Phillips, City Marshall, and we hope to be in a position to know the designs of our enemies.

I received a letter of introduction today from Hon. Henry L. Pierce formerly member of Congress from Mass., a very prominent citizen of that state, introducing to me Mr. Alfred Clayton Cole, a young Englishman. I took him round to see the Tabernacle and Temple, and then arranged for Bro. Musser to take him round in my buggy and show him the sights. He intends to leave tomorrow morning at 10 oclock.

Monday, Oct. 27/84. [This woman [Caroline] agreed that I would choose the day for us both to get married and that I would prepare the necessary things regarding the marriage ordinance and then meet up with her again.

I chose the president of the Twelve (W.W.) to seal the two of us. He agreed to marry us without any witnesses. That was his decision. I met again with my [prospective] bride and she was pleased and agreed with Brother W.W.’s thoughts.]2, 3

28 October 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday Octr 28, 1884. My sons John Q. and Abraham came down this morning. We talked over business matters. I drove to town and met with Prest. Taylor, Bros Henry Grow and David James, and had conversation respecting the heating of the Tabernacle in winter and the best manner of arranging it. Afterwards at 11 oclock drove down to the Tabernacle and arranged to have six additional radiators put in, and to have all the doors closed except six for the entrance of the people, but in the egress to have all the doors open. Afterwards examined the towers of the Temple with a view to arriving at the best plan of raising Stone for their Completion, the sides of the Temple being up to their height.

Wrote a long letter to Bro. Jos. F. Smith.

In the afternoon Prest. Taylor and myself listened to several appeal cases from High Councils.

With my brother Angus I called at my sister Mary Alice’s last evening. She has been quite unwell but is some better. We took supper with Bro. Lambert and her and family.

29 October 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday Octr 29, 1884. A brother by the name of Johnson, from Ogden, desired to see me to get counsel respecting his case. The deputy Marshalls have been watching his place and are after him. In coming down on the train (which he boarded at Hooper) the deputy and the conductor came through the train searching for him, but by a singular providence he escaped their notice and did not have his fare even collected.

I drove up very early this morning to see him at Bro. F. S. Richard’s leaving home before full daylight. I find his case is not one that they can take advantage of, and I gave him the counsel needed. Myself and wife, Sarah Jane, breakfasted with Bro. <& Sister> Richards. She is the latters <Bro. Richards’> Cousin.

Corrected a sermon for the press.

My son Frank returned from the east yesterday where he has been on business. He explained to me what he had done. He has been quite successful in his trip.

At 2 oclock met with the First Presidency & Twelve at the Endowment House.

Remainder of the afternoon was busy in the Office.

At 7 oclock I met with the Comtee which had been appointed by the Board of Trade to examine into the question of the manufacture of sugar from sorgum. I was Chairman of the Comtee[.] There were present Wm Jennings, S. P. Teasdale, H. H. Cluff, Wm Paxman, and J. W. Hess of the Comtee. Bro. Arthur Stayner was also present, as he was the one upon whose experience we had to rely. The question was fully discussed, but no conclusion was reached, and the Comtee adjourned for two weeks.

Drove home. Beautiful moonlight night. Our meeting held till 10 o’clock

30 October 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Oct 30, 1884. At the Office. Corrected remainder of sermon.

Bro. Wm Paxman called in, and we — Prest. Taylor, myself, and himself — discussed the case of May V. Bolls which had been appealed to us and which we had heard. Prest. Taylor and myself disagreed with the High Council in their findings, but we wished to learn more particulars than could be obtained in the minutes.

John Beck is here, having returned with Bro. Nuttall and F. A. Mitchell from the examination of his mine. Prest. Taylor drove him (Beck) and myself out to Liberty Park so as to have an opportunity of conversing without interruption and to get air. He also took me up City Creek Cañyon with my brother Angus to look at a place with <which> Angus wished to obtain for a building spot. Prest. Taylor decided to let him have a small piece of land there if no one else had any prior claim through his promise to them. His proposal was to charge the price for the land and put it as <an> offset for Angus’ services, which was agreeable to the latter, though he did not ask for it on these terms.

31 October 1884 • Friday

Friday Oct 31, 1884. At the office. Heard Bro. Mitchell describe his visit to the mine and examined his diagram made from surveys. It is clear from his surveys that the parties who are contesting Bro. Beck’s right to work his claim are trespassers. Examined with Prest. Taylor a place for his barn on the land owned by the Church west and north of the Lion House.

Had an interview today (it being the second we have had) with Bro. [first and last names redacted]. He suspects his wife of having poisoned him with strychnine. He was not in very good health and was in the habit of taking a little whiskey before meals as an appetizer. He was poisoned in drinking this whiskey. Dr. Anderson had analyzed it and said if he had not taken an emetic as speedily as he did it would have killed him. He has been dreadfully shattered since then, and is in a dreadful condition today. His wife had threatened his life if he took another wife and threatened also to kill the woman he took. He has been making advances to one of the sisters with a view of making her his wife, and no one had access to this liquor but herself. He has striven since our last interview to live with her, but has come to the conclusion that he cannot endure it any longer, he is in such a nervous state living in continual dread that it will kill him he thinks. They have agreed finally to separate and to get a divorce, and it was to know from us our counsel respecting this movement that he came today. We think it the best think he could do under the circumstances.

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October 1884, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 21, 2024