Saturday, March 1st, 1890. I came to the office this morning and attended to some business. It being President Woodruff’s birthday, I purchased a pair of gold spectacles to present to him, and I wrote him a letter congratulating him on his birthday. The following is a copy of it:
President W. Woodruff,
My dear Brother Wilford:
I most heartily congratulate you on this, the anniversary of your 83rd birthday. Unlike some of the Prophets, you can bless the day of your birth and the messenger who bore the tidings to your Father that a man-child was born to him. I feel thankful to the Lord that I came to earth in your generation, and that I have had the privilege to be so intimately and lovingly associated with you in the Church and Priesthood of the Son of God; and my heartfelt desire is that I may ever be worthy of this association. Constantly do I pray for the preservation of your life that you may live for many years to come to be a blessing and comfort to your family and to Zion.
Will you please accept a pair of spectacles which I have selected for you? I trust they will be acceptable to you and will suit you. If they do not, I can have them changed for a pair that will answer the purpose.
With love, and hoping you will enjoy this day and have many happy returns of it,
[signed] GEO. Q. CANNON.
I had Brother Andrew Smith take me down to his house, thinking to have him carry my letter and spectacles in to him, but we met him on the road going to visit one of his family who is sick, and I handed them to him. I spent the rest of the day at home, superintending the fixing up of my schoolhouse. I have had it in my mind to arrange my schoolhouse so that we could have meetings there—all my family and my children—once a week and hold conversations upon subjects that we have read about, in order to draw the children out, and for my own benefit also, to receive the advantage of their reading.
Sunday, March 2nd, 1890. This is the Quarterly Conference of the Salt Lake Stake of Zion. I had my son Lewis drive the carriage in which myself and my daughters Mary Alice and Hester rode, and attended meeting in the forenoon. Brothers F. F. Hintze and S. B. Young spoke. In the afternoon, Bp. O. F. Whitney and President Woodruff occupied the time. After this meeting I went down to Brother Don Carlos Young’s. My brother Angus and my son Lewis and daughter Hester accompanied me. I dedicated his house at his request. His three own sisters were present—my wife Carlie and sisters Miriam Hardy and Josephine Young.
We returned to the evening meeting in the Tabernacle. Brother Penrose and myself occupied the time. There was quite a large congregation in the afternoon and in the evening.
Monday, March 3rd, 1890. I took cold last night after the meeting, through having to wait in the cold for the team to take the girls down home. Attended Conference this morning. Before the Conference, however, I was requested to dedicate a new font that has been built in the Tabernacle. It is very nicely arranged with suitable rooms for men and women to dress and undress in. The choir sang a hymn before the dedicatory prayer was offered, and also closed with a hymn.
In the Conference Brother Jas. E. Talmage was called upon to speak and occupied about half an hour, speaking excellently. At President Woodruff’s request, I read a part of the 49th chapter of Isaiah, commencing at the 13th verse. I also made some remarks. Bishop Preston and Brother Joseph E. Taylor occupied the remainder of the time. In the afternoon the authorities were presented and business reports were made. Brother Jos. E. Taylor again spoke, and my brother Angus closed.
Between the meetings today the First Presidency had an interview with Messrs. Alexander Badlam and Isaac Trumbo, who have come over to see what can be done about the 25% of the stock of the Bullion, Beck and Champion Co. which has been promised to the California Co. on condition of their doing certain things, which they have done. I felt very much humiliated at the remarks which they made concerning our brethren and the treatment that has been extended to them. It gives us a very bad name. They say that Alonzo E. Hyde and Richard J. Taylor have been over there and have said a great many things that have been very injurious to their characters and also to Bishop Clawson’s. The latter has brought back with him a letter, signed by the men that form the California Co., speaking in the highest terms of him and their confidence in him. I felt ashamed that one of our brethren should have to do a thing of this kind—to get a certificate of character from outside men to repel charges of members in the Church. Messrs. Badlam and Trumbo feel very sore because they have learned that they have been attacked, their characters misrepresented, and very wicked accusations made against them. They also have brought letters of the highest character from men in high position in California to show their standing among their own people. They say that unless the Company fulfill their contract they will start a suit immediately and ask for the appointment of a Receiver for the property. After listening to all they had to say and expressing our regrets, it was decided for Brother Jos. F. Smith to see our people connected with the Bullion-Beck and represent the situation of affairs to them, and endeavor to get them to look at it right and to comply with the terms of the contract. I have felt that these people have done all that they promised to do and that we could ask of them, and it is most extraordinary to me that there should be any reluctance on the part of any connected with this Company to comply with the terms of the contract. I am afraid it will lead to very serious consequences.
Tuesday, March 4th, 1890. I came up early and attended to various matters of business.
Brother C. O. Card came in. He is on the “underground” and is down on a visit from Canada to Cache Valley.
We had a visit from Sister Luella Young, the wife of Brother John W. Young. I was astonished at her communication. She informs us that she does not love Brother Young, never did love him, and cannot bear it any longer, and asks for a divorce. We went over the whole ground with her; but she declares nothing can reconcile her to living with him. This seems to us to be retribution. He evidently loves her very deeply, but she does not love him. He has had a number of wives whom he did not love, and with whom he would not love, and she is using his arguments that he has recited to her as reasons for not living with his wives, against him to sustain herself in not living with him.
There was a meeting at 12 o’clock of the B. B. & C. Co stockholders, and they elected a new Board, all being elected that was on the old board except my son Frank. They elected Richard J. Taylor in his place. The reason for refusing me representation on the Board, although I am the second largest stockholder in the company, is that my representatives do not agree with them, and they will not have views that are not in accord with theirs represented on the Board. Brothers Moses Thatcher and W. B. Preston voted against Frank; they, however, voted for Abraham. But A. E. Hyde and John W. Taylor voted against both Frank and Abraham. I cannot say that I am surprised at this action, but I think it exceedingly foolish on their part, because by such means they cannot hurt me, but they show a spirit that to me is anything but righteous.
At 4 o’clock President Jos. F. Smith met with the following named persons who are interested in the B. B. & C. Co: Moses Thatcher, W. B. Preston, A. E. Hyde, Geo. J. Taylor, C. O. Card, John W. Taylor, A. H. Cannon, F. J. Cannon, Geo. Reynolds, and, part of the time, H. B. Clawson. The object he had in meeting with this company was to endeavor to effect a pacification and to reconcile them, if possible, to the giving to the California Co. the 25% of the stock which had been contracted for. Of those present, my sons who represented my stock and Brother Geo. Reynolds were the only ones who were willing to do this. Brother Clawson, of course, had nothing to say about this, as he is only the agent of the California Co. A three hour’s session was held, but Brother Smith reported that all he said was of no avail; they were determined to resist the claim of the California people to this 25%.
Wednesday, March 5th, 1890. At 10 o’clock this morning President Smith again met with the persons who were at the meeting last evening, excepting Brother Clawson. The meeting was held till about quarter past one, but was of no further avail than the meeting of yesterday. Brother Thatcher expressed himself very strongly against giving a dollar’s worth of stock to Alexander Badlam. He said that he would spend one hundred thousand dollars—all he was worth—to prevent his getting a single share of stock. Bishop Preston, though he did not use so strong an expression as this, was equally determined, and they were resolved upon a lawsuit rather than to yield; in fact, they seemed to be pleased at the prospect of going into court and fighting this case. They said that they were willing to give the 25% to other parties who were mentioned, such as Governor Perkins, Mr. Fillmore, Mr. O’Connor, Surveyor General Brown; but they would not give it to Alexander Badlam. This seemed a strange proposition to me, and I asked why, if the compromise was effected, they should be willing to give it to some men and not to others. Brother Smith said that the ground they took was that the compromise was not beneficial to the Champion Co; but they would be willing to give the 25% to the others because they were men of influence. This seemed extraordinary to me; in fact, the whole proceeding is extraordinary. The idea of Bishop Preston, whose interest is only as one out of one hundred, being so eager for a lawsuit, when the cost to him would be so little! Brother Thatcher’s interest stands as five to one hundred; and the 28 heirs of President Taylor, who seem to be so eager for a quarrel and an expensive lawsuit, their interest all combined is only equal to mine; and yet I am precluded from having any voice on the Board and my interests jeopardized by the rash and intemperate action of these people. This is the most extraordinary proceeding that I have ever known in all my acquaintance with the affairs of this Church; and how men in the standing that these men have can justify themselves for such conduct is incomprehensible to me. I cautioned my sons before they went to the meeting to be very careful and say but little, as I did not want to have anything said that would contribute to strengthening the feeling of these people which, I believe, they secretly entertain towards me. They have said in their remarks, so Brother Smith says, that the First Presidency is hoodwinked, deceived, and that they do not know anything about these people (meaning Badlam and Trumbo); that if we knew them we would not have confidence in them; and Bishop Preston, in his remarks yesterday, which were quite lengthy, asked who was it that was troubling the First Presidency in this way, especially President Woodruff in his old age and causing him to be so stirred up about a matter that did not concern the First Presidency? If anybody had feelings, why didn’t they take the method that was pointed out and have the teachers visit them? He spoke at some length in this strain, intimating that somebody (evidently referring to myself) was egging President Woodruff on to this action. Brother Smith took occasion to say in a very pointed manner that I had nothing to do with this; that it was a matter belonging to the First Presidency; that the business commenced with the First Presidency, and that it never left the First Presidency. They denounced Mr. Badlam in the strongest language and the whole proceeding as a plot, and, of course, implicated Brother Clawson in the matter.
This proceeding has made me feel sick at heart; for there will undoubtedly be trouble, and that of a serious character, before we get through with this, if the brethren persist in their determination to resist the claim of the California people. On the whole, I am rather pleased than otherwise that they left my stock without representation on the Board, although I own over one-fifth of the entire property. By this action they show their animus. It certainly is, according to my view, indefensible to treat me in this manner, merely because they want harmony and no disagreements as to this question of paying the California people. I have left this matter with the Lord and must trust to Him.
Messrs. Badlam and Trumbo and Brother Clawson called on us, and Brother Smith explained to them the situation, and though they were disappointed they seemed to feel that their case was so strong that there could be no doubt as to the result of a suit.
A very rainy day. Towards evening it cleared up. The roads are in a bad condition.
Thursday, March 6th, 1890. This is Fast day. My son Lewis drove me up as usual this morning, and I was very busy all day attending to various matters.
Messrs. Badlam and Trumbo started this afternoon for California. They have had interviews with the Receiver, Mr. Dyer, concerning the Gardo House. The court has instructed him to lease it at a higher rental, and it seems as though it is going to be taken from us. These gentlemen, having influence with him, obtained certain promises from him concerning the matter which were very favorable to us.
I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
Friday, March 7th, 1890. I was quite sick today and felt very feverish, but I was at the office all day attending to the business.
I felt very much concerned about the Bullion-Beck affairs, and would feel much depressed if I would yield to the feeling, in view of the difficulty that is likely to arise through the refusal of the brethren to surrender their share of stock to the California people. I had some conversation today with Brothers F. S. Richards and C. W. Penrose concerning the course I should take about demanding my stock that I hold in the California Co. and which A. E. Hyde has in bulk in his hands. The brethren were very much surprised when I told them that they had refused to give me representation on the Board. They thought it an unheard-of proceeding that one holding so large a share of stock should be deprived of representation for the reason that his representatives did not agree in every particular with the policy that the rest wished pursued.
Saturday, March 8th, 1890. I started this morning at 8:10 from the city to attend Conference at East Bountiful. Brother Israel Call met me at the station at Woods Cross and carried me to his father’s house. I found Brother Call and family in good health. He, however, has had to keep very close during this winter. He is in his eightieth year, and the weather has been very hard for him to endure.
At 10 o’clock we went to the meeting. There was a very good attendance. The forenoon was occupied by Brother John W. Hess and B. H. Roberts. The latter delivered a very fine discourse. Brother Hess reported the condition of the Stake, Prest. Wm. R. Smith being so hoarse that he could not do so. In the afternoon some business reports were read, and I occupied the remainder of the time and had considerable freedom. Brother S. B. Young joined us in the afternoon. He and I drove back to Brother Anson Call’s and took supper, and then was taken to the station and reached the city about half past eight, the train being late. I was met at the depot by Brother C. H. Barrell, Messenger of the Legislative Council, who came to inform me that Brother F. S. Richards wanted to see me before I went home on matters of some importance. I told him I would join him at the President’s Office. We had about half an hour’s conversation on legislative matters, and I gave him such counsel as the occasion required.
My son Lewis took me home. I went straight to bed when I got home, as I was feeling very badly.
The Gardo House was put up to the highest bidder for rent today. Brother Winder secured it by offering to pay $450. per month for it.
Sunday, March 9th, 1890. I expected to go to Bountiful to the Conference this morning, but, to my great surprise, when I arose the ground was covered with snow and it was storming very heavily. I made every preparation to go, and drove over as far as my son Abraham’s and found that he was going, and as I had lost my voice, being hoarse with cold, I thought it better to remain, which he urged me to do. I spent the day at home.
Monday, March 10th, 1890. I felt quite unwell today, but went up to the office and attended to business.
We had several interviews today with brethren from the Legislature concerning pending measures.
Brother A. W. Ivins, of the St. George Stake Presidency, called with some letters from the Presidency there, describing the urgent necessity of help to enable the saints there to reconstruct dams which had been washed out by the Rio Virgin. We appropriated $10000.00 for their relief, half of it in labor tithing and the other half in available means. Brother W. C. Spence gave us a description of his labors in the East in securing the services of the Union Pacific Agent, Mr. Tenbroeck, at New York, who will take charge of our emigrants upon their arrival and see that they are properly transferred from the steamship to the cars.
Tuesday, March 11th, 1890. I still feel badly from my cold. Attended to a good many items of business. We are very busy at the present time, so many things crowding upon us.
It was decided to advance $7500.00 towards purchasing the livery outfit of Mulloy and Paul, Grant Bros. having had a favorable offer from them. We own considerable in Grant Bros livery establishment and consider it wise to pay something for our proportion of this purchase, which will be $30000.00.
Bishop Winder informed us that he had rented the Tithing Office today at $250. per month from the Receiver.
Wednesday, March 12th, 1890. We had a meeting with Brother H. J. Grant this morning, in which we informed him of our determination concerning the counsel that we were to give the people about disposing of their surplus real estate. We had a long interview with him. He agreed with the policy, and made a promise that he would not mention it to anyone without our consent.
We afterwards had interviews with C. H. Wilcken and my brother Angus, each of them alone, and put them under covenant also concerning this business. We informed them fully concerning it. The former has been with us so steadfastly as a constant attendant during President Taylor’s lifetime and since his death, waiting upon the brethren of the First Presidency with such devotion, that we felt it would be wise to communicate this matter to him, because if he found it out without our saying anything to him he would view it as a manifestation of a lack of confidence in him. Another reason was that he is about to be discharged from his position as City Watermaster, and it suggested itself that perhaps he might find employment in this business, instead of going into the livery business as he proposes, which we felt might not be remunerative under present circumstances. My brother Angus is the President of the Stake, and we deemed it proper that he should understand this business thoroughly, so that he could help steady things. There was a little occurrence in connection with our communication to him that created, for some few moments, some consternation. He said to us, after we had made our communication to him, that this was all out; people knew all about it. Upon my interrogating him, as President Woodruff wished me to make all the explanations to all these brethren, he said that B. Y. Hampton had told Brother Jos. E. Taylor that the counsel of the authorities of the Church had been changed, and that now men were at liberty to sell to outsiders. We were much surprised at hearing this, and insisted on Angus bringing Brother Taylor to us that we might interrogate him. He did so. We also sent for Brother Hampton, that if we needed him we might confront the two. But Brother Taylor said that Brother Angus had misunderstood him. B. Y. Hampton had said that the time would come when no doubt the saints would sell to Gentiles. Brother Hampton had really said as little as he could under the circumstances, with the knowledge he had of the situation, especially in view of the fact that he was engaged in the real estate business.
We did considerable business today with Brother Card.
Brother Abram Hatch came in to get some counsel concerning legislative matters, which we gave.
My health is a little better today than it has been, for which I feel thankful.
We appropriated $3000.00 to help the people of Woodruff reconstruct their dam which had been washed away by high water.
We had a very pleasant interview with Brother Franklin D. Richards, being the first time that I have seen him for several months. Though his health is still feeble, he is greatly improved.
Thursday, March 13th, 1890. We again paid considerable attention to legislative matters, in response to inquiries for counsel from brethren in the Legislature.
At 2 o’clock we had our regular meeting of the Presidency and Twelve. There were present, besides the First Presidency, Elders F. D. Richards, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon. I made the opening prayer, and President Woodruff prayed in the circle.
It was thought necessary that the First Presidency should be in a position to be reached by the members of the Legislative Assembly through the night, as something might arise, the brethren thought, that might require counsel. President Woodruff desired me to stay, and I remained in the Gardo House.
Friday, March 14th, 1890. The sad news reached us this morning, by cablegram from C. D. Fjeldsted, President of the Scandinavian Mission, that Brother John A. Quist, of Big Cottonwood, who had been presiding over the Gottenborg Conference in Sweden, was dead.
We decided today to announce that our General Conference would commence on Friday, the 4th of April.
It had been decided that it would be better for my son Abraham to go to California to meet with the California Co. and represent my stock in that Co., and have the transfer made on their books to my name, my sons having obtained an order to the effect for the amount of stock that belonged to me, from A. E. Hyde, who had held the 75000 certificate of shares belonging to various members, in trust for them. Abraham was to leave at a little after ten tonight.
This afternoon President Joseph F. Smith and myself met with several of the brethren to whom we had made communications respecting land matters. Brother Geo. D. Pyper met with us, it being the desire of the brethren that he should act as their bookkeeper and confidential clerk in the loan and trust company that they were to organize. I explained to him the nature of the business, and though it was a great surprise to him, he thought it was a good move.
Saturday, March 15th, 1890. I was detained at home some time this morning, but reached the office about ten o’clock.
I asked for an appropriation to be made in favor of the family of Brother Harvey Murdock, who were in somewhat destitute circumstances, he being in prison. $25. in merchandise and $25. in produce was appropriated for their relief, which I forwarded to his wife in a letter.
At 12 o’clock the Directors of Z.C.M.I. met and attended to considerable business.
President Woodruff and myself had an interview with Sister Quist, the first wife of the deceased Elder. She was anxious to know if his remains could be brought home. We told her we would make inquiries upon the subject.
At 3 o’clock we had a meeting of the stockholders of Zion’s Savings Bank, to consider a proposition which has been made by Brother Heber J. Grant, on behalf of the subscribers of a proposed new bank, of which Brother Grant was to be the President. The proposition which he had made to us was that they should be allowed to join us in the Savings Bank, increasing the capital, and all they asked was that the Board of Directors be increased to 13 and they should have six of them and the privilege of nominating the Cashier. When this proposition was made to us a few days ago, Presidents Woodruff and Smith and Brother Reynolds and myself were not favorably impressed with it, for the reason that it appeared as though with three hundred thousand dollars capital, which they had, they would swallow us up, and it would be like buying us out. Besides, we had fears about entanglements. We had got along excellently well in our institution, and had had no jars nor friction; and we feared that the introduction of a new element might lead to unpleasantness in some form or another. Another thing, we desired to have our business in a better shape, so far as the building which we are erecting is concerned and some outstanding accounts. In response to Brothers Grant and A. H. Cannon, who waited upon us as a committee, we told them this. Brother Grant, however, had felt impressed to come and make explanations to Brother Joseph F. Smith and myself concerning the matter and desired a reconsideration of the decision. He said that it was a very tempting thing to him to be made President of a big institution like that, but he was willing to make that sacrifice for the sake of union. I could not appreciate why he should attach so much importance to being the President of a bank as he appeared to; but he seemed to think it a very fine thing to occupy a position of that kind. It appeared afterwards in conversation that he thought it would give him great influence in the financial world, among insurance companies and others with whom he was connected in business.
We submitted this matter to the brethren today and there was considerable conversation upon it. The repugnant feature in all our minds was the proposition to lay Brother Schettler aside, for he had been a faithful man to us, though it had been proposed by Brother Grant that he should have a good place in the bank, but not as Cashier. Their minds were fixed upon Heber M. Wells for this position. A committee was finally appointed, consisting of my brother Angus, T. G. Webber and W. A. Rossiter, to meet with a committee of the proposed new bank and canvass the proposition.
I have felt that the position of the First Presidency in Zion’s Savings Bank was one that should call forth some action on our part. The Twelve are dividing up. There will be a number of them in this proposed new bank. Brother Heber J. Grant is proposed as President, Bp. W. B. Preston as Vice President, and President Joseph F. Smith and Brother A. H. Cannon as Directors. I fear that this will have the appearance of division in the eyes of the people, and I have felt quite concerned about it. It is well known to us that there is not the most friendly feeling entertained by a number of the Twelve to this bank of ours, for various reasons. Brother Jos. F. Smith says that there are, at least, five of the Twelve whom he knows to be unfriendly. I have thought that if anything were to happen [to] President Woodruff it would be a very serious thing for this bank, unless we should by some means conciliate our brethren and have them connected with it. These considerations have great weight with me. Zion’s Savings Bank has done exceedingly well, although we have drawn no money from it. I suppose its [s]tock today could be sold for $200. per share; the face value is only $100. But I am very much in favor of union and would be willing to make sacrifices to obtain it.
After this meeting three sisters came who were graduates under the teaching of Dr. Ellis R. Shipp, to be set apart for ministrations among sisters.
Brother H. J. Grant and myself laid hands upon them, and I was mouth in blessing two and he in blessing one.
My son David rode down with me home tonight. He surprised us all this morning by driving up to the house at breakfast time, having arrived from the east, in company with Brother John F. Young, some time in the night. We were all delighted to see him, and he was exceedingly pleased to get home once more.
In the evening I had a call from Brother John W. Young. He feels very much humbled over the action of his wife Luella, who has applied to the District Court , through J. L. Rawlins, attorney, for a divorce from him. In our conversation with her a few days ago I had said that <while> I thought John ought to give her a divorce under the circumstances, she feeling as she did, I could not, having heard only one side, say to her that she was at liberty to get a divorce. Brother Young felt rather hurt that we should have even thought that she ought to get a divorce. I told him that I had always entertained the view that his father had set forth, that when a woman applied for a divorce, if nothing else would satisfy her she ought to have it. I told him that I should have no objection to seeing her again and talking to her upon the subject, though I had little hope concerning getting her to consent to be content with a separation only. He felt very badly at her making her reason for asking for a divorce, in her complaint, that he was in polygamy, and that he had treated her with cruelty. There is a great change in Brother Young.
Sunday, March 16th, 1890. My son David carried myself and my daughters Hester, Amelia and Emily to meeting in the victorine. I had not thought of speaking when I went to meeting, and after reaching there I cast about to find somebody that I could suggest to my brother Angus for him to call upon, but I could not see anyone that I was led to suggest, but felt led myself to speak. I commenced by reading the 10th chapter of Acts. I enjoyed a most excellent flow of the spirit and felt very free in talking. There was a large audience and they paid the strictest attention.
After the meeting, my son David and myself concluded to go to Ogden and spend the evening there. We were met at the station by my sons John Q. and Frank, and we drove to John Q.’s house and had a very interesting time.
Monday, March 17th, 1890. I felt very much chagrined this morning that I had missed, through a misunderstanding, the train that would carry me down to Draper to attend the funeral of Bp. Isaac M. Stewart, which I had promised to attend.
I came to the Gardo House from the train.
The First Presidency had an interview with Brother John W. Young and attended to various items of business. He makes a proposition through us to his wife to the effect that he will give her sufficient means to support her a year, place it in her own hands and furnish her a residence, and will not go near her, unless she sends for him, nor communicate with her in any way unless in response to her request, if she will suspend action on this divorce and let it stand as it is. We thought that the proposition was a fair one. President Woodruff thought favorably of it and will perhaps see her, as it will require a command to check her in her present action.
I dictated my journal and some letters to Brother Winter.
I had the pleasure today to deposit in F. Armstrong & Co’s hands (this being the loan and trust company which we contemplated forming to carry out our plan for the disposal of lands) $11046.09. This amount is the dividends which have accumulated on the stock that I dedicated to the Lord out of my stock that I bought in the B. B. & C. Co. I desire this to be kept sacred for the purpose for which we covenanted with the Lord. It is the first sum of money that has been deposited with this new firm, and I was much gratified at having the opportunity of being the first, and especially with this money, that I felt would be blessed of the Lord because of it being dedicated to him.
Tuesday, March 18th, 1890. President Woodruff and myself had an interview this morning with Mr. F. H. Dyer and Arthur Pratt concerning the gas stock belonging to the Church. They desired to have an option, and offered to give par for the stock if we will pledge it to them in the event of the decision of the U. S. Supreme Court being favorable to us. We were rather favorably impressed with the idea of letting them have it.
We had quite an interview with Brother F. S. Richards concerning legal matters.
Elders Joseph Horne and Joseph Harker have been chosen patriarchs, and came today to us to be ordained. The First Presidency laid hands upon them. I was mouth in ordaining Brother Horne, and Brother Smith was mouth in ordaining Brother Harker.
We had a long interview with Sisters Sarah M. Kimball and Maria Y. Dougall, who have been east attending the Woman’s Suffrage Convention in Washington. They made a very interesting report of their labors. Sister Elmina S. Taylor was also present.
President Woodruff invited me to attend the theatre this evening to see the play of Rigoletto and gave me a seat in his box.
I drove home in company with my sons David and Lewis, and Lewis brought me back to the theatre.
Wednesday, March 19th, 1890. Brother Armstrong called this morning upon the First Presidency and spoke about the gas stock. It seems that he had understood that we were pledged to let friends of his have the stock in case we should regain control of it. We had a long conversation over it, explaining what had taken place between Messrs. Dyer and Pratt and ourselves yesterday, and after this conversation I dictated a letter to Messrs. Dyer and Pratt, which President Woodruff and myself signed, as follows:
“Since our interview yesterday with you, we have seen, as we promised you we would, our friends who are equally interested with us in the question you submitted to us and have reported to them your conversation and the proposition you made to us. They still adhere to the resolution which was adopted a short time since, and which was mentioned to you, that we had better not do anything at the present time that will bind us to accept your proposition, as it is very questionable whether the decision of the U. S. Supreme Court will place this property at our disposal. It is feared also that by taking such action under these circumstances there might complications arise which would embarrass us hereafter.”
There was a meeting of the Deseret News Co. today. We attended to considerable business, after which we had a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank.
The committee that had been appointed to consult with the committee of the proposed new bank made their report. I was not favorably impressed with what I heard. I dread the spirit that I fancy I can detect manifestations of at the present time. There is such a tendency now to enter into combinations and to get various persons drawn in to one enterprise and another that I fear the introduction of that element into our bank. Brother Preston was reported to have said that we were professing to be a Church bank, but we were really not. We were sailing under false colors, because if we were a Church bank we would pay our tithing, and did not do it. This manifestation of feeling [o]n his part is very distasteful to me. I think it arrogant and altogether out of place for him to make such remarks about us. I never have needed Bishop Preston to remind me, so far in my life, of my duty as a tithe payer, and I do not think Presidents Woodruff and Smith or any of the other brethren in this bank need to be told by him what their duty is in this respect. The bank they propose starting they intend to take a tenth and pay it in to the Church. There are objections to this method of doing which, under present circumstances, I think, are entitled to consideration. We had a long and interesting meeting. I did not say but little for some time, but listened to the others. I then, at President Woodruff’s request, expressed my feelings. I said that my great anxiety was to have some of the Twelve associated with us. If this were done, and we could get new blood, I felt that under the circumstances it would be better for us to keep to ourselves. It was decided that in case this coalition was not effected, we should enlarge our stock to four hundred thousand dollars, and one hundred thousand surplus as a reserve fund. Of course, while these negotiations were pending it would be inappropriate to take definite action upon this, but we conversed about it, so that in the event of the negotiations not resulting in any coalition, we would know what to do. One of the propositions of the other parties was that those of us who had any excess of stock over a certain amount at the present time should leave it to the Board of Directors to dictate to whom it should be given; and, take the whole spirit as it manifested itself, it is one that did not strike me pleasantly.
Presidents Woodruff and Smith both expressed themselves very freely as to their views, in which we three all agreed. A motion was made that in the event of our not uniting President Woodruff should be requested to invite the Twelve whom he wished to join us on terms that would be suitable.
Thursday, March 20th, 1890. Brother Lorenzo Snow came in this morning. I had not seen him for some time, and I was very pleased to meet him. His health is good.
At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and Brothers L. Snow, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, A. H. Cannon and J. W. Young met in the circle. Brother Young prayed, and Brother Snow was mouth in the circle. After the prayer, Brother John W. Young mentioned his desire to take a mission as soon as he could get his business into shape. There was some conversation respecting missions. President Woodruff mentioned Japan as being a place of which he had heard me speak very often, I being desirous that a mission should be established there. He also spoke of forming a stake in the Holy Land. Brother Young asked if it would be of any service for him while he was in Europe to run over to Constantinople from London. He said he could get letters of introduction if we wished him to do so, to see the Sultan. Nothing, however, was decided upon that point. But consent was given him to go to Europe, he having asked our views about it.
At a meeting which we had with Elders F. S. Richards, R. W. Young and Geo. C. Parkinson, concerning help that will be needed to defend the brethren in Oneida County, I expressed myself very freely regarding my preference for one of our own people to defend our cases, than to have such a man as J. L. Rawlins, whose sympathies are not with us, and who only worked for money, and then charged the very highest price. It was decided that Brother Richard W. Young go up there, there being a Gentile lawyer by the name of Kimball, from Ogden, already employed.
Friday, March 21st, 1890. The First Presidency met with Brother Lorenzo Snow this morning and explained to him our views concerning inheritances in this city and the action we had taken upon that subject. He acceptedwhat we gave him as our views as being right and from the Lord. President Woodruff also spoke to him about joining our bank and taking stock in it, which he felt to do. He is in full accord with us regarding our views on these matters and the position we have taken. He fears the effect of this spirit that is exhibited by some among our brethren.
Brother Stephen H. Lynch was ordained an Elder under the heads of President Lorenzo Snow and myself, Brother Snow being mouth. The object in ordaining him was that he might go to the Temple and get married, there not being time for him to go before a meeting of the priesthood. My brother Angus, as the President of the Stake, was consulted about it, and he said it would be all right.
At 11 o’clock the First Presidency had a meeting with the Presiding Bishops and canvassed the situation of our secular affairs. I made a motion that the Presiding Bishopric be instructed to take into consideration the best methods of curtailing their expenses in the handling and disposing of tithing, and to sell everything received as tithing that could be sold, for cash, and thus avoid the expense of transportation and handling in this city. Concerning the Roscoe Ranch, they were also instructed to make the necessary inquiries as to how it could be disposed of to the best advantage, but before making any bargain, to submit the affair to us. We feel that it is not wise for us to have anything invested in real estate; and brethren of the most experience, notably Bp. Burton, say that we can do better with our stock by hiring the work done than we can by holding land and doing it ourselves.
At 12 o’clock there was a meeting of the stockholders of Zion’s Savings Bank and Trust Co, and on motion of Brother Jos. F. Smith it was decided that we notify the members of the proposed new bank that it was our feeling that they had better go ahead and make a distinct organization, and that we should keep our bank distinct and invite brethren to take stock in it, and some of our members would doubtless take stock in their bank. A committee was appointed to draft a kind and respectful letter, in reply to the letter which they submitted to us concerning their proposition.
At 3:30 I took train for Milford, for the purpose of attending the Beaver Stake Conference on Sunday and Monday. It has been so many years since I was there that I felt very desirous to make the people a visit, and telegraphed to Prest. John R. Murdock to know if I could obtain a conveyance at Milford to carry me to Beaver. He replied that he was very glad I was coming and that they would have a carriage to meet me.
Saturday, March 22nd, 1890. Reached Milford while it was yet dark—about 5 o’clock. Towards 7 a young man, David McKnight, son of Bp. James McKnight of Minersville, drove up and I got on board his vehicle. He took me to his father’s house at Minersville, where we got breakfast. I had a very pleasant visit with Brother and Sister McKnight, both of whom are in feeble health, especially the former, and also with Brother J. H. Rawlins, an old acquaintance of mine.
Between one and two o’clock Prest. Murdock drove up in his buggy and I went with him to Beaver. A number of brethren, among them Brother Wm. Fotheringham, came in in the evening. I was very kindly entertained by Brother and Sister Murdock, who made me very comfortable.
Sunday, March 23rd, 1890. Conference commenced at 10 o’clock this morning. The house was filled to overflowing. The congregation was very attentive. After singing and prayer, Brother Murdock opened by describing the condition of the Stake. I then spoke and occupied the remainder of the forenoon, and had much of the spirit. The sacrament was administered in the afternoon, and I occupied the greater part of the time in addressing the saints. In the evening there was a meeting of the Y.M.M.I.A. There were various exercises, and I was requested to speak, which I did for about 20 minutes.
I met today an old acquaintance of mine, Brother Jonathan Crosby. He resided in San Francisco when I presided there. He is almost blind, is 83 years of age, and with the exception of his blindness seems remarkably well preserved.
Monday, March 24th, 1890. Conference convened at 10 o’clock. Some of the Bishops and Brother Tyler, president of the High Priests Quorum, spoke, also Counselor Wm. Fotheringham, and I occupied the remainder of the forenoon. In the afternoon we met at 1 o’clock. The authorities of the Church were presented. Brother M. L. Shepherd spoke and some business was attended to, after which I spoke nearly an hour, and President Murdock occupied the remainder of the time till after 2.
We have had most excellent meetings at this Conference and I have enjoyed myself very much. The Spirit of the Lord has been with us, and I believe the people have been greatly profited by the instructions. At noon today I ordained Brother Mumford a Bishop in place of J. X. Smith, of the 2nd Ward, he having resigned because of ill health. We also ordained and set apart as Counselors, Brother Robert Stovey and C. F. Harris. The former was a Seventy, the other a Priest. I ordained them both High Priests. These brethren were presented to the Conference and were accepted. A new Bishop had also been selected for Minersville—Brother Solomon Walker. Brother McKnight’s health compelled him to resign the office of Bishop, the duties of which were too onerous for him. After the meeting Brother Murdock carried me in his buggy to Minersville. We had a very full, enjoyable meeting in the evening at this place and presented Brother Solomon Walker as Bishop, and Brother Geo. Eyre as First Counselor. Then Brother Walker was ordained a High Priest and set apart as Bishop; and Brother Eyre, who had been Brother McKnight’s Counselor, was set apart to be Counselor to the new Bishop. I had considerable freedom in talking and occupied three quarters of an hour. Brother Murdock and myself lodged at Brother McKnight’s.
Tuesday, March 25th, 1890. Brother Murdock returned to his home at Beaver. I visited Brother Rawlins, who was living in rather narrow circumstances. His family at present consists of himself and wife and his wife’s sister, who was formerly the wife of Amasa Lyman. She is 74 years of age and full of life and spirit, but is very deaf. Sister Rawlins is very active. With them I went and called on Sister Mary Lightner, who was sealed to the Prophet Joseph in very early days, and who is living with her aunt, who is also the aunt of Brother Rawlins. She is the widow of Sidney Gilbert and is in her 90th year. We laid hands on both of these sisters and on Sister Lyman and blessed them, and also on Brother McKnight and a man by the name of Meyers. I afterwards called on Brother & Sister Dodson, and also on Sister Croft, whose husband, Brother Ben Croft, is in Mexico.
At 1 o’clock Brother Solomon Walker called for me and carried me to Milford, to the house of Brother Tanner, who is the presiding elder there. Sister Tanner is a daughter of Brother Jacob Bigler. They entertained me very kindly until the train was ready to start. Brother Tanner accompanied me to the train, which left there at 8:30.
Wednesday, March 26th, 1890. When we reached Payson this morning we found a special car which was attached to our train, in which Brothers Riter, John Sharp and G. G. Bywater were, they having been down looking at the road. When they found I was on board they transferred me to their car, and I took breakfast with them and rode with them to the city.
My sons Abraham and Lewis met me at the depot. I rode with Abraham up to the Gardo House. He related to me what he had done in California. He had secured my stock in the B. B. & California Co, but not without some trouble. Brother A. E. Hyde was averse to giving Abraham my stock, but his own lawyer, as well as the lawyers of the California Co, told him that he could not refuse, that he must do it; so he gave him the stock, which was signed by Isaac Trumbo, as President, and Alexander Badlam as Secretary, being 16489 shares and a fraction. It seems that Brothers Thatcher, Hyde and R. J. Taylor elected four of the five Directors of the California Co, but upon proceeding to organize they found that they could not do so legally, as they were not residents of California; so the old organization was maintained, and they were very much disappointed at the result.
I rather think from what I learn that they must have had their eyes opened on some points, at least, and learned that the men they were deriding here were much more important personages in California than they have been disposed to think they were.
We had an interview with Mr. Badlam and Col. Trumbo today and they told us that Brother Hyde, and I think Brother Thatcher, had proposed for them to come over here and withdraw the suit. They are willing to do this if they will keep to their promises, but they speak very slightingly of their truthfulness and say that they have made statements to them which they know to be false, and they have no confidence in their word. I regretted to hear this statement from these people. They compare the condition of the mine at the time it was taken hold of to a sinking ship, and now that it has been rescued from loss, ingratitude is shown to those who were the instruments in effecting its release.
Abraham reports to me that he was treated with great kindness while in San Francisco and was aided in every way in accomplishing that which he went for.
There is danger now, I fear, if something is not done, that the Eureka people may intervene and try and break up the compromise that they have made, by which our property was saved. It is a sad thing to me that there should have been such a course taken, and all apparently without any ground whatever. It must be very humiliating to these people to attempt a thing of this character and to be defeated as they have been. Brother Thatcher denied to Mr. Badlam that he had ever said a word against him in any way, which, of course, Mr. Badlam does not believe, because Presidents Woodruff and Smith both know that he did speak against him and alleged as a reason for not giving up the 25% stock that he would not give one dollar of it to Mr. Badlam.
Presidents Woodruff and Smith feel very badly over this as well as myself. I have endeavored, however, to keep aloof from it. President Woodruff has decided to see Brother John W. Taylor, and I suggested that he and Brother Jos. F. Smith see him together, and that they excuse me, as I feared that my presence might not have a soothing effect.
It stormed very heavily all day.
I accompanied my sons David and Lewis down home. Found all in good health.
Thursday, March 27th, 1890. I came up this morning with my sons David and Lewis. Met my brother David at the Gardo House, he having come up with his wife, on a visit, her health being much impaired by her grief at the death of her daughter Amanda. David is looking pretty well, though he says he feels at times that he is quite old, having had a number of bones broken.
We had an interview this morning with Col. Trumbo about our affairs, and a letter from Judge Estee, who presided over the Republican Convention that nominated Harrison and Morton, was read.
We decided to employ a man that is in the confidence of one of the judges, to go to Washington and find out the condition of the decision in the Church suit and if there is any opportunity still left to influence the decision by creating public opinion; then to have this done through the public press. We shall be able to decide as to this after we hear the condition of the decision. In these matters Col. Trumbo has acted with great shrewdness and with the utmost friendship. I feel, personally, deeply indebted to him. He has been a true friend, so far as we know, and in fact has given us proofs that are
unexampled unmistakeable of his devotion to our interests, and we all feel greatly grieved that he should receive such treatment in this mining affair, because it was through him that the California people were induced to take hold of it, and it places him in a very awkward position with them. Presidents Woodruff and Smith had an interview with Brother John W. Taylor, and after pretty plain talking on the part of President Woodruff he consented to see what could be done towards effecting a settlement with the California people. He told them that it was evident now that there was a bona fide company in California, and this being the case he was in favor of settling with them.
We held prayer meeting at 2 o’clock. Besides the First Presidency, there were present, Brothers Grant, J. W. Taylor, A. H. Cannon and J. W. Young. President Smith prayed and Brother John W. Taylor was mouth in the circle.
I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
I remained in town this evening, some of my children desiring me to accompany them to the theatre. The play was the Mountebank, Frederick Warde being the principal character. The first two acts were not particularly attractive, but the last two were powerfully rendered. Some of the passages were very pathetic. I enjoyed the play very much. This was the first time for years that I have sat in the box.
Friday, March 28th, 1890. A number of business items were attended to this morning by the First Presidency.
We had a meeting with Messrs. J. R. Winder, F. Armstrong and J. W. Fox Jr, who brought to our attention the extraordinary provisions of the Revenue bill concerning taxes. This bill had been passed by the last Legislature, and it would seem from its tenor that it would be impossible for any Assessor to hold his office without endangering all his property and the securities given by his bondsmen. Brother Jeise [Jesse] W. Fox had drafted a letter to the County Court, tendering his resignation. After considerable conversation, it was decided that he had better not resign, but to address a strong letter to the County Court, describing the situation and asking them for positive instructions as to the course to be taken and a promise that they would sustain him in that action; or, in the event of the court refusing to do this, that he would be compelled to resign. I felt quite strenuous in my feelings against resignation. This law had been enacted by our own Legislature, and if our Assessors were to resign it would be seized by our enemies as a reason for giving the Governor the appointing power, a bill for which was already before Congress. The enactment of the law and the resignation of the officers would be brought forward as evidence of our unfitness for self-government. My feeling is that as we are involved in this dilemma by the action of our own people, we should not reduce this part of the government to chaos by the resignation of the officers, because if the present Assessors cannot perform the duties on account of the peril, who can be induced to do so? I therefore favored the calling together of wise men with the County Court, examining the situation carefully, and deciding upon some plan of action that would be safe, and that would meet the present emergency, because whatever was done here would be an example to other counties.
Brother John W. Taylor and myself had some conversation concerning the B. B. & C. Co’s affairs. Brother Clawson and he also had a lengthy conversation, in which Presidents Woodruff and Smith took part. Some sharp things were said concerning the situation. I think that the impression made upon the mind by the statements of Brother Clawson had a good effect, as he undoubtedly has been laboring under wrong impressions concerning Brother Clawson’s position and the affairs of the Company.
I had conversation with Mr. Badlam, in which he submitted to me a paper that he intended to present to the Company as a basis of compromise. I thought, on the whole, that the propositions were quite reasonable.
My son Lewis took me down home this evening. He informed me that Brother Don Carlos Young had made arrangements with him to work for him for $60. a month. This will require Lewis to stop going to the college. I have consented to it because I think that he will get as much benefit, in some respects, in the Architect’s Office as he would if he were in school. I think the wages quite liberal, though I suppose that Lewis is a very good draughtsman.
Saturday, March 29th, 1890. My wife Carlie is making preparations to go to California on a visit, in company with her sister Josephine, to visit their mother and her sister Emily, and I was arranging for her departure. I was busy with various matters, dictating my journal and some letters to Brother Arthur Winter.
I had quite a lengthy conversation with Brother John W. Young concerning him and his wife Luella. He was desirous to get suggestions from me to meet the peculiar circumstances which surrounded his wife.
Sunday, March 30th, 1890. I went to meeting in my victorine, accompanied by my son Lewis and three daughters.
My brother David was called upon to speak, after which Brother Penrose occupied the time. There was a good congregation, considering the unpleasant weather.
I drove home, ate dinner, and after dinner repaired to the 4th Ward meeting house. This is the first time I have been in this house. I found it a very beautiful building. Bishop Harrison Sperry presided. Brother C. R. Savage had come as a missionary, and he occupied a little over half an hour in addressing the people. I followed and spoke about 45 mins, and felt very well in speaking.
Monday, March 31st, 1890. Upon my arrival at the office this morning I found Brothers F. M. Lyman and John H. Smith there, they having just returned from Arizona, where they have been visiting the Stakes. They gave us a report of the condition of affairs.
We had an appointment with Brothers F. S. Richards and C. W. Penrose to talk over the political situation. Some folks, they said, were desirous that we should divide and take sides with the political parties, and break up the People’s party. There was considerable conversation on this point. President Woodruff expressed himself very emphatically against such a movement, in which we all coincided. Still we believe that there should be a vigorous campaign carried on and everything be done that could be to maintain control of our county.
President Woodruff is suffering today from pain in his bowels. Brother A. Maitland Stenhouse, accompanied by Sister Zina D. Young, called upon us, he having just arrived from Canada. We had some conversation, but it is difficult to converse with him because of his deafness.
At 10 o’clock we had a meeting of the shareholders of Zion’s Savings Bank, to take into consideration the increase of capital stock in the bank. The executive committee were instructed to consult with Brother Le Grand Young, F. S. Richards, C. C. Richards and J. H. Moyle concerning the best plan to adopt to meet our requirements. Personally I am desirous to have our present earnings divided and issued to us in new stock, so that we can ask new subscribers to pay us the face value for the stock. This appears to me to be a much better plan than to ask them, as some have proposed, $200. a share for a certificate which on its face is only $100. Of course, if $200. were asked, it would be to make up for the profits already accumulated.
I met with the Deseret News Co to take into consideration the leasing of the paper mill to a party who had proposed to lease it, with a view to its purchase.
The First Presidency had a meeting with Mr. Badlam and Col. Trumbo. They expressed their good feelings to us for the interest that we had taken in endeavoring to effect a settlement. They said if the B. B. & C. Co would only adhere to their compromise, everything would be settled satisfactorily.