The Church Historian's Press

November 1891

1 November 1891 • Sunday

Sunday, November 1st, 1891.

Conference opened this morning at 10 o’clock. The house has been improved since my last visit here. About $11000. has been spent upon it. The congregation was large.

President Woodruff made a few remarks, and then called upon President Smith to speak. He occupied about an hour, and I followed, speaking about half an hour.

In the afternoon President Woodruff spoke, and I followed.

After the meeting we went to the house of Sister Agnes Schwartz, a sister of President Taylor’s. Her daughter is a sister of my first wife Elizabeth. We took supper there.

In the evening we attended meeting in the Tabernacle. President Smith was called upon to speak, which he did, on the Priesthood. He spoke about the administration of John the Baptist to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and repeated the words that John used in ordaining them. He said that he had conferred upon them the Priesthood of Aaron, but had not ordained them a Priest, a Teacher, or a Deacon. These were offices in the Priesthood, and he wanted the people to understand that the Priesthood was greater than the office; that the offices were not needed then, not until the Church was organized. He then said that Peter, James and John had ordained Joseph and Oliver also, and they had bestowed upon them the Melchisedec Priesthood, but they had not ordained them to any office, and that there was no office conferred upon them until the 6th of April, when each ordained the other an Elder. At this point President Woodruff interrupted President Smith and asked him if Joseph and Oliver had not been ordained Apostles by Peter, James and John. He said he thought not, or at least if they had, there was no account of it. He then went on to dwell on the offices, mentioning among other things that Joseph was not ordained a High Priest until the Amherst Conference, a year or two after the Church was organized, and that it was necessary that they should be ordained High Priests in order to preside, and repeated that it was the Melchisedec Priesthood that had been bestowed upon Joseph and not any particular office of the Priesthood.

I regretted, when I heard him start out on this subject, that he felt led to speak upon it, as I knew that he had some peculiar views in relation to this.

After he sat down, President Woodruff arose and testified concerning what the Prophet himself had said to the Twelve. He was the only survivor of that body who heard him speak at the time to which he referred. He said that Joseph had told them in the most solemn manner that he was ordained an Apostle by Peter, James and John, and that he had received the administration of other angels and had conferred upon him the different keys and authority.

I was very glad that President Woodruff was present and that he felt led to speak as he did; for I feared that wrong conclusions might be drawn from the remarks of Brother Smith. While President Woodruff was speaking I turned to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, to the 27th section, where the Lord says, in speaking about the sacrament and the time when He would sit down with His disciples to partake of the marriage supper, “and also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name”; and I handed it to President Smith to read. I thought perhaps he might like to say something further upon the subject; but I suppose that he thought President Woodruff had said enough, and he did not say anything.

After President Woodruff sat down, he wished me to speak, and I said that the authority of an Apostle, which Joseph had received under the hands of Peter, James and John, embraced all the authority which God gave to man in the flesh, and by its authority every ordinance which God had revealed could be administered; that it embraced the office of High Priest, of Elder, and all the other offices in the Church. It was necessary, however, that man should be ordain his fellow man; and therefore when John the Baptist had ordained Joseph and Oliver, they were commanded to ordain each other to the same Priesthood that he had bestowed. When they were ordained by the Apostles Peter, James and John, they also ordained each other, and also ordained each other Elders. Afterwards, revelations were given to Joseph concerning the office of an High Priest, and he and Sidney Rigdon each ordained the other to that office; but I said it was not because there was any additional power bestowed; it was all comprised in the authority already bestowed. When Joseph Smith was ordained a High Priest, I said, we did not hear that of any other angel coming, or that it was necessary for any heavenly manifestation in order to enable Joseph to bestow the High Priesthood. I said I was not acquainted with the literature of that faction known as the Josephites, but I had got the impression that in consequence of this ordination of Joseph and Sidney Rigdon at Amherst they had contended that the High Priesthood was ahead of the Apostleship—a very incorrect doctrine. After the organization of the Twelve Apostles, some of the Twelve who had been High Priests asked Joseph, knowing that Brother Brigham had not been ordained a High Priest, if he should not be. Joseph answered them that he had been ordained an Apostle, and that embraced everything.

I felt that it was necessary to make these explanations; for I feared that as it was left by President Smith, some might gather the idea that there was an additional bestowal of power at the Amherst Conference, and that the High Priesthood was in some way independent of or superior to the Apostleship. We have had very excellent meetings today, and I enjoyed them very much, though I have been quite depressed in my feelings, owing to the condition of my son David. I left him with great reluctance yesterday, and had I not been prompted by a strong sense of duty I should have stayed; but I never yet allowed sickness, nor even death, in my family, to prevent me from fulfilling my appointments.

2 November 1891 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 2nd, 1891.

Yesterday afternoon Professor Sanborn, of the Agricultural College here, came to us and requested us to visit the College. He would have liked President Woodruff to have addressed the pupils on Tuesday, at the opening exercises. This morning Brother Thatcher took us to the College, and we were shown through by Professor Sanborn and some of his assistants. It was very interesting to see what they were doing, and I was much interested in the plans that they had adopted for teaching the girls and the boys branches of industry. The boys are taught carpentering and blacksmithing and other branches, and the girls are taught cooking, presiding at table, and cutting out clothing. My only regret in looking at all these things was that we as a Church could not have such an institution under our control, in which we could teach our young people who could attend. A college of this kind will have a marked effect on the community.

We were rather late in reaching the meeting. At President Woodruff’s request, I spoke first and occupied about an hour, and enjoyed myself very much.. Among other things, I touched on politics. President Smith followed. His remarks were political, and from a Republican standpoint. I enjoyed them very much. President Woodruff followed.

After partaking of lunch, we were taken to the train by Brother Thatcher, and left Logan at 1:15. We reached Ogden a little late, but the train waited for us that was going to Salt Lake, and by hurrying very much we succeeded in getting aboard. We reached the city at 7:30. My son Lewis met me with a buggy. I found my son David a little better than when I left. I felt like prostrating myself before the Lord in thankfulness for His goodness to him. My return appeared to have an enlivening effect upon David. After administering to him myself, I sent for Abraham, and he and my son Angus and Lewis M. again administered to him. I felt that he ought to have a nurse to take charge of him. He shrank from this, but at Abraham’s suggestion he consented to go over to Abraham’s place and have his wife Mina, who is David’s cousin, wait upon him. She has had experience in waiting on Abraham when he was sick with the typhoid fever, and is a very good nurse and cook. So it was understood that Abraham should come over tomorrow and carry David to his place.

3 November 1891 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, 1891.

I was attacked this morning with diarrhoea and I have been suffering from it all day.

The First Presidency was at the Gardo House.

Brothers James Sharp and W. H. Rowe called. They wanted a statement drawn up that Judge Bartch had mentioned. I had some conversation with these brethren concerning a committee to collect funds for the erection of a statue of President Young, and asked Brother Sharp if he would consent to be the chairman of that committee. He demurred some, but finally consented.

My son Abraham came in to see us in regard to the History of Utah which Brother Whitney is writing. Abraham says that at the rate of progress now being made the promises which they were making concerning the time of publication could not be fulfilled, and he felt that he would rather drop the matter now than to disappoint the public after the disappointments they had had through the failure of Dr. Williams. Abraham had raised money and obligated himself, with the clear understanding that the first volume should be out on the 1st of March next, but at the present rate of progress this is not likely to be.

We sent for Brothers Whitney, Burton and Jaques. The two latter revise the History. We had a very plain talk with them. President Woodruff said to Brother Whitney that he should drop everything and confine himself to the History, which he promised to do.

We had an interview with Brothers S. P. Neve and Larsen concerning the “Bikuben” which Brother Thomassen has been publishing. Brother Thomassen has died recently. Abraham had suggested to them that they form a corporation. The First Presidency approved of this suggestion, and promised to write to Brother A. H. Lund upon the subject and get him to interest himself in the organization of the company and the selection of an editor.

4 November 1891 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 4th, 1891.

My health is a little better this morning, although I am still suffering.

President Woodruff did not come to the office today. He has had an chill, which keeps him at home.

We had a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. We went over and inspected Brother John W. Young ’s furniture and other things upon which the bank had a mortgage.

5 November 1891 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 5th, 1891.

President Woodruff came to the office this morning. My health is still poor.

We had a meeting again of the bank, to take into further consideration the Templeton Hotel business.

My son Frank came down to see us in relation to Dr. Graves and the business that he had proposed, viz:, to bring influences to bear upon the Master in Chancery to get a favorable report in regard to our property.

Brother John Henry Smith, who with Brother Morgan has been absent in Arizona, joined us today, having just returned.

6 November 1891 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 6th, 1891.

I felt so badly this morning that I would not have gone to the city if it had not been for business that I had promised to attend to. I expected to return quickly, but I did not get home till after 9 O’clock. The first meeting was a lengthy one with the Brigham Young Trust Co.

After that, I met with the B. B. & C. Co, at 2 o’clock, at the company’s office, and attended to considerable business.

When I returned from that I found Brothers John Henry Smith and John Morgan at the office, and they made a report of their trip to Arizona.

On my way home L. M. Cannon and myself called to see David. We found him in a very bad condition. Shortly before we reached there he had swooned, and Abraham’s wife thought he was dying. They were working with him, rubbing him, when we came in. We administered to him, and I thought it well to send up for Dr. Jos. S. Richards to come and see David. We have been opposed to having a doctor, but it struck me that it might be advisable to find out how much his heart was affected; so I sent Lewis immediately to town, and asked him to bring Abraham also. In the meantime I kept administering frequently to him, which did him a great deal of good. I myself was in a feeble condition. I had been sick all day and had not tasted any food; but administering to him and the excitement roused me and I felt better. The doctor came and examined David and said that his heart was all right; but he said there was functional derangement, caused, he thought, by worry, and he asked if he had been worrying. I told him that I thought he had; that he had had a great deal of responsibility connected with Brother John W. Young ’s business resting upon him, and I had felt for some time that he was carrying too big a load for so young a person as he was. He said that was one of the causes of his difficulty, and the pain that he suffered in his breast was more of a muscular pain than heart trouble. David has complained constantly about the soreness in the region of the heart. The effect of these remarks upon all of us was very cheering and comforting, and upon no one more than upon David himself. It is evident that he has been oppressed with the idea that his future usefulness would be impaired because his heart was affected, and this fear had affected him seriously. He brightened up very much, and I left for home feeling quite relieved.

7 November 1891 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 7th, 1891.

My health is not good this morning. Brother Winter came down and I dictated an article f or the Juvenile Instruct or, and also my Journal, to him.

8 November 1891 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 8th, 1891.

I remained quietly at home all day. I had a visit from Brother John R. Winder, for whom I sent, as there was some business that he was needed to attend to, and I was afraid that Presidents Woodruff and Smith might not have thought of it. He stayed with me nearly three hours. I hoped by staying at home and resting that I would feel benefitted.

My son David came over from Abraham’s, and he spent some time with me. I was greatly pleased to see his health so much improved.

9 November 1891 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 8th, 1891.

I found Presidents Woodruff and Smith at the Gardo House.

President Smith and myself attended a meeting of the Co-operative Wagon and Machine Co.

My son Frank was down from Ogden, anxious to see us to consummate the arrangement through Dr. Graves by which the Master in Chancery had been seen. A man by the name of Pierce, of Springville, had been soliciting us to grant him a private interview, as he had something very important to communicate and he did not wish to have others know what he had to say. He has conceived the idea that he can navigate the air. We listened to him for about an hour, and we became fully satisfied that he was demented.

Brothers K. G. Maeser and B. Cluff, of the B.Y.Academy at Provo, had an interview with us concerning a normal school being started, giving free tuition to normal students at Provo. They stated to Presidents Woodruff and myself, we being members of the Board of Education, that they would be able to maintain such a school without any help until the close of the present school year, in September, and they would then require $5000. instead of the $2800. now allowed by the General Board.

We had a call from a Mr. John Miller, of Illinois, who is very kindly disposed to our people and doctrines. He is a brother of the late Bishop Reuben Miller, who presided over the Mill Creek Ward in this Stake. Mr. Miller was quite well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum and the leading Elders of the Church in the days of Nauvoo. The interview with him was very interesting. He described a visit that he had from a strange personage, who stayed with the family from Friday till Monday. He said his appearance was very prepossessing. He was a tall man, and had a remarkable countenance. When he left them he disappeared mysteriously, and they could not tell what had become of him, as he had scarcely stepped out of the door when they looked and could not see him anywhere. Mr. Miller seemed to be thoroughly convinced that he was an angelic being.

I have not felt well all day.

10 November 1891 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 10th, 1891.

This morning I was engaged in proving up a section of land which I had entered under the desert land law. It is within nine miles of Deseret. I paid 25¢ an acre before, and today paid the remaining dollar, making in all $800.

We heard an appeal case from the Davis Stake, in which Dr. Seymour B. Young and Brother Joseph B. Noble were parties. Our decision sustained the action of the High Council, which was that Brother Noble should refund certain money which he paid in going security for Brother Noble’s son George.

The weather is quite stormy today.

I called at my son Abraham’s on my way home and found David still improving, and carried him in the buggy home. We expressed our obligations to Abraham’s wife Mina for her kindness in nursing him.

11 November 1891 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 11th, 1891.

The First Presidency had quite a lengthy interview this morning with Elders John Henry Smith and John Morgan concerning affairs in Arizona. A suggestion has been made that a Conference be held once a year at some central point in that Territory, at which the leading men of the four Stakes could be present. It was thought that some time from the 1st to the 10th of July would be the best season at which to hold the Conference, and as it would be held in a cool part of the Territory it would make a nice trip for those who dwelt in the heated region, and they would take the opportunity to have a change of climate for awhile.

After we got through that business, the brethren gave us some information concerning the political information here as they had learned it since their return. They are both Republicans, and there is a disposition on the part of the Republicans to secure recognition by the National Republican Committee which meets on the 23rd inst, at Washington. The Liberals appear determined to secure the recognition of that Committee. This would be attended with very serious consequences to the decent people of the Territory, because it would mean the perpetuation of the Liberal party, while the recognition of the Republican party here would go far towards weakening the Liberals and causing many of those who now train in its ranks to join the national parties to which the[y] properly belong. The Republicans here feel rather weak, so the brethren say, and some of them are going to Washington; but they are desirous that Brother Smith or Brother Morgan, or both, should go there with them. After listening to all that was said, we felt that the matter was of sufficient importance to warrant their going.

We had a conversation afterwards with Brother H. B. Clawson on the same subject. He returned today from California, and brought us word from our friends there. Brother Heber J. Grant returned today from California.

We had a lengthy meeting of the Deseret News Co. I suggested, and one of the brethren framed it into a motion, that the executive committee be instructed to examine the condition of the business and endeavor to devise some plan that would result in an improved financial condition, and to consider whether or not it would be wise to continue the binding and job departments, or any other department that did not pay, and whether it would not be a good thing to confine the business entirely to the publication of the News as a newspaper.

Judge Zane decided adversely to us today in the escheat cases, and we felt that this being the case it might be wise for us to leave the Gardo House and secure rooms for our offices at the Templeton Hotel.

This evening I attended the theatre, and saw an extravaganza called “Sinbad”. My sons David, Lewis, Sylvester and Mark and my daughter Emily accompanied me. It was a spectacular piece, and the scenery was exceedingly fine, but the play itself was rather light.

12 November 1891 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 12th, 1891.

The First Presidency had an interview with Bishops Preston and Winder concerning financial matters. They had a number of bills for the Temple to meet, but were short of money and did not know how to raise it. We promised to use our influence with Zion’s Savings Bank to advance $10,000. I gave an order to Bishop Preston on the next dividend of the B. B. & C. for $3000., which I said he could credit me on tithing.

Brother Winder was instructed by President Woodruff to give notice to the Receiver that we should vacate the Gardo House on the 1st of December. I agreed with him in this action. President Smith was not in, but upon it being mentioned to him afterwards he thought the action quite proper.

I was compelled today to hurriedly raise $3300. to pay the heirs of the late Joseph A. Young for their interest in their grandfather’s estate. This matter has been pending for some time, but yesterday the action of the Probate Court was completed and the shares were assigned to me.

The following dispatch I framed and it was sent today to Judge Estes and Col. Trumbo:

“Liberals making extraordinary exertions to secure place on National Republican Committee. They have sent strong delegation. Results of their success would be appalling. The crisis so vitally important to our and Republican party’s interest we would like Enid and you to be at Washington before twenty-third. We will meet you both if you wish at Ogden.” The First Presidency and Twelve met in council, and Brother F. D. Richards offered prayer.

I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

13 November 1891 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 13th, 1891.

President Woodruff and myself were at the Gardo House this morning. President Smith left today for Sanpete, in company with Brother Lyman, where they expected to attend conference on Saturday and Sunday.

Brothers Spencer Clawson and Geo. M. Cannon called upon me in relation to the sending of a sack of sugar to leading men in the United States. We had been appointed a committee to select persons to whom to send, and also to prepare a letter to accompany each sack. I dictated such a letter to George M. Cannon, which President Woodruff and others who heard thought quite appropriate. In this letter I stated that this sugar was the first sugar that we knew anything about ever manufactured from beets raised by irrigation, also the first sugar that we knew anything about that had ever been manufactured by American-made machinery.

Brother Matthew Noall and wife called upon us. He has just been appointed to take charge of and preside over the mission at the Sandwich Islands in the place of Brother Ward E. Pack. Sister Noall is to accompany him. It is a little over two years since they returned from a mission there, and they were surprised somewhat at being called to go again, but felt very well about it. They were set apart for their mission under the hands of myself and my son Abraham. I was mouth in blessing Brother Noall, and Abraham was mouth in blessing his wife. Elder Kammerath, who has just returned from Germany, called and reported himself[.] He described his labors, and took lunch with us.

We received a dispatch from Judge Estee and Col. Trumbo, in which we were informed that the Colonel would start tomorrow, in accordance with our request, to Washington; but it was not thought wise for the Judge to go, under the circumstances. There was no reason given for this, but it occurred to us after we had sent the telegram that it would be indelicate for the Judge to go to Washington at the present time, inasmuch as his name had been mentioned in connection with a Cabinet position, and it might appear that he had gone there for the purpose of promoting his interests. This dispatch also suggested that no one go from Salt Lake. Brothers Smith and Morgan were advised of this, and they felt relieved at being relieved from the necessity of going. We listened to Prof. B. Cluff read to us the Annual of the B.Y.Academy, of which he is now the Principal. There were several points that he desired to get the views of the Presidency upon. We liked the manner in which Brother Cluff is arranging the affairs of that institution.

14 November 1891 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 14th, 1891.

I intended to have gone down to my place at West Jordan with Brother Wilcken, who promised to call for me. He did not, however, come until late in the afternoon—too late to make the trip.

I spent the day arranging my papers in my safe.

15 November 1891 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 15th, 1891.

I attended meeting at the Tabernacle in the afternoon, and suggested to my brother Angus that Brother Penrose should speak. He delivered a very excellent discourse, to which I listened with much pleasure. I felt, however, if he had not talked quite so long the effect upon the congregation might have been better.

After the close of the services, a gentleman sent me a letter of introduction from Col. John P. Irish. The bearer was Hon. Mr. Norton, a member of the English parliament. I arranged with him to have him call at the Gardo House next day at 4 o’clock.

At 6 o’clock President Woodruff and myself and Bp. Clawson went to Ogden for the purpose of meeting Col. Trumbo, who expected to arrive in Ogden on the early morning train from San Francisco. We were met by my sons John Q. and Frank. President Woodruff and Bp. Clawson were taken to Frank’s house, and I was taken to John Q’s, where we spent the night.

16 November 1891 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 16th, 1891.

We were at the depot this morning shortly after 7 o’clock and met Col. Trumbo. As we did not have time enough to do all the business we desired with him while the train remained in Ogden, we concluded to ride with him as far as Morgan City, or, as it is called, Weber station. We talked over affairs very fully.

We were recognized by the brethren at Morgan and invited to stay at the house of Brother Heiner until the train came along, which it did in about an hour. It was with regret that I left there, because the people would have enjoyed our presence at their conference, which was then being held; but we had appointments in the city which could not very well be set aside.

President Smith returned from Sanpete this afternoon.

A meeting of the board of Z.C.M.I. was held at 2 o’clock at the Gardo House. Brother A. H. Lund came with President Smith for the purpose of talking over the business of the “Bikuben”. Brother Thomassen, the editor, had recently died. It was felt that Brother Lund’s familiarity with the Danish brethren would qualify him to organize a company for the purpose of controlling and continuing the publication of that periodical.

Mr. Norton called, by appointment with me, at 4 o’clock, and I had a very lengthy conversation with him concerning affairs in Great Britain, and also our affairs and tenets. He drew me out considerably on polygamy. President Woodruff was also present, but did not take much part in the conversation. I was deeply interested, as he is a very intelligent gentleman. I gave him a Book of Mormon.

17 November 1891 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 17th, 1891.

The First Presidency at the office this morning and listened to Brother Reynolds read some correspondence.

Brother Moses Thatcher is down from Logan today, and we had some conversation with him concerning Mexican matters. We decided to let Brother Teasdale have the house that was erected for Brother Erastus Snow, if he desired to purchase it.

I had some conversation with Brother Thatcher in relation to the World Fair’s Transit & Trust Co, of which we are members.

Upon learning that he intended to leave the city in a day or two, to be gone four weeks, I called to his attention the fact that there had been no settlement, according to our agreement, with Bp. Clawson for the amount that he was to be paid by the B. B. & C. Co., and I said I desired to have this settled before he left the East. I said Brother Clawson stood very much in need of this, and if the Board of Directors would make the appropriation for him he would give them an indemnifying bond against any harm that might come to them. Brother Thatcher thought this was a very fair proposition, and when he left me I thought that he would very likely arrange it so that Brother Clawson should have his money immediately. We also talked about submitting to arbitrators the questions involved in the ownership of what is known as the Caroline mine.

He and I afterwards had a meeting with Judge Colborn and Brothers T. G. Webber and Evan Stephens concerning the Tabernacle choir going to the World’s Fair at Chicago, and after this was through we did other business connected with the World’s Fair Co.

As Brother Thatcher had to leave at 3:30, I asked him whether he had done anything in regard to the Bishop Clawson matter. He told me he had not seen some of the members of the company; among them he mentioned John Beck. I told him that John Beck really had no voice in the matter now, for Brother Hyde had pledged himself that John Beck’s stock would vote in favor of the payment to Brother Clawson. I could perceive, however, a difference in the tone of Brother Thatcher’s remarks concerning this, though he did not say anything unfavorable.

We had an interview with Architect Don C. Young about his going to Manti to direct the laying of the pipes there to bring water from the spring to the temple, also about the erection of the steps in front of the temple. He gave us an idea of his plan of building these steps, which impressed me favorably.

Brother Lund has had some conversation with us today about the Bikuben office. He proposes that the Deseret News should publish it. I saw objections to this in the present embarrassed condition of the Deseret News Co. The “Bikuben” did not pay its way, and I felt that a separate corporation would be better for it.

We had some further conversation today concerning moving out of the Gardo House and going back to what is known as the President’s Office. While I was busy with some of the matters I have referred to, the question came up before Presidents Woodruff and Smith whether it would not be cheaper to still rent the Gardo House than to go to the expense of fitting up the old office. President Woodruff came out to me and wished me to come in, as he said this subject was up and some of the brethren were seemingly in favor of staying in the Gardo House. I expressed my feelings upon the subject. I said I was quite indifferent as to whether we stayed in the Gardo House or moved, if the heavy expense that we were now under could be stopped. I thought our present expenses entirely too heavy, and they might be curtailed very materially by moving. Besides, I thought the moral effect would be a good one. President Woodruff expressed himself very strongly in favor of leaving the Gardo House, in view of all these things.

18 November 1891 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 18th, 1891.

The First Presidency was at the office this morning. Brother H. J. Grant called in, he having just returned from a visit to the Bannock Stake Conference.

At 10 o’clock I attended a meeting of the Sugar Co., which lasted till nearly 1 o’clock.

We had a visit from Prest. Smoot, of the Utah Stake, and Brother Wilson Dusenberry. One of the objects of the visit was to learn if we had any objections to the trustees of the B.Y.Academy asking for a portion of the funds which the Receiver held. They intended to present a petition to the Master in Chancery to have their claim for a portion of the funds allowed.

Brother Wilcken came around about 1:30 with a carriage to take me down to Westover. My horses have been sick with some peculiar disease, and I was anxious to learn what its nature was and what could be done to check it. Several have died bleeding at the nose. We took Brother Albert C. Young, who is a skilful veterinary surgeon, with us. My son David also rode with us. Dr. Young examined the horses, and pronounced it catarrh. He could not account, however, for several horses having died, as he said it was not contagious. He thought there must be some local cause. I have had some of the water of Bingham Creek, which runs through my land, analyzed, thinking there might be some poisonous mineral in the water; but Prof. Talmage says there is nothing poisonous in the water, though his analysis proves that the water is unfit for human use, and would be very injurious to animals. Dr. Young does not think, however, that the water produces the disease that the horses have.

19 November 1891 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 19th, 1891.

The First Presidency at the Gardo House this morning.

We had some conversation with Brother H. J. Grant concerning Mr. Ellis having the theatre to deliver a course of lectures in.

Judge Estee had forwarded a petition for general amnesty which he had prepared, and which, if acceptable, the leading people of our Church were to sign and send to President Harrison. We listened to the reading of it and made some alterations in it. I dictated a letter to Judge Estee upon this subject and other matters.

The First Presidency and Twelve held their usual weekly meeting at 2 o’clock this afternoon. There were present, besides the First Presidency, Elders F. D. Richards, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor and A. H. Cannon. While we were met Brother Penrose brought to our attention an article that he had prepared for the News concerning the form of rebaptism, in which he had stated that the proper form was, in addition to the words given in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, “for the renewal of your covenants with God and your brethren.” I have had strong scruples about changing the form given by the Lord in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, and in answer to enquiries upon this subject I have written for the Juvenile Instructor that there was only one man that had the right to add anything to that, and he was the man who held the keys. We have had this matter up before, and then said such an addition might be made as that mentioned above. The idea was that if there was any change that would be the extent. But I have felt averse even to that. When this subject came up today Brother John Henry Smith said that he had a letter in his possession which President Taylor and myself had written to him, in which we had stated that the form given in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and in the Book of Mormon should be used, and no departure be made therefrom. It was decided to let Brother Penrose’s article remain until the subject could be more carefully considered.

Brother Grant related to us what he had done at Bannock in ordaining Bishops and their counselors. Brother Seymour B. Young, one of the Seven Presidents of Seventies, was with him, and upon the latter saying to Brother Grant that he had helped Brothers Moses Thatcher, John Henry Smith and John W. Taylor at different times ordain Bishops and High Priests, Brother Grant had permitted him to join him in ordaining Bishops and High Priests on their recent visit to the Bannock Stake. He said that in doing so, however, it had grated on his feelings. President Woodruff told him that that was the Spirit of the Lord, which, if he had followed, would have prevented him from doing that. I expressed myself to the effect that whatever authority Brother Young might have, it certainly was not a wise thing for him to be mouth in ordaining a Bishop or a High Priest, and it was decided that these brethren should be ordained again, to prevent all question upon the legitimacy of their ordination.

Brother Grant was mouth in prayer today.

A communication was read to the First Presidency and Twelve from the Templeton Hotel Co., through a committee consisting of L. G. Hardy and Geo. M. Cannon, making a proposition concerning its furniture and offering the use of it free if the First Presidency and Twelve thought it would be prudent to continue the hotel at the Church’s expense until they became fully satisfied concerning the business, whether it would pay or not.

The meeting was adjourned till tomorrow at 2 o’clock.

Brothers W. B. Preston, A. E. Hyde and John Beck called to see me in relation to the matter that I had brought before Brother Moses Thatcher. The original understanding that we had between myself, as the representative of Messrs. Trumbo and Badlam, and the Board of Directors of the B. B. & C. Co, was that the suit was to be dismissed upon the Company’s aggreing to pay Brother H. B. Clawson the $10000. that had been appropriated some time ago for him, and that the dispute concerning the ownership of the Caroline mine should be submitted to a friendly suit or to arbitrators. As there was some question in the minds of Brothers Hyde, Thatcher and Preston concerning the legality of the Board appropriating the $10000., it was suggested by Brother Hyde that the stockholders should each sign a paper authorizing the Board to pay this man, and he pledged himself to sign his own stock, and also the stock of Brother Beck, and all the stock that he represented. Brother Preston promised the same, Brother Thatcher also, and of course I would do the same. I consented to this under the impression that perhaps there might be some legal difficulty in the way of the Board doing this, as the brethren said that Brother Clawson’s claim was outlawed. I have since learned that it is not outlawed, and I was assured by Arthur Brown, <one of> the company’s lawyers, that the company could make the appropriation legally, and he further said that it was the only fair way in which it could be done. It was this that had prompted me to suggest to Brother Thatcher, in my recent conversation with him upon the subject, that the Board should make the appropriation and Brother Clawson should give an indemnifying bond. The object of the brethren’s visit this afternoon to me was to propose that the Caroline dispute should be submitted to the Board of Directors of the B. B. & C. Co, and that if we unanimously decided upon any point the decision should be final; if not, we should try some other method; and that in the event of this being consented to the appropriation for Brother Clawson would then be made. I objected emphatically to the two things being linked together. I said that one was not contingent upon the other. Brother Hyde rather pressed this view, and stated that he had no confidence in these California people; they had broken their words before, and they might do it again, and he was not in favor of settling with Brother Clawson until the other matter could be arranged. His ground for this statement was my proposition to change the manner in which this should be settled. I said to him that my reason for making the proposed change was that I was under the impression from what I had heard that this could not be done legally by the Board, but I had learned since that it can be, and I thought the proposition to indemnify us made it quite secure. I was not in favor of a few of us paying this amount; in other words, I was not in favor of one of our brethren being wronged or kept out of money to favor Gentile stockholders, who had received just as much benefit from Brother Clawson’s labors as any of us had. I added that the claim was not outlawed, and that President Jos. F. Smith had told me that Brother Hyde had said that if it were not outlawed he would be in favor of paying it as a Board. Brother Hyde said that he had learned that Brother Clawson had commenced suit for this, but no summons had been served, and he said it did not please him to know of this, and it had made him feel hard and reluctant in this matter. To this I replied, Could he ask a man to hold a claim of that kind in his hands and let it outlaw when he could prevent it? Brother Clawson, in taking legal steps to protect himself, had only done what he (Brother Hyde) would do, under the circumstances; and that there was a necessity for this was evident from the fact that it had been used as an argument against the payment of this claim, that it was outlawed. I said that I was willing to submit the proposition to have it arbitrated in the way he spoke of to Messrs, Badlam and Trumbo, because I had told them that we would arbitrate it in a different manner, and I did not want to take any step in this till I got their mind on the subject. I said that there must be no connection between the two; that the payment of Brother Clawson should not be contingent upon the settlement of the Caroline suit. I would never have consented to any such an arrangement if I had been told that those were the terms, because the suit might last for weeks, or months, or years, and Brother Clawson would be kept out of his pay. We separated with the understanding that I would see what Messrs. Badlam and Trumbo would think of the proposition.

20 November 1891 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 20th, 1891.

The First Presidency at the office.

We listened to Brother Reynolds read correspondence.

I stated to Presidents Woodruff and Smith and Brother Clawson the conversation that I had had with Bishop Preston and Brothers Hyde and Beck yesterday afternoon. President Smith was very emphatic in expressing himself against such an arrangement as had been proposed. He said that if I were on the Board and had to decide on this question, it would place me in a very improper position, inasmuch as I was representing Messrs. Badlam and Trumbo. He said you know the feeling that they have had against you on this subject, and if they should unite against you, what a position you would be in. John Beck holds the majority of the stock, and he and Brother Hyde have already expressed themselves to the effect that the Caroline belongs to John Beck. Perhaps Brothers Thatcher and Preston may share with them in that view. Then you will be in the position of having to resist their unanimous feeling on the subject, and if you yield it will appear to the friends whom you represent that their interests have not been properly looked after. He thought the best way was to adhere to the original proposition, to either have a friendly suit or have it arbitrated. He thought the latter was the better of the two. President Woodruff shared in these views.

As soon as we could get time I sent for Brothers Preston and Hyde in order that they might hear what Presidents Woodruff and Smith had to say; but President Woodruff was called away by the sickness of a granddaughter before the brethren came. President Smith and myself talked with them. I told them my reason for asking them to come, and then President Smith expressed himself very freely to them upon the subject. I remarked to them that Brother Clawson was in danger of being sold out for want of this money, and it ought to be settled. President Smith had expressed himself before the brethren came to the effect that it was all wrong the way they were doing. I appealed to the brethren in the kindest manner to take such a view of this matter as would lead to a speedy settlement for Brother Clawson. Brother Hyde said he was going to Denver this evening, and he would promise that as soon as he returned he would have this all attended to.

I feel annoyed at this business. I have thought that Brother Hyde has shown a disposition to thwart this settlement according. I hope, however, that we will reach a settlement, and that the feeling manifested is nothing more than anxiety to have everything right.

I took some trouble today to arrange with Brother Jack and the brethren as to the manner in which the offices should be fitted up for the convenience of the First Presidency and the clerks. We think that the East office will be better for us and the West office for the clerks.

We had a call from Brother John T. Caine, who expects to leave for Washington within a few days. We talked over the situation, and in response to his enquiries gave him some suggestions, and promised to write to him fully whenever we had anything to offer.

At 2 o’clock the meeting that was adjourned from yesterday convened, and promised to write to him fully considerable conversation ensued, but no decision was reached, as the hotel company had not seen a gentleman by the name of Harris, whom they wished to take charge of the hotel in the event of it being decided to continue it.

In the evening I attended a ball given in the theatre for the benefit of the Deseret Hospital. I took with me my daughter Emily. The occasion was a very pleasant one, and appeared to be successful in its object, namely, raising of funds for the Hospital.

21 November 1891 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 21st, 1891

My son Abraham and myself went to Ogden this morning, and were met there by my son John Q. My object was to get some clothes made by Brother Anderson, who is said to be a good tailor, so that in the event of my having to go to Washington, of which I have had some intimation, I might be prepared and not be under the necessity of buying clothes in the East. We were there about an hour, and returned.

I dictated my journal to Brother Winter, and some Topics to my son David.

22 November 1891 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 22nd, 1891.

Attended meeting in the Tabernacle.

Elder Heber J. Grant was called upon to speak, but excused himself on account of his throat being sore. My son Abraham was then called upon, and he spoke about half an hour. I followed for about 40 mins.

23 November 1891 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 23rd, 1891.

The First Presidency at the office this morning.

At 10 o’clock the adjourned meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve and members of the Board of Zion’s Savings Bank and the Hotel Co, was held, to take into consideration the condition of the hotel. The question of keeping the hotel open was canvassed in all its bearings, and after considering the suggestion to enlarge it, I gave my views. The renting of a hotel by our own people has been a subject upon which I have felt great interest for many years. I mentioned to President Taylor, during his lifetime, that I wished we could build a house of the character contemplated in the revelation concerning the Nauvoo House—a place where the nobles of the earth could come and live and contemplate the glories of Zion. I would like to see, I said to him, a house erected in which all the saints would have an interest by taking stock, and the house to be built and furnished properly, without any regard to making it a dividend-paying affair, and to have the price so moderate that no one could hope to successfully compete with it in drawing away custom. I felt then, as I have felt ever since, that there were three agencies which had done us more injury than any others—the hotels, the livery stables, and the “Tribune”. I spoke to the brethren today and said that I believed we could not invest money better to preserve ourselves from the attacks of our enemies than in building a hotel; for I believed that the feeling that has been aroused against us in the country, and which had cost us so much financially, was due in great part to the injury done our reputation in the minds of visitors by hotel keepers. Thousands of people have passed through our land, and these men have poured their poison into their minds. But at the present time we are not in a position to do anything of this kind. I did not favor the enlarging of this hotel by building rooms on other people’s ground. Would it not be better to conduct this still longer in its present form as an experiment. I was not satisfied myself with the experiment so far as it had gone, because I did not think the conditions were favorable. I believed it might be made to pay even in its present form. At any rate, if a fair trial were given to it under proper circumstances, we could then decide better than we could now. That which I hoped to see established was that if the Tithing yard and offices were decided to be ours, that ground should be cleared away and a fine structure erected there, with gardens in front, and then the Temple gardens across the street would make it one of the most attractive places in the town, and the Knutsford, which is now the leading house, would be considered a second-class place. My view seemed to meet with the approval of the brethren, and it was decided that we should keep the hotel going under its present management, and they should give us a statement of what it would cost to keep the building in good condition.

24 November 1891 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 24th, 1891.

The First Presidency had a call from Mr. Capers, who sold the South Zapato ranch to Brothers Hammond and Smith. We explained to him the position of affairs, and how straitened we were in our finances, also that these brethren had no warrant from us to convey any impression that the Church was going to buy that ranch, as we knew nothing about the transaction until it was all completed and they were unable to meet their interest; then the facts were communicated to us. We agreed to his proposition which he made concerning the sale of their notes. It was $12800. down, and a certificate of deposit for $4000. payable in 12 months, without interest. He appeared much gratified at the result.

Mr. Wm. L. Davis, whom I had employed when I commenced the printing of our own works at our office in Liverpool thirty years ago, wrote me a letter stating that he had been compelled to stop work through failing health, and was afraid that the small amount he had saved would not be sufficient to keep him from want, and he asked if at least $16 a week could not be granted to him by us. I suggested that we make it $2. a week, to which Presidents Woodruff and Smith consented.

We were terribly shocked today at obtaining word from the Sandwich Islands, through a letter signed by Jos. S. Horne, Jos. Thurber and Isaac H. Grace, in which we were informed that Brother [name and identifying information redacted], had been disgracing himself by taking liberties with native girls and allowing them to take liberties with him, [10 words redacted relating to immoral conduct] [Last name redacted] himself wrote a letter to President Smith, in which he denied some of the statements made by the brethren, but which the girls themselves confirm in statements forwarded to us. He acknowledged having taken liberties with the person of one of the girls, and bemoaned his folly. [57 words redacted relating to immoral conduct.] It is a sorrowful thing to think that a man who is a [one word of identifying information redacted], and who has been considered always a faithful man and [four words of identifying information redacted], should fall into such a dreadful sin.

25 November 1891 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 25th, 1891.

We were at the office and attended to a variety of business. Had an interview with Brother Wm. H. Shearman concerning a proposition made by S. W. Sears concerning his first wife getting a divorce, in which he asked the interposition of Brother Shearman.

We had an interview also with Brother Seymour B. Young regarding his case and Brother Jos. B. Noble’s, it having been decided against the latter that he should pay Brother Young about $1400. Brother Noble is unable to pay this, and the question arose as to whether his case should be pressed or not.

26 November 1891 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 26th, 1891.

Thanksgiving day.

I spent a most enjoyable day at home, and had all my family together whom I could find. There were 57 of us sat down to dinner. My son John Q. and his wife and children, my son Frank’s wife and children, he himself being absent, my son Hugh’s wife and child were present. We had seven turkeys cooked. After the dinner I gave a magic lantern exhibition and delivered a lecture on the places, it being what is called “Around the world in 80 minutes.” Afterwards the children had some funny scenes shown to them, which gave them great delight.

27 November 1891 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 27th, 1891.

The First Presidency at the office.

We had a meeting of the Saltair Beach Company.

President Woodruff had a long interview with Judge J. W. Judd, who wished to talk with him about political situation.

28 November 1891 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 28th, 1891.

I spent the day at home, going through my correspondence and dictated answers to letters to my son David, and also some articles for the Juvenile Instructor.

In the evening the children wished me to give another exhibition of “Around the world in 80 minutes”, which I did to a number of young people whom they had invited; after which they had a dance.

29 November 1891 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 29th, 1891.

My son Abraham took me to the train this morning at 7:10. President Jos. F. Smith and myself attended the conference at Provo. Prest. Smoot’s health is much improved.

Conference was held in the Tabernacle.

Prest. Smoot made some remarks concerning the condition of the Stake, and he was followed by Prest. Jos. F. Smith, who occupied a little over an hour. Brother B. H. Roberts spoke afterwards for about half an hour.

In the afternoon, after the sacrament was administered, I addressed the conference. It is seldom in my life that I enjoyed a more delightful flow of the Spirit than I did this occasion. I felt as though I could fly, the power of God rested down upon me so strongly. I occupied about 85 minutes. In the evening we had a priesthood meeting in one of the Ward meeting houses, which was filled. Prests. Smoot, Smith and myself spoke and laid before the brethren financial matters.

I was entertained by Prest. Smoot and family.

30 November 1891 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 30th, 1891.

After breakfast this morning I called with Brother Jos. F. Smith on my wife’s kinsman, Angus Beebe, a young man of 19, who has been injured by over-lifting. His back is in a bad condition. He has been confined to his bed about three weeks.

Brother John Henry Smith met us on the street. He is on his way to meet with the saints in conference at Kanab.

There was a very good attendance today, and after the presentation of the authorities, I spoke, and was greatly blessed again. Brother Jacob Gates, whose health is very feeble, followed, and his voice was clear and strong and his testimony excellent.

In the afternoon President Smith spoke for an hour and had an excellent flow of the Spirit. I enjoyed his remarks very much. I spoke for about 20 mins. afterwards.

We commenced our afternoon meeting at 1 o’clock so that we might get through in time to go to the train which passed at 3:20. We were taken there by Brother Smoot’s man in the carriage.

This conference has been a most delightful season to me. The Lord has been kind in pouring out His Holy Spirit upon us and upon the people, and I trust that great good will be done.

Brother C. H. Wilcken met me upon my arrival at Salt Lake and carried me home. I found my family all well.

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November 1891, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 24, 2024