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December 1892


1 December 1892 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 1, 1892.

This is our usual fast day.

Bishop H. B. Clawson received an intimation from the U.S. Marshal that Elders Abraham H. Cannon and Heber J. Grant were in danger, and that they should take precautions. They were both in to see the First Presidency this morning, and we talked over the situation and gave them counsel.

I had a long conversation with Brother [first name, middle initial, and last name redacted], who is the husband of my neice, [first and last name redacted]. Among other things he told me that his son [first name redacted] by his first wife, a young man of some 22 years, had been accused by Miss [last name redacted], of Kaysville of having taken advantage of her and got her with child. Brother [last name redacted] felt very badly about this, and said he would rather have buried his son than to have him guilty of such conduct. He was inclined, however, to discredit the statement of the girl and to believe his son, who denies her statement and says it is false.

Mr. Gillespie, Secretary of the Choral Society, called with a letter from Brother Evan Stephens, to know if they could have the use of the Tabernacle to give a concert, in which the oratorio “The Light of Asia” would be rendered. We were personally favorable but told him we would consult our attorneys.

At 2 o’clock we held our usual meeting. The First Presidency were present and Elders Heber J. Grant and A. H. Cannon. Brother Grant was mouth in prayer. President Jos. F. Smith and Brother A. H. Cannon were requested to go to Kaysville to attend the Davis Stake Conference next Saturday and Sunday.

I brought to the attention of the Council the fact that there was some feeling among the people of this city concerning the meetings in the Tabernacle. There were many Sundays when there was none of the First Presidency or of the Twelve present, and sometimes even the Presidency of the Stake were absent, and there were only a few aged men in the stands, and the meetings are therefore felt not to be so interesting, and some had expressed the view that many became careless in their attendance because of this. I said there are probably four or five times as many persons present in our Tabernacle every Sunday as there are at any of the quarterly conferences of the Stakes that we attend, and I asked, would it not be a good idea for us to make appointments for brethren to be here on each Sunday—not always to speak, but to show the people that some of the authorities were there. The brethren all felt the importance of this. President Woodruff said he hoped I would be able to attend next Sunday, and if I felt like it, to preach. Brother Grant said he would be there also.

2 December 1892 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 2, 1892.

Mr. Badlam called this morning at the office and had an interview with President Woodruff and myself. He and Brother Clawson had a conversation with me concerning the Bullion Beck property. He appears to be quite dissatisfied with the way the affairs of that company are managed, and has some thought of starting a lawsuit. I feel very much exercised over this property, and I have almost come to the conclusion that I will choose some agent or trustee to take my interest in that and pay him for it, and be relieved from the annoyance that arises from my connection with that mine. I learned from John Beck, who called upon me last Saturday, that Brother Moses Thatcher, who is the President of the company, has only 1000 shares in the company; that Brother Preston, who is the treasurer, has about 1100 shares, and that A. E. Hyde, who is the manager, does not have any shares at all of his own, though there are some standing in his name which Beck says belonged to him. These three men manage this entire property, and their entire interest is one-fiftieth of the stock. Of course, it is not in keeping with human nature that men who have so little interest will have the care over property that they would if their interest were larger. I own about one-sixth of the property, and I have no more voice in it than if I were an apostate or had no interest. When it suits their convenience to have my assent or my influence in favor of something that is comparatively unimportant, or to which they have already agreed, then I can be spoken to; but other matters of greater importance that they are interested in, and that they wish to carry through, no mention is made to me about them. John Beck has about 63,000 shares, which with mine, added to the California interest, constitutes almost the entire interest. Mr. Badlam is exercised over the Caroline mine, which is worked through the Bullion-Beck, and he charges that Hyde and others connected with the property and working for Beck’s interest, could easily permit poor Caroline ore to be called Bullion-Beck ore, and good Bullion-Beck ore to be called Caroline ore, as there is nothing to prevent this being done if they are so disposed.

We had a call this morning from Brother E. Evans, who has just returned from Paris, where he has been as an art student.

Brother Lorenzo Snow called upon us today, and I submitted to him the proposition that I had submitted to some of the other brethren of the Twelve, concerning the amount allowed to President Woodruff for his services. Brother Snow was much in favor of his having $6000 a year. The Presidency and he and Brother Lyman had a long talk over the situation of affairs in connection with the conduct of Brother Moses Thatcher, of the Twelve, and Brother B. H. Roberts, of the Seventies. President Woodruff was very emphatic in his statement that unless these brethren changed and indulged in a different spirit, they would “go to the devil”.

3 December 1892 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 3, 1892.

President Woodruff was not at the office today. President Smith and myself were there.

Prest. W. W. Cluff, of the Summit Stake, and Wm. Budge, of Bear Lake Stake, were called here by telegraph and reached this morning, the object being to converse with them about political matters in Wyoming. The Stakes over which these brethren preside extend into Wyoming. Explanations were made to them of what was needed in connection with a letter that had been written by Senator Warren to Bishop H. B. Clawson. As I was busy, Brother Jos. F. Smith did the most of the talking to them.

I dictated an article for the “Deseret News”, to my son Hugh, which is to be printed under the heading “An Ex-Editor’s Saturday Talk”.

4 December 1892 • Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 4, 1892.

Mr. Badlam came down this morning and took breakfast with me, and spent about two hours.

The day was quite a stormy one.

At 2 o’clock I attended meeting in the Tabernacle. Brother Grant was not present, and I feared that his wife, whom I called to see yesterday, might be worse. I spoke for an hour to the congregation and felt very well.

After the meeting I had my son Brigham drive me to Brother Grant’s, and I administered to his wife, who is very low. I was very much moved in administering to her and talking to her afterwards.

I went from there to Sister Davey’s, where my daughters Mary Alice and Emily, Lewis M. and Sylvester were invited, with myself to dinner.

5 December 1892 • Monday

Monday, Dec. 5, 1892.

Mr. Badlam called again this morning, and I had further conversation with him concerning the Bullion-Beck mine.

First Presidency at the office.

Before coming to the office this morning I called at Brother Grant’s and found his wife was easier. I afterwards called on Sister Lizzie F. Young, wife of Brother Brigham Young, who has just returned with her children from England. Her health has been very poor part of the time while she has been gone. She looks thin, but otherwise appears very well.

I felt much impressed to send for Brother P. T. Farnsworth today, and I had a long conversation with him about the Bullion-Beck property. I said to him that I would like to have him take charge of my stock as a trustee. I would like it, of course, to be in so safe a position that if anything happened to him financially my stock would be safe. He said he would not want to touch it unless it could be made perfectly safe. I told him I would like to give him a portion of it, so that he would have an interest in the matter, and I wanted him to look after it strictly. I explained to him my position and my feelings—that to me it was not pleasant business to be in contact with men in whom I had no confidence; in fact, I had no taste for it, and no inclination, even if I had the time, to attend to it. He told me that he would do anything in his power; that what President Woodruff had said to him some time since, that he wished him to take hold and help me, had impressed him and he had thought a good many times of it since, but he had been so busy that he had let it pass.

My son Hugh related to me a conversation today that he had with David just before his death. They had been talking about Miss Lilian Hamlin, the girl whom David loved, and David afterwards seemed to be a little flighty. He said to Hugh that he or somebody else would have to go to the Temple to be baptized for him and act for him. Hugh said: “Why, David, you don’t mean that; you have been baptized yourself”. “Well”, he said, “it is not that; it is something else you will have to do for me in the Temple”; and Hugh was impressed with the idea that David was referring to Miss Hamlin, and that something would have to be done for him in having somebody sealed to him.

My feelings have been very much drawn out of late on this point, and if it were possible, I would like very much one of my boys to marry a girl for time that could be sealed to David for eternity and raise up children for him. Of course, under present circumstances, this seems impossible.

Correspondence was read by Brother Reynolds. Among other letters was one from Brother M. W. Merrill, in which he asked us if it was proper that men should act as missionaries among the people who endorsed the remarks of J. L. Rawlins concerning the authorities of the church, and who spoke disparagingly of the First Presidency, and also men who were attacking Frank J. Cannon and misrepresenting his conduct, &c. Brother Reynolds was instructed to say that no such men should be permitted to act in the ministry, and to request Brother Merrill to send us the names of the parties who indulged in this spirit and als in these remarks, and also who has appointed them.

6 December 1892 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 1892.

Upon arriving at the office I found Presiden[t] Woodruff there, and I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

Attended to various matters of business, and at 3:30 had a meeting of Cannon, Grant & Co, in which we listened to a statement of the position of our affairs.

A meeting had been appointed for the World’s Fair Transit Co., of which I am President, but I could not attend it at the time appointed. After getting through with Cannon, Grant & Co, Brother Webber and myself went there and took steps looking to the drawing in of the certificates which we had given to parties.

When I reached home I found Elder Bahr, who has just returned from a mission to Germany. He was the President of the conference in which David labored. He brought with him also, by invitation, Brother and Sister Martin and their two children. This is the family which David brought into the church, and at whose house he was when he died. My son Hugh and Brother Wilcken were also there. They took dinner with us, and I spent a very agreeable evening with them, and gave them some counsel as to the course they should pursue. Brother Bahr proposes to take them down with him to his place—Salem, Utah County. I told him that if they stood in need of anything, to let me know, as I feel very kindly disposed to them because of the attention they showed David. I was very much struck with an evidence of his thoughtfulness even in his death-sickness. He told his brother Hugh to be sure and remember to take $5 out of his means to pay to Brother Martin, because he had lost some time in waiting upon him while he was sick. I thought it remarkable that he should think of a matter of that kind under the circumstances.

The Saltair Beach Co. has a stockholder by the name of Matthew White, who owns $20,000 worth of stock in the company. He is apparently not satisfied with the way the business of the company is managed. According to the representations of the original owners of the Beach—N. W. Clayton, James Jack and G. H. Snell—this man took advantage of them, and they were compelled to let him have this amount of stock to recover the title to the property, which they had unwisely given to him at the time they gave him the option upon it. His attorney has called on me and endeavored to make me understand that it was to the interest of the company to avoid a scandal and settle with Mr. White on some terms. I arranged for this gentleman—E. W. Taylor—to have an interview with N. W. Clayton, James Jack and others, and hear from them their side of the business. This did not seem to answer the purpose, however, for Mr. Taylor wrote to me several letters, complaining of one thing and another, and finally wrote me a confidential letter which contained something in the nature of a threat as to the terrible things that would be done if there were not some arrangement made, the arrangement evidently being to buy Mr. White out. It seemed to me that this was a design to blackmail the company. After receiving his last letter, I submitted it to Attorney Le Grand Young, who wrote me stating that there was no ground for the charges that Mr. Taylor made, and I sent this to Mr. Taylor. Today Matthew White himself called to see me, and evidently with a design to effect a compromise. I asked him, after considerable conversation, what he held his stock at. He would not reply to this. I told him that the price he had named, $140 per share, was entirely too high, and nobody would think of buying it at that price . He said it was not for him to depreciate his own property, and conveyed the idea very clearly that he was open to an offer.

7 December 1892 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 1892.

The First Presidency and Brother Isaac Clayton held an informal meeting of the Saltair Beach Co., as I wished to bring before them a proposition of the Herald Company to publish a cut of the proposed pavilion that we think of erecting at the Beach. Presidents Woodruff and Smith expressed themselves as not in favor of publishing this, in which I perfectly agreed. I related to them also the visit that I had from Matthew White yesterday, and we felt, President Woodruff particularly, that we ought to try and buy him out.

We had a call from Hon. W. F. Cody, known as Buffalo Bill; Col. McKinnon and Major Mildmay, both of the English Guards; Col. Ingraham, who had been in the Confederate army, and W. H. Broach, of Nebraska. They came accompanied by Junius F. & Heber M. Wells. Junius F. Wells had accompanied them on a hunting expedition in the Buckskin mountains, from which they had just returned. Cody is a very fine looking man, and wears his hair full length.

We had a call also from a Mr. McKnight and wife, of Chicago. She was very urgent to get the privilege of seeing the inside of the Temple, as she has taken great interest in our doctrine. President Woodruff told Brother Gibbs to accompany them down and give her the privilege.

We had conversation with Brothers L. W. Shurtliff and Joseph Stanford, of Ogden, concerning an application made by them on behalf of the trustees of the Church Academy at Ogden. They asked for $5000 to be appropriated to assist them, and described their condition as very grave. Unless they can get this aid, they will be compelled to close the academy. The matter was referred to the General Board of Education.

I had some conversation with my son John Q. concerning his duties in the Church.

I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

8 December 1892 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 8, 1892.

First Presidency at the office today.

The roads were so terribly rough that I did not come up as usual with my horse and a buggy, but came on the cars. This compelled me to leave the office about 3:30, to catch the car.

Mr. Wendell Benson called upon me, accompanied by a gentleman by the name of Babcock, who wished to be introduced to me. We had a very pleasant interview with these gentlemen.

At 2 o’clock the usual meeting of the Council was held. Besides the First Presidency, there were present, Elders F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant , J. W. Taylor and A. H. Cannon. Brother Taylor was mouth in prayer. There were no conferences that could be attended. Brother Jos. F. Smith had an appointment to meet with the saints at East Mill Creek. Brother F. D. Richards desired to meet with the Seventies at Ogden, there being a conference of that body on Sunday; also Brother A. H. Cannon. Brother Lyman had an appointment at Tooele. The health of Sister Grant is such that Brother Grant could not leave. There is a Y.M.M.I.A Conference at Provo on Sunday, and I promised to attend that.

This morning, on my way up from home, I called to see Sister Grant. I have taken great interest in her case. She has not taken probably two ounces of nourishment in three or four weeks. I see quite a change in her since Sunday. The devotion of her husband, Brother Grant, is most admirable. I never saw a man more attentive to a wife than he has been.

9 December 1892 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 9, 1892.

I called, on my way up, at Brother Grant’s again, and found that she had had a very bad night.

First Presidency at the office.

Brother Junius F. Wells called to report himself and labors. A letter from Brother J. F. James, of Mexico, was submitted to him. In this letter Brother James describes in a most pathetic manner the condition to which he has been reduced through the failure of Brother John W. Young to keep his engagements and pay him that which was due to him. To save his honor, he has to pay 5% per month, and even this enormous rate of interest will not save him unless he could have help, and he has written to us for help. It is out of our power, however, to grant it, as our circumstances are exceedingly cramped. Brother Wells gives but very little encouragement.

I had conversation at some length with my son Abraham concerning business matters.

I wrote an article for the “Deseret News”, to appear in Saturday’s issue. I worked at it in the evening after I returned home.

Miss Lilian Hamlin came down from town with my daughter Mary Alice to spend this evening and tomorrow with us.

At 1 o’clock today I met with the Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining Co. There was but little business to attend to. The mine is in debt and scarcely pays expenses.

Afterwards, I went to the Temple and joined Presidents Woodruff and Smith there in examining the decoration that was designed for the celestial room. A man working for Brother Joshua Midgley, who is a very skilful artist, had done a small portion so that we could judge of the effects, and if we desired to make any changes it then could be done before the work proceeded too far. President Woodruff seemed to be unqualified in his approval of the work. I thought also it was very excellent.

10 December 1892 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 10, 1892.

Brother Winter came down to my place, and I dictated my journal and other matter to him.

11 December 1892 • Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 11. 1892.

I was taken to the train by Sylvester this morning and started for Provo at 8 o’clock. I found on board Brother Griggs, superintendent of the Salt Lake Sunday schools, and Brother Levi W. Richards, who were going down to Provo, having been appointed by the Sunday School Union to examine the results of the normal training of teachers for the Sunday school. I went to the meeting house, and saw a number of brethren there. I was afterwards waited upon by Brother Brimhall and told that they expected me at the Academy. I spent the forenoon there, witnessing the training of the teachers for the Sunday schools. I was then taken to Brother Smoot’s, where I took dinner.

In the afternoon we met in the meeting house in the Y.M.M.I.A. Conference, and after the transaction of a little business and the administering of the sacrament, I addressed the assemblage and had considerable freedom. I had, however, to leave for the train before the meeting was quite over, and reached the city at 4:45. My son Sylvester met me at the train.

I had a conversation with my daughter Mary Alice yesterday concerning my son David. It arose in consequence of my looking through his papers and letters, and being alone she said she had had it in her mind to speak to me on the subject of some one taking a wife for David, and she felt that it would be more appropriate for her husband to do so, because there was no woman that she knew that would bear with the patience that she herself would on David’s account. She said her love for him was so great that she would willingly have her husband take another wife, if it were permissible, so that David might have children raised to his name. While speaking to me on this subject she wept considerably. I told her I was pleased with the manifestation of love that she exhibited in this case; but to begin with, I did not know that such a thing would be possible under the present circumstances; then again, I scarcely thought it would be appropriate for her husband to perform such a duty as it would be for one of David’s own brothers. I felt greatly pleased at this devotion that she exhibited. The love of these children is one of the most delightful things of my life.

12 December 1892 • Monday

Monday, Dec. 12, 1892.

I called at Brother Grant’s this morning to see how his wife was, and found her quite low, but still bright in her mind, and as Dr. Anderson remarked, there appeared to be no reason why she should not live. I administered to her.

First Presidency at the office.

We had a meeting this morning of the Board of Trustees of the Young University, the purpose being to authorize myself, as chairman of the Board, and the Secretary, to sign a note for $7500, to settle the claims of five heirs of President Young to the block of land which had been thought of for the University grounds. I have some hesitation in my feelings about signing this note until it was fully understood, and asked a number of questions which started conversation and brought forth expressions, especially from Brother James Sharp, which caused me to suggest that we have a full meeting of the Board at an early date, because there were some points connected with this that I thought of sufficient importance to require the united action of all. Brother Reynolds, therefore, made a motion that we adjourn until Wednesday next.

I spent some time preparing matter for the “Juvenile Instructor”.

We had a visit from Mr. Tatlock, an attorney of this city, who brought ex-Attorney General Baker of Iowa and introduced him.

Brother Lorin Farr, with his brother Winslow, who has just returned from Mexico, called and had conversation concerning affairs in Mexico.

Prest. Thos. E. Ricks also called upon us.

I had a conversation with my son-in-law, Lewis M. Cannon. He told me that Mary Alice had informed him that she had had a conversation with me about David and somebody marrying some girl for him, and he had been desirous that she should speak to me upon the subject rather than he should do so. He said that he had found Mary Alice several nights when he awoke, weeping, and she told him that her feelings were much drawn out in favor of somebody taking a wife for David, to raise children for him, and that she was quite willing that he should take another wife. I repeated to him the conversation that I had had with Mary Alice on the subject, and told him that nothing could be done at the present time; but I was greatly pleased to see how willing Mary Alice was to sacrifice her own feelings for the benefit of her brother.

13 December 1892 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 1892.

Brother Wilcken brought me to town this morning, and I called again at Brother Grant’s, but found that he had not arisen, and therefore I did not disturb him. Sister Woolley, who is a sister of Sister Grant, informed me that she had a very poor night and had been vomiting a good deal of the time.

Brother Fairbanks, one of the young men who have been to Paris studying art, desired the First Presidency to pay a visit to his studio, which we did and spent some time in looking at his paintings and pictures drawings. We were much gratified by the visit.

I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

14 December 1892 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 1892.

First Presidency at the office.

President Lorenzo Snow called in this morning, he having come down to attend the meeting of the university.

The Board of Young University met at 1 o’clock, to consider the subject discussed at the previous meeting. It was finally decided that the question of purchasing the claims of the heirs be referred to the Board of the Church University, and the meeting adjourned leaving the matter in the hands of the First Presidency and Twelve.

There was a meeting of the Co-op Wagon & Machine Co. this afternoon.

I also had a conversation with Brother P. T. Farnsworth, in the presence of Bishop Clawson, concerning the turning over of my interest in the Bullion-Beck mine in trust to him. I desired to learn from him what number of shares I ought to turn over to him for him to be the bona fide owner of, as I desired to have him interested in the property and to compensate him for that which he would do for me. He said he left that entirely to me. I then told him that I had had in mind to let him have 500 shares, or if that was not enough, I was willing to make it any number up to 1000, but I thought of letting him have the 500 shares and perhaps give him a commission. He said that I had better let him have 500, and say nothing about the commission. I told him then I would let him have 600, with which he seemed to be quite satisfied. After we came to this conclusion, I said that there might be some price fixed upon it and he could talk as though he had actually bought it of me, which I thought he had done by proposing to perform the service that I asked of him. The price we agreed to call it was $9 a share. I consider this much below its actual value, but as it makes no difference particularly, I was willing to let it go at that. I told him that I would see my nephew, John M. Cannon, of the law firm of Ferguson & Cannon, and as Brother Ferguson was his lawyer, he had better see them, too, and we would have the necessary papers drawn up. I made an appointment to meet him tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock.

15 December 1892 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 15, 1892.

First Presidency at the office.

Brother Farnsworth, John M. Cannon and my son Abraham came up. John had prepared the following document, which myself and Brother Farnsworth signed:

(I have not got this document, and Prest. Cannon is absent)1

I divided my stock as follows:

600 shares to P. T. Farnsworth personally;

15000 shares to be in his hands in trust for me;

889 shares and a fraction to stand in my name on the books.

I suggested that he have a certificate drawn for himself for 600 shares, and then three certificates, of 5000 each, for himself also, being the amount that he is to hold in trust, and certificate for 889 shares and a fraction in my name.

We had some conversation as to the effect safety of this stock in his hands in the event of his death, or his getting embarrassed; and while there is some danger connected with it, it was thought to be the best way that could be for him to endorse the stock and have it pinned with the document that we had both signed, and be put in escrow, in the hands of Abraham H. Cannon. John M. Cannon wrote on the envelope the following:

[blank spaces]

I spoke to Brother Farnsworth in relation to any indebtedness that he might incur or embarrassments that might come, that I would like him to give me timely warning of it, so that I could protect myself, which he said he would do. He expressed as great an anxiety as I did, or even greater, that it should be made perfectly safe, and that I should be fully protected. I have had a fear of late that owing to Brother Beck’s embarrassments, he might get squeezed and lose control of the property, and I have such a large interest in the mine that he cannot get squeezed without my feeling the pressure also. I have not the confidence that I would like to have in those who are associated with him in the controling of this property. Their past conduct toward me has been such as to weaken my confidence in their disposition to protect me, much less to favor me. Brother Farnsworth has a high reputation as a good manager. According to his statement, we are paying more than twice as much for getting ore out of our property than he is doing as manager of the Horn Silver mine, although he has a long distance to freight, and it costs $5 or $6 a month for him to haul his water. I am putting a good deal of responsibility in his hands; still I feel clear in doing so, for I have had this matter under consideration for a long time, and have prayed about it to be led to do the right thing. I felt to bless him, and I trust he will be prospered. Presidents Woodruff and Smith also, when I told them that I had done this business, expressed themselves similarly.

We had a call from Mrs. O. J. Salisbury, who is a neice of James G. Blaine, and Sister Emeline B. Wells.

Brother Jacob Spori is down from Rexburg. He had a conversation with my son Abraham concerning the establishment of a bank at Rexburg. Some Gentiles are thinking of doing this, and he had been impressed with the idea that it would be a good thing for Latter-day Saints to do. We talked the matter over, and agreed to submit it to our Savings Bank, with a view to having a branch bank established there. This was what Brother Spori thought would be the best.

At 12 o’clock there was a meeting of Z.C.M.I. Among other business done, was the consideration of a suggestion made by C. S[.] Burton and his attorney, Richard W. Young. It seems that Sister Susan Snively Young had made a will devising half of a certain amount of property that she had to C. S. Burton, who is the husband of her adopted daughter Julia, and Julia in her will had devised it to Brother Burton; but as the property had not vested in Julia when she died, it turns out that Sister Susan has really died intestate in relation to this property, $2600 of which was shares in Z.C.M.I. The proposition was for us as a Board to recognize her verbal wishes, so that Brother Burton could get possession of the half interest that she intended he should have, the other half being sold to the church. I questioned them quite closely upon this matter, and asked why the court could not do it if they produced the evidence that they proposed to give to us. Brother Young said the court would not set aside a will in that respect, but would follow the will. I suggested then, Was there no penalty for suppressing a will. He said he did not know that there was. I said it seemed a very serious thing for us to consent to be a party to the suppression of a will, and could we not be accused, if we did so, of conspiracy and attempt to defraud? It seemed as though this had not occurred to the attorney before, and he thought perhaps it would be a serious thing. It was proposed by some of the members of the Board that the question be submitted to our attorney. I objected to such a resolution, because I said if our attorney were to recommend it my judgment would not permit me to take any part in such a transaction, because we would be clearly exposing ourselves, and be doing that which in the eye of the law would be fraudulent. All the Board took the same view afterwards.

The Presidency and Twelve held their usual meeting. There were present, besides the Presidency, Brothers Snow, Lyman, Smith, Grant and Cannon. The question of continuing the employment of F. S. Richards and Le Grand Young, our attorneys, was brought up. The former receives $5000 per annum and the latter $3000. The general feeling was that we had paid them a salary now for a long time, and that it should cease; if we had any legal work to do hereafter it should be done by contract. The conversation was quite animated on this subject, but the feeling was unanimous that this course should be taken. President Woodruff had felt very clear and strongly upon this for some little time back. A resolution was adopted to that effect.

After prayer, in which President Snow was mouth, Mr. C. A. Hall, of the Hedrickite church, who resides at Independence, and who is having a lawsuit at present with what is called the Re-organized church over the possession of the Temple Block at Independence, came in. He had been selected to come and lay before us the situation of affairs there. Their attorney they do not have confidence in. They think he has not been true to them, and the proposition is for us to help them by letting some of our lawyers take the case in hand for them and help them defend their title. We discussed the matter over some time, making inquiries as to different points, and then told him that we would take the matter under consideration and see what we could do. I said to him that we decided to write a letter to him, in answer to the last that he had written, and set forth our pecuniary strait, that we were not in a position to render them the aid that they asked for, but that our sympathies were with them and if we could do anything we would. We would like to have it understood, too, that if they were going to dispose of that property in any way, they should give us the first chance to obtain it. He said that they had come to the conclusion that they had done wrong in attempting to judge the Prophet Joseph Smith and to set him down as a fallen Prophet, which is the position they have assumed. They appear to think now that the Twelve—that is, President Young and those who went with him—were in the right, and that they had been mistaken. He came to the city this afternoon, and he is stopping with my nephew, John M. Cannon.

16 December 1892 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 16, 1892

President Woodruff was not at the office as usual this morning, but he and President Smith came in later.

The weather is very cold, considerable snow having fallen.

Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

17 December 1892 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 17, 1892.

Called upon Brother Grant and found his wife much better than could be expected, but still very low. He told me that he had been praying that I might come, and as he wished her administered to, and she had resolved to try and eat something if it did hurt her. She suffered nausea and pain without eating and she might as well, she thought, try and eat something, and he wanted me to bless her. I told him I had not thought of coming up to town today, as I had a lot of work at home, but felt impelled to do so. I now understood why I did so. I administered to her and felt very well in doing so.

I came to the office. President Woodruff came up unexpectedly, as it is not his custom to be at the office on Saturday.

Had an interview with ex-Governor Emery about land which he has for sale in Idaho and Utah, on the line between the two.

I went through my business affairs with my son Abraham. I have felt very much exercised about my financial condition and my interest, etc., and felt as though I would sell anything I had to get out of debt; but in looking through my affairs I find that I have nothing I can sell without serious loss, and with prudent management I perhaps may be able to meet my interest and carry what I have if I am economical. I find that my expenses are very high, my family being so large. I furnish all the food for the family, which each wife has been in the habit of furnishing herself until we had a common dining room, excepting flour and vegetables, which I furnished. This has increased my expenses considerably, but the results abundantly compensate me for the expense if I can possibly afford it.

18 December 1892 • Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 18, 1892.

Went to meeting in my sleigh with my daughter Hester and sons Brigham and Sylvester. Brother F. M. Lyman occupied the afternoon and spoke excellently.

Called at Brother Grant’s. Brother Lyman and my son Abraham accompanied me. Found Sister Grant looking better than could be expected, but still very low.

19 December 1892 • Monday

Monday, Dec. 19, 1892.

President Woodruff was at the office. President Smith did not come till quite late. I sympathize very much with him. His oldest daughter, the doctor says, has an ovarian tumor and will have to be operated upon. It is a very sad affair.

I had a call from Mr. Kelly, of New York, and his wife and sister. He is a gentleman I met some years ago in Washington.

Brother Brigham Smoot, a son of Prest. A. O. Smoot, called upon us, he having just returned from the Friendly Islands, via Samoa and Honolulu. He has been absent 3 years and 7 months, and has acquired the Samoan language and also that of the Friendly Island[s.] They had not been very successful in baptizing so far, on the Friendly Islands, but the people are favorably disposed. We had a very interesting interview with him. He has filled a good mission.

At 3 o’clock I attended a meeting of the Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining Co. It was 7:30 before we separated. There was quite a feeling manifested by President Moses Thatcher, Treasurer W. B. Preston and Manager A. E. Hyde against Brother John Beck for having interfered with the foreman, encouraging him in his course. There was a good deal of discussion also about Brother Hyde having appointed Frank Y. Taylor as Supt. of the mine, and this has led to irritation between him and the foreman, Dennis Sullivan. I took the same view that Brother Beck did concerning this, and I spoke very plainly about the Manager not attending to his duties. It seemed to me that he was putting them on to somebody else, and that we should not put a young man such as had been selected for Supt. to dictate a man like Mr. Sullivan, who had been so long connected with the mine. Brother Thatcher spoke very plainly to Beck and told him that he was no more than any of the rest of them; he had no more rights as a director than any of the rest had. Brother Preston said the same. Beck’s justification for doing as he did was that he saw his property going to waste, and the Manager was absent, not having been to the mine for over a month, and he had taken the liberty, as Vice President, to try and have things corrected. But the others apparently would not listen to him on this point. I could not help but contrast in my mind their demeanor now towards him and that which I had seen in the past. What is the reason that they feel so independent now? Have they made all out of him that can be made, and is he like a sucked orange, to be thrown aside? Each of these men hold their positions through John Beck’s votes and they talked very nicely to him in former days; but they have traded with him, sold him stock, made money out of him, according to his own statements to me, and now he has let the control of his stock go into the hands of trustees and has borrowed $200,000 on it, only $50,000 of which he has paid, and I think there is some danger of his losing his stock unless care is taken. It was a little refreshing to me to see the change. Heretofore, I have felt my powerlessness in the Board, because they looked upon me as being in the minority. I consider, from my observation, that Brother A. E. Hyde is neglecting his duties as Manager, and he gets $400 a month.

20 December 1892 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 1892.

I sent and asked Brother Beck to call on me this morning, and had some conversation with him over the situation.

President Woodruff was at the office.

Col. Trumbo and Judge Estee returned from Washington, and we had interviews with each of them separately, and they gave us a good report of the condition of affairs in Washington and the prospects for statehood.

President Woodruff and myself went down to look at the Temple and had a disagreeable interview with Brother Don Carlos Young, the architect. He was not in a pleasant mood. I talked very plainly to him in relation to several matters connected with the decoration of the rooms.

Dictated my journal.

21 December 1892 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 21, 1892.

Before coming to the office this morning I called upon the family of the late Wm. H. Shearman, who died on Monday last. His living wife, and two sisters of his first wife, daughters of John Kay (Sarah and Ellen) received me. I was informed that the funeral would take place at 2 o’clock, and that as he had left no instructions (so they say) the children had decided to have the Rev. Mr. Norris, an Episcopal minister, attend to the funeral services. I attended the funeral out of respect to his memory. They put black clothes upon him; but S. W. Sears and wife, who were present, took occasion to inform me that he had had his robes and Temple clothing prepared and had expected to be buried in them. His people, however, have no sympathy with our church, and they disregarded any injunction he may have made concerning this matter. His death is not entirely unexpected. He had been suffering from an affection of the intellect, approaching dementia. His father was insane, and he has no doubt inherited this. He was a man of fine organization, talented, unduly sensitive, somewhat irritable and petulant naturally owing to his nervous condition, but a man of great benevolence and very kind to the poor. I never knew a man of his means more so. He had many excellent traits of character. His standard of purity was very high—higher than he thought he could attain to, and this constantly harassed him.

22 December 1892 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 22, 1892.

President Woodruff was at the office this morning. President Smith did not come in until we were about to go down to the Temple. The First Presidency spent about an hour at the Temple, and were greatly pleased with a suggestion to finish the walls of the celestial room in white and gold. The ceiling is elaborately colored and looks very well; but we did not think the walls would look so well if they were so highly colored. Brother Midgley, however, thought that complete harmony could be obtained between the ceiling and the walls by proper toning down and finishing in white and gold. The First Presidency were accompanied to the Temple by Elders F. M. Lyman and A. H. Cannon.

At 2 o’clock The First Presidency and Elders Lyman, Taylor and Cannon, of the Twelve, met as usual. Abraham H. Cannon was mouth in prayer. I spoke of the fashion which had grown up of late of attaching the title of Apostle to the names of the members of the Twelve. It struck me as being inappropriate, and that the use of the title “Elder” was more suitable. I referred to the revelation given the day of the organization of the church in which the Prophet Joseph was called the first elder and Oliver Cowdery the second elder, though they were Apostles. It would be quite as appropriate to prefix the word “High Priest” to a man’s name, or “Seventy”, as to prefix the word “Apostle”. I said that this was a recent practice, and how it had started I did not know. This brought out an acknowledgment from Brother Geo. F. Gibbs that he was the one who started it, and he did so in deference to Brother Franklin D. Richards, he having been called President Richards while at Ogden, and he feared that in publishing his sermons there might be some exception taken to his being called Elder, so he called him Apostle F. D. Richards. He had felt himself that it was inappropriate and had tried to stop it, but it had become so general that he found it out of his power to do so. He suggested, however, that if the brethren knew that it was not the Lord that made this change, but Geo. F. Gibbs, perhaps they might not think it improper to adopt the title of Elder. The brethren present all acquiesced in the view that it would be more appropriate to use the word “Elder”, and as Brother Lyman’s discourse will be the next one probably that will be published, he said he would like that title to be attached to his name.

There was a Sugar Co. meeting held this morning, at which I was present.

We were greatly pleased today to find that the court had taken action yesterday upon a number of cases of persons who had been indicted, and on motion of District Attorney Varian these indictments had been dismissed. It was gratifying to know that among the names were those of Brothers Brigham Young and George Teasdale, of the Twelve Apostles.

The First Presidency and Apostles previously named had an interview with Brother John M. Cannon, the attorney whom we have desired to take interest in the case of the Hedrickites. I moved that it was a wise and proper thing to help the Hedrickites retain the ownership of the Temple Block at Independence. That was carried. I then moved that Brother John M. Cannon be instructed to see the attorneys who are members of our` church and find out from them if they were willing to help with legal aid the Hedrickites in defending this, on condition that their expenses should be paid. Brother Jos. F. Smith then moved that $1000 be appropriated for the assistance of the Hedrickites, and that this be done through Brother John M. Cannon, and that he appear in this matter as though it was his personal affair, as we did not think it prudent to have the impression go out that the church was doing anything in its official capacity to assist these people.

23 December 1892 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 23, 1892.

There was a Sugar Co. meeting held at 9 this morning, which I attended.

Listened to the reading of correspondence by Brother Reynolds.

Brothers Brigham Young and George Teasdale were advised by telegraph of the action that had been taken by the court in dismissing the indictments against them.

The First Presidency went to the Temple again this morning, and remained there some time, and they received from the architect a long list of questions concerning the manner in which certain finishing would be done.

I prepared my “Saturday Talk” for the Deseret News.

24 December 1892 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 24, 1892.

Attended another Sugar meeting this morning at 9 o’clock.

Dictated my journal.

25 December 1892 • Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 25, 1892.

Held Sunday school with my children this morning, after the departure of John M. Cannon and Mr. C. A. Hall, who came down and breakfasted with me. Had an interesting time with my children.

At 2 o’clock I was at the Tabernacle. The speakers were Brother Junius F. Wells and my son Abraham. A very good meeting. I think Abraham is improving in his speaking. He spoke with more vigor than I had heard him before.

I drove around by Brother Grant’s to see his wife, and found her very low, but her mind bright and clear.

This is one of the finest Christmas days I ever saw; the weather is charming.

26 December 1892 • Monday

Monday, Dec. 26, 1892.

Brother Nephi W. Clayton came down and breakfasted with me, and we had a long conversation on business matters.

After his departure I busied myself in preparing for our family dinner, to take place at 3 o’clock. There were over 60 present at the table. I found by arranging my tables in a proper manner I could seat 66 at the tables. This is the capacity of my dining room as the tables are now arranged, though on the occasion of the family gathering at my daughter Mary Alice’s marriage we seated upwards of 80. We had an excellent dinner, and all seemed to enjoy it very much.

In the evening my sons had arranged for a dance, and had invited some of the folks from the city, and had a very pleasant time.

27 December 1892 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 1892.

I found President Woodruff at the office this morning. President Smith came in shortly after my arrival.

We had an interview with John M. Cannon concerning the application of the Hedrickites for legal assistance; but as we did not wish to appear in this matter, we left him to arrange with Mr. Hall and to render all the assistance that should be rendered in his own name.

An application was made to me today, through Mr. Arthur Pratt, by Mr. Pat. Lannan of the “Tribune”, to have an interview with me on the statehood question. He had heard remarks which I had made concerning him, so he told Arthur Pratt, that led him to conclude that I was prejudiced against him. He had heard that I had said he was not truthful. I explained to Mr. Pratt how I had made that remark; that it was to members of the National Republican Committee, when I was in New York, in response to a statement which they said Mr. Lannan had made to the effect that the church advanced $35,000 to aid Senator Faulkner, of West Virginia, as against Stephen B. Elkins, an old friend of mine. But I said Mr. Lannan was a man I very seldom alluded to.

I submitted the question of the interview to the Presidency, and they felt that under the circumstances I had better not grant it. I got Brother Clawson to go and explain my reasons for not doing it. He also wanted an interview with Brother Joseph F. Smith.

Brother W. W. Cluff came in and reported what he had done in relation to the using of influence with some of the brethren in the Legislature of Wyoming in favor of the re-election of Senator Warren, of Wyoming.

Zion’s Savings Bank meeting at 1 o’clock.

We had an interview with Frank J. Cannon, who thought of going up into Bear Lake Valley, at the request of the people, to see them about taking stock in the Standard Company, and also to comply with an invitation to address them. He wanted to know from the First Presidency whether there was any impropriety in his doing so, to which we replied, No.

28 December 1892 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 1892.

Stopped at Zion’s bank this morning and spent an hour with Geo, M. Cannon in talking over business matters connected with Cannon, Grant & Co.

The First Presidency went to the Temple, and while there went through the questions which the architect had submitted to us, and answered them.

In the afternoon we had an informal meeting with Brother N.W. Clayton concerning the Saltair Beach Co’s property. We decided to build a pavilion, and had an interview with Brother Woolley, a member of that Salt Lake Building & Manufacturing Co, in which we urged upon him our wish to have our brethren build this pavilion, instead of letting it to the Gentiles. The reason for this is that a responsible Gentile has offered to do the work for $7000 less than the Salt Lake Building & Manufacturing Co. After we explained to him what we were doing and our motives for doing it in connection with this property, he promised to lay the matter before his partners and see if they could not come to some understanding concerning building the pavilion. I told him that we wanted to have it said that the railroad and the pavilion were built by the Mormon people. We authorized Brother Clayton also to try and secure on suitable terms some land for depot grounds.

Dictated some correspondence and my journal to Brother Winter.

I did not go home as usual this afternoon. I was joined by my wife Carlie, and we went to spend the evening, by invitation, at Brother Dougall’s. A Miss Babcock, who is teaching physical culture and elocution here, gave three recitations, which we listened to with great delight. She reads very naturally and unaffectedly, and exhibits true art in concealing art. Miss Celia Sharp gave some fine pieces on the piano, and Hugh Dougall, son of Brother Dougall, sang two or three songs with excellent effect. We spent a very pleasant evening.

29 December 1892 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 29, 1892.

I drove this morning to Brother Grant’s and found his wife a little weaker, but with that exception unchanged.

I dictated to my son Hugh part of “Saturday Talk” for the Deseret News.

At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and Elders F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant , J. W. Taylor and A. H. Cannon, of the Twelve, met in council. We had considerable conversation on different points of doctrine. President Woodruff was mouth in prayer.

A little before 5, Brother S. S. Jones called upon me, he having made a previous appointment. I spent the entire evening with him until 9 o’clock, part of the time joining in dinner with him at the Templeton Hotel. He had a number of affairs to speak about, particularly some of his own family affairs, after listening to which I gave him such counsel as I thought proper. He had love cases on hand, and undoubtedly parties were deeply attached to him, at least in one case, as I judge by a letter which had been written to him, and which he read to me. I gave him to understand that plural marriage now was out of the question, and that I thought the best course for him to take was to let these persons understand so and do all that he could to reconcile them to the conditions that we were in.

30 December 1892 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 30, 1892.

I came to the office early this morning, as I desired to prepare my article for the Deseret News. After I had prepared it, I read it to Presidents Woodruff and Smith, as there were some points in it that I wanted to submit to them. They expressed their entire approval.

We had an interview with Brother David Eccles in relation to taking the contract for building the pavilion for the Saltair Beach Co. We have had two interviews with Brother Woolley, of the Salt Lake Building & Manufacturing Co., but the best they can do is several thousand dollars higher than the bid of a man with whom Brother Eccles is identified. The only objection to this man is that he is not a member of the church. Brother Eccles and Leaver & Conrad, all of whom are in the church, are willing to take the contract, instead of this man, so that we would be relieved from any feeling on account of discriminating against our brethren. Brother Eccles had demurred in the first place about signing the contract, because it might create jealousy among his customers here, and in the second place because if any accident occurred, he being a responsible party, might be sued; but upon my explaining our reasons for wishing his name on the contract, he waived these objections.

E. W. Taylor, the attorney of Matthew White, called upon me today and served a paper upon me personally, setting forth the grounds they had for the position which White had assumed. I handed the letter to our attorney, Le Grand Young.

Brother T. E. Taylor, son of President Taylor, called to pay his respects to us before his departure on a mission to Europe, to which he has been appointed. He is a second cousin of mine.

31 December 1892 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 31, 1892.

Came to the office.

I dictated to Brother Winter an article for the Juvenile Instructor.

Footnotes

  1. [1]Handwritten note