Sunday, January 1, 1893.
I had arranged to go to Union today, to dedicate the meeting house there, and Brother Wilcken was to call around, with Brother Joseph F. Smith and my son Abraham, in a carriage for me; but I felt so badly in the night that I questioned the wisdom of going. I was better, however, in the morning, and made up my mind to go.
We held meetings in the forenoon and afternoon. My brother Angus, Brothers Jos. E. Taylor and C. W. Penrose, the Presidency of the Stake, were there, and they occupied the forenoon meeting.
Brother Jos. F. Smith and myself dined with the Bishop, and Brother Wilcken at Brother Walker’s.
The afternoon was occupied by my son Abraham, President Smith and myself. We had an excellent time, and the people felt well. I offered the dedicatory prayer.
Monday, January 2, 1893.
After breakfast this morning I took my wife Carlie and drove over to her mother’s, and to Don Carlos Young’s, to pay them the compliments of the season; after which I went to town and called upon Sister Grant, whom I found very low.
Today being a holiday, I did not go to the city. I busied myself at home arranging my accounts.
We had dinner at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and myself and family had an enjoyable time.
Tuesday, January 3, 1893.
A meeting of the Literary & Scientific Association was called this morning at the office to hear a report from Dr. J. E. Talmage concerning the Selinite specimens that we were having shipped from the south for the purpose of supplying our own museum and also sending to other museums.
At 12 o’clock a meeting of the First Presidency was held with the contractors and foremen of the various departments in the Temple. I had felt very much impressed and suggested that this meeting should be held, so that we might impress upon them the necessity of getting the work done in time, and see what its present condition is. We enquired of each man the condition of the work that he had in hand, and after learning all they had to impart and impressing upon them the seriousness of the responsibility that rested upon us as the First Presidency, in view of the pledge that had been given that the Temple should be completed for dedication on the 6th of April, we asked that a statement be given to us concerning the work yet to be finished that was not already in hand, so that we might know how long it would take, and if necessary push it in certain directions. I think we all felt somewhat relieved by the meeting.
A letter was received from Brother Budge concerning the situation at Boise, where the Legislature is about to meet. He enclosed a letter from Ex-Attorney General Roberts, in which he urged that Brother W. Hoge should repair to Boise. We did not feel clear that he should go at present, because we anticipated that questions would be asked him concerning the attitude of the people in regard to the Republican party, and it might compromise us in some way. We wrote him accordingly.
I had an interview with a brother by the name of Christian Jensen, who came from Manassa. His object in visiting us was to call to our attention the deplorable condition of affairs in the San Luis Stake. It seems that Brother Silas S. Smith has commenced suit, in the name of his wife, against the stockholders of the co-operative store there, and it is creating a great deal of trouble. We promised to give the matter consideration.
Wednesday, January 4, 1893.
Upon my arrival at the office this morning the first news I heard was that Sister Grant had died at 6:30 yesterday afternoon. This poor, patient, longsuffering woman has passed through a very trying ordeal. She has suffered beyond expression, but has borne it with a fortitude that has been very exemplary. Her husband has waited upon her with a devotion and an attention that has excited my admiration. He has scarcely left her bedside for weeks.
I had an interview with Brother P. T. Farnsworth, in which he related to me his conversations with John Beck. He said that he had told Brother Beck, in response to expressions which he had used that the First Presidency were opposed to him, that we were not unfriendly to him, but that we thought he had not done right in regard to the dedicated stock, etc. Brother Farnsworth spoke rather hopefully concerning the prospect of getting Brother Beck to see wherein he had wronged me. I called in Presidents Woodruff and Smith to hear what he had to say, and that they might assure him also concerning their feelings towards Brother Beck.
A Mr. W. H. Coulson, from Tiffany’s, New York, submitted designs for the stained glass windows of the Temple, and also for the fixtures for electric lights. We suggested a number of changes, and then expressed our satisfaction with the patterns submitted.
At 1 O’clock there was a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank.
At 2 o’clock a meeting of the Church University. The Board was organized. President Woodruff was elected Chairman, and Brother Willard Young President of the University.
We selected as a committee on furnishing the Temple, H. B. Clawson, J. R. Winder, Don Carlos Young, Sister Jennings, Sister W. C. Staines, Sister Robert Dye, H. W. Naisbitt, Willard Young, R. K. Thomas, T. G. Webber, and Rudolph Pruhs.
Thursday, January 5, 1893.
First Presidency at the office.
The morning papers contained the amnesty which had been granted to the violators of the anti-polygamy laws by President Harrison. It has been a long time coming, and now that it has come it brings comparatively little benefit to our people, though it would not be wise for us to belittle it. I suggested that we find no fault with it, but claim for it all the benefits that we ought to receive under it. Its value in my opinion consists in the moral effect it will have on the country, and it also shows the drift of public sentiment. Each act of this kind has the effect to alleviate existing conditions. My son John Q. came up to speak about the manner in which he thought it ought to be treated. We gave him some suggestions.
Alfred Lambourne has finished the picture of Adam-ondi-Ahman. It is an excellent painting, showing the spot where the altar of Adam is supposed to have stood. It is the intention to make a larger picture which will show this spot and the surrounding region, and also give a glimpse of Grand river, which flows close to the base of the bluff on which the altar is supposed to have stood.
We had a call from Brother George Taylor, of Provo, concerning an election to be held for officers of the First National Bank of Provo. He desired to obtain my proxy for 40 shares of stock, which stand in my name but which belong to the Church. After listening to him, we decided to not give him my proxy, but send Brother James Jack there to attend the meeting. There is friction between Prest. Smoot and some of the Board, and Brother Taylor is somewhat in opposition to what they fear is Brother Smoot’s plan. They suspect him of a design to turn out some of the present directors and put some his sons on. The bank has been badly managed, they say, under his son-in-law as cashier. They want to retain Brother Smoot as president, but to pursue a different policy in regard to the management. I received a letter from Brother Smoot himself, asking for my proxy in favor of Brigham Smoot, his son. I replied that I had already given my proxy to Brother Jack.
Brother Junius F. Wells called to see Presidents Woodruff and Smith, as heads of the Young Men’s Improvement Associations, to get their sanction to his selling the “Contributor” out to A. H. Cannon. Two days ago Abraham came to me and told me of Brother Wells’ proposition to him, that he would sell the “Contributor” for $10,000, and asked me concerning it. I told him that he had better submit it to the First Presidency, and we listened to his statement concerning it, after which Presidents Woodruff and Smith both said they were in favor of it, if it was not loading him down too much; that they thought the “Contributor” would be better managed and be more satisfactory in every way than it had been, at least as far as the financial management was concerned. They said the same thing to Brother Wells today, approving of his proposal to sell. I remarked to Presidents Woodruff and Smith that it was a large undertaking, as there were a great many uncollected debts, and the magazine had been issued very irregularly, and the whole concern was in a bad condition. As Abraham however felt that he could pull it through, I had no objections.
We had an interview with our organist, Brother Daynes, and the choir leader, Brother Stephens, concerning the best place to erect the old Tabernacle organ in the assembly room in the Temple[.] Brother Daynes is rebuilding it. We decided to put it over the canopy of the west stand, according to their suggestion.
We held our usual meeting at 2 o’clock. There were present: the First Presidency, Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor and A. H. Cannon.
A difficulty has arisen in the incorporated companies organized by John W. Taylor for the occupancy of the land he has purchased in Canada. The two brothers Wrathal, Charles Anderson, Brother Sutton and others of Tooele, formed a company for the purpose of stocking the land with cattle and sheep; but changing their views afterwards, they dissolved the company. In the meantime, Brother J. G. Kimball and his brother Elias and Brother J. Z. Stewart had bought $7000 worth of stock in the company and had gone security for $7000 more. This money and this security Brother John W. Taylor had obtained. The company being broken up, the Brothers Kimball and Stewart wanted to know how they could obtain their money. The whole matter was gone over with some minuteness, and it was finally decided that Brother Lyman and Grant should endeavor to induce the brethren of Tooele County to submit this matter to arbitration.
Brother Lewis W. Shurtliff was spoken very plainly to by President Woodruff concerning affairs in Ogden, and he and Brother Richards were requested to see that C. C. Richards and other Democrats who had interests in the “Standard” should do nothing to interfere with the organization of a new company, because upon that organization depended the church getting back some money that had been advanced to that paper. Brother Shurtliff said that there was nothing of that kind in contemplation that he knew of on the part of the Democrats, but that he would carry the message that President Woodruff gave him to Brother Richards and other brethren. President Smith spoke also at some length in the same strain. I was mouth in prayer.
Friday, January 6, 1893.
First Presidency at the office.
Alfred Lambourne spoke to us about his charges for the paintings that he has finished and those that he has to finish. He wished us to fix a price on them; but we declined to do this. He showed us a list of figures of various artists on the painting that he had made of the Hill Cumorah; Lorus Pratt’s was $500, John Hafen, $5000, and several others of the brethren had given prices between, the most of them at $1000. The proposition that now is made is for him to finish the painting of the Hill Cumorah and another of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and then one square one of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and two large pictures to be hung in the celestial room, at the east end. These five he agrees to furnish for $2500, we paying the expenses of the canvas, paints, and the rent of his studio. We agreed to give this.
At 1 o’clock I attended the funeral services of Sister Grant at the 13th Ward Assembly Rooms. The house was crowded. Brother John Henry Smith made the opening prayer, F. M. Lyman spoke for half an hour, Bishop O. F. Whitney for 10 minutes, and I occupied the remainder of the time. I drove from the meeting house to the graveyard in a carriage with Brothers F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith and J. W. Taylor. The grave was dedicated by Brother John W. Taylor.
Before going to this funeral the First Presidency went down to the Temple and examined the progress of the work.
Saturday, January 7, 1893.
C. C. Richards had telegraphed his wish to meet with the Presidency today, and though President Woodruff was not desirous to be at the office, he concluded, in view of the fact that the Standard Co. meeting would be held on Monday, to come up. Brother Richards came, accompanied by Brothers L. W. Shurtliff, Thomas D. Dee, H. H. Rolapp, and Brother Browning. Brothers John Henry Smith and A. H. Cannon were present with the First Presidency. We had a very full discussion of the situation, and I took the liberty of expressing myself concerning the course that some of the Democrats had taken in relation to the First Presidency. They had shunned, apparently, asking our counsel. Brother Richards addressed his remarks to President Woodruff, and seemed to be careful to omit mention of President Smith’s name and my own. I do not know whether there was any intention in this or not, but it almost had that appearance, as though it was not necessary to make explanations to us. I think the meeting resulted in good. It lasted for three hours, and a great deal was said pro and con.
Sunday, January 8, 1893.
I held Sunday school with my children this morning.
At 12 o’clock I took my wife Carlie to Brother L. G. Hardy’s, whose wife is her sister. They have had a little girl born, and this being the eighth day, they wanted it blessed. Brother Hardy and I took the child in our arms, and he requested me to be mouth. She was blessed and called Georgie Young Hardy, the name being given to her because of my name.
I attended meeting at the Tabernacle. President Jos. F. Smith occupied the afternoon.
Monday, January 9, 1893.
After reaching the office, a letter came from President Woodruff, informing me that he was attacked with a very severe cold, and desiring me to send Brother Andrew Smith down to help him take a bath, etc., also requesting myself and President Smith to attend to the business of the office.
We spent some little time at the Temple with the committee on furnishings, and gave our views.
We had a meeting of the Saltair Beach Co., and in order to save President Woodruff annoyance connected with the suit of Matthew White, it was suggested that he had better resign. This was the opinion of Attorney Le Grand Young.
I had a conversation with my son John Q. I have been quite impressed to talk to him seriously about his position as editor and other matters. He told me that he had got his recommend and had joined the Farmer’s Ward. I suggested that he endeavor to become a home missionary. This would be an advantage to him as editor, because he would see many things while among the people that would suggest topics to be treated upon, and I desired that he should get the spirit of the times and keep abreast of the progress. I felt quite well after my conversation.
I took Hugh home with me tonight and dictated a number of letters to him.
Tuesday, January 10, 1893.
Dictated my journal to Brother Winter. Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, Moses Thatcher. F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon, of the Twelve, were in the office today.
President Woodruff is still sick. I called to see him this morning, and administered to him. He informs me that he is better than he was yesterday.
Had a meeting of Cannon, Grant & Co, and adjourned until tomorrow morning at 8:30.
Wednesday, January 11, 1893.
President Woodruff was still sick. I called early this morning, but as he was in bed, I did not desire to disturb him. I learned from Sister Woodruff that he was better.
There was a meeting of Cannon, Grant & Co. at 8:30 this morning. We attended to a good deal of business, and declared a 2% dividend. I was very much gratified by the expression of feeling on the part of the brethren in my favor. After allowing Brother H. J. Grant $2000 for services, also an allowance for the secretary and
treasurer and executive committee, it was suggested that I should have something allowed me. The proposition was made by President Jos. F. Smith. I declined to receive anything, and the matter went over for awhile; but afterwards President Smith renewed the proposition, and moved that I receive $500. This was seconded and carried unanimously, over my protest. I told the brethren I appreciated it very highly, because of the good feeling that had prompted it. It came to me utterly unexpected; but I was in a position to use it to advantage. I accepted it as a birthday gift, I said, for this was my birthday; at which all present joined in congratulating me and wishing me all manner of good things.
There was a meeting of the Saltair Beach Co. held, after which I had a conversation with John Beck concerning the Bullion-Beck.
At 1 o’clock there was a meeting of the Council of the Apostles. They had been fasting all day, and met together at this hour to partake of bread and wine. I invited President Smith to go with me. He declined, for the reason that he could not go there and feel free without expressing feelings he had concerning certain conduct of Brother Moses Thatcher and other brethren outside of the Council of the Twelve. I explained to President Snow and the brethren of the Twelve (ten of whom were present) what President Smith had said, without mentioning what the nature of his feeling was. After some discussion, I concluded I would go back and see President Smith again. I did so, and asked him whether he could not go over and partake of the sacrament. “Oh”, he said, “I could as far as that is concerned.”
I informed him that the Twelve had resolved to hold a meeting tomorrow, at 11 o’clock, with the First Presidency, if President Woodruff could attend the meeting. Upon hearing this, President Smith went over, and we partook of bread and wine together. President Snow insisted on my sitting at the head of the table. I felt unworthy of this honor; but the reflection forced itself upon me, what a change has taken place since the months immediately following the death of President Taylor, and even as recent as when I emerged from the penitentiary! President Snow invited me to speak to the brethren. I did so, and had an unusual flow of the Spirit, and gave instructions concerning the necessity of us as Apostles being filled with revelation, &c. President Smith declined to say anything, and the meeting adjourned.
I sent word to President Woodruff of the meeting tomorrow, so that he might be prepared for it. I also arranged for a covered carriage to be sent in which he could ride with some comfort and not be exposed to the
Thursday, January 12, 1893.
The four artists whom we had assisted to go to Paris, and who, with Brother Dan Weggeland, had been selected to paint the scenery of the Garden and the World in the Temple, met with the Presidency and Apostles, on invitation, this morning, to hear our views concerning the proposition which they had made respecting their work in the Temple. They had submitted a proposition offering to do the work for $17500. We thought this figure exorbitant, and there was quite a plain talk given to the artists, President Jos. F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, F. M. Lyman and myself making remarks to them. President Woodruff came in during this discussion. On my motion, the brethren were allowed to withdraw their proposition and make another one.
After this interview had ended, I stated to President Woodruff what we had in view in calling this meeting; after which, President Smith made a statement. He alluded to the disposition which he had seen manifested on several occasions to treat the two Counselors of President Woodruff as though they were not entitled to consideration, while President Woodruff was addressed as being a man every way worthy of respect and honor, a man in whom the utmost confidence was placed; and it was felt that the idea was conveyed by implication that we were, if not objectionable, at least not entitled to that respect which he (President Smith) thought belonged to us and to our office. He cited instances where this had been manifested, particularly the recent interview of Charles C. Richards (who was spokesman) and the brethren from Ogden with the First Presidency. He also referred to a meeting which leading Democrats had with us recently, and also of the course that had been taken by Brother Moses Thatcher. He traced back this conduct, and thought that it originated with Brother Thatcher, and that these other parties had partaken of that spirit; and if, he said, we were not worthy of confidence (speaking of myself and him) it was due to us that we should know it. He spoke with a great deal of plainness in this line.
After he finished, I arose and spoke upon the same subject. I said that while I did not take these things to heart as much perhaps as President Smith had, still it was very evident to me that that which he described existed, for no one could be present without noticing it; in fact, it was so marked in that interview between C. C. Richards and the Presidency that one of the Twelve (John Henry Smith) who was present called my attention to it, and felt that we had not been treated with proper respect. I said that when the First Presidency was organized there had been feelings manifested against me being chosen as a Counselor, and if there was any feeling of that kind lurking in any of the brethren<’s> minds, we would like to know it and how it could be removed.
Brother Thatcher followed and spoke at some length. He disclaimed having any feeling or having treated us in any other way than with the utmost respect. From the time of the action of the Council organizing the First Presidency, he had cordially sustained that action, and had obeyed counsel that I had given, and that had been given by Brother Smith.
All the brethren of the Twelve spoke, some at greater length than others. Brother Lyman, in following Brother Thatcher, spoke in the most emphatic manner concerning his views as to the position of the First Presidency. When President Woodruff was absent, he looked upon me as the man whose counsel ought to be sought and obeyed; and when President Woodruff and I were absent, President Smith was that man. He looked upon us as three Presidents.
Brothers Lorenzo Snow and F. D. Richards both spoke very clearly upon this.
The meeting was one that led to a full expression of the feelings of the Twelve concerning their relationship to the First Presidency, and was on the whole satisfactory. We held a long session. Many things were alluded to that had been the cause of feeling. Brother Grant expressed himself concerning scenes of the past that had transpired in the Council. After saying that he entertained the best of feelings towards the Presidency and all the members of the Quorum, he said that he looked back with feelings of the deepest humiliation and mortification at the part he took in that affair; but it was a source of gratification to him to know that there was no particle of that feeling in his heart now, and that all suspicions had been entirely removed from him.
This was exceedingly gratifying to me; not that I wished him to say anything of a humiliating character, but as it was said in the presence of Brother Thatcher, who had shown such a feeling in times past against me.
As the brethren adjourned we had an interview with Bishop Clawson, who presented a proposition by P. H. Lannan to have an interview with us, and as it was a matter we wished to lay before the Twelve, we called a meeting for 9:30 tomorrow morning.
Twelve of my sons have been circumcised by Dr. W. F. Anderson yesterday and today. The oldest is Brigham, who is 18 years of age; the youngest is Georgius, who is not quite a year old. I have 18 sons now who have been circumcised; there are 5 of the older boys who have not. I am very much in favor of circumcision not on religious grounds, but for sanitary reasons.
Friday, January 13, 1893.
At 9:30 the Presidency and Twelve, except President Woodruff, met together. He came in after the meeting had been commenced. After hearing Bishop Clawson’s statement, and considerable discussion being had on the subject, a motion was made that the interview should be had with Mr. Lannan; but upon my explaining that I was on the point of departing for the East, the brethren saw reasons for not requiring this of me. Brothers F. M. Lyman and John Henry Smith were selected to meet with Mr. Lannan and to explain to him why they were willing to see him instead of the Presidency, that President Woodruff was sick, and I was on the point of leaving town. I introduced the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted:
“That these brethren be authorized to say to Mr. Lannan for the Presidency and Apostles (he having expressed himself to Bishop Clawson as being desirous to obtain from us, on behalf of himself and other prominent citizens, certain assurances) that we are willing to make any pledge which honorable men could be asked to give, or honorable men be willing to receive, that whatever influence we may have will always be exerted in favor of the equal rights of all classes of citizens before the law, and that we feel fully warranted in giving the strongest pledges that no non-Mormon, whatever his past attitude towards the Mormon people may have been, shall ever be disturbed in his person or business in any way whatever, in the event of our Territory being submitted into the Union.”
We decided to help “Bikuben” in the sum of $1250 to pay its past indebtedness, and upon the representation of Brother A. H. Lund, decided that if the Deseret News Publishing Co. could publish it without coming on the church for assistance, it would be a good move for them to take the whole plant and publish the paper.
I brought the case of Brother D. M. Stewart before the Presidency. There is a mortgage on his home and it is oppressing the family. They would like the interest paid until times are better[.] Brother Stewart is now on a mission in the State of Washington, and his family are somewhat helpless. It was decided to do this.
We had quite a lengthy conversation with Brother Grant concerning a proposition made to him by Brother John W. Taylor to join in obtaining a franchise from the Canadian Parliament for the construction of a canal, 300 miles in length, to take out the waters of St. Mary’s river, for which 6400 acres of land for each mile of canal were to be given as a bonus. Sir Alexander Gault and his son were to get the franchise through, and transfer it to our brethren who might be selected. Brother Grant wished to know our mind concerning his being one of this enterprise. To show what we had said and done in this matter before, a copy of a letter written by the First Presidency to John W. Taylor upon this and another subject, was handed to Brother Grant to read. We said to him, in addition, that it would be well, even if he were disposed to join in this, to first investigate the grounds on which this franchise is being obtained, and whether it does not involve the church, John W. Taylor being one of the Twelve Apostles. It is an extraordinary thing, if it is as good and profitable a scheme as reported, that the Gaults should be willing to withdraw from it after the franchise should be obtained. We said it seemed reasonable to believe that the interest that the Gaults would have in this would be to bring population into the country and thus build up their railroad. Now what population do those who intend to accept this franchise expect to obtain? If they are counting upon the Mormon people going in there, they may be disappointed, because it is not our policy to have our people scattered. Brother Grant, after reading our letter, felt that he could not join in that enterprise, as he saw that what was now being done was not in accordance with our counsel and instructions.
Saturday, January 14, 1893.
I expected to have started for Washington this morning, but concluded to defer departure until tomorrow morning. It is a very unusual thing for me to start on a journey on the Sabbath day, and I so expressed myself to Presidents Woodruff and Smith, but they thought it was entirely justifiable. They laid their hands upon me, Brother Grant joining with them, and set me apart for this mission, President Smith being mouth.
I went very early this morning to the Hot Springs, accompanied by C. H. Wilcken.
My wife Eliza’s nephew, C. Luce, is a mining man, and feeling under some obligations to me for kindnesses rendered to him and his family, he came to me last night and made a proposition concerning 25,000 shares of Utah Consolidated Mining Co. stock, which is valued at 50¢ a share. He is very desirous that I should buy this, and said that the terms of payment could be made very easy, and that it was one of the best things he knew of. He has just sold 19 tons of ore for $21,000 and showed me a check which he had received in payment. He did not want to talk about it, but wished me to have what he called a good thing. Through Brother Nephi W. Clayton I am able to obtain a credit at Wells, Fargo’s Bank, Mr. Dooley expressing a desire to accommodate me. He says that I did him a kindness at one time, which I appear to have forgotten. But he has such confidence in me that he would be glad to let me have this money at 8%, without any security and as an overdraft—a thing he has not done for any other person in business with him. My idea in making this venture is not to take it out of my private estate; but I have 7293 shares of dedicated stock in the Bullion-Beck Co, and when President Taylor and myself dedicated our stock it was with the intention of creating a fund and investing where we believed we saw an opportunity of making something. I fancy that this may prove a good investment. I have drawn 12 checks on Wells, Fargo & Co., the first one payable March 1, 1893, for $1000; then a check on the 1st of each succeeding month until February, 1894, when I draw a check for $1500, making a total of $12,500. My nephew says this is the best way, as it will save me interest, and he will not want more than that amount. These checks are drawn in favor of the Utah Consolidated Mining Co. I wrote a letter to John R. Twelves, the secretary of the company, enclosing these checks, and informing him that I wished to purchase the 25,000 shares in the treasury of the company. I trust that, with the blessing of the Lord, this will prove an investment which will be at some future day an advantage to the work of the Lord, if not to myself individually.