The Church Historian's Press

May 1893

1 May 1893 • Monday

Monday, May 1st,

I ate breakfast with the family and about nine o’clock went to the city, leaving the president in a very comfortable condition. I had an appointment with President Snow at ten o’clock this morning to consider the number of persons to be employed in the Temple. I found him there, he having come down in response to the dispatch which I sent. He was accompanied by his wife Phebe who is President Woodruff’s eldest daughter. He and President Smith and myself went through the list of persons that will be required in the Temple and decided upon a number of names. I felt impressed to urge the necessity of depending as much as possible upon workers who would undertake to labor for nothing. This Temple is in the midst of a populous temple district and many Latter-day Saints are in need and would be glad to work for three months at a time or longer in helping to administer ordinances for the living and the dead in the Temple. I suggested, therefore, to President Snow that the president of stakes should be notified of this and have them get up a list of eligible and worthy people of both sexes from whom selections for this work should be made. Brother John D. T. McAllister was with us, as we desired to get the benefit of his experience. Brother Snow and a number of the Twelve were present, and I called attention to a dispatch which had just been received from the Associated Press concerning the approaching meeting of the Republican League at Louisville, Kentucky. This dispatch contained the names of the gentlemen who had been selected to address this convention. The second name on the list was that of my son Frank J. Cannon. The others were all men quite eminent, among them being President Benjamin Harrison and some two or three senators, prominent members of the House, Governor McKinley and other governors. The first name was General Rufus <Russell> A. Alger. The convention will be composed of about two thousand delegates. I said I thought it very desirable that we have a good representation there, and General Clarkson, who is president of the league had arranged matters so that we could send young men who would make a good impression upon the convention. It was he who had arranged for Frank to make a speech, but Frank, who had called upon me in the morning said that the difficulty was in the lack of funds to go with. Ben E. Rich would like to go and would be a useful man, as he was a fine talker and a good Republican but could not possibly go because of his financial condition. The brethren all thought that this was an occasion which should not be allowed to pass by without an effort being made to be well represented. I expressed myself to the effect that it was not Republicanism or any party that I cared so much about as that our people should get an opportunity to become acquainted with leading men and leading men become acquainted with them, that we might be known and a better idea be formed of us than was generally entertained. It was decided that four or five should go down, and, as it would cost seven or eight hundred dollars, this was appropriated. Besides Frank, who is a member of the executive committee, Ben E. Rich, John Henry Smith and Hyrum B. Clawson and possibly Heber M. Wells or George M. Cannon, though doubts were expressed as to whether these two could be spared from their positions in the banks.

On my way home I called at President Woodruff’s and found him still improving.

2 May 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, April May 2nd,

I called again at President Woodruff’s this morning and found his condition quite gratifying.

We had a call from Col. Trumbo who came to the office accompanied by Bishop Clawson. I introduced him to President Snow, and then they and President Smith and myself had a very interesting conversation from which President Snow learned something of Col. Trumbo’s efforts in our behalf and the labors he had performed. Brother Snow appeared to be much interested and gratified.

I had made an appointment to meet Brothers B. B. Cluff, principal of the B. Y. Academy at Provo, and Read Smoot, one of the board of directors of that institution, in relation to the help which the Church could give for the ensuing school year. It was necessary that a conclusion be reached in regard to the faculty in order that the circular should be issued, and before they could do this it was necessary that they know what assistance the Church could render. Presidents Smith and Snow and several of the Twelve were present, and we went over the business very carefully, and I had a good chance to express my views in relation to our educational affairs, and finally on motion of Brother Joseph F. Smith we appropriated $12000.00 for the payment of the teachers and two thousand for the purchase of a library and apparatus.

I have been exceedingly busy to-day, so busy that I have not been able to take a mouthful of food. I drove in company with Brothers Brigham Young and Heber J. Grant and called at the Knutsford on Senator Teller, but did not find him in. As I had heard that President Woodruff was some better I did not go to his house, as I was fatigued and hungry.

3 May 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 3rd,

I called at President Woodruff’s and found that he had spent a poor night and had not been well the previous evening. He was better this morning.

At the office I had an interview with Dr. Iliff and Mr. C. H. Parsons and Elder George Goddard who were appointed a committee to call upon us about getting the use of the Tabernacle for a temperance lecture to be delivered by Mr. Woolley who is said to be quite an orator. They desired all the ministers of the town to join in having a meeting on temperance and desired President Woodruff, if able, to preside, or in his absence to have one of his counselors. They would also like the choir to be present. Besides President Woodruff Smith a number of the Twelve were present, and on turning to them and ascertaining their feelings I found that they were all in favor of the meeting. After these gentlemen had left Dr. Talmage laid before us his appointment by the publishers of a new dictionary to give the definition of words that relate directly to our people and Church, and he desired that a committee be appointed with him. Elder F. D. Richards, Joseph F. Smith, B. H. Roberts and George Reynolds were selected as this committee. After this Brother Hyrum Clawson presented to the First Presidency and Twelve the condition of the Hospital, and after considerable talk $1000.00 was appropriated for this purpose. A meeting had been appointed for the Twelve at ten o’clock. It was now past the time, but we held the meeting and had with us Bishop John R. Winder, Charles Livingstone, superintendent of the Temple Block, Brother Starley, gardner for the Temple Block, Brother C. J. Thomas, janitor of the Tabernacle and Assembly Hall and Brother Bywater, general engineer of heating and lighting of the Temple. The object of meeting with these brethren was to decide upon the best way of retrenching expenses and upon the men necessary to take care of the Temple Block and to guard the building at night. We went over this business very thoroughly. It fell to my lot in the absence of President Woodruff to preside at this meeting. After we got through with this, Brothers Livingstone, Bywater, Starley and Thomas withdrew and then we conversed about the wages to be allowed them. Bishop Winder was requested to draw out a list of names and the wages we had talked about and bring it to our meeting at two o’clock. We also at this meeting conversed with President Snow concerning the help which he needed in the Temple and the wages which should be paid to the different individuals. We adjourned our meeting of the Twelve at about half past twelve o’clock to meet again at two. I had two meetings after this, one to decide in regard to the price for the contractor who had hauled the selenite for the Literary Society from Wayne County in the southern part of the Territory and also a meeting on some other business. In the afternoon the Twelve met and the question of assistants to Brother Snow was taken up again. It was decided that Brother Adolph Madsen should be President Snow’s second assistant with $900.00 for his services. He is now drawing $300.00 a year as counselor to the president of the stake in Box Elder. We decided that Recorder John Nicholson was to receive $1800.00 a year, and his three assistants, D. M. McAllister, Joseph F. Simmons and Joseph Christensen $1200.00 each for the first two and $900.00 for the third. On motion of Brother Joseph F. Smith, Brother Joseph H. Dean, who has been selected for janitor, was to receive one thousand dollars per annum. A list of the wages to be paid the men had been made out by Brother Winder, and it was left with us to write a letter to him advising him of our decisions in regard to the men to be employed and the wages to be paid each. I afterwards brought before the council the name of President Lorenzo Snow as president of the Salt Lake Temple which was accepted unanimously. I also brought the name of Elder Anton H. Lund as president of the European Mission and Brother John D. T. McAllister to be removed from St. George and take charge of the Manti Temple in the place of Brother Lund, it being thought by President Woodruff that with the decreased labor at St. George the two brethren there, David H. Cannon and James G. Bleak, could manage the business there and thus save increased expense by Brother Lund being sent on a mission. These appointments were all voted for unanimously, though it was felt that the change from Brother <Lund> to Brother McAllister would be felt by those attending the Temple, as Brother Lund was so genial and lovable, while Brother McAllister had the reputation of being brusque, outspoken and plain which caused him to be unpopular, and this was well known. It was suggested that he be talked to upon this subject. Considerable conversation was had in relation to the salaries of the officials, and I expressed myself very strongly as being dissatisfied with the tendency to fix salaries to the offices of the priesthood. I felt that this was a bad tendency. I should have protested more against it at the time that it was done had I not been in a position where I had no influence and where my remarks would not have availed anything. I said that I knew there would have to be a check upon this, or some of the evils which have grown up in the other churches would manifest themselves in our church. Before the adjournment of the Council, I suggested that we meet to-morrow in the Presidents Room of the Temple and cloth[e] ourselves in our priestly robes and pray in a circle. This was agreed to.

After adjournment of this meeting I had a meeting with the Cannon Grant Company. I have attended eight meetings to-day and have had no time to eat a mouthful of lunch which has been the case for two or three days. It was about eight o’clock before I could get anything in the evening, and I felt exhausted. I must stop this or I will injure my health. I drove down to President Woodruff’s and found him much better than in the morning.

4 May 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, May 4th,

This is fast day. I drove to President Woodruff’s this morning and found that he had had a very good night’s rest but was suffering somewhat from pain in the stomach. From his place I went to Sister Josephine Young’s who is a sister of my wife Carlie and a wife of Albert C. Young now on a mission to England, to attend the funeral of their babe who died yesterday morning. Quite a gathering of relatives was present, and the procession was quite long. My wife Carlie accompanied me in the buggy to the cemetery. There was some singing by a number of young men who sang very well. Brother Jenkinson offered the prayer, and I addressed the assemblage. My remarks were brief, as the ground was damp, and I thought it unwise to hold lengthy services. The reason for holding the services at the grave was that the child had shown symptoms of scarlet fever, and it was not thought prudent to have the ceremonies at the house. Brother Brigham Young dismissed by prayer in which he dedicated the grave. Brother Leonard G. Hardy conducted the proceedings.

At twelve o’clock we had a meeting of the Deseret News Company which adjourned just in time to permit us who were members of that company, Brothers Joseph F. Smith, Franklin D. Richards and myself, to reach the Temple for the meeting appointed by the council. We attended to some items of business before we clothed ourselves. Brother H. J. Grant was called upon by me to pray and President Lorenzo <Snow> to be mouth in the circle. We had a very sweet time and all enjoyed it exceedingly. This is the first circle meeting held in the room of the First Presidency, and with the exception of the large circle formed in the celestial room on the 20th ult. when the presidents of stakes, etc., met, it is the first circle held in the Temple. It was a cause of pleasure and gratification to us to think that we could meet in so beautiful a place with such heavenly surroundings away from the world of business and noise and attend to business for the Church of the Lamb and also to offer our prayers to the Lord in behalf of His Zion. After I returned to the office word reached me that President Woodruff was worse and was in a semi-comatose condition. They desired me to go down. Brothers Lorenzo Snow and Brigham Young had gone down in one vehicle and Joseph F. Smith and F. M. Lyman in another. I followed as soon as I could get away and found President Woodruff quite sensible but very weak and apparently failing. I remained awhile, and then as I had work to do at home in dictating to my son Hugh who was with me I went to my place, as I was faint for want of food not having broken my fast, with the understanding that if President Woodruff showed any symptoms of growing worse that Brother Wilcken was to come down to my house by nine o’clock to let me know, as I told Sister Woodruff I would return and sit up all night if his condition was worse. My son Hugh wrote at my dictation a letter to my son Lewis who is in the east, and I also dictated my journal. I had a visit in the evening from Bishop Clawson who came to see me about going to Louisville to attend the convention of the Republican league and to get some suggestions if I had any to make concerning the course to be taken there. He intends to start in the morning. My son Frank who was down here on Wednesday informed me that he intended to start this morning.

5 May 1893 • Friday

Friday, May 5th,

A messenger came from President Woodruff’s this morning requesting me to come to his house. I drove there accompanied by Brother C. H. Wilcken. I found President Woodruff rather weak but very clear in his mind. After I entered his room all present withdrew and left us alone. He opened his remarks by saying that he felt his work on earth was finished and that he would soon go. The Lord had granted his desire in permitting him to live to such an advanced age, much longer than he could have expected to live considering everything that he had passed through and had granted him his desire to live to dedicate the temple. He said that the Lord had been very good to him, and he felt satisfied with the blessings which had been bestowed upon him. He said we did not know what power or opportunities they who were on the other side of the veil had for working for those on this side, but he believed that they were far in advance of anything here, and when he got there he should remember us and work for us and do all in his power to help us in our labors. He spoke in most feeling terms about our association. He said he never had any other feeling for me than one of love and confidence, that he had relied upon me more than on any other man in the Church and had always found me a great help to him, and he had felt and had so told the brethren that I was filled with the Holy Ghost and the spirit of revelation. He said that he desired me to remember his family and to do what I could for them when he was gone, and he would do what he could for me on the other side. He conversed upon this strain for some little time, and I made such replies as I could, for I felt completely broken down by his remarks and could not restrain my grief nor the flow of my tears. I told him that my association with him had been among the happiest days of my life, that at no time had I known a feeling, no, not even the shadow of a feeling to exist in my mind concerning him that was improper. And I said that if I had at any time said or done anything that had grieved him or hurt his feelings in any way or that you <he> felt to be improper I would ask him to forgive me, for I never intended it. He said that I never had done anything of the kind. I told him that I should do all in my power for his family and would endeavor to carry out his wishes in every respect. Our interview lasted some time, and it was to me a most solemn and affecting occasion. I told him that I had exercised all the faith I could for him to live. I still hoped that he would live for some time yet—in fact, for many years to come. He seemed to be in such a condition that I could absent myself sufficiently long to keep an appointment which I had made to visit Sister Rouche who is in a critical condition from a fall and is now at the hot springs for treatment. President Woodruff knew that I had made this appointment, and I excused myself long enough to go there. Owen Woodruff[,] a son of President Woodruff, accompanied myself and Brother Wilcken to the city to get some political papers out of his father’s desk which Brother Woodruff desired handed to me. Brothers Wilcken and Nuttall and myself started for the springs in a carriage and called at President Joseph F. Smith’s for him to accompany us. Sister Rouche was exceedingly glad to see us. She and her daughter Josephine are there. She bathes in the springs three times a day. We administered to her, and she felt excellently. Brother Smith anointed and I was mouth in administering. Sister Rouche was much comforted by our visit and our administration[.] She is a most estimable woman, and I have a great deal of sympathy for her[.] We stayed at her house while on the underground, and it was at her house that President Taylor died. She treated us with the utmost kindness during the seven or eight months that we lived there. Her present injury is due [to] a fall on the ice. After our return to the city I went down to President Woodruff’s and spent the remainder of the day at his house and helped him arrange his papers. His condition in the evening, notwithstanding the fatigues of the day, was very encouraging, and if it were not for his remarks to me, I could see no reason why he should not recover. I left late in the evening for home with the understanding that if any unfavorable change should occur I should be notified.

6 May 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, May 6th,

Brother Wilcken drove me around to President Woodruff’s this morning. I found him in as good a condition as yesterday, though some thought him a little weaker. I felt pleased to see that he was no worse. He informed me that he had seen Brother Winder and had appointed him, that is if it was agreeable to his counselors, to be first assistant to President Lorenzo Snow in the Temple and had signed an appointment to that effect and had also signed a letter to President Snow which he desired President Smith and myself also to sign if agreeable to us notifying him of the appointment. To me it was very agreeable, for I was impressed at the meeting of the Twelve on Thursday that Brother Winder was the man to fill this position and so signified to the brethren, but as he was counselor to Bishop Preston it was thought that his duties there would not permit him to act in that capacity. I told the brethren that we would have to take somebody already occupied, because such men as we needed in the Temple were not lying around loose without any office in the priesthood. I mentioned what had taken place to President Woodruff in regard to Brother Winder, and I think he was impressed with it. At any rate he felt to take this action. When I got to the city President Joseph <F. Smith> and myself signed these letters. He and I spent some time in company with Brother Young and Bishop Winder at the Temple to-day making suggestions on many things submitted to us by Brother Winder.

I had a visit from Rabbi Jacobson and his sister. Rabbi Jacobson is the head of the Jewish congregation in this city. I also had a conversation with Bishop Preston on financial matters and afterwards had an interview with Alonzo E. Hyde concerning the Bullion-Beck property. Had a conversation with Bishop Winslow Farr and Brother Williams of Colonia Diaz in Mexico where Brother Farr is bishop. Had an interview with Brother C. W. Stayner and also with Brother J. Golden Kimball in which the lines of their missions were discussed. It was decided for Brother Stayner to have the northern half of the State of West Virginia assigned to his mission, and the southern half to that of Brother J. Golden Kimball.

I dictated my journal to my son Hugh.

I called at President Woodruff’s on my way home and found him feeling fully as well as he did in the morning. His condition is quite encouraging.

7 May 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, May 7th,

I called at Brother Woodruff’s on my way to the Tabernacle. He sat up this morning about an hour and a half in a chair, and his strength is visibly improving. My son Brigham drove me to the Tabernacle. I asked Brother Heber J. Grant to speak to the people, but his lungs are in a bad condition, and he asked that some one else be called upon. Brother Brigham Young was also there and expressed a wish to hear me speak. I addressed the Saints on the subject [of] building, preaching to the spirits in prison and baptism for the dead. I enjoyed a good deal of the spirit and occupied about an hour and a quarter. I regretted when I had finished to notice that no reporter was present, as the subjects treated upon were such that it would have been interesting to the Saints had the discourse been published. The other brethren also expressed regret that no reporter was present.

Brother Brigham Young and my brother Angus drove down and took dinner with me, and he spent the evening at his sister Carlie’s. I had the mandolin and guitar club come over there and play. My brother-in-law, William Piggott, and my nephew George C. Lambert and two of my nieces called upon us and were present also. The evening was spent very pleasantly.

8 May 1893 • Monday

Monday, May 8th,

I called at President Woodruff’s on my way up and found him sitting up in a chair and showing increased strength. He is feeling very well but is of course still weak.

On reaching town was surprised to learn that Joseph L. Rawlins, who was elected delegate to Congress last fall, had resigned the office, having been disgusted at the treatment he had received in Washington in relation to the appointments of the Territory. This will make it necessary to hold a new election and will be considerable expense besides creating excitement.

I dictated some letters to my son Hugh. We had an interview with Brother Charles W. Stayner, and Brothers Joseph F. Smith. Lorenzo Snow, Brigham Young and Heber J. Grant and myself blessed him, as he is about to start on his return trip to his field of labor as president of the Northern States Mission. I telegraphed to Brother Lund about taking his departure to preside over the European Mission and asked if he could be ready to go with the Alaska which sails on the 3rd of June. He responded that he could and requested passage to be secured. It has been decided to-day to open the Salt Lake Temple for work two weeks from to-day. I received a call from Elder Duffin, of Toquerville, who has just returned from the Sandwich Islands with his sick wife.

9 May 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 9th,

President Lorenzo Snow read me a list of the workers that he had selected for the Temple which he wished me to listen to and approve of. Sister Amelia Folsom Young, Widow of President Brigham Young, came in and was blessed in anticipation of her going to Chicago to the World’s Fair. Brothers Joseph F. Smith, Brigham Young and myself laid our hands on her, and I was mouth in pronouncing the blessing. Dr. Talmage also came in to be set apart for his journey to go east to do some business for the Church University and also to go to Great Britain to attend the Royal Microscopical Society at London. President Smith was mouth in setting him apart. At twelve o’clock a meeting of the Bullion-Beck and Champion Mining Company was held. Four of the board of directors were present, John Beck, vice-president, William B. Preston, Secretary, Alonzo E. Hyde, manager of the mines. Manager Hyde did not come in until nearly two thirds of the business was finished. He excused himself by saying that he had waited until minutes past twelve, and then concluding that there would be no meeting, he had gone out to attend to some business. Either his watch misled him or else he was mistaken otherwise, for I was there within seven minutes of twelve, and Brother Preston said he was there within five minutes.

I sat on the other side of the room where I could see [first and last names redacted], and I do not know when I have seen the face of a Latter-day Saint look as his did. It had an almost brutish expression and was dark, and his manner was very unpleasant. I was loth to believe it but had to come to the conclusion that he had been drinking. Bishop Preston said afterward that he had been, for he had smelled his breath. Some months ago he had a drunken spree at the Hot Springs and sent to town for a [9 words redacted relating to immoral conduct]. He was interrogated by Brothers Joseph F. Smith, F. M. Lyman and John Henry Smith. He protested his innocence [7 words redacted relating to immoral conduct], stating that he was so under the influence of liquor that he was incapable of doing anything of the character of which he had been suspected. He promised never to be guilty of anything of the kind again. I have felt badly about this case, as I learned from John Beck that he commenced drinking this time on Saturday last, that is, within twelve days of the dedication of the Temple when we have all felt to repent and do away with sin.

There has scarcely been time for the influence which fell upon the people to leave us and for us to get back into our ordinary condition. The affairs of this mining company are not in a promising or hopeful condition. Taking the best view of it from the figures that were given at this meeting, the business has only made one thousand dollars since the first of March, and to make this even, there are certain collections to be made which we are not altogether sure will be made.

After my return to the office after this meeting I was waited upon by Brother Hanson, a reporter of the News, who invited me to be one of the company to join in welcoming the press association of California which is making a call here on its way to Chicago. They will be here to-morrow. He pressed so earnestly for me to be one of the party and said that there was a great desire on the part of the members of our press club for me to be present that I finally consented. They felt that I having been an editor in California in the days of long ago would take an interest in meeting these people.

10 May 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 10th,

I accompanied the excursion to Garfield. There was [a] company of about eighty ladies and gentlemen from the visiting association, and they seemed very intelligent people. I had some interesting conversations with them and was treated and with great respect by all. At the Beach Governor West was called upon to make an address of welcome, and I was requested to speak next. I was followed by ex-Governor Thomas and the president of the California press association, Mr. Filcher. The president of the Salt Lake press club made a few introductory remarks and introduced each speaker. After the speechmaking which was very brief we all partook of an excellent meal which was prepared in the dining room of the hotel. On returning to the city the visitors were taken to the Tabernacle, and I made some explanations to them concerning the building while we were waiting for the organist, Brother Daynes. He gave a very choice recital at which all were greatly pleased.

After my return to the office a conversation came up concerning our financial situation. Besides President Smith and myself there were present President Snow and Brother F. M. Lyman of the Twelve. It was decided that Brother Heber J. Grant should go east immediately and endeavor to raise funds to relieve us from our financial trouble. Looking at our situation from a human standpoint it seems almost desperate, because money is exceedingly scarce. Every avenue seems to be closed up, and some fears were expressed by President Joseph F. Smith in relation to the situation. He felt that myself and Brother Grant should go to England, but we need relief before advices could be obtained from England even if we were to be successful. I felt strongly impressed to speak words of encouragement and hope. Brother Snow also seemed to feel that Brother Grant would be successful. We laid hands on him and set him apart. I was mouth and felt to promise him better health than he now had and that he should be successful. The Lord would set His angels before his face and give him favor in the eyes of men, and I also felt to tell him that his family would not suffer in his absence.

I had a conversation with John Beck to-day in regard to this mining property in which we are both interested. I told him that I was not at all satisfied with the way that property was being managed, especially in view of [first and last name redacted]’s bad habits. We were taking ore out of the mine and exhausting it for the benefit of everybody concerned except the stockholders and assisting in doing things to which I was utterly opposed. It was not like an ordinary business that could be run without loss except for the wear and tear of machinery, but in this case we were wearing out our machinery, taking ore out of the mine and spending it in various directions, but those who own property derive no benefit from it. I said I had a large interest there which was doing no good at present, and I did not feel satisfied to have my property handled by a manager such as Brother [last name redacted] was proving himself to be. I thought there ought to be a reduction of expenses. We are paying out in various directions just as much as we were when the mine was in full blast and returning immense dividends, and this I felt to be wrong under the circumstances.

I drove down to President Woodruff’s and found him to be much better. I then went home accompanied by my son Hugh to see my wife Carlie and daughter who expect to leave this evening for Chicago to visit the World’s Fair. I found that she had already left, and we followed her to the train. Sister Amelia Folsom Young and Brother William B. Dougall and wife (a sister to my wife Carlie) and two daughters were also on the train. Brother Seymour B. Young, Jr., will also travel with them to Chicago. Carlie leaves her children in charge of Sister Allen who is a very good nurse. In taking this trip she is gratifying a desire which she has long entertained, as she has never been out of the Territory to visit the east. I was unable to do anything to aid her in this, as I was very much cramped, but she had some means of her own which she felt she would like to spend in taking this trip, and I saw no objection to it. I thought the season a good one for the purpose.

11 May 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, May 11th,

There was a meeting of the Mexican Colonization Company this morning at which Brothers F. M. Lyman, George Teasdale, William B. Preston and A. F. McDonald, members of the Company were present. There were present besides, President Smith and myself and Brothers Lorenzo Snow[,] F. D. Richards, Brigham Young and part of the time Abram H. Cannon. After considering the business it was decided that two thousand dollars be advanced out of the tithing from the Colonization Company to some agent that should be selected at Colonia Dublan for the purpose of buying land from the Mexicans in that neighborhood, so that the Latter-day Saints might obtain control of the water there. While we were in this meeting my son Abram brought two gentlemen up to see us who had letters of introduction from R. Hoe and Company, the great press manufacturers, to our firm. They were Mr. Hance, manager of the London Weekly Chronicle, and Mr. Catling, editor of Lloyd’s Weekly London News. We had a pleasant talk with them.

At two o’clock we held a meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve in the room of the Twelve in the Temple. There were present President Smith and myself and Brothers Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, Teasdale and Abram H. Cannon. I presided. We transacted considerable business and remained in session until after six o’clock. The room was too cold for us to pray in our robes. Brother Richards offered prayer in our ordinary dress. Among other business it was decided to create a new stake out of a part of Sevier and call it Wayne stake. It is in Wayne county, and while we do not admire the name particularly, still in view of the fact that it is better to have the stake names agree with the counties, so that when one is mentioned the locality may be known. It was decided also that Brothers Richards and Young visit Anaconda in Montana, as a request had come down that a branch be organized there. A letter from Brother Trejo was read in which he proposed taking a mission to his old fields among the Indians and Mexicans. He is [a] most devoted man and has a great desire to preach the gospel to the people there in whom he takes great interest. Complaints have been made that several of our bishops had used their influence to induce the people visiting the Temple to patronize the U. P. line in preference to the Rio Grande Western. We had some reason to believe that there was some foundation for this, and if it is not checked it may result in embarrassment to us in our dealing with the Rio Grande Western. I suggested that a committee be appointed to go to Utah County and investigate the matter. The committee that I appointed consists of Brothers F. M. Lyman, A. H. Cannon and William B. Preston. The case of C. W. Stayner was taken up and his letter was read. It was thought improper to grant all he asked in the shape of pecuniary assistance, but as we had advanced him two hundred dollars in credit on the Deseret News office and two hundred in cash, it was decided to make this a gift to him. We had quite a full explanation concerning the History of Utah which George Q. Cannon & Sons Company is publishing. I felt that it was necessary that there should be some explanations concerning the position of my firm to this work, as I had some reason to believe that there was some misapprehension in the minds of some of the brethren concerning it. Mr. Webster had written two letters, one addressed to our firm and the other to the First Presidency in regard to this work. This opened the way for full explanations which my son Abram gave. I also made some remarks explaining my feeling and how opposed I have been in my feelings as to my firm having anything to do with this work, as it had brought a great deal of discredit in consequence of the way in which it had been managed before we took hold of it. Abram explained that he had only agreed to publish this because he felt that it was a mission and because the First Presidency desired it. We stated that he would give five thousand dollars out of his own pocket if anyone would take the work out of our hands and agree to publish it. A motion was made by Brother Brigham Young and seconded by President Joseph F. Smith that the Council sustain the History and its publishers. It was unanimously carried. The First Presidency signed ten notes of ten thousand dollars each in favor of the State Bank of Utah, and ten thousand notes of ten thousand dollars each in favor of Cannon, Grant & Company which were to be sent by Brother Heber M. Wells to Brother Heber J. Grant, the object being to give him these to use if he found it absolutely necessary in order to raise the funds which were needed. It is not expected, however, that he will use more than ten of the notes. I received a dispatch this morning from Ben E. Rich dated at Louisville, Kentucky. It is as follows: “Frank spoke before eight thousand people here to-night. Magnificent success. When through, audience cheered until he had to step forward and bow his acknowledgements. Generals Clarkson, Hastings and others grasped his hands and thanked him.” I was greatly pleased as receiving this, not only because it was Frank my son, but more especially because a Mormon boy, a son of polygamous parents had obtained the opportunity of speaking for Utah before such a gathering. The leaders of the Republican Party were there in great numbers. The city is an aristocratic one, and no doubt the audience would be somewhat select. The fact that he talked to such an audience and then be cheered until he had to bow his acknowledgments is one of the best evidences I have seen for some time of the great change that has taken place. If we could have a chance to tell our own story and speak for ourselves instead of having our enemies speak for us a wonderful point is gained.

This evening I had a call from my nephew Charles M. Cannon and wife. He has been called to go to the Sandwich Islands on a mission and desired to get what information he could from me, as he is not certain whether he ought to take his wife with him or not.

12 May 1893 • Friday

Friday, May 12th,

I dictated my journal and also an article for the Juvenile to my son Hugh. I called on President Woodruff on my way down and found him still improving.

13 May 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, May 13th,

When I called at President Woodruff’s this morning he was up and ready to take a ride.

I had a call from Mr. Catling, editor of Lloyd’s London Weekly, and Mr. Hance, Publisher of the London Chronicle. They came to the office accompanied by my son Abram. Both expressed their pleasure and gratification at the kindness shown them. We had a conversation on various matters, and they expressed their intention of visiting the services in the Tabernacle to-morrow. These gentlemen speak very fairly, and if they are disposed to give a favorable account of us it will be in their power to do so, as the papers which they control have a wide circulation and are largely read.

Dictated some letters and my journal to my son Hugh and looked through a great many business papers.

14 May 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, May 14th,

I called at President Woodruff’s this morning and found that himself and family had gone somewhere on a visit. On my way to the Tabernacle I called at the newly rented house of Elder Duffin whose wife came back with him from the Islands afflicted with paralysis and blindness. I together with him and his brother-in-law administered to her.

Brother Charles W. Penrose occupied the time in the Tabernacle and delivered a most excellent discourse. In the evening I came back to the Tabernacle, the use of it having been granted to John G. Woolley to deliver a lecture. He is a noted temperance lecturer. Brother Evan Stephens had kindly consented to be present with the choir. The house was filled to overflowing, and Mr. Woolley’s lecture was a very strong one, filled with pathos descriptive of the evils of drink. On the stand were representatives of the Protestant churches here, Dr. Iliff, Mabey, McNiece, Steelman, Clay and other gentlemen interested in the cause of temperance. I presided over the meeting. After singing I called upon Dr. Iliff to open with prayer. A resolution was introduced by Mr. Iliff which I put to the congregation thanking Mr. Woolley for his lecture, the First Presidency for the use of the Tabernacle and the organist and choir for their attendance. This was carried with a loud aye. By request of Mr. Woolley I dismissed the meeting.

15 May 1893 • Monday

Monday, May 15th,

I did not feel very well this morning and did not call at President Woodruff’s. I attended to considerable business at the office. President Smith was absent until about noon.

16 May 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 16th,

I called this morning at President Woodruff’s and found him very much improved. He is now able to ride out an hour every day. At ten o’clock President Joseph F. Smith and myself met with President Lorenzo Snow and the workers in the Salt Lake Temple and spent two or three hours in arranging the working force and also learning from those who were present their willingness to work in the Temple as volunteers without pay. We also examined the dining room and cooking arrangements and had a conversation who ha with Sister McDonald who has charge of that department. Brother Snow proposed that the First Presidency and Twelve and the leading workers in the Temple have dinner there at half past two o’clock on Friday next. I called a meeting of the leading brethren at three o’clock to listen to the proposition of Bishop Watson and his brother of the Sixth Ward and Brothers Condie and Burt. They have taken the sub contract for the excavating of the gravity sewer, but they have to raise $1500 to secure the contract. After listening to full explanations and asking a great many questions, I selected Brothers F. M. Lyman, James Jack, Heber M. Wells and George M. Cannon to be a committee to examine the matter further and arrange if possible for some inducement to be offered these brethren. Brother Lyman afterward came and said that it had been arranged for Cannon, Grant & Company to endorse the note of these brethren.

I had an interview with my son Frank J. Cannon, who returned yesterday from Louisville. His report of his and the brethren[’s] visit there is very gratifying. Frank made, I should judge, quite an impression there, and I believe the door is open for much good to be done. He is invited to a banquet at Rhode Island where he would have to deliver an address. He is allowed to select the time when the banquet shall be held. The Republican league there gives one of these banquets every year and invites some man to deliver the address. Last year they had Governor McKinley, the year before Senator John Sherman, the year before that Chauncey Depew and they have had noted men at each of these banquets. I think this quite an honor and opens the door for effective work to be done concerning Utah. I feel to thank the Lord for it.

17 May 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 17th,

Called at President Woodruff’s this morning and found him still improving. After reaching the office I had an interview with the Church attorneys, Messrs. F. S. Richards and LeGrande Young, concerning the square on the hill which had been designed by President Young as a place for the college. These attorneys had been instructed to have the land segregated and the part set aside which the heirs had transferred to the university, so that those heirs who had refused to sign and wished to retain the land could have their own shares.

Brother Joseph Daynes called to learn whether he could expect any encouragement in trying to build a new organ for the Temple.

We were made happy to-day by my receiving a dispatch from Brother Heber J. Grant informing us that he had succeeded in arranging for $100000.00. I felt particularly pleased at this, because I had felt to promise him with a good deal of assurance when we set him apart to go East that he would succeed, and I have prayed earnestly to the Lord that he might be successful. I had two reasons for this; first, we needed the money very much, and our position was critical unless we got it; and second, I desired that when we made promises, as both Brother Lorenzo Snow and I had done, that these promises should be dictated by the Spirit of the Lord and be fulfilled, so that confidence in the priesthood might be increased. I may say here that I have been in the habit for some little time past to dress myself every morning in my Temple robes and offer prayer to the Lord in my bed chamber. I have felt the need of this in view of the responsibilities which rest upon me especially now that President Woodruff is unable to take part in the labor.

This evening I took my daughter Emily and my son Sylvester with me to Mina’s my son Abram’s wife, it being the anniversary of the birthday of my brother Angus. He is fifty-nine years of age. His son Charles M. Cannon is about to leave for a mission to the East, and a party of friends were invited on that account. The evening was spent very pleasantly, but I did not remain late.

18 May 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, May 18th,

I again called at President Woodruff’s this morning on my way to the office and found him still improving. At ten o’clock I went to the Temple, and we spent considerable time in selecting and arrangements for workers, after which we went through part of the ceremonies in order to give the workers some practice. I returned to the office after this was finished and held a meeting of the board of trustees of the university of which I have been elected chairman. At two o’clock I went to the Temple where we had a meeting of the Council. There were seven of the Twelve and President Smith and myself of the First Presidency. I presided at the meeting, and we transacted considerable business, a record of which was kept by Brother George F. Gibbs in the office journal. After this we clothed ourselves and had prayer in the circle in the room of the First Presidency. Brother John W. Taylor offered prayer, and I was mouth in the circle.

19 May 1893 • Friday

Friday, May 19th,

Called around by President Woodruff’s this morning. He is gaining a little every day. After reaching the office I had an interview with Brother [first and last names redacted]. He asked my forgiveness for his condition on the 9th inst. at the meeting of the Bullion-Beck and Champion Mining Co. He confessed that he was under the influence of liquor and begged forgiveness and said he had concluded to take the Keeley cure. I talked mildly but very plainly with him and said that all my confidence had been destroyed. He said he was aware that his brethren could not have confidence in him and had therefore resolved to take the Keeley cure.

We had considerable talk about the condition of the property, and I expressed my feelings concerning the situation of affairs there. It is a very valuable property, its face value being a million dollars and it ought to yield something to the owners. I felt that the mine ought to be closed down unless there was more profit than merely to take out ore in order to employ men when the stockholders got nothing. He seemed to feel hopeful that things would be better hereafter, and he promised that if I would forgive him for his conduct toward me that he would be my “true and loyal friend hereafter.”

I had a call from a representative of the Baltimore Sun and had considerable conversation with him. I also had a talk of about an hour and a quarters’ duration with my son John Q. concerning his financial affairs in which I talked very plainly to him and said that as his father I felt it was my duty to counsel him in one or two matters. I felt ashamed to have him in debt as he was and have people dunning him and to know that he had to shun them and keep out of their way. It was very humiliating to me. I talked so plainly but kindly to him that he was melted to tears and told me that since he came back from Ogden he had been endeavoring to pay his debts and live within his income. I told him that this gave me great gratification, and I would do anything I could to help him, but I was under the necessity of carrying a heavy load for him which, with other obligations, fell heavily on me. At my time of life I ought not to be burdened with other peoples debts. I trust this conversation will have a good effect. The difficulty with John Q. is that he is too open handed, too indulgent, and he does not keep his wife informed of his financial condition as he ought to in order to get her help in retrenching expenses.

At half past two I went down to the Temple and pa[r]took of the meal which had been prepared by Sister McDonald who is employed as cook. President Snow had invited the First Presidency and Twelve and the recorders of the Temple and my brother Angus to take dinner there. The meal was a good one, and it was a great satisfaction to us to have President Woodruff there. Before we took dinner it was proposed that President Snow and his two assistants, Bishop John R. Winder and Brother Madson, should be set apart. We sang and Brother Richards offered prayer. Then a stool was provided on which President Snow sat and Presidents Woodruff and Smith and myself laid our hands, President Woodruff sitting in his chair while he did so. He was mouth, after which I was mouth in setting Bishop Winder apart and President Smith was mouth in setting Brother Madson apart. We had a singing and Brother Teasdale pronounced the benediction. That President Woodruff was able to do this was very gratifying to me, as I knew that President Snow had anticipated being set apart by him, and we were all gratified to have him start the work as it were in this way. When he left for home he told me that he felt no worse for the exertion.

20 May 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, May 20th,

President Smith and myself listened to a report from Elder Abram H. Cannon and Bishop William B. Preston of their visit to Provo in company with Elder F. M. Lyman to investigate the charge which had been made to the effect that our bishops and others had been discriminating against the Rio Grande Western Railroad Company during the dedicatory services. Their report proved that the reports were not well founded and that there had been no discrimination as charged. At one o’clock President Smith and myself went to the Temple where we divided the workers into three companies and set them apart. President Snow was assisted by M. W. Merrill, President Smith by A. H. Cannon, and Franklin D. Richards and myself set apart the other company, after which we went through the ceremonies again for the benefit of the workers, so that they might be instructed in their parts.

My son Brigham had a tumor cut out of the sole of his foot to-day which has been troubling him somewhat.

21 May 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, May 21st,

Today was stormy and very cold and disagreeable and not feeling very well I did not go out the whole day.

22 May 1893 • Monday

Monday, 22nd,

I called at President Woodruff’s this morning and found him in pretty good health. I dictated my journal to my son Hugh and attended to several matters of business.

23 May 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 23rd,

Brother Lund came to the office this morning, and I, together with President Snow had a long conversation with him on Temple matters and concerning the rules which prevail in the Manti temple. I also had considerable conversation with [him] concerning the British Mission.

24 May 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 24th,

President Snow had expressed a strong desire to have the First Presidency take part in giving the first endowments. Today is the first day for giving endowments. [77 words redacted relating to a temple ceremony.] There were about one hundred and fifty persons present, and considering that it was the first day everything went off satisfactorily. There was an excellent spirit in the house, and I felt very well. I felt exceedingly thankful to be permitted to take lead in this holy labor. Two of my daughters, Hester and Rose Annie, received their endowments. My wife Martha also went through and received endowments for one of her dead relatives. My wife Sarah Jane was one of the workers in washing and anointing. I had the honor there of sealing the first living persons sealed in this Temple. It was my nephew, James Cannon Lambert who married Mary Waddell. I also sealed a number of other young people. It has been my privilege to seal the first dead in this temple as well as the first living, two young women having been sealed to my son David on Sunday, the 23rd of April.

We took the opportunity while we were in the Temple of setting Brother Anton H. Lund apart and blessing him for his mission. He is to preside over the European Mission and will leave in the morning. Presidents Joseph F. Smith, Lorenzo [Snow] and myself laid our hands upon his head, and I was mouth in pronouncing the blessing. Brother Lund had spent most of the day with us in the Temple.

In the evening I drove down to the house of Brother Isaac Waddell. He is married to my niece Leonora Lambert, and it was his daughter that was married today to James Lambert. My brother Angus and his wife and myself and my wife Sarah Jane and some other relatives and friends were present.

25 May 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, May 25th,

I called at President Woodruff’s on my way up town and found him asleep and did not disturb him. Brother Andrew Smith’s report of his condition caused me some concern, and when the Twelve met in the afternoon in the council and we dressed ourselves in our Temple clothing as I was mouth I felt to pray very earnestly in his behalf. Brother Joseph F. Smith was mouth in the circle. We attended to a good deal of business while we were together. We had pushed the work of the endowments so that by two o’clock we were ready for the council meeting. The same parties officiated to-day in giving the endowments as yesterday. [5 words redacted relating to a temple ceremony.] There were between ninety and one hundred persons went through to-day, and an excellent spirit prevailed.

26 May 1893 • Friday

Friday, May 26th,

I called this morning at President Woodruff’s and found him in excellent health and spirits. He said he felt better than at any time since he was taken sick. I again went to the Temple and spent the day there in giving endowments and other labors connected therewith. To the great joy of all President Woodruff came to the Temple and was introduced to the people who were receiving their endowments.

27 May 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, May 27th,

I came to the office this morning and attended to various business matters.

28 May 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, May 28, 1893.

I received word from President Woodruff that it was his intention to attend meeting in the Tabernacle today. I was very much gratified at the news. I intended to have gone down by his house and accompanied him, but through the detention of my children at the Sunday school I was not able to do so, and I therefore drove directly to the Tabernacle. Before meeting commenced he arrived and the people were very glad to see him. He expressed a wish that I should speak. Before I did so, however, he arose and bowed to the congregation and spoke for a few minutes with a very distinct voice, expressing his gratitude to the Lord for hearing the prayers of the people in his behalf, for it was through their faith and prayers that he was able to be in the Tabernacle that day. I felt full of trembling about speaking. I had had a presentiment all morning that I would speak, and I seemed utterly at a loss to know what to say. In arising I felt my only dependence was upon the Lord, and He did not neglect me. I enjoyed a goodly flow of the Spirit and felt excellently. I occupied about one hour. President Woodruff expressed the pleasure he had in listening to my remarks.

After meeting I drove to the house of my son Abraham and his wife Mima [Mina]. Their cousin Josephine Beatie is to be married next Thursday, June 1st, the anniversary of her grandfather’s birthday, and Mima desired to have her and her mother and her fiancé to dinner. Myself and my wife Martha were present. We had a very enjoyable visit.

29 May 1893 • Monday

Monday, May 29, 1893. At 11 o’clock I attended a meeting of the General Board of Education, and as President Woodruff was not there, I moved that President Snow preside, but he declined and made a motion that I should preside. Our meeting occupied nearly five hours, and we did considerable business. A good deal of the time was consumed in listening to Brother Maeser’s report of his visits.

30 May 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 30, 1893. As this was a holiday—Decoration day—I did not go to the office. I visited my lot in the cemetery and my children brought flowers for their mother and for their brother David. My son Joseph drove me.

31 May 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 31, 1893. President Woodruff came to the office today, being the first time since the dedication of the Temple.

Sister Zina Y. Card called at the office after President Woodruff had gone and had conversation with President Smith and myself. She has just returned from Chicago, where she has been in company with other sisters.

We had a call also from a plural wife of Brother [first and middle initial and last name redacted], who came to ask counsel concerning her situation. Her husband desired to associate with her as a wife, but proposed to use means to prevent conception. We were surprised at her statements, and gave her counsel upon the subject.

Brothers Whiteley and Phillips, who have been employed as educators at the B.Y.Academy, Provo, called to ask us concerning their giving special courses of instruction to some of the brethren at Manti and other places during the vacation. We saw no objection to their doing it, but thought they had better consult with Brother Maeser about it.

Bishop Preston came in to know about financial matters. He asked if we could suggest how money could be raised. Drafts had been sent down from this office to his which he could not meet. I have not myself been suited with the changes which were made in regard to the control of finances after the death of President Taylor, for reasons which I need not explain here. Bishop Preston ought not to be under the necessity, having all the finances pass through his hands, of coming to the President’s office to know where funds should be raised. The influence which the handling of the funds ought to give him should place him in a position to obtain any amount of credit, if necessary.

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May 1893, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 16, 2024