The Church Historian's Press

November 1893

1 November 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, November 1, 1893 I went up to the office this morning and found Presidents Woodruff and Smith there. We attended to various matters of business, and at 1 o’clock held a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co.

I keep administering to my wives and entreating the Lord to have mercy upon them, and I feel encouraged that they will soon be well.

2 November 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 2, 1893 The First Presidency had a meeting this morning with a committee from the Deseret Hospital board, during which they represented the condition of the Hospital. It is in debt, as near as we can learn, somewhere between $1200 & $1500. The circumstances of the Church are such that we cannot possibly at present continue to be responsible for the expense of keeping up the Hospital, and it was finally decided that it should close and we would do what we could towards satisfying the creditors with such means as we had.

We had a long conversation with Le Grand Young concerning the action of Congress and its effect upon the Supreme Court in relation to the case now pending before it.

At 2 o’clock we held our usual council meeting in the Temple. There were present, besides the First Presidency, President Snow, B. Young, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, M. W. Merrill and A. H. Cannon. The case of Brother L. G. Hardy came up for consideration, and as Brother Young was going away, Brother Lyman was appointed in his place as chairman of the committee, which now consists of F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith and A. H. Cannon.

I was awakened last night by my son Willard coming to my window and calling me, informing me that his mother was worse. The shock of awakening me suddenly and the news made me feel quite sick. I got up and dressed myself and awakened my son-in-law Lewis, and we went and administered to her. She was a little delirious, but I sat with her and soothed her, and she felt quiet.

3 November 1893 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 3, 1893 Brother Geo. Reynolds read accumulated correspondence to the First Presidency this morning.

We also had a lengthy visit from Brother Franklin D. Richards and his son Franklin S., who had just returned, the former from Chicago and the latter from Washington. Brother Franklin S. gave us a lengthy description of his labors in getting the resolution through restoring to us our property. He gave us full details of all that he had done.

We were busy today, as we have been every day, with the general Church business. I dictated my journal.

4 November 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 4, 1893 President Woodruff and wife came to my place this morning to visit my sick people, the President desiring to join with me in administering to them. We visited my wife Martha first and administered to her. We then called upon my wife Sarah Jane and spent a short time at her house, and then went to my wife Carlie’s and administered to her. I thought it was very kind of President Woodruff to take this trouble, as he feels that at his time of life it is not wise for him to administer much to the sick.

I drove to the city and had an interview with Brother John Beck respecting his situation. He has some idea of endeavoring to get a Receiver appointed for the mining property—a non-Mormon by the name of Ryan, a wealthy man, who is taking some interest in Brother Beck’s situation and offers to extricate him from his present trouble for a certain sum of money. I do not wish to take any part in this matter. He speaks very strongly against Hyde and the manner in which he has treated him. He said that he had handled more than half a million of his money and he had everything locked up of his, so much so that he could not get his watch and diamond back from him that he had given him for $400 that he had to have.

Brother C. H. Wilcken and myself went to the Hot Springs and had a delightful bath.

5 November 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1893 Both my wives are still quite low.

At 2 o’clock I was at the Tabernacle. Brother C. W. Poole, who has just returned from a mission to the Samoan Islands, spoke for about half an hour and was followed by Brother Ralp[h] Savage, who has been laboring in England; after which Brother Jos. W. McMurrin spoke, and my brother Angus and myself made some remarks.

I took dinner with my son Abraham at his wife Mina’s.

6 November 1893 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 6, 1893 There was a meeting of the Bullion, Beck Co. this morning at 10 o’clock, which occupied about three hours. Brother Thatcher, the president of the Co., got stirred up at something that was said and spoke with great severity and plainness to Brother Alonzo E. Hyde, the manager of the Co. It was a severe arraignment of his conduct, and Brother Hyde sat and took it very quietly. I was surprised that he did not resent it, for he was charged with a number of actions which if true showed that he was totally unfit to be the manager of that property. Among other things, Brother Thatcher said that at one of the meetings (at which I was not present) he had offered to give a guarantee of $10,000 that he could get a man for $250 per month that would do as much as the manager and superintendent both, whom we were then paying $650 per month. He charged Hyde with having a great many side issues, and selling out thing<s> to the Co., such as water, &c. When he made the charge about selling the water, Brother Hyde responded that he (Brother T.) was as much a stockholder in that water as he was. This Brother Thatcher denied and said that he had sold out before the water was sold to the B.B.& C. Co. Brother Hyde muttered in reply that the books did not show that. I succeeded in inducing them to declare a[n] 11¢ a share dividend, payable on the 15th. I feel exceedingly thankful to the Lord for this, as my taxes are overdue and I am very much perplexed to know where I could get money to meet them. They are within a few cents of $1600[.]

Busy in the afternoon on public business.

7 November 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 7, 1893 Busy at the office all day.

8 November 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 1893. First Presidency at the office.

Brother Heber J. Grant has returned from the East and we had an interview with him.

A son of Brother Henry Beckstead, deceased, came to see us a few days ago in relation to his father’s first wife, who is dead, but who had been sealed to Brother Joseph Hammond for time and eternity. He felt that his father had been wronged in this and wanted an examination of the matter. We appointed today to hear the parties concerned. There were present, two sons of Brother Beckstead and Bishop Bills, of South Jordan, and Bishop Egbert, of West Jordan, who is a nephew of the woman, and a sister-in-law of the woman, the widow of Robert Egbert, and Brother Joseph Hammond. We listened very patiently to all that was said on both sides and learned that the deceased woman, whose maiden name was Annie Egbert, had been sealed for time and eternity in the St. George Temple to her brother-in-law, Joseph Hammond, his wife, her sister, acting in her behalf, and that she had also received her [2 words redacted relating to a temple ordinance] as his wife. We finally decided, on my motion, that under the circumstances the sealing and work for her be allowed to stand, as there was not sufficient evidence shown on the other side to justify so important an act as the cancellation of the marriage. We assured the brethren that the woman would undoubtedly have her choice in the eternal worlds; that there was no principle that we knew of that would warrant the assumption that any woman could be forced to stay with a man whom she did not love and to remain apart from a man whom she did love, as long as the other conditions were equal. The sons of Brother Beckstead appeared quite satisfied with the decision, and all parties accepted it.

I received a cable dispatch from Brother John W. Young, it being the second cablegram I have received from him. The first read as follows:

“Please see cables to Le Grand Young. My business in the best shape since I came. The only trouble is getting small favors. There is no trouble about large matters; these are fully protected. If request is not complied with, the consequences will be disastrous. But if you will please relieve me from of circumstances for few weeks, you will be reimbursed for outlay within time named. There is a report of my having friends here. If you understood the position in which I am placed, surely you would not desert me just now. There are circumstances which cannot well be explained by wire; but everything promises favorable. Reply immediately at my expense.”

To fully understand this dispatch it is necessary that I should state that about a week ago Brother Le Grand Young showed me a letter that he had received from Brother John W. Young in London. In this he stated that his condition was getting desperate. He had contracted debts for his housekeeping and maintenance with storekeepers and others and the time for which they allowed such things to run was about expired and he is in great danger of being sued for this amount, which would be ruinous to him and to his credit, and that he must have help; for if he did not and it transpired that he was in such a bad financial condition it would ruin his other schemes which were very near consummation. Taken altogether, the letter was to me a startling one; for it seemed as if John W. was in danger of being arrested and perhaps put in jail in London for obtaining goods under false pretences. The reading of the letter made me sick at heart; for when I visited him in London I saw that he lived with a style that would require considerable means to keep up. It seems, however, that he was doing this on credit, and now the day of settlement has come and he has no means with which to pay these debts. Coming as it did at a time when we are overwhelmed with obligations which we cannot meet and all our private affairs being in such a bad condition, no one having any money, it seemed to me a most terrible thing to contemplate. My sympathies are deeply aroused for him; but personally I am entirely helpless. I mentioned his condition to his sister, my wife Carlie, and while she felt deep pity for him, she said that the $10,000 for which he asked, as a matter of justice ought to be raised to help his creditors here, many of whom were ruined and were plunged in the deepest distress, because of his failure to meet his obligations with them. His brother Brigham also, upon hearing the letter, said to me afterwards that he did not know but this fate which seemed to await him was necessary to bring him to a true sense of his position. He said that during the lifetime of his father he had been sent East to induce John W. to come home and quit his speculations, as his father feared just such a result as now seems impending, and he had done so and John had returned; but he had not refrained from indulging in these speculative schemes, and in his (Brigham’s) opinion nothing short of such a catastrophe as this would have the effect to check him. When I received the dispatch mentioned above, all my feelings in his behalf were revived; but what could I do? Telegrams that Le Grand Young received were stronger than mine if anything, and on Tuesday Le Grand submitted the letter that he had received and these dispatches to Presidents Woodruff and Smith and myself. They gave the letter full consideration, but both the brethren were emphatic, especially President Woodruff, in the statement that they could do nothing; that it would be a rank injustice for the First Presidency to attempt to extend the help to him that he asked. I said but little. I felt that it was a matter that I wanted them to express themselves on; for I could not myself see in which way we could help him. Brother Smith recounted the times that John had needed help and we had stepped forward to assist him through Zion’s Savings Bank, and the result was that we had that debt hanging on the bank now, and to get the money back, or even a part of it, the bank would be compelled to sell the home of President Young, which John W. put up as security—a necessity that was in every way disagreeable, because of the sacredness with which that place was naturally held in. After this interview I went down with Le Grand Young to McCornick’s bank and saw Mr. McCornick, as John had sent me another cablegram as follows:

“If nothing can be done without, get McCornick, John W. Young, Martin’s Bank, Lombard St. London, for self and Fort Douglas bonds.”

We found Mr. McCornick as hard as stone. He felt that John W[.] had taken advantage of him to the extent of some $15,000, and expressed himself as being astonished that John W. should ask him in any way to do him a favor. He was quite bitter in his remarks about John W. I said but little. In looking at him I could not help but feel, what a hard, merciless man he was, and how dreadful it would be for a man like myself, or any other Latter-day Saint, to fall into his clutches. I then sent the following to John W.:

“Have done all possible. Utterly failed. Church and all your friends powerless to help. McCornick impregnable.”

Today I received the following:

“Please accept my best thanks for effort. If you possibly can, Zion’s Savings Bank and State Bank telegraph first class references to correspondents here for self and bonds. Large matters. The thing is sure to be a success, if small matters are arranged satisfactorily. About two weeks only. Reply immediately at my expense.”

I see no prospect of obtaining the help that he desires. No one appears to have any confidence in his promises. He has destroyed his credit here, and through not meeting his engagements has inflicted very serious injury on a great many people, some of whom are completely ruined. The feeling in the community against him is very strong. All the authorities of the Church feel dissatisfied with his operations. He has not acted in accordance with the counsel that has been given. He did not obey his father while he was living and would not be controlled in financial matters by him, and he has shown the same disposition to the authorities of the Church since his father’s death; although to do him justice it should be said that he professes all the time, and no doubt hugs the delusion to his bosom, that what he is doing is for the good of Zion and to build up the kingdom of God on the earth. Yet with all his faults he is naturally a generous, warmhearted man, and if he had the means would spend it freely for the benefit of others. His manners are most attractive, and while one cannot agree with his methods, yet when thrust in his society one is almost led to overlook everything.

9 November 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 9, 1893 There was a meeting of the Co-op. Wagon and Machine Co. at the office at 11 o’clock, at which considerable business was done. At 12:30 there was a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank, and after other business had been attended to, I read the dispatches to the Board which I had received from Brother John W. Young. I had invited Brother Le Grand Young to be present also, so that he could make explanations. I did this in order that the brethren might hear the whole circumstances and know his situation and judge for themselves as to the propriety of aiding him or not. The matter was very fully discussed, and all expressed themselves to the effect that they did not see how they could do anything to aid him in the direction which he suggested. They felt that it was out of their power to do any such thing, because they did not know the nature of his securities, and even then the brethren seemed to think they would possibly have to pay the $10,000, if they guaranteed him. They seemed to have no confidence whatever in Brother John W.’s trustworthiness. I presented to them the fact that upon his success perhaps depended the payment of his creditors here, many of whom were suffering for the want of means that he owed them, and many more in Mexico were in the same condition. I threw this in sight so that they might have a full comprehension of the consequences of not aiding him. The decision, however, was unanimous (Presidents Woodruff and Smith speaking very emphatically) that no aid could be extended to him in the way he proposed. I then requested Brother Heber J. Grant, as president of the State Bank, to lay the matter before his board of directors, and gave him the dispatch which I had received. I drew up a cablegram to send to Brother Young in the event of the State Bank also declining to do anything, to this effect: “Banks have met and decline to guarantee.” This was sent in cipher.

At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and Elders L. Snow, F. D. Richards, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon met and prayed in the circle. Brother Snow was mouth in prayer and President Woodruff in the circle.

10 November 1893 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 10, 1893 At 8 o’clock this morning I got aboard the cars on 11th, South St., the train stopping there to take me up to go with Presidents Woodruff and Smith and Frank Armstrong to Cedar Valley for the purpose of examining the onyx beds which are being opened there, and in which the Church has taken an interest. Bishop Preston accompanied us. We reached Fairfield about 10 o’clock and took carriage and traveled about 18 miles. The first bed we found was on the top of a low mountain. President Woodruff essayed to climb, but he found himself unequal to the task. I begged him not to attempt it; for, as we found, it tried the strongest of us. The best one reached the top. The prospect, called Coyote, was not so good at this claim as it was when Brother Armstrong was here before; it seemed to be pinched out. From this we went to the camp and partook of dinner. Brother Charles Livingston is in charge. We ate a hearty meal and then visited another claim called the Jumbo. This presents a better prospect; it looks as though there will be an immense quantity of the dark onyx. There was another claim, the Black Hawk, which we saw, but had not time to examine it, as President Woodruff desired to go to Provo to see his wife Sarah, who is dangerously sick, and he was in a great hurry to return to catch the train. We drove very rapidly to Fairfield and reached just in time to catch the train. We returned to the city, having to change cars at Lehi, where we met Bishop T. R. Cutler.

11 November 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 11, 1893 I came to the office and attended to business. Dictated some articles for the Juvenile Instructor and my journal to Brother Winter. I went with my son Abraham to the Hot Springs and had a bath.

I have a very sick household at the present time. Besides my wife Martha, our daughter Hester and Miss Lottie Reese, who is living with us, are in bed, suffering from sore throats, chills and fever. My wife Carlie is unable to leave her room and her health seems very poor. This with our financial embarrassments oppresses me.

Just as I was starting home I met my son-in-law, Louis M. Cannon, who told me that news had come that my wife Martha was sinking. I learned from him that my daughter Mary Alice had just come from home, and I sought her and learned from her that my sister Mary Alice had visited my wife and felt that she was in a precarious condition, and that the nurse had said that she was sinking. I drove home very sorrowful, picturing to myself how desolate my children’s home would be without their mother, she having nine children, one of them married however, and what a condition I would be in. I felt to cry unto the Lord with all the faith I had in behalf of my sick family, for my daughter Hester, and her companion Miss Lottie Reese, were also prostrated, also my son Espey. The Lord condescended to hear my prayer and I felt comforted.

12 November 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, November 12th, 1893. I was cheered this morning by the changed appearance of my sick ones; my cries last night to the Lord brought help, and improvement is visible. I went to meeting in the afternoon in the Tabernacle, and Brother Orson F. Whitney was called upon to speak. He delivered quite a discourse, taking as the foundation of his remarks the prophecy of Malachi concerning tithes and offerings, this chapter he read. He evidently had been reading Geike, as his remarks wer[e], many of them, taken from Geike’s writings. While the discourse was a good one I feared the effect of his statements concerning the use to which tithing should be put in sustaining the priesthood, and that the impression might be left to the Latter-day Saints that tithing in our day would be used for that purpose principally. I therefore, after he had finished, addressed the Saints for a short time, and read the remarks of Alma recorded in his reply to Korihor when he told that he had sustained himself and preached the Gospel without being a charge upon or having received one senine from the people. I spoke very plainly concerning salaries; that it was not the design of God that his servants should have fixed salaries attached to the offices which they may be called upon to fill.

13 November 1893 • Monday

Monday, November 13th, 1893. Attended a B.Y.Trust Company meeting. The Presidency had a call from a Mr. Fish and a German friend. The former brought a letter of introduction to Bishop Clawson from General Williams, formerly of Indiana.

I had an interview to-day with Brother John Beck. He informed me that a gentleman named Ryan had proposed to take his matters up and to extricate him from some of his present difficulties; and to institute a suit in his name for the appointment of a receiver for the Bullion Beck and Champion Mining Company. He came to tell me about this. I said to him that while I was interested of course in the management of that property my position was such that I could not take any part with him in a suit. He had my sympathy, and if he can prove the charges that he makes against the manager of the mine, Brother A. E. Hyde, who has been his agent, such a man certainly should not be permitted to remain in charge of the property. It seems as though the day has come, which I have felt very confident would come, when Brother John Beck would come to us for aid and would break with those whom he thought were his great friends. I know nothing about Brother Hyde’s management of Brother Beck’s affairs further than this, that four years ago Brother Beck had a good deal of property and money, and was considered very rich though he had debts. Brother Hyde was in quite moderate circumstances, but during these four years a great change has taken place. While Brother Hyde is regarded as being well off Brother Beck can scarcely get money enough to buy a meal of victuals, and as I was told by Brother Hyde himself, is ruined and will be without a home shortly. Besides Brother Hyde has loaned Brother Beck several thousand dollars on which Brother Beck is paying interest. If Brother Beck’s statements are correct[,] Brother Hyde has taken advantage of him and has feathered his own nest. Brother Beck says Brother Hyde has handled half a million of money for him while he has been his agent; and he thinks that he has now turned upon him because he can make no further use of him. I have felt for a long time that the course taken by these people would come to an end.

14 November 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, November 14th, 1893 President Woodruff this morning reported some complaints that President A. O. Smoot of Utah Stake had made to him concerning Brother F. M. Lyman’s methods of selecting Bishops, and also of certain changes which he had proposed to make, as to places, of holding the Utah Stake Quarterly Conferences. Brother Lyman came in while we were in conversation and the matter was laid before him. He explained concerning the selection of the Bishop, for Alpine, which, after his explanation, we thought was not wrong as he and A. H. Cannon, two of the Twelve, had been and acted together in that matter. Concerning the changing of places of holding Quarterly Conferences of that Stake, we thought it was better for him to bring such matters before the First Presidency for them to decide upon.

My son Frank, accompanied by Mr. Bannister, had an interview with the First Presidency concerning the utilization of Ogden River for the creation of power. Immense power can be obtained from that stream. Mr. Bannister is an experienced civil engineer and has made the necessary est[i]mates and he set forth the great saving it would be to that region in fuel if that power could be utilized. We promised to give the matter attention; and Frank was requested to put the matter in writing that we might have it before us.

Sugar Company meeting at 4 o’clock this afternoon.

I was gladdened with the news when I reached home this evening that my daughter Amelia, the wife of H. W. Chamberlain, was delivered of a fine son this morning. This brought great joy to her sick mother.

15 November 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, November 15th, 1893. I called on my daughter this morning at Brother Chamberlains; she and baby were looking very well. The child is a bright little fellow.

I had a conversation this morning with Dr. H. J. Faust who had a great many explanations to give us for the selection of a route of railway to Deep Creek.

Brother A. E. Hyde called upon me and showed me reports he had from a very rich strike made in the Bullion Beck Mine. The reports were exceedingly flattering and might have excited me; but the last rich strike reported, a few weeks ago, the accounts of which were so glowing that I did indulge in expectations concerning it; but there were no results, and I feared that this time there might not be any tangible results. The fact is I do not have confidence in the management.

I had another conversation with Brother John Beck. He still seems determined to take steps looking to the appointment of a receiver. And he told me that Mr. Ryan was willing to take hold with him. He was to give Mr. Ryan a considerable sum of money if he succeeds in extricating him. I told him he should be very careful about entering into contracts, to be sure that he is not putting himself in a position where advantage can be taken of him. I do not want to take any part in this matter as it would put me in a false position, and might expose me to the charge of double dealing as I am one of the directors of the Company and may have, if the attempt is made to get a receiver, to appear as defendant in the case in consequence of my being a director; and while it is to my interest for the management of the mine to be changed I cannot very well take any part in effecting the change. If it is to Brother Beck’s interest to have a change of this kind it is mine also, as I am a stockholder.

11 o’clock meeting of Board of Directors of Z.C.M.I. Quite an interesting meeting.

16 November 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, November 16th, 1893 I sent a dispatch to my son Louis concerning the improvement in the health of his mother, as I know he will be anxious about her.

I had an interview with Brothers Webber and Rowe. They came to me as the friend of both. Brother Rowe has written a letter of resignation to the Superintendent of Z.C.M.I. Brother Webber thinks he ought not to resign, for both agree, as Brother Webber says magnificently in their labors as Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent; but Brother Rowe complains of the treatment he has received from Brother George Romney as Chairman of the Executive Committee. He feels that Brother Romney is tyrannical. After listening to all he had to say I proposed that we go into the other room and lay the matter before Presidents Woodruff and Smith. On going in I found Mr. Ryan in conversation with the brethren, he having called to pay his respects to us. This is the gentleman with whom Brother John Beck has been negotiating. Brothers Webber and Rowe left without seeing the brethren. We had a long interview with Mr. Ryan the greater part of which was upon the subject of the Bullion Beck and Champion Mining Company’s operations and management of Brother A. E. Hyde. The description of that which had come to his knowledge concerning the management of that property was a terrible arraignment of Brother Hyde as manager.

2 o’clock, meeting of the Presidency and Apostles at the Temple. Present: the First Presidency, Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman H. J. Grant and, before the conclusion of the meeting, A. H. Cannon, who had been detained. Brother Smith prayed and Brother Richards was mouth in the circle. We also had singing. After the prayer I explained to the brethren concerning the visit of Brothers Webber and Rowe. And the statements made to me. They were deemed so important that President Woodruff was advised to call a directors meeting of Z.C.M.I. on Monday next as all felt that Brother Rowe should not leave the employ of the institution and that Brother Romney’s course must be checked to some extent.

I am greatly relieved at the progress my sick folks are making, and I feel to thank the Lord therefor from the bottom of my heart, for I have been gratly [greatly] afflicted because of the sickness added to my financial embarrassments.

17 November 1893 • Friday

Friday, November 17th, 1893. Bros. Webber and Rowe called upon us this morning and Brother Webber was requested to call a board meeting for Monday next.

Bishop H. B. Clawson came in to see us respecting the employment of Mr. Ryan by John Beck. He had done so previously. The whole matter was laid before Presidents Woodruff and Smith and they agreed that it was a move in which John Beck was justified. Of course, we did not wish as the First Presidency to take any part in this matter or to appear as partizans; but we felt that there was a wrong existing which should be corrected, and that the public welfare demanded that the state of things which appear to be existing between members of the Church should not be allowed to continue. This was also the conclusion to-day.

Listened to some appeal cases to-day.

At the request of President Woodruff I had an interview with Mr. Henry W. Lawrence, receiver, for the purpose of obtaining suggestions from him, if he had any to offer, concerning our getting a portion of the money which the banks hold belonging to us. Mr. Lawrence was very polite and seemed willing to do anything he could, but it was not in his power to do much. He proffered however to go with me to the Union National (Walker Bros. Bank) to see what could be done with them. I thanked him for his offer but said I preferred waiting until I learned a little more about the money we had already borrowed from them, and then I would be pleased to avail myself of his offer to accompany me to see them.

A report of the discourse which I delivered on Sunday last at the Tabernacle was read to the First Presidency, Brother H. J. Grant being present. Presidents Woodruff and Smith approved of what I said. A copy was also submitted to Brother Lorenzo Snow who heartily approved of it; also Brother Lyman. I shall submit a copy to Brother F. D. Richards also being all of the Twelve within reach.

18 November 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 18, 1893 Spent the day at the office. President Smith was in part of the time. President Woodruff was not there[.]

19 November 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 19, 1893 Went to Provo with Presidents Woodruff and Smith to attend a Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association Conference. The forenoon was occupied by President Jos. F. Smith. In the afternoon President Woodruff spoke for one hour, and I followed for half an hour. President Woodruff and myself returned to the city. President Smith remained to attend evening meeting.

20 November 1893 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 20, 1893 Brother C. H. Wilcken returned from a trip which he had taken into Nevada at the instance of the First Presidency, and gave us a report of his trip. It was quite satisfactory.

Held a meeting of the Board of Directors of Z.C.M.I. to take into consideration the proposed resignation of Brother Wm. H. Rowe. We had some very plain talk at the meeting and the duties of the executive committee were defined. Brother Geo. Romney, the chairman of the committee, has rather a brusque manner, at which some of the brethren have taken offense and it has caused feelings among the leading employes of the institution. He has been rather domineering in his manner. He was told of this very kindly by myself and Brother Jos. F. Smith, and he accepted the reproofs in good spirit.

The First Presidency went to the 14th Ward Assembly rooms, where we had been invited by the friends of Sister Isabella M. Horne to commemmorate her 75th birthday. This meeting was very interesting. President Woodruff and myself spoke, also Sister Zina Young. Sister Alder read a sketch of the life of Sister Horne, Sister Lulu Greene Richards contributed a poem, and Sister E. B. Wells read a very nice tribute. Brother Horne was not present, his health not permitting him to be there. There were probably two hundred persons gathered, being the leading sisters of the Relief Society. After the programme of exercises a lunch was served.

21 November 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 1893 My son Abraham came to the First Presidency this morning and made a statement concerning the condition of Brother Hardy’s affairs. The point was, would the Church guarantee the interest on the amount necessary to help him meet his obligations? He hoped to be able to raise this interest himself, but in the event of his failing to do so, would we help him make it up? After deliberating upon this, the First Presidency decided that under the circumstances they would do so on behalf of the Church.

My brother Angus came up with his counselors to talk over the affairs of the Stake, and after some conversation about cases that have been appealed, my brother Angus made some remarks about the case of John R. Winder, Jr., an old case of seven years standing. He related some conversation that he had had with me after the dedication of the Temple upon this case, and his relation of what was said made it appear that I had given counsel different to that which my brethren of the First Presidency had done. I felt very much hurt at Angus’ remarks. I thought that he had (unintentionally) done me grievous wrong and might have injured me in the estimation of my brethren of the First Presidency. My explanations, however, fully satisfied them that my position was a correct one. I had to contend with myself to get rid of the unpleasant feelings that this scene produced. Before I retired for the night, however, I had conquered all my ill feelings; for I besought the Lord to give me charity, which suffereth long and is kind. Charges were made against Brother H. B. Clawson in connection with this case and his duties as a Bishop, and I sent for him, so that he might be present. Explanations were made which tended, I think, to restore good feelings. The First Presidency afterwards considered the case. We sent for Brother Winder and spoke to him about his son, and he assured us that he had all the time said that the brethren must treat his son as they did any other member of the Church.

22 November 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 1893 The First Presidency had a very lengthy interview with my son Frank this morning concerning the project of using the power of Ogden river to furnish power that would light and heat Ogden City. Mr. Bannister and himself are working this matter up. We agreed to take hold of this matter and urged Frank to go ahead. We are very desirous of securing all our streams in this way, that our enemies shall not have power to control our waters.

We had a call from ex-Governor Emery.

23 November 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 23, 1893 The First Presidency had a conversation with Brother Salmon concerning his duties in the Temple and the exclusion of children from the Temple, as some of the brethren were in the habit of taking children in there.

Brother John Beck came to the office and we had a lengthy conversation with him. As I did not wish to be the only listener to his statements, I invited him into the room of the First Presidency and had Brother Arthur Winter take notes of what was said. I had got information that he intended to come and see me and relate to me how he had been induced to take the course that he had with me and the other brethren after his return from Germany. He was not, however, very communicative on this point, for the reason, I suppose, that he himself was an active participant in that which was done. He told me, however, that Geo. J. Taylor had telegraphed him to Germany proposing for some of them to go over and join him there; but that he had replied that he was coming home, and when he reached New York he was met by A. E. Hyde and John W. Taylor, who had represented to him that they were in danger of losing all their stock or having it taken from them at a very low price—$1 per share—and that his stock was in the same danger, and that they should combine their interests and get control of the property. Of course, as I was president of the company at that time the inference to be drawn was that I was engaged in this scheme to rob them of their property. This was pressed upon his attention as a reason why he should take up with their offer to combine with them. He made a good many more statements, which Brother Winter took down in shorthand. He feels very sore now and thinks he has been very badly wronged, especially by A. E. Hyde. Among other things, he told us that when the loan was made to him a year ago last May of $100,000, Brothers Thatcher and Hyde charged him $10,000 commission for securing the loan, which they divided between themselves. When the year expired and he had to have a new loan or an extension, his $10,000 was put in, he believes, and he was charged for that a commission of $12,000[.] The loan was for $175,000. This $12,000 was divided between Moses Thatcher, W. B. Preston, A. E. Hyde and R. W. Taylor. According to his statement, he has paid at the rate of 11% commission for this loan for two years—a frightful and usurious commission[.]

Of course, it is not always safe to judge of these things by hearing one side, and there may be some circumstances which the brethren could relate that might give this a different appearance.

At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and Brothers Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant and Abraham H. Cannon (Geo. F. Gibbs, secretary) met in the room of the First Presidency in the Temple and dressed in their robes. I was mouth in prayer and Brother Snow mouth in the circle. We attended to some items of business and then adjourned.

24 November 1893 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 24, 1893. Held a meeting of Cannon, Grant & Co, remained in session but a few minutes, and then adjourned until Monday.

My son Frank and Mr. Bannister came down and we talked over the organization of a company, to be called the Pioneer Electric Co. of Ogden City. Mr. Bannister was exceedingly desirous that the First Presidency should select the company and be themselves members of it. It was decided by President Woodruff today that he would accept a position in the company, but he did not want to be the president, and desired that I should be the president. So it was decided that I should be the president; F. J. Kiesel of Ogden, vice president; C. K. Bannister secretary and treasurer and director, and Frank J. Cannon director and manager of the company; with President Woodruff, Jos. F. Smith, John R. Winder, A. H. Woodruff and Judge Patton directors. This would make nine directors, and given us as Latter-day Saints the majority of the company, there being six Latter-day Saints against three non-Mormons. Mr. F. J. Kiesel and Judge Patton are both very much pleased at the proposition and willingly accept the directorship. Under the terms of our arrangement, the First Presidency are to furnish from $5000 to $10,000 as may be needed to start the enterprise, and for this we are to have three-fifth[s] of the stock. Mr. Bannister and Frank J. Cannon are to have two-fifths of the stock. From our three-fifths we are to give such stock as we choose to anyone whom we wish to have in the company; and from their two-fifths they do the same; and from the whole stock two hundred thousand dollars will be set apart as pooled stock, to be used by them in securing parties in the East, to make contracts for power, and also to buy the bonds. We were assigned at this arrangement $480,000 worth of stock, being $160,000 to each of us. This is 48,000 shares, the shares being $10 each. Mr. Bannister and Frank receive 32,000 shares, which with the pooled 20,000 shares, makes 100,000 shares, or $1,000,000 capital. Out of our three-fifths we decided to give Bishop John R. Winder 4000 shares and A. H. Woodruff 4000 shares, which would leave us (the First Presidency) 40,000 shares. While we were discussing what proportion of stock we should give to Bishop Winder and A. H. Woodruff, I proposed that we should also dedicate a portion of our stock to the Lord for the Church. I said that I did not want to take any advantage of my position as one of the Presidency of the Church for my own benefit. I never had done so in my life, and I did not want to commence it now. It was due to our position that we could get such favorable terms as were proffered to us in this enterprise, and I thought the least we could do would be to devote such a portion as we might decide to be set apart for the Church to have the benefit of it. My proposition, therefore, was that we should divide the 40,000 shares that were left to us in this manner: each of us retain 10,000 and the Church have 10,000, which proposition met with the hearty approval of Presidents Woodruff and Smith. Mr. Bannister and Frank out of their two-fifths let Mr. Kiesel have 4000 and A. B. Patton 2500 shares, and they will have to let other parties have some also.

The proposition for me to be president of the company was very agreeable to Mr. Bannister’s feelings. He said the question had been asked, in trying to float schemes in the East like this, “Why don’t you have some prominent Mormons connected?” He said our names being associated with this would answer that question. We sent for Bishop Winder and communicated to him the particulars of this project and of our wish that he should act with us as one of the Board, to which he heartily assented. President Woodruff also explained to his son Asahel the character of the scheme and secured his acquiescence.

I had an interview with F. S. Richards and gave him some points to communicate to Hon. J. L. Rawlins, the Territorial Delegate. Brother Richards says that they are arranging for him to introduce a bill into Congress looking to the restoration of the real estate to the Church. It was suggested by me that I though[t] it would meet with favor in Congress to propose that what is called the Church Pasture and the coal claim that we have on the Weber might be sold for hospital purposes; whereas if it were proposed to restore this land to us, there being so large a body of it contiguous to the city and the coal lands being something unusual for a church to hold, it would not be received with such favor.

We held a sugar company meeting, in which Brother Grant desired to get an allowance of $6000, with interest, amounting to $7000, as a commission which had been proffered him some time previously for his obtaining $60,000 for the use of the Sugar Co. I stated that I did not like the idea of it being stated on our minutes that we had given a commission of 10% to one of our brethren for a loan of this character, and I should much prefer it not being put in that form, but let it be for general services. The company agreed to pay him the amount by remitting that on stock. I had a conversation afterwards with Brother Grant upon this subject, and I expressed my views concerning the disposition which was manifested in some quarters to charge the Church commission for business of a financial character done by one and another. I said that in my feelings I was very much opposed to Elders in the Church doing this. I thought that we ought to be willing to bestow our services in such directions for the aid of the Church without pay, further than the meeting of necessary expenses. I am in my feelings quite fixed that there must be some check put upon the disposition which I fancy I see exhibited by young men to get remuneration for every service that they render the Church. Brother Grant in his conversation acknowledged to me that there were two things that he felt a little ashamed of; one was the asking of this commission, and the other was the taking of a salary from the Church for his services. He said that he received from the Co-op Wagon & Machine Co. $1000 for his services as president of that Co, $1000 from the State Bank as president of that institution, $2000 from Cannon, Grant & Co. for work he had done, $1000 from, I think, Heber J. Grant & Co, and $600 from another Co.; making in all $5600. In addition, he had taken $3000 from the Church. I have been much exercised upon this subject of late, and in a discourse which I delivered a Sunday or two ago I dwelt on this and it was published in the Deseret News.

25 November 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 25, 1893. I was at the office today and attended to business of various kinds, and went to the Hot Springs.

26 November 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 26, 1893 Stormy day. I felt a little indisposed, but I had promised my son-in-law, Harry Chamberlain, that I would call at his father’s, where his wife, my daughter Amelia, has been confined, and bless their little son. My son Abraham accompanied me. We blessed the child, I being mouth, and gave him the name of Max Cannon Chamberlain.

From there I proceeded to the Assembly Hall and listened to the proceedings in Brother Talmage’s class which he has formed, and which meets every Sunday at 12:15 in the Assembly Hall. He delivers lectures on theology and asks questions, &c.

From there I went to the meeting in the Tabernacle. The Archbishop of Zante was present; he belongs to the Greek Catholic Church. I occupied about an hour in speaking to the saints on the gifts which the Lord had promised to bestow upon thos[e] who obeyed His Gospel. I enjoyed my own remarks and felt edified by them. The attendance was not so large as usual, owing to the weather.

My daughter Mary Alice and her husband had invited a young man by the name of Charles Whitehead and his wife to take dinner with us today, He is a son of my cousin, Margaret Quirk, whose husband was a Whitehead, and who herself died leaving this boy and his sister when quite young for their grandmother, my Aunt Catherine, to bring up. We had a very pleasant visit with him and his wife. She is quite a sprightly, interesting girl, and he seems to be a man of some force.

27 November 1893 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 27, 1893 Rabbi Jacobson, in company with Brother Penrose, called on the First Presidency to obtain the use of the Assembly Hall on the evening of Thanksgiving day for the purpose of holding a meeting in which all the sects would unite to secure contributions for the relief of the poor. They wanted some one of our Bishops to act with them. Bishop O. F. Whitney was thought to be suitable. I explained to the Rabbi that at such a meeting we should appear to disadvantage, because that was not our method of dealing with this question of feeding the poor.

We had a meeting of Cannon, Grant & Co. at 11 o’clock. A committee was appointed, consisting of H. J. Grant, Geo. M. Cannon and Heber M. Wells, to examine into the affairs of the Co. and to decide upon the best plan to be pursued concerning our organization. Looking at matters from one standpoint, it seems as though all that have invested in this company will be lost, and there is danger of our not even being able to save our other property, as we are bound individually for all the debts of the company.

My son Frank telephoned to me that he desired the First Presidency to come up to Ogden, as there was some business to be attended to. We started on the 2:45 train and he met us at the depot and carried us to his house, where we met Mr. Bannister, Mr. Kiesel and afterwards Judge Patton and Mr. Heywood, the latter an attorney. We spent the afternoon and evening in examining the maps, in organizing the company, and adopting a number of resolutions, all of which had been prepared by Frank. Everything passed off very harmoniously. The intention is for Mr. Bannister and Frank to go East as soon as convenient and endeavor to secure contracts for the power, and also to endeavor to sell the bonds. The expectation is that a thousand horse power can be contracted for in Ogden City now. Judge Patton and Mr. Kiesel are to use their influence in securing a franchise from the City Council of Ogden and also bonuses. An ordinance which Judge Patton had prepared was read and it was thought that if that could be adopted by the City Council it would be In entering into <very satisfactory> this enterprise I have felt that we were doing something that would be of great benefit to our people in the future. If we do not step forward and take action in this matter, there is no doubt but some non-Mormon corporation would be formed to do this work and the control of our water might pass out of our hands in this way, and our people be placed in a position to have to pay tribute to strangers. In entering into this I know the First Presidency have been actuated by no sordid motive. The thought of benefitting ourselves has not entered into our minds. Our aim has been to secure benefits for the people, and we feel that the Lord has put it into the heart of Mr. Bannister to feel so kindly disposed and to have such confidence in us. Another view that I have taken is that there have been allegations made repeatedly by our enemies that no Gentile could expect fair treatment in Utah at the hands of the Mormons, and that if the Mormons ever had control the Gentiles would have to pull up and leave. This is a barefaced falsehood. The organization of this company with prominent Gentiles as members of it will prove the falsity of these charges and will have the effect to remove suspicions of this character from the minds of honorable men. The day must come when capital will flow into our midst from abroad, and perhaps this organization may be one of the means of exhibiting our true feelings to the world, showing them that honorable men who are not members of our Church can have rights and be maintained in their rights in this country as well as those of our own faith.

Before we separated, Frank submitted a document to us which had been prepared by Mr. Heywood, by means of which we vote our stock in a solid block. After he read what had been prepared, I suggested another point for consideration, viz., that we should not only vote in a solid block, but that our stock should be so secured that it could not be disposed of, and the last clause was added to meet my feelings. The following is a copy of the document:

THIS AGREEMENT WITNESSETH that we the undersigned, shareholders of the Pioneer Electric Power Company of Ogden, Utah, and holding the number of shares set opposite our respective names, to wit:

Wilford Woodruff



George Q. Cannon



Joseph F. Smith



Asahel H. Woodruff


John R. Winder


Frank J. Cannon 6700 agree to at once deposit the same in hands of Wilford Woodruff who shall be our attorney to vote said stock and all thereof as one block and without division and in such way and for such men and measures as a majority of the parties hereto shall direct.

And no one but the said Wilford Woodruff or his successor as such attorney shall vote any portion or the whole of said stock during the lifetime of this agreement.

And should for any reason the said Wilford Woodruff vacate or be removed from the position of such attorney then his successor shall at once be chosen by the parties hereto, a majority vote being sufficient to elect, whereupon the said successor shall succeed to all the duties of said Wilford Woodruff, and further succession may be carried out in like manner.

And we individually bind ourselves and our heirs, executors and administrators to the full and faithful performance of the covenants herein for the period of five (5) years.

And as a further consideration for the benefits flowing and to flow to the subscribers hereto, by the holding said stock as a unit, it is agreed by and between all of the undersigned that the stock herein placed shall not be sold or pledged, nor any portion thereof, nor shall it be allowed to carry a lien of any sort or character, during the lifetime of this agreement.

Ogden, Utah, November 27, 1893.

Wilford Woodruff

In presence of

Geo. Q. Cannon

A. R. Heywood

Jos. F. Smith

A. H. Woodruff

John R. Winder

Frank J. Cannon”

28 November 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 1893 We returned to Salt Lake this morning.

An appointment had been made to meet with Brothers Eccles, H. S. Young and Leaver, contractors of the Saltair Beach Co. for the construction of the pavilion. They had represented to us that there had been considerable loss in carrying out their contract and wished an adjustment. In previous conversations I have had with them I told them that we wanted to deal with them as brethren and thought that we ought to get together and examine all the affairs and see what would be right as between brother and brother. For this purpose they came this morning, and Brothers N. W. Clayton, James Jack and Isaac Clayton, of the Saltair Beach Co. met with the First Presidency and these brethren. After considerable conversation of a pleasant character, it was finally decided that the brethren meet together at the Saltair Co’s office and go carefully over the affairs and see if they could not reach a satisfactory arrangement.

29 November 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 1893 We had a meeting this morning with Brother J. E. Talmage and my son Abraham on the question of making a change in the fourth article of our Articles of Faith. It was decided that a change ought to be made. I might as well insert it here as it was afterwards adopted by the Council this afternoon. Instead of saying, “These are the ordinances”, the change has been made, “These are the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel”. The reasons for this change is that faith and repentance, though classed as ordinances, are not ordinances, but principles. The question of the form of baptism came up also, and it was decided that the form given in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon should be adhered to, without the insertion of other words, where baptism was administered for the remission of sins; but where administered for health, that the words “for the restoration of your health” should be used.

As tomorrow is Thanksgiving day and a legal holiday, it was suggested that we should have our usual council meeting today at 2 ‘clock. There were present, the First Presidency, Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon. I had received letters from General Clarkson concerning the railway and the progress that he and Col. Trumbo were making in their efforts to secure capitalists to furnish materials, rails, &c. for the construction of the road. The last letter asked for advice as to the course to be pursued. The matter had got to such a point that it seemed necessary that some decision should be reached as to whether we should proceed with the railroad project or defer it in favor of the admission of the state. This is such an important question that I suggested to Presidents Woodruff and Smith that we should bring it before our brethren of the Twelve, to whom nothing had thus far been said concerning the agreement that had been entered into between myself and associates and General Clarkson and associates. President Woodruff decided that it was proper that we should lay this matter before the brethren; so he opened by making a few remarks and then left me to make the explanations, which I did by having the preliminary contract between General Clarkson and myself read; then I read his letters. We had considerable conversation on the matter and we asked the brethren for their views as to the best course to take, telling them that our own feelings were that we should go ahead with the railroad and not defer action in view of statehood. The only fear that our friends in the East have had concerning pushing the railroad has been that it might excite the ire and opposition of Mr. Huntington, the president of the Southern Pacific Co., who is a very influential man, and who might in his desire to retaliate fight the admission of our Territory as a State. Brother Heber J. Grant was not in favor at all of this railroad enterprise. He was not present at the council which was held some time ago where it was decided that we should go ahead and build the railroad, and he offered a number of objections now to it, most of which were answered by myself. But after a full discussion, President Woodruff spoke in favor of going ahead. He said that the prospects were hopeful for success, and whatever was done in the matter our people would receive the benefit of it. He felt that something should be done, and also that the Lord would open the doors for us and bring us relief. This seemed to settle the matter in the minds of all the brethren. Brother Lorenzo Snow evidently favored what we were doing. Brother Richards did also afterwards, though he was not apparently clear in his mind in the beginning. President Woodruff also made explanations concerning our action in regard to the Ogden River, and I read to the council the agreement which we had drawn up and signed. Before the close of the meeting there was a very fine spirit. The question that I presented to my brethren was this: If we don’t enter upon some enterprise of this kind, what do we propose to do for our people? They are without work; they are likely to wander like sheep on the mountains without a shepherd. We must, it seems to me, in view of our responsibility as the leaders of Zion, do something to furnish the people employment and to keep them from scattering. I spoke upon this with a good deal of plainness, and I felt deeply impressed with the importance of our doing something of this kind. I said that I could not, in view of my responsibility, rest and let things go without making some effort to secure employment for our people. I should be glad to be free from the responsibility if I could see my way clear to do this consistently with my duty as a leader in Zion. After the meeting I came up to the office and drew out the following dispatch to send to General Clarkson:

“Our feeling is place the bonds if privately all the better. We have three hundred thousand dollars in bonds on our railroad already completed, pressing need to dispose of them to untie our hands. Can they be sold.”

30 November 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 30, 1893. I spent the day at home and took dinner with my wife Sarah Jane and her children, with the exception of Frank. Had a very pleasant time.

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November 1893, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 19, 2024