January 1895

Events in George Q. Cannon’s journal for 1895

9 January ff.

Conducted business in New York

13 January ff.

Conducted business in Hartford, Connecticut

4 February ff.

Proposal for the church to buy gold mining property

5 February ff.

“The Board of Directors of the Bullion, Beck & Champion Mining Co. were all split up into factions.”

14 February

Denied taking any part in son Frank’s election

18 February

Response to an article in the New York Times, presumably written by a knowledgeable Mormon

10 March

Funeral of Abraham O. Smoot

12 March ff.

Considered ways to pay back General James S. Clarkson

25 March

Visited governmental officials, including President Grover Cleveland, in Washington

1 April

“Mr. Ryan and the Bullion, Beck & Champion Co’s affairs”

9 April ff.

Responded to a proposal that prohibition should be part of the Utah Constitution

11 April

Concern about the dilatoriness of many of the company invited to dinner

18 April ff.

Difficulties in raising money to buy mining property

19 April

“Views respecting the union or the separation of the Agricultural College and the University” of Utah

2 May

Set apart Andrew Jenson for a mission “to visit all the places where any members of the Church reside”

3 May

“We have not used Church influence [regarding politics] in the manner that has been indicated.”

10 May

“Talk over the affairs of the Mountain Standard Telephone Co.”

19 May ff.

In St. Louis on business

8 June

G. H. Jack, “he who modeled the oxen we have under the font in the Salt Lake Temple,” is “imbued with socialism.”

11 June

Reported “the Telephone business” by letter to Bishop Hiram B. Clawson

14 June ff.

Dealt with a variety of business matters in New York

20 June

Response to administering to President Wilford Woodruff: “Oh! there is nothing like the Spirit of the Lord to fill the soul with peace, comfort and joy.”

25 June ff.

Trip to the Northwest and on to Alaska with President Woodruff and others for “the benefit of President Woodruff’s health”

8 July ff.

Descriptions of trip to the Northwest and Alaska

9 July

In letter from son Abraham: “John Beck has fallen into the hands of Charles and Arthur Stayner.”

10 July ff.

Sterling Mining Company matters

2 August

Suggested that Zina D. Young should “gradually drop out of active participation in politics and do as we, the First Presidency, are doing”

4 August

Counseled church leaders to build grain elevators

9 August

Credit of the First Presidency was refused by “one of our local banks”

12 August

Tomizo Katsunuma “is the first Japanese, so far as we know, that has been introduced into the Church.”

14 August

First Presidency visited by Reed Smoot “in relation to the indebtedness of the Brigham Young Academy which his father had endorsed”

16 August

Opposed the sale of Pipe Spring Ranch, Arizona

24 August

Received a letter from A. B. Tomson, corresponding secretary of the Utah Press Association, that shows a change in “the spirit that now reigns in some quarters”

9 September

Education of Cannon children

11 September

“Certain parties . . . have jumped the ‘Chispa’ claim belonging to the Sterling Mining & Milling Co.”

13 September ff.

Fourth National Irrigation Congress; Cannon chosen as vice president

8 October

Moved that the church purchase the “Confidence” mine

16 October ff.

Business with Joseph Banigan and others in the East

24 October

Falsely and “freely charged with trying to unite Church and State.” Had “no more desire to go to Washington as a Senator than I would have to go to the Arctic Ocean.”

31 October

Decision regarding parties in transgression making their confession in the wards

3 November

Feelings about accusations of political control by the church

7 November ff.

Cannon and senatorship

19 November ff.

Question of Colonel Isaac Trumbo or Frank J. Cannon for senator

25 November ff.

The Trans-Mississippi Commercial Congress in Omaha, Nebraska

28 November

Visit to Winter Quarters fifty years later

2 December ff.

Further business concerning the Pioneer Electric Power Company

12 December

I have felt for years that our Historian Office was in a bad shape.”

20 December

“The First Presidency had an interview today with Brother Willard Weihe, the violinist, upon the subject of the Musicians’ Union.”

26 December ff.

Senatorship matters

1 January 1895 • Tuesday

Tuesday, January 1, 1895. The First Presidency came to the office at 2 o’clock and held a closing interview with Mr. Abbot and Mr. O’Meara concerning a loan.

I dined with my wife Martha, it being my daughter Grace’s birthday and our son Brigham expects to go in the morning on his mission to Germany, to which he has been appointed. In the evening a number of his young friends came and the time was spent very pleasantly in music, singing and recitations, and about an hour or two in the dance. I blessed Brigham this evening, as a father.

2 January 1895 • Wednesday

Wednesday, January 2, 1895. The First Presidency were engaged today in business at the office.

At 1 o’clock we had a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. directors, and afterwards a meeting of the Sugar Company.

3 January 1895 • Thursday

Thursday, January 3, 1895. I was very busy today making preparations to get away tomorrow to the East in accordance with the dispatch I had received from Mr. S. H. H. Clark desiring to know if I could meet him at New York on the 99th or 10th, to which I responded that I would.

I had an interview with Mr. Badlam about Bullion-Beck matters. He is here for the purpose of pushing a suit against John Beck for the Caroline mine, which John Beck claims as his personal property, and which Mr. Badlam contends belongs to the B.B.& C. Co.

Brother Geo. Reynolds read correspondence to the First Presidency today which had taken place between Brother M. W. Merrill and Brother Moses Thatcher, and which Brother Merrill had referred to the First Presidency. It appears that Brother Moses Thatcher, in addressing the people of Bear Lake at a public meeting, made some remarks concerning an Apostle in Cache Valley, that were of a very personal nature. As they were reported and published in the Post, a newspaper issued at Paris, Bear Lake Co., they were severe, and not only unwise but unjust and untrue. It seems that the paper containing these remarks was called to Brother Merrill’s attention, and he had some correspondence with the First Presidency upon the subject while I was absent lately in the East. After this he addressed a letter to Brother Thatcher, and called his attention to the report of his remarks in the Post, and asked him if he was the Apostle to whom he referred. To this letter of inquiry Brother Thatcher made reply, which called forth another letter from Brother Merrill, but which letter Brother Thatcher did not answer. Brother Merrill then enclosed the correspondence to us, and asked counsel as to what course should now be taken.

Of course, it is not wise to come to any conclusion concerning a case of this importance without having more knowledge than this correspondence furnishes. It is not, however, improper to say that Brother Thatcher does not appear to advantage in what he has written. It lacks frankness, and appears to dodge the question and to be evasive. Brother Merrill sends with the correspondence the testimony of one of the Counselors in the Presidency of the Bear Lake Stake and three Bishops, to the effect that they understood Brother Thatcher to say that which the newspaper reports he did say.

After listening to the reading of all the papers it was decided to address a letter, enclosing all the correspondence, &c, to President Lorenzo Snow and the Council of the Apostles, and request them to take the necessary steps to have this whole case thoroughly and carefully investigated.

After this decision and the letter had been written, President Lorenzo Snow, Brigham Young and A. H. Cannon happened to come into the office, and as I expected to be away from home when this case would come up for hearing, I felt impressed to give Brother Snow my views concerning the course that I thought should be adopted. I desired to do this in the presence of Presidents Woodruff and Smith; but President Smith had sent word that he was not very well and he would not be at the office today; so the conversation took place in the back office in the presence of President Woodruff and the other Apostles. I said that in the examination of this case, if it should appear that Brother Thatcher had made such remarks as were attributed to him, I felt that nothing short of full reparation ought to be accepted as satisfactory; in homely phrase, the “plaster should be as big as the sore.” Reports have reached the First Presidency from time to time concerning remarks which Brother Thatcher has made and the spirit he has manifested about the First Presidency and their policy, and we had felt that if these things were true there was danger of a schism in the Church. Brother Thatcher is a man of talent, a man of plausible manner and language, and has had considerable influence. We owe it to him, therefore, I said, as well as to ourselves and the people, that if he has taken a wrong direction he should be checked. This is the opportunity to do this, and if it is done now, it may save serious consequences. I said I speak freely on this case, because I am not connected with it as I previously have been with affairs to which Brother Thatcher has been a party. While I was in prison, I said, President Woodruff wrote to me that Brother Thatcher, at a meeting of the Council of the Apostles, had charged me with having money in my possession which belonged to him, and that he intended to institute legal proceedings against me. I said when I came out of the penitentiary I wrote a letter to President Woodruff and the Council which I read to them. Brother Thatcher being also present, in which I clearly proved that instead of my having any money belonging to Brother Thatcher he had been overpaid about $100, which belonged to me. He himself professed to be satisfied with my statement and accepted it as correct. But I have never heard of his making this right with the Council or of having acknowledged that he had done wrong in making this accusation against me. I did not mention this, I said, because I wanted anything of this kind done. It is past and I do not desire anything about this to be revived. I only mention it in this connection, I said, to express my view about such a proceeding. When a man does a wrong, it is for his own good, as well as for other reasons, that he should be asked to repair it, and, I added, if Brother Thatcher has done Brother Merrill any injustice in the remarks he has made, he should be required to make full amends. I told the brethren that as I was going away I desired them to know my personal feelings upon this point; and I assured them I had no personal feeling against Brother Thatcher in making these remarks; my only desire is to have this affair settled properly.

President Woodruff also expressed himself very freely in the same strain and talked very plainly concerning the spirit Brother Thatcher had shown and the course he had taken.

Brother Snow acquiesced in what had been said and was fully alive to the peril in which Brother Thatcher had stood.

I had a meeting with my family in the evening at which I gave them instructions.

4 January 1895 • Friday

Friday, January 4, 1895. Brother C. H. Wilcken took my wife Carlie and myself to the train. My son Abraham joined us there. At 7 o.clock we left. Col. N. W. Clayton and wife started with us.

5 January 1895 • Saturday

Saturday, January 5, 1895. In the evening, at Omaha, Mr. Henry, depot master, brought me passes for Brother Clayton and myself and our wives over the Chicago & North Western.

6 January 1895 • Sunday

Sunday, January 6, 1895 Reached Chicago at 10 a.m. We have had a very pleasant time on the sleeper from home to this point. The car for which we had our tickets failed to connect from Portland, so we were put in the drawing room without extra charge.

We spent the day at the Auditorium Hotel. After our arrival at Chicago I met Mr. Dering of the Penn. R.R. at his office and he gave me passes for myself and wife over that line to New York.

7 January 1895 • Monday

Monday, January 7, 1895 We left Chicago at 10;30 a.m. for New York. Brother Clayton and wife are to go by the Erie R.R.

8 January 1895 • Tuesday

Tuesday, January 8, 1895 Reached New York at 2:30 p. m. and drove to the Netherland Hotel.

My son Frank came over from the Plaza Hotel and spent the evening with us. He gave us a relation of his visit to Rhode Island and the two banquets which he attended, at each of which he made a speech. The occasions were the inauguration of the Mayor of Pantucket [Pawtucket] and the Mayor of Providence.

9 January 1895 • Wednesday

Wednesday, January 9, 1895 Brother & Sister Clayton arrived last night.

Frank, Brother Clayton and myself called at the office of Mr. Boissevain, and afterwards at the office of the Receivers of the Union Pacific. Mr. Clark had not reached the city. We had some conversation with Mr. Monroe, the Traffic Manager of the Union Pacific.

In the evening Brother & Sister Clayton, my wife and myself went to the Standard Theatre and saw a laughable play entitled “Too Much Johnson”.

10 January 1895 • Thursday

Thursday, January 10, 1895 The weather has been wretched today; rain has fallen heavily and has been accompanied by violent gusts of wind.

Frank, Brother Clayton and myself again called at the office of the Recovers of the Union Pacific. We met Mr. Frederick Coudert, a man of eminence in the legal profession, and who represented our government in the Behring Sea controversy: he is one of the Receivers of the Union Pacific. He did not remain to do any business with us. Mr. S. H. H. Clark and Mr. Oliver W. Mink, two of the Receivers, and Mr. Monroe were there to converse with us. Mr. Clark apologized to me for not keeping his appointment yesterday. These gentlemen and ourselves had a free and a somewhat full discussion of the business which had brought us together. There were five points or subjects which were brought to their attention; first: a coal rate from our Grass Creek mines to Ogden and Salt Lake and the intermediate places; this included also a proposition for the Union Pacific to build a line from their present line up Grass Creek Canon, a distance of about six miles; second: a salt rate for our salt from our salt gardens to points on the Utah Northern or Oregon Short Line; third: an arrangement that shall be mutually advantageous for the Saltair Beach Pavilion and the Garfield Beach resort; fourth: a trackage arrangement by which we can have the use of their line running westward to their terminus; fifth: terminals in Salt Lake City—that is, an arrangement by which we can get the use of their depot grounds on reasonable terms. We spent upwards of three hours in conversation upon these subjects, and the conversation, as far as it went, appeared favorable to a satisfactory arrangement upon all these points. Concerning trackage, the feeling on both sides appeared to be that the leasing of the Utah & Nevada R.R. to us would perhaps be the most satisfactory, the question being on their part how much they should receive as interest per mile for the 37 miles of road; and the question on our side being whether we could afford to pay the amount for a lease that the bondholders would deem proper as interest on their investment. We separated with the understanding that we should formulate our propositions in writing and submit them tomorrow.

From that office we went to Mr. Boissevain’s office and related to him in substance all that had taken place. He appears very favorable to an alliance such as is proposed; but he does not think it possible to complete these arrangements while the case is pending which is to decide whether the Oregon Short Line properties are to be separated from the Union Pacific. This case has been postponed from the 15th to the 29th or 30th inst. I mentioned to Mr. Boissevain the name of Mr. Hoyt Sherman as Ticket and Passenger Agent for the Oregon Short Line if a separation should be effected. He appeared pleased at my mention of the name, and said if there should be a separation that he would like me to bring the name to his attention in writing.

11 January 1895 • Friday

Friday, January 11, 1895 Being my sixty-eighth birthday, I received congratulations by telegraph from Presidents Woodruff and Smith and the clerks in the office; the dispatch was signed by Brother James Jack. A similar dispatch was received from my family and Brother C. H. Wilcken, he having signed the dispatch[.]

We drew up the following communication and sent it to the Receivers of the Union Pacific system:

New York, January 10, 1895.

Messrs. S. H. H. Clark,

Oliver W. Mink,

E. Ellery Anderson,

John W. Doane,

Frederick R. Coudert,

Receivers of the Union Pacific System.


In pursuance of the understanding had with Messrs. Clark and Mink to-day, we submit the following suggestion of a basis for the proposed closer business relation and friendly alliance between your companies and the people and properties which we represent:


A freight rate on coal from our mines at Grass Creek to Ogden, Salt Lake and intermediate points of $1.25 per ton for commercial coal and $1.00 per ton for coal for our Salt Lake and Los Angeles railway – none of the coal received <carried> by your line at the lower rate to be sold or used for other than our railway purposes.

The establishment of a selling rate to consumers as low as you can consistently make it, and such rate to be honorably maintained by us.

The foregoing would involve the laying of a track from your Echo and Park City line to our mines, a distance of about six miles. You formerly had this spur but abandoned it and took up the track some years ago. The grade went to pieces and we recently restored it with a view to our building a coal road from Salt Lake to Grass Creek, but that purpose has been held in abeyance pending a settlement of this negotiation. We would furnish the grade ready for track laying.


A freight rate on salt from all gardens on the lake to the main line of G. S. L. & U. N., of not less than 50 cents per ton; or, if you prefer, an allowance to us of not less than 50 cents per ton on salt hauled by us from our gardens and delivered to your line at Salt Lake City.

Compared with the foregoing suggestion, you are now hauling salt for nothing from Saltair to Salt Lake and trans-shipping it from narrow guage to broad guage cars without charge, with the effect of practically excluding our salt from the Montana market.


An end of the demoralizing war between the two beach resorts; and an honorable maintenance of rates of transportation between Salt Lake City and the resorts.

At present the profits of both Garfield and Saltair and the railway passenger traffic are given as a bonus to excursion promoters.


The broadening and improvement of the Utah and Nevada by you, from Salt Lake to its present terminus, with the view to our immediately extending from Terminus to Deep Creek or even further.

A trackage arrangement between the Utah and Nevada and our Company, permitting to us the use of its proposed new line from Terminus to Salt Lake for the following annual charge: 2 1/2% on a capitalization of $20,000 per mile; and a maintenance charge according to wheelage.

Or, having in mind the suggestion made from your side in to-day’s meeting, a lease of the Utah and Nevada line to us after the broadening of the guage and improvement of the line for the following annual charge: 5% on a capitalization of $20,000 per mile.

Under this latter arrangement, we would maintain the line and deliver it at the expiration of our term in as good condition as when leased.


The occupancy and use by us of your yards and passenger and freight stations at Salt Lake for an annual charge to be determined.

Our freight business would consist almost entirely of goods delivered to you; such as salt, for Montana; ores, for smelters along your lines; wool and live stock, for eastern markets. A charge against us of 2 1/2% on the very low capitalization of $250,000 might seem inadequate to you, but, coupled with the maintenance account, would probably represent our proportion.

As an arrangement for terminal facilities would probably be dependent upon the broadening of the Uet <Utah> and Nevada and our extension to Deep Creek, we do not doubt that an adjustment could be made.

We have briefly stated the five general suggestions. We trust that you will find that they comprise advantage as great to you as to us. Our purpose is the advancement of industry and population in Utah, by the encouragement of her local capital and the development of her resources. This purpose must be achieved in some proper and speedy manner, otherwise the most independent people – financially – on the continent will sink into debt and decadence. As this purpose shall take on living form, the trunk line most closely allied with it would reap most advantage. The consummation of our plans would give to the Union Pacific a field, growing vastly richer every year and more than compensating for the loss of population and production in its eastern field. Already hundreds of people from Kansas and Nebraska are turning to Utah. With your co-operation we can make the opportunities of prosperity and contentment for them and the thousands who are oncoming.

In case you shall find it at the present juncture impossible or inadvisable to improve the Utah and Nevada railway and to negotiate with us upon the fourth and fifth suggestions of the accompanying communication, we ask your favorable and prompt consideration of the Coal, Salt, and Beach resort propositions. A friendly and immediate arrangement concerning these matters will be mutually advantageous, and will be accepted as a help extended by the Union Pacific to the local interests of the community.


[Initialed] G. Q. C.

[Initialed] F. J. C.

[Initialed] N. W. C.

I called upon G. A. Purbeck & Co. and had a somewhat lengthy conversation with him, during part of which my son Frank and Brother Clayton were present. I told him that the affairs of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. were in such a condition, and he having failed to get money for that Company, we desired to release himself and partners and to have a paper signed by them accepting that release, so that we might be free to make other arrangements for the carrying out of our enterprises. I laid before him the shortness of the time for us to accomplish that which is necessary for us to do if we shall retain the franchise and the concessions which have been granted to the Co. I told him that we could no longer delay. Of course, this led to a great deal of talk on Mr. Purbeck’s part, in which he complained of the dilatoriness of the Company in answering his letters and in complying with necessary requirements which he had made of the Company. Among other things, he complained of the changes which had been made in the contract that he had prepared and the neglect to adopt the by laws that he had framed. He said that up to the present time the character of the bed rock where it was expected to build a dam had not been properly examined, and there had been great delay about many things in the engineer’s work. He read to me a paper in the nature of a prospectus, setting forth the excellence of the proposed investment in this enterprise and the profits that would result therefrom. This had been sent to upwards of two hundred and forty bankers of the country; but he had received no favorable response from any one. He told me also of efforts he had made in other directions, but without results. He intended, he said, to go to Europe early in February, and he thought he would be likely to succeed there. I told him we could not afford to advance any more money to pay the expense of a trip to Europe. He replied that he would not expect us to pay his expenses. I thought the possibility of his raising money in Europe at this late hour too vague and uncertain to be relied upon. Before we separated he agreed to prepare a release and papers for both sides to sign. He said he did not wish to stand in our way and would help us all he could. This was said after we had conversed a little while. Just before I left, one of his partners, Mr. A. R Coates, came in, and then Mr. Purbeck, in referring to the release, said that he thought the Company ought to give them the selling of the bonds. We separated with the understanding that I should call tomorrow at 2 o’clock.

We went to the theatre in company with Brother & Sister Clayton and my son Frank, and saw the Kendalls in the Second Mrs. Tanqueray. None of us liked the play.

12 January 1895 • Saturday

Saturday, January 12, 1895. Myself and wife went to H. B. Claflin Co. I purchased 23 pairs of curtains for my family and seven fur capes; three of them for my wives Sarah Jane, Eliza and Martha, and four for my daughters Hester, Rosannah, Emily and Carol. I was quite pleased with this purchase, as I got these articles at one-third less than I would had to pay before the holidays.

I called upon Mr. Purbeck at 2 o’clock, and I had quite a plain talk with him about our affairs. He is disposed to blame us for not doing all he asked of us, and which he says is necessary for his success as our financial agent. I repeated to him that which I had said in a previous conversation, that we had become discouraged at the want of certainty there was in the carrying out of the enterprises. I said he was the greatest master of details I had ever met; but there was nothing tangible that we could rely on. I told him I had believed that he would succeed, and had always said so, though some of our people thought that he had undertaken more than he could carry out. He remarked then that they had lost confidence in G. A. Purbeck & Co. I replied that that was scarcely the way to put it, because they knew nothing about G. A. Purbeck & Co. and there was no confidence to lose. He had prepared releases and duplicates for his house and myself to sign, which he handed to me for myself and Frank to examine. I give herewith copies of these—

“Hon. Geo. Q. Cannon, Prest.,

Pioneer Electric Power Company,

Ogden, Utah.

Dear Sir:

We hereby agree to cancel our Contract with the Pioneer Electric Power Company dated [blank]1894, upon the following conditions to wit:

That in the event of your Company’s procuring money for its use, either directly or indirectly from any party or parties that we have already communicated with, (orally or in writing) we are to receive from the Company, of all amounts so procured, one per centum (1%) payable to us, as and when paid to the Company, or Contractor or Contractors for work done for it.”

“Messrs. G. A. Purbeck & Co.,

New York City.


In Consideration of your having this day cancelled the Contract between the Pioneer Electric Power Company and yourself, dated [blank] June, 1894, we hereby agree that in event of this Companys procuring money for its use (or for Contractor of Contractors for work to be done for it) either directly or indirectly, from any party or parties that you have already communicated with, orally or in writing, we will pay you 1% of all such amounts so procured, as and when received by it or its Contractor or Contractors.

Yours respectfully,”

13 January 1895 • Sunday

Sunday, January 13, 1895 Myself and wife went to Brooklyn this morning and spent an hour at my cousin Wm. Qualey’s.

We decided to go to Hartford today at 4 o’clock, to keep the appointment made for us by Mr. Abbot to meet the committee of the Travelers Insurance Co. We (N. W. Clayton, Frank and myself) reached there at 6:50. The night was very cold. We put up at the Heublein Hotel, a very nice house on the European plan.

14 January 1895 • Monday

Monday, January 14, 1895 At 9:30 we met Mr. Abbot at his office. The Mayor of Hartford, Mr. Brainard, hearing that we were there, called to see us, and I had a very interesting conversation with him. He proffered to do anything in his power to make our stay pleasant.

At 10:30 we went to the Travelers Insurance Co’s building, and there we were introduced to Vice President Davis, (the President, Mr. Batterson, is detained in New York by sickness), Ex-Governor Howard, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Mungen, Mr. Dennis, the Secy. of the Co., and Mr. Dunham, the Attorney of the Co. Ex-Governor Howard and myself had met some years before, when I was in Congress, and he remembered me very well. He repeated some jokes of my old friend, Hon. Geo. M. Landers, who at that time represented this district in Congress, and who had introduced Governor Howard to me. The Committee and ourselves had a lengthy conversation upon the subject of the loan of half a million, which we desired to obtain, and the character of the securities was fully discussed, they asking a great many questions. Ex-Governor Howard took the lead in the business, as Vice President Davis appears quite senile. We offered 300 one thousand bonds of the Salt Lake & Los Angeles Railroad, 200 one thousand bonds of the Saltair Beach, 400 one thousand bonds of the Lehi Sugar Factory, making a total value of nine hundred thousand dollars as collateral security for a note of half a million dollars, to be signed by Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, James Jack, N. W. Clayton, F. J. Cannon & W. W. Cluff, and to be endorsed by Wilford Woodruff as Trustee-in-Trust. We set forth that the individual signers of the note were more than able to meet it, which, with the collateral, made the note good paper. The endorsement of the Trustee-in-Trust was a moral obligation of high value, and, if anything, more binding than a merely legal obligation would be. The impression made upon us by the conversation was that they were favorably inclined to the loan. They treated us with marked courtesy, and Mr. Abbot assured us that it was quite an uncommon proceeding for persons asking for loans to be admitted to a personal conference as we had been; such business had to be done by writing.

Mr. William R. Morgan, the warm friend of my deceased son David, learned last night of our arrival and came at once to the hotel to see us. He desired the opportunity to show us attentions today; but we had not time. He lunched with us, and we had an interesting conversation until train time. He accompanied us to the station, and we left for New York at 2:24 and reached there before 6. I sent home the following message in cipher:

“Visited Hartford. Business looks favorable. If loan is made they will prefer trustee-in-trust as endorser instead of principal. Therefore send immediately two notes like former two except have individuals sign as principals and trustee-in-trust as endorse.”

15 January 1895 • Tuesday

Tuesday, January 15, 1895 Col. Clayton is quite sick, something like la grippe.

Frank and myself called on G. A. Purbeck & Co, and told them our objections to the form of release which they had proposed. We said they had had communication with almost every banker in the entire country about this enterprise. Under the terms of this proposed release they could claim, we said, one per cent if we should do any business with any one of these banks, because they could claim that they had done business with them, “orally or in writing”, “directly or indirectly”, and we could not escape the payment of the one per cent, though what they had sent them might not have had the least influence upon them. This would be a perpetual mortgage upon our enterprise and we could not consent to it. I said I am willing to say personally, and I think I can speak for the Company as well, that if we should derive any benefit from your communications or labors with any of these parties we will be willing to compensate you for that. Mr. Purbeck and Mr. Coates claimed that it never could be told how much parties had been influenced by their representations, as they might deny that they had been favorably impressed and be unwilling to acknowledge that if times had been better when they received the communication they would have taken hold of the offer. After considerable discussion, they arguing in favor of their side and setting forth how well entitled they were to further compensation, and we arguing in favor of our position, it was suggested by Mr. Purbeck that we draw up such a form of release as would suit us and they would consider it. At this we separated.

From here we went to the office of the Receivers of the Union Pacific Co. to keep appointment made with Mr. Clark. We met with him, Mr. Mink and Mr. Monroe and went over the Salt and Coal business of ours and came to a satisfactory arrangement and conclusion concerning the salt and nearly complete about the coal. The Saltair Beach business was left until Mr. Lomax could come here from Omaha, and Mr. Clark said he would telegraph for him and thought he would be here by Friday. We felt well at the result of this interview, as we were encouraged at the prospect.

In the evening Frank and my wife and myself went to the Lyceum Theatre to see “The Case of Rebellious Susan”—a play which none of us were pleased with; its morals were bad, but it was excellently played.

16 January 1895 • Wednesday

Wednesday, January 16, 1895 Frank and I went to G. A. Purbeck & Co this morning and presented the release we had drawn up. We had further discussion, but finally Mr. A. R. Coates said they had better sign it, which I did first and they afterwards. The following is a copy:

New York, January 16, 1895.

The Pioneer Electric Power Company, of Ogden, Utah, and G. A. Purbeck & Co., Financiers, of 114 Fifth Ave., New York City, do hereby mutually cancel and discharge all contracts heretofore or now subsisting.

All plans, maps and papers – including Engineers’ and Consulting Contractors’ reports by Thomas S. King and Warren H. Loss – pertaining to said Pioneer Electric Power Company’s enterprise and now in the possession of said G. A. Purbeck and Company, are to be returned to the Pioneer Electric Power Company.

If said Pioneer Electric Power Company shall on or before June 1, 1895, obtain money for its Stocks or Bonds from any of the parties to whom said G. A. Purbeck & Co. have presented said Pioneer Electric Power Company’s business, and as a result of such presentation, the Pioneer Electric Company shall pay to said G. A. Purbeck & Company one per centum upon such sums so obtained as and when received by said Pioneer Electric Power Company.


By its President,



In reply to questions I made the following statement, which I have put in writing and fastened it to the release that it may be remembered. I never desire to make any promise without doing all in my power to fulfill it:

When1 the appended agreement was signed by Mr. A. R. Coates, for the firm of G. A. Purbeck & Co., Mr. Purbeck asked the following question of Mr. Geo. Q. Cannon: “Now that our relation is ended what shall you say if anyone asked <asks> you how Purbeck & Co. handled your business?” Geo. Q. Cannon answered: “I shall say that Purbeck & Co. gave their best endeavor to our affair, pushing it, as I believe, with all their talent and energy. They did not obtain money for us; in the depressed state of finances it seemed that investors did not care for this class of projects.” Mr. Purbeck then replied: “That is satisfactory.” Mr. Geo. Q. Cannon then added: “I desire <to say> this in the presence of my son Frank and the two members of your firm, that should any financial results and profits be derived by us from your labors, it is my personal feeling that you should have proper consideration and recompense, as I did <do> not wish to take advantage of the expenditure of one dollar of money of one hour of time by other people in our behalf without making due return.” To this Mr. A. R. Coates replied: “That is sufficient for me.”2

17 January 1895 • Thursday

Thursday, January 17, 1895 I called at G. A. Purbeck & Co’s office and had Mr. Coates (Mr. Purbeck not being in) change the figure in the release given yesterday from 1894 to 1895, the 4 having been put in instead of the 5. While in I let him read the mem. which I had written to be attached to the release. He expressed pleasure at the reading of it.

Sister Clayton wished to go to Bedloe’s Island to see the Statue of Liberty, but it was thought to be too cold for Bro. Claton [Clayton] in his condition. We went and saw a continuous performance for about three hours.

This evening Mr. Abbott came down from Hartford, he having arranged for an interview between us with and Mr. Batterson, the President of the Travelers Insurance Co. We met at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in a private room, and our interview extended to nearly two hours. We went over very thoroughly the character of the securities and the property which they represented. Mr. Batterson seemed favorably impressed with what we said. The difficulty in his mind appeared to be that these securities, not being altogether of the character upon which the law permitted Insurance Co’s to make loans, he had doubt about the State Commissioner of Insurance being favorable to accepting them as proper and reliable assets. He, therefore, requested Mr. Abbot to take either Mr. Dunham, the Attorney of the Co., Mr. Dennis, the Secretary of the Co., or Mr. Munyen, the Land Agent of the Co., and go and see the Commissioner. We found Mr. Batterson a very remarkable man. He is probably over 70 years old. He started in life very poor. He learned the printing business, and early devoted himself to study, and received the degree of Master of Arts from Yale before thos[e] of his own age who had graduated there. He is now a member of a Greek Society which meets once a week in New York to read Greek in the original and to discuss Greek subjects. His conversation was very interesting, and especially his relation of his early struggles and the economy he had to practice.

18 January 1895 • Friday

Friday, January 18, 1895 We expected to have met Mr. Clark and Mr. Lomax today, but the meeting was postponed till 11 o’clock tomorrow.

Brother Clayton, Frank and myself called on L. S. Hopkins, who introduced us to his son Allison. He insisted on our accepting an invitation to a Sunday evening concert at the Metropolitan Opera House to hear the Stabat Mater.

Just as my wife and myself were going out of the hotel to go down town we had a call from Sister Viola Pratt. She promised to call tomorrow.

19 January 1895 • Saturday

Saturday, January 19, 1895 We went to the office of the Receivers of the Union Pacific Railway at 11 o’clock; but found it necessary to meet Mr. Clark, Mr. Lomax and Mr. Monroe at the Windsor Hotel, as Mr. Clark’s ill health had prevented him from leaving the house for two days. Brother Clayton, Frank and myself spent a little over four hours with them, (taking lunch with them, at Mr. Clark’s invitation, in the meantime) and we went over the Beach proposition very thoroughly. Mr. Lomax had prepared the following paper:


FIRST: Have Salt Air people use our Utah & Nevada Passenger Depot.

SECOND: Pool the business between Salt Lake and Garfield and between Salt Lake & Salt Air, half and half.

THIRD: Put both beaches (Garfield and Salt Air), under one management. Suggest our Hotel management can do it cheaper on account of their facilities, having in charge the Union Pacific Eating-houses.

FOURTH: Give no passes, excepting to the Newspapers, or Members of the Press; also employees, and Railway Exchange passes.

FIFTH: Have Salt Air people discontinue ticketing arrangements with Rio Grande Western for points outside of Salt Lake, and also stop ticketing arrangements for Garfield Beach outside of Salt Lake.

SIXTH: Give no more free side trips between Salt Lake and Garfield, or between Salt Lake and Salt Air.

SEVENTH: Pay no more commissions on either the railroad fare Salt Lake to Garfield, or Salt Lake to Salt Air.

EIGHTH: Pay no more commissions on bath privileges or boat privileges, but in order to make this a success, one management for both places highly desirable.

This was discussed proposition by proposition, that concerning the division of the profits soliciting the longest and most persistent talk. Our side proposed that the Union Pacific should have 40% and we 60%. Mr. Lomax thought their Company ought to have 45%; then he argued for 42 1/2%, then expressed willingness to knock off the 1/2, leaving it 42 against 58, and for this he was very strenuous. Mr. Clark ended it by saying, let it stand at that and we will make it up in charges, which we have yet to settle, for use of depot, &c. I insert here the mem. of the agreement as made by Mr. Munro [Monroe] and us:

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It was stated by Mr. Clark, and so understood by Mr. Monroe and Mr. Lomax and ourselves, that no charge should be made by the Union Pacific Co. for any passenger car for my use if I wished to take out a party of friends.

My wife spent all day in the house waiting for Sister Pratt, who did not come.

20 January 1895 • Sunday

Sunday, January 20, 1895 Sister Pratt telegraphed my wife yesterday apologizing for not calling, but intimating she would call today. Sister Clayton came over to our room and we remained indoors till nearly 3 o’clock, but Sister Pratt did not call.

Brother & Sister Clayton proposed a carriage ride on Riverside Drive, which we accepted and enjoyed. Being Sunday, a great number of people were out in carriages, in sleighs and afoot.

At 8 o’clock our party went to the Metropolitan Opera House, a grand building, and heard a fine selection of orchestral music and some solos and Stabat Mater. The principal singers were Mesdames Nordica and Scalchi and Messrs. Plancon and Tamagno. This concert was a most delightful. Mr. Hopkins and his son and his son’s wife were with us in the stalls which they had provided.

We were afterwards taken to a fashionable restaurant and each partook of a golden buck.

21 January 1895 • Monday

Monday, January 21, 1895 Shall I ever forget golden buck? After a painful night I arose this morning sick. I had scarcely got out of bed when Frank came to our room with a letter from Mr. Abbot, suggesting that we come to Hartford this morning. Frank thought that perhaps I would not want to go, it was so late and I not in health; but I felt that I should go. He left to get his overcoat and a carriage, and in 20 minutes from the time he left our room I had washed, dressed myself and we had traveled 19 blocks to the depot—a pretty quick feat.

Our trip to Hartford did not result in any business, as the financial committee of the Travelers Co. did not meet, and would not till Wednesday; so it was agreed that we should return here Tuesday evening to be ready for the meeting Wednesday morning, unless Mr. Abbot should telegraph us that there would be no meeting.

We called upon Col. Green, President of the Mutual Insurance Co., and had a pleasant visit with him. We left Hartford at 2:24 p.m. and reached New York at 5:30 p.m.

22 January 1895 • Tuesday

Tuesday, January 22, 1895 We were awakened last night to receive a telegram from my son Abraham informing me that a dividend of 50¢ per share had been declared by the Bullion, Beck & Champion Mining Co.

My wife and self went to H. B. Claflin’s Co. and bought two carpets, one for my wife Sarah Jane’s parlor and the other for my wife Eliza’s. I bought also five rugs and doormats. We afterwards went to Steinway & Sons and purchased two instruments which I had been promising to get for some time.

At 4 o’clock Frank and I took train to Hartford. We stopped at Heublein Hotel. Mr. Abbot invited some gentlemen to meet us; among them, Mr. Green of the Courant, and Mr. Loomis, President of the Etna Co. We learn that the Finance Committee of the Travelers Co. meets tomorrow at ten o’clock.

23 January 1895 • Wednesday

Wednesday, January 23, 1895 Went to Mr. Abbot’s office in company with Frank this morning. He had prepared a letter to send to Mr. Batterson and Finance Committee of the Company. Upon hearing it read I suggested another form of letter, which was sent. Shortly afterwards we were invited to their meeting. There were present: President Batterson, Vice President Davis, ex-Governor Howard and Roberts, also Mr. Dennis, Secretary; Mr. Abbot, Frank and myself. Mr. Munyen was also in the building. We had free conversation and they were pleased to learn that the mortgage for the Sugar Co’s bonds covered 1100 acres of land, 900 of which is beet land and having water rights. This, I told them, the Company would not take $150 per acre for. As the objection in their minds to our collateral was on account of it being a factory and a beach resort, and not enough real estate, the information we gave of this land enhanced the value of our securities in their estimation. Mr. Batterson said that owing to the attitude of the State Commissioner of Insurance, he declining to decide favorably upon this of ours, and he not continuing in office beyond July next, they would have to decline the loan unless more could be known about the properties. He asked if we would be willing to have two of their agents—Judge Toll and Mr. Barrows of Denver—examine these properties on their behalf. I said time was an object with us, as we had made a contract with the Union Pacific Company (the particulars of which I briefly explained in confidence, showing how this would enhance the value of the securities we offered) upon certain branches, and expected to make a more extended alliance with them within a short period, and to do so we needed this money. He said they could go right to Salt Lake and be there within ten days; they would go at the expense of the borrower. I asked the probable cost, and was answered not to exceed $200, and Mr. Batterson thought it ought not to be more than $100. Mr. Dennis said it could be arranged “not to exceed” $200. I then asked if the report of these gentlemen should be favorable would the Company then make the loan? The understanding that I got from the expressions of Mr. Batterson and ex-Governor Howard was that their favorable report upon our securities would satisfy the Co., as they are its employes, and the loan would then be made. I said that we were very willing that our properties which our securities represented should be closely examined and we would consent to the proposed arrangement.

In listening to all that was said I thought that the inclination to loan us the money was favorable, but that these gentlemen felt it to be necessary to learn more concerning these properties from their own agents, as the amount was a large one, and the place to which it is going is a distant one.

After this Mr. Abbot took us to see ex-Governor Bulkley, but he was not in and we left our cards.

Upon reaching Mr. Abbot’s office I was delighted to meet my old friend, Hon. Geo. M. Landers, who upon seeing in this morning’s paper that I was in Hartford had come up from his home at New Britain to see me. Our meeting was a very warm one. He is a man for whom I have a very high regard and this feeling is, I believe, reciprocated. We sat together in Congress four years. He is close on to 82 years old and is wonderfully well preserved and full of jollity and humor. He pressed me much to return with him and make New Britain a visit, but I could not spare the time. Frank and I accompanied him to the depot.

I was introduced to Mr. Parsons, the President of the Security Co. which has the custody of the Sugar Co’s bonds.

We returned to New York at 2:24 p.m., Mr. Abbot settling our hotel expenses.

My wife and self went to Abbey’s theatre to see the Kendalls in the White Lie. We were both delighted with the piece and with their acting. I think Mr. Kendall a wonderfully skillful and talented actress; he also is very good.

24 January 1895 • Thursday

Thursday, January 24, 1895 We concluded to start in the direction of home today at 2 p.m. We travel by the Penn. R.R. to Chicago; Brother & Sister Clayton by the Erie. Frank has to meet Mr. Manley at Washington and he will then go to St. Louis, where I may join him from Chicago, leaving my wife to go home with Brother & Sister Clayton.

25 January 1895 • Friday

Friday, January 25, 1895 This is a memorable day—the birthday of my son Frank 36 years ago, and the deathday of my beloved wife Elizabeth 13 years ago. What a flood of recollections fill my mind in contemplating the position I was then in. In agony of mind because of her condition and surrounded by hellish influences at Washington trying to cheat me out of my seat in the House of Representatives. Those were days of deep sorrow, but from <for> which the Lord in His great mercy has abundantly made up.

Received a dispatch from Brother N. W. Clayton saying that he and wife would be at Chicago in time to leave at 10:30 p.m. for the west.

My wife and I reached Chicago at 5 p.m. in the midst of a blizzard, and we had hoped that Brother & Sister Clayton would remain over. We drove to the Chicago & Northwestern depot and found them. I put my wife in their charge and they started.

26 January 1895 • Saturday

Saturday, January 26, 1895 My purpose in remaining here is to join Frank at St. Louis and do business with Mr. Meyer concerning the proposed alliance for carrying out various enterprises. Mr. & Mrs. Meyer had extended a very warm invitation to myself and wife to visit St. Louis on our return. We appreciated their kindness, but thought it unwise to place ourselves under too many obligations—obligations which we might find it difficult in our circumstances to repay. Mrs. Meyer desired to have my wife and a number of St. Louis ladies meet; in fact, hold a reception. Until our business relations are better defined and settled, I think it would not be prudent to do this, and therefore we decided that I should come here with her, and join Bro. & Sis. Clayton and she could go home with them.

I found Brother R. K. Thomas at the Auditorium, where I am stopping, and we spent considerable time in conversation. He left on the evening train for home.

When I called at the office of Mr. Charlton, of the Chicago & Alton R.R. for a pass to Kansas City via St. Louis, I met my cousin, T. E. Taylor, who is on his way home from a mission to England.

27 January 1895 • Sunday

Sunday, January 27, 1895 Cousin Eddie Taylor and myself went together to St. Louis today. We reached there at 7:12 p.m.

28 January 1895 • Monday

Monday, January 28, 1895 My son Frank was here and had met Mr. Meyer and Mr. Allen and had conversed about the proposed business. After an excellent lunch, provided by Mr. Meyer, we met in my room and after explanations and friendly exchange of views, a memorandum was drawn up, of which the following is a copy:

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The object in reducing this to writing is that we may not be left to trust to memory for particulars.

After a most excellent dinner furnished by Mr. Meyer at Tony Faust’s, we took carriage to the Union Depot. Frank went to Kansas City on the Missouri Pacific and I on the Chicago & Alton. My cousin Taylor wrote me a note that he would go west in the morning.

Mr. Meyer and Mr. Allen were exceedingly kind to us and accompanied us to the trains.

29 January 1895 • Tuesday

Tuesday, January 29, 1895 Frank and I met at Kansas City and took train for home.

30 January 1895 • Wednesday

Wednesday, January 30, 1895 Quite stormy in crossing the summit at Sherman.

31 January 1895 • Thursday

Thursday, January 31, 1895 Reached the City by 3 o’clock in the morning. Brother C. H. Wilcken called for me with my buggy. He is suffering from la grippe and the effects of being thrown out of a sleigh yesterday. I found my family all in ordinary good health.

I came to the office, and found Presidents Woodruff and Smith enjoying good health.

We held a Council meeting at 11 o’clock in the Temple. There were present, beside the First Presidency, Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, B. Young, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith and M. W. Merrill. There was some discussion respecting the case of Brother [first, last, and middle initial of name redacted], who is desirous of marrying another wife and making her the legal wife. His present wife is a plural wife, his first wife having died within a short period, and the brethren say that he expresses his dislike of this woman and says that he has not liked no love for her and cannot be made to love her, and he wants the privilege of marrying now and having a legal wife with whom he can live. His present wife, it is said, manifests an excellent spirit and her children feel very badly at the thought of their father casting her off. There was considerable discussion on the subject. My brother Angus, as President of the Stake, had made his report to us of the situation and the feelings expressed by Brother [last name redacted]. In order to terminate further discussion and to bring the matter fairly before the Council, I moved that Brother [first name, middle initial, and last name redacted] be not granted the privilege of being married in the Temple, if he decided upon marrying, but that he be left, in such an event, to get married according to the law, so that we should be free from the responsibility of sanctioning the proceeding that he contemplated. It may be that it is all right for him to do this; but it does not strike the most of us as the proper thing, and we would be put in a bad light in the eyes of the wife and of her children and of the public if it were known that we permitted such a marriage by allowing him to come to The Temple for that purpose.

Brother F. D. Richards was mouth in prayer and I was mouth in the circle.

The hour of our meeting has been changed during my absence in order to admit of Brothers Thatcher and Merrill, who live in the north, attending the meetings when they choose to do so, it being more convenient for them to meet at 11 than at 2 o’clock.

I had my wives Sarah Jane, Eliza, Martha and Caroline to dinner with me this evening, and had a very pleasant time with them.

After we returned from the Council meeting, Presidents Woodruff and Smith, James Jack, N. W. Clayton, my son Frank and myself met and heard our report. I asked the brethren at the close how they were satisfied, and Presidents Woodruff and Smith both expressed themselves as being more than satisfied.

Cite this page

January 1895, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 27, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon/1890s/1895/01-1895