Wednesday, May 1, 1895 My son Frank had telegraphed to have a meeting of the Pioneer Electric Power Co., and also of the Utah Co. The First Presidency met with Frank (who returned from the East this morning) and the other members of the Pioneer Co., excepting Mr. Kiesel, and we had a full discussion concerning the best method of procedure. It was decided that Mr. Tracey should be seen as soon as possible, and that a proposition be made to him that he sell for us bonds to the value of half a million, and then additional bonds, say $50,000, to pay him his commission, and that we guarantee to him that we will raise $160,000, $100,000 of this being the amount that Mr. Rhodes says he will relieve us of if we will give him the contract of building the pipe line.
We had a meeting of the Utah Company afterwards. We listened to a report from Frank concerning his efforts to obtain a loan and his interview with Mr. Meyer, of St. Louis, and the proposals that Mr. Meyer made concerning the raising of funds. It was decided at this meeting that Frank should return as soon as practicable, and that I also should go East when needed, and the names of Brothers T. G. Webber, A. H. Cannon and N. W. Clayton were mentioned as persons that in the opinion of Mr. Meyer ought to visit St. Louis and talk with the moneyed men there, so that they might get an understanding of our situation and business.
At 1 o’clock there was a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank.
At 8 o’clock I took my wife Martha to the 14th Ward Assembly Hall, in response to an invitation by Brother Edward Stevenson, this being his 75th birthday. There was quite a good-sized gathering of people. Brief addresses were delivered by Brothers F. M. Lyman, Brigham Young, Jos. F. Smith, Geo. Goddard and myself. Refreshments were served, but we did not stay to partake of them.
Thursday, May 2, 1895. I was quite unwell this morning, but I went to the office.
The First Presidency had an interview with Bishop Clawson concerning this telephone business. He had submitted papers to Presidents Woodruff and Smith to read, so that they might become familiar with the details of the business, and also had long conversation with them about this. He urged that I should be the President of the Mountain Standard Telephone Company. Presidents Woodruff and Smith seemed very much in favor of our taking hold. In view of this I said to them that if it was their feeling that I should be the President, and they were clear upon the subject, I would accept the position; but I said to them and to Brother Clawson that I never was more reluctant in my life to assume any duties than I was the duties of this position; but I would waive all my objections in deference to their views. President Smith said he was clear that I ought to be President if we went into this at all. As to that I felt that they must be the judges personally; I have no wish to have any connection with it. At the same time I said I recognized the force of President Woodruff’s views wherein he said that it was our duty to take the lead in matters of this kind where we could, and not allow others to come in and do that which we as a people might do.
The proposition made by Mr. Nye, the Manager of the Company, to us is very liberal in the way of stock. The President of the Company not only gets as much as any of the other companies, $100,000 of stock upon the payment of $1000, but each of the First Presidency will receive
some the same if they act as directors, which is double the amount other directors have in other companies for the same payment.
Bishop Clawson called upon us again and we made an appointment with him to meet Mr. Green, the agent of the Company, who afterwards came and we spent an hour and a quarter with him.
At 11 o’clock we attended meeting at the Temple. There were present, beside the First Presidency, Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards B. Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, G.Teasdale, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon. The letters of Geo. C. Williams were read and his case was referred to the President of the Mexican Mission.
After we returned from the Temple, President Woodruff and myself had a long interview with Brother B. Cluff, Jr. He read to us a circular which he had prepared to be issued to the public concerning the institution and its plans.
A little before 5 my wife Carlie came to the office and we went to Brother Andrew Jensen’s, where we were invited to partake of a meal at 5;30. President Woodruff and his wife, President Smith and his wife and a number of others were present. We had an excellent meal and an enjoyable time. He was set apart for his mission under the hands of the First Presidency
I have been in poor health today, but I felt better this evening.
Friday, May 3, 1895. Brother A. W. Ivins, who is a member of the Convention, came to see us this morning and we had a long and interesting conversation with him. He related the action of the Democrats in a meeting which he had attended. There were Mormons and non-Mormons there and the spirit of the meeting on the part of the non-Mormons was that they wanted the Mormon Democrats to commit themselves by resolution to the opposition of Church influence among the Latter-day Saints. There were present at that meeting besides himself, Brothers Moses Thatcher Wm. B. Preston, B. H. Roberts, F. S. Richards, John T. Caine and other brethren. It was alleged that they had evidence that Church influence had been used by the First Presidency, and the spirit as he noticed it appeared to be that unless something of this kind were done they would revive the Liberal Party and it would be anti-Mormon and Mormon as it had been in the past. Brother Ivins wanted to know as a Latter-day Saint what course he should take, for he did not like politics well enough nor the success of party well enough to commit himself to anything improper. None of the other brethren mentioned have been near us, and we would not have known of these proceedings had not Brother Ivins come. We felt pleased to have him come and see us about this, as it gave us information about the movements of our enemies that enabled us to suggest to him what to do. The adversary appears to be active and determined to bring us into disrepute before the public and to revive the old animosities and hatreds. The most abominable lies are said concerning us and accusations of the most reckless and false character are circulated and believed by many. We have not used Church influence in the manner that has been indicated. I do not know how I myself could have avoided more than I have done saying or doing anything that would influence people in political matters. It is the same with President Woodruff. I remarked that if I had taken part as they alleged I have there would have been a greater difference in the vote than there was. But the Democrats are angry because the people are not all Democrats, or because we do not come out as Democrats and sustain them.
My son Frank accompanied me home this afternoon. His mother had invited Brother John R. Murdock and wife and daughter, Brother Wilcken and daughter, and my sons John Q., Abraham and Frank and his wife to take dinner with her. Some of John Q’s children have the whooping cough and his wife did not come. Sarah Jane had prepared an excellent meal, and we spent a most agreeable evening, the children coming in and playing music, Carol and Emily each sung, and Grace and Vera sung a duet. Brother & Sister Murdock were greatly delighted. They said they had never seen a family so united and enjoying themselves so well as ours. I felt to thank the Lord that this was the case, and that our example was of so encouraging a character. At the same time I felt to ask Him that the multiplicity of blessings that I enjoyed might not have a bad effect, because it is possible for an individual or for a family to be blessed so much that if they are not careful these blessings turn to their injury by their being lifted up in vanity or pride or forgetfulness of the Lord.
We have had two or three days’ rain that has been wonderfully refreshing to the country.
Saturday, May 4, 1895 I dictated articles for the Juvenile Instructor and correspondence to Arthur Winter.
Sunday, May 5, 1895 Attended meeting at the Tabernacle at 2 o’clock. Brother Andrew Jensen was called to speak, and occupied about half an hour. I followed him and spoke about 40 mins.
Monday, May 6, 1895 I have been elected a Director of the First National Bank of Provo. The Church holds $4000 in stock in that institution which stands in my name. I have not met with them before, although I have been on the Board for some length of time, without, however, qualifying until quite recently. I have tried to decline this position, as I have so many other duties that I find it almost impossible to attend to them all; but the brethren have pressed me to remain as a director. I met with the Board at the bank this morning, and we remained in session some two hours and went through the affairs of the bank quite thoroughly. It was necessary to elect a President in place of Brother A. O. Smoot, and Dr. W. R. Pike, who has been Vice President, was elected President, and S. S. Jones was elected Vice President. I returned to Salt Lake in the afternoon.
I have received the following note from Judge M. M. Estee:
“I write to congratulate you, and Presidents Woodruff and Smith, upon the fact that you so happily and successfully settled your little differences with our friend in the East. I have my reasons to be thankful that the whole matter has been so pleasantly adjusted and that all of your relations continue as they were before, friendly.
Wishing to be remembered to Presidents Woodruff and Smith, I remain as ever,
Tuesday, May 7, 1895. At 9 O’clock this morning Presidents Woodruff and Smith and myself went to Ogden to keep an appointment which we had made for a meeting of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. We met at the house of Judge Patton, who has been quite desirous that we should meet at his house and partake of a meal there. We attended to some business, and then ate dinner, an excellent meal which Mrs. Patton had prepared. After which we took carriages and went up the canon. We found Mr. Rhodes there and a number of men working on the pipe line. Judge L. W. Shurtliff and Mr. F. J. Kiesel accompanied us up the canon. On our return to Ogden we stopped at my son Frank’s for about half an hour, and then returned to Salt Lake City.
Wednesday, May 8, 1895 The First Presidency met with the Board of the Young University this morning. There were present beside the members of the Board, the trustees of the Latter-day Saints College and one or two of the Stake Board of Education. We had a lengthy discussion of the situation of the University and the College. The suggestion had been made that there should be a blending of the two institutions, and that the name of the Latter-day Saint College should be dropped and the Brigham Young Institute be adopted. It was finally decided for the Church to pay the interest on the obligations that the College is now under, which will amount to about $2500 a year, and $2500 which has already accumulated, making $5000 for this year, and the Church to have the title of what is now known as the Ellerbeck lot and the Social Hall. This was considered the best solution of the difficulty. Seven members to constitute the Board for the Brigham Young Institute are to be selected from the present trustees of the Young University and the Latter-day Saints College.
At 1 o’clock we had a short meeting of the Utah Company. We held this meeting as Frank expects to leave tomorrow morning for the East. He intimates that it will be necessary for me and some of the other brethren to leave here next Tuesday for St. Louis, and that I go from there to Chicago, and perhaps to New York.
Application was made on behalf of the Delegates to the Silver Convention to be held next week in this city for the use of the Tabernacle for this purpose. After some consideration this was granted.
My wives took dinner with me this evening, and Brother F. A. Hammond was also with us. We had a delightful evening, my children playing for us and giving us recitations, &c. Brother Hammond appeared very much delighted and said it was about as near heaven as he ever got.
Thursday, May 9, 1895 We had a call this morning from Mrs. E. B. Wells and a Miss Janette Smith, who is preparing an illustrated article for the Kansas City Star. We suggested to her how she could obtain the most accurate information for her letter.
The Deseret News published an article on Tuesday night that has been criticized by the Tribune, and John Q. had an interview with us concerning the best course to be taken. He had not noticed the Tribunes article and because he had not done so they had sent a reporter to see President Woodruff and myself, and would have seen Brother Jos. F. Smith, but he refused the reporter audience. The Tribune published a report of these interviews, which in my case was false, and President Woodruff says in his case also, concerning expressions that they alleged we made approving of the Tribune’s criticism of the News and speaking condemnatory of the News’ article. After some exchange of thoughts on the subject, it was deemed advisable for the News to say nothing at present, though it is put in a very false position by the interviews as published.
The Council met in the Temple at the usual hour and we had prayer. President Woodruff was mouth in opening, and President Smith was mouth in the circle. There were present, beside the First Presidency, Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, John H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale and Heber J. Grant. Several matters pertaining to the Mexican Mission were attended to, as Brother Teasdale expects to leave in a few days.
Friday, May 10, 1895. According to appointment the First Presidency met at the office with Messrs. J. E. Dooley, John M. Marshall, Green and H. B. Clawson, to talk over the affairs of the Mountain Standard Telephone Co. Mr. Marshall had not met Mr. Green until this morning and he had only got his ideas concerning the Company from Mr. Dooley and the papers that Mr. Green had left with Mr. Dooley. But Mr. Green was interrogated very freely by the gentlemen present, so as to draw out from him all information that was possible concerning the details of the Company. In the first place he explained that the Parent Standard Co. had organized a company under the laws of Arizona for this district embracing Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, and they now proffer to us to form a company for this district, the capital stock of which would be $4,000,000. As it is arranged, there are to be seven directors in this Territor[y,] six or seven in Colorado, and either one from each of the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona or one to represent both, making a Board of fifteen in all. There will be twenty per cent of the $4,000,000 divided among the members of this Board, the President to receive $100,000 in shares and each of the Board to receive $50,000 in shares, making a total of $800,000. For this stock the President and each of the members of the Board is to pay $1000 in cash. The parent company will receive twenty-five per cent of the $4,000,000. The remaining $2,200,000 will go to the promoters and be the private property of the members of the parent company. The plan is to secure subscriptions to the telephone
company. For each telephone in business offices $3 per month is to be charged; for each telephone in private residences $2 per month. When a sufficient number of subscribers are obtained and they have signed contracts for the use of the telephone (which is now suggested shall be for five years with an option of five years more) bonds will be issued, $70 for each telephone, and $70 in stock will be issued also. $1 in cash which will be realized from the bonds will go to the parent company, $9 will go to the Mountain Standard Telephone Co. The remaining $60 will be used for the erection of the plant. Mr. Green estimates that the construction will not cost, if the lines are not put underground, more than perhaps $40 or $45; if required to be put underground, this cost will be probably about $50 per telephone. The parent company would take the contract if the local company does not want to do it, to construct the line. In that event the entire $60 will go to the parent company. Besides this there will be $70 in stock. One-tenth of that will go to the Mountain Company and $10:50 will go to the parent company. If the Mountain Standard Telephone Company does not construct the line, but will give it to the parent company, then the remainder of the $70 in stock will also go to the parent company for the work of construction; that is, that company will receive $60 out of the money realized on the bonds and $52.50 in stock. Mr. Green sets forth the advantages of the Company here doing this work of construction and realizing the profits therefrom, as according to his figures there will be anywhere from $10 to $20 realized from each telephone. In reply to the question as to the source from which the dividends on the $4,000,000 would be received, he said that this will come from the stock itself, as it will have fifteen per cent of the stock issued by the Mountain Company, and it will also derive profits from long distance telephoning, for which an extra charge will be made. He looks upon this as a money-making affair, and Mr. Dooley and Mr. Marshall both seemed to be impressed with its feasibility and with the prospect there was for making money. According to the figures that were presented the interest on the $70 for which each telephone is bonded will be $4.20. The cost of maintenance for the system will be, according to the best estimates that have been made, a little less than $7 per telephone. Taking an average between the charges for business offices and for private residences, $30 will be the income. $11.20 deducted from the $30 leaves $18.80. This will be the profit on each telephone, and of course if the telephone service increases the income will increase proportionately. A thousand telephones at this rate would bring in a profit of $18,800, and these profits would be greatly increased by the income from long distance telephoning. The parent company will have entire control, if it chooses to exercise it, of the Mountain Standard Co. as it will own the majority of the stock. This it considers essential to the welfare and preservation of the company. There were two or three points which Mr. Dooley dwelt upon. He admitted that it was an excellent scheme and one that was likely to be very successful; but he seemed averse to paying $1000 till he knew more about the company being practically in operation. At the present time there is no telephone exchange in operation under this company, and he would like to defer the payment of the $1000,—and in speaking for himself he spoke for the whole—until it was in operation. Of course, Mr. Green could not consent to this. Mr. Dooley thought there might be some trouble about the telephones, come [some?] legal attacks, an injunction for instance; and another point was, the company itself had made no start, and his third objection seemed to be that if it did start it might after awhile consolidate with the Bell Telephone Company. There is, of course, in all such enterprises something to be risked; but in this case the names of the men connected with the parent company and with all the 26 companies into which the United States and Canada are divided are of so high a character that it seems to me they can be trusted. Then the parent company guarantees that it will defend every user of the telephone and all the local companies against any legal attacks that may be made upon them. In the third, place, it is not probable there will be a union between the Bell Telephone Co. and this Company. If there should be, it is altogether likely it will be on very advantageous terms for the Standard Company, and it is reasonable to suppose that the local companies will derive their proportion of profits therefrom. We separated after some three hours and a half conversation, and Mr. Dooley said he would consult with Judge Marshall and he is expecting a friend in today whom he thinks will know all about it.
We had a report made to us by my son Abraham of conversations he had had, as follows:
“There was an outsider came to me yesterday with a statement that the “Herald”, through Richard W. Young, had made a proposition to the “Tribune” to unite in fighting the “News”, with a view of having the “Herald” become an evening paper and obtain the exclusive franchise for the Associated Press dispatches, and the “Tribune” occupy its present field as a morning paper and have the exclusive Associated Press service for the morning, thus precluding the possibility of another paper starting here and receiving dispatches. The word came to me from Mr. Devine, who is an intimate friend of Mr. Lannan of the “Tribune”, and he also stated that Richard Young had intimated that if the “News” would not go out of the field peaceably, the “Herald” would start a job printing office and try and unite the job printers in opposition to the “News”.
I met Richard Young yesterday and had a talk with him on this subject. He said that for a long time the “Herald” has been losing money. R. C. Chambers has been putting up from $1000 to $1250 every month to pay these losses. He said he believed, from what he could hear, that the “News” was also losing money. I told him that the “News” had been, but I thought it was now in a position where it was holding its own. He suggested then that the “News” discontinue as a daily paper, and that the Church establish an organ or use the Weekly News as its religious organ, and that the “Herald” occupy the field as an evening paper. He said that he had been contemplating for some time the making of the “Herald” as an evening paper. He said the “Tribune” was too strong a competitor for them; it was making money right along and they were losing. He mentioned this matter to Mr. Lannan, so he told me, and Lannan was in favor of it. He said Lannan intimated that he would be willing to pay something to get one competitor out of the field. I told Richard that we were only the lessees of the “News”, and under our contract we were required to publish three papers, and I could not do anything except under the direction of the owners. He desired me to present the matter to you for your consideration. He said that he did not know of a religious community in the
world United States that had a daily paper as an organ; they were always weekly or monthly, and he thought the “News” as a weekly paper would answer the purposes of the Church. Both James Devine and Richard Young said that the “Herald” intended making a fight on the “News”.
Brother C. R. Savage desired to have a meeting with the First Presidency in the presence of the Presidency of the Stake. This occupied about 45 mins., and we counseled Brother Savage to make peace with his wife and children and try to save the souls of his family, and not do anything that would drive his children out of the Church. He expressed himself as willing to do this.
Saturday, May 11, 1895. I met with a number of persons at the Chamber of Commerce to arrange for the organization of the parent irrigation society for the Territory. The Governor is President ex-officio; President Woodruff, Arthur L. Thomas and Lewis W. Shurtliff are Vice Presidents; and the present Commissioners, L. W. Shurtliff , Geo. Q. Cannon, Col. Holloway, W. H. Rowe and C. E. Wantland, were appointed an executive committee. I was invited to make some remarks to the meeting, which I did. A number of persons also spoke.
I dictated to Brother Arthur Winter my journal, correspondence and an article for the Juvenile Instructor.
Sunday, May 12, 1895 At 2 o’clock went to the Tabernacle. Rev. Anna Shaw and Miss Susan B. Anthony, accompanied by a number of our sisters, were on the stand. My brother Angus, as President of the Stake, introduced the ladies to the congregation. There were more people in the Tabernacle than usual, it having been advertised that these ladies would speak. Miss Shaw occupied about 35 mins. and Miss Anthony about 10 mins. They both spoke remarkably well. Miss Shaw is a preacher, and her teachings were very good. They were followed by Bishop O. F. Whitney.
In the evening at my house I called all my family together, and we had sacrament, as we are all deprived of the sacrament now it is not being administered at the Tabernacle. We had a delightful time, and I gave my folks considerable instruction.
Monday, May 13, 1895 Had a call from Mr. Allen, of Meyer Bros., St. Louis, and talked over the proposed visit to St. Louis, he expressing the wish to have, besides myself, Brothers Clayton and Webber and my son Abraham go down, and also a representative of banking interests and the legal profession. Brother Grant, we think, will be suitable for the banking profession, and Brother Le Grand Young for the legal fraternity.
There was a reception held this afternoon at Mrs. F. S. Richards’ house for Misses Shaw and Anthony, and I had been requested to receive the company with Governor West; but I have been so ill all day that I felt I could not stand up to do this, and wrote a note of apology. However, I did not intend to stay away, and went to the reception, and felt so much better that I did stand with the Governor and receive the company for about an hour.
My wives took dinner with me at 6 o’clock, and in the evening we had a delightful entertainment given by my children.
Tuesday, May 14, 1895 I had a call this morning from ex-Congressman Poehler, of Minnesota, with whom I served in the 46th Congress.
Judge Patton came down from Ogden and had an interview with the First Presidency and Col. Winder concerning the purchase of the third interest of Dr. Carnahan in the Canõn, and set forth the advantages it would give to the Company to make this purchase.
At 11 o’clock I attended meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co.
In the afternoon I was very busy getting my papers in order, expecting to leave tomorrow for St. Louis.
Wednesday, May 15, 1895 I have been very busy today attending to various matters of business and getting ready to go. There was a meeting of Z.C.M.I. at 12 o’clock.
I dictated letters and journal to Brother Winter.
Brother Grant expressed his readiness to go. Brother Le Grand Young told me yesterday he would try and get away. Brother N. W. Clayton and wife will also go.
Thursday, May 16, 1895 Myself and wife Caroline, N. W. Clayton and his wife, and Brother H. J. Grant and my son Abraham left Salt Lake City at 5:20 p.m. for St. Louis.
Friday, May 17, 1895. Reached Denver this afternoon and we went to the Windsor Hotel and took dinner.
Mr. Cooper, of the Chicago & Alton, gave me an order for tickets from Kansas City for myself and wife.
Saturday, May 18, 1895 We reached Kansas City at 5 p.m. and secured our tickets at the office of the Chicago & Alton. After dinner we rode for nearly two hours on the street cars through Kansas City.
Sunday, May 19, 1895 We were met at the Union station, St. Louis, this morning at 7 o’clock by Mr. Theodore F. Meyer with his carriage and were taken to the Planters’ Hotel. We took a cold dinner—a meal I enjoyed very much—with Mr. & Mrs. Meyer at their residence, at their pressing invitation. There were, besides myself and wife, Brother T. G. Webber and Sister Clayton. After dinner we were taken for a ride by Mr. & Mrs. Meyer; but the rain prevented us from going any distance. A dinner party had been arranged for tomorrow by Mr. Meyer, at which myself and the other brethren are to meet leading citizens of St. Louis with the hope of bringing us into closer business relations.
Monday, May 20, 1895 Mr. S. H. H. Clark, of the Union Pacific R.R., had written me before I left home concerning the freight of the Bullion, Beck & Champion Mining Co. He complained that their road did not get its full share. As my son Abraham has the charge of shipping the freight of the mine I was desirous he should meet Mr. Clark and I telegraphed Mr. Clark to know if we could meet at St. Louis. Fortunately I find him here, and I introduced Abraham to him and Mr. Munro, the Freight Agent of the road; I also requested Brother Webber to meet with them and talk over the Z.C.M.I. freight, which they have been depending upon me to secure a full share for their road. I suggested that each should see Mr. Clark and Mr. Munro without the presence of any other, so they could talk freely and communicate what had been heard concerning discriminations, &c. I explained to Mr. Clark, in the presence of each, that I had fulfilled my promise to him and had endeavored to secure for the Union Pacific a full share of the business. The interviews were quite satisfactory on both sides. Mr. Clark leaves tonight for Omaha and was therefore forced to decline the invitation to dine with us at Mr. Meyer’s.
With Brother Webber I called at the Simmons Hardware Co. and met Mr. Morton, the Vice President, and Mr. Pilcher, who insisted on giving us a present of a pocket knife each, for which, however, I paid him a dime.
Elders Heber J. Grant and T. G. Webber, Col. N. W. Clayton, my sons Frank and Abraham and myself went out by car to Compton Avenue to Mr. Meyer’s. We found there his father, ex-Governor Stannard, Mr. Kerens, Mr. Morton, Mr. Haarstick, Mr. Parker, Mr. West, Judge Madill, Mr. Mallinekrodt, Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Theodore F. Meyer. A number of other gentlemen had been invited but were out of the city or had prior engagements. Mr. Theodore F. Meyer, the host, seated me at his right hand. His father sat at the other end of the table, and at his right hand ex-Gov. Stannard was seated, and Mr. Mallinekrodt was on his left. Brother Grant sat next to Gov. Stannard; next to him was Mr. Ferguson; next to him was Brother Webber; then Mr. Morton; then Abraham, who sat next to Mr. Haarstick, who was on Mr. Theo. F. Meyer’s left. On my right was Mr. West; then Brother Clayton; then Mr. Kerens; then Frank; then Judge Madill and Mr. Parker. The dinner was an excellent one, but I was not feeling as well as usual, and having been notified that I would be expected to speak I did not enjoy it as well as I might have done had I been less conspicuous. There were several kinds of wines, but very little was drank. After the principal dishes were disposed of, Mr. Theodore F. Meyer called upon ex-Gov. Stannard to deliver the address of welcome to us. He made a very excellent speech, in which he alluded in a feeling manner to his and my former acquaintance and service together in Congress and how we had been drawn to each other, and he was complimentary in his allusions to myself and the influence I
had wielded. Frank was next called upon; and then I was requested to speak. I regretted that Brother Grant did not have the opportunity to say something, but Mr. Meyer evidently thought there was not time. The evening was delightfully spent, and all expressed themselves as highly pleased with the proceedings and with having been brought together in this social capacity. Such a meeting must have a good effect. We meet these leading men under most favorable circumstances. They have become acquainted with us, and we had an opportunity to say many things which threw light upon our views and methods. But how often the thought occurred to me, What a change! It is only a very short time since these men would have refused an invitation to dine with us; but the Lord has wrought a wonderful change of feeling respecting us and our work. The following clipping from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat gives an idea of the changed feeling, for at one time this paper said many hard things about us. Before inserting it, however, I ought to mention that my son Frank was invited by Mr. Meyer, Sen., to accompany him to a dinner at the Commercial Club last Saturday evening. It was the last meeting of the season. This Club is limited to 70 members and is composed of the representative men of the City. They have numerous applications on file for admission whenever vacancies occur. It was not expected there would be any but formal proceedings; but the retiring President, Mr. Haarstick, introduced Frank and called upon him to speak. It was entirely unexpected and his remarks were impromptu; but he captivated everybody. I have heard numerous expressions from different gentlemen who were present to the effect that it was one of the best, if not the very best, speech they ever listened to. He tried to stop at the end of half an hour, but they insisted that he should keep on. He has heard so much praise of it that I hope it will not flatter him.
[Attached newspaper article:]
SEVEN MILLION DOLLAR DEAL.
Prominent Mormons Bring a Big Proposition to St. Louis
The Matter Explained at a Dinner at the Residence of Theodore F. Meyer—Who Were There and What They Said
—A Railroad Project of Importance to This City.
Twenty-one gentlemen sat down on Monday night to a dinner at the residence of Mr. Theodore F. Meyer, First Vice President of Meyer Bros. Drug Company, on South Compton avenue. The occasion was a remarkable one, and the consequences of the gathering may prove to be of vast moment. From the standpoint of general interest, it will never be forgotten by those who participated in it. Five of the guests were leading men of Utah—Hon. George Q. Cannon, one of the Presidents of the Mormon Church, a wealthy and enterprising citizen of Salt Lake City; his son, Hon. Frank J. Cannon, member of Congress from Utah; Mr. T. G. Webber, of the Zion Mercantile Co-operative Institute of Salt Lake City, representing the business interests of Utah; Mr. Heber J. Grant, largely engaged in banking and mining there; and Mr. Nephi W. Clayton, Manager of the Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railroad, a road destined, possibly, as a result of this very occasion, to become one of the great trunk lines of the West.
The other sixteen diners, including the host, were St. Louisans of eminence in financial, commercial and manufacturing circles, men whose aggregated interests, both in and out of St. Louis, are way up in the millions. Among them were: ex-Gov. E. O. Stanard, President of the Laclede National Bank; Judge George A. Madill, President of the Union Trust Company; Mr. Thomas H. West, President of the St. Louis Trust company; Mr. David K. Ferguson, President of the Mechanics’ National Bank, and of the Missouri Safe Deposit Company; Mr. Edward Mallinckrodt, President of the Mallinckrodt Chemical Works; Mr. Isaac W. Morton, First Vice President of the Simmons Hardware Company; Col. R. C. Kerens; H. C. Haarstick, President of the St. Louis and Mississippi Valley Transportation Company, and First Vice President of the St. Louis Trust Company; and George W. Parker, Vice President of the Continental National Bank.
Many of these gentlemen have liberally invested their money in the West, and the host, Mr. Theodore Meyer, was doubly qualified in that besides his connection with a mammoth business house which stands in high appreciation throughout the world he also owns in Utah Territory a solid mountain, containing brimstone enough to supply the universe and still leave an ample margin for the use of his satanic majesty in case of emergency.
The dinner, it need hardly be suggested, was of the choicest. After the toothsome creations of a skilled chef and a selection of the rarest vintages known to connoisseurs had been disposed of, ex-Gov. E. O. Stanard, as spokesman for St. Louis, was introduced by Mr. Meyer. He gracefully welcomed the Utah visitors, assuring them of the hearty good will and of the kindly interest of the people of the metropolis of the Southwest.
Responses were made by Hon. George Q. Cannon and by his son, the Congressman, in behalf of the Utahans. Both addresses were profoundly interesting that of the elder Mr. Cannon especially so. He paid a splendid tribute to the commercial prosperity and rock-bed solidity of St. Louis. He told of his pilgrimages here before the civil war, at the time when Utah’s business was almost entirely transacted through St. Louis. The development of railroad enterprises, the growth of other cities and various other causes have diverted part of Utah’s commerce from St. Louis since then, but the future State has never lost its loyalty to and its faith in this grand old city. Now at the head of a representative party of Salt Lake citizens he desired to extend to St. Louis the most cordial greetings, to invite her people to visit and see for themselves a region of magnificent natural wealth and possibilities as yet unfathomed. It was, he said, the desire of Utah that St. Louis should reap the full benefit of the grand future opened out to Utah; that St. Louis merchants and manufacturers should supply its varied needs, and that St. Louis capital should have priority in the investments it offers.
Mr. Cannon then expatiated on the mineral and agricultural wealth of Utah, its mountains of iron, its immense coal fields, with veins from 7 to 20 feet deep, its unequaled deposits of asphaltum, its silver and its gold.
A part of Mr. Cannon’s speech that riveted attention was his incidental allusion to the Mormon faith. Coming as it did from one of the three leaders in that famous religion it was essentially authoritative. It was hardly possible for Mr. Cannon to speak of Utah’s prospects, of the new constitution, and of the hopes and aspirations of the people, without touching upon this subject. His treatment of it was dignified and impressive. Among other things, he pointed out the rigid injunctions among Mormons as to honor and integrity in business transactions, so that a Mormon’s word is always as good as his bond; on the excellence of the school system, and on the insistence on an industrious life that results in drones or idlers being unknown. The Mormon faith had, he declared, never been rightly understood by the gentiles, and particularly the facts as to polygamy had been grossly distorted. Polygamy, however, was now a thing of the past. It had been forever obliterated. Mr. Cannon made no defense of it, but he stated that no Mormon had ever been allowed even one wife until he could support her properly; that very few had ever attempted to manage more than one wife, and that not more than 2 per cent of the Mormon people had ever been polygamists.
Congressman Cannon’s address was on similar lines. It was an able, concise, but yet comprehensive presentation of the status to-day of Utah, of the ties that do, and the stronger ties that it is hoped will, bind it to St. Louis.
A vital feature of the evening, however, was the unveiling of an all-important proposition looking to the development of a vast area not only of Utah, but of the intervening country between Salt Lake City and the Pacific Ocean. This project was, in some respects, probably the keynote to the visit of the Utah delegation to St. Louis. It embraces the completion of the Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railroad, uniting the metropolis of Utah with the great and growing southern California city, and with the important seaport of San Pedro. The distance to be traversed is about 600 miles. The accomplishment of this plan would give a new and valuable trunk line running through a territory, the mineral and other resources of which were powerfully depicted by the Messrs. Cannon. The line would at once become a serious factor in Western transportation affairs. It would shorten the route to Los Angeles by hundreds of miles, and would offer a most inviting outlet to several ambitious Western lines. It would, moreover, it is argued, be of inestimable value to both terminal points. The proposition of the Salt Lake City gentlemen was clear and matter of fact. They proposed to build themselves 550 miles of the road from Salt Lake City westward and asked the Los Angeles Terminal Railway Company to build eastward from Los Angeles a distance of 140 miles, thus completing the work. It was estimated the cost of the Salt Lake City portion would be from $6,000,000 to $7,000,000. Both money and labor are said to be ready. The Mormon Church, which is behind the undertaking, can supply all the labor needed without going outside for a man. The cost of the Los Angeles end would be from $3,000,000 to $4,000,000. It is in this portion that St. Louis is especially interested. The Los Angeles Terminal Railway is owned by an improvement company, founded and controlled by St. Louis capitalists, with Col. R. C. Kerens as President. Other local parties concerned are: Messrs. George E. Leighton, Daniel Catlin, J. T. Davis, S. C. Davis, E. F. Leonard, G. W. Parker, S. W. Fordyce, C. H. Bailey, G. H. Goddard, B. F. Hobart, S. C. Schonck, Thos. H. West, Samuel Dodd, Isaac W. Morton, S. A. Bemis, Alvah Mansur, Chas. Green and E. Mallinckrodt. It will be seen some of these gentlemen were present at the dinner. The St. Louis investment in Los Angeles has, it is generally conceded, been of a most profitable character, and while no definite conclusion has been reached, there was on Monday night, and also yesterday, a feeling that the Los Angeles Terminal would think favorably of the proposition.
The dinner at Mr. Myer’s concluded by an informal discussion among those present, in which the entire question of Utah and the mutual relations between it and St. Louis were gone into. Agreeable social relations were established, the Utah contingent making a pleasant impression that seemed to be heartily reciprocated. A number of the St. Louis partakers of Mr. Myer’s hospitality are authority for the assertion that the evening will probably mark a new era in the commercial ties between the two places.
The Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railroad has at present but a small mileage of tracks out of the former city. It is officered by Hon. George Q. Cannon as President, Mr. J. V. Smith as Vice President and Mr. N. W. Clayton as General Manager. The Union Pacific has built for about 250 miles in the direction of the proposed route. It seems probable that the Salt Lake and Los Angeles company would endeavor to acquire this road, as it would largely expedite their work and probably effect a heavy saving in cost.
[End of newspaper article]
Tuesday, May 21, 1895 Held meetings with different gentlemen today.
Mr. Ferguson, of the Mechanics Bank, had given Frank, Brother Webber, Mr. Theodore F. Meyer and myself an invitation to lunch with him at the Noonday Club at 1 p.m. today. Mr. Haarstick was also of the party. We had a very pleasant time and met a number of gentlemen at the Club, among them ex-Gov. Stannard, Mr[.] L. M. Rumsey and his brother.
In the evening we (the Salt Lake brethren) met in Abraham’s room with Mr. Meyer and had a full and free conversation concerning our proposed operations in Southern Utah.
Brother H. J. Grant started west this evening.
Wednesday, May 22, 1895 Called upon the Filleys (Charter Oak stove people) with Brother Webber. Had lengthy conversation with Mr. Chauncey Filley and his son Charles. My wife and myself called upon Mrs. Whitmore at her mother’s, Mrs. Knapps, and we had a very interesting visit. Her two brothers were present a part of the time.
I afterwards called upon Mr. Glasgow, the head of the St. Charles Car works.
Mr. Meyer and Mr. Allen took Frank, Abraham and myself out to the race track. Mr. Meyer and I watched the races, the others witnessed a baseball match.
Significance of the Visit of the Utah Gentlemen to St. Louis.
A gentleman well posted on Utah matters said yesterday: “The ‘Globe-Democrat’ did not overstate the facts in it reference to the Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railroad proposition. On the contrary, there is more behind the undertaking than was mentioned at the dinner at Mr. Meyer’s residence. It has for some time been a cherished idea of the Mormon Church. There has been an impression that this church is not well fixed financially. This is a great mistake. The Mormon Church is possessed of vast resources. In actual dollars and cents it may not always have a large surplus, but it has real estate and other interests of immense value that can readily be turned to account. The leading Mormons are also personally very wealthy. Such men as Woodruff, Cannon and Grant have independent fortunes and are full of patriotism and enterprise. Much of the gentile opposition to the new Constitution was based on the belief that under its provisions the new State would be largely controlled by the Mormons. This may be so. In any case, they are broad-minded, liberal people, and their religion is close akin to ordinary Christianity. It teaches morality, integrity, industry, tolerance and humanity. As a business proposition I know of no men I would sooner have transactions with.
“The Mormons intend to bring this Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railroad to a successful issue. The belief in Utah is that Eastern capitalists have already become interested. Senator Steve Elkins, in particular, is mentioned as having become identified with the scheme. Whether or not the Los Angeles Terminal Company, which is really a St. Louis enterprise, will build out to meet the Salt Lake people, I can not, of course, say. The wonderful development of Southern California and the success that has attended all investments there hitherto seem, however, to point strongly to the belief that the proposition will be well thought of.”
Col. R. C. Kerens, President of the Los Angeles Terminal, not being in the city, his views could not be obtained.
The publication in yesterday’s “Globe-Democrat” of the full proceedings of Mr. Theodore Meyer’s complimentary dinner to the Utah visitors was apparently a surprise both to Mr. Meyer and his guests. Hon. Frank J. Cannon laughed heartily when accosted in the rotunda of the Planters’ Hotel last night. He was disposed to make light of the affair, and to maintain that the dinner was simply a social gathering. Mr. Theodore Meyer insisted that the entertainment was, comparatively speaking, impromptu. He had invited a few friends to meet the gentlemen from Utah, and they all had a pleasant evening. Mr. Meyer, however, when asked, conceded the substantial accuracy of the ‘“Globe-Democrat’s” report. “You only left us a few loopholes for escapes,” he said.
The fact that over a dozen St. Louis capitalists conferred until after midnight “over the walnuts and the wine” with the representatives of the Mormon Church, and of the mercantile, mining, banking and railroad interests of Utah, dispels the suggestion that the occasion was of an ordinary character.
[End of newspaper article]
Thursday, May 23, 1895
Mr. Meyer called and took me in a carriage to visit Judge Madill, President of the Union Trust Co., Mr. Morton, Vice President of Simmons Hardware Co., Mr. Brooking[,] Vice President of the Cupple Co., and Mr. Haarstick, President of the Barge Transportation Co.
After my return to the hotel, I accompanied my son Abraham to Mr. Becktold’s place of business. His bindery is a magnificent establishment and he took us all through it.
Mr. Meyer invited Mr. B. B. Graham, of the Graham Paper Co., and Mr. Ferguson, President of the Mechanical Bank, Mr. Shulenberg, of [blank] Co. and Mr. Becktold to take lunch with him and my sons Frank and Abraham and Col. Clayton and myself. He placed me at the head of the table with Mr. Graham on my right and Mr. Ferguson on my left. We had a very pleasant time.
Mr. Becktold took myself and wife and Frank and Abraham out to the Jockey Club house and grounds to see the races. We enjoyed them very much. Mr. Shulenberg was also of the party.
Frank drew up the following memorandum to submit to Judge Madill of the Union Trust Co.:
PROPOSITION1 TO DISPOSE OF $500,000.00 OF BONDS OF THE SALT LAKE AND LOS ANGELES RAILWAY AND THE SALTAIR BEACH COMPANY.
The Salt Lake & Los Angeles Railway Co. owns valuable franchises, terminals and contracts in Salt Lake City and fifteen miles of standard guage railway, with equipment, extending from South Temple Street in Salt Lake City in a direct line to the shores of the Salt Lake, with necessary turnouts and switches. It has a paying passenger and freight traffic. Many of the lands through which it proceeds lying immediately west of Salt Lake City are rapidly coming into use for suburban homes. Upon this property the Company has issued Three hundred first mortgage 6% gold bonds of $1000.00 each; interest payable semi-annually and principal due July 1st, 1913. These are all the bonds issued by the Company and represent its entire indebtedness.
The Saltair Beach Co. owns a tract of 744 acres on the beach of the Salt Lake, including a pavilion which cost $225,000.00 in 1893; the total cost of the Saltair Beach Company’s property exceeds $350,000.00. It controls the entire stretch of the nearest available beach on the shores of the Salt Lake contiguous to the city. The property is amply remunerative and a steady income from it is assured. Upon its property the Company has issued 200 first mortgage 6% gold bonds of $1000.00 each; interest payable semi-annually and principal due July 1st, 1913. These represent the entire indebtedness of the Company.
The railroad and the beach properties have largely increased in value since they were acquired. Their cost was the minimum and they could not be duplicated at the present hour for the money which was expended upon them.
I am authorized to offer to you these $500,000.00 of bonds at 92-1/2 plus accrued interest. Should you consider the matter favorably we will be glad to pay the necessary traveling and hotel expenses of any gentleman whom you may select to visit Salt Lake City to examine the properties.
We have so much confidence in these bonds and in the continued successful management of the properties that we will give ample guarantee of the payment of the principal and interest.
Friday, May 24, 1895. With Abraham I called to pay our respects to Mr. Meyer, Sen., and afterwards to see Mr. John J. Rich of the firm of McCabe, Young & Co., carriage builders. He is a native of the Isle of Man and has been very cordial in his invitation for us to stop with him and to place himself at our disposal in every way. He appears to be a man of influence and is very desirous that I should meet the Manx people of St. Louis of which there are quite a number.
We also called upon Mr. Bowes of the Chicago & Alton R.R.
In the afternoon I called in company with Sister Cannon upon Mrs. Meyer to bid her good bye. This family have been so very kind to us in every way that I scarcely know how we can repay them.
The proposition made to Judge Madill was submitted by him to his board of directors yesterday, and the reply is that while unanimously of the opinion the bonds are good and a safe investment, they are not a class of securities which they could dispose of to their patrons and the Company does not have funds of its own which they can spare to invest in them.
I decided it would be better for Brother N. W. Clayton and wife and Abraham to go to Omaha tonight en route for home, and to interview Mr. S. H. H. Clark of the Union Pacific and close up our business with him preparatory to the bathing season and also complete the arrangements about coal. At the same time if they has [have] an opportunity to give Mr. Clark some idea of our needs he might by dropping a word in the right quarter be of valuable assistance to us in raising the money we need.
Frank will go to Chicago tonight, and myself and wife will go there tomorrow. I have traveled so much in the cars at night that I take every opportunity when time will permit to avoid night travel and go by day.
Saturday, May 25, 1895 Myself and wife were alone last evening at the hotel, all our company having gone.
We left for Chicago this morning on the 8:45 train on the Chicago & Alton R.R. We reached Chicago at 5 p.m. and put up at the Auditorium. Frank joined us and arranged for us to go to Hoyt’s theatre and see “The Black Sheep”, a very rollicking, lively play. It rained heavily when we went to the hotel.
Sunday, May 26, 1895 We visited Lincoln Park today. The Bicycle Clubs of Chicago were out on parade; there were thousands of both sexes on wheels.
Monday, May 27, 1895 Frank and myself called upon Mr. Tracy this morning to talk over the Pioneer Electric Power Co’s affairs. The drawing up or closing of a contract between him and the Company is deferred until we can see our way clear to obtain the $160,000 which Mr. Tracy requires us to invest in the enterprise.
Frank, through Mr. Charlton of the Chicago & Alton R.R., secured tickets for myself and wife to New York and return over the Michigan Central and New York Central by the payment of $18.60 to the latter Company.
We left Chicago at 3 p.m.
Tuesday, May 28, 1895 We find these railroads very pleasant traveling, the road beds being the smoothest I have traveled over for some years. The train stopped on the Canada side of Niagara to give us a view of the Falls. They are as sublime and grand as ever. We reached New York at 8:45 p.m. and drove to the Plaza Hotel.
Wednesday, May 29, 1895 I was seized with a species of vertigo this morning and it was attended with some nausea. This latter feeling was while I was trying to eat breakfast. I was glad to return to our room and lie down. Frank administered to me. This made me feel better; but I never before away from home had such a desire to start for home as I had while this sickness was on me. I think my wife and Frank were alarmed about me, at least I thought they looked that way. The forenoon I spen[t] on the bed and slept most of the time. I felt much better after noon and went to lunch and dinner.
Thursday, May 30, 1895. Decoration Day and a legal holiday. The streets were alive early in the morning. The weather was hot—the hottest for this season of the year it has been for a great many years. My wife and I went into Central Park and sat for two hours in the shade watching the procession of carriages and the moving crowds.
In the afternoon Frank secured a Victoria and we had a delightful ride of two hours through the Park, the Riverside Park and Harlem.
Friday, May 31, 1895. Frank is busy. I am leaving the brunt of the work to him. Dr. Robinson, who has been so kind a friend to him, came up from Baltimore to see and help him. I had a long interview with him and Frank. He dined with us. Although he had every preparation made to go off with his son who is in business at Baltimore he agreed to stop in New York to help Frank about the loan we want to effect.
I wrote letters home to my family today.