August 1895

1 August 1895 • Thursday

Thursday, August 1, 1895. My wife Sarah Jane’s health has improved since I returned, but yesterday she was not so well; she is a little better this morning.

At 11 o’clock the First Presidency met with Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, John Henry Smith and Abraham H. Cannon, of the Twelve Apostles, at the Temple. We attended to some business matters and also had prayer, Brother Richards being mouth. Brother John Henry Smith was appointed to attend the Juab Stake Conference; Brother F. D. Richards and my son Abraham to attend meeting at the Tabernacle, and Brothers Snow, Young and myself to attend Cache Stake Conference at Logan.

At 3:45 I took out several of the brethren and sisters in a private car to Saltair and provided them with lunch. Beside myself and wife, there were Brigham Young and his wife, President Jos. F. Smith and his wife, John Q. and Abraham and their wives, N. W. Clayton and several others. I enjoyed my bath in the lake.

2 August 1895 • Friday

Friday, August 2, 1895. The First Presidency had a very busy day at the office today. Among others who came to see us was Sister Zina D. Young, who intended to hold meetings with some of the Relief Societies commencing tomorrow, and who before doing so desired our counsel as to the course which she should pursue. We suggested that she should gradually drop out of active participation in politics and do as we, the First Presidency, are doing. I said to her: “You’ll pardon a comparison, but you ladies are like bell-wethers in a flock of sheep. You have seen sheep and how closely the flock will follow the bell-wether; now we do not want the sisters all to be of one political faith; it would not be a wise course for them to pursue and your influence must not be used to have them do so. For obvious reasons and through a lack of understanding of political doctrine, and through prejudices which they have against the Republican party, they need but little more than your example and encouragement to nearly all become Democrats.” Much more was said to her in the same strain. Sister Young was very humble and expressed her desire to pursue such a course as would please the Lord.

3 August 1895 • Saturday

Saturday, August 3, 1895 The weather continues very hot. Dictated my journal to my daughter Emily.

I spent some time at the office today and was called upon while ther[e] by Gen. Clark, President of the Mobile and Ohio R.R., and Mr. Kahn of Mobile. Gen. Clark made my acquaintance about twenty years ago. We were introduced to each other by Judge Stone, Member of Congress from Maryland. The General was very desirous to meet me, and N. W. Clayton brought him up.

A Mr. Baker, representing a Chicago house which deals in parlor furniture, is here, and Brother Williams of the Co-operative Furniture Company recommended me to [no one?] but of him, he having heard that I wished to purchase furniture. Brother Williams, Abraham and myself spent some time with him in selecting furniture.

After this I took Brother & Sister Maiben down to my wife Caroline’s, she having invited them to eat with us. I took them around to visit the rest of my family and they remained until twilight.

My wife Eliza, with two of her nieces, went to Granite this morning to enjoy the coolness of that retreat.

4 August 1895 • Sunday

Sunday, August 4, 1895 At 7 o’clock this morning I started for Logan. At Brigham City, Brother Lorenzo Snow and son joined me. Reached Logan at 10:20 and proceeded at once to the meeting house. Brother Brigham Young, who came from the city yesterday, was speaking. When he had finished, Brother Simpson Molen, who was presiding in the absence of Brother Orson Smith, turned the meeting over into my hands. I called upon him to make a report of the condition of the Stake, and afterwards called upon Elder M. W. Merrill to speak. Among other things he dwelt upon the necessity of the people laying up grain for a time of scarcity, and spoke upon the abundance of the harvest. I occupied about ten minutes in urging the Presidency of the Stake and the Bishop and the business men to organize companies and build elevators at the most convenient points in the valley, where all the people who chose to do so could deposit their grain and it be kept clean, free from vermin, and merchantable, instead of each man keeping it as a present in badly constructed granaries where vermin too frequently does it great damage. I set forth the advantages that would follow to the farmer where they adopted such a system. The certificate of a reliable elevator company the farmer could deposit in the bank if he needed, or he could sell it to any purchaser and the latter would know that he was getting good merchantable wheat.

I was invited by Brother Isaac Smith, the Second Counselor in the Stake Presidency, to stop at his house, which I accepted.

In the afternoon President Snow and myself occupied the time. He spoke about thirty minutes and I about forty-five. It is seldom that I have felt as free or that I ever spoke with so much power as I did this afternoon.

There was meeting in the evening, which was well attended. Bishop Preston, Elders J. Golden Kimball and Brigham Young occupied the time. The latter in his remarks spoke very severely and threateningly concerning seducers and as though they ought to be killed as a mad dog would be killed. I found it necessary to qualify his remarks and to show the people the bad consequences that would follow the carrying out of private vengeance against seducers or adulterers. I felt it necessary to correct this idea lest some harebrained person might think himself justified in taking the law into his own hands and kill somebody and then be executed as a murderer for so doing.

5 August 1895 • Monday

Monday, August 5, 1895. I called upon and paid my respects this morning to Brother Geo. W. Thatcher and wife.

At 9 o’clock President Snow and Brothers Brigham Young and M. W. Merrill and myself met with the two Counselors of the Stake and listened to the particulars of a High Council trial concerning which we gave them counsel.

President Jos. F. Smith came down this morning from Franklin where he had been spending Saturday and Sunday. I called upon him to speak and he addressed the congregation for an hour and twenty minutes, speaking with power and giving excellent instruction.

The afternoon was occupied by President Snow and myself. The Spirit of the Lord was with us and much interesting and precious instruction was given. We commenced the afternoon meeting at 1 o’clock so that we could join the train for home at 3:40.

This Conference has been a very interesting one, and the Spirit of the Lord has been abundantly poured out. The singing of the choir has given us great delight.

Upon my arrival at Salt Lake I was met by my son Willard with my buggy.

6 August 1895 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 6, 1895. My son Abraham read to the First Presidency a letter of instructions which he had framed for us to sign, to be send [sent] to Orson Smith, also resolutions for the Sterling Mining and Milling Company to adopt, there being a majority of the Board of Directors at present at Sterling. I spent some time in company with Brother Williams and my son Abraham and Mr. Withers, who represents furniture establishments[.] I selected a number of articles that I wanted.

My wife Martha received news of the death of her half sister, Mrs. Tabitha Sykes, of Peekshill, New York.

7 August 1895 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 7, 1895 My son Frank came down to my place early this morning, he having just returned from the east. He had heard of his mother’s serious illness and was desirous to see her, and was relieved to find her in a better condition that [than] she had been.

He met with the First Presidency and Brothers Clayton and Jack, and gave us a resume of the situation in the east and what he had done in relation to the Sugar Co. bonds, all of which was very satisfactory. We feel that Frank has acted very prudently in the sale of these bonds, and that he has been greatly favored of the Lord. We adjourned until 2 o’clock, and again met at that hour. He gave us his views as to the plans to be pursued for the carrying out of our railroad project. He and Brother Clayton and Abraham seem to think if we will decide upon building to Deep Creek that we can do so if we have about $50,000 to begin with. These young men are full of energy, and their plans seem to be well considered, and I see no reason why they should not be successful. I therefore, for one, (and Presidents Woodruff and Smith acquiesced) urged them to go ahead and take what steps they could to prepare for this by securing bonuses and if possible the old Fort Block. All this will be necessary before we announce the intention of building. The idea is to see what different parties will give to have such a road built. In the meantime we can be securing funds, probably from the sale of more Sugar bonds.

My wife Caroline and her daughters Mamie, Ada and Carol had issued 275 invitations to persons to whom they were under obligations for courtesies extended, for a lawn party at Mamie’s house. I had taken no part in the matter, as I queried whether they could make so large a party a success. At 8 o’clock this evening I went over to Mamie’s, and they had a lunch and dancing floor, with Clive’s band, and the grounds lit up with Chinese lanterns and four locomotive headlights. The refreshments consisted of ice cream and cake; and it being a brilliant moonlight night the scene was very beautiful, and everyone, so far as I heard, expressed the great pleasure which they had. There was a freedom from restraint which was very pleasing. I was very much gratified myself.

8 August 1895 • Thursday

Thursday, August 8, 1895 At 11 o’clock this morning the First Presidency went to the Temple and met with the Twelve Apostles. There were present, President Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, M. W. Merrill, Heber J. Grant and Abraham H. Cannon. Some interesting questions were brought up; among others, the advisability of releasing Brother George Teasdale, of the Apostles, from the presidency of the Mexican Mission and the filling of his place by selecting Brother A. W. Ivins. This question was discussed a little, it having been previously considered by the Twelve themselves. The First Presidency agreed with the Twelve in the conclusion that Brother George Teasdale should be released from the duties that now rest upon him in that Mission and be left free to travel as the other members of the Council are. It was decided that Brother A. W. Ivins would be a suitable man to take charge of the Mission. There are elements there which will require good management to control them—strong men, who do not agree with each other; and there is a lack of union and what may be termed antagonisms existing. Brother Teasdale, all admitted, is an excellent man, spiritually minded; but better as a preacher of spiritual things than a counselor in the practical affairs of life. Brother Ivins has the advantage of being familiar with the Spanish language and of being a thoroughly practical man. President Woodruff expressed himself as being very clear in regard to the change that ought to be made. A resolution representing the views expressed was carried.

A question arose in consequence of a letter which I brought from Logan, from the Presidency of the Cache Stake, as to whether a High Council was a legally organized body that was formed when the majority of the members were alternate High Councilors. It seems that Brother Moses Thatcher had taken the ground that a High Council which contained less than a majority of the twelve regular High Councilors was not a legal body. He having expressed these views, there were members of the High Council, kindred of his, who had adopted his views and who felt that proceedings conducted before such a body—that is, a body composed of more alternates than regular High Councilors—could not sit and decide cases. Brother Franklin D. Richards, who, under the direction of President Taylor, in company with Brother John Henry Smith, set apart these alternates, said that his reme[m]brance was that they were set apart to act as regular High Councilors. I expressed myself to the effect that these men were to all intents and purposes High Councilors, that they only differed from the regular twelve in the fact that they were not numbered with the twelve, and could not be, as a High Council could only be composed of twelve members. I related what occurred when alternates were first presented to a Conference in the days of President Brigham Young, to the effect that they would be entitled to sit upon any case whenever necessity required. After I had spoken, President Woodruff decided that the Church could not stop doing business, and therefore a High Council composed of a majority of alternates was a legal body and competent to do business.

A letter was read from Mr. Blackwell, a distinguished advocate of woman suffrage and editor of the Woman’s Journal, to Sister Zina D. Young, suggesting to her that the women of Utah should refrain from voting previous to the adoption of the Constitution and the admission of the State. His reasons were very clear and weighty. The Council all coincided in this view; but we felt that it was a delicate matter for us to interfere with that just now, as we would be branded as partisans for doing so. It was therefore decided that whatever should be said should be said with great care to the sisters on this subject, leaving the matter to the Lord; and we all agreed to pray for His interposition, as we felt that the Constitution would be in jeopardy if the women voted.

We afterwards put on our robes, and Brother Merrill prayed. President Woodruff did not clothe. I was mouth in the circle. After changing our clothes again, we partook of bread and wine, all having fasted that day, and we had a delightful time together.

After we returned to the office I met with the Co-op. Wagon & Machine Co.

9 August 1895 • Friday

Friday, August 9, 1895 There was a meeting of the Sugar Co. this morning at 9 o’clock. My son Frank was present and he related what had been done with the bonds and what would be required in relation to the new bonds. There had been a disposition to demur to the contract that 2 1/2 per cent. should be set aside each year as a sinking fund. We felt that this was a harsh feature, but the bonds that already existed contained this stipulation. Frank in his negotiations had succeeded in obtaining the consent for ten bonds to be cancelled each year instead of money being taken for that purpose. This feature pleased everybody on the Board and averted any unpleasan[t] discussion that may have arisen had the 2 1/2 % sinking fund been insisted on. I felt very thankful for this, as I had discovered, I thought a disposition in some of the members of the Board to be rigid in regard to this deal. When it was learned that these bonds had been sold with the Trustee-in-Trust’s endorsement and the endorsement of the Presidency, a good deal of surprise was expressed, particularly by Bishop Preston, that we should sell the bonds for 90 instead of 100, as they were well worth 100. Brother Armstrong also said the same, also Barlow Ferguson. I said I agreed with them perfectly, as I felt they were worth 100; but I said I had tried in the east to raise money and this was the best that could be done. Said I, When you speak of the credit of the Church, I want to say to you that when I offered the endorsement of the First Presidency in one of our local banks a few months ago it was refused. I said it is easy after we have done a thing of this kind to think how good a deal the Gentiles have made. In reply to a remark that the bonds should be sold among the saints, I said if any of our brethren wish to invest we will have the bonds to sell, especially if they will give us 100; so they can have the opportunity to show how much faith they have in the credit of the Church.

Bishop Clawson called with Mr. Green, the agent of the Standard Telephone Company. It has been understood that I should be the President of the Company here, and this appointment, as we have been told, is quite satisfactory to the other members of the Board of Directors selected at Denver. Mr. Green is very anxious to get the First Presidency identified with this Company and Brother Clawson, on behalf of the Company, came to see us and proffered us $50,000 in stock for each of us for our influence, even if we did not have our names connected with the enterprise. They have been particularly anxious to have our names; but I have taken a stand in relation to this that I could not permit my name to be associated with this enterprise as President unless I was positively counseled to do so by my brethren of the Presidency, for reasons which I have already stated in my journal. I therefore said, when the matter was discussed this morning privately with Brother Clawson, that if I were to say anything to Mr. Green it would be this—that we as the First Presidency favor all good enterprises, and we certainly think this a good thing, and our wishes are that it may succeed, and that we are willing to do everything we can to aid it, but not to put be ourselves active agents or members of the Company, and that we shall do this regardless of any reward. We do not want to receive stock, because I would feel that if I were to receive stock in this way it would be a mortgage on me, and I could not accept it for my personal use, but would give it to the Church. We told Brother Clawson to say to Mr. Green what we had now said, (for Presidents Woodruff and Smith both said that the way I presented it suited them exactly) and then afterwards if we did anything that was worthy of compensation, and if Mr. Green and Mr. Nye would like us to be stockholders, we then would be in a position to accept or reject any stock they might have to offer us. This was said in substance to Mr. Green in our conversation with him, at which he expressed his entire satisfaction.

10 August 1895 • Saturday

Saturday, August 10, 1895 I arose quite early this morning and went with Brother Wilcken to Westover, and was greatly pleased with the way in which the farm is conducted. Everything looks exceedingly well. Potatoes are likely to be somewhat of a failure, on account of frost.

11 August 1895 • Sunday

Sunday, August 11, 1895 I did not feel very well today, having caught cold through taking a bath in very cold water last night.

I went to meeting at 2 o’clock, and Brother Geo. G. Bywater was called upon to speak. He occupied about 50 mins., and as the weather was warm and very close the meeting was not extended.

12 August 1895 • Monday

Monday, August 12, 1895 The First Presidency had a call from Thomas Katsunuma, a Japanese who has been attending the Brigham Young College at Logan, and with whom I had considerable conversation on the Sunday and Monday of Conference at Logan. I explained matters to him in a way that appeared to strike him very forcibly, and it appears that on the strength of what I said to him he sought the Lord and was baptized, and now he says he can bear testimony to the truth. Brother Guy Thatcher, a son of Brother Geo. W. Thatcher, baptized him. He is the first Japanese, so far as we know, that has been introduced into the Church, and he is a very intelligent man. He speaks English quite brokenly, but appears to understand it well.

I had quite a visit with Brother Elias S. Kimball, who reported the condition of the Southern States Mission. There are 233 Elders laboring there under his direction, and he would like to increase the force to about 300. From all parts of that Mission reports are somewhat encouraging. Mobocracy is not so prevalent, and in several places there is quite a disposition to investigate the principles, particularly in Texas. I am impressed very favorably with Brother Kimball’s energy and good management. He is doing a thoroughly good work. It is a great pleasure to see the sons of men who have been as valiant as Brother Heber C. Kimball was stepping forward and taking upon them the responsibilities of the Priesthood.

Colonel Trumbo stepped in the office today and told us that Senator Teller was in town and that he was going out to Saltair at 2:15. There was a few minutes left for us to go down and see him. Knowing how good a friend he had been to us in times when friends were needed, the First Presidency felt that we could do no less than call upon him even for a few minutes and pay our respects to him. We found him at the train, and I detained the train long enough for us to shake hands with him and exchange compliments, and thank him for the past kindness he had shown to us. He intends to leave this afternoon for his home.

We held a meeting with the General Board of Education this afternoon.

The First Presidency had a lengthy and somewhat interesting interview with Mr. Robert Brewster Stanton, in company with my son Abraham. Mr. Stanton related to us the business that he had attended to while East in railroad matters, and his report was quite encouraging. He alluded to the manner in which the anticipations that had been indulged in concerning the Japanese establishing a line of steamships had been confirmed by conversations which he had had with gentlemen in New York. He is desirous that Abraham should go with him to San Diego and look over the ground there and learn all that can be learned concerning terminals on the coast. He suggested that he should not be known by his right name, because it would immediately have the effect if it were known to create something like a boom, as it would be set down for certain that we were about to commence operations. We decided that it would be proper for Abraham to go.

13 August 1895 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 13, 1895. Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself Bishop Winder and A. H. Woodruff took train this morning at 9 for Ogden to attend a meeting of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. My son Frank had us carried in carriages to his residence, where we were joined by Mr. Bannister, and we were kept busily employed attending to the affairs of the Company, with the exception of about half an hour spent in eating lunch, until about 3 o’clock, when we were carried in carriages to the depot and left there at 3:15. We arranged the affairs of the Company in a shape that we trust will be satisfactory; but it seems necessary for us to assume responsibility and put ourselves personally in the gap to carry on this enterprise.

After my return to the city I went out to Saltair and had a bath, in company with Brothers Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman and C. H. Wilcken. A number of my children and grandchildren were there.

14 August 1895 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 14, 1895. There was a Sugar meeting held this morning at 9 o’clock and the form of the bond to be issued to take the place of the present ten-year bond was read by Attorney Barlow Ferguson and my son Frank.

After this meeting we held a meeting of the Salt Lake & Los Angeles people, or Geo. Q. Cannon and associates, and a motion was made by President Smith seconded by President Woodruff, that Brother Clayton and Jack and my two sons, Frank and Abraham, take the necessary steps to secure all the bonuses and options and every advantage that can be secured for the Deep Creek Railway which we contemplate building. The boys seemed to be confident that they could dispose of the bonds, and that this business can be carried through successfully.

Brother Reed Smoot came up from Provo to see the First Presidency in relation to the indebtedness of the Brigham Young Academy which his father had endorsed. The indebtedness amounts altogether to upwards of $70,000, $15,000 of which is arranged for by the Church. The estate is so tied up by this endorsement that unless something is done for their relief they will be financially ruined. This is a case that has appealed very strongly to my sympathies, as Brother Smoot endorsed these notes in consequence of counsel that he says he received from President Young to stand by that Academy and to do all in his power to sustain it, and he has told his family and others that if it cost him every dollar he had in the world he would do it. I have felt, however, that the Church should not stand by and se[e] a man like Brother Smoot ruined, unless there be a greater necessity for such a sacrifice than appears at present, and I so expressed myself to him while he was living, and I did so this morning when the case came up. President Woodruff has felt very averse to our assuming the responsibility of these debts. The weight of the obligations which already rest upon us, and particularly upon him as the Trustee-in-Trust, burdens him, and he spoke very emphatically about that this morning. I apologized for speaking as I did by saying that I would not for the world lay a feather’s weight on him or do anything knowingly that would deprive him of a minute’s sleep. I hoped he would not take exception to my expressing myself as I did respecting this affair, for I felt that we owed it to our brethren when they passed away as Brother Smoot had done, to see that they were protected. I suggested that a meeting of the Twelve and the Presiding Bishops be called and the matter be talked over. President Woodruff thought this would be a good plan.

I went to the lake at 3:45 and had a bath.

15 August 1895 • Thursday

Thursday, August 15, 1895. This morning Brother Arthur Winter read me a discourse which I delivered at Provo in April last. It was wanted for publication.

Bishop Preston brought up the condition of old Fort Cameron reservation and we consented to help fence it.

At 11 o’clock the First Presidency went to the Temple. Some business was attended to connected with the San Juan Stake. Two letters were read, one written by a niece of Brother Seymour B. Young and another from the wife of the late President Joseph Young, an aged lady. These letters contained requests from the writers that their names should be dropped from the Church records and they be no longer considered as members of our Church. It was felt that the letter of Sister Young, the wife of the late President Joseph Young, should not receive any attention, as she is in her second childhood. A meeting was appointed for the First Presidency and Twelve and Presiding Bishops at the office of the First Presidency tomorrow morning at 9:30.

I went out to the lake again and had another bath.

16 August 1895 • Friday

Friday, August 16, 1895 At 9:30 the meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve was held at the office. There were present, beside the First Presidency, President L. Snow, F. D. Richards, B. Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, A. H. Cannon, of the Apostles, and Presiding Bishops Preston, Burton and Winder. The condition of Brother Smoot’s estate was discussed and a motion was made that a committee be appointed to take into consideration the funding of all the assets of the Brigham Young Academy and see what prospects there were of obtaining a loan on those assets at a lower rate of interest than is now being paid. Bishop Preston and Brothers John Clark, C. S. Burton and Reed Smoot were appointed as the committee to attend to this business.

It seems that some time recently Bishop Preston had come up to the office and had laid before Presidents Woodruff and Smith the propriety of selling the Pipe Spring Ranch, representing to them how little value it was to the Church, and that he had an opportunity of getting $2500 for it. Without being familiar with all the conditions which surrounded this property, President Woodruff consented to Brother Preston selling it. Since that time the people have sent up a petition begging the First Presidency not to sell it, or if it is to be sold, to allow them to be the purchasers, because of its value to them at Kanab. This petition and some letters from Jesse W. Crosby, Jr., and E. D. Woolley, were read. Brother John Henry Smith expressed himself to the effect that it was a public calamity to the sale of this property. Brother H. J. Grant did not justify the sale at all, but he protested against the statements in the petition concerning the purchaser, Mr. Sanders, and what would follow his occupancy; he spoke very highly of him. I expressed myself to the effect that I regretted exceedingly when I heard this place had been sold, because I knew the value that had been placed on it in former times by President Young, and I was familiar with the efforts which had been made by various parties to purchase it since his death. I had strongly opposed the sale of it, for I was thoroughly opposed to the idea of our selling every place of value to people who offered money therefor. It was not a policy that I believed in as proper for the building up of Zion. A motion was made by Brother F. M. Lyman, which I seconded, that steps be taken to ascertain if it could not be obtained back again from Mr. Sanders.

Mr. Thomas Weir handed in his reports concerning the “Johnnie” and “Chispa” properties which we own and also his report concerning the “Confidence” property, which he had gone to examine for us. I read them to Presidents Woodruff and Smith and they thought them quite satisfactory.

17–18 August 1895 • Saturday–Sunday

Saturday and Sunday, August 17 & 18, 1895. I was attacked Saturday morning before daylight with dysentery and was compelled to keep to the house and part of the time to my bed on these days. Brother Orson P. Arnold came down and brought me some pills which he thought would do me good. I took one every two hours till I had taken three. The attack reduced me very much.

19 August 1895 • Monday

Monday, August 19, 1895 I was very much disappointed in not being able to go to town on Saturday, as Mr. Joseph Banigan, of Providence, Rhode Island, who had made an appointment with my son Frank to come here, reached the city on Saturday, and in consequence of my not being able to go to town the business that had brought him was not attended to, though he went out to the lake in company with President Woodruff on Saturday afternoon. Frank has sold to Mr. Banigan one hundred bonds of the Utah Sugar Co. at 90, and he proposes to purchase some more if an examination of our property is satisfactory. He has intimated also that he might invest in other Utah enterprises if things looked favorably. He has been greatly impressed by his conversations with Frank and took these bonds at this price with the endorsement of the First Presidency and my son Frank. We can afford to endorse the bonds now that they belong to us and not to the Sugar Co., because we receive the benefit of the sale, and we make by this sale $ [blank][.]

We started this morning at 8:05 in a private car on the Rio Grande Western to see the Sugar factory. The company consisted of Mr. Banigan, Elias Morris, President of the Company, and his son Nephi, Frank Armstrong, director, Brother Brigham Young, my son Frank and myself. Thomas R. Cutler, the Manager, took us through the factory. It was soon apparent that Mr. Banigan understood machinery and he gave it a very thorough examination. He was taken down to look at the fields of beets, of which, however, he did not profess to be any judge. He expressed himself as being quite pleased with what he saw.

After our return from the factory he joined us at the office of the First Presidency and we talked over business matters. He made a proposition to us to buy the whole of our bonds at the same price. Presidents Woodruff and Smith both felt quite ready to sell. I hesitated somewhat, for I thought the terms on which we were proposing to take up ten bonds per year, instead of creating a sinking fund, made the bonds really worth more than 90. Frank pressed this on his attention; but he said that was the highest he could go, and we consented for him to have them at that rate. Frank explained to him with some detail and considerable clearness our railroad project, and that our proposition was to build on to the western end of the line we had, and we thought of issuing first mortgage bonds to the amount of $12,000 for every mile and second mortgage bonds to the amount of $8000 per mile, the first mortgage bonds to be sold to build the line and the second mortgage bonds to be sold to contractors and others. We thought we could build the road at that price. He listened very attentively to Frank’s statement of the project and appeared attracted by it, and he leaves the impression on my mind that he thinks the investment a good one. He told us he could carry it as well as not if he could make enough money out of it, frankly owning that his business was to make money. He impressed me as being a very clear-headed business man, and one who grasps an idea very quickly. He is president of a company which employs about forty millions of capital, and is doubtless very wealthy in his own right.

We went out to the lake in the afternoon with him and his daughter and ate lunch at the lake.

20 August 1895 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 20, 1895 The First Presidency had a long interview this morning with Brother James E. Steele, the President of the new Bingham Stake in Idaho.

We met with Mr. Banigan again and attended to considerable business in drawing up papers and arranging affairs, and Frank, at his request, made a very complete statement of the Pioneer Electric Company’s affairs; and it was arranged that Mr. Banigan and his daughter should go to Ogden tomorrow, and while she was being entertained by Frank’s wife he would go up the canon and view the pipe line and the site of the dam and on to where the water would be stored.

Myself and wife were invited by Brother & Sister Clayton to take dinner at their house with Mr. Banigan and daughter. I was disappointed in not seeing Presidents Woodruff and Smith there. I supposed, of course, they would be invited until it was too late for me to decline; but Sister Clayton did not have the help she needed, and therefore felt unequal to the labor of entertaining more than were there. Frank and his wife were there. We had a very pleasant time together.

21 August 1895 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 21, 1895 A gentleman by the name of Weber brought a letter of introduction to me this morning from the proprietor of the Knutsford Hotel. He is the owner of the Illustrated Zeitung, published at Liepsig [Leipzig], Germany. We had considerable conversation with him and I gave him a letter of introduction to my son John Q.

Afterwards Mr. Hays, who is Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce at Ogden, called in company with his wife and informed us that resolutions had been adopted by that body asking us to hold our general conferences alternately at Ogden. He did not bring a copy of the resolutions, but said a deputation would wait upon us to lay the matter before us. Beside the First Presidency, there were Brother John Henry Smith and my brother Angus present. I suggested that if we could only succeed in carrying out our enterprise in relation to Ogden in the building of a power dam, and if we obtained the assistance which had been promised us by the people of Ogden and the Chamber of Commerce, I would be in a very good mood to accede to a request to hold general conferences there, and I thought we all would be. Mr. Hays was told we would consider the matter.

Bishop Preston and Brother John Clark called in this afternoon to lay before us the condition of the Smoot notes. After listening to all the explanations they had to make, it was decided that the interest amounting to about $3500 more or less should be raised, and that Brother Preston should endeavor to obtain it, and that the committee continue its labors with a view to consolidating the property belonging to the Academy in such a form that it could be held as security, and, with the Trustee-in-Trust’s endorsement of the note, enough money be raised at 6% to lift the present notes and in this way reduce the interest.

I dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

22 August 1895 • Thursday

Thursday, August 22, 1895 Am busy making my preparations to start the dining room again, and have arranged with Sister Davey (who lived with my wife Elizabeth before her death and for some years afterwards with us) to take charge of the cooking, with two assistants. She has already engaged Sister Jenny Peterson. My family is quite anxious that I should start this dining room again, because it is more sociable and better every way.

After I came to the office, the case of “Black Jane”, a negress, was brought before us. She is extremely solicitous to have the privilege of going into the Temple and receiving her endowments. After considering the question, we decided it would not be advisable to grant her request, as she belongs to a race concerning whom there has been much said, but nothing of a character to warrant us in administering the ordinances of the Temple to her. She has been a faithful, good woman, and we feel in our hearts to bless her.

At 11 o’clock the First Presidency met in the Temple with Brothers Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, John Henry Smith, & Heber J. Grant, and this question concerning Jane was brought up, and we had a very full conversation concerning the colored race and their rights under the Gospel. I related what I had heard in my boyhood as coming direct from the Prophet Joseph. It was related to me by President Taylor, and it was this: that Abel having been slain by his brother Cain before he had posterity, the fiat of the Lord had been that Cain’s descendants should not receive the blessings of the Priesthood until Abel’s posterity should come forward and receive tabernacles and the Priesthood. If it were otherwise, the murdered man would be behind the murderer, and for this reason, as I had always understood, the negro race have been debarred from the Priesthood. Of course, it may seem like a hard thing; but if we knew all connected with the matter and the causes which produced the blackness of their skin, and all that had taken place in the spirit world, we would see that the Lord in this case as in all others is just.

The case of a woman named [blank] Smith was brought up for consideration. She had been refused a recommend to the Temple by the President of the Salt Lake Stake on the ground that she had married a negro and borne him children. She afterwards married a white man, by whom she had one child--a boy. She wanted this son and herself to have the privilege of going into the Temple to officiate in the ordinances of the Temple, he to act for his father, who was never in the Church, in having his mother sealed to him for eternity. The Bishop of the Ward in which she lives had expressed his willingness to give her a recommend, but had been requested not to do so by the President of the Stake. There was some discussion about this, and it was finally decided that to avoid complications and the future quoting of this case as a justification for other cases that might arise it would be better for her to be refused this privilege, and whatever ordinances she wished to perform might be done by others of her kindred, she having two sisters in the Church in good standing. Fear was expressed that if she were permitted to go into the Temple, her children borne to the colored man might wish to have ordinances performed for themselves, which might be difficult to refuse if their mother were permitted to officiate.

After prayer, which was offered by Brother John Henry Smith without being clothed in our robes, the conversation led into politics and other matters, and I availed myself of the opportunity to make a number of explanations to the brethren concerning our movements in connection with General Clarkson and Colonel Trumbo. It appeared to be very satisfactory, and Presidents Woodruff and Smith expressed themselves gratified afterwards that I had taken the liberty of giving this information to the brethren of the Twelve. In doing it I felt to bear a very strong testimony that the Lord was with us as a First Presidency, and that He would sustain us, and that we had taken no step without seeking earnestly for His guidance, and had not taken any without knowing that it was indeed His mind and will that we should take that step. Brother John Henry Smith in praying had asked the Lord that if we had gone too far in our zeal to relieve the situation that the Lord would overrule it. I turned to him when alluding to this prayer and said, Brother John Henry, we have not overreached ourselves and our zeal has not led us to do anything that we should not have done. I wish to testify to this, and to rest my reputation, which is dearer to me than my life, on the correctness of what has been done. The brethren seemed to be impressed with what was done said, and it will doubtless have a good effect.

After our return from the Temple, the wife of Brother J. M. Benedict came and requested us to visit her husband, who was in a very bad condition. We found him insensible and breathing very heavily. He had had a sort of spasmodic fit, and his tongue was much swollen through his biting it. We administered to him, but while doing so, two doctors came in. Before we left he arose and recognized us, and shook hands with us. Dr. Benedict is a man that might have stood at the head of his profession in the United States if his habits had been good, for his skill amounts almost to genius; but he has been a very heavy drinker for years.

23 August 1895 • Friday

Friday, August 23, 1895 Upon my return home this evening I found the dining room prepared for dinner, and myself and family ate together, being the first meal we have eaten in this manner since two years ago last Saturday.

I had a long conversation with a Mr. Austin at the office. I have known him a great many years at Washington, and I felt very free in conversing with him in explaining the situation of affairs.

We had a visit from Brother Ben Rich, who brought some papers from my son Frank J. at Ogden.

24 August 1895 • Saturday

Saturday, August 24, 1895. In company with my wife Caroline I called upon her uncle, Lorenzo D. Young, who is in a very feeble condition, almost longing to die. He will be 88 years old in November next. Though his body was very feeble, his mind is quite clear. I administered to him and felt to bless him.

I insert the following letter, not from any motives of personal vanity, but to show the contrast between the spirit that now reigns in some quarters with that which prevailed a short time ago concerning myself and other leading men of our Church. The writer of this, as I understand, was at one time very bitter and wrote very severe articles against us, individually and as a people; but I am told he has completely changed. Certainly the tone of this letter, if at all honestly written, would indicate such a change:




A. B. TOMSON, Corresponding Secretary.


City, Aug. 22, 1895.2

Hon. Geo. Q. Cannon,


Dear Sir:- As you already are aware, a great convention of editors is to be held in this city on the 27-28, for the purpose of considering matters pertaining to the welfare of journalism. The arrangements for this event are being conducted under the auspices of the Utah Press Association. Among the features of the entertainment, as you doubtless know, is a grand complimentary concert in the big Tabernacle and an elegant banquet at Saltair. In order to give entertainment to our visitors in a manner becoming the importance of the occasion and the dignity of our city and Territory, we deem it requisite to ask one hundred of the leading citizens of Salt Lake and Utah to act as a committee on reception. At a meeting of the Utah Press Association, held last Saturday evening, at this office, you were the unanimous choice of the members present for the chairman of the above mentioned committee, and I was instructed to communicate with you, asking the favor of your consent to act in such capacity. The selection of yourself, permit me to say, President Cannon, was made because of your prominence as a citizen of the Territory, and the exaulted attitude you have always taken in journalism.

I am also directed, my dear sir, by the Executive Committee, to ask you to be one of the speakers at the banquet at Saltair, on the 27 inst. In the selection of speakers for that event, we are well aware that no man in Utah is abler to do honor to the entertainment, than yourself, and the members of the Utah Press Association would esteem it a very great favor if you will consent to appear at our banqueting board and take part in the exercises of the occasion.

In case you do consent to speak, will you kindly inform me at the earliest opportunity, naming if you prefer to do so, the topic on which you will talk.

Yours respectfully and fraternally,

[signed] A. B. Tomson.

Cor. Sect’y, U. P. A.3

25 August 1895 • Sunday

Sunday, August 25, 1895 A very close, sultry day, and I felt quite languid; but I had been requested to attend meeting at the 16th Ward, and I drove there with my sons Lewis and Sylvester and my daughter Hester. The meeting was well attended, and I enjoyed my remarks and felt better after the meeting.

26 August 1895 • Monday

Monday, August 26, 1895 The question of publishing discourses in other papers than the Deseret News came up this morning, and it was stated that one of President Woodruff’s discourses had been published in a supplement to the Salt Lake Herald known as the Church and Farm. I expressed myself quite freely on this subject to the effect that if discourses were prepared and sent to other papers it was weakening the influence of the Church organ and giving strength to other newspapers, some of which were political in their character and were seeking this method of gaining influence with the people. The argument that was said to have been used in regard to this discourse was that Brother Winter, our Church reporter, was absent and that if this were not published it would be lost. I said in relation to that, the same argument might be used by the Salt Lake Tribune, by the Ogden Standard, and the Provo Enquirer. It would not do for us, it seemed to me, to permit different papers to publish discourses on matters of doctrine as original matter, because we had a paper belonging to the Church whose province it was to publish these things, and it was recognized as the organ of the Church. In leasing the property to the Deseret News Publishing Company, the exclusive publication of the sermons was a consideration of the contract. I spoke to President Woodruff about this and he agreed that that was the proper course to take, and that he had not been fully aware of the purpose in submitting to him for revision that discourse that had been published. There are any number of newspapers in the Territory that would be very glad to publish discourses merely for the sake of giving them influence among the people and increasing their circulation.

I went out to Saltair this afternoon and rode most of the way in the private car of General Palmer and General Dodge, of the Rio Grande Western R.R. I returned at 4:45[.]

27 August 1895 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 27, 1895 I received notice from the Utah Press Association that I would be expected to appear at the Press rooms before 2 o’clock, as the procession would then be formed, and that it was desired I should ride in the carriage with Governor West and Mayor Baskin at the head of the procession.

A meeting of the Pioneer Electric Power Company was adjourned from last Tuesday till this morning to meet at President Woodruff’s residence. There were present at the meeting, President Woodruff, A. H. Woodruff, C. K. Bannister, Judge Patton, Frank J. Cannon and myself. We attended to a great deal of business, and I was very much gratified at hearing the report which the Manager made concerning Mr. Banigan’s feelings and the results of his investigations. Mr. Bannister read his report, and I felt to say in the presence of the brethren, that I thought he and the Manager both had conducted the affairs of the Company in a very satisfactory manner, to me at least, and economical also. I was very well pleased with what had been done. I felt to say this much because at a previous meeting I thought that the spirit of the meeting was one that had a depressing effect on Mr. Bannister, and on Frank also, and I wished to convey my feelings respected the business as I understood it.

At 1:30 I went to the Utah Press Association rooms, and there was a large number of delegates there from various States. A procession was formed, with a band leading, and Governor West, Mayor Baskin and myself in the leading carriage. We traversed the main streets and then repaired to the theatre. Quite unexpectedly to myself, it was insisted that I should preside, or in other words, be temporary chairman. I introduced Governor West, Mayor Baskin and Judge C. C. Goodwin, and each made a speech of welcome. The Governor’s was quite flowery. Responses were made by two or three of the visiting delegates, and then the Convention adjourned for the purpose of going out to Saltair, where they partook of a banquet. It is the largest number of people that has ever sat down to a banquet at Saltair. Everything went off very nicely. Speeches were made by a number of gentlemen. I had been set down for one; but as it was getting late, I thought it better to return home, which I did at 8:45.

28 August 1895 • Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 28, 1895 I went to the City and County building this morning, and as temporary chairman, opened the proceedings of the Convention, and after permanent organization had been reported, I submitted the name of E. G. Rognon, President of the Press Association, as chairman of the Convention. I remained, at his request, on the stand with him until the adjournment at noon.

I went to the Lake for a bath this afternoon.

After dinner with my family, I drove with three of my children to the Tabernacle and listened to a concert which was given in honor of the members of the Press Association. I enjoyed the concert, and the Tabernacle was crowded.

29 August 1895 • Thursday

Thursday, August 29, 1895 It is necessary for us, in order to keep the work going connected with the Pioneer Electric Co., to sign notes. We have received a proffer from Mr. Rhodes to take four notes of $5000 each, payable six, seven, eight and nine months from date, for work, and he will advance $4000 in cash also, and in addition will take $5000 in bonds. He requires notes signed by the Company and endorsed by us as individuals. Brother Winder has felt very much averse to doing anything in this matter; the consequences to him appeared too serious. We were running more and more into debt, and he for one felt, he said, that he could not go any farther. We had a very plain talk with him this morning. I was the principal speaker, and I told him finally that I was in favor of releasing him entirely from all obligation; for I did not wish to involve him in consequences such as he appeared to dread. At the same time I told him that I believed he should be indemnified. We were not doing this on a private speculation; but we had entered into it because we felt that it was something that shoul[d] be done by us as the leaders of the people. He accepted the proposition to withdraw. I asked my son Frank, who was present, what effect the withdrawal of Brother Winder would have. Well, he said, Mr. Rhodes had counted on our four notes, that is, the First Presidency and Brother Winder. Brother Winder then said he would sign if we said so, and it was finally adjusted for him to sign, and he to be indemnified. I told him that we could not say all the good things that we felt towards him. Personally we held him in high esteem. But he was of a peculiar temperament. He looked at things darkly when some of us looked at them hopefully. I said I am naturally very hopeful; but I did not want my hopefulness to lead my brethren into any enterprises or to involve them in any responsibility that their own judgment did not sustain them in. I had felt very much for him, because I knew what his temperament was, and I saw that he was in pain because of the way this business was going. He mentioned something about debts, and that it was contrary to counsel to go into debt, &c. I said I had observed that counsel strictly all my life. I had abstained from incurring debt for personal ends. But I had run heavily in debt for the Church and to accomplish public measures, and we must in our present situation, it seemed to me, do something and take risks; and yet we felt that the risk was not so great as he seemed to think it would be. I talked quite plain but kindly, and I believe he received it kindly. President Woodruff thought the talk would do good. I was very glad to see President Woodruff feel so well, because his natural tendency is to be very cautious about incurring obligations of this character. I signed the notes as President of the Company, and then President Woodruff and myself and Brother Winder endorsed them. President Smith is not here.

At 11 o’clock President Woodruff and myself and Brother Lorenzo Snow met in the Temple, being the only ones present of the Council. We had a very interesting interview conversing upon principle, a number of questions being asked by Brother Lorenzo Snow with a view to getting our views. President Woodruff called upon me to pray.

My son Frank came in the office, and President Woodruff and Bishop Winder and myself had conversation with him about the situation of the Pioneer Company, and I think the questions which I asked him brought out answers that were satisfactory to Brother Winder and he felt easier in his mind.

At 4:45 I started to Ogden and was met at the station by Mr. C. K. Bannister. I stopped at his house all night.

30 August 1895 • Friday

Friday, August 30, 1895. My object in going to Ogden was to see Brother & Sister Winslow, who own 100 acres of land in the Canon that the Pioneer Company desires to obtain. He is a peculiar man and all who have talked with him have had rebuffs, and he has said he would not talk with anyone about his business but myself, as he had confidence in me. He and his wife came to Mr. Bannister’s office and we had two interviews, one before lunch and the other after. I handled him very carefully, as I saw that he was soured in his feelings about a good many things and looked upon the world almost as having no other wish than to do him injury. The proposition that was made to him was that we would exchange 100 acres of land which we owned west of his homestead for 100 acres of land east. We wanted his 100 acres for the purpose of building a dam on 40 of it and having 60 for a reservoir. Brother L. W. Shurtliff, the President of the Stake, was with us, and he said that the 100 that we offered, in his opinion, was worth more than the 100 Brother Winslow owned; but he did not seem to think so. He wanted only 40 acres of our 100, and did not seem to attach any importance to the other 60. I showed to him the advantages of buying the whole of that which we had. Speaking, I said, not as President of the Pioneer Company, but as a brother, I remarked that if I were in his place I would not refuse the 100 acres we offered him, because it gave him three-fourths of a mile on the river, which would always be valuable. This seemed to strike him and his wife favorably, especially his wife, who seemed to be a woman of good sense. He finally said that if we would give him $10 an acre, which would be $1000, and our 100 acres, he would make the deal and give us a right of way across a portion of his land that he would still own and which we needed. I told him that I was not authorized by the Company to do anything but to offer him the 100 acres; but I would take the liberty and venture to offer him our 100 acres for his 100 acres, and the mortgage that he had on it, amounting to $500. He would not accept this, but said he would see me tomorrow or in a few days. I returned to the city by the 3 o’clock train.

31 August 1895 • Saturday

Saturday, August 31, 1895. My son Abraham returned last night from his business trip to California, and came in and gave a report to Brother Joseph F. Smith and myself in the office. President Woodruff was not present today.

Brother Robert C. Lund also came in and described his movements in some business in which I was mutually interested with him.

For a day or two past Brother Isaac M. Waddell has been trying to secure an interview for Mr. W. C. Hall, a prominent Democrat in this City, and chairman of the County Democratic Committee. I did not know the object of their visit, but Mr. Hall told me he wanted to see me in private. He stated that his object in seeing me was to know if I would accept the nomination for any office that the party had the power to make for the new State. I explained to him my position since the division on party lines, and that I could not under existing circumstances accept the offer. He said that any position that I would like in the State or at the disposal of the party I could have if I wished and would signify my willingness to accept it. I thanked him for the honor which he had, and the party through him, shown me. I told him I felt that it was not a light thing to receive such a manifestation of confidence and I appreciated it very much; but under the circumstances I would be compelled to decline accepting anything.

I went to the lake and had a bath.

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August 1895, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 27, 2024