The Church Historian's Press

December 1896

4 December • Friday

Friday, December 4, 1896

At 10 o’clock I called upon Mr. Samuel Carr, the Chairman of the Re-organization Committee of the Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway, who expressed great pleasure at seeing me, and after some conversation concerning that which had brought me to Boston, he sent for Mr. Nichols, the Attorney of the Committee. I explained to them both the object of my visit – to pick up our business where we left it last summer, and if possible come to some definite conclusion concerning the provisional contract which we then made. They appeared quite ready to renew the negotiations, and after discussing the matter and some new points which Mr. Nichols suggested, we separated with the understanding that we should have a meeting to-morrow and go into matters more fully. Mr. Nichols said he would look through all the papers and refresh his memory upon some points which were not then entirely clear to him.

Mr. Carr was very pressing in his invitation to take dinner to-day with him at his club, but Mr. Nichols excused himself as it was his wife’s birthday, and I excused myself by stating that I had two sons at the Institute of Technology who were to take dinner with my wife and myself at the Hotel.

After waiting at the Hotel until 4 o’clock, the boys not having come, I went to their rooms, thinking that perhaps they had not received my letter, but I found they had gone to the hotel, and upon my return I met them. They are both looking very well and were exceedingly glad to see us. We had a very enjoyable dinner, and we went to the theatre and saw Bret Harte’s play “Sue”.

5 December • Saturday

Saturday, December 5, 1896

At 11 o’clock this morning I called at Mr. Carr’s office and he and Mr. Nichols and myself sat down and went carefully through the provisional contract. Some suggestions which Mr. Clark had made Mr. Nichols desired to have inserted. I saw no special objection to them excepting one, the clause which they desire to have inserted giving the engineer of the Oregon Short Line the supervision of our road which we are to build from Tintic to Deep Creek – that is, it is to be built to his acceptance. I need not, however, dwell on these points, as the following letter written by me gives particulars:

Mr. Carr intends to leave for New York on Monday morning, and would not therefore be able to meet with us again to further consider the business. It is all plain though, and he agreed to everything, but left the correction of the provisional contract to Mr. Nichols, whom I am to meet at his office at 12 o’clock on Monday.

Sylvester and Willard spent the latter part of the afternoon with us and took dinner with us. We went to the theatre and saw “The Professor’s Love Story”. We were all greatly pleased with the performance. Mr. E. S. Willard took the principal part.

6 December • Sunday

Sunday, December 6, 1896.

Mr. Carr plays the organ at the Old South Church. He was very desirous that we should hear the instrument. When he was out with us, we had taken him and his friends to the Tabernacle and our organist had played a number of tunes on our large instrument, without knowing that he was an organist himself, but with which he was greatly pleased. This morning, therefore, myself and wife and sons went to the Old South Church, the Rev. Mr. Gordon preached, and we were very much delighted with the organ. Mr. Carr plays it beautifully. I visited him in the organ room and he was introduced to my wife and sons. I took the opportunity of speaking to him with some degree of fullness concerning our wishes and hopes connected with the contracts of the Garfield Beach property, etc. He responded in the most frank manner. He said they were quite desirous to complete the deal as had been proposed and felt as well disposed to the arrangement now as they did before. He had conversed with other members of the committee and they felt the same. He left the impression on my mind that there was no obstacle in the way of closing the contract when their affairs should be in a condition to permit the committee to do so legally. I expressed my gratification at hearing this, and also the hope that our future relations should be of such a character as to maintain the good feeling and friendship which had characterized our proceedings thus far. In all these expressions he concurred with great heartiness.

My sons took us around Boston, and showed us points of interest. They dined with us, and we spent the evening together very pleasantly.

7 December • Monday

Monday, December 7th, 1896

I called upon Mr. Coolidge this morning and had a very pleasant interview with him concerning the contract. He spoke in the same tones as Mr. Carr had done and expressed himself as being very desirous to see the arrangement carried out. Before we separated he spoke in the most feeling and sympathetic manner of the death of my son Abraham. He said that himself and associates had been remarkably impressed with his ability and good judgment, and all that they had heard concerning him, from those who knew him, had caused them to place a very high estimate upon his ability and worth. He said they looked upon it in the light of a personal loss, because had he lived, associated as he was with these business enterprises, they would have had in him one whom they could always depend upon, he was so exceedingly fair and just. I forgot to mention that on Saturday I also met Mr. Butler, who is one of the committee, and he appeared to have the same desire as the others that this contract should be carried out.

At 12 o’clock I met Mr. Nichols at his office and we went through the changes which had been made in the provisional contract. I asked him what steps were necessary now to be taken to make this contract ready for signature. He told me there would be a meeting at New York to-morrow of the members of the committee and this provisional draft would be submitted to them. He did not doubt that it would receive their approval. It might also be necessary to submit it to the holders of the security, but he said it was so manifestly to their interest to have something done, that he seemed to have no doubt it would be acceptable to them. On January 9th, Mr. Carr and himself and probably some other members of the committee expected to be at Salt Lake, when the legal proceedings would be completed, and then the committee would be in a position to close the contract and do all that is necessary to transfer the property.

We took the 1.03 train for Providence and reached there a little after 2. We put up at the Narragansett Hotel. I went to the office of Mr. Banigan, but found that under the advice of his physician he had gone to a noted health resort in New Jersey. It was expected, so Mr. Connely, his confidential clerk, informed me, that he would return to New York to-morrow, and after doing some business there would return here to-morrow evening. I addressed a dispatch to him at the Plaza Hotel, New York, informing him that I was here and the nature of my business.

8 December • Tuesday

Tuesday, December 8, 1896

Nothing has been heard to-day from Mr. Banigan and I remain quiet at the hotel, only writing a long letter home.

9 December • Wednesday

Wednesday, December 9, 1896

Mr. Banigan returned last night at 8 o’clock. His business at New York and the fatigue of the journey home had so exhausted him that his physician forbade his doing business to-day. I called at his office in the afternoon, as I did in the morning, and had interesting conversations with his son, Mr. John Banigan, and Mr. Connely. Mr. Banigan himself sent his regrets, because of having detained me, but would try and meet me to-morrow at 10 o’clock.

10 December • Thursday

Thursday, December 10, 1896

At 10 o’clock I repaired to the office of Mr. Banigan, and shortly after he came in. I was pained to see the effect that the disease had had upon him. He had lost his ruddy appearance, had fallen away in weight, and looked sick. He said, however, that he felt very well this morning and was quite encouraged to think that he would pull through. He calls the sickness due to a lazy liver, and thinks that it has been produced by too close attention for the past two or three years to his business, he having neglected to take proper exercise and recreation.

We had a conversation of nearly two hours, in which we went over all our affairs; and as his letter that the committee had written to him containing our proposition was not convenient, I gave him my copy, which he read very carefully and studied upon for some little time. He finally said he thought he would have to let it pass. In response to his question, I told him that we had not presented it to anybody else, as we wished in the first place to find out from him whether he desired to accept our terms. After he said that he would let it pass, I asked him if he had another proposition to make. He said, no; that he had not thought about it, and asked me if I had anything else to say. I told him, no; that we considered our proposition so fair and so liberal that we have not thought it would be anything but acceptable.

We separated with the understanding that he would think further about the proposition, and that I also should communicate with my friends at home and learn from them what they would have to offer in addition.

While he was out in Utah we were eating apricots and my son Frank made an allusion to this deal about which he had been conversing with Mr. Banigan, and Mr. Banigan laughingly said, if there were ripe apricots enough in the proposition he would be likely to consider it. He told me to-day that there were not ripe apricots enough.

Myself and wife left Providence for New York at 2:09. Upon reaching there we drove directly to the hotel, and I found a dispatch from Frank telling me that he was coming up on the night train.

11 December • Friday

Friday, December 11, 1896

After considerable conversation Frank and myself framed the following dispatch to send home:

“Read from Arthur Winter’s notes and consider full text of proposition to Mr. Banigan on railroad bonds. Mr. Banigan declines. Do you wish me to offer 250,000 at ninety instead of par, other terms of proposition to remain the same. This would lessen our money to build Ophir from ninety thousand to seventy thousand. Frank and I think this best if it can be done. Answer here quick.”

I escorted my wife to the train for Philadelphia, as she wished to go down there to be with the children, since she could be spared.

I went to the National Park Bank. Mr. Poor, the president, was away for relaxation. Mr. Delafield, the vice-president, was there and I submitted to him my papers and told him that I intended to get some advice from Mr. Poor as to the proper thing to do; I wanted to raise $95,000 on securities. Mr. Delafield treated me very kindly and said he would keep the papers and examine them, and if I called to-morrow he would let me know the result of his examination. He also proffered me a card for the Union League Club, for which I thanked him.

12 December • Saturday

Saturday, December 12, 1896

I went to the National Park Bank this morning, and Mr. Delafield said that I could get the money. He remarked that it was far from home, but he knew me and my reputation and standing and was quite satisfied. He was willing to loan the money on my word as to the value of the securities. I thought this a great mark of confidence, and he jokingly said: “I suppose you are willing to give the 8% which you get for stocks of Z.C.M.I.” He then said, “I suppose you would like to get it at 6%.” I told him that I had expected to get it at 5%. Later he said, “Mr. Cannon, you are entitled to it at that, but it is a long way from home and these are not stocks that we are at all familiar with, and we take them entirely on what you say as to the value.” To this I replied, “Suppose then we split the difference and make it 5 1/2%.” I told him I would appreciate this very much. He said, “Your appreciation is worth the difference, and he spoke to Mr. Moore, who is another vice-president, and he also thought it was worth 1/2% to have me appreciate what they were doing. As Saturday’s business closes at noon, I did not stop to make further arrangements and promised to call again on Monday.

Frank and I called on Mr. L. C. Hopkins and invited him to dine with us, in return for his many kindnesses to us, and he agreed to go with us to the theatre; after which we went to the Madison Square Garden to see the close of the bicycle race. It was very wonderful to see men who had been riding since last Monday morning steadily, without any intermission scarcely, and taking all their nourishment while on their wheels. The previous record for 142 hours was 1600 miles; but to-day Hale, the leading man, an Irishman, made 1910 miles in 142 hours, and 8 men beat the 1600 mile record. The second man was 25 miles behind Hale, and he is a young fellow without experience in racing, by the name of Joseph Rice, of Wilkesbarre, Pa.

Mr. Hopkins and ourselves had an enjoyable time at the theatre this evening.

13 December • Sunday

Sunday, December 13, 1896

We have received the following dispatch from home:

“Had telegram under consideration this morning. You knowing all the circumstances surrounding the case, will leave it for you to decide what is best to be done. Think it a very one-sided proposition, but we are probably in B.’s power.”

We sent the following reply this morning:

“We are in Banigan’s debt; we are not yet in his power. You leave us to decide. This is responsibility we can not assume. Decision must rest with you. Have not attempted to get this money elsewhere, being desirous of settling first whether or not we shall make deal with Banigan. Wire answer as soon as possible.”

I had quite a free talk with Frank concerning political affairs, and I brought to his attention our situation and how necessary it was that we should have someone in accord with the Administration; that his action had put him out of line, and there being in all probability a Democratic Senator to take Senator Brown’s place, and Judge King, another Democrat, would take Mr. Allen’s place, we should be left without anyone in accord with the Administration. I talked to him rather plainly upon the subject and showed that it was impolitic for him to continue association with the Bryan party. My remarks, I think, made an impression upon him, and I trust that he sees the situation in a new light and the necessity for his replacing himself in harmony with the Republican Party.

He left on the 3:20 train for Washington, and I accompanied him to Jersey City.

After that I spent about three hours at the Union League Club.

14 December • Monday

Monday, December 14, 1896

I went down this morning to the National Park Bank to make arrangements for the loan, and after some talk about interest Mr. Delafield said: “We will let you have this at 5% and knock off the 1/2”, at which I expressed my appreciation. A note was drawn up, which I shall sign when I get home and send them the collateral.

I have been greatly gratified at the manner in which I have been treated by the National Park Bank people. 5% is most favorable terms for interest, and if we could get all our money at that rate, it would lessen our expenses very materially.

15 December • Tuesday

Tuesday, December 15, 1896

I received the following dispatch from home:

“Money must be got somewhere. If no better offer can be secured we say take it, but think guaranteed bonds should bring par. We think B.’s debt is all one-sided in his favor.”

Upon receipt of this I telegraphed to Frank at Washington to get his view concerning the probability of raising this money on better terms elsewhere. He has had experience in trying to dispose of these very bonds, and I thought his judgment might be of value in leading me to a conclusion. He replied to my inquiry as follows:

“Possibly by waiting until after first of January we might do better than present proposition to Banigan; but this is not certain. My judgment is, make the deal with Banigan, if he will close it and pay money at once.”

I telegraphed to Mr. Banigan asking when he could conveniently grant me an interview, to which he responded:

“Wire received. Any time will be convenient to meet. See letter.”

There was nothing, therefore for me to do further but to wait the arrival of his letter.

16 December • Wednesday

Wednesday, December 16, 1896

Following is the letter from Mr. Banigan:

“Providence, Dec. 15/96.

Hon. Geo. Q. Cannon,

Plaza Hotel,

New York.

Dear Sir:

Your wire of even date was received at 12 o’clock asking when I could conveniently grant you an interview, to which I at once replied, “Wire received. Any time would be convenient to me. See letter.” I have been looking over the situation since you were here and have given considerable thought to it, and I have come to the conclusion that it would not be advisable for me, from my point of view, with the large amount of money I have already invested in Utah, to make further investments there at the present time. I came to this conclusion even without hearing from you as to what further inducements you have to offer. Things are not as bright as they were expected to be; then, too, I have made some large investments which have taken up nearly all of my disposable funds.

Kindly bear in mind that I will always be pleased to see you, but I think this will be my conclusion with reference to the matter you have to present.

Yours respy.,

Joseph Banigan.”

I then telegraphed to my son Frank as follows:

Responding to telegram, Banigan writes decided not advisable to increase his investments. This obviates my visit. Can we meet soon?”

This was a frightfully stormy day.

17 December • Thursday

Thursday, December 17, 1896.

Frank responded to my dispatch of yesterday as follows:

“Shall go to New York on to-nights train, arriving at the hotel early to-morrow morning.”

18 December • Friday

Friday, December 18,1896

This morning I found Frank at the hotel, and after breakfast we sat down and considered the situation carefully, and after some deliberation it was thought advisable for me to go to the National Park Bank and lay the situation before Mr. Poor, the President, who I expected by this time had returned. So Frank and myself went down and we had a very satisfactory interview with Mr. Poor, who expressed his pleasure at seeing us. We laid before him our situation and the deal that was now pending between us and the Oregon Short Line people for the Garfield Beach line and property; described to him our wish to dispose of $250,000 first mortgage bonds with a good bonus of second mortgage bonds. Mr. Poor entered into the transaction with interest, and telephoned to a bond dealer while we were sitting there, but he was not in a position to require bonds. Mr. Poor said he would take great pleasure in aiding us all in his power, and would give me letters of introduction to the best houses in New York, but he has just returned and it was near the close of the year and he was very busy now, and if I would come in the beginning of the week he would furnish me the necessary letters.

After this interview the question arose whether it would be better for me to stay and try and conduct this business myself. After reflecting upon it, we thought it better not to go anywhere else at the present time. Mr. Poor had the matter in hand, and if we were to go to others and he were to hear of it, it might weaken his interest in the business, and it was concluded that it would be better for me to return home to-morrow, as if I stayed I might have to wait until after Christmas before we got fairly at work.

I asked Frank to write down his views concerning this point, which he gave me as follows:

“Plaza Hotel,

New York, Dec.19th,1896.

My dear Father:

As an addendum to the statement made to-day, concerning a proposed financial arrangement of the Salt Lake & Ophir Railroad matter, I submit the following:

In view of the manner in which you were received by Mr. Poor yesterday, and the attitude in which the question was left (also indicative of his complimentary feeling toward you and his friendliness toward any enterprise which had your association or approval), I feel that you are taking the best possible course in returning home promptly and leaving the further details for the present in my hands. Were you to remain here constantly during the progress of this matter, the full effect of your individuality might be expended before the critical moment for the decision by financiers. Whereas, if you shall return home now and come back to New York at a time when we need re-inforcements, your appearance will have no doubt the desired effect, if I can provisionally have brought our matter under favorable consideration. In all these affairs I have noticed the effect of cumulative inducement or influence. Your re-appearance here will be like bringing up a fresh re-inforcement on a battle field.

While you are gone Mr. Poor will no doubt feel quite at liberty to speak with frankness and compliment concerning the reliability of yourself and associates, and with a knowledge that you will return here if required I can make financial propositions, following his kind commendations of you; all of which would be ratified and a success of which would probably be assured by your coming.

Your affectionate son,

Frank J. Cannon.”

I telegraphed home:

“Deal with Banigan is off. Have opened negotiations here. Will start home to-morrow.”

Two or three days ago I received a letter from President Woodruff, in which he described the urgent necessity for raising money to relieve affairs at home. I therefore telegraphed home to James Jack, as follows:

“President Woodruff writes desires me to raise money. I think it can be done at low interest if we can give them security against loss. What can be done if anything in the matter of securities in addition to our names?”

To this I received the following reply:

“We have no securities other than you know of.”

George M. Cannon also telegraphed:

“Cannon, Grant & Co. are liable to H. B. Claflin & Co. for one hundred thousand dollars. Of this amount Spencer Clawson owes forty thousand and arranged to renew same. Balance falls due about five thousand per week for twelve weeks commencing January 7, 1897. Can you get loan?”

I replied:

“Cannot get money without good security. What have we to offer?”

Colonel Winder telegraphed me that the County Commissioners of Weber County had been enjoined to prevent their building the road that they had agreed to for the Pioneer Electric Power Co. around the Dam, and that John Seaman was the complainant and C. C. Richards was the attorney in the case.

I telegraphed in reply:

“Would it not be well for Presidents Woodruff and Smith to have immediate conference with F. D. Richards, F. S. Richards and C. C. Richards.”

19–22 December • Saturday–Tuesday

Saturday, December 19, 1896

I wrote a letter to my son William at Philadelphia and one to my wife Sarah Jane at Washington, enclosing the former $100 and the latter $50.

At 1 o’clock I bade Frank farewell, as he intended to stay in New York till Sunday, and myself and wife took the train for Chicago over the New York Central and Lake Shore and Michigan. We reached Chicago on time, Sunday, Dec. 20th, remained there three hours, and then took the Chicago & Northwestern at 6 o’clock for Omaha. We reached there on Monday morning, and left at 8 o’clock for home. Reached home at 3:10 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22nd.

The journey was void of any particular incident. It was not near so tiresome to me returning as it was going down. Mr. Hilton, the President of the Salt Lake & Ogden Gas & Electric Light Co., traveled with us from Chicago. Distance is wonderfully lessened when one can travel from New York to Salt Lake City in 74 hours, including a 3 hours stop in Chicago. I found my family in good health. Before going home, however, I went to the office to see Presidents Woodruff and Smith, and found them both there and in good health. I rode with President Woodruff in the carriage to his house, and then was taken to my home.

23 December • Wednesday

Wednesday, December 23, 1896

My time to-day was occupied in a meeting of the Pioneer Co. and of Zion’s Savings Bank, and interviews with my son Hugh and nephew John M.

24 December • Thursday

Thursday, December 24, 1896

Council meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve was held in the Temple this morning.

25 December • Friday

Friday, December 25, 1896

Spent the day at home with my family and had an enjoyable time. The children were more jubilant, I think, that [than] I remember seeing them before. My daughter Mary Alice and her husband took dinner with me.

26 December • Saturday

Saturday, December 26, 1896

Had an interview this morning with Brother B. H. Roberts, who is on the point of leaving for the States again. He wished to get my views before he left. Had a very interesting conversation with him.

I dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

This evening at 6 o’clock I took the train for Milford, in company with Brother Lyman.

27 December • Sunday

Sunday, December 27, 1896

We reached Milford this morning a little before six. I slept in the tourist car and had a good night’s rest. Bishop Eyre, of Minersville, had sent a young man over to meet us, and we breakfasted at Bishop Eyre’s. Brother Lyman had his brother with him, Charles Lyman. Brother William Bowman drove his carriage, which contained Brothers F. M. Lyman, Eyre and myself and the Bishop’s wife. We reached Beaver about 12:30. We put up at Brother John R. Murdock’s. He is not at home, but his wife received us very warmly and made us very comfortable.

At 2 o’clock we attended meeting. The house was crowded. Brother Lyman occupied about 50 mins. and spoke upon the probation which we had given to us here, and read extracts from the Book of Mormon. I followed, occupying about 45 mins, and talked very plainly to the people concerning the Priesthood and its obligations, and alluded to the conditions that had arisen here and the feelings that were manifested concerning the authorities of the Church.

In the evening we met again. We called it a Priesthood meeting, but had invited the sisters to be present also. The house was full. I spoke over an hour and brought to the attention of the people the great importance of bringing their children up in the faith of the Gospel, and the dreadful consequences that would follow if they neglected these duties. I had a good deal of the Spirit of the Lord resting upon me in speaking about this, and also about other matters connected with the present state of feeling.

After this we had a concert, which had been prepared by the leader of the choir, and which kept us in the house till nearly 10 o’clock. The singing was excellent for a country choir.

28 December • Monday

Monday, December 28, 1896

A question arose this morning concerning the sustaining of the authorities. The case of Rollin R. Tanner was brought to my attention. It seems that he voted against the Declaration when it was read to the people at Milford. He is a member of the High Council and a young man that was considered of some promise; but he has become so thoroughly imbued with partisan Democracy and taken sides with Moses Thatcher so much that I am told his utterances have been extremely objectionable to the saints. He has a large circle of kindred here. His uncle, Lafayette Shepherd, is one of the counselors in the Presidency and a most excellent man; in fact, the whole Shepherd family are excellent people, and this young man’s mother is a Shepherd. His father is Sidney Tanner, lately deceased. When they brought the case to my attention I said it would not be possible for us to vote for him. I would not permit, if I could prevent it, that our people should be asked to vote for such a man. But we ought to make some effort to show him his error, and it was decided that Brothers Frank Tolton and Lafayette Shepherd, counselors to President White, should visit him. They did see him while we were in the forenoon meeting, and he softened somewhat and agreed to meet Brother Lyman and myself between meetings.

The forenoon meeting was occupied by Brother Lyman and myself. I had considerable freedom in talking over political affairs, not in a partisan way, but to show the people that it was very wrong to be carried away by such influences.

We adjourned our meeting until 1 O’clock, so as to permit of our closing at 3, that we might get an early start for Milford.

We had quite a lengthy interview with Brother R. R Tanner and a Brother Hipson. I explained the reasons that prompted the framing of the Declaration. I said the object had in view in the first place was to save Moses Thatcher and B. H. Roberts from humiliation. They had taught false doctrine and said things which did the First Presidency great injustice, and there had to be some amends made for that. We did not desire to expose them to humiliation in signing a separate paper, and therefore it was decided to draw up this Declaration, that all could sign, including them, so that the whole people might know where we stood. I said this was the motive we had; it was not to enunciate a new principle, but merely to announce definitely to the Church a principle that had always been believed in and practiced, but which had been set aside or neglected by these brethren in their talk and actions. Brother Tanner told us what he had heard about different things, some of which I told him were false. Well, he remarked, they had never been contradicted, and that he and others expected if they were not true they would be contradicted by us. I told him that I probably was to blame somewhat for the Deseret News not contradicting these things. I said the fact is, life is too short to contradict all the lies are told about us; we have not the time to do it; and if we were to stop in the work that is resting upon us to contradict the falsehoods that are told about us we would have nothing else to do. I said we thought the Latter-day Saints knew us well enough not to believe lies and not to require the contradiction of every falsehood. If they did not know us well enough for that, then we had lived in vain. We had lived among the people the greater part of our lives, and they knew our lives, and it would be a terrible condition if they would believe every lie told about us if we did not contradict it. He said that it had been stated in the papers that Brother Joseph F. Smith had said certain things at Cache Valley concerning some bargain or understanding that the Republican party had with the Church; that if they would do certain things Utah would be made Republican, and that I had made pledges of this kind. In reply to this, I said that I did not know what President Smith had said, but I was perfectly satisfied that he had never said any such thing, because it was not true, and I said that I could give my word as a man of honor and as a Latter-day Saint that no bargain of that kind had ever been made. I then explained to him what had been done to prevent disfranchisement and the efforts that had been made with the Republicans to show them that there were many Republicans in Utah, and that they ought not to favor disfranchisement because it would ruin their party and its influence in our country. I said, Brother Tanner, if we had not exerted ourselves as we did and labored as we did, you would have no more rights in this country than a Chinaman or an Indian. We have been laboring to save our people from the evils with which they were threatened, and but few are in a position to know what we have known and what we have done; and it has not been for the benefit of any party, but it has been for the benefit of the whole people.

His feelings seemed to be softened by the explanations that were made, and he and Brother Hipson asked me several questions concerning Frank, whether he had been elected through Church influence. I told him it was utterly untrue; that I myself had not used the slightest influence to have Frank J. Cannon elected; in fact, I had been opposed to his nomination in my feelings. He quoted something that Brother Joseph F. Smith had said sent around concerning Frank’s standing in his ward; he thought that was not fair. I told him there had been falsehoods told about Frank to the effect that he was not in standing in the Church, and influence had been used to destroy him among our people. Bishop Stevens was a warm friend of his, because Frank was a faithful member of his ward, and I supposed that had been circulated because of the lies that had been told concerning Frank’s standing.

After we had reached this amicable feeling he wanted to know what would be required of him. I said it had struck me that if we could save him from getting up before the Conference it would be well maybe to announce that he had formerly voted against the Declaration because he did not understand some things that it contained, but since explanations had been made to him on these points he now was ready to accept it. I said if that statement were made it would answer my feelings, if he would agree to it. He said at first that he was able to state his own position. I said if you will state it carefully and not put us under the necessity of making corrections, I have not the least objection. But he afterwards decided, as he had to get ready to take us to Milford and he would not be able to be present, that he would like his cousin F. M. Lyman to make the statement. This statement was made, and the general and local authorities were sustained by the Conference.

I occupied the afternoon meeting in giving instructions to the people. There was a most excellent spirit prevailed, and I felt to bless them with all the authority that I possessed.

I felt that this conference has been an excellent one, and that great good has been done by the teachings that have been given.

We took dinner after the meeting at Sister Murdock’s, and then Brother Tanner drove us to Milford. We reached there half an hour before the train started, which left for Salt Lake at 9:15. Our conversation on the road was interesting, and there were several remarks made for the purpose of giving this young man more light on the subjects that had been discussed. I trust it will have a good effect upon him. But there is a stubborn streak in him, which reminds me very much of the same characteristic in his cousin at Ogden, Nathan Tanner, Jr. This young man, however, is an intelligent man, and a reader; but he has been terribly partisan in his feelings and has read falsehoods and believed them. On the way down I told him it would be a good thing for him to cultivate the spirit of penitence. I said to him, you have filled a mission, and I understand a good mission, and you ought to know something about the Lord and how good and kind He is in listening to prayer and answering it.

29 December • Tuesday

Tuesday, December 29, 1896

We reached the city at 9:45.

I went home and after taking a bath and eating breakfast was taken to the office by my son Angus in his buggy.

There was a meeting which the brethren were very anxious to hold now that I had returned, and it was arranged for 2 o’clock. There were present, Presidents Woodruff and Smith, John R. Winder, Le Grand Young, John M. Cannon and myself. Le Grand Young is the attorney of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. and John M. Cannon is the attorney of the Big Cottonwood Power Co. We had a lengthy meeting in which Le Grand Young and John M. Cannon set forth the danger in which the Big Cottonwood Power Co. was because of the Salt Lake & Ogden Gas & Electric Light Co. having $160,000 of the Big Cottonwood Co’s bonds for a debt of $81,000 and interest. There is danger of this Company, which is represented by Mr. Hilton, closing down on the Big Cottonwood Power Co. and offering these bonds for sale, and by means of the sale getting possession of this Power Co’s property. The consequences which would follow their taking possession of this property would be of a very serious character to our enterprise at Ogden, because, as the brethren showed, they can develop a great deal of power there by the outlay of capital, perhaps sufficient to supply this valley, and of course this would cut us off at Ogden. Besides, if this were done, it would go into the hands of a foreign company, whose only interest here would be to make money. It was felt, therefore, that if it were possible we should come to their help and divert some means from our enterprise to aid in paying this debt and getting possession of these bonds. Already I had felt myself so indignant at the course taken by certain parties in Weber County concerning the road that we asked to have built around our dam, that I felt I did not want to do anything more than possible there at present. Without building the dam we can create some 5000 horse power, and that is as much as we want at the present time. Now, our proposition is, not to build the dam at present, but take part of the funds that would be required for that and use it to assist this other enterprise and bring about a consolidation of all the interests. After hearing this, the following motions were made and carried:

(1) “That after patiently listening to the statements which have been made by Judge Le Grand Young, the attorney for the Pioneer Electric Power Co., and John M. Cannon, the attorney for the Big Cottonwood Power Co., we, the executive committee of the Pioneer Electric Power Co., are of the opinion that the consolidation of the interests of these two companies is necessary for the preservation of the interests of the Pioneer Electric Power Co., and that such consolidation is absolutely necessary, in our opinion, to its future prosperity.”

(2) “That we request Judge Le Grand Young and John M. Cannon to put the statements which have [been] made to us, embodying the reasons for the consolidation which has been decided upon, in suitable form to be used as may be thought best to induce Mr. Banigan to permit the diversion of a sufficient sum of money from the present construction of the Dam in Ogden Canyon to lift the bonds of the Big Cottonwood Power Co. which are now hypothecated, and the lifting of which is necessary to effect the consolidation of the two companies.”

(3)“That in view of the new conditions that present themselves to us as an executive committee through the information which we have received from our attorney and the attorney of the Big Cottonwood Power Co., a dispatch be immediately sent to Charles K. Bannister, the chief engineer of the Company, requesting him to proceed no farther in the business that he was authorized to lay before Mr. Banigan, nor to make any arrangements until he gets letters from us.”

Before we separated it was urged that if I could go back and see Mr. Banigan, it would be a great advantage, and that no one else could do it unless I could. I felt to regret the necessity of my going back again. I have been traveling so much of late that I hoped to be able to spend the holidays at home; but I said to the brethren, If you think it necessary I shall try and go. President Woodruff said he did not see who else could go; so they voted that I should go as early as possible to the east.

30 December • Wednesday

Wednesday, December 30, 1896.

As it appeared necessary for me to get off at the earliest possible moment in order to get back at the time the Oregon Short Line Reorganization Committee intend to be here, I addressed myself to the work of preparation to-day, and I worked very hard with a view to getting ready to start to-morrow morning. When I got home this evening I felt quite exhausted.

31 December • Thursday

Thursday, December 31, 1896.

Brother Daniel Spencer, who is in the Union Pacific railway office, has been very kind and attentive to me in securing my sleeping car arrangements and in getting my trunk checked to New York. He also furnished me an itinerary, giving the times at which I would reach certain points.

I left for the east on the 7 o’clock train. John M. Cannon accompanied me to Ogden in order to talk over business matters and to explain to me the papers that had been prepared at my instance by the Big Cottonwood Power Co. There was also a lengthy statement from Brother Le Grand Young, setting forth the reasons there were for our accepting this proposition.

Spencer Clawson also accompanied me to Ogden, to have an opportunity of conversing with me about the Claflin business. He is in debt $40,000 to Mr. Claflin, and it is endorsed by Cannon, Grant & Co. He has seen Mr. Claflin and arranged with him for his $40,000, but has said nothing about the $60,000 owing Mr. Claflin by the Church. We feel that he did not treat us fairly in making his arrangement without our knowledge, and it was to explain this that he accompanied me to Ogden. Mr. Claflin is pressing us now for the $60,000, and one of the duties that has been assigned me is to see him while I am east and endeavor to obtain an extension of time from him for payments.

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December 1896, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 14, 2024