Thursday, April 1, 1897
President Woodruff sent for me this morning – or perhaps the family. I found him in a low condition. I found him in a low condition. He had had a very bad night, and was very drowsy. I stayed with him for some time.
I omitted to mention that yesterday I took Dr. Snow into a meeting of the Twelve that was being held in the Temple, so that he might describe to them the condition of President Woodruff. In consequence of his explanations, nearly all of the brethren went to see President Woodruff yesterday afternoon. They found him quite improved, and they were encouraged by his appearance. I also visited him and found him much better. This morning, however, he looked badly, and the night had been a very painful one. I told the family that I would have Brothers L. John Nuttall and C. H. Barrell come down and relieve them in nursing him.
I went to the temple at 11 o’clock and met with the Twelve, and at their request I spoke to them. We afterwards partook of the sacrament, having all been fasting. The subject of the vacancies in the Twelve came up. It is the first time that it has been mentioned in my hearing by any of the brethren, and we all expressed ourselves as having no impressions concerning it and no inclination to take it up.
After this meeting, I heard from Brother Nuttall, through the telephone, that President Woodruff was quite improved and was able to be up, which was very gratifying to all.
I sent for Brother James Sharp, and as Brother Lyman was in the office I had him listen to our conversation. I suggested, after going over the Brother Talmage case, that Brother Lyman should see Brother Talmage and suggest to him the idea of declining a re-election as President of the University. We thought this would save a good deal of feeling.
Friday, April 2, 1897
I called at President Woodruff’s this morning, and found him in a very nice condition, sleeping like a babe. He had had a pretty good night – the best he has had for a long time. Brothers Nuttall and Barrell are still with him. We all felt very much encouraged, and it seemed likely that he would be strong enough to attend conference on Sunday.
I dictated my journal and letters to Brother Winter.
Saturday, April 3, 1897
Colonel Clayton and myself called upon Mr. Bancroft this morning and had an interview with him respecting the contract which is pending between the Oregon Short Line and ourselves. I found Mr. Bancroft quite moderate in his conversation, and he disclaimed having any knowledge of the situation that would enable him to come to any decision one way or the other about this matter. He did not know what the Company wanted, etc., etc. I went there somewhat prepared to talk with some degree of plainness to him about the situation, but did not enter into matters in such a manner that I had any necessity to say a great deal, though I explained to him that it appeared to us that it was as much to the interest of their Company to enter into this contract as it was to ours; that we had surrendered a good deal in changing our plans to suit the conditions that surrounded the Oregon Short Line in agreeing to this contract. We might have gone on and paralleled their roads and invaded their territory; but that was contrary to our principles, and we thought it was decidedly to the interest of the Company to form an alliance with us, and they had seemed to entertain the same view, because this contract was one of their own framing, and which they had agreed to in all its particulars.
The presence of the executive committee of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. was needed in Ogden to-day, and President Jos. F. Smith and Colonel Winder and myself went up there. President Smith returned this morning from his visit to the east. We spent the time with Mr. Bannister attending to business, after which we repaired to the power house and examined the condition of affairs there. We returned to Salt Lake on the 6:10 train.
I called at President Woodruff’s this morning as usual, and found him somewhat weak, but still better than he had been.
Sunday, April 4, 1897
I drove around to President Woodruff’s this morning and had an interview with him. His grandson, Dr. Leslie Snow, is waiting upon him, and he has administered medicine to him which has cleansed his system, but has left him quite weak. I saw the doctor this morning, and he said he thought his grandfather would be much stronger to-morrow, and that his condition was very hopeful. President Woodruff is quite desirous to attend conference, and I encouraged him to hope that he probably would be able to by Tuesday.
The Conference opened in the large Tabernacle this morning at 10 o’clock. After singing and prayer, I addressed the conference for about half an hour, giving a report of the condition of the work in the missionary field. The report seemed to give a good deal of satisfaction, as it is most encouraging. Upwards of ten thousand souls have been added to the church during the past year. We have 1300 missionaries in the field, and from all quarters there are demands for more help. In most places, too, the people seem willing to receive the Elders and to administer to their wants. The great majority of the brethren are traveling without purse and scrip, and they bear testimony to increased power and influence through following this practice.
President Smith followed me and spoke till 12:20. His discourse was a most e[x]cellent one.
The afternoon session of the Conference was occupied in speaking by President Snow, F. D. Richards and F. M. Lyman.
An overflow meeting was held in the Assembly Hall, in charge of Elder George Teasdale.
I took dinner at Brother H. B. Clawson’s, with my sister-in-law, Emily Y. Clawson. I felt greatly the need of food, this being fast day, and I ate very little yesterday.
In the evening the Tabernacle was filled, the occasion being a meeting of those interested in Sunday school work. I was one of the speakers, and the meeting was a very good one.
Monday, April 5, 1897
I called on President Woodruff again this morning and found him much improved. He is still quite desirous to get to Conference, but he will defer his coming till to-morrow.
The Conference opened at 10 o’clock. Brothers John Henry Smith, Geo. Teasdale and Heber J. Grant addressed the congregation.
In the afternoon Brother John W. Taylor spoke for about 40 mins., and I occupied the remainder of the time. It is seldom that I have spoken with more earnestness and power than I did this afternoon. I was carried away with the spirit part of the time. I spoke particularly upon the situation of the people, the divisions that had occurred, the necessity for repentance and of having confidence in the Priesthood and honoring it.
In the evening we had a Priesthood meeting, and the body of the house was pretty well filled. The speakers were, Bishop Preston, Heber J. Grant and President Smith and myself. President Smith spoke about an hour. The subjects discussed during this meeting were very interesting, and all felt that it was a good meeting.
Tuesday, April 6, 1897.
I drove to President Woodruff’s this morning and found him quite prepared to come to Conference. I rode up in the carriage with him.
The Conference convened at 10 o’clock. When President Woodruff entered the stand the people arose and waved their handkerchiefs. It was with great pleasure that he was welcomed; for there had been rumors to the effect that he was much worse than he was. He spoke for about 10 mins, after which Brother M. W. Merrill spoke. In Brother Merrill’s remarks he spoke to the people about loaning their money to the Church and advised them to take it to the Presiding Bishop. We felt that this was not the proper thing; that it was the Trustee-in-Trust to whom the money should be loaned, and not the Presiding Bishop; and I suggested to President Smith that he correct that idea, which he did in a very delicate manner. Brother A. H. Lund afterwards spoke.
President Woodruff was taken across the street to Brother Wm. B. Dougall’s, where he had a sleep, which refreshed him very much. I took lunch there also.
In the afternoon Brother B. H. Roberts was called on to speak, which he did for about 40 mins., and he was followed by Brother Samuel W. Richards. The authorities were presented this afternoon by President Smith and were unanimously sustained. After Brother Richards finished speaking, I occupied the remainder of the time.
The Conference adjourned for six months.
In the evening I attended a lecture in the Tabernacle by Madame Mountford, her subject being “Village Life in Palestine”. I enjoyed the lecture very much.
Wednesday, April 7, 1897
At 10 o’clock we had a meeting of the general authorities of the Church and the Presidents of Stakes and Counselors, Bishops and Counselors, High Councilors, Patriarchs and Presidents of temples, and had a most interesting meeting. The subjects to which I had referred at the Priesthood meeting I revived again, and felt to urge that something be done in relation to them, namely, furnishing labor for the unemployed (a duty which I felt devolved upon the Bishops of this Church, and of which the Presiding Bishops should take the lead), and the organization of some plan or system by which Latter-day Saints gathered from afar might be looked after and aided when they reached this country, and not be allowed to drift hither and thither without care, after the great labor it had cost the Elders who had gone out as missionaries to convert them and to bring them here. I stated that I felt this was a defect in our organization, and that as wise men we should remedy it, and not allow these souls to be lost after they reached here. Before we adjourned, a resolution was adopted requesting the First Presidency to appoint a committee of nine to take these subjects into consideration. We had also talked about the indebtedness of the Church, and this, it was thought, would be a good subject also to refer to the committee. I felt very much gratified at the result of this meeting, and I hope it will result in the correction of the defects of which I spoke. President Woodruff was able to attend this meeting, and spoke after me, urging the necessity of doing what had been proposed.
At 1 o’clock we had a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank and Trust Co. Afterwards a meeting of the Sterling Mining Co.
I went to the Tabernacle and heard the latter half of Madame Mountford’s lecture on Bedouin Life.
At 7:30 there was a large congregation gathered in the Tabernacle to listen to a lecture or an address which it had been announced I would deliver, the subject being The Relationship of Mormonism to the Christian World. This is the last of a series of ten lectures which have been delivered on various subjects under the auspices of the Mutual Improvement Association. The lecturers have been selected, and the subjects assigned them. I have not had a moment’s time to devote to the subject allotted to me, or to arrange my thoughts in relation to how I should treat it. I have not felt well that a subject should be selected for me by somebody without my being consulted; but out of deference to the brethren who are connected with this Association, I have raised no objection, though it is a liberty I am surprised should have been taken. I have had some dread about this lecture whenever I have thought about it, as it is the first time in my life, that I can recall, that I ever had a subject assigned me, or that I ever assigned to myself a subject. Where I have been advertised in my ministerial labors in the world, I have had it announced in such a manner as to make the subject general, and not specific, so that I should have plenty of range; for during my entire career I have never yet prepared by commiting to memory or by arranging or writing anything for a lecture. The only times in my life where I have ever written anything have been on two occasions where I have been called upon to deliver orations on the 4th of July. My trust has always been in the Spirit. If I did not have the Spirit, I did not want to talk; and when I had the Spirit I felt that the Lord could inspire me to say whatever he thought necessary. I spoke for about 65 mins. this evening, and had much liberty. The brethren seemed to be quite gratified at the manner in which I had treated the subject. Brother Heber J. Grant said if he were going to give me any advice it would be to never prepare a subject to speak upon, but trust to the Spirit. I replied, it is advice I have always acted upon, and hoped I always should. I feel quite relieved now that this is over.
Thursday, April 8, 1897
President Woodruff came to the office this morning, though not very strong yet. He is really better than I expected he would be after the fatigue he has undergone.
We had a meeting this morning of Cannon, Grant & Co. to take into consideration the affairs of the Kaibab ranch. A resolution was adopted to sell the stock and if possible the ranch on the best terms. This was intended as instruction to Brother Anthony W. Ivins, who has been the manager of the property for some time.
Brother Collins R. Hakes and his counselor, Brother Le Baron, had some conversation with President Woodruff and myself concerning affairs in the stake over which they preside – the Maricopa Stake – and we gave them such counsel as the occasion required.
I had a call from Mr. Brainard, of Hartford, whom I met there, and who promised me that if he ever should come out to this country he would call upon me. I introduced him to President Woodruff, and he was gratified at the attention I showed him, but I had not time to do as much as I would have liked.
President Smith and myself and Elders F. M. Lyman and John Henry Smith and Bishops Burton and Preston listened to the case of Prest. Thomas E. Ricks and his counselor, Wm. F. Rigby, of the Bannock Stake, concerning the indebtedness that had been contracted by them in using tithing funds. Brother Ricks’ indebtedness is nearly $2000, and Brother Rigby’s $662. I talked very sharply to them, expressing the feelings that President Woodruff had manifested, and they both acknowledged that they had not done right. They had taken these funds without proper orders. In extenuation, however, of what they had done they stated that they had had no compensation for quite a length of time. The conclusion was reached that this should be examined, and if they were entitled to any credits they should have them, and for the balance they should each give their note, secured as well as it could be.
Brother Jeremiah Hatch wished to ask counsel about being relieved from the position of presiding elder at Moab. He wanted an honorable release in order to return to Vernal, from which place he had moved when he went to Moab.
At 12:30 President Smith and myself went to the temple (President Woodruff was not feeling very well and did not go) and met with the brethren of the Twelve. The time was occupied in conversing upon different subjects connected with doctrine. Brother Heber J. Grant offered prayer.
Sister Wells called in to see us about the propriety of joining what is called the Municipal Reform League – an organization which consists of a good many of the preachers in the city, who have undertaken to adopt some measures looking to the suppression of vice, especially of houses of ill fame. We advised her to take part in it if she could.
Brother J. E. Talmage spent some time with me this afternoon. Some weeks ago he came to me to get some counsel. He had occupied the position of President of the University and of Professor of Geology, filling the chair that had been endowed by us. The Legislature had reduced the salary of the President to $2400, and he felt that he did not wish to occupy that position, for two reasons: one, the salary was too small and was really beneath the dignity of the position; the other, while in that position he could not act in his priesthood, as it was deemed an impropriety. He leaned to the idea, therefore, of dropping the presidency of the institution and devoting himself to the chair of geology. I told him then that I thought we would prefer to have him still keep the office of President, because of his influence with the students and with the instructors, and because he would be where he could repress any disposition to impart instruction that would weaken the faith of the students. Two or three days ago, however, I was waited upon by James Sharp, as Chairman of the Board of Regents, and Brother William M. Stewart, one of the faculty. After seeing the letter which they brought, I suggested to Brother Lyman that he should see Brother Talmage and ask him to decline a renomination as President, which Brother Lyman did. Brother Talmage called upon me afterwards and I gave him a little explanation of the reasons. To-day he called again, because he had been told that charges were made against him, and he was anxious to know what they were and how much they affected us. We had a long conversation, and I explained to him that the only motive in asking him to decline a renomination was to save him from unpleasantness, especially as he had expressed himself as desiring to step out of the presidency of the institution, and to save any action of the Board of Regents that would throw any discredit upon him. By resigning himself he had the credit at least of declining the position.
In the evening I attended a lecture by Madame Mountford on The Life of Jacob.
Friday, April 9, 1897
President Woodruff is at the office this morning, but he is quite weak and complains of sore throat. He was out late last night attending the lecture, and I think he overtaxed his strength.
Busy this morning filling various appointments and dictating my journal to Brother Winter.
With my wife Eliza and daughters Emily and Carol, I attended the wedding reception of Frank Cutler and Mary Davy, who were married yesterday in the Salt Lake Temple. The reception was held at the house of Brother A. H. Woodruff. We had a very enjoyable time.
My brothers David and Angus, with their wives, and my sisters Mary Alice and Anne, took dinner with my wife Carlie and myself this afternoon.
Saturday, April 10, 1897
Mr. John A McCall and Mr. Gibbs, the first named the President of the New York Life Insurance Co. and the second the Treasurer of the same Company, called at the office this morning, accompanied by Mr. McCall’s son, and Mr. Newman of this city, who is the local agent of that Co. Mr. Newman invited President Smith, myself, Heber J. Grant and others to take dinner with Mr. McCall at the Alta Club at 7 o’clock this evening. I have been solicited to respond to a toast.
At 5 o’clock I went to the house of Abraham’s wife Mina, having been invited there with my wife Emily. My brothers and two sisters were there; but I had to leave before the dinner was ended to keep my appointment at the Alta Club.
There were seventeen of us sat down to dinner at the Alta Club, of whom six were Latter-day Saints. A very excellent dinner was served. As the dinner was concluding, ex-Senator Brown arose, as toastmaster of the occasion, and called on Judge Zane to represent the judiciary; after which a toast was given in honor of the Mormons, which I was asked to respond to. I felt very free in talking, and I think my remarks made a good impression. Every one present was called upon to speak, excepting Gov. Wells, Heber J. Grant, John Q. Cannon and N. W. Clayton, and Mr. Grant. The remarks of all were very timely and reflected credit on the Latter-day Saints. Judge Colborn’s speech was particularly strong in this respect, as also was Mr. Call’s and Mr. Gibb’s. I did not like Parley L. Williams’ speech in some respects. Speaking about the laws of this country, he said that the first makers of the law were preachers, and not lawyers, and to illustrate the character of their legislation he cited a statute that had been enacted which forbade any lawyer bringing a law book into court or to quote any precedent. He did say, however, that this had never been enforced. When he sat down, I arose and stated, for the information of all present, that I desired to say that the framer of that law was the only man at that time that made any pretense to be a lawyer. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and a very intelligent and highly educated man; and if any one was to be credited with that, it was not the preachers, for he at that time made no pretension to be a preacher, but a lawyer. This raised a general laugh, and I felt better satisfied. Mr. Williams asked me who it was. I told him it was Albert Carrington. The dinner passed off very well indeed, and though I dreaded going there I felt quite satisfied with the result.
Sunday, April 11, 1897
Stormy day, and I did not feel very well. I have been up so much of late in the night that it made me feel quite fatigued; but at 2 o’clock I went to the Tabernacle, and Brother J. E. Talmage was called upon to speak, which he did for about half an hour. I was disappointed in his effort. Brother Talmage did not seem to have the spirit he has had, probably due to the fact that he is out of practice and his mind has been more devoted to scientific matters. Brother Penrose was called upon to follow him, and he delivered a most excellent discourse.
The widow of Leopold Morse, of Massachusetts, with whom I served in Congress, sent word that she would like to see me after the services were over, and I had a pleasant conversation with her and her brother-in-law.
In the evening I attended the ward meeting and partook of the sacrament. Brothers C. M. Nielsen and Ben Eldredge were the home missionaries, and they both spoke very well. My brother David afterwards spoke for a short time. Brother Eldredge had alluded to tithing and how strong a safeguard the payment of tithing was against apostasy. This called forth some remarks from my brother David which to me were very interesting. He said there was a discussion in the streets of St. George among a number of brethren over the Thatcher affair, and there were some five or six who were avowed Thatcher men, and who considered that he had been harshly dealt with. Some one or more of them said that they would not pay tithing and would not give means to help the First Presidency to carry out their projects. This remark called forth an expression from some of the rest that they did not believe that they did pay much tithing, and to satisfy themselves on the subject, David said, they went and examined the books, and they found that three of the men had not paid tithing for some time; one of them had paid a pig, and another of them, his wife had paid two chickens, and this was all the tithing the five had paid. He mentioned this to illustrate the truth of the saying of Brother Eldredge, and I thought it a very striking illustration.
Monday, April 12, 1897.
There was a meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co. this morning and a good deal of business was attended to.
Afterwards a meeting of the Literary & Scientific Association was held to take into consideration the renting of the Council House corner to the Semi-Centennial Commission for a few months.
I had a conversation with Bishop Preston concerning a number of things, and among others in relation to remarks which I had made at the meeting of the authorities on Wednesday in the Assembly Hall, in which I stated that the order of the Church had been reversed through Moses Thatcher’s influence in giving to the Presiding Bishop the functions which belonged to the Trustee-in-Trust. I endeavored to show Bishop Preston the good foundation I had for my remarks. He did not appear to realize that anything of the kind I had spoken of had been done, but that the manner in which the funds of the Church were handled was the proper manner. Bishop Preston has changed in his feelings since the days when this change was made, and I am happy for it. He manifested quite a pliable spirit and a disposition to do anything that the First Presidency should say in relation to the matter. I told him that it was not a personal matter with me at all; it was my feeling concerning the rights of the Priesthood. There had been undoubtedly an attempt made by Moses Thatcher and the brethren associated with him on the committee to make a change in the administration of the financial affairs of the Church and the handling of the funds, and that which had been in the hands of the Trustee-in-Trust in the days of President Young and President Young had been taken out of President Woodruff’s hands and placed in the hands of the Bishop of the Church. The stream, instead of flowing from the Trustee-in-Trust’s office, had been reversed. If President Woodruff wanted funds he had to apply to the Bishop of the Church for them. I considered this wrong, and that the Aaronic Priesthood was subordinate to the Melchisedek Priesthood, and that the entire control of the finances should be in the hands of the Trustee-in-Trust. Bishop Preston asserted that this was the case now. I admitted that it was in a certain sense; but it was different to what it had been before. I well remembered, I said, the charges that were made against Brother James Jack – how unfit he was to handle the funds of the Church, and how appropriate it was that the Bishop should do so; and a change had been made. The information that heretofore had been in the Trustee-in-Trust’s office concerning the funds now was in the Bishop’s office, and we had to refer there to it. In answer to this, Bishop Preston said that they made monthly reports of the funds. I admitted that this was well as far as it went, but it was not the way it had been.
I feel in relation to this subject that any arrangement made in the right spirit will suit me. I am not anxious to have everything my way; but the spirit that prompted this change I know was a bad spirit. At the time I opposed it, but my influence was not felt. It is the spirit that I have disliked more than the arrangement, although I have not been suited with the arrangement at all.
At 6:30 my wife Carlie and myself went to Brother John McDonald’s, where we had been invited to celebrate his birthday. They furnished a most excellent dinner, at which 52 guests sat down, and a time of great enjoyment followed.
Tuesday, April 13, 1897
I suffered last night through eating late, and feel badly this morning.
Brother Heber J. Grant submitted a question concerning his taking charge of a life insurance company. I told him that I felt it was quite a serious matter to have the Twelve diverted from their callings. We needed more men than we now have at our control, and I did not feel clear in my mind to say that he ought to accept. It was therefore decided to postpone the question till we meet together in council.
President Woodruff has not been at the office this week. His health has not been good; still he is improving; but Dr. Snow urges that he rest, and I have done what I could to induce him to rest, for I feel that he needs to regain his strength before he comes to the office and resumes his labors. He will work so hard when he does come that it is too much for him.
President Smith and myself had a long conversation with Richard W. Young and Professor Kerr in relation to the funds of the Brigham Young College of Logan and the help that is needed to have it conducted properly. We were favorably impressed by their statements, and we could see the necessity, if it were possible, of rendering them the aid that they needed.
I took dinner at my son Angus’, in company with my wife Sarah Jane and my two brothers and two sisters, and had a very pleasant evening.
Wednesday, April 14, 1897
I called to see President Woodruff this morning and found him sitting outside in the sun. He appears very well, though he is weak. He thinks it better not to come to the office to-day, in which decision I felt to concur.
At 11 o’clock I met with the Wonder Mining Co. The money in the treasury is exhausted. $30,000 has been expended thus far. The company is now in debt about a thousand dollars. The time of the meeting was principally occupied in discussing ways and means by which to raise a loan to prosecute the work. It was decided to offer to any one that would loan $5000 an option on the stock at 15¢ a share for a certain number of shares.
Thursday, April 15, 1897
I had a number of letters that I desired to write and some articles for the Juvenile Instructor, and I had my son Hugh come down to my house and we worked at this during the forenoon.
In the afternoon I planted trees, it being Arbor Day and a holiday. I felt very tired to-night, it being an unusual exertion for me to plant trees.
Friday, April 16, 1897
I called to see President Woodruff. He is looking pretty well, but is too weak yet to come to the office. I called to see if there was any business that he desired presented to the meeting to-day. I submitted to him questions that I thought would be likely to come up before the Council and got his views concerning them, namely, the granting of the Tabernacle to the Christian Endeavor people on the 3rd of July, it being our Fast day and our people on that day meeting in the ward meeting houses; also the question of permitting the Assembly Hall to be used by the Trans-Mississippi Congress on the 14th,15th, & 16th of July. He thought that both buildings might be granted for the purposes named.
At 11 o’clock President Jos. F. Smith and myself met with President Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and J. W. Taylor. A number of items of business were attended to besides that which I have already mentioned. President Smith was mouth in prayer.
At 2 o’clock we had a meeting of Z.C.M.I. directors. In the absence of President Woodruff, I presided at the meeting.
Saturday, April 17, 1897
This morning, myself and wife Carlie went to Provo, and were met at the station by her sister Susie, who took us to her home.
At 10 o’clock we met with the saints in conference. Brother F. M. Lyman was present. The forenoon was occupied by Bishops Cutler, Robinson and Gardner, describing the condition of their wards. Brother Lyman occupied the remainder of the time.
In the afternoon President Partridge made a report of the condition of the Stake, and I followed, occupying about one hour. An excellent spirit prevailed in the meeting and I felt very free.
In the evening there was a priesthood meeting. Brother Lyman declined to talk, as he had been there so often, and wished me to occupy the time. I did so, but we did not hold a long meeting, as there was a lecture appointed in the Opera House, to be delivered by Madame Mountford.
We stayed all night at Brother Jacob F. Gates’s.
Sunday, April 18, 1897
The Tabernacle was crowded[;] this morning was Sunday school children and parents. The time was occupied by myself, Brother Lyman and Brother Seymour B. Young. The authorities of the Church and Stake were presented.
In the afternoon I suggested to Brother Lyman that he should speak, and also to Brother Partridge to call on Brother David John or Reed Smoot; but Brother Lyman preferred to sit and listen, as did the other two brethren; so I occupied the afternoon and had considerable freedom. The saints listened very attentively.
We took dinner at Hotel Roberts, kept by Brother Holbrook, and we were taken to the train by a carriage from his house.
The train stopped going and returning for me at 10th South St. in order to let us get on and off. My son Angus carried us there and met us on our return.
Monday, April 19, 1897
I found President Woodruff this morning still improving in health. I had telephoned from Provo to learn how he was. I called also on Brother Brigham Young, but found him asleep, and I did not wish him disturbed. Sister Young tells me that he has not eaten anything for 24 hours. I feel very much concerned about his condition, as I think it most serious, if not dangerous.
Most of this day was spent by me on Pioneer Electric Power business. I received a letter from Mr. Banigan advising me that he would be here on Monday, the 26th.
Tuesday, April 20th, 1897
I called to-day again on President Woodruff, and found him still improving, but it being a blustery morning he gave up all thought of coming to the office to-day.
I had a meeting this morning with Mr. Bannister and Brother Winder to talk over Pioneer Electric Power business.
I had a long conversation with John M. Cannon over Abraham’s estate affairs.
Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
Wednesday, April 21, 1897
As there was a probability of President Woodruff coming to town this morning, I did not call at his house; but he did not come, the weather being stormy.
We held a long meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co.
President Smith and myself had a lengthy interview with Judge W. A. Kinney, of the Hawaiian Islands, who is on his way to Washington to endeavor to secure annexation of the Islands to this country. He came to see us instructed by President Dole, of the Hawaiian government, who, knowing the interest we took in the Islands and that we had extensive property interests there, wished us to understand the situation, that whatever influence we had might be used in the right way. We promised to write him letters to our two Senators and to our Representative in Congress, which we did, and they were signed by President Smith and myself.
At 12 o’clock there was a meeting of the Bullion, Beck & Champion Mining Co., which I attended.
We were called upon by Brother Ben Goddard, who brought a Maori sister to ask counsel concerning her grandchild who wanted to come to Zion. We thought she might come in the custody of some reliable Elder who was returning. Brother Goddard spoke about having a reunion this summer of all the Elders who labored on the Polynesian Islands. We selected a committee and Geo. F. Gibbs was requested to get up a circular letter with a view of having the reunion sometime near the Semi-Centennial celebration, when the Elders could come at cheap rates.
In the evening I had a meeting with my brother Angus and my sister Mary Alice and my family, and we organized the Cannon Family Association, with myself as President, my brothers Angus and David as Vice Presidents, John Q. Cannon as Secretary, and Geo. M. Cannon as Treasurer. We had a very interesting time looking at the records. We can trace the Cannons, including my children, nine generations, carrying us back to about the year 1600. We expect to hold meetings frequently to get our records in good shape and to have the ordinances attended to.
Thursday, April 22, 1897
I telephoned to President Woodruff’s house this morning and was informed that he was sleeping and intended to come up to the office to-day; but after I started from home it stormed violently and this prevented his coming.
Judge Bartch came in, and I had a long conversation with him in which he related many things of a confidential character connected with past times, and which he told for the purpose of showing how suitable a thing it would be to invite General Clarkson and Senator Quay to come with the President’s party to the Semi-Centennial celebration. He had heard, I suppose, that my name had been mentioned as one of the committee to go to Washington to invite the President, and he urged that I would be a very proper person, and necessary also as representing our people. It is evident, too, that he would like to go himself as one of the Supreme Court, if it was agreeable all around. He mentioned Judge Estee also as a person who ought to be invited to come.
We invited Drs. Elias S. Wright, Leslie Snow, H. A. Anderson and Harry Young to come to the office and give their views concerning the case of Brother Warren M. Johnson, who was very seriously injured by being thrown from a load of hay about 18 months ago. His spine was badly injured, and it was a question whether it would be proper for him to be brought from Kanab to the city to be treated. They expressed their views on the basis of the information that we had, which, however, was quite insufficient to enable them to express themselves positively as to the propriety of his coming. I arranged for them to be put in communication with his wife through the telegraph, so that they might learn all the particulars of the case.
At 11 o’clock President Smith and myself met in the Temple with President Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale and John W. Taylor. We attended to various items of business, and I was mouth in prayer. President Smith and myself were rather late in entering the Council, and we learned that the brethren had been talking about the case of Moses Thatcher, and remarks had been made reflecting on Brother F. M. Lyman’s expressions concerning that case. He had spoken pretty strongly about cutting Moses Thatcher off the Church. Brothers John Henry Smith and John W. Taylor both expressed themselves to the effect that they could not enter into league with anybody to cut anyone off the Church without having a proper hearing and without proper evidence. I saw by remarks that were made that there was a division of sentiment in regard to this case. I could not endorse the remarks that I heard, and I supposed Brother Jos. F. Smith could not either, for our views were different as to the method of treating this case. Brother John W. Taylor had spoken to President Smith while on a journey from Ogden about the case, and saying how bad it would be if it failed and how necessary it was that there should be a well defined plan decided upon by the Council in the treatment of the case. He said Moses Thatcher was paying his tithing, paying his donations, partaking of the sacrament, doing what he was called upon by the Bishop to do, and was in this respect, as he claimed, a Latter-day Saint, and it would be a pity to commence action against him and not be able to sustain it. But the point that he dwelt upon mostly was that he did not want to enter into league with Brother Lyman or anyone else to cut a man off the Church regardless of evidence, or without giving him an opportunity for defense.
As both these brethren had made such remarks, I felt myself that they were not aware of how such talk sounded, or they would not make such remarks, because it conveyed the idea that Brother Lyman and the rest who felt as he did were going to do something that the law of God expressly forbids, and which as Apostles they could not do consistently; in fact, it was almost an insult to intimate that it was the intention to cut this man off regardless of evidence or regardless of his disposition to repent. President Snow expressed himself on the subject, and I thought that he was rather disposed to view the case in the light that Brothers Taylor and Smith did. I therefore felt, in the absence of President Woodruff, that it would be imprudent for me to say anything or make any decision, as there was apparently division, and I stopped the discussion of the subject, saying that in the absence of President Woodruff I preferred leaving it till he could be present.
Friday, April 23, 1897
President Woodruff came to the office this morning and seemed to be in pretty good condition. He stayed till the middle of the afternoon.
Arthur Pratt called on me to enlist my influence in his behalf in securing a place in some of the railroads here.
Governor Wells and Spencer Clawson called to-day in relation to my going as a delegate to Washington, with others, to invite President McKinley to come to the city at the time of the Semi-Centennial celebration. Judge Bartch and P. H. Lannan are also mentioned as delegates.
We had a meeting of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. We expect Mr. Banigan to be here on Sunday or Monday, and we talked over affairs so as to be prepared.
I had heard from Brother Jos. F. Smith that there had been very serious charges made against the management of Saltair at a meeting of the leading men and women of the Mutual Improvement Association. A motion had been made to go to Saltair for a holiday, and all had voted in favor of it excepting Rodney Badger. Upon being asked by President Smith what his reasons were for voting against it, he came out in heavy assault upon the manner in which Saltair was conducted, and accused the management of winking at a terrible condition of things. He stated that it was twice as bad as Garfield ever had been, and made a good many other assertions. Upon hearing this, I requested him and Brother Lyman to be present and I would have N. W. Clayton brought before them, which I did, and the statements were repeated to Brother Clayton, and he showed their falsity and what serious misrepresentations they were. Brother Clayton wrote a letter, on the strength of these statements, to Rodney Badger, asking him to either prove his assertions or to make as broad a retraction as he had these charges.
Saturday, April 24, 1897
President Woodruff was at the office to-day – an unusual thing for him on Saturday.
I spent some time with Brother Arthur Winter, dictating letters, journal, &c.
In the afternoon myself and wife went to the Rio Grande depot, where Mr. Welby’s private car had been procured by some of the officers of the Bullion-Beck Co. for an excursion to their property at Tintic. The company consisted of John Beck and wife, Simon Bamberger and wife, H. B. Clawson and wife, Walter J. Beatie and wife, Abraham’s wife Mamie, and myself and wife. We found also Mrs. Everhardt and her traveling companion, Mr. Sale, also Brother Donaldson. We reached Tintic a little after eight in the evening, and we were accommodated with sleeping apartments in the house belonging to the company.
Sunday, April 25, 1897
This day was spent by myself principally in meeting with the saints. In the forenoon I met with the Sunday school and addressed the children. In the afternoon Brother H. B. Clawson occupied a short time, and I occupied the remainder of the time. In the evening John Beck spoke for a little while, and I for the remainder of the time. I enjoyed these meetings very much. A good spirit prevailed and the people were deeply interested.
Monday, April 26, 1897
We embarked on the car a little before seven, and took our breakfast on the car. We reached Salt Lake City about 9 o’clock. I proceeded to the office and found Presidents Woodruff and Smith, Colonel Winder, Mr. Bannister and Mr. Banigan there. After exchanging salutations, I arranged with Mr. Banigan as to how his time should be spent, so that it would be used to the best advantage. After talking business over and finding, from a telegram from my son Frank, that Le Grand Young was on his way home and would reach here to-day, we decided that we would not enter into details about our business until he should arrive, as we could not discuss our affairs intelligently until we knew what arrangements had been made or were likely to be made through his visit to New York. It was arranged for us to go to the Big Cottonwood Power Co’s works to-morrow.
I had a call from Judge Bartch, who came to talk with me about our trip to Washington.
Tuesday, April 27, 1897
My nephew, Geo. M. Cannon, the Sec. & Treas. of the Big Cottonwood Co., provided a carriage that would carry eight persons, including the driver, to which four horses were attached, to take us to the Company’s works in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The party consisted of himself and the driver on the first seat, Mr. Bannister and myself on the next, and facing us Mr. Banigan and Col. Donnellan, and on the rear seat President Jos. F. Smith and Bishop Winder. The weather was delightful, and the trip on the whole was quite pleasant and interesting. We stopped in the Canyon at the Utah Power Co’s power house and examined that, then proceeded to the other. After eating our dinner we went up to the dam and reservoir, and returned to the power house. Returning, we reached the city about 6 o’clock. We got a very good idea of both these companies’ plants, and Mr. Banigan seemed quite pleased with the opportunity he had had of seeing their affairs.
Wednesday, April 28, 1897
President Woodruff was at the office again to-day.
Brother Le Grand Young had returned, and before Mr. Banigan came this morning he gave me an account of his labors in conjunction with Frank with the representatives of the Salt Lake & Ogden Gas & Electric Light Co. When Mr. Banigan arrived the whole business was laid before him, and we had a very long discussion over it. Mr. Banigan was not pleased exactly with the consolidation that was proposed. He wanted to see the property of the Salt Lake & Ogden Co. It was arranged for him to do so to-morrow morning.
I had a call from Judge Bartch and P. H. Lannan to talk over the proposed trip to Washington. It was agreed that we should leave on Monday morning. I expected to have started on Friday, but Mr. Lannan could not possibly get away till Monday.
I had an interview with the Presiding Bishops and Abram Hatch, W. W. Riter, Reed Smoot and C. L. Anderson, who have been appointed as a committee to take into consideration the questions proposed at our late conference – the furnishing of employment and the care of immigrants. P. T. Farnsworth and Wm. Budge, of the committee, were absent. I explained to them more fully the object we had in view in selecting this committee, and suggested some ways by which it could be accomplished.
Thursday, April 29, 1897
There was a meeting of the Brigham Young Memorial Association this morning to talk over the best manner of placing the monument.
President Woodruff and myself, President Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, G. Teasdale, H. J. Grant and J. W. Taylor met at the usual time at the Temple. President Smith, we were informed, was suffering from a carbuncle on the back of his neck. As we had an appointment with Mr. Banigan to meet him at 1 o’clock we did not have as much time as usual for our council. But the question that had been up before the last council concerning Moses Thatcher’s case was brought up again by me. I reported to President Woodruff what had occurred at the last council, and that I had refrained from permitting the question to be discussed, as I did not feel exactly right about rendering a decision. This led to considerable talk. Brother John W. Taylor again stated that from what had been said now in this council it was evident there was a difference of views in relation to this case. He repeated what he had said before, that the Council ought to get together and decide on some plan of action, &c. President Woodruff expressed himself in the most emphatic manner concerning Moses Thatcher, and that he should be dealt with. He told the feelings that he had had for years concerning him. He said in all his experience in the Church - and he had had experience with all the leading apostates - he had a clear idea of the spirit that animated them, and it was the same spirit that animated Moses Thatcher, and his feelings concerning Moses Thatcher were the same as he had had about other apostates. He did not believe he could be led to repentance; still he thought he ought to have fair treatment, &c. I was very pleased to hear President Woodruff express himself so emphatically upon this, because it was evident to me that the brethren either did not understand the true position or they had weakened in relation to the manner of treating this case. After Brother Taylor had spoken about our meeting together and deciding upon some plan of action, I arose and said that my experience had taught me one thing, and I had watched it and seen it a number of times, that whenever there was an attempt made to depart from a decision of the Council it always led to division and to confusion. It was so in this case. There had been a line of action decided upon by this Council. Brother Brigham Young had been appointed, at his own suggestion, to prosecute this case of Moses Thatcher’s, and the manner in which the case should be taken up and dealt with had been outlined, and there was nothing to do but to follow it if we wished to abide by that which we had decided upon. To deviate from that would be sure to create division. It then transpired that Brother Taylor was ignorant of the fact, as well as Brother John Henry Smith, that there had been a decision made by the Council; and when they learned this and heard President Woodruff’s remarks, it settled the question in their minds.
At 1 o’clock we met with Mr. Banigan, and again resumed the consideration of the project for consolidation of the companies. Mr. Banigan was quite peremptory in declining the proposition to receive
the bonds of the consolidation company in payment for two years’ interest on his bonds. The conversation finally led to this conclusion: that Mr. Banigan would have an interview with these gentlemen with whom Le Grand Young and my son Frank had met in New York, on next Wednesday. He talked very freely with me about the case, and said he knew he was in a position to do us service, if he could see these people and talk with them. I was favorably impressed with the proposition, as I felt that he could be of great service to us in modifying the agreement which they had signified a willingness to enter into. The fact is, these people ask far more for their property and place an a higher value upon it than it is worth. Their claim for this, however, is that they can pay interest on the bonds to that amount. This probably is the case; but if we come in, the business will be divided, and their ability to earn so large an amount will be greatly lessened. Our property is far more valuable than theirs; there is scarcely any comparison between the two; and yet they ask quite a large proportion of the stock and bonds of the consolidation.
Mr. Banigan started for Ogden at 4 o’clock.
At 5:30 I went to Ogden. Before doing so, however, I spent half an hour in the Lion House with a large company of brethren and sisters who had met together at the invitation of Sister Margaret Pierce Young to have a sociable. They were mainly temple workers. It was a very agreeable visit for me; but I had to break away to keep my appointment at Ogden to deliver the last of the series of lectures which had been given in Salt Lake and Ogden under the auspices of the Mutual Improvement Association. I was met at the train by Brother Angus Wright, who presides over the Associations in this Stake, and we walked together to the Tabernacle, which was crowded. I spoke an hour and twenty minutes on the subject, The relationship of Mormonism to the Christian world. I felt quite free, but I did not treat it exactly as I had done in Salt Lake. I do not pretend to repeat discourses; I deliver them as the Spirit gives me utterance.
Instead of accepting the invitation of Brother Wright to stop at his house, I explained to him that I must see Mr. Banigan and Mr. Bannister and have some conversation with them if I returned to-morrow on the early train, which I wished to do. He therefore accompanied me to the Reed Hotel, where I registered and saw Mr. Banigan. It was arranged that he should go up the canyon in the morning, accompanied by Mr. Bannister, to see the works. I saw, after conversing with him, that it would be out of my power to get as clear an understanding concerning what we could depend upon in relation to this proposed consolidation unless I stayed longer than the morning train, and I made up my mind to stay till 2 o’clock. My desire to get back early was that I desired to attend to Brother Joseph Horne’s funeral, which takes place at 2 o’clock tomorrow; but this business was so important that I concluded to stay. Brother David Eccles and a number of other citizens were in company with Mr. Banigan when I found them in the parlor, and upon his learning that I was going to stay all night, Brother Eccles insisted on my stopping at his house, which I did.
Friday, April 30, 1897
At 9 o’clock we started up the canyon, Brother Le Grand Young having arrived from Salt Lake. On the way up and returning I had opportunity to talk freely with Mr. Banigan. We took dinner at the club house, and I asked him before we separated what we could depend upon in relation to the Big Cottonwood Co’s indebtedness. He asked if it was needed immediately. I told him, Yes; but if we had assurances that it could be got, I supposed we might wait a short time. He spoke of waiting a week or two at least, till he could find out what could be done with these parties in New York. We separated with the understanding that as I was going east I should put myself in communication with him, and in the meantime we would try and induce the creditors of the Big Cottonwood Co. to not crowd matters for that length of time. The examination of the works appeared very satisfactory to him. Mr. Banigan is a man of great practical experience in machinery and the use of power.
Brother Le Grand Young and myself returned in the afternoon, and I went immediately to the Assembly Hall, where the funeral services of Brother Horne were being held. I had scarcely got in the stand before Brother Penrose, who was speaking, ceased, and I spoke for a short time, relating my intimacy with Brother Horne. I spoke warmly of his character, because I had a great admiration for him.