The Church Historian's Press

June 1897

1 June 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 1, 1897

Busy all day writing up my journal.

2 June 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 2, 1897

Reached Salt Lake City at 3:10 p.m. and was met at the station by several of my sons. My son Angus took my wife Carlie, Adah and the children down home. I went up to the office with John Q., having received word from President Woodruff that he was waiting to see me. I intended to do this before receiving word from him. I found him somewhat feeble, and gathered from a remark made by President Smith that he had not been in a condition to do business for a week, his memory having failed him. I attended to a number of business matters at the office which were awaiting my return for action, and then went home. I found my family all well and very glad to see me, as I was to see them.

This trip has been much more extended than I expected it would be when I left home. I expected to return home within two weeks, and instead of that I have been absent a calendar month, lacking one day. I have been treated with great distinction since I have been away by all with whom I have been brought in contact, especially in Washington. I have reason to feel very much gratified at the manner in which I was received wherever I went there. I think that we were very successful in presenting the invitation to President McKinley. The Lord opened our ways way also (Frank’s and mine) in obtaining extension of notes. Our business with the Oregon Short Line people seemed to be brought to a conclusion that was quite satisfactory. So that, in looking over all that has been done during this trip, I feel that there is much cause for thanksgiving. The Lord has been with us and prospered us.

3 June 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, June 3, 1897

Had conversation this morning with Judge Le Grand Young and Colonel John R. Winder over the contract which we had been arranging for the consolidation of the power companies.

At 11 o’clock President Woodruff and myself met with President Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman and Geo. Teasdale in the Temple. An application was made to grant the Tabernacle to the Young Men’s Christian Association, who, with the Tabernacle choir, desired to have Mr. W. J. Bryan deliver a lecture there, the proceeds to be divided equally between Mr. Bryan, the Choir and the Association. After considerable discussion, all felt that there was impropriety in using the Tabernacle for any such purpose. We regretted that Brother Evan Stephens had imagined, from what he had heard, that he was authorized to announce that the Tabernacle could be obtained for this purpose.

We had considerable talk over the taking down of the Temple wall, a letter suggesting this having been received from the committee of the Brigham Young Memorial Association. All felt that it would be an improper thing to take down the Temple wall without we had a good iron fence to erect in its place, and as the Church is not in funds to furnish a fence 8 ft. high around this block, all felt that the wall ought not to be disturbed. Brother Brigham Young moved that the Memorial Association endeavor to secure a place in front of the Temple for his father’s statue, or at the junction of East Temple & South Temple Streets.

After prayer, and before we separated, I gave the brethren a statement of our financial affairs and what I had been doing in the east.

The First Presidency had a visit from Sister Susa Young Gates and Sister Zina Young Card. They came for the purpose of laying before us the condition of Sister Zina D. H. Young, physically and mentally. She is really incapable of doing business, her memory being so defective. It was decided by the First Presidency that her daughter Zina should act as her private secretary, and a letter was addressed to Sister Young and her Counselors informing them that we had made this appointment, and another letter was addressed to Sister Zina Young Card asking her to act in that capacity.

4 June 1897 • Friday

Friday, June 4, 1897

Was occupied to-day from 10 to 3 in a meeting of the Pioneer Electric Power Co., at which the terms of the contract were fully discussed.

A committee, consisting of Spencer Clawson, Willard Young and James H. Moyle, called to see me in relation to the change that had been made in the location of monument of President Young. I explained it to them, and suggested, in response to their inquiry, the course to adopt in seeing the City Council, &c.

I telegraphed to my son Frank to send all notes that require to be signed by President Woodruff immediately, as President Woodruff’s health is quite precarious. President Smith felt with myself that such a dispatch ought to be sent.

Early this morning I went up to the hospital to see Brother Heber J. Grant, who has been operated upon for appendicites, and it is admitted by all who know the case that his deliverance from death has been almost, if not quite, miraculous; for his condition was such as to create the greatest alarm, and the doctors looked upon it as an almost fatal case. While I was there I was met by the mother of a young man by the name of Aaron Christensen. She was in such grief as to almost appear to be beside herself. I went to the bedside of her son, and it was a very sad spectacle. He died shortly after. One thing that made his case touch me more was, he is 17 years old and he reminded me of my son Sylvester.

5 June 1897 • Saturday

Saturday, June 5, 1897

I visited the hospital again this morning to see Brother Grant.

I spent a good part of the day going through business affairs with my son Hugh and John M. Cannon. I find it necessary to assume a heavy responsibility in connection with Abraham’s affairs, and I have taken certain stocks that he had in order to reimburse me. I shall have to raise about $30,000, and the stocks that I get do not amount to half that, according to the valuation that has been placed upon them by his administrator.

6 June 1897 • Sunday

Sunday, June 6, 1897

I felt impressed, since hearing of the death of Aaron Christensen, to go to Brigham City to attend his funeral, if I possibly could. I find that the funeral services are to take place at 11 o’clock to-day. I therefore left Salt Lake City at 8 o’clock, and was met at Brigham City by Brother Rudgar Clawson, who had been informed of my intention to go there. While standing on the platform, Moses Thatcher came up behind me and spoke to me; called me President Cannon, and said he did not know I was on the train. He said he had come up with the boys to attend this funeral, referring to the brothers of the young man. On my way up I said to Brother Rudgar Clawson that I hoped Moses Thatcher would not be permitted to address the saints; for I felt impressed that he had come for that purpose.

There was quite a congregation at the 3rd Ward meeting house, where the funeral services were held. In response to an inquiry, I suggested that the family should be consulted as to who they wished to speak. I did not learn till afterwards that one of the brothers had requested the Bishop to let Moses Thatcher speak. Brother Clawson did not inform me of this till after the meeting was over. The Bishop and his first counselor spoke very feelingly of the Christensen family, and particularly of this boy. I occupied the remainder of the time, and enjoyed good freedom. It seems that my remarks had some effect, for the brother older than the deceased, Peter Christensen, came to me on the train and told me that he intended to live a better life, and he asked me some questions, which I answered, which relieved his mind, concerning his duty and how to pray, &c. His heart was very much softened. He said he intended to be re-baptized. I felt gratified that I had gone, because I feel quite certain that Moses Thatcher would have occupied the stand if I had not been there. I had felt impressed to come, thinking I might say some words of comfort and consolation to this afflicted family. My own bereavement is so recent that I can feel deeply their sorrow. I went with the procession to the grave. As I returned from the grave, I stopped at the meeting house, where, it being fast day, there was a large congregation, and at the request of Prest. Clawson, I spoke and had great freedom. Prest. Clawson said to the people that I came there so seldom that he knew they would prefer to have me occupy the time than to have the usual proceedings.

I was entertained by Prest. Clawson.

7 June 1897 • Monday

Monday, June 7, 1897

I spent some time this forenoon with Brothers Jack and Clayton in arranging some business matters connected with our railroads and coal and salt properties.

I had a call from Judge White, who is an applicant for the office of Land Receiver.

There was a meeting of the stockholders of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. to-day, and the old Board was re-elected.

I spent a good deal of the time to-day in a meeting of the General Board of Education.

I went down to the Oregon Short Line office this afternoon and had an interview with Mr. Bancroft, and it was arranged that as he was going away and would be absent till Friday, he and Mr. Eccles would give consideration to the traffic arrangement that is necessary to be made in order to enable us to close our contract with the Oregon Short Line for the possession of Garfield and the extension of the line that had been agreed upon. While there I met Mr. Parley L. Williams. I had been told that he, in conversation with Brother Robert Lund, had expressed himself very bitterly concerning myself, and Brother Lund conveyed the idea to me that it was personal against me. I took this opportunity of calling him aside in a room where we were alone, and I told him what I had heard. I said I was not aware of ever having done anything to him to cause him to feel as bitterly as had been represented to me personally, and I would like to know what reasons he had for this. We were likely to have negotiations together, he representing the Oregon Short Line, and I wanted to know what there was that would produce such bitter expressions as had been reported. He said to me that he had nothing against me personally, but his feelings were very strong in relation to the grade that had been taken by the Utah & California Company, and which he thought we ought to restore to the Oregon Short Line people before we had any negotiations concerning the western proposition.

This man Williams has been for many years a very bitter anti-Mormon, and has missed no opportunity, I suppose, of doing us injury.

8 June 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 8, 1897

I called on Brother Grant this morning at the hospital.

The Pioneer Electric Power Co. had another lengthy meeting to-day, in which the contract was again discussed, and the following resolution was adopted:

“Resolved that the contract for consolidation will be acceptable to the Directors of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. provided that paragraph (c) of Article I shall be amended by inserting the words $950,000 in place of the words $750,000; also that paragraph (e) be amended in the same manner, also that in the 4th paragraph of Article VIII for the words “Consolidated Mortgage Bonds” shall be substituted the words “Prior Lien Bonds”, and that the Attorney of this Company be instructed to communicate this decision to Messrs. Sullivan and Cromwell in such manner as in his discretion may be deemed advisable.”

I summarized this and sent it in cipher to my son Frank, for him to communicate to Messrs. Sullivan & Cromwell, New York.

I had calls from Judge Blair and Mr. James Devine. I am applied to very frequently by men seeking office, to have me endorse their applications. They seem to think that I have influence, and that my recommendation or endorsement will be of help to them. I have endeavored to escape doing this as much as possible.

We had a meeting of the Brigham Young Memorial Association, the purpose being to accept, if agreeable to the Association, the proffer made by the City Council in an ordinance which had been passed and signed by the Mayor, giving a certain space at the junction of East Temple & South Temple Streets for the erection of the monument. There was quite a division of feeling among the brethren whether this was the proper place or not. Brother Frank Armstrong thought Liberty Park would be the best place. Several of the brethren thought inside the Temple Block would be the better place, even if the wall were allowed to remain. Others were in favor of accepting the City Council’s offer. President Smith moved that it should be accepted, but afterwards expressed the view that the monument ought to be where there was grass and trees and flowers around it. After hearing all, I said that to me it seemed as though the place in the street was very suitable, and seemed to be the right thing to do, for these reasons: the City Council had unanimously voted that either there or opposite the Temple would be suitable, and I had noticed in my experience that when we attempted to depart from a unanimous decision of that kind it frequently led to confusion and dissension. Another thing, no one had anticipated that the City Council would ever grant a place for the monument on any street and concede the right to the Memorial Association to control it, which they had done. These reasons, I thought, were sufficient to cause us to accept that place, and I believed when those corners were built up it would be a very beautiful site. It was near President Young’s place of residence, and where the most of his life had been spent. When I closed my remarks, the resolution was immediately carried to accept the proffer of the City Council.

9 June 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 9, 1897

An appointment had been made for myself Judge Bartch and Mr. P. H. Lannan to meet the Jubilee Commission at 10:30 this morning and make a report of our visit to Washington. There was quite a number of the Commission present, and at the request of Judge Bartch and Mr. Lannan, I made the report, which appeared to give great satisfaction. Some discussion followed as to what should be done in the way of preparing for the entertainment of the party. We endeavored to bring home to the Commission as forcibly as we could the necessity for ample preparations being made. After this was over, at the request of the Commission, I went and viewed the floats which are being constructed, some of which are very fine.

I attended a meeting of the Wonder Mining Co. at the office of John M. Cannon.

A committee consisting of Spencer Clawson, Mr. Cameron of the Rapid Transit Railway Co., Mr. Gus Holmes of the Knutsford, and Mr. Geo. Y. Wallace of the Telephone Co., and Mr. Wicks, came to the office to see me in relation to the situation of affairs connected with the Alta Club location. It had been the desire of a number of residents and property holders around where the Church offices are to have the Alta Club build a house for itself on the corner immediately east of the Gardo House, owned at present by Capt. Willard Young. There was a difference between the price which he asked and the price which they felt to pay, which the residents had contributed to make up; but now it was found that a thousand dollars more were wanted, and these gentlemen came to converse upon this. After some conversation, I told them that the Church would subscribe $750, which seemed agreeable to them. They said with that subscription they could carry the thing through. This is scarcely our proportion, but they seemed satisfied with it.

This evening there was a meeting of the choir and a few friends at the Ward schoolhouse, and ice cream and other refreshments were served. I went there upon invitation and spent about an hour with them.

10 June 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, June 10, 1897

The monthly meeting of the Salt Lake & Los Angeles Ry. was held this morning at 9:30, and the question of reducing the fare to Saltair was talked over. There was a difference of view between Nephi W. Clayton and Isaac A. Clayton on this. I felt that at the present time it was inopportune to take any action on this question until we had come to some conclusion respecting the dealing that we had with the Oregon Short Line people.

President Woodruff was absent from the office all day yesterday, and it was reported that his health was not very good. I was very glad to see him this morning looking and feeling quite well. He had spent the most of yesterday in bed, and he was quite bright this morning.

The First Presidency attended meeting in the Temple at 11 a.m. President Snow, F. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Geo. Teasdale and A. H. Lund were there. President Smith mentioned the feeling there was about Saltair, and this was conversed upon by one and another. There is a great prejudice against Saltair Beach, and some of our own people are the authors of the prejudice, as there are the best of reasons for believing that they make false reports about the condition of affairs at this place of recreation. I described to the brethren the motive the First Presidency had in endeavoring to make a place of amusement there. If it is not managed properly, it is ours, and we can make any changes that are necessary; but the disposition is to tell lies about it, and many of the people fail to perceive that they are lending themselves to the schemes of the evil one in so doing. The Saltair Pavilion was erected with the best of motives. It was to have a clean place, properly managed, where our young people could go and patronize it and have nothing offensive done there. If there has been any failure in this respect, it ought to be corrected; but to go around circulating misrepresentations and slanders concerning the place and its management is sinful. The brethren all acquiesced in this, although some of them confessed to having prejudices against the place on account of that which they had heard.

President Snow has been quite impressed with the importance of making a change in the Bishopric of the 18th Ward, and at his suggestion I brought the matter before the Council, and it was decided to call the attention of the Presidency of the Stake to the Ward and the necessity there is for a Bishop to be there.

I called the attention of President Woodruff and the Council to our situation politically at the present time. The bestowal of the franchise on the women had created a condition of affairs such as has never been before since the organization of the Church. When the women had the franchise in the early days we were a united people on politics. Now we are divided, and every woman that has the franchise is equal to every man in that respect. Our experience, however, during recent elections has proved to us that women, however good their intentions may be, cannot be trusted without someone to guide and influence them. Unworthy men, unscrupulous politicians, have succeeded in leading them off and they have gone to meetings with such characters. There seems to be an immediate necessity of this matter being taken in hand before another election, and that suitable women should be selected to teach the sisters and give them proper views concerning consulting the Priesthood. If women are allowed to act as unwisely as they have done, there is danger that they will fasten fetters upon us. The brethren thought it was necessary that timely action should be taken in relation to this, and the brethren who are going to the conferences were instructed to keep it in mind.

I went on the 7 o’clock train this evening to attend the Commencement exercises of the Weber Stake Academy, I having promised to do this some weeks ago. They desired me to address the graduating class. I was met at Ogden by a young man with Prof. Moench’s carriage, who took me to the Tabernacle, where I found a very large assemblage, mostly young people. The program was a very good one, and everything passed off in a delightful manner. They were not through till 11 o’clock. I delivered an address, which occupied about 27 minutes, for which I had made no preparation. The Lord was with me and gave me great freedom. The diplomas were presented to the graduates by Prof. Moench, and after this was done, on behalf of the General Board of Education, I conferred the degree of Bachelor of Didactics on Prof. Moench and handed him a diploma.

Brother Richard Ballantyne had invited me to spend the night at his house, which I had accepted, and I was taken there. Brother Ballantyne I have known since boyhood. We crossed the plains together in the same company. I was pleased to have the opportunity of staying at his house.

11 June 1897 • Friday

Friday, June 11, 1897

I left Ogden on the 8 o’clock train for Salt Lake.

There was a meeting of the Grass Creek Coal Company this morning.

I had an interview with Mr. Hoyt Sherman. He desires to be U.S. Marshal of this State.

I have been so crowded with meetings and business since my return from the east that I have not had time until to-day to examine the correspondence that was received during my absence, and Brother Arthur Winter and myself went to the upper room of the Juvenile Instructor office, where I could be free from interruption, and went through this correspondence. I dictated replies to ma[n]y of the letters, and also my journal.

12 June 1897 • Saturday

Saturday, June 12, 1897

Spent the day with Brother Winter in looking through correspondence and dictating.

13 June 1897 • Sunday

Sunday, June 13, 1897

The first conference of the representatives of the Religion Classes was held to-day at Logan. Brothers Karl G. Maeser and Anthon H. Lund had gone there, and I started this morning for the purpose of attending the conference, accompanied by my sons Sylvester and Willard and my daughters Emily and Grace, who had been invited by their brother Lewis, who is a professor at the Agricultural College, to witness the commencement exercises of that college. We reached Logan, and I was taken to the house of Prof. Kerr, of the Brigham Young College, and took dinner there.

In the afternoon attended meeting. The house was only partially filled. Brothers Maeser and Lund spoke, and I followed and spoke with a great deal of freedom.

After meeting I went to Prest. Orson Smith’s house, where my daughters were. My sons had gone to stop with Brother John T. Caine, Jr., where Lewis lives.

In the evening we met with the saints again, and the house was pretty well filled. Brother Maeser occupied most of the time, giving an illustration of religion class work. I thought the meeting had been sufficiently long when he quit; but the brethren pressed me very much to speak, which I did for about 15 minutes.

14 June 1897 • Monday

Monday, June 14, 1897

I was taken by President Orson Smith to see the foundation of the new college building. It looks like a very solid foundation and will make a handsome addition to the College. From there we went back to his house, and was taken by my son Willard to the class exercises at the Agricultural College.

Dr. Tanner, the Principal, had invited me to dine at his house, and I went there and spent some time, in company with Bishop Leonard of the Episcopal Church, Miss Cassady, and Mrs. Barratt. Afterwards Mr. McCornick came in. I was not able to stay for the dinner, as I wished to make a call before I returned. Sister Tanner gave me lunch, and I went from there to Brother Smith’s, and was joined by my two sons, who with my daughters accompanied me to Sister Tarbet’s, whom I wished my children to see, as she is about the only person that I know who was well acquainted with my grandparents on my mother’s side, and with all that family. I thought it would be interesting for the young people to see her, and for her to see them.

At 3 o’clock I started for the city.

Went directly from the depot to the office and attended to some business before I left for home.

My son Preston I found quite indisposed.

15 June 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 15, 1897

I called upon Brother Grant this morning, in company with Brothers Lyman and Lund, and found him improving very nicely. He was removed from the hospital on Sunday and taken to his home.

Bishop Preston called in the office and described the results of his recent trip to the White River ranch, which we lately bought from ex-Marshal Parsons. After hearing his description of the situation there, I suggested that the Bishop pursue this business still farther and not leave it unfinished. We have a valuable ranch there, and it should be settled, and I thought the ground ought to be platted, so that settlers moving in could know what they would have [to] pay for land. Some of the land is better than others. Arrangements should be made to get a sufficient number of settlers to go there. There appears to be a very fine opening for at least 100 families. President Woodruff approved of this suggestion, and Bishop Preston was instructed to act accordingly.

We had an interview with Brother N. W. Clayton, who read to us the contract which the Oregon Short Line officials propose now for our acceptance. As the traffic business is something that we are not familiar with, and which Brother Clayton himself does not understand probably as well as men of more experience, I suggested that I write to Mr. Dickinson in a confidential manner and get his opinion concerning it, as we shall bind ourselves for ninety-nine years. Mr. Dickinson is the Manager of the Union Pacific, and as I am a director in that road I felt that I might take the liberty with him, and that he would treat my communication confidentially. If Mr. S. H. H. Clark had been well enough, I would like to have consulted him. Brother Clayton describes quite a favorable change in the feelings of these officials concerning this contract. The last that we heard from them they talked very loftily about matters and in such a manner as to lead us to think that no agreement would be reached. I felt much gratified at the change as reported; for I have made it a subject of earnest prayer, that if it was the Lord’s will we might be able to enter into some arrangements that would free us from our present embarrassments in regard to our properties and give us a better standing than we now have in railroad matters and a better opportunity of furnishing our own people employment. I am exceedingly anxious about this. I have felt for some two or three years deeply impressed that we ought to exert ourselves to get a firm hold in our own land than we have. We are, to a certain extent, at the mercy of foreign people. John W. Young built the Utah Western, the Church owned Garfield Beach; our people built the Utah Central, the Utah Northern, and the Utah Southern. Every one of these properties has passed out of our hands and into the hands of strangers, and they use them as a whip to scourge us. We have to pay them tribute. They control the transportation of our country, and they employ hundreds of men who are strangers, and our own people are shut out. It is a condition that I feel sati[s]fied is wrong, and I have felt with the help of the Lord that we ought to try and change it and obtain some control of enterprises that will strengthen us in the land, increase our credit, and give us opportunities of employing our own people, hundreds of whom now are without employment. Our young men have no avenues of employment, unless they go away or engage in some occupation that is not remunerative, such as common labor.

At 2:30 I left the office to attend a party at Brother John R. Winder’s. He had invited the First Presidency and the Salt Lake Temple workers to meet at his house at 3 o’clock. We had a very enjoyable time. Refreshments were served, and afterwards, President Woodruff made some remarks, and I was called upon to speak. Among other things, I dwelt upon the importance of our women taking a prudent course in regard to political matters. I thought the occasion a proper one to speak upon this subject, from the fact that the company was mostly composed of ladies. President Smith followed, and President Woodruff again spoke, and his remarks were really more severe than anything I said in condemnation of the course that had been taken at the last election by which the State had been put in its present position.

My son Preston still complains of illness.

16 June 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 16, 1897

I started at 7 o’clock this morning, in company with Brother Winder, to Ogden. Our object in starting so early was, I wished to have conversation with Brother Le Grand Young, who was going to the States this morning. We attended to a good deal of business of the Pioneer Co., and was driven by Mr. Bannister up the canyon to see the pipe line and to decide whether it should be covered in places or not. We decided that it should be. In consequence of the construction of this pipe line there is a magnificent waterfall now from the overflow of the pipe. The water falls about 420 feet into the creek down a precipice. I spoke to Mr. Bannister about my two boys who had just returned from school working here, if there was employment. He said he could employ both of them to advantage, and though they would not receive much wages, still it would be a good place to get experience. I was very much gratified to-day at witnessing what I did in the success of this enterprise so far. The pipe line has had but few leaks in it, and the machinery works very easily. There are five dynamos in the power house, and while we were there 1140 electrical horse power was developed by one of the machines, which is equal to 1200 ordinary horse power. Mr. Bannister says he has developed 5500 horse power with the five machines. So far, all our calculations as reported to us by Mr. Bannister have come out according to expectation.

We returned to the city on the 2:10 train, and I went direct to the office.

There was a meeting of the Brigham Young Memorial Association in the office, and we attended to considerable business.

Upon my return home I found Preston still complaining, and from the indications I fear he has an attack of appendicites. In conversation with his mother I suggested that this might be the case, and it would be well perhaps to consult Dr. Jos. S. Richards. He was sent for, and he pronounced it appendicites.

17 June 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, June 17, 1897

Dr. Richards was down again this morning and reaffirmed his statement that it was appendicites. Upon consultation with me I said I favored an operation. He felt clear that it ought to be done, as did his partner, Dr. Wilcox. My son Preston was averse to going in the hospital, but we overcame his scruples, and his brothers Angus and Hugh took him there, and I followed. The operation was performed by Dr. Jos. S. Richards, assisted by Drs. Wilcox, Whitney and Meacham and the house surgeon, Dr. [blank], who administered the chloroform. Dr. Niles was also present, and though he took no part in the operation he made several suggestions. There were six surgeons in all. Before I fully decided to have the operation performed, they examined Preston and then they retired with me, and each one communicated his impression. All were united in thinking that it was a case that should be operated upon, and though he might pass along this time all right without serious consequences, there was some danger, and he was liable to a recurrence at any time. In my own mind I felt clear that the operation should be performed. It took Dr. Richards 35 minutes to perform the operation, and 55 minutes to complete it and sew up the wound. The appendix was somewhat inflamed; there was a stricture in it, and the end of the appendix had a bulb about as large as a good-sized pea. When this was cut open, a ball of hard substance was picked out, which the doctor pronounced foecal matter. All appeared to be satisfied that the operation was not unnecessary. I witnessed the whole proceeding, and of course my sympathies were very much drawn out for my son. I exercised all the faith I could in his behalf. Brother Wilcken kindly volunteered to stay with Preston all night. In acts like this Brother Wilcken always appears to good advantage. He is sympathetic and exceedingly willing to do anything to help others.

18 June 1897 • Friday

Friday, June 18, 1897

There has been considerable correspondence by telegraph between ourselves and my son Frank upon the subject of the contract for the consolidation of the power companies. In order that an account of the various steps that we have taken may be kept, I insert the following telegraphic correspondence:

“Under the contract for consolidation the Pioneer Electric Power Company must find funds to pay interest on its Banigan Bonds for two years, as all its earnings for those two years must go into the consolidation for improvement purposes. The 200 consols not being marketable, will not furnish it; therefore the Board of Directors of the Pioneer Electric Power Company has adopted a resolution to accept the contract provided the 750 prior lien bonds be increased to 950, and 200 of them be given to the Pioneer Electric Power Company to take the place of its earnings, instead of the 200 consols. And we can say Big Cottonwood will without doubt accept terms of contract.” <Geo. Q. Cannon1>

“Will go to New York as soon as important vote taken here probably tonight. Will communicate with Cromwell action of our board of Directors. Will advise you of his view.” <F. J. Cannon2>

“Sullivan and Cromwell say have only carried present proposition in England with the greatest difficulty; impossible to add further burdens and impossible their clients use or sell prior lien bonds if watered the additional twenty per cent, therefore cannot recommend proposed change, but are willing to report to London any proposal we make which will recompense their clients for the proposed change, perhaps by giving them certain amount of preferred stock or additional consols as equivalent for increase of prior lien as you desire. I came Washington today, return New York Thursday. Wire me your conclusions there.” <F. J. Cannon3>

“Ready to close contract if Bakerville interest can be provided for; but what benefit in consolidation if we cannot sell 200 consols to raise it? Cromwell, Bakerville, and yourself should consult and plan to meet this difficulty. Bakerville writes expects prompt payment $38,000 interest July first.” <Geo. Q. Cannon4>

“If we do not consolidate how will Bakerville interest be made?”

<F. J. Cannon5>

“Loan declined Fairchild. I will remain here and try to get $165,000. Cromwell insists on a specific answer. Will we sign contract as prepared or will we submit proposition with concession on our part to return for desired concession on their part. Bakerville did not promise positively to take 200,000 consols but inferred that we might sell to him on [blank] terms after obtaining consols, but not before. Present appeal to him would only create alarm. It looks to me we are at critical point. If we can provide Bakerville interest without consols all right, but if not are not consols better than [blank][.] Do not rely absolutely on Bakerville asking them. Answer here after decision.” <F. J. Cannon6>

“Matter arranged with banks as instructed. Papers will be forwarded immediately. Tell father that I am at a loss after reading his telegram received last night what I shall say definitely to Cromwell. He expects answer soon. If we consolidate we take risk of selling consols; if we do not consolidate we are obliged to meet Bakerville interest and $90,000. for Big Cottonwood almost immediately. Can we do this?” <F. J. Cannon7>

“By resolution today directors Pioneer Electric Power Co. accepted contract for consolidation on lines indicated in memorandum of agreement signed by interested parties in New York. President and secretary Pioneer Electric Power Co. authorized to close contract in our behalf. LeGrand Young in Chicago today. Is it necessary he go to New York.” <Geo. Q. Cannon8>

The dispatch stating the [that] Sullivan & Cromwell must have an answer was received yesterday, and I called for a meeting of the Company to-day. Mr. Bannister telephoned this morning that his health was such that he would not be able to come down, as he had been sick all night and also the day previous. He said he would be willing to leave the decision to us. I told him that I wished to get his views. I regretted that he could not be present, but it was a matter that all should have a voice in. He said then that his feeling was in favor of the acceptance of the contract. When we met this was the feeling of Presidents Woodruff and Smith, Colonel Winder and myself, and the last dispatch was sent to Frank.

I had quite a long interview with Mr. Bamberger to-day. He describes the situation of John Beck’s affairs as being most serious. He thinks that he is likely to be ruined, and he wished to converse with me respecting the steps to take to secure the Bullion-Beck property from going into the hands of enemies.

I had also a long conversation with Brother Siebert, who has been appealed to by John Beck to assist him, and who from kind motives is disposed to do so. I gave him a brief account of the situation of affairs and concerning the covenant which had been entered into between President Taylor, John Beck and myself about the dedicated stock. Brothers Naegle and Lewis M. Cannon did the interpreting. This man Siebert is a new member of the Church from Switzerland, and is quite wealthy. He is likely, unless carefully guarded, to fall into the toils of John Beck, who is almost in a desperate condition for money, and appeals to the sympathy of this man. We are anxious to guard him against loss, because of his inexperience.

We had a conversation with Brother Anthony W. Ivins concerning Mexican affairs, and was surprised to hear from him how poor the land is in Mexico, judging by the meagerness of the crops.

I went to the hospital this morning and found Preston in a very good condition considering how severe the operation is. His mother came down late to-night and reported that he was still doing well. She spent the day with him.

19 June 1897 • Saturday

Saturday, June 19, 1897

My son Hugh came in and reported that Preston had a very good night and felt so well that he wondered why he had to lie there. I am thankful to know that he is bearing it so well.

I dictated my journal to Brother Winter, and attended to considerable other business.

20 June 1897 • Sunday

Sunday, June 20, 1897

Attended meeting in the Tabernacle this afternoon, and at the request of the Presidency of the Stake I occupied the time in speaking to the people. The congregation was quite a thin one for such fine weather. This is the first time I have spoken in the Tabernacle since conference.

At 6 o’clock I met with the saints in the ward meeting and partook of the sacrament. Elders Bowring and Margetts, home missionaries, were the speakers.

I visited the hospital to-day and found Preston doing very well. He has had quite a number of visitors to-day.

21 June 1897 • Monday

Monday, June 21, 1897

There has been a serious condition of affairs arisen between my brother Angus and our nephew, Geo. C. Lambert. Both have feelings which I regret very much to see. One cause of my regret is that my sister Mary Alice, the mother of George C., is one of the most estimable women and she is in deep sorrow over this unhappy state of affairs. There has been a decision reached by the High Council to the effect that George C. Lambert must sign a certain document which has been prepared, because of his publishing and circulating among stockholders of the South Jordan Canal a report which he and two other brethren had made as an auditing committee concerning the affairs of that Company. My brother Angus feels that George has done wrong in this, and that he has indulged in a bad spirit. In the hope to reach something that would tend to harmonize affairs, I requested the First Presidency and President Snow, F. D. Richards, and John Henry Smith of the Twelve, to meet at the President’s office to-day and listen to these documents. The printed document was read, in which George C. Lambert, [blank] Spencer and [blank] Harmon make a statement, as auditors, of the condition in which they found the books of the South Jordan Canal Co. This report is a very heavy reproach on several of the officers of the Co., and it is this that the High Council have taken exception to. They think the brethren have done wrong in publishing this and injuring the reputation of the officers and creating dissension among the saints, especially when the report of the auditors had been rejected by a meeting of the stockholders. We carefully considered this document, and also the paper that George C. Lambert and the other brethren were required to sign, and the universal feeling was that it was a paper which not one of us would like to sign. At the President’s request, I dictated our conclusion in the matter. We sat on the case informally and for the purpose of trying to settle this difficulty without serious consequences.

We had an interview with Brother Edward Callister, who is chairman of the Improvement Committee of the City Council, and talked over the contract which had been passed by the City Council with the Pioneer Electric Power Co. for the lighting of the streets, and which the Mayor threatens to veto.

22 June 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 22, 1897

I attended a meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Company, in which we discussed at some length the condition of the property, and listened to a report of a committee that had been appointed to value the Company’s property. There was some difference of views among the trustees as to the valuation of different pieces, and it was finally decided to accept this report, but to select three appraisers – George A. Lowe, James Little and E. B. Wicks – and if possible employ them to place a valuation on the property at its present market value, not taking into any account what the property cost, but to value it to the best of their judgment according to present market values. I was desirous that this should be done in this way, because if the appraisal goes on our books it will show what it is worth at this time.

I have been waiting for a letter from Mr. Dickinson, in reply to one I wrote to him concerning the traffic contract with the Oregon Short Line, but as nothing has been received we concluded to-day to accept the contract and telegraphed to my son Frank informing him of this.

At 3 o’clock this afternoon I attended a meeting of the committee that had been selected as an advisory committee for the reception and entertainment of President McKinley. There were but few in attendance. Colonel Kent, on my motion, was appointed Chairman, and Mr. Geo. Y. Wallace appointed Secretary of the committee.

At 7:30 there was a large gathering of people in the Tabernacle in honor of the Old Folks. There was a programme of music, &c. I was down for an address of welcome, and an excellent address by President Woodruff was read by Brother David McKenzie. He was not well enough himself to speak. The proceedings lasted about an hour and a half. I felt to not extend them beyond this, lest the aged people should become tired.

23 June 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 23, 1897

The First Presidency took into consideration the business of the Parson’s ranch, Brother Franklin S. Richards having brought the matter to our attention.

24 June 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, June 24, 1897

The First Presidency met in the Temple with President Snow, F. D. Richards, B. Young, J. H. Smith and G. Teasdale. President Jos. F. Smith was mouth in prayer.

I stated to the Council that I had heard that Brother C. W. Stayner had invited Brother Siebert, a new convert who had come on from Switzerland, to meet with him on Friday and listen to revelations that he had received. This led to a number of expressions of suspicion from the brethren concerning the meetings that were being held under the influence of C. W. Stayner. It is feared that Bishop Orson F. Whitney is impregnated with false ideas and doctrines derived perhaps from Brother Stayner, and a number of brethren show a disposition to be very intimate with him and to have secret meetings with him. The question of how to obtain information concerning these revelations was talked over, but no conclusion was reached. I myself have feared the effect of Brother Siebert going to hear these revelations, because he is a new convert, and such a man as Brother Stayner, having already great influence over men of experience, might obtain a wrong influence over him.

It was decided that on Sunday, July 25th, there should be memorial services held in the Tabernacle in memory of the deceased pioneers; and on motion of Brother Snow, seconded by Brother Young. I was selected to deliver the oration.

After this, I brought to the attention of the brethren the political situation, and that steps ought to be taken to endeavor to control matters so that we should be delivered from the grasp of men who are guilty of spoilation and misuse of public funds. A meeting was appointed for Tuesday next, at 1:30, in the Temple, to devise some plan of operation for this purpose.

At 8 o’clock this evening I met with the advisory committee for the reception and entertainment of President McKinley. It was not numerously attended. It was decided not to take any active steps in this matter till some further information came to hand from Washington concerning the President’s intention, it having been publicly stated that he intended to go to Chicago on the 22nd, and if he did he could not come here. It is hoped that a reply will be received within the next twenty-four hours.

I called at the hospital this morning to see my son Preston. He is doing remarkably well, and the surgeon thinks he can be moved on Saturday. I called also upon Brother Samuel Parkinson, who has had a similar operation performed on him. He is doing remarkably well also. His case was considered a very serious one.

25 June 1897 • Friday

Friday, June 25, 1897

Mr. Charles Ellis called upon the First Presidency this morning by appointment to talk over the condition of feeling among the Latter-day Saints concerning himself. He had been misrepresented. Another man of a similar name had personated him, and had delivered lectures against our people, and the discredit of this had fallen upon him. There were present beside the First Presidency, President Snow, F. D. Richards, and my brother Angus. The interview was quite satisfactory, and he went away feeling apparently much better. It was felt that he had been misunderstood, and anything that could be done with propriety to remove the cloud that had come upon him and his reputation should be done.

The First Presidency went down to see the Assembly Hall, which has been newly painted. We were much pleased with the changes that had been made in its decoration.

I had a very long and earnest conversation with my nephew, Geo. M. Cannon, last evening, concerning the Big Cottonwood Power Co. and the Pioneer Electric Power Co. He has felt that the Big Cottonwood Co. has not been treated properly in the consolidation that is about to be made. We had a very warm discussion. Neither of us lost our temper, but I talked with exceeding plainness to him. This morning he came to my house with his buggy to carry me to town, and was very kind and amiable. I explained to him at greater length our position and our views, with which he appeared satisfied.

I dictated a letter to Brother F. M. Lyman concerning Brother Nathan Tanner, Jr’s, case.

While in Logan attending the conference of the superintendents of the religion classes in that Stake last Sunday but one, in company with Brothers Anthon H. Lund and Karl G. Maeser, the latter in his remarks concerning the origin of the religion class movement dwelt with some emphasis on the part which Brother Lund had taken in the movement, and spoke about how inspired he had been, and that he had communicated his views respecting religion classes to him (Brother Maeser), and they had struck him so forcibly that he said to Brother Lund that he must make the motion to have these classes started in the meeting of the General Board of Education. When the Board met, as Brother Maeser stated it, Brother Lund gave his views concerning the formation of religion classes to counteract the effects that might follow secular teaching in the district schools, and that I, upon hearing his remarks, asked Brother Lund to waive his privilege of making this motion and to let me do it as one of the First Presidency of the Church, and that after it had been done I delivered some very strong and pertinent remarks upon the question. When I heard this related at Logan I was a little amazed, because it did not sound at all like my way of doing, and I did not credit it. I thought to myself that I never had been guilty in my life of taking to myself the credit of other men’s thoughts, and that I had been sufficiently original to have no need of it; but I did not say anything to either Brother Lund or Brother Maeser, because I wanted to make some inquiries and be as sure as possible concerning the actual facts before I mentioned it. A few days ago I spoke to Brother George Reynolds, who is the Secretary of the General Board of Education, and asked him to hunt up the record for me. Yesterday he brought me the record, and I give it herewith:

“On motion of A. H. Lund, the General Superintendent was instructed, where circumstances admitted, to make arrangements for the holding of theological classes in some separate building in the afternoon after the sessions of the district schools in places where it was not convenient nor consistent at present to open church schools.”

Brother Reynolds says he has examined the record both before and after this date, and while there are allusions to religion classes this is the only motion that was made before the Board.

Of course, this shows plainly that Brother Lund himself made the motion. I could not conceive it possible that I had made any such request; for it was totally unalike me.

To-day I took the liberty of talking to Brothers Lund and Maeser about this. I said I had heard that Brother Maeser had made these statements on a number of occasions, and I explained to the brethren why I did not mention it to them at Logan; but they could now see the record for themselves. Brother Maeser seemed to think that he had a clear recollection of what had occurred; but it is evident to me, as he himself admitted, he has told the story so often that he has become a believer in his own version.

I mention this to show how easy it is for even good men to be mistaken in regard to matters of recollection. If it had not been that I had heard this relation at Logan, Brother Maeser might have gone on for years telling this story, which, though small in itself, really puts me in a bad light, as it would be easy to infer from that that I was jealous of anyone else getting any credit. In speaking to the brethren about it, I told them that I had given this subject of religious education more thought probably than any man in the Church. When Brother Maeser was but a teacher of a private school I had this question under consideration as Chancellor of the University of Deseret, and had written and spoken about it a great deal in my life, and I had no occasion to take credit from man for his thoughts upon the subject.

For some reason Brother Maeser has taken Brother Lund around with him, as though to glorify him for the inspiration which had prompted the formation of religion classes. Brother Lund and myself have exchanged views about this and are in perfect accord, and I do not mention this from any feeling that he is not entitled to the credit that Brother Maeser gives him, but to show how easily men can be mistaken in such matters.

26 June 1897 • Saturday

Saturday, June 26, 1897

I attended to considerable business to-day.

This afternoon I was arranging to send $38,000 to Mr. Banigan as interest on the bond coupons. I also sent twenty $1000 bonds of the Inter-Mountain Salt Company to the National Park Bank of New York, with the request that they loan me the balance of the $30,000 ($8480) which I had arranged for when I was in New York.

At 6 o’clock I left for American Fork. Was met at the station by Bishop W. D. Robinson, who had his son take me to his house at the mill. I had a delightful visit with Brother Thomas Barratt, of American Fork, who came to Bishop Robinson’s to see me. The Bishop is the Mayor of the City, and was engaged in the City Council till very late. Brother Barrat was in the pentientiary when I was there. I was greatly interested in his relation of the manner in which he was drawn to the Latter-day Saints. I told him it was worthy of publication; I wished he would write it out.

27 June 1897 • Sunday

Sunday, June 27, 1897

At 10 o’clock I met with the Sunday school and the classes adjourned to the meeting house in order to give me an opportunity to address the children. I spoke to them nearly an hour. All appeared greatly interested. After this, returned to Bishop Robinson’s and found two missionaries from Provo, who were going to an adjacent village called Highland. They were Elders Saxey and Bean. After dinner, we returned to American Fork. The meeting house was well filled, and after the sacrament had been administered, I spoke for about an hour and a quarter. This being the anniversary of the death of the Prophet Joseph, my mind dwelt on that event, and I read from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants the account of the martyrdom. It was with difficulty that I read, my emotions almost prevented me from speaking. I had excellent liberty, and we had a very interesting time.

At 5:20 I left American Fork for the city. Was met at the train by my son Angus, who took me home in a buggy.

28 June 1897 • Monday

Monday, June 28, 1897

I felt the necessity of rest this morning and stayed at home all day.

29 June 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 29, 1897

My nephew, Geo. C. Lambert, came to the office this morning and told me that he had been present at the High Council last evening, and had got what he termed a long roasting from the Presidency of the Stake in the matter that had been before them. I asked him if the letter had been read that we had written to the Presidency of the Stake and the High Council. He said, No. I was considerably exercised in my feelings and almost incensed when I learned the particulars, which I did after his departure. It seems that Brother C. W. Penrose had had an interview with Brother Joseph F. Smith, and on the strength of that interview had considered they were justified in not having the letter read. I asked Brother Joseph what he had said, and when he explained it there was nothing, in my opinion, that warranted what they had done. I sent for Brother Penrose, and I talked very plainly to him. He said that if I understood all about it I would approve of what they had done. I told him I could not see that. The First Presidency and three of the Apostles had signed a document which was addressed to the Presidency of the Stake and the High Council. I said, you received that letter. Did you give it to the High Council, or was it read to them? He said, No, it was not. What right then, I said, had you to suppress it? It was not addressed to the Presidency of the Stake alone, it was addressed to the Presidency of the Stake and the High Council. I said I felt insulted in hearing this. I feel that you have treated us with contempt. I said I would just as soon think of sticking my hand into the fire as to do such a thing. Brother Penrose tried to explain why they had done it. I said to him, the explanations that you make do not affect this point: we addressed a letter to yourselves and the High Council. You have suppressed that letter. The High Council did not know that we had written it. You have sat in judgment upon us sufficiently to prevent our communication from reaching the body it was addressed to. What right have you to do that? You have gone on with this case as though we had never written you a line. Now, there may have been inaccuracies in this communication; we may not have understood the case as you think we ought to have done; but if that were your view, why not suspend the High Council or adjourn it till some other time, and show us the inaccuracies in our communication? Instead of that, you have treated it with contempt. I acquit you of any design to do this, but it nevertheless is contempt. I do not think that either one of the Presidency of the Stake would intentionally do anything contemptuous to any one of the men who signed that letter.

I afterwards mentioned this to the brethren who had signed the letter, and they were all astonished at it. We afterwards signed a letter addressed to the Presidency of the Stake, telling them that they must not publish any document that the brethren of the auditing committee – Geo. C. Lambert and Brothers Spencer and Harmon – had signed.

This afternoon there was a meeting of a number of brethren for the purpose of considering our political situation. Their names are: Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself, Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, A. H. Lund, W. B. Preston, R. T. Burton, J. R. Winder, A. M. Cannon, C. W. Penrose, S. B. Young, B. H. Roberts, G. Reynolds, J. G. Kimball, G. R. Emery, T. C. Callister, James Sharp, W. W. Riter, John Nicholson, James H. Anderson, R. S. Campbell, John Clark, Elias Morris, Geo. M[.] Cannon, John Q. Cannon and N. A. Empey. President Woodruff did not feel well enough to take the lead, and he wished me to do so. I was greatly blessed in opening the subject up to the brethren and in representing our situation. I think I gave them some views that startled some of the brethren present, as they afterwards told me. We had a very interesting time, and a committee was appointed of seven persons, whose names are: B. H. Roberts, J. R. Winder, W. W. Riter, F. S. Richards, Geo. M. Cannon[,] R. S. Campbell and T. C. Callister. James Sharp was afterwards added.

30 June 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 30, 1897.

At 10 o’clock there was a meeting at the office of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co, and a dividend of 6% was declared. I moved that Brother Heber J. Grant should be paid $2.50, which is the fee given to each member when he is present, for the last meeting, which he was unable to attend on account of his sickness. This passed without any objection. I then made a motion, “that hereafter any director, who is unavoidably detained from attending a meeting of the Board of Directors of this bank, shall be paid the usual fee for such meeting.” Brother H. B. Clawson seconded it. Brother Joseph F. Smith had announced to me yesterday, when I told him that I intended to introduce a resolution of this kind, that he was opposed to it and would not favor it. He did oppose it in quite an earnest manner. After he had sat down, I gave my reasons for moving the resolution. My views were endorsed by all present, I think – at least, all who spoke took the view that it was a proper resolution. President Woodruff said nothing, neither did President Snow, nor Brother Webber; but they all signified by their manner that they were in favor of it. But Brother Joseph F. Smith had announced that he would not vote for it, and he stuck to his resolution. I was not disposed to enter into any argument about it, and did not; but Brother Lyman and he, and Brother Grant and he, did exchange arguments. When I found that he would not vote for it, I said I would withdraw the motion, because I did not want division on a question of that kind, if Brother Clawson would withdraw his second, which he did, and the matter dropped.

Brother Geo. C. Lambert came in to ask counsel concerning a right of way that a promoter wanted to obtain from the Utah and Salt Lake canal. After hearing all that was said on the subject, we counseled him not to agree to it.

John M. Cannon and my son Hugh came in and had some conversation with us concerning the Sterling mine.

For some days President Woodruff has not been as well as usual. He appears very weak, but he has a strong will, comes to the office and attends to the business as he can. He was in great pain, however, to-day, and his face part of the time wore a haggard appearance. I feel very deeply for him. He intimated to me a few days ago that he intended to go to California for a couple of weeks. His grandson, Dr. Snow, thought it would do him good. I said I hoped he would do so, because whenever he has gone near the sea level it has been beneficial to him. His son Owen was married to-day, and he came up determined , whatever the consequences might be, to perform the ceremony for his son. I sincerely hope that his life may be spared to us for some time. There is one thing that I would like to see accomplished before he passes away, and that is our freedom from debt, which has borne very heavily upon him and upon all of us.

I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

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June 1897, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 21, 2024