Sunday, August 1, 1897
I had intended to go to Provo this afternoon on the 5 o’clock train to deliver a lecture to the Mutual Improvement Association, which I have already delivered in Salt Lake and Ogden, the title of which is “The relationship of Mormonism to the Christian world.” My wife Carlie came over last evening and showed me a letter which she had received from her friend, Sister Holbrook, inviting me and herself to attend their fast meeting to-day. It struck me that I could spend the time profitably at their fast meeting, so I told my wife, if she would consent, we would go down this morning. Our children Ann and Georgius accompanied us. This gave me an opportunity for rest during the forenoon at Brother Holbrook’s. At 2 o’clock, met with the saints in that ward and had a very interesting time. The Bishop was desirous that I should speak to the people, and after the administration of the sacrament, the blessing of a number of children, and a testimony by one of the saints, I knelt in prayer, as I had felt led to do, and then spoke to the saints for a little over an hour They all expressed themselves as being greatly pleased with the spirit that prevailed and what they had heard. In the evening I delivered the lecture at the Tabernacle. It was very hot, but the people gave strict attention. I occupied about an hour and ten minutes.
We stayed over night at Brother Holbrook’s.
Monday, August 2, 1897
At 9 o’clock I met with the Directors of the First National Bank. This is the first time I have met with the Board for a long period. It seems impossible for me to get to their meetings, which are held on Mondays. We transacted considerable business, and from the report they made the bank is in a better condition than it was at the last meeting which I attended.
At 10 o’clock I met with the Board of Directors of the Brigham Young Academy. All the directors were present before the meeting closed, excepting J. D. C. Young. Brother Brigham Young, who had been president up to the present, desired to have me appointed as president. I expressed myself to the effect that I thought I ought to resign and not be on the Board at all, having so much to occupy me in other directions; but when I recalled the fact, which was mentioned by some of the brethren, that we had been selected and upheld by the General Conference, I took back what I had said about resigning, as I never had declined to do anything that I had been called upon to do by the proper authority. I was unanimously elected President. We attended to a good deal of business, being in session about three hours.
We left for home at 4:40[.]
Tuesday, August 3, 1897
I felt considerably fatigued this morning[.] The hot weather and the labors of the past week gave me a tired feeling; but it wore off, there was so much to do.
President Woodruff came to the office. He looks thin and pale, but he feels that he is improving.
The day was principally spent in considering the contract with the Oregon Short Line, and how we should carry out the terms of that contract. I have felt considerably exercised in my mind upon this subject, since leaving the east. We debated it pro and con. The feeling was that we must go ahead with this work, or there would be nothing but ruin for us in our enterprises – the Salt Lake & Los Angeles Ry, the Saltair Beach and Salt companies. But the important point was to consider the means by which we could fulfill the contract. It appeared to me that possibly we might sell 250 bonds that we would have left after paying the Oregon Short Line people 300, to the bankers of this city, if they would take interest in the enterprise; but there seemed to be a way of relief through the bonds of the Salt Co., which is private property, but which, it was thought, the owners might consent to have used temporarily for this purpose.
There was a meeting of the stockholders of the Deseret Telegraph Co. to elect officers.
My daughters Emily and Grace left with my son Preston for the head of Big Cottonwood, to camp out near Brighton, in company with my daughter Mary Alice and her husband, and one or two more. They expect to be gone about ten days.
Wednesday, August 4, 1897
To-day is the regular meeting day of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co, and President Woodruff came up and sat nearly through the meeting with us.
We had another meeting to take into consideration the selection of a man to go out to Deep Creek to secure bonuses for us from the mine owners for the building of a railroad, and Colonel M. Shaughnessy was selected, provided that suitable arrangements could be made with him to go on this trip.
At the bank meeting I related the situation of affairs connected with this contract for the Garfield Beach, and dwelt upon the situation of affairs in this country and the manner in which we were held in the power of a railroad corporation whose entire property, with the exception of the line from Granger to Huntington, the Latter-day Saints had built. I told what we were trying to do in making this contract, and I proposed that Zion’s Savings Bank should join with other banks in buying our bonds. There was considerable discussion, and it was finally voted that the bank should buy thirty of our bonds, provided the other banks and parties in Salt Lake County should purchase the remaining 220.
Thursday, August 5, 1897
The Twelve Apostles met to-day in the Temple, it being the conclusion of their quarterly meetings, and it is set as a fast day. The First Presidency joined with them in this morning’s meeting, as is our custom, and partook of the sacrament with them. President Woodruff came in just before we administered the sacrament. There were present, besides the First Presidency, President L. Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, G. Teasdale, H. J. Grant, M. W. Merrill and A. H. Lund. There was some conversation concerning the method of selecting missionaries. An extract was read from a letter written by Brother Joseph W. McMurrin, one of the Presidency of the European Mission, to me, in which he suggested the publication of a series of four-page tracts on various principles, leading from one to another. His suggestions were considered very proper, and a motion was carried that Brother Charles W. Penrose be selected to prepare these tracts. There are a number of tracts published, and it was thought that he might collate from them and present them in such a condensed form that they would be interesting, and they be numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, &c.
A letter was written by Brother Hintze, for the First Presidency to sign, to the Armenian Saints in Turkey, and it was read. It was a very well written letter, and it was decided that he should translate it, and we would sign it. The question of having a gathering place in the Orient was mentioned by myself before President Woodruff came in, and Brother John Henry Smith suggested that Brother Brigham Young, whose health is impaired and whom it might do good to take a trip, would be a very suitable person to go to Palestine and see what could be done towards the selecting of a place suitable for the gathering of the oriental saints. I suggested that as President Woodruff was not in we would not take any action upon that. Afterwards, while partaking of the sacrament, I mentioned it to President Woodruff, and he expressed himself in approval of Brother Young going if his health would permit.
I was mouth in asking the blessing on the bread and wine. Brother Merrill was mouth in prayer before the sacrament.
We had a meeting of the General Board of Education this afternoon, at which Brother Lorenzo Snow presided.
We are trying to close up the business pertaining to the consolidation of the power companies. We have been delayed in doing so because of the wish of our friends on the other side to substitute the name of Mr. McCornick for the name of G. Y. Wallace as one of their members on the Board. We have waited now for two days, and decided this afternoon to still wait till word came by cable from London.
Brother F. S. Richards is also trying to close up matters with the Oregon Short Line people, through their attorney, Parley L. Williams, and he had prepared a letter, at Parley Williams’ request, stating our position in regard to several points in the contract.
I was invited to take dinner by my daughter-in-law, Wilhelmina Cannon, widow of Abraham, and found my two brothers, Angus and David, with their wives, my son John Q., my wife Sarah Jane, and Charles M. Cannon and his wife there. I was not well during the evening, but enjoyed the visit with my kindred.
Friday, August 6, 1897
President Woodruff came to the office this morning. He informed me that Mrs. Moses Thatcher had been to his house last evening and had urged with great persistency for about an hour that he would grant an interview to Moses Thatcher, which He refused to do. Moses Thatcher has been notified by the Presidency of the Salt Lake Stake that charges have been preferred against him, and that the High Council would hear his case to-day at 10 o’clock. He had responded that he would be present, and I suppose it was to enlist President Woodruff’s sympathy that his wife called upon him.
There was a meeting of the committee which had been appointed by Zion’s Savings Bank to confer with a similar committee of the Utah Loan & Trust Co. concerning the latter’s affairs, and for the purpose if possible of Zion’s Savings Bank taking steps that would relieve the Ogden institution. As Vice President of Zion’s Savings Bank, I was selected with the cashier and the executive committee, to listen to any propositions or statements made by the representatives of the Utah Loan & Trust Co. The latter were M. Browning, Jos. A. West, and President Jos. F. Smith, with C. C. Richards, their legal adviser. We had quite a lengthy meeting, and obtained all the information possible concerning its condition.
I dictated to Brother Winter an article for the Juvenile Instructor and my journal.
My health is not good to-day. I am suffering, I think, from the heat, and as it grew cooler in the afternoon I felt much better.
Saturday, August 7, 1897
There was a meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co. this morning at 9:30. A proposition had been made by N. W. Clayton to give 800 shares of the stock of the Company, which he and his brother owned, for a piece of property on Commercial Street. It is a property that has been rented by people who have used the place for immoral purposes. Considerable has been said one way and another about this, and my name has been dragged before the public as a party to it, I being President of this Company. I have felt for a long time that this place ought to be sold if we could sell it. This offer I consider a very good one for the Company, according to the valuation which we have recently had of the property of the Company by competent appraisers. The matter was discussed to-day (there were six trustees present), and in order to try the sense of the meeting a motion was made that the property be sold to Nephi W. Clayton. When the vote was taken, H. B. Clawson, Spencer Clawson and Morris Young voted No; Nephi W. Clayton, Isaac Clayton and Leonard G. Hardy voted Aye. As the vote was a tie, I threw my vote in favor of the sale. Bishop Clawson had made the remark that we ought to obtain bids from somebody else, and assigned that as his reason for not voting for it. I requested him to see if he could get any better bids, and he declined to do that. I said I did not want him to put me or the rest of us in a false position by saying afterwards that we had voted on one proposition alone. I then asked Spencer Clawson if he would try and find a purchaser, that we could see whether it could be sold or not. He consented to do so.
this day borrowed from the Deseret National Bank Five Thousand Dollars for six months at 8% per annum, for the purpose of taking up the note of Benjamin M. Harmon of $3940.oo and the note of Elijah F. Sheets for $1113.33. Both of these notes I endorsed for my son Abraham, but had no personal interest therein. I also borrowed to-day from Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co., through my son Hugh, the sum of $2535.oo; the sum of $1788 being used to redeem from McCornick & Co. 11 shares of my individual stock of Zion’s Co-operative Mercantile Institution and 12 shares of Z.C.M.I. stock of Elizabeth H. Cannon, deceased, which stock has been sold by McCornick & Co. to pay the note of my son Abraham, and which stock had been loaned by me to Abraham during his lifetime. The remaining $747.oo I loaned to my nephew John M. Cannon to pay to the Utah Commercial and Savings Bank, to redeem 16 shares of the Lehi Commercial and Savings Bank stock, which said stock was turned over to me to secure said last amount, according to mem. of this day.
Sunday, August 8, 1897
I took train this morning at 7 o’clock for Coalville, but through delayed train did not reach there till the close of the forenoon meeting.
In the afternoon Patriarch John Smith spoke about ten minutes, and I occupied the remainder of the time. We had an enjoyable meeting.
In the evening I addressed the saints. There was quite a full house, and a good spirit prevailed.
The evenings here are delightfully cool.
Monday, August 9, 1897
Last night was quite cool, and I enjoyed my sleep.
This morning, after breakfast, Brother Cluff and myself went up Grass Creek Canyon to the Church coal mine, where we examined a tunnel which is being driven into the mountain for the purpose of reaching the coal. We went to the end of the drift, about 300 ft. Brother Edmund Eldredge took us up in his carriage, and drove us from this point to Echo, where we took train (Brother Cluff and myself) for the city. We were joined at Peterson by Brother Le Grande Young and his wife.
Upon our arrival at the city there was a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Union Light and Power Co. I was elected temporary chairman, and R. S. Campbell temporary secretary. T. G. Webber moved that I be President of the Company, which was carried unanimously; L. S. Hills moved that John R. Winder be first Vice President, which was carried unanimously; John R. Winder moved that T. G. Webber be second Vice President, which was carried unanimously; C. K. Bannister moved that L. S. Hills be Treasurer, which was carried unanimously; Jos. F. Smith moved that R. S. Campbell be Secretary, which was also carried unanimously. After attending to some other business, we adjourned till 11 o’clock to-morrow.
Tuesday, August 10, 1897.
I had a visit from L. S. Rogers and W. R. White, of Ogden, to talk over political matters. They are anxious to get my support. I explained my position, and promised I would write a letter to Senator Proctor concerning their candidacy for office.
At 11 o’clock we had a meeting of the Union Light and Power Co., at which R. S. Campbell was elected General Manager, and a committee was appointed, consisting of John R. Winder. L. S. Hills and W. S. McCornick, by myself as President, to take into consideration the number and kind of employes that we should need and the salary that each should have. The Board rather insisted that I should be a member of that committee, so my name was added, also the General Manager. considerable business was done looking to the carrying out of the purposes of the Company.
At 2 o’clock there was a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. to hear the report from the committee which had been appointed to look into the condition of the Utah Loan & Trust Co. Their report was accepted, but they were asked to continue their investigations, and Jos. F. Smith, F. M. Lyman and Heber J. Grant were added to the committee.
I attended a meeting of the Bullion-Beck Co. The outlook is quite discouraging for the Company.
Wednesday, August 11, 1897
At 9 o’clock this morning there was a meeting of the Grass Creek Coal Co. There were present, beside myself, Brothers W. W. Cluff, N. W. Clayton, James Jack and Arthur Winter. The business of the Company was talked over.
At 11 o’clock there was a meeting of the Union Light and Power Co. No special business was done.
The First Presidency had an interview with Brothers L. W. Shurtliff and T. J. Stevens, of Ogden, concerning the indebtedness upon the Weber Stake Academy building. An appropriation of $2800.oo was made to meet interest that was due.
I had conversation with Brother W. W. Riter concerning the political situation. He informs me that the greatest difficulty he finds in the way of his labors in striving to get a non-partisan election for City officers is the feeling of “Young Utah” as it is called, who are intensely Democratic, and who feel that now is the opportunity for Democracy to reap the fruits of their labor, and they are therefore opposed to anything like a reform movement. He says he discovered the old spirit of mobocracy among the Democrats. They seemed to think more of the success of party than they did of principle or of justice. He needs help in his operations, and he spoke of a conversation he had had with Brother N. V. Jones, whom he found pretty stiff on the party question, but whom he thought was an excellent man, &c. I suggested that he should be sent for and talked with. He said he thought that would be excellent. I therefore had him sent for and talked plainly with him, as did President Smith also, to endeavor to enlist his active co-operation in trying to redeem our city from its present deplorable condition.
President Woodruff was at the office and felt very well. He seems to be improving steadily, though still weak.
Thursday, August 12, 1897
There was a meeting this morning at the office, of the Union Light & Power Co., at which considerable business was transacted.
President Woodruff came to the office feeling, as I thought, very much improved.
We held our Council meeting at the Temple this morning. There were present, beside the First Presidency, Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman and George Teasdale, of the Twelve.
In view of the hot weather and the difficulty of traveling, and the sickness of Brother Brigham Young and Brother Heber J. Grant, it was decided to send word to the San Juan Stake that the three brethren who were to have visited them as a committee to examine and give counsel concerning the settlement at Bluff would not be able to visit their conference, but when the weather became cool they would be there. Brother Heber J. Grant has not been well for a day or two and was not present with us to-day. He is one of the brethren selected to take the case of Moses Thatcher before the High Council. The other two brethren, Brothers Young and Lyman, reported the case. They stated that Moses Thatcher made a complete surrender, acknowledged that he had had a bad spirit, and that he had not done right, and was willing to do anything that could be asked of him, as he wanted the forgiveness of his brethren. Brother Lyman expressed himself privately to the effect that it was all a play; that he might have done this in the beginning, but he went on and reaffirmed what he had said before, and now comes in and acknowledges his error. I judged by his remarks - which, of course, are not intended for the public ear - that he considers the whole thing insincere and done for a purpose. I have not heard the other brethren say anything as to their views. I have refrained from talking with any of the brethren about this, as I did not wish to influence anyone by any remarks I might make. The Presidency of the Stake are to report their findings to-morrow at 10 o’clock. I have not spoken to my brother Angus or to any of them about the case. I shall be very thankful indeed if Moses Thatcher has seen the error of his ways and has truly and sincerely repented. The Lord is exceedingly merciful to those who repent. He has been to me, I know; and I am sure he will be to all. But I have thought that Moses Thatcher would need a very deep and thorough repentance; for his spirit has not been one that has been in accordance with the apostleship he bore for many years. It is possible for all men, unless they commit deadly sin, to repent, and it is the highest triumph that I could ask for any wrongdoer, is that he would get the Spirit of the Lord and see his own conduct in its true light. I would know then that
he if he had wronged me he would do everything in his power to make amends for it; for that is the effect the Spirit has on me, and I know it is the same with all men.
Brother Teasdale was mouth in prayer.
As there were some few minutes remaining after prayer before President Woodruff’s carriage would be ready, I took the opportunity of calling the attention of the Council to the situation of affairs. I spoke in regard to our difficulties financially, and I felt to repeat what I had often said before, that we would come out of these difficulties and the Lord would help us. Brother Jos. F. Smith said, Amen; he wanted to have my prediction fulfilled. While it looks exceedingly dark at times, and I have suffered somewhat from depression of late in consequence of the way we were being closed in, still the feeling is within me that the Lord will bring deliverance. I called the attention of the brethren to what had just been done in the consolidation of these power companies. I said I could not tell what the future would be, but I wished them to notice, and I wished to glorify God myself for what he had done; to-day we have an organization with a capital of $4,500,000.oo under our control. This capital is American and English capital, and it is the wish of these men that we, the Latter-day Saints, shall control this. We elect whom we please, and the Manager is one of our own people, who can employ our own people, and in whose sight it will not be an objection to be a Latter-day Saint. I am the President, and one of the largest investors impressed upon me to be sure to keep the control in our own hands, and to have the secretary and treasurer men that we could control. I said this began to fulfill prophecy; for we have been told very often by the servants of the Lord that the time would come when capital would come to us, and because of our honesty and straightforward, economical management, would have confidence in us. Here we now have an organization that has a larger capital than anything else in country, excepting perhaps the railroads, and it is under our control. I have been laboring for years hoping that we should achieve some such results as this, and I rejoiced in seeing it fulfilled thus far. Though I could not speak for the future of this affair, I hoped it would be a success. I pointed out to the brethren how our control of this country had gone out of our hands through our brethren not acting wisely and selling out everything as they had done, and I described what the result of this would be to us if it were continued: it would be as effective in rooting us out of the country and taking everything from us as the old system of mobocracy. Some conversation followed concerning the United Order, and I gave my view as to how that would be brought about; that the Lord was working with this nation and ideas were being propogated among the people as never before concerning equality of man and the rights of man, and whenever the nation got unsettled on these questions and open to receive something, our own people should see the advantages that would
follows follow the carrying out of the system which the Lord had revealed to the Church.
At 3 o’clock there was a meeting of the Co-op. Wagon & Machine Co. I got excused from this before the meeting closed, to attend a meeting of the Sunday School Union.
This evening I had a meeting with my sons John Q., Angus J., Hugh J. and Joseph J., to talk over our affairs.
Friday, August 13, 1897
President Woodruff was at the office this morning feeling quite bright. His improvement is very encouraging.
Bishops Preston and Burton came in to lay before us the question of leasing a part of the land which has been called the Church Pasture, lying to the southwest of the city, to a man by the name of Marriott, who keeps a meat market in this city. He wants to obtain ten years’ lease for the purpose of establishing a slaughter house and stockyard down there. I expressed myself to the effect that I thought it would be very difficult for us to do that because we designed, as soon as we could, to bond our real estate, and this property was already mortgaged. The interview ended without decision and it was left for future consideration.
At 1 o’clock there was a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co.
Saturday, August 14, 1897
I started this morning for Wasatch, a place in Little Cottonwood Canyon that is used as a summer resort. My wife Carlie and her children are there, and Adah with her two children. Carol accompanied me. Brother Samuel Barratt, who works for the Church, took us up in the Church carriage. We were nearly three hours on the journey, which was very pleasant in the early morning. I surprised the folks, because they were not looking for me. We were all very glad to meet.
I spent the day reading and lolling around.
Sunday, August 15, 1897
Brother Joseph F. Smith came up this morning. His camp is opposite ours. He spent the day there.
I was taken sick in the forenoon with dysentery, and suffered a good deal of pain.
Monday, August 16, 1897
I intended to have left this morning early, but I was not in a condition to do so. I suffered all day from dysentery and was very weak. I lost all appetite and could take no food. I determined though at 5 o’clock to leave for home. My son Clawson accompanied us. I would have stayed all night, but the team and driver have been here since Saturday morning, and I feared his services might be needed. I endured the ride better than I thought I would. We made the trip in 2 hours and 20 mins.
Tuesday, August 17, 1897
I went to the office early this morning. President Woodruff came in feeling very well, although he looks thin and pale.
I had requested Brother Reed Smoot to bring Brother Jesse Knight, when convenient, to the office, as I wished to see him. This Brother Jesse Knight is a son of Newel Knight and a grandson of Joseph Knight. These names figure in the early history of the Church as close friends of the Prophet Joseph. There was a time when Jesse Knight was very cold and, as he says, had really apostatized in his feelings, though he had not been cut off the Church. He had been tried for his fellowship, and had told the Council that he ought to be cut off, for he was not living as a Latter-day Saint should; but they did not cut him off. He related to me how far he had gone in his opposition to the Church with his brother Newell; but there had come a time when he felt that the crowd he was acting with were going too far. They proposed to disfranchise every Mormon that could not take a certain oath, which amounted to a renunciation of the faith. This caused him to reflect. For fifteen years he had not entered any of our meeting houses, and had thrown his garments aside, and had allowed his children to grow up without baptism. But he saw the time had come when he had to decide whether he would be a Mormon or an enemy of Mormonism, and he was moved upon mightily by the Spirit of the Lord, and he determined to become a Mormon, not in name alone, but in truth. At this time he had manifestations of a remarkable character concerning mines. The Lord gave him dreams and showed him where mineral could be obtained. At the same time he was in the midst of severe trials. His children were all stricken down with sickness, and he was determined to have no doctor, after he had employed one for some time. This doctor conspired against him, with others, and he was taken in custody as an insane person, was kept in jail, and carried to Provo to be put in the insane asylum. I judge from what he says that the effect of the change on his mind almost upset him; it was like rending a veil of darkness such as we read of in the cases of the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon, and the change was so great and he acted so strangely and so different to anything he had ever done before that his friends thought, even members of the Church, that he had lost his reason; but he was not put in the asylum and was discharged. He has had mining property that has proved very rich, and has mines now that are producing a good deal. He has already paid upwards of $1500 in tithing this year, and he hopes to be able to pay a good deal more this season. We have heard of his being taken advantage of by designing persons. Brother Smith was anxious that I should talk with him concerning a donation which he had offered to give to the Brigham Young Academy. I had some very plain talk with him. I explained what we were doing, what our aims were, and afterwards, with Presidents Woodruff and Smith, had further conversation with him on the same subject, and I remarked to him that I did not want him to spend a dollar hereafter without letting some of the First Presidency know what he was doing, as we wanted him to be subject to our counsel and work with us. He received our counsel very kindly, and manifested a very good spirit. All he had he was willing to do with as he should be directed. He has had dreams and manifestations to the effect that he would be very rich, and told his people so before he obtained anything. It was a most interesting conversation. I was pleased to have it with him, because he is in a position to be useful and to help in carrying out the policy that we desire in maintaining our foothold in this country and employing our own people.
Bishops Preston and Burton were up to see us again about leasing the Church Pasture. It was decided that they should learn from Marriott on what terms he wanted this property and what his proposition would be if he could get a five years’ lease or a ten years’ lease, and what he wanted us to do, as it was evident from his letter that he expected us to do considerable. Then the question of leasing could be decided.
I had conversation with Brother Campbell, Manager of the Union Light & Power Co., and Colonel Winder; also had some conversation with Colonel Clayton and heard his report concerning his meeting with the directors of the Salt Lake & Pacific. He had seen Mr. Dooly, Mr. Lowe and Mr. Donellan. They all thought it would be a good time to push the railroad through because of the price that is now offered for lead, but they did not think that local money could be obtained to carry out the project. They were willing that their names should be connected with it, as it would be an enterprise that would be of great benefit to Salt Lake City.
I received a telephone message this evening at my home that Secretary Wilson, of the Department of Agriculture, would be in town this evening. My health was not good, and I telephoned to my son John Q. to see the Secretary and make arrangements for showing him every attention, as he is entitled to a great deal of consideration from me personally and on behalf of the community, for he has been very kind to us.
Wednesday, August 18, 1897
President Woodruff telephoned this morning that his daughter Alice had been quite sick through the night and he would not come to the office to-day.
I dictated to Brother Arthur Winter my journal and letters, which occupied considerable time during the day.
At 11 o’clock we had a meeting of the Union Light & Power Co. and attended to considerable business, after which I had a long conversation with Vice Presidents Winder and Webber and Manager Campbell concerning the company and its employes, &c. I thought it proper to have an interchange of views, so that we might reach an understanding and act in concert in our meetings. I desire very much to have harmony in all our meetings and operations. It is a large undertaking and will require close managing in order to enable us to meet our fixed charges and also to satisfy the public.
I attended a meeting of the Wonder Mining Co. The situation of the property is not encouraging. The question as to whether we should employ a proper foreman or superintendent of the property was discussed, and in the absence of knowledge on the part of Geo. M. Cannon and myself, it was suggested that my brother Angus, Colonel Donnellan, John M. Cannon and Lewis M. Cannon take the whole business into consideration and suggest what should be done, and we adjourned to meet on Friday at 3 o’clock.
Thursday, August 19, 1897
President Woodruff came up this morning, and the First Presidency met in the Temple with President Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant and A. H. Lund. Brother Grant’s health is very poor, but he desired to come and a carriage was sent to bring him.
An article was read from the Logan Journal by Brother Gibbs to the Council, in which it was stated, among other things, that the trial of Moses Thatcher was in one sense a vindication of Brother Thatcher’s attitude and course. It went on at some length to show how correctly he had acted and how the trial had established the correctness of his position. I have refrained from saying anything with regard to his case, although sounded by a great many as to my views. I preferred leaving the proceedings to speak for themselves. But hearing this article stirred me up, and I spoke warmly and emphatically upon the subject. I felt that it should not be allowed to go out among the people without being answered in some form. If not contradicted, it will virtually render entirely nugatory all the proceedings, and instead of exposing the fallacy of Moses Thatcher’s position, would have the effect to show that he had pursued a proper course. Most of the brethren felt the same. It was decided that Brothers Lyman and Grant should talk with the presidency of the Stake, and it was suggested that it might be well for the Presidency of the Stake to ask Moses Thatcher whether he endorsed the sentiments of this article; for the impression of several of the Apostles was that they were really his own views that the editor stated.
Brother Lyman was mouth in prayer.
At 2 o’clock there was a meeting of Z.C.M.I. directors.
Friday, August 20, 1897
There was a meeting at 9 o’clock this morning of the leading officers of the Church and some others to listen to Brother W. W. Riter’s report. He had been selected to see what could be done towards starting a movement among the people for the election of non-partisan municipal officers. I acted as chairman of the meeting and introduced the subject, after which Brother Riter gave a recital of his labors and the opposition which he had met with. The greatest difficulty he has had, he says, has come from our people, from the young men especially, who are Democrats. They think that this is their opportunity, and are therefore opposed to any movement that will take from them as a party the fruits of their anticipated victory. They indulge in all sorts of suspicion, that this movement is a Republican movement &c. After he finished, the question arose as to what should be done. Shall we continue on these lines, or shall we give it up? Brother John Henry Smith moved that we persevere, even if we are beaten. This was seconded. Before putting the question, I invited discussion. A number of the brethren spoke, and finally the motion was carried. It was felt that there was no hope for the regeneration of the city and its deliverance from the control of bad elements unless a movement of this kind should be successful.
At 11 o’clock there was a meeting of the Union Light and Power Co.
I was busy this afternoon arranging for the payment of $7000 of the principal on my note at the National Park Bank of New York. This reduces the amount to $100,000. I asked for a four months’ extension, and the interest on this will be $1694.44, making a total of $8694.44. I have to borrow some to enable me to do this, but I feel desirous to reduce this amount. I am feeling considerably pinched in my finances at the present time.
I was informed this afternoon by Brother Lyman that he and Brother Jos. F. Smith had consulted with the Presidency of the Stake, and they deemed it inadvisable to do anything in relation to the article in the Logan Journal, as they thought that by taking any notice of it, it would only dignify that paper. I expressed myself very warmly against this view, and said that I felt that unless I was forbidden I would write something myself; for I did not want the people to be misled and to be under the influence that that article would produce. Brother Smith suggested that the article should appear in the Deseret News, as coming from that paper, which struck me as an excellent thing.
I went home this afternoon very much exhausted, through my labors.
Saturday, August 21, 1897
It was my intention to have gone this morning to Syracuse, in company with President Jos. F. Smith, to attend two days’ meetings there; but I awoke in the night and tossed in bed thinking about this article in the Logan Journal. It seems very important to me that something should be done about this, and I determined to get up this morning and go to the train, meet President Smith, and relate my feelings, and if he agreed with me, I would then stay and help prepare such an article as I thought ought to appear. I had my son John Q. telephoned for to meet me at the train, so that if I had to go he would get some ideas from us as to what should be done. I met at the train Presidents Lorenzo Snow and Brother John Henry Smith; Brother Jos. F. Smith came up afterwards, and after relating my feelings, they all agreed that I ought to stay and see that a suitable article was produced. Brother Snow was quite emphatic in blessing me to that end. I gave John Q. some suggestions, and he wrote an article which satisfied my feelings. Brother Grant is quite sick, but we went over to his residence, Brother Jos. E. Taylor (who is the only one of the Stake Presidency here) accompanying us, and the article that John had prepared was read to them.
I have been quite unwell to-day and did not feel like doing any business. I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
Sunday, August 22, 1897
In company with President Jos. F. Smith and Elders Geo. Reynolds and Arthur Winter, I took train this morning for Syracuse. We were met at the Junction by a number of carriages. Brother Smith and myself rode in Brother Wood’s carriage to the place of meeting, which is on the margin of the lake, 7 miles distant. The roads were very dusty, but there was a breeze that helped us, although it was very hot. Brother Wood who drove us is a son of the late Brother Wood, of Wood’s Cross. This brother has 200 acres of land here, and we passed by his place. He has two fine brick houses, and his farm appears to good advantage, it being well cultivated. He evidently is accumulating wealth, being, I suppose, an excellent farmer and a very industrious man. His ground is free from weeds, and he raises 40 bushels of wheat to the acre without irrigation. At Syracuse we found a very nice pavilion, which had been built by the Union Pacific R.R. as a resort on the lake, but the lake had receded and the bathing was spoiled by the mud bottom. The property is now owned by Mr. Dick Adams, who has loaned the pavilion to our people for two days’ meetings. It is a very commodious and delightful place to hold such meetings, as it is open on all sides but one. There was a large congregation, and we had much freedom in speaking to the people. I occupied about three quarters of an hour in the forenoon, as also did President Smith. We had lunch in the pavilion, the saints having brought food with them, and resumed meeting at 2 o’clock. Brother Geo. Reynolds read the editorial from the Deseret News on the Thatcher case, and made a number of remarks about it, explaining to the people the course in some respects that Moses Thatcher had taken and bearing testimony to the facts set forth in the News article, to the effect that Brother Thatcher’s wrongdoing was not confined to the refusal to sign the Declaration of Principles, or to that which had occurred since then, but had covered a period of years, and he had been much surprised at the leniency that had been shown to him and the manner in which he had been treated. After he sat down, I occupied about an hour, and also alluded to the Thatcher case. I think I said more about it than I had ever before expressed in public. It seemed necessary that something should be said in continuation of the subject as opened by Brother Reynolds. I did not speak very long, however, on this, but touched on other subjects and enjoyed a goodly degree of freedom.
We returned to the railroad station and reached the city at 7:15. I was met by my son Angus with a buggy.
Monday, August 23, 1897
My health is very poor. I felt quite sick this morning. When I reached the office I found President Woodruff already there and looking better than I have seen him for some time. He had great cause for rejoicing. His daughter Alice has been very seriously afflicted for some time, and especially of late. It seemed as though she could not live. She has suffered intensely, and it has been a cause of great anxiety to President Woodruff, as he had been up with her doing what he could for her, and has mourned over the thought of having to lose her. Yesterday the family met together and fasted and prayed, and she was lying in the front parlor, in company with her lover, Will. McEwan. After the family had withdrawn from the parlor, she said a man entered, clothed in white and barefooted. He did not seem to stand on the floor, but a little distance above, and he had a long beard. She described him as being a very handsome personage. He came to her and said he had been sent to her; that the prayers of the saints here and in the circles of the temple had been heard, and the prayers of the circles in heaven had been heard, and the Lord had sent him to say that she should live. He went on and said a good deal to her, making many promises to her, and laid his hands upon her, although she did not feel the hands, and told her she should get well. He then withdrew. The young man that was sitting there did not see or hear anything unusual. She sent for her father, and when he came in it was some time before she could speak to him or give any explanations, she wept so profusely. President Woodruff’s first impression was that she was going to be taken, but her tears were tears of joy, and she related to him what had occurred. Of course, it filled him with great joy and satisfaction. She arose and ate her supper with the family, and passed a quiet night (which she had not done for a long period), and this morning ate her breakfast, being to all appearances throughly healed. President Woodruff was overjoyed at this manifestation of the Lord’s goodness and mercy to him and his family.
Bishop Preston came in about the proposed leasing of the Church Pasture. After talking with Le Grand Young, who was present, I said so far as I was concerned I did not see any objection to leasing the property, in view of what Judge Young said.
Brother David Eccles called to see me in relation to a bond that he and N. W. Clayton had given for Abraham and Frank. I told him that it was utterly out of my power for me to do anything in this matter; I was already carrying more than I ought to do in Abraham’s affairs, and I could not possibly take upon myself any more responsibility.
Tuesday, August 24, 1897
I arranged this morning for my sons John Q., Angus and Lewis and Brother C. H. Wilcken to go out with me to a place I have at Snyderville, to look at it, as I had never seen it, and also with an idea of selecting a spot that would be suitable to erect a log house as a summer residence for any of my family that might wish to go there in summer. There are springs that can be piped to the house, and a very good location was selected by the boys for the house. There is a place too that can easily be converted into an ice pond, and it was suggested that we could have our ice brought from there at very low cost to our place, and save the necessity of cutting thin ice that we have to do at home frequently. The ice pond also might be made a fish pond.
When I returned this evening I was very faint and sick; I could scarcely hold my head up to ride home.
Wednesday, August 25, 1897
In riding home last evening I came to the conclusion that it would not do for me to stay in this heat that now prevails and with the work I have to do while I am around the office, and I was impressed that I had better get away for a week or two to Soda Springs. I mentioned it to President Woodruff this morning, and he approved of it. I began to make my arrangements for the trip. I found, however, there was no sleeping car going there until Saturday night. Through the kindness of Brothers Jack and Clayton, I secured a special car to take us there. I shall try and get away to-morrow evening.
At 9 o’clock this morning the committee that had been appointed by the Union Light & Power Co. to name the kind of officers we should need and prescribe their duties and fix their salaries met. It was decided to employ Mr. Bannister the remainder of the year at the salary that he has been receiving, $4500 per annum, to be divided pro rata between the Pioneer Electric Power Co. and the Union Light & Power Co., as the former company has work that belongs to it for Mr. Bannister to do that will occupy two months at least. We had considerable discussion concerning his case, and it was decided that we could not afford to employ him as a chief engineer at that salary; in fact, it was thought there was no need for a chief engineer, but a consulting engineer would be all that would be needed. In order to save feelings, however, on his part, and to enable him to complete the work in Ogden Canyon, it was decided that we had better keep him till the end of the year. Mr. Hayward was appointed electrical engineer for the same time at a salary of $3000 per annum. Mr. R. M. Jones was selected as division electrical engineer at a salary of $250 per month. Mr. Armstrong was employed at a salary of $1800 a year, his title to [be] afterwards decided upon; his labors to be in the nature of chief clerk. At 11 o’clock we had finished this business, and the Board of Directors met, and they accepted our report.
I felt quite unwell and was scarcely able to sit up; but I got better in the afternoon.
Thursday, August 26, 1897
Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.
We had a meeting this morning with the brethren of the Utah Loan & Trust Co., which kept us till 12 o’clock, when the Presidency went to the Temple and met in Council with the brethren of the Twelve. A few items of business were attended to, and President Jos. F. Smith was mouth in prayer.