The Church Historian's Press

September 1897

7 September 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, September 7, 1897

I returned to-day from a visit to Soda Springs, I left the city for that point, accompanied by my wife Caroline and our little sons Wilford and Georgius, both of whom were ailing, on Thursday evening, August 26th. By the kindness of Mr. Bancroft, I had a special car. We reached Soda Springs at 6:20 the next morning. Bishop Lau, to whom I had telegraphed about accommodations, came with his carriage to the train and took us to his house. There were quite a large number of guests there, who remained until Sunday evening, when they left for Salt Lake, leaving no one in the house as guests but myself and wife and children. A gentleman by the name of General Ricks, and wife, who have a house opposite the Bishop’s, boarded there. I was quite unwell when I reached there, suffering from inward fever and cold. I was perpetually thirst[y]; no matter how much I drank my mouth would still be parched; but after the first day this dryness of the mouth disappeared. The drinking of the Soda Springs water had an excellent effect upon me in this respect. I held meeting with the Sunday school on Sunday, and spoke at the funeral of a child of one of the brethren in the afternoon, and last Sunday I met with the Sunday school again, and occupied the afternoon in addressing the saints. It being fast day, the Bishop desired me to occupy the time, and it was the feeling of the saints that I should speak, instead of devoting the meeting to testimonies, as is usual on fast days. I did very little moving about while I was there, except to walk to the spring and back, and ride two or three times, visiting the different springs. Brother Charles Rose took us on one trip to Formation Spring, where we examined the remarkable cave that is there, and to the Mammoth Spring. Brother Lau carried us in his carriage several times to Hooper Spring, and also to the Ninety Per Cent. Spring and the Steamboat Spring. I felt indifferent about moving around when I first reached there. I wanted to rest, and I spent my time in reading and lounging in the house, except the times when I visited the springs. There is a little spring called the Trilby Spring that we visited most frequently, the water of which we liked very much and drank copiusly of it. We liked, however, the water of the Hooper Spring better than any. Altogether my visit to Soda Springs was very restful, and I enjoyed it very much. I received dispatches from the city which made it appear necessary that I should get back to-day. The special car was sent up for us, reaching here on Monday morning, and we went on board in the evening. We went to bed expecting to be taken by the train coming from Granger at 1:45 this morning. I awoke and found by my watch that it was half past two and we were still standing in the same place. I fell asleep and woke again at 4, and the car had not moved. I concluded that the train had come and had left us through not knowing that our car was there. I dressed myself about daylight and found from the porter that the train had not come, which relieved me very much, as I felt ashamed at the thought of our being left on the sidetrack through my not making enquiries and learning whether instructions had been given to the station-master or not. At 6:20 the train came along and attached our car, and I learned from the conductor that the train had been purposely delayed at Montpelier till daylight, as there was a desperado on board by the name of Bob Weeks, who had been sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment the [in] the State pentitentiary, and his confederates had threatened to rescue him. For that reason the train had been delayed, so that they could travel by daylight, and not be surprised in the dark. When we got to McCammon, the Supt., Mr. Van Husen, informed me that they were going to send a special train to Salt Lake with my car. We reached Ogden, however, in time to get the regular train that goes down at 2:10. I esteemed this as quite an act of kindness on their part, and I could not help but contrast the feeling thus shown with feelings that had existed a few years ago.

On my arrival in the city I came up to the office, by request of Brother Matt. Browning, who was very anxious to have something done about the Utah Loan & Trust Co. I found President Smith making preparations to leave to-night, in company with Bishop Preston and Brother A. H. Lund, for Healy, Nevada, where there is a ranch we have bought.

8 September 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, September 8, 1897

My wife Eliza, who has been on a visit to Arizona in company with her niece, Sarah Tenny, and my little son Edwin, returned from there yesterday. She has had quite an enjoyable time, although I do not think she looks very well; still it has broken the monotony of her life and given her an opportunity to visit her kindred down there.

We had a meeting this morning with Matt. Browning and Geo. M. Cannon in relation to the Utah Loan & Trust Co. business, and George reported, as a member of the committee that had been appointed, the condition in which he found the affairs of that company. As Brother Nuttall is going away, he being the other member of the committee, President Woodruff and myself selected George Reynolds to act in Brother Nuttall’s stead.

President Woodruff communicated to me his intention to leave to-morrow for Portland, to be absent two weeks or thereabouts. He wants to get down near the sea, where he can have oysters and other sea food. He thinks it will do him good. He is going without any of his family. He has refused to allow Sister Woodruff to accompany him, as he wants to be free and to escape attention and notice. He will take Brother Nuttall with him.

At 11 o’clock there was a meeting of the Union Light & Power Co., and considerable business was attended to.

When I was selected as one of the delegates to go to Washington to invite President McKinley to attend the Semi-Centennial Jubilee, I had told Governor Wells and Chairman Spencer Clawson that I was not in a condition to bear the expense of that journey, and asked them whether the Commission would be in a position to assist, and I was told that they would do that. I told them that I would keep an account of my expenses. Some time after my return I told Spencer Clawson that my expenses amounted to $135, and he paid me that amount. It seems that Judge Colborn was dissatisfied with Chairman Clawson in relation to a bill of his, and in looking among the bills he found a charge of $135 without anything being itemized, and told a reporter of the Tribune, who had published that Spencer Clawson had advanced me $135. I was very much chagrined when I saw it, because I thought it a very unjust thing to do, and when Spencer Clawson wrote to me and sent me a copy of the paper to Soda Springs, I telegraphed back to him to this effect: “The best voucher is the money, and I have asked a friend to hand you the money until I return.” I had telegraphed to Brother Campbell asking him to advance the money till I got back. To-day Brother Clawson came in and made explanations about it. He said he did not want to take the money, and the Commission did not. They thought my charge was quite moderate. But he would like to have me furnish a statement of what it was for, which I did, and he returned me the $135. I felt indignant at the allusion in the paper to me; for there is no man in the community, I think, that has traveled and gone here and there without charge as I have and on public business. I have never hesitated when I have been requested to go, dropping my business and never getting a cent for my labor in any form. This amount merely covered my expenses in going on the trip; in fact, I could not have gone for that amount if I had not had other business to attend to at the same time.

I have felt very much impressed concerning the propriety and necessity of some action being taken in relation to filling up the vacancies in the quorum of the Twelve. I spoke about it last night to President Smith before he left, and told him my feelings, in which he agreed. I regretted almost that he was going, because I felt it was a matter of sufficient importance to require great consideration and exchange of views. I expressed myself to the same effect to President Woodruff to-day, and he agreed with me about it. But nothing has been decided as to what shall be done, except that we must have meetings before Conference in order to consider these questions. We felt the importance of great care and the necessity of finding out the will of the Lord when the last appointments were made– M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund and Abraham H. Cannon; but I feel that it is still more important, if anything, now, because there is so much partisanship among the brethren through politics, and it is necessary that the greatest care should be exercised in the selection of men. I have earnestly prayed the Lord that I might be freed from all prejudices and all prepossessions concerning this matter that were not from Him. I have no one in my mind that I want. I only want the men that the Lord wants, and I earnestly desire that He will reveal this to us, so that we shall be united in our minds, and that President Woodruff especially may be clear in His mind as the man holding the keys. There is a vacancy also in the Seven Presidents of Seventies. Presidents Woodruff and Smith both felt as I did, that it was important at the present time that something should be done to remove the feeling that is in the minds of Moses Thatcher’s friends concerning action being taken about him. There is a lurking feeling that we have heard of being expressed to the effect that he might be restored to his position in the quorum of the Twelve, and to settle this something should be done.

9 September 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, September 9, 1897

I came up to the office at 8:30 this morning to meet with a committee of the Union Light & Power Co. to take into consideration the situation of the Salt Lake & Ogden Gas & Electric Light Co. and the best way of dealing with it. That company has not been able to keep its contract with us, and affairs are in a very unsatisfactory condition. The committee consisted of myself, as President, Colonel Winder, Mr. McCornick, and Attorney Le Grand Young. After some discussion, I suggested that probably the only way we could get at a correct solution of this would be for Judge Young to go to New York. The committee all took the same view. But the question was, the Judge’s ability to go. He finally thought it might be possible for him to get away next week. It interferes considerably with his business to make these trips to New York; but it seemed imperatively necessary that he should go, as no one else understood the legal situation so well as he.

President Woodruff and myself attended the meeting of the Council in the Temple. Beside ourselves, there were present, President Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale.

The question of ordaining Stake Superintendents of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association High Priests was brought up, because some of the brethren thought this unnecessary. President Woodruff decided that as President Taylor had made that a rule, he did not wish to interfere with it. It is also a rule that the names of those who are chosen for this position shall be submitted to the Presidency of the Stake and the High Council for their approval. The reason of this coming up at the present time is that Brother Joseph H. Felt, who has been presiding in this capacity in this Stake, is released, and Brother Richard Lyman, a son of Brother F. M. Lyman, has been suggested as his successor.

The question of filling the vacancies in the quorum of the Twelve and the Seven Presidents of Seventies came up, and I expressed myself upon this subject with some freedom, as I have been greatly impressed of late that these vacancies should be filled. It was decided that we should write to the absent members of the quorum of the Twelve to be present in the city on Thursday, the 30th inst, without stating to them the object; but the design is to have time to carefully consider the selection of suitable men.

There was an interchange of views as to the propriety of admitting persons who had not received their endowments into the Temple to witness marriages. On this point the Prophet Joseph was exceedingly particular. The temple clothing was not to be shown to those who had not received their endowments; but it has become so great a habit to expose the dead to the public gaze that the sacredness of this requirement has faded away. I have for years protested against the exposure of our deceased brethren and sisters dressed in their temple clothing, and we have succeeded at last in stopping these public exhibitions at the meeting houses and confining them to the homes of the deceased persons, and then with the understanding that the clothing shall be covered up. In relation to the question before us we all felt that there was an impropriety in persons, especially adults, being admitted to the Temple who had not had their endowments, when the marriage ceremony is being performed or on other occasions.

I called upon Brother Grant last evening and found him confined to his bed, but slightly improving. His case is a very serious one. After being operated upon for appendicites he got so that he could be around, but undertook to do too much and was attacked by pneumonia and pleurisy.

Mr. Bamberger called upon me and had a long conversation about the affairs of the Bullion-Beck Co.

President Woodruff took his departure this evening for Portland, accompanied by Brother L. John Nuttall. I understand from his remarks that his family is not very well pleased at his not permitting any of them to accompany them, but he felt that this stay would be less noticed there if there were none of them with him, and one of his desires is that he may escape public notice in making this trip.

10 September 1897 • Friday

Friday, September 10, 1897

I spent considerable time to-day on Union Light & Power business.

At 3 o’clock I attended a meeting of the Bullion-Beck Co.

Before doing so I called at the City and County Building for the purpose of seeing Judge Bartch. Mr. Dooly had desired my kind offices in relation to a case that he had, and which the Supreme Court had decided upon. He is very anxious to have a rehearing, and he thought if I were to present the case to Judge Bartch, probably he would see the propriety of granting this request. But I did not find the Judge in chambers.

11–12 September 1897 • Saturday–Sunday

Saturday, September 11, 1897

I had quite a long interview with Marshal Glen Miller this morning concerning postoffices postoffice appointments. He was anxious to consult me about them.

To-day is the Conference of the Salt Lake Stake of Zion. I attended the meeting this morning in the Assembly Hall, and spoke upon the subject of the proper way of managing the affairs of the poor who were dependent for support upon the wards and the Church.

I was invited by Lewis S. Hills, President of the Deseret National Bank, to join a number of gentlemen at the Knutsford at 11 o’clock, to receive Mr. Eckels, the ex-Comptroller of the Currency. As I intended to attend the Stake Conference, I declined this invitation, but agreed to join them at lunch at the Alta Club. At 1 o’clock I took Mr. Miller (who was with me up to that hour) in a carriage to the Alta Club, where we partook of lunch in company with a number of prominent citizens and Mr. Eckels and his party. Mr. Eckels and Governor Wells sat at the head of the table; ex-Senator Brown sat at Mr. Eckel’s right, and [I] sat opposite him, at the left of the Governor. We had quite an interesting time. As soon as lunch was over I withdrew to attend conference, having arranged in the meantime for a special car to go out to Saltair with the party.

I found Brother John Henry Smith speaking at the conference when I reached there. After he got through, I occupied the rest of the time and had good freedom.

After this, I dictated some letters to Brother Arthur Winter.

I had an interview with Brother John Clark. The non-partisan movement is progressing, and the probabilities are that an effort will be made to put a ticket in the field for municipal officers. The desire is that John Clark shall be the candidate for Mayor on that ticket, but he has expressed himself as averse to accepting the nomination, because his own business requires his almost undivided attention, there is so much competition. I talked with him upon the subject, and told him that this was a movement that everyone of us felt deeply interested in, and that the general feeling was that as he would carry a very strong vote it was desired that he should accept the nomination for Mayor. I told him I hoped he would look upon it as a mission. After listening to me, he expressed no objection and was willing to accept it.

At 8:45 this evening I took train for Montpelier. I had as a companion between here and Ogden Mr. Wallace White, who has been very anxious to get my endorsement for Registrar of the Land Office and also my endorsement for Mr. Lindsay Rogers as District Attorney. He followed this up during the entire time between here and Ogden, and submitted letters that he had prepared, which he was very desirous that I should sign. The letters were very adroitly and diplomatically written; but I could not sign them, and so told him, in view of what I had already done. I could not be induced to put myself in that position. I said I had written everything I could write upon the subject consistently with the steps I had previously taken in favor of Mr. Hobbs for Registrar and Mr. Whittemore for District Attorney. He was very much disappointed at my refusal, I could see, because he thought he had written these letters in such a way that I could be induced to sign them. He has been trying to see me all day, and I was quite unprepared to have him shut up in a car with me for an hour pleading for this.

I reached Pocatello a little before 3 o’clock on

Sunday, September 12, 1897

Reached Montpelier at 10:30, pretty well dragged out with the night’s travel. I had for companions on the train Dr. Ezra Rich and Brothers Geo. Browning and Burton, the latter a son of Brother William W. Burton. My conversation with these brethren was quite interesting, particularly with the former, who is quite an intelligent man and a very skilful surgeon.

Brother Stucki met me at the train, which had been delayed through hot boxes, and it was 12 o’clock when we reached Paris. I was disappointed in missing the morning meeting. I stopped at Brother Stucki’s, and got something to eat– the first I had tasted since yesterday’s lunch. I had a sleep for about an hour, and then went to meeting. The house was crowded. Brother Seymour B. Young was there and had spoken to the people in the forenoon. After the presentation of the authorities, Brother Budge desired me to speak. The people were very eager apparently to hear, and to my surprise I occupied about 100 minutes. Some of the saints said they wished I could have continued, they appeared so interested. We had another meeting in the evening. The house was well filled. Brother Young spoke about 25 mins. and I spoke about 50 mins. There was a goodly outpouring of the Spirit upon us. Our meeting was delightful.

At 10:45 Brother Stucki took Brother Budge and his son and myself in his carriage to Montpelier, in time for the 12:45 train.

13 September 1897 • Monday

Monday, September 13, 1897

I enjoyed my visit very much, although it has been fatiguing. I succeeded in getting into a sleeper at Montpelier, and had about two hours’ rest, but at McCammon had to get out and wait for upwards of an hour for the train from Pocatello to Salt Lake. This was a little after 4. I reached Salt Lake at 9:05. Brother Wilcken met me at the train and took me home.

I came up to the office afterwards and dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

14 September 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, September 14, 1897

A meeting of the Grass Creek Coal Company was held this morning, at which considerable business was done. Brother Cluff had come in from Coalville to attend it. It was decided to extend the line of railroad from its present terminus up to the upper mine known as the Church Mine. This will take half a mile of road. Brother Cluff reported that the new tunnel was being dug and had progressed so far that it was probable the coal would be struck some time between the 20th and the last of the month. He was instructed to get an extension of the Company[’]s note for $10,000 at the Deseret National Bank. We shall need $3000 probably to build the railroad, and it was thought that this could be obtained from time to time as it was needed, from Zion’s Savings Bank. We canvassed the situation very carefully before deciding upon going to this additional expense. In the first place I was desirous of becoming satisfied concerning the quality of the coal. Bishop Bowns’ report assures us that it will be equal to and perhaps better than the coal that we have been taking out. I became satisfied from reports and questions that we can dig it out cheaper and put it on the market at a less price; and the other objection to the coal– that there is so much slack in it– will be to a great extent obviated by having a railroad instead of hauling it by wagons. It seemed as though there were two or three points that were likely to be gained by pursuing the policy decided upon. In the first place, it is altogether likely we shall have coal of a uniform quality, we shall be able to obtain it with regularity, and we shall be able to bring it to market as low or lower in price than our competitors. Having these advantages, we think we shall stand a chance of finding a market for all we can put out for some time to come at Ogden, Brigham, Salt Lake City, and Park City. Brother Cluff estimated that we could market 200 tons a day at these various points. He was instructed to proceed with the grading immediately, and Brother Clayton was instructed to get the engineers to work, so as to enable the graders to get right at the work of grading.

Brother James Sharp called in to see us in regard to the non-partisan ticket. Brother Winder and myself were present. Brother Sharp said they had got Bishop Preston down and three other Bishops on the City ticket. I thought this was imprudent, and suggested especially that Brother Preston should not be put on. His duties were sufficient to keep him employed, and I thought it would excite prejudice against the ticket to have so prominent a Church official as he is on the ticket.

I called upon Mr. Dooly to-day and reported my interview with Judge Bartch concerning a rehearing of his case. He appeared gratified at what I told him, and hoped it would be attended with success. I saw Judge Bartch on Monday evening last at the City and County building and had an interesting interview with him. On political matters I reported to him the manner in which I had been approached by Mr. Wallace White and his importunity in pressing upon me his request that I should sign a letter in favor of himself and Mr. Rogers. I thought it well to inform the Judge, because he has been taking some part in relation to appointments. I then drew his attention to the case in which Mr. Dooly is interested, and which has been before the State Supreme Court, Hamilton vs. Dooly. Mr. Dooly is desirous of obtaining a rehearing of the case. It is an interesting case, and one involving the question of trustees; and we have so much of this in the management of our affairs that I was desirous that there should be a thorough examination of the case. Judge Bartch informed me that he had written the opinion, but, he added, he would be pleased to consider the petition for a rehearing when it came in.

15 September 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, September 15, 1897

There was a meeting of the Sugar Company this morning at 9 o’clock, which I attended.

At 10 o’clock I met with the Deseret & Salt Lake Agricultural & Manufacturing Co. stockholders, to consider the situation of that property, which is now in a very deplorable condition in some respects.

I attended a meeting also of the Board of Directors of Geo. Q. Cannon & Sons Co.

At 11 o’clock I met with the Union Light and Power Co., and spent considerable time in going over its affairs. Mr. Banigan has sent out a bookkeeper to go through our books, and there were some questions which Brother Campbell brought to our attention which will likely give rise to some discussion between the bookkeepers and ourselves.

Brother Wm. Paxman and his son James and Brother Charles Sperry came and represented to me the impropriety of [first and last names redacted] being appointed postmaster of [identifying location redacted]. It seems that I unwittingly endorsed him, so they informed me. I recalled that Brother Lyman introduced [first and last names redacted] to me and got me to sign in favor his being postmaster. The brethren say it would be very hurtful for him to be appointed postmaster, as there is a strong feeling against him, because of immoral conduct of which he has been guilty.

When I got home I found Brother Joseph Simmons awaiting me. He stopped and took dinner with me. He is in a bad position financially, with no steady employment. He gave me a recital of his difficulties. He feels that he has not been treated right by some of the brethren, and is evidently sore, as men generally are who are out of employment and in poverty.

16 September 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 16, 1897

Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

President Shurtliff had an interview with me in the office, in which he described the political situation at Ogden and the steps they were taking to have good results follow the next election.

At 11 o’clock I met at the Temple with President Snow, F. D. Richards, John Henry Smith, Geo. Teasdale and John W. Taylor. A number of letters were read on various subjects. I was mouth in prayer.

After the meeting I came to the office, and, in the absence of President Woodruff, presided at a meeting of the Board of Directors of Z.C.M.I. A semi-annual dividend of 4% was declared, payable on the 5th of October next.

I called at Brother Heber J. Grant’s. We heard that he was worse yesterday, but his family said he was much better to-day. He was sleeping when I called, and I did not therefore stop.

17 September 1897 • Friday

Friday, September 17, 1897

Had some conversation at the office this morning with Judge Ritchie, who would like to be the District Attorney.

I had conversation with Bishop Winder and Brother A. W. McCune about the Gardo House, which the latter proposes to rent for $150 a month, with the use of the furniture. He will take it on the 1st of January, if we can get it for him.

Brothers S. S. Jones and T. R. Cutler called to lay before me a coal property that has been discovered near Provo, for which they propose to organize a company. They are anxious that the Church should have a large interest in it, and that I should take some interest in it. It is supposed to be anthracite coal.

18 September 1897 • Saturday

Saturday, September 18, 1897.

I spent the day at the office. In the forenoon I met with Brother F. S. Richards, and then with Brothers J. R. Winder and R. S. Campbell attending to business connected with the Pioneer Electric Power Co. In the afternoon I dictated articles for the Juvenile Instructor.

19 September 1897 • Sunday

Sunday, September 19, 1897

Attended meeting in the Tabernacle at 2 o’clock. A great dread came over me about having to speak. I had not met with the saints here but once or twice since last General Conference, and I felt that I ought to say something; but I wanted to have one of the Elders break the ice, and so told my brother Angus, who was presiding. There was no one, however, suitable that he could see, and at his request I arose, but was very much frightened. I do not <know> when I have been so timid as I was to-day. But the Lord was very merciful to me and gave me His Spirit. I spoke to my own edification and enjoyment. I do not know how the people felt, but they were exceedingly attentive.

In the evening I attended sacrament meeting at the Ward, and listened to remarks by Brother Eli H. Pierce.

20 September 1897 • Monday

Monday, September 20, 1897

Came to the office and had an interview with Sister John Beck, whose name, I think, is Bertha. She appears to be a superior woman, intelligent, and evidently well educated, and ladylike in her manner. She has grown almost hysterical with grief at her situation. Her husband has made no provision for her, nor, as I gathered from her, for any of his wives, in the event of any disaster overtaking him or of his death, and she is very much concerned about it, because from all human appearance at present he is likely to be very seriously involved and become bankrupt and all his property be taken; still there may something open before him, for he has been exceedingly blessed in these matters. But that which she deplores most, and which she feels most concerned about, is his association with the Stayners - C. W. & Arthur Stayner - and O. F. Whitney, B. S. Young and John Donaldson. She says she has been twice in company with these men, and has seen the bottles of wine from which they have been drinking. She has known them to have as many as six bottles of champagne and drink their contents. She has heard them speak in the most disrespectful manner of the Church, and she has heard that they were particularly down on the Cannons. They expect, when President Woodruff dies, there will be a great change. C. W. Stayner has told her husband that he is the son of Richard III of England, and that he is to be an Apostle, and he has told her that he was the second son of our Lord Jesus. A description of their conversation and the influence they have over her husband is, if true, certainly very startling. I do not question the truth of what she says, because we have heard from different sources statements corroborative of her’s. She has a very deep feeling against C. W. Stayner. He has told her what he could do for her if she would work with him, and her husband has tried to have her arrange for him to live at her house; but she says she has such a thorough disgust for him, in consequences of his utterances concerning the Church, that she looks upon him as a man that she could not tolerate in the least. He draws heavily from her husband, who, instead of giving money to his family, gives it freely to the Stayners and to this party of men. I am not altogether surprised at hearing these statements, though it is exceedingly painful to think that such men as B. S. Young and Orson F. Whitney could be drawn into the meshes of such a man as C. W. Stayner and accept him as some sort of a revelator. I promised her that I would see her husband and see what I could do with him to have him do something for his wives, so that in the event of anything happening they would have some provision made for them. I fear, however, that his affairs are now in such a condition that it will be almost out of his power to do anything, especially as he is so infatuated with these people of whom she speaks.

At 10 o’clock we had a meeting of the Deseret & Salt Lake Agricultural and Manufacturing Company, to take into consideration the construction Of a reservoir in the Sevier river.

In the afternoon Brother C. H. Wilcken came to the office in a carriage, in which was my wife Carlie and my sister Mary Alice, to take me to my farm at Westover. We had a delightful visit, and returned in the evening.

21 September 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, September 21, 1897

Had a visit from Mr. C. C. Whittemore, who is a candidate for the office of District Attorney of Utah. Had a long conversation with him concerning the situation.

Bishop M. S. Woolley called for counsel in relation to what he should do respecting accepting the nomination from the Democratic party for the City Council. In view of the non-partisan movement, he felt doubtful about committing himself in this direction, although he had partially done so at repeated solicitations by the people, and he felt that he would be elected if he were to allow himself to be put up. As he represented it, it seemed like a serious question, as those who came to him said they could not see the reason why he should be pulled off and Bishops Romney of the 20th Ward and Patrick of the 18th Ward should be put on the non-partisan ticket. After listening to him, I said that whatever was said to him on this subject, or whatever action he should take, ought to be done conscientiously, and then he could act with strength, because he would be carrying out his convictions. Would it not be hurtful, I asked, for you to run as a candidate on the Democratic ticket? Would it not divide the people, and you be put in the position of opposing the non-partisan movement? Can you afford to put yourself in that position? He said he could not, and he felt that he could conscientiously decline the nomination and say that he did so because of his convictions that it would be injurious to his influence and to the cause. I said you can say that whatever assent you gave to the idea of running as a candidate was before affairs had taken their present shape, and this could be your excuse.

Bishop Preston came to the office and made a report of his journey, accompanied by President Jos. F. Smith, Brother Anthon M. Lund, Brother Henry Beal and a surveyor, to the ranch which we have purchased from ex-Marshal Parsons. From the description he gave, it is a very fine place, but it needs to be taken care of, and somebody will have to be selected who is judicious and competent, to take charge of the place.

Brother John M. Whitaker brought some questions to our attention, which had been agitated in the Seventy’s quorum of which he is a member. One of them was in relation to the distinction between the Order of Enoch and the law of consecration. President Smith and myself decided that the law of consecration was a part of the Order of Enoch as described in the revelations.

Brother Anthony W. Ivins came into the office, and I had some conversation with him concerning the situation of affairs in Mexico.

About 2:30 President Smith and myself went to a meeting of the Bullion-Beck Co. The meeting was quite lengthy.

I had a talk with Brother John Beck in relation to the policy that I suggested for him to take with his family. I suggested that it was his duty to give his family some property in their own name, that if anything happened to him or any disaster overtook him they would have something to live upon and to support their children. I said if he was afraid to deed their homes to them, he could insert in the deed a clause retaining a life interest for himself. When I explained the character of this to him, he said that if he had known of that he would have deeded real estate to his family, but he had been afraid to do so for fear they might misuse it or get under wrong influences. Now he is not in a position to do anything of this kind. I understand his affairs are in a very bad condition. I also told him that he ought to put something in their own hands from which they could get income. I related to him what I had done, and how good the results had been in my own family. He expressed his pleasure at what I had said to him, and thanked me for the interest I had taken.

22 September 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, September 22, 1897

My sons John Q. and Hugh called upon me at the office this morning in relation to the History of Utah, and to come to some decision concerning the 4th volume, which is to consist of biographies. This volume is to be given to the subscribers without charge. The question was whether Brother O. F. Whitney should complete it or not. My own feeling had been averse to this, because he charged too much, and he is slow and unpunctual; but after conversing with them, we thought that it would be better policy to let him attend to this part of the work also. If we attempted to put it in anyone else’s hands, he might disclaim the responsibility for it, and it is a volume that will be likely to excite more than ordinary interest and comment, because it will deal with the biographies of so many people. Hugh was instructed to see if he could not get the work done for less than Bishop Whitney proposed to do it for or which he asks for doing it. John Q., who is a man of experience in writing, said, with the materials for biography which he understood were on hand, he would be making excellent wages by doing it for $1000. I myself think that it could be easily done in three or four months. Bishop Whitney wants $1800 for doing it, which I do not see how we can pay him.

At 11 o’clock we had a meeting of the Union Light & Power Co.

We had a call from Mr. T. Kavanaugh and Mr. Hirsch, parties who are interested in the construction of the reservoir at Leamington, Juab County.

Dictated some letters and my journal to Brother Winter.

23 September 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, September 23, 1897

In company with John M. Cannon, I accompanied President Joseph F. Smith and John Henry Smith to Brother Owen Woodruff’s, where Brother Grant is lying sick. Their wives are sisters, and he has moved there because of the better atmosphere and the quietude that reigns. We found him in bed, but feeling very cheerful, and he thinks he is improving. He is, however, a sick man. Brother Joseph F. anointed him with oil, and I was mouth in blessing him, and felt free in doing so.

I received a dispatch from President Woodruff, signed “Wilford”, informing me that his health had improved and he would start for home this evening, and for me to inform his family.

At 11 o’clock President Smith and myself met in the Temple with President Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale and Anthon H. Lund. President Smith and Brother Lund reported their trip to Nevada, and explained how necessary it was that somebody should be appointed to take charge of the White River ranch. Brother John Henry Smith reported his visit to the Cassia Stake Conference, in company with Brother M. F. Cowley; and Brother George Teasdale reported his visit to Ogden last Sunday to attend the funeral of Bishop Moroni F. Brown. Some letters were read, and Brother Lund was mouth in prayer.

At 2 o’clock there was a meeting of the Co-operative Wagon & Machine Company.

24 September 1897 • Friday

Friday, September 24, 1897

I had a call from Brothers Paxman and Sperry in relation to the postmastership at Nephi.

I also had a call from Prest. L. W. Shurtliff and [first and last names redacted]. The latter’s daughter was married on Wednesday last to a young man by the name of [first and last names redacted], who started on a mission yesterday. It seems that she was not well, and her husband suggested to her that she consult a physician. She did consult Dr. Ezra Rich, a son of the late Brother Charles C. Rich and a very excellent young man. He pronounced her pregnant, and that she had been six months in this condition. The doctor informed me by telephone of the fact, and this led to the visit of Brother [last name redacted] in company with Brother Shurtliff. It was decided to send a message for [first name redacted] to return. The girl is said to be a very estimable young lady, who has occupied a leading position in the ward.

Brother David Eccles and Judge Street came to see me upon the subject of Brother Eccles’ bond for Abraham and Frank. The object was for me to request Judge Street to postpone taking legal proceedings on the bond till Colonel Clayton could come back; but I gave Judge Street clearly to understand that I could not be responsible for one dollar of this bond. He seemed to be under the impression that I would be security for it.

25 September 1897 • Saturday

Saturday, September 25, 1897

The stockholders of the Deseret News Company met to-day and re-elected the old Board of Directors; after which the Board met and I was elected President and Brother John E. Evans Secretary.

I spent a portion of the day dictating articles to Brother Winter for the Juvenile Instructor.

26 September 1897 • Sunday

Sunday, September 26, 1897

I was called for this morning by Brother C. H. Wilcken and my brother Angus with vehicles, the intention being to fill an appointment which they had made for me at the Mill Creek meeting house. I invited President Woodruff to go, and he consented. I took with me my wives Martha and Carlie. President Woodruff took his wife Emma.

In the forenoon Brother Jos. E. Taylor and my brother Angus spoke, followed by President Woodruff.

President Woodruff proposed that we hold a continuous meeting, and called on me to speak. I occupied about an hour. We took a recess for about 20 mins., and then Brother John R. Winder spoke for a few minutes, after which I was called again to speak. A new congregation came in about 2 o’clock. We held meeting till 3 o’cloc[k.] We had a delightful time, and everybody appeared to enjoy it. To me it was a feast.

We afterwards went to dinner at Brother John R. Winder’s.

Brother Le Grand Young and his wife called at my house this evening to see me in relation to pending business connected with the Union Light & Power Co. He expects to go east to-morrow, and wanted to see me in relation to going to Ogden and spending a part of the day there and leaving for the east in the evening. After considering the whole affair I thought it would be well for him to go up, also myself and Col. Winder.

27 September 1897 • Monday

Monday, September 27, 1897

Colonel Winder, Judge Young and myself left for Ogden on the 8 o’clock train. We spent the forenoon with Mr. Bannister, looking over the contract which had been made with Mr. Geddis, contractor, who had undertaken to build a small dam to stop the underflow of water in the Ogden Canyon. Some time ago, in order to satisfy ourselves concerning the bedrock in the canyon near the point where we expected to put in our dam, a diamond drill was employed and three holes were bored down, and from the three borings three cores of limestone rock were brought up from a depth of about 40 ft, and they had bored into that some distance. Upon the strength of this boring, it had been concluded that we had good bedrock at that depth. Mr. Geddis, however, has sunk 40 ft. and finds no bedrock. Quicksand is found and plenty of water, and they have sunk some boring apparatus down some 20 or 30 ft, and have not found any bedrock. He desires, therefore, to throw up the contract. There is doubtless danger connected with the further sinking of this trench. It is feared by the engineers that the timbers will not resist the pressure if the quicksand should yield, as it would cause the sides to press in, crush the timbers, and endanger life, if any were digging there. In the opinion of Judge Young, the contract holds Mr. Geddis to go to the bedrock, and he is not limited to depth. However, we do not feel that it is wise to compel him to prosecute the labor unless he wishes to. But we instructed Mr. Bannister to obtain, if possible, borings that would demonstrate how deep the bedrock is.

I called on Frank’s wife, and took lunch with her and the family.

We returned to Salt Lake City, but the train was an hour late and we did not reach the city till half past four.

28 September 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, September 28, 1897

There was a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Sugar Company at 9 o’clock this morning.

I called Presidents Woodruff and Smith and Brother Campbell together and reported to them the condition of affairs in the Ogden canyon in connection with the dam.

A proposition has been made to us by the Alberta Irrigation Co. and the Railway Co. to take 200,000 acres of land in Alberta in proximity to our Cardston settlement. This proposition appeals to us because it would give us control of sufficient area to preclude the possibility of being crowded upon by undesirable settlers. Brother C. O. Card informs us that Mr. McGrath, and [an] important officer of the Company, is in town He is very friendly to us, and has often defended us. He is desirous to reach some arrangement with us for the settlement of these lands.

I had a call from U.S. Senator William M. Stewart, of Nevada. He had a long conversation with the First Presidency. We gave him a letter of introduction to Bishop Ronnow, of Panaca, which place he is about to visit.

29 September 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, September 29, 1897

We had a brief meeting of the Union Light & Power Co. this morning. There was not a quorum, and we adjourned until Monday next, hoping by that time to hear from Judge Young. It was understood that if nothing was heard we should have no meeting.

We spent some time in conversation with Brother C. O. Card and Mr. McGrath in relation to the land proposition in Alberta. We explained to Mr. McGrath our position and our wishes, and frankly told him that our object in securing land was to prevent the introduction of settlers who would be undesirable to our colonists already located there. He sympathized with this desire, and appeared willing to do anything to aid us in this. We were averse also, we told him, to taking upon ourselves heavy pecuniary obligations. After considerable conversation, it was decided to leave the matter in the hands of Brother Card and Mr. McGrath to come to some understanding upon some plan that would be acceptable to both sides.

Brother Martin Lenzi and Brother John Druce, who have been counselors to Bishop H. B. Clawson, have been released from that position on account of age, and it was decided to ordain them Patriarchs. President Smith, F. D. Richards and myself laid our hands upon them. I was mouth in ordaining Brother Lenzi, and President Smith was mouth in ordaining Brother Druce.

At 3:30 I met with the Board of Directors of the Bullion-Beck. It was decided that the Company should reduce their working force and not attempt to get out ore for the next thirty days, but confine the work to prospecting. The object of this move is to show the railroads and the smelters that they ought to reduce their charges, or we would not furnish them either traffic or ore. The low price of silver has so affected the product of this mine that it barely pays expenses.

30 September 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, September 30, 1897

My son John Q., editor of the Deseret News, Brother John A. Evans, Manager of the Deseret News, Brother John Nicholson, Clerk of the General Conference, and Brother Arthur Winter, the reporter, met this morning at the office to consider the propriety of getting out the Conference minutes in pamphlet form immediately upon the close of the Conference. Brother Nicholson some time ago suggested this as something that he thought very desirable. We all feel that it is something that would be attended with good results. One of the faults that I think exists at the present time is, the people do not read our publications, and do not keep advised concerning the spirit that animates the authorities. Everything that can be done to bring the people into closer relations with the authorities of the Church and give them an opportunity of knowing the spirit that prevails ought to be done. It was decided (President Woodruff came in and I explained what we had been doing, and he assented to everything that was done) that there should be another reporter employed to assist Brother Arthur Winter during the Conference, and that a small edition of the pamphlet could be got out, and if it should sell well and more be required, another edition could be issued. It is understood that if it did not pay the News, the Church would make up the deficiency.

Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself had some conversation concerning the appointment of a representative of the Trustee-in Trust to visit the various tithing offices and examine their condition, and report to him. It was decided that if we could obtain the service of Brother William A. Rossiter he should be employed for this purpose, and that the Presiding Bishops should be apprised of his employment and the character of the duties expected of him.

We had some conversation also about the approaching meeting at the Temple, one of the purposes being to take into consideration the filling of the vacancies in the quorum of the Twelve and the vacancy in the Seven Presidents of Seventies. We felt impressed that it was important that some action should be taken looking to the filling of these vacancies. President Woodruff handed me a letter, which bore the date of October 26th, 1896, upon this subject, a copy of which I insert here:

“Salt Lake City, Utah, October 26th, 1896.

“To Presidents

George Q. Cannon,

Joseph F. Smith,

Lorenzo Snow, and the Twelve Apostles.

I have a request to make of you, my brethren. There is a vacancy in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, through the death of Abraham H. Cannon, and it is our duty to fill it. Now in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there have been seven of the presidents and counselors of the church who have had the privilege of having one of their own posterity to be ordained into the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, viz: Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, George A. Smith, Amasa M. Lyman, Jedediah M. Grant and George Q. Cannon. All of these men to-day are in the spirit world except George Q. Cannon, and can behold one of their posterity filling their place in the Apostleship on the earth. Now I have been a member of the church 64 years and held a position in the holy priesthood during that time. I have been in the ministry for 63 years and I have been in the Apostleship for 54 years. I presided over the quorum of the Twelve Apostles from President Taylor’s appointment to the Presidency up to his death and to the re-organization, and have presided over the church from that date. I have traveled some 175,000 miles in the interest of the Church and the history of my labors during this time are before you. Now I am near 90 years of age and shall soon pass away. Now I ask of my Counselors George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, Lorenzo Snow and the Twelve Apostles that you will grant me the same great blessing that my predecessors have had before me, that when I get into the spirit world I can look back to the church and kingdom of God on the earth and behold one of my own posterity mingling with the Twelve Apostles, building up the Kingdom of God on the earth and preparing for the coming of the Son of Man. I would not ask this favor at your hands if I did not believe you would grant it, and that it is the will of God, which I am thoroughly satisfied it is.

I have several sons, any of whom I believe would magnify the Apostleship, if called to it, but I have my mind especially upon one son, and I believe it is the will of God that he should occupy that position. He is a young man, but he is sound, he is virtuous, he is temperate; he is a strict observer of the Word of Wisdom, and is honest, I know of no man in the church more so. His name is Abraham Owen Woodruff. He has lately returned home from a two- and a quarter years’ mission in Germany, and he has made a good record upon that mission. Since his return home he has been a home missionary. He preaches to the Germans in their language and to the English in their mother tongue, apparently unto edification.

Now brethren, I leave this matter with you for your decision, and that you may be directed according to the mind and will of God, is the earnest prayer of

Your Brother,

(signed) Wilford Woodruff.”

After reading it, I handed it to President Smith. I said to President Woodruff, the Lord has given me this name as one that should be appointed to one of these vacant positions, and I can bear testimony, therefore, that it is right.

When we went down to the Temple there were present, beside the First Presidency, President Lorenzo Snow, Elders F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Geo. Teasdale, John W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill and A. H. Lund. Brother Heber J. Grant’s health did not admit of his coming to meeting.

The first business was with reference to the understanding that had been reached between Mr. McGrath and brother Card concerning the terms on which we could get land in Canada. The matter was referred to a committee consisting of Governor Wells, Brothers A. W. Carlson and C. S. Burton. Some other business was also attended to.

Then President Woodruff suggested that I should explain the intention to take up the question of filling the quorum of the Twelve. I explained to the brethren that at a previous meeting this matter had been mooted, and an appointment had been made for us to meet to-day. I said it was a matter of great importance that we should have the quorum filled up when the mind of the Lord indicated that the proper time had come. I had felt very strongly myself on this subject of late, and there were a good many people indulging, as I understood, in surmises as to whether Moses Thatcher was to be restored to the quorum or not. Brother Merrill said it was all through Cache Valley that the First Presidency and Twelve had had a meeting, and that they had decided that he should come back into the quorum.

It was suggested that the proper method would be for each of the Twelve to write down any names that occurred to him. Several brethren objected to this. They had no names to write down, but were desirous to leave the matter entirely to the First Presidency, and Brother Merrill made a motion to that effect, that the First Presidency and President Lorenzo Snow should nominate the men to fill the positions that were vacant. This did not receive a second; but Brother Brigham Young made a motion that this be done after each had given in names. I explained that some of the brethren did have names and desired to present them, and it would not be right to cut them off from the privilege if they wished it. Of course, if the brethren did not wish to present names it would be all right; but it seemed to me that it would be proper that they should have the privilege of doing so. President Woodruff said it was right each one should have the opportunity if he wished to do so. It turned out, however, that several of the brethren did not present any names. Brother Snow collected them from those that did have them, and then a motion was made that a recess be taken for three quarters of an hour, while the First Presidency and President Snow retired to the room of the First Presidency to consult.

I have fasted and prayed a great deal on this question. I have felt very desirous that I should know the mind and will of God as to who the men should be. I have prayed also that we might see eye to eye in this, and not have any division of feeling upon the question; and the Lord has revealed to me with great clearness who they should be. I mentioned the names, at President Woodruff’s request, at the office before we came here. After talking over the question, President Joseph F. Smith moved that Brother Matthias F. Cowley and Brother Abraham Owen Woodruff should be selected to fill the vacancies in the quorum of the Twelve, and that Brother Joseph W. McMurrin should be selected to fill the vacancy in the Seven Presidents of Seventies. This motion was seconded by President Snow, and carried unanimously by us.

We then returned to the room of the Twelve, and President Woodruff presented the names to the Twelve, and, upon motion, they were accepted.

I cannot describe my feelings of thankfulness at the result. The Lord had heard my prayers, and He gave me these names, and when I mentioned them they were accepted by Presidents Woodruff and Smith and President Snow, and afterwards by the nine brethren of the Twelve.

After the names were mentioned, Brother Franklin D. Richards arose and said that he had been impressed with the name of one of the brethren who had been selected to fill the quorum of the Twelve (Owen Woodruff), but had put his name down to fill the vacancy in the Seventy.

Brother John W. Taylor arose and said that he wanted to relate a foolish thing that he had done. He said while he was laboring in the ministry in the Southern States, Brother Cowley had been called to labor in St. Louis, and he had written a very strong letter to the St. Louis paper, defending our people against some attacks that had been made upon us. He said he was very much pleased with the communication, and he had written to Elder Cowley and told him how much he was pleased with what he had written, and said to him, “I went to bed after reading your communication, and in the night the Lord revealed to me that you would be one of the Twelve Apostles.” He said that was foolish on his part, and he did not know whether Brother Cowley had kept the letter or not.

I was much gratified to hear these testimonies, because it shows that the spirit of revelation is with us.

It was decided that no one should mention any of these names until they should be presented to the Conference; but President Smith moved that I should go to Brother Heber J. Grant and communicate to him what had been done and charge him to keep it to himself, which I did after I left the Temple.

I felt greatly relieved in my feelings at the selection of these brethren. Many may be disappointed, because they are not the men that they would choose; but the Lord will make it plain that they are the right men, and He will sustain them.

I felt greatly impressed to say to the brethren that the time would come when we should have the privilege of ordaining our sons who were faithful to the Apostleship; that the Apostleship would not be confined to the twelve men who form the quorum of the Twelve, but other Apostles would be ordained who would not be in that quorum. I was led to make a good many remarks on that subject. In speaking in this connection I said it was natural, when we were casting about in our minds to fill vacancies in the Apostles, for us to think of the sons of the faithful men who had been Apostles and who had magnified their Apostleship; but while this might be our natural feelings, it would not be a prudent thing to do, unless the Lord clearly indicated that such ought to be done. Our people would not be suited in their feelings if they thought that we were confining the selection of men to the Apostleship to certain prominent families in the Church. There were good, faithful men outside of those who now were prominent and outside of their families, and the Lord will seek them out if we listen to His Spirit. It was after I made these latter remarks that I said I believed the time would come when we should have the privilege of ordaining some of our sons who were faithful to the authority that we hold.

After I got through, President Woodruff arose and expressed the pleasure he had had in listening to me, and that he fully endorsed what I had said.

At 3 o’clock we had a meeting of the Board of Directors of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co., and listened to a most sorrowful and rather disgusting recital of doings that had been carried on in the Templeton Hotel. It had been used as an assignation house by [first and last names redacted], the man who has charge of the Shoe Department of Z.C.M.I. The affidavits which were read went to show that he had at divers times had assignations at the Templeton, with the connivance of the hotel-keeper, Mr. [last name of a second man redacted], and had brought different women there and had champagne suppers, spending a good deal of money in wines and delicacies, and giving evidence that he had illicit associations with these women. Brother [last name of third man redacted] informed us that he acknowledged he had gambled at a slot machine, and that he had been drunk, but denied that he had had any improper relations with women. The evidence, however, is so conclusive, coming from such a variety of sources, that there is no alternative but to believe that he has been guilty of this wickedness. This is not the first affair of this kind with him. Some time since it was proved that he had been guilty of taking one of our sisters, the wife of a respectable man, who was separated from him, to some distant city and registering her as his wife at the hotel. It was decided that steps be taken by the executive committee to have Mr. [last name of second man redacted] vacate the premises, and if he demanded an investigation, to give him the opportunity, but not to proffer him any privilege of this kind. In the affidavits it showed that he had not only kept an assignation house in this instance, but also had gambling carried on in the house.

I had a meeting with several of my sons last evening. I find myself in so cramped a position financially that I am compelled to take steps to curtail my expenses. My chief sources of income are cut off, and I find myself in narrow circumstances. I have given notice to the man that lives on the ranch at Snyderville that I will have to dispense with his services. I have given notice to my gardener that I have got to dispense with him, and I have settled liberally with him, paying him over a month’s wages so as to give him time to find employment. I told my son Angus, too, that I would be under the necessity of dispensing with his services and having him return to the bindery and work at his business. I know it was a disappointment to him, and it is a disappointment to me, but necessity compels me to do this. I told him that the difference between that which he earned in the bindery and what I had been paying him I would make up to him, as I was paying him $120 a year more as my foreman than he could earn in the bindery; I would pay it in produce and such other things as I had. But Angus is high-spirited about such matters. He said he did not wish me to do that, and could not accept it. He said I could not spare it. Well, I told him I might during the year be able to spare it, and it would give me pleasure to do so, and he must not deny me that pleasure if I was in a situation to let him have that amount. I assured him that I made this change with reluctance, because I appreciated his labor. My son Preston, who underwent an operation some time since for appendicites, has been working occasionally in the Juvenile Office with Hugh, but his health is such that he cannot stand confinement; he looks and acts badly, and in making this change with regard to Angus, I have taken Preston to do my outdoor work. He is very young, but he has manifested quite a taste and ability in that direction in years gone by, for a little boy, so much so that I have often said that if he were 18 years of age I would rather have him than anyone I knew to take charge of my outdoor affairs. He is willing to do the best he can.

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