October 1897

1 October 1897 • Friday

Friday, October 1, 1897

Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

I was very busy to-day, but there was nothing of any special importance that I think worthy of record in my journal.

2 October 1897 • Saturday

Saturday, October 2, 1897

I have been busy all day in attending to various business matters, and held conversations with John M. Cannon, James Jack and N. W. Clayton.

3 October 1897 • Sunday

Sunday, October 3, 1897

I met this morning at 10 o’clock with the Sunday School Union Board. We held a session of nearly two hours duration.

In the afternoon I attended fast meeting in the ward, at my schoolhouse.

In the evening there was a meeting of the Sunday School Union in the Tabernacle, and the main body of the house was filled. We had an exceedingly interesting time.

4 October 1897 • Monday

Monday, October 4, 1897

At 10 o’clock this morning the Semi-Annual Conference convened in the Tabernacle. There was not a very large attendance. The lower part of the house was pretty well filled, however. President Woodruff desired me to take charge of the proceedings. I consulted with him as to how the Elders should speak, and we commenced at the youngest of the Twelve, Brother Lund, followed by Brothers Merrill, John W. Taylor and Geo. Teasdale, each speaking about 25 mins.

In the afternoon Brothers John Henry Smith, F. M. Lyman and Brigham Young occupied the time. The brethren spoke quite spiritedly and a good influence prevailed.

5 October 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, October 5, 1897

Brothers Franklin D. Richards, Lorenzo Snow and President Joseph F. Smith occupied the time this morning. I whispered to President Smith that I wished some of the brethren would speak on the subject of tithing, as it was an opportune time. He took up that subject himself, and spoke very interestingly and with a great deal of the Spirit.

It was decided to present the authorities this afternoon; but it was thought better to leave them till nearly the close of the session, so as to keep up the interest. President Woodruff requested me to occupy the time, and I spoke about three quarters of an hour, and enjoyed my own remarks, and the people all listened very attentively. I then presented the authorities without any allusion to the vacancies, and after I had presented all of them I stated to the Conference that, as they knew, there were two vacancies in the quorum of the Twelve and one in the Seven Presidents of Seventies, and then proposed the name of Matthias F. Cowley to be an Apostle, which was unanimously sustained. I next presented the name of Abraham Owen Woodruff, and he also was sustained unanimously. I then presented the name of Joseph W. McMurrin as the man to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Elder Edward Stevenson, and he also was sustained unanimously. Brothers Cowley and Woodruff were called to the stand. Neither of them had any intimation (unless perhaps the latter had received some intimation from his father) of the selection, and Brother Cowley’s face was blanched white. They were called upon to speak, and each expressed himself briefly, saying that he would endeavor to magnify the office for which he had been selected, with the help of the Lord, to the very best of his ability. President Woodruff then addressed the Conference for a short time.

In the evening there was a good attendance of the priesthood in the Tabernacle. I called upon Bishop Preston to speak, which he did for a short time, and President Smith and myself occupied the remainder of the time. The meeting was very interesting, and great attention was paid by the brethren.

6 October 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, October 6, 1897

The forenoon meeting was turned over to the First Presidents of Seventies. Brothers Fjelsted, Roberts, Reynolds and J. G. Kimball addressed the congregation. Brother Seymour B. Young was not present. Brothers Matthias F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff then spoke. Brother Cowley’s discourse was an excellent one. Brother John D. T. McAllister also spoke.

In the afternoon, at President Woodruff’s suggestion, I called upon President Smith to speak, but he did not feel very well, and he preferred hearing others; so Brothers Seymour B. Young and C. W. Penrose were called upon, and I followed them. I enjoyed the meeting exceedingly; it is seldom I have felt more free in talking than I did this afternoon. After I sat down, President Woodruff arose and spoke about 10 or 15 mins.

I spent the evening in company with Brother & Sister Jacob F. Gates at my wife Carlie’s.

7 October 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, October 7, 1897

We met with the Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors, the Bishops and their counselors, the High Councilors, the Patriarchs, the Presidents of Temples, the Seven Presidents of Seventies and the Apostles, at the Assembly Hall this morning. Brothers F. D. Richards, L. Snow, President Jos. F. Smith and myself addressed the brethren, and some excellent instruction was given.

At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and the quorum of the Twelve, with the exception of Brother Heber J. Grant, met at the Temple in the room of the Twelve. After attending to some little business the two brethren who had not been ordained were called forward. President Woodruff requested me to give them a charge. President Smith felt led to make some remarks, which he did, upon what is called the Declaration of Principles, in which he was followed by Brother Franklin D. Richards. President Woodruff then desired me to proceed, which I did. The following is a copy of what I said:

“The highest authority that the Lord bestows on man on the earth is the Apostleship, and it comprehends all the authority in the church. The Apostle, if he magnifies his office, is a prophet, a seer, a revelator, and it is his privilege to live so as to receive those gifts. The Apostles were sustained at the general conference as prophets, seers and revelators, and it was their high privilege to be in very deed all that those names implied. It is your privilege (addressing Brothers Cowley and Woodruff) when you shall be ordained Apostles, to receive those gifts according to your stations, that is, in the sphere in which you move; not to interfere with the organization of the church, for an Apostle, though he has great power, has a limit to the exercise of his authority. Whenever he finds anything wrong in a Stake of Zion, he has a right to lift his voice against it, but it is not the province of an Apostle to go into an organized stake and interfere with the things of that Stake, unless he is authorized to do so by the proper authority. It is important that you should have a proper comprehension of your authority so as to exercise it in a right manner, and to do it so you will have the spirit and power of God, and to be sustained in that which you do, because there is an order in the church and kingdom of God, and that order must be observed by all. You are called to be witnesses of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is your privilege to know Jesus, and to see him, to know that He lives; it is your privilege to live so you can have the revelations of Jesus personally. This is the privilege of an Apostle. You no doubt know it now, and you can bear testimony that you know that Jesus lives because of the witness of the Spirit in you. It is a very proper thing for you to abstain from pre-arrangements concerning business or anything you may desire to have carried out. To speak personally, I may say that when I became acquainted with the quorum of the Twelve I was struck with the reverence paid by each other to Presidents Young, Kimball and Wells. I was impressed with another thing, that is, when the Apostles met together they met with their minds free from bias and pre-conceived opinions or desires, or from having caucused together with a view to wanting things to go their way or as they would have them go. Each man came into council with his mind as free as a child, without having consulted or talked with each other as to how they wanted certain things done; they came into council perfectly free for the Spirit of God to operate upon their minds. Now I want to say in plainness that we ceased this for awhile among us. Apostles met together, and combined and arranged plans, and Moses Thatcher was one of the chief instigators of this. It resulted in great sorrow, and I think we have all seen the error of it, and how dangerous it is for Apostles to come into council meeting with things arranged beforehand to be carried out by the quorum. You ought to come in here free from bias, desiring in your hearts that the Spirit of the Lord may enlighten you as to how things should be done, and when you are in this frame of mind the spirit of revelation will rests upon you; and if you do not do this your minds will be so influenced that the Spirit of God will not have power over you and you will therefore not be likely to come to a right conclusion. It is right and proper, when you meet with the Apostles, that you express your views, but not commit yourselves to them. It is right for you to tell your feelings and express yourselves freely in the proper spirit, and after doing this it is not your right to contend. After all of the members of the Council have expressed their views on any given subject, it is the prerogative of the president of the Council to decide that which is right, it being his privilege to have the mind of the Lord, and it is our privilege to give our mind as the Spirit influences us. He listens to all, and there should be no interruption, and there should be no argument; every one should listen with respectful attention to each other and to the president of the Council; and when this is the case, after he decides, you can then see clearly that it is the will of the Lord. And we all should be agreed. There should be no difference of opinion after we get through. Whatever the decision may be, and whatever your views may be, it is your duty, after expressing yourselves, to submit to the decision of the President, and to treat him with that deference due to the man whom God has chosen to be his mouthpiece. If you do this you will be filled with light. As I said before, you should never come into council prepared to carry out any particular view; and I repeat, by taking a course of this kind the Spirit of God will rest upon you, and you will know that whatever may be done is right. It is not right, when in council, to get up and leave the council whenever it can be avoided. It is supposed that you are all engaged in the Lord’s business, and that one man can sit and devote himself as well as another. These are some of the duties devolving upon you. This is the holiest calling man can receive in the flesh. The powers bestowed upon an Apostle, the best of us cannot comprehend them fully. It is your duty, my brethren, to live so that the power of this office will be with you, that you will live up to the requirements of the office, having the gifts that belong to the office. God has not chosen you to stand and not grow, but He has chosen you that you may attain to the powers that belong to this office, with all earnestness and faith, that you may possess them, so that you may be filled with the power of God in your sphere. The word of God should be sought more diligently. You should seek to know the will of God according to the privileges you have connected with your Priesthood. This was the difficulty President Smith referred to in the case of Moses Thatcher. He did not attend to the duties of his office, so his fellow servants believe; and we have felt as the First Presidency that he did not seek to have the spirit of his calling. If he had he would have been one with his brethren; he would have attended conferences, and would have sought the society of his brethren, and been ready, so far as his health permitted, to do all things necessary in his office and calling. This is the requirement made of you; that you shall be prompt and in every respect endeavor to fill to the extent of your ability the position which you are about to occupy. It is a very important thing that this should be done. For us to sit still because we have received the Apostleship, and go along easily and quietly, exercising but little if any faith, we would be slothful servants, and God would reject us. We are not chosen to be slothful. You cannot sit still, and be idle; you must be industrious, and you must, to the extent of your ability, magnify this office in the sight of God and your brethren. When this is the case the people will see that God is with you, and that you were not only called Apostles in name, but that you have the gifts and powers of the Apostleship. In no other way can we be acceptable before God than this. We must realize the weight of responsibility resting upon us as Apostles; unless we do we may depend upon it God will not favor and bless us, and He will not crown us with His power; but He will do this if we are faithful and diligent. You should seek by prayer and the exercise of faith to have angels minister to you, and to have the power of God with you always. This is your privilege, and you cannot magnify your office without you are diligent in these things, so that you can be witnesses among the people that the Lord has restored the gift of prophecy, that the Lord has restored revelation, and that he ministers to men through the means of angelic beings, and that you can testify to this because of your own personal experiences. It is a solemn obligation you are about to take upon yourselves. If you do not feel to assume the responsibility of this priesthood and calling, do not permit our hands to be laid upon your heads; say, No, it is too great – unless you are determined by the help of God that you will seek after this power, the power that belongs to the holy Apostleship, and every gift connected with it. But if you are desirous and willing to put your trust in the Lord, and desire from the inmost recesses of your hearts to labor as you may be directed to save the souls of the children of our God – if you have that feeling when you are ordained, you will go forth with power and be truly God’s ministers to man. Do not indulge in the least in ambitious desires, do not give way to that kind of feeling that will destroy the influence of the Spirit of God within you, and his power will not attend you. But if your eye be single to the glory of God, if you are determined to serve God and have an eye single to his glory and not your own glory; when you preach well, give God the glory; when the sick are healed under your hands, give God the glory, and do not take credit to yourselves, but think how weak and powerless you must be, and what little worth you are unless God gives you the gifts to accompany your administration. Be careful on this point, for the other spirit kills the Spirit of God. God does not want us to take credit to ourselves. Pray to God to show you your weaknesses that you may see and know them, and through humility and prayerfulness fortify yourselves against them, and then you will be strong and mighty in His strength. If you take glory to yourselves God will not bestow these gifts upon you, and the measure of His Spirit that you have will be withdra[w]n from you. Now brethren, take these things to heart, and help us who are already in this ministry. Give us your strength and power, and be one with us. Listen to the counsels of your president – a man of God, whom God has honored and blessed, and be one with him and your fellow Apostles, and I promise you that you will become indeed and of a truth servants of the living God and special witnesses of His Son to the whole world; for God will sustain you and deliver you and bring you off conqueror, and you will receive at last exaltation and glory in the presence of God and the Lamb, which may God grant, for Christ’s sake. Amen.”

Brother Lyman also made some remarks, endorsing particularly what I had said concerning what he called caucusing before going into meetings.

We had quite an enjoyable time. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out in power upon us. We then laid our hands upon the head of Brother Matthias F. Cowley, and President Woodruff requested me to ordain him, which I did. We then laid our hands upon Brother Abraham Owen Woodruff, and President Woodruff was mouth in ordaining him.

8 October 1897 • Friday

Friday, October 8, 1897

Bishop Winslow Farr, of Old Mexico, came in the office this morning to ask our counsel about returning to Mexico or remaining in Ogden. We all felt that he should return to Mexico and move his family, if he wished to, down there.

Dr. James E. Talmage gave us a very interesting report of his visit to Russia, where he had been to attend a meeting of the Geological Society.

Brother F. S. Richards brought to our attention a bond that had been drawn up by Mr. P. L. Williams, the attorney of the Oregon Short Line, for us to sign. There were present at this meeting Presidents Woodruff and Smith, N. W. Clayton, James Jack, F. D. Richards and myself. President Woodruff expressed himself against signing such a bond. I took the same view. But it was decided that the Oregon Short Line Company should be approached to show them the inconsistency of their request. It is expected that President Carr and some of the Directors of the Company will be here by next Tuesday.

We had a meeting of the Union Light & Power Co. to read a dispatch which had been received by Judge Le Grand Young, which was of a favorable character.

We had an interview with the Presidency of Wayne Stake.

9 October 1897 • Saturday

Saturday, October 9, 1897

I was quite busy to-day; but I had laid out for myself a good deal of work, nearly all of which I failed to reach in consequence of so many callers.

10 October 1897 • Sunday

Sunday, October 10, 1897

President Woodruff received the sad intelligence a few days ago of the death of his daughter Susan, who had gone back to Iowa to attend to some business. The news was very unexpected. Her body has been brought on, and 2 o’clock to-day was the time set for the funeral services at the 21st Ward. Myself and three of my wives were present. The speakers were Brothers John Henry Smith, Lorenzo Snow, Angus M. Cannon and myself. I did not feel like speaking, but at President Woodruff’s request I did so. Bishop Woolley also made some remarks. We then went to the cemetery, and at the request of President Woodruff I dedicated the grave and thanked the audience for the kindness they had shown.

In the evening I met with the Ward and listened to remarks made by Elders Charles Rogers and Eugene M. Cannon. I followed, speaking about 30 mins.

11 October 1897 • Monday

Monday, October 11, 1897

Geo. Q. Cannon & Sons Co. held a meeting this morning. I learned that my son John Q. had a life insurance policy of $10,000.00 on which he ought to have paid $322 last week. Failing to do so, he was likely to forefeit all he had paid, and I borrowed the amount to assist him, although I am very cramped in my financial affairs at the present time and scarcely know where to turn for money to meet my daily expenses.

Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

A meeting of the Salt Lake & Deseret Agricultural & Manufacturing Society was held to take into consideration the best means to carry out the contract which had been entered into between that company and the people of Deseret. It is proposed that our company shall build a reservoir to store the waters of the Sevier river. The condition is that if we build this reservoir and keep it up for two years, we are to have three-sevenths of the primary right, and they to have four-sevenths. Brother Wilcken, as the President of the Company, was selected to go down, and as Capt. Willard Young, the State Engineer, is going down, to get his opinion as to the site. Mr. McCartney, another engineer, will also go along. The intention is to borrow sufficient money to build this reservoir and furnish our land with water.

Mr. Bannister came down to meet with Brothers Jos. F. Smith and John R. Winder, who have been appointed a committee to examine the question of building a seepage dam in Ogden canyon. Mr. Bannister has been in favor of the complete abandonment of this project, but to-day he favored the engagement of a consulting engineer, Mr. Pegram, and also Capt. Willard Young. He appears to have changed his view as to the feasibility of putting in this dam. Brother Jos. F. Smith is sick to-day and could not be present at the meeting with them.

12 October 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, October 12, 1897

Brother Isaac Brockbank came in to ask some counsel concerning a loan that he had made to Jesse W. Fox, and which he found it difficult to have repaid, and even the interest is denied him. We gave him suitable counsel.

I was busy at the office all day.

13 October 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, October 13, 1897

President Smith still continues sick, but he was able to come to the office part of the day. He is afflicted with boils.

I was greatly shocked this morning by receiving a dispatch from Nephi, informing me of the death of Prest. William Paxman at American Fork. He has been the President of the Juab Stake of Zion, and a very estimable man, held in high esteem by all who knew him. It seems that just before Conference he fell a distance of some 14 ft. and broke his leg. His son informed me by telephone that they thought some internal rupture had occurred, and that the blood had suffused and drowned the heart, for he died very suddenly.

There was an adjourned meeting of the Union Light & Power Co. held to-day. No particular business was transacted, because of the non-arrival of Brother Le Grand Young, whom we expected to reach here early this morning. He did arrive in the afternoon, and came up and made a report to Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself of what he had done.

The Twelve have been in session yesterday and to-day at the Temple, and we had made an appointment for them to meet at our office to have consultation concerning the Turkish Mission. Bro. Hintze, who has labored in that mission some three years, had been invited to be present. We had a very interesting meeting, and it was decided that one of the Twelve, and perhaps Brother Hintze, and, if needed, another Elder, should proceed to Palestine and look over the ground and see whether a suitable place could be obtained for the gathering of the saints there, and the measures that would be necessary to secure a firman from the government for a place for colonization.

Colonel Gray, with whom I was acquainted about thirty years ago, called upon me this morning in company with Mr. Duke, of Wells, Fargo & Co., and Mr. Christensen and Mr. Gardner of the same Co. Colonel Gray is in his 80th year. He is very well preserved. He indulged in reminiscences of former visits to Salt Lake.

14 October 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, October 14, 1897

Brother Frank Armstrong called in to see us about onyx beds that we are interested in.

Brother Elias S. Kimball called and had some conversation with us about the proposed visit of Brothers Lyman and Cowley to the Southern States. He came in consequence of remarks that I made to Brother Lyman, who had spoken to me about funds to pay his expenses. I told him that I thought the mission ought to do something in that direction, and to call on Brother Elias to learn what the prospect was. I scarcely expected that they would have any funds, but I did it for the purpose of bringing to the attention of the brethren the methods we had formerly of traveling in this way. The English Mission and all the European Missions in early days sent money up to Zion, and paid the traveling expenses of the Elders who were in their midst, and no call was ever made on the Church for funds; in fact, it would have been very surprising to President Young to have had a mission call upon him for money to pay traveling expenses of any leading Elder who should visit that mission. In my labors also in California, instead of sending for help from home, I had sent means to President Young, on one occasion sending nearly $2000 in tithing, and the mission was a very difficult one at that time to maintain. I explained to Presidents Woodruff and Smith what my motive was in speaking thus to Brother Lyman. I did it in the presence of Brother Elias Kimball, so that he would know what the feeling was. He said that as far as maintaining the brethren there would be no expense attending that; but the traveling expenses would amount to at least $300 for each one and they were not in a position to meet that expense. He suggested, too, that one of the Twelve probably would be sufficient. This question was afterwards submitted to the Council at our meeting to-day. Brother Lorenzo Snow seemed to think that it was unnecessary for anyone to go to the South; that if there was anything that needed correction in any way, Brother Kimball, if he were told of it, would no doubt make any changes that would be suggested; but the feeling of the Council seemed to be, especially Presidents Woodruff and Smith, that it was necessary a visit should be made, and Brother Lyman plead so hard to have a companion that it was decided Brother Cowley should accompany him.

At 11 o’clock Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself went to the Temple, and found all the Twelve there, excepting Brother Heber J. Grant, who is still confined to his house. A number of business items were attended to, and afterwards we partook of sacrament. We had observed this as a fast day. We ate the bread and drank the wine, which Brother Franklin D. Richards had been called upon to bless. The meeting was quite interesting and I enjoyed it.

There was a meeting of the Co-op. Wagon & Machine Co. at the office.

At 5 o’clock I took my wife Carlie to a sociable at Brother John M. Whitaker’s house in Sugar House Ward. There was quite a gathering there, and the evening was spent very pleasantly. It was a very stormy night.

15 October 1897 • Friday

Friday, October 15, 1897

At 9 o’clock this morning there was a meeting of the Sugar Company.

At 11 o’clock the Union Light & Power Co. held a meeting, and listened to the written report of Judge Le Grand Young, which was accepted, and some other business was attended to.

The President and Vice President and one or two of the Directors of the Oregon Short Line came to town night before last. I was so busy yesterday that I did not have time to call upon them; but an appointment was made for me to call to-day at 3 o’clock. I took Colonel Clayton with me, and we had a lengthy interview with them, talking over our affairs. After having some conversation, the two attorneys, Mr. Williams, their attorney, and Mr. Richards, our attorney, were sent for. The chief subject of conversation was the signing of a bond for stipulated damages. A bond had been drawn up by Mr. Williams, at the instance of Mr. Nichols, the attorney of the Company in Boston, in which stipulated damages to the amount of $300,000 were to be paid in the event of our failing to do certain things within a certain time. Presidents Woodruff and Smith and myself felt that this bond was entirely too ironclad, and I so stated to Mr. Carr, and Mr. Coolidge, and Mr. Ames and Mr. Nichols in our interview this afternoon. It led to quite a lengthy discussion. It was conceded by them that the penalty for violation of the traffic contract was too severe, and that there ought not be stipulated damages insisted upon that. Our conversation was pleasant; but I set forth before them with great plainness our condition, and that it really frightened us such a large bond. I said we were accustomed in this country to doing things on honor, and our word was as good as our bond. We had always been careful to preserve our honor and to keep our word, and we still had that feeling, and it was that feeling that caused us to hesitate about signing such a severe bond. The interview lasted for about two hours and a half, and we separated with the understanding that we should meet at 9 o’clock in the morning to conclude our business.

I notified President Smith and Brother James Jack that I would like them to join Colonel Clayton, F. S. Richards and myself at President Woodruff’s at 7 o’clock this evening. I notified President Woodruff by telephone that we would be down there at 7 o’clock to hold a meeting with him.

The brethren named, excepting President Smith, were there at the time, and after waiting some little time for him, we entered into the discussion of the question. He came after awhile, and he spoke very strongly against this bond business, and thought these people were trying to get us in a hole, &c. While I feel that they ask more than they should do in this matter, still, as I said to the brethren, it is their property that we are buying, and they have the right to ask us to comply with certain conditions if we do buy it, and if the conditions are too hard for us we have the right to reject them. With them it is only a business proceeding, and while we may think they are hard, we cannot talk about them as though they were trying to take advantage of us – at least, that is the way I felt. President Smith made two motions, one that the whole business should be left to myself and Brothers Clayton and Jack. This was seconded by, I think, Brother Jack; but I objected to it. I said I could not consent to any responsibility of that kind being placed upon me. I said Brothers Clayton and Jack, of course, could act each for himself; but I said it put the responsibility of the First Presidency on me, and I did not think this fair. I said, President Woodruff, you and President Smith are here, and you can say what you want done, and I will carry it out; but for me to go and decide what shall be done for both of you, when you have all the facts before you the same as I have, it would not be fair. The other motion President Smith made was that we should give the whole thing up. I do not give its exact language, but this is the purport. Before these motions, however, were presented, Brother Clayton had made a motion that we should offer them a bond of stipulated damages for $150,000, and not to exceed $200,000. This did not receive a second at the time, but it was finally seconded by President Woodruff, and was carried, though President Smith said that he voted because it was President Woodruff’s wish, but he did not like it. I suggested to Brother Clayton, who kept the minutes, that he had better write what President Smith had said in relation to his vote, and I said, after you have done that, record that I vote in favor of it, but do not like it. President Woodruff said he did not like it either. When President Smith spoke so strongly about his objections to giving any bond and in favor of breaking the negotiations up, I said to him, that if his mind was clear on that and he had the mind of the Lord about it, I would sustain him to the extent of my part of it in pursuing that course. He said, however, he would not call it the mind of the Lord, but his judgment was that that was the better course to pursue. I said to him, whatever we decide upon we should be prepared for all the consequences, and they are very serious in that direction. They are very serious for us in any event, look at which side we may. If we do not complete negotiations with these people, our property that we now have will be comparatively valueless. On the other hand, if we do negotiate with them, we shall incur obligations that will be very serious. I said, it is our privilege, I thought, to be united and to get the mind of the Lord on this subject; for the Lord is in this, and I want to do whatever He wants done, and I know we all do.

Our meeting lasted till nearly 12 o’clock, and was not so harmonious as usual, though there was no bad feeling manifested, but a difference of views.

16 October 1897 • Saturday

Saturday, October 16, 1897

I got but little sleep last night, and I felt burdened with the thought of the steps that we would take in this meeting at 9 o’clock. I got up early, did not stop for breakfast, and got my son Preston to drive me to the Temple. I dressed myself in my Temple clothing, and laid the matter before the Lord with all the earnestness and faith of which I was capable, because I felt that this was a very important meeting that we would have at 9 o’clock and it might lead to serious embarrassments.

Brothers Clayton and Richards were on hand, and we met Mr. Carr, Mr. Coolidge, Mr. Nichols and Mr. Ames, and entered upon the conversation where we had left off last evening. I told them that we wished to have the bond reduced to $150,000; in other words, to have it divided, the stipulated damages to be $150,000. I had very carefully estimated the value of the earnings that we would have in these properties if we made this deal, and it was thought that we could realize 6% on all our property, including the $150,000 if we had to pay it. They appealed to Mr. Williams, and he thought $200,000 would be right. Brother Richards made a strong plea in favor of $150,000. I stated that I wished to repeat what I had said before, that we were really frightened at the size of the bond. We were not accustomed to putting ourselves under such heavy obligations. We intended to carry out the terms of the contract in good faith. They argued, of course, that they ought to have $200,000. After my remarks, however, they whispered to one another, and finally they proposed to leave the room and go into another room and talk the matter over. This they did, and spent some time. They had a few emendations to make in the contract of no particular importance, and then came to the last, which was that both parties should prepare to close this business up on the first of January, instead of the 1st of November. They had to obtain transfers of the property that we were purchasing, and we had to get our bonds released, so as to be able to turn 300 of the new bonds over to them, and by taking two and a half months for this business both parties could get through their business without hurrying. When this clause was read, I asked particularly whether this was intended to open a door for retreat. They assured me that they had no intention of that kind, but that it was done as a concession to us and to themselves, and they meant in good faith to carry out the contract, but thought it would be better for all parties if this time were allowed, and then if either party failed to come up to the terms of the contract before the first of January, the whole business should be declared off. It was this latter statement that prompted me to ask whether that was intended to open the way of retreat. They then said that they had decided to split the difference between our proposition and their own, and to ask for $175,000 as stipulated damages. To this we finally agreed.

I feel that the Lord has heard my prayer, and He has blessed us. We have it now in our power to carry this out by the 1st of January, which will give us time to make our arrangements, and we are not in any manner bound. There are no shackles on us of any kind. If we can get our bonds free we can enter into this contract. I feel that the Lord has opened the way for us in this matter, and I am well satisfied with the result of our interview.

Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

This evening, with my wife Carlie, I took train for Nephi. I had arranged to have the train stop on 10th South St. for President Woodruff and his wife and myself and wife. President Smith is to go down to-morrow on the morning train. We reached Nephi a little after 10, and were met by Brother Teasdale, who took us to his home.

17 October 1897 • Sunday

Sunday, October 17, 1897

I attended Sunday school this morning in company with Brothers Geo. Teasdale and Anthon H. Lund. We had a very interesting time. Brother Lund and myself addressed the children.

At 12 o’clock the people assembled at the Stake house to attend the funeral ceremonies of their deceased president, William Paxman. The house was crowded to overflowing, and was beautifully draped in white. Brother Teasdale spoke for a short time, followed by President Smith, who spoke 25 mins; after which I addressed the congregation for 30 mins., and President Woodruff closed. There was an excellent spirit, and I enjoyed my own remarks exceedingly, as I did the brethren’s. We did not go to the cemetery, as we wanted to return on the afternoon train. From the meeting house we proceeded to Brother Teasdale’s and took dinner, and then was taken to the train, which again stopped for us to get out on 10th South Street, where we were met by our vehicles.

18 October 1897 • Monday

Monday, October 18, 1897

President Woodruff and myself had a lengthy conversation with Brother Hintze concerning the mission to Palestine, and we conveyed the impression to him that he would go with one of the Twelve to that land. He thought it proper to inform us that the rainy season would be over by the 1st of March, and they ought to leave here not later than the 15th of January, to get there at the most suitable season.

A painful case appeals to me; in fact, there are a great many cases which are brought to my attention that show how helpless I am – people who want relief in various forms, and who desire counsel and help which it is difficult to give. Sister Pearson is very deaf, so much so that it is almost impossible to make her hear. She is a comparatively young woman, and has a husband, who has squandered her property, and from whom she wants to be divorced. She has several children, and is helpless, and comes and asks me what she shall do. I had a talk with her to-day. She has a brother in Mexico. She thinks if she could get the remnant of her property disposed of (which is under mortgage) she might be able to get down to Mexico.

There was a meeting of the executive committee of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. to-day, to approve of bills which had been incurred.

Mr. Bannister also called upon me and gave me a description of the results of consulting engineer Pegram’s conclusions concerning the dam in Ogden canyon.

Brother David Eccles called upon me also, and had some conversation concerning the bond that he had given to Abraham in the Flint suit.

19 October 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, October 19, 1897

There was a meeting of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. this morning, and Mr. Bannister made his report to the Company in relation to the consultation they had had about the dam.

I had a long conversation with my nephew, John M. Cannon, who is the administrator of Abraham’s estate, and my son Hugh J. Cannon, concerning the situation of affairs and what should be done in the case of Brothers Eccles and Clayton on the bond that they had given to enable Abraham to appeal the Flint case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brother William A. Rossiter has been selected by the First Presidency to act as the agent of the Trustee-in-Trust in visiting the various tithing offices in the country and looking after the tithing. We had a conference with him to-day, in which we explained to him the nature of the duties that we wished him to attend to.

I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

20 October 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, October 20, 1897

We had a meeting with the Presidency of the Salt Lake Stake to-day in relation to the counsel which is given to parties who have difficulty in collecting their debts from their brethren in the Church. It had appeared to me that there was a misunderstanding on the part of the Presidency of the Stake concerning this subject, and that instead of the laws of the Church being a protection to the saints, they were in some instances made to operate against them. For instance, there is the case of Isaac Brockbank against Jesse W. Fox. It was tried before the Bishop’s Court, and the Bishop’s Court decided that the debt ought to be paid; but Brother Fox said he could not pay it, he had no means of paying it; and the Bishop, upon being written to, asks what could the man do more than to say that he could not pay it? and what could he do, as Bishop, to enforce it? Now, Brother Brockbank has been told that if he went to law he would be dealt with for his fellowship. The point that I wished to bring to the attention of the Presidency of the Stake was that brethren should not be prevented from getting judgment against their debtor brethren in a case like this where a man was insolvent as Brother Fox is said to be, because by being thus prevented, non-Mormons could come in and get their judgments against him, while a brother in the Church could not get judgment.

There was a case, too, of a Brother Hansen, who had been cut off, whose case was a contest for land which had come up before the State Land Board.

Another case was mentioned where a man had got possession of a piece of land by a tax title.

These cases were all discussed. Unfortunately, Brother Joseph F. Smith took another view of the matter from that which I did, and it made the conversation quite unpleasant. I felt very much chagrined at the turn affairs took; and as this is the second time that we have had a talk with the Presidency of the Stake, I feel as though I do not want, while this impression remains on my mind, to have any further conversation with them about matters of this kind. They contend with such pertinacity for their view being right that it is painful; it is like having a bout in a court with opposing lawyers. They defend their positions and their action so persistently. They did this in a case that we had a few months ago before the First Presidency and the Twelve, and it was only by the sheer weight of numbers that we were able to force them to take our view of the case.

Brother Matt. Browning called to see us in relation to the Utah Loan & Trust Co., and afterwards we held a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank on the subject. We listened to the report of the committee, consisting of Geo. M. Cannon, cashier of the bank, and George Reynolds, one of the directors. The report showed the Utah Loan & Trust Co. up in a worse condition that I had thought it was in, and with worse prospects. The opinions of lawyers were read as to whether we could legally establish a branch bank of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. at Ogden. Franklin S. Richards and Chas. C. Richards, who are very desirous to have the branch bank established there, wrote an opinion that favored the legality of the establishment of a branch bank. John M. Cannon gave an opinion which was, I thought, very able and, to my mind, conclusive, that if we did attempt it we would expose ourselves to the repeal of our charter, and perhaps as directors be liable to prosecution. Another opinion was read which had been written by Richard W. Young some three or four years ago on the same subject, and which was endorsed by Le Grand Young and Oscar Moyle. Their view was the same as that of John M. Cannon. Brother Joseph F. Smith suggested that we take steps as a bank to absorb the Utah Loan & Trust Co., and spoke very favorably of that proposed action. The discussion lasted about two hours, and it seemed as though there was an inclination to take that view. Geo. M. Cannon stated that our bank could raise sufficient money to lift the other bank out of its present dilemma, and that we could call in more funds also if needed. I sat through the whole discussion without saying one word. I was very desirous to get the light of the Spirit on the proposition, and to feel clear in my mind as to what steps we should take. After all had spoken, and some several times, and there was a lull, no one having anything more to say, President Woodruff turned to me and asked me if I had nothing to say. I arose and said that it appeared clear to me that if we attempted to establish a branch bank at Ogden, we would put ourselves in great jeopardy; we would jeopardize our bank, and we would jeopardize our own liberty as directors. I was very glad, I said, to hear from Brother Geo. M. Cannon concerning the amount of funds he had on hand, but because we had such a good amount of funds on hand I thought we ought to be exceedingly careful about disbursing them. We all remembered the days that were past – how we had trembled for fear of a run on the bank. If we were to part with this money, and [a] run should be attempted, what would be our condition? Each man that had stock was responsible for an equal amount of cash to the value of his stock. The Church had about 8000 shares in the bank. If there was a run on the bank, the Church would have to raise $160,000, that being the face value of its stock, and this amount would have to be raised in addition to that. Every man that had one share would have to raise $200, and if he had a hundred shares, it would be $20,000. I said the stock had been sold, even with the good condition described by the cashier, for $120 a share. Imagine what the condition of our stock would be if we were to enter into this branch bank. The stock would be depreciated until it was very low. Some of us had the stock put up as security for money. Brother Jos. F. Smith, Brother Lyman, myself, and the Church, all had this stock put up as collateral, and its value as security would be greatly depreciated if this branch bank were established and the money on hand advanced to the branch bank. Every one who listened was convinced by what I said, and some of them were greatly relieved, because they feared that the other proposition would be carried. I then moved that it be the sense of the meeting, after hearing the opinions of the attorneys, and the report made by the committee, and the discussion that followed, that the Board deem it unwise to establish a branch bank at Ogden under existing laws, but that we deem the situation of the Utah Loan & Trust Co. of such importance that we will use all our influence and do all in our power to aid said institution in extricating itself from the situation in which it is placed; which was seconded and carried. I followed this up by another motion, that a committee, consisting of Thomas G. Webber, George M. Cannon and L. John Nuttall, be appointed, with authority to call to their aid any help needed, to perfect a plan to enable said institution to either carry on its business successfully or to wind it up in a way more satisfactory to all concerned. We then adjourned. I felt to thank the Lord for His Holy Spirit. Some of the brethren came and shook hands with me, and said I was really inspired in the remarks I made. Brother Lyman spoke very emphatically in the meeting in favor of this proposition. He said he had already lost considerable in the Utah Loan & Trust Co., and he wanted that loss to suffice, and not to have another loss through this bank.

21 October 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, October 21, 1897

This morning I met with a few of the members of Cannon, Grant & Co. at 8:30, and brought to the attention of those present our situation – that we had nearly $25,000 to raise from the 27th of this month to the 25th of November, in different payments. This money was due to John Claflin, of New York. I talked very plainly to the brethren about our position and the necessity there was for us to do something towards settling up our affairs. I described my own condition and what a disastrous thing it would be if, for any cause, we failed to meet our engagements. There were two of the Presidency, three of the Twelve, the Governor of the State, the Supt. of Z.C.M.I., the Cashier of Deseret Savings Bank, the Cashier of Zion’s Savings Bank, and the Prest. of the Sugar Company – all these belonged to this Company, and if they failed it would be a disaster to the whole community. We were all very much exercised in our feelings. Finally, Brother Webber and Geo. M. Cannon, representing Zion’s Savings Bank, agreed to advance $24,000 on such securities as we could raise, and this was carried.

I had quite a talk, in company with Prest. Shurtliff, with Brother John McFarlane, who has been in trouble at his home. I promised that I would go to Weber some day, and try and get President Smith to go with me, and settle up the family difficulties.

We had our usual meeting in the Temple this morning. Beside the First Presidency, there were present, President Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Anthon H. Lund, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff, of the Twelve. We had some discussion on the subject of the selection of Elders for missions, and other matters.

We had a meeting of the Directors of Z.C.M.I., at which the case of [first and last name redacted], was brought up.

I met with the Wonder Mining Company.

In the evening I met with my boys and talked over our affairs.

22 October 1897 • Friday

Friday, October 22, 1897.

This was quite a busy day with me. I met with some of the officers of the Salt Lake & Deseret Agricultural Co., and the First Presidency had a long talk with Brother A. W. Ivins about Mexican matters.

23 October 1897 • Saturday

Saturday, October 23, 1897

I was at the office until 2 o’clock, when I had to leave for Tooele. It had been my intention to go to the Tooele Conference this morning; but Mr. Magrath, of Alberta, in company with Brother Card, expected to come here and talk business with us. He did not come, however; but Brother Card brought their propositions in writing.

We had a meeting of the Pioneer Electric Co. and one of the Union Light & Power Co.

At 2 o’clock I left for Tooele. I rode on the Salt Lake & Los Angeles to Saltair, where I was met by Brother Orson Worthington with a buggy, he having driven from the city to meet me there. We reached Tooele a little before 6. The wind blew very strongly in our faces. Brother H. S. Gowans made us welcome. I spent a very interesting evening in conversation with him and other brethren.

24 October 1897 • Sunday

Sunday, October 24, 1897

Brother A. O. Woodruff came out yesterday to the conference and met with the people.

We met in Sunday school this morning, and also with the saints. Brother Woodruff spoke, and I followed. I occupied the afternoon and had a good flow of the Spirit. In the evening we held a meeting, and he and I addressed the people.

It stormed so to-day that the attendance was rather small at the conference.

25 October 1897 • Monday

Monday, October 25, 1897

In consequence of the roads being so bad and the storm still continuing, Brother Worthington returned with the buggy, and Brother Woodruff and myself took the train and reached the city at about 4 o’clock. I drove up to the office and attended to some business there.

26 October 1897 • Tuesday

Tuesday, October 26, 1897

Very busy attending to various affairs.

Brother Sjodahl called and reported his mission to Stockholm to carry the Book of Mormon in an onyx box to the King of Norway and Sweden. It was very gratifying to hear his report of the manner in which he was received.

Among other business done this morning was action at a meeting of the Salt Lake & Deseret Agricultural Society to borrow $15,000 for the construction of a reservoir at Deseret on the Sevier river.

This afternoon I went to my farm over Jordan in company with my sons John Q. & Preston.

27 October 1897 • Wednesday

Wednesday, October 27, 1897

I had promised Brother James Macfarlane and Prest. Shurtliff that I would go up to Ogden to help settle a family difficulty that had arisen among the Macfarlane brothers, and that I would try to induce President Smith to accompany me. We left Salt Lake City this morning at 8 o’clock, and was met by Brother Shurtliff, who took us to his home, where we met Archie, James, William and Robert Macfarlane, and [blank] Peterson, a brother-in-law of theirs. We listened patiently for a number of hours to their statements and endeavored to effect a reconciliation between them. A difficulty had arisen between them concerning property amounting to $2000. In addition to this, there was their father’s estate, amounting, as they said, to about $7000. And there was a most bitter and hostile feeling manifested by them one to the other. Archie and James were together, and William and Robert (who is a Bishop) and the brother-in-law were on the other side. I spoke to them with great power. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me. I told them what they ought to do. This was after listening to their explanations for hours. I told them they ought to repent, and get together and fast and pray and ask forgiveness; for they were all possessed of a spirit that would destroy them if they did not get rid of it. I then asked them if they would accept our decision. This was after President Smith also had made remarks. They did not all consent to receive the counsel I gave, but began rehearsing the same thing over again. I sat for about an hour and an half without saying one word, listening to them thrash the old straw over again, adding some few new bundles that we had not had thrashed before. I was thoroughly disheartened and disappointed at the spirit they manifested, for I had expected better things of them, as they are reputed to be good men. But there has a regular family feud grown up, and it is extending to their children, and the consequences are going to be very serious. President Smith had suggested that I should select an arbitrator or arbitrators to decide this matter for them; but after listening to their talk, I said an angel could not arbitrate anything satisfactory to them with the spirit that they were of. I said they would have to get together and humble themselves, and then they could settle their own affairs without the aid of arbitration. Finally, it was decided and agreed that the oldest brother and the youngest should get together, and in the presence of Brother Middleton, who should act as moderator for them, and see if they could not reach some conclusion. Brothers Shurtliff and Middleton were both present at this interview. The youngest brother, Robert, tried to be released from this duty. He said he would give up all his interest in every form rather than act; in fact, he wept; said he had been greatly abused. But President Smith was urgent that he should remain, and we separated with the understanding that he and Archie would act. We did not get through with this business till nearly 6 o’clock, and we left for the city.

28 October 1897 • Thursday

Thursday, October 28, 1897

I had a conversation this morning with Presidents Woodruff and Smith concerning a circular letter that had been issued by Brothers B. H. Roberts and J. Golden Kimball, as a committee of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association. There were some points in it which I thought required attention.

The First Presidency went to the Temple and met with President Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young. Brother Lorenzo Snow agreed to go to the Summit Stake Conference, Brother Jos. F. Smith to the Wasatch Stake Conference.

After we returned to the office, Brother George Goddard was ordained a patriarch by the First Presidency. President Woodruff requested me to be mouth in blessing him.

29 October 1897 • Friday

Friday, October 29, 1897

A large number of the officers of the Church in Sanpete Stake had proffered to do work in the Temple at Manti for the progenitors of President Brigham Young, and the family was desirous that myself and wife Carlie should be present. We started for Manti this morning (Brother Brigham Young was also with us) and reached there between 1 & 2 o’clock, and were taken directly to the Temple. We found 163 brethren going through for the family – probably the largest number of men that have ever gone through any of our Temples on one day. There were but very few women, and they were going through for their own kindred. Prest. McAllister desired Brother Brigham Young and myself to address the saints in the terrestrial room, which we did. It was very gratifying to the family to have this kindness tendered to them by the brethren. Every Bishop in the Stake was present and officiated, excepting one, and his counselors were there; he was kept away by death in his family.

Brother McAllister invited myself and wife to stay with him, at his house.

There was a meeting of the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association this evening, which I attended, and at which they desired me to speak. I addressed them for about half an hour.

30 October 1897 • Saturday

Saturday, October 30, 1897

There was a Conjoint Conference to-day of the Mutual Improvement Associations. Brother B. H. Roberts was there, he being one of the General Superintendency. Brother J. F. Allred, who is the Stake Supt., presided in the meetings. Reports of the conditions of the associations were made, and Brother Brigham Young spoke. In the afternoon Brother Roberts spoke, and in the evening he occupied the entire time and spoke with great power. His style is somewhat dramatic, but I think that he is without doubt the best orator in the Church – at least, I have heard no one that, in my opinion, equals him in oratory. His past operations in politics have created in my mind some distrust of his judgment and soundness; and while I think him very talented and capable of doing great good, I have had in my feelings some fear respecting the policy of pushing him forward as he has been of late, and as he undoubtedly will be in the future, because of his position. The Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association have President Woodruff as the President, with three counselors – Brothers Jos. F. Smith, Heber J. Grant and B. H. Roberts. I was away when this organization was effected. Upon hearing of it I felt a little regret that Brother Roberts was put forward so prominently under the circumstances; still it may not result in anything but good for him and for all concerned. In addition to these counselors they have two of the Twelve and a number of other prominent brethren as “Aids”.

31 October 1897 • Sunday

Sunday, October 31, 1897

Sister Maggie Shipp occupied the meeting this morning until about 11 o’clock, when the school children came into the galleries. The brethren were quite desirous that I should speak to them, which I did, occupying about 40 mins., and feeling exceedingly well in my remarks.

After the presentation of the authorities of the Association in the afternoon, and some other business, I was requested to speak, which I did, and enjoyed the Spirit very much.

We dismissed our meeting a little earlier, because I had promised that I would go to Spring City and hold evening meeting with the saints there. Brother Roberts and his wife had an appointment at Gunnison. Brother J. F. Allred and son took us in their vehicle to Spring City, where we reached in time to have something to eat before the meeting, which opened at 7 o’clock.

We put up at Brother Allred’s house.

The meeting house was crowded and a great many stood at the windows. I had good liberty in talking to the saints and enjoyed the meeting.

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October 1897, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 22, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon/1890s/1897/10-1897