Saturday, January 1, 1898
I spent to-day at home.
After breakfast, I gathered all my family together, and I talked to them about the blessings we enjoyed and how favored we were in having so many comforts and conveniences. We ought to be, I said, the most thankful of all people. I described my remembrance of the situation we were in fifty years ago to-day, and how destitute we were, how little food we had, how badly we were sheltered and clothed. I endeavored to impress upon them the feeling of thankfulness that they should entertain and cultivate. After talking in this strain, I then knelt down and prayed with the family. There was a sweet, heavenly influence in our midst.
I remained quiet in the house, not feeling well.
Sunday, January 2, 1898
I remained in the house all day, trying to nurse myself. It was fast day, and we all fasted, but I did not attend meeting.
Monday, January 3, 1898
In company with John M. Cannon, I went to Provo to-day to attend a meeting of the Grand Central Mining Co. There was a stockholders’ meeting, and an election held, at which C. E. Loose, L. Holbrook, Reed Smoot, William Hatfield and myself were elected Directors. L. Holbrook was elected President, Reed Smoot Vice president, C. E. Loose Manager, and John R. Twelves Secretary & Treasurer.
We returned on the train which reached Salt Lake City at 12:30.
I went to the office and was busy looking through my correspondence and attending to other matters.
Tuesday, January 4, 1898
My health is still unsatisfactory. I suffer from fever and general derangement of my system. I have concluded that it must be la grippe with which I am troubled, as it is not like an ordinary cold.
I was at the office all day, busily employed. Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.
Wednesday, January 5, 1898
There was a meeting this morning of the Union Light & Power Co., at which we attended to some business.
At 1 o’clock there was a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co.
At 2 o’clock a meeting of the General Board of Education.
Bishop Robert Morris, who is one of the new City Council, came in to talk with us about the course to be taken in regard to confirming appointments made by the Mayor. We gave him our views. He seemed quite gratified at the result of the interview.
Judge Ritchie saw me about the District Attorneyship of the State, for which he is a candidate.
Thursday, January 6, 1898
I observed this day as a fast day, it being the last day for the Twelve Apostles to meet, according to their custom. They held meetings yesterday and the day before in the Temple, and the First Presidency went down to the Temple at 11 o’clock, as usual, to meet with them.
After attending to some few items of business, President Lorenzo Snow arose and made remarks which we listened to with considerable interest, as from the tone of them they were quite unusual. I copy herewith from the notes of our Secretary, Brother Geo. F. Gibbs:-
[329 words quoting from the official minutes redacted]
After he had concluded, President Woodruff thought it would be well for all the Twelve in their order to express themselves, which they did, commencing with Brother Franklin D. Richards and ending with Brother A. O. Woodruff. The following is a copy of Brother Gibbs’ record of what they said:-
[12,444 words quoting from the official minutes redacted]
I cannot tell in language how I felt during this meeting and after its dismissal. My feelings were beyond expression. I was very deeply grieved, because there was a spirit manifested which, whenever I am brought in contact with it, leaves a very sad impression upon my mind. On such occasions I cannot forget my sad experience after President Taylor’s death - the spirit with which I was attacked and the effect it had upon my mind. I think about that with a species of terror. When I see any manifestation of it I feel as though I was going to be brought in contact with something dreadful.
I asked myself, why is it that I should be exposed to such attacks? What is there in my life that requires that I should be made a target of? I have been able through my life to stand against the attacks of the wicked and the enemies of the Church of Christ without giving me much concern; but I am peculiarly sensitive to any condemnation from my brethren. These nine Apostles who were present to-day are mighty men, having been chosen of the Lord to fill the Apostleship. Therefore, when they censure or condemn a man, it is a very serious affair. I feel it to be so. I feel, however, to some extent at least, justified in the sight of the Lord for my course. I have striven to the very best of my ability to do my duty, and have not stopped at any sacrifice that I could make to accomplish that which we have had in hand. I am conspicuous, to some extent; but this had not been by any design of mine. I would like to be less noted, because I have seen for a long time that this invited attack; that the enemies of the Church saw in me someone to strike down; and that jealousy could easily be aroused by the Evil One against me in the church, or among its officers and members.
I ask myself, where can I look for help? I know it is not in the power of man to render that help which I need. There is only one power, and that is the Lord’s. He has stood by me all my life and delivered me from innumerable perils and difficulties. I still trust in Him.
Friday, January 7, 1898
Attended meeting of the Union Light & Power Company at 11 o’clock.
The First Presidency had a conversation this morning with Brother Brigham Young. Some time ago, Jesse Knight, of Provo, came to us and asked us if plural marriages were being solemnized now. He said his reason for asking the question was, that his wife and daughter were very much tried by the conduct of Elder Brigham Young. He had been their guest, and he had taken their daughter out riding, and had proposed marriage to her and attempted to kiss her, and had said that he had the word from the highest authority in the kingdom that he could do this. We all assured Brother Knight that this was not the case, and satisfied him. We felt, however, as we might have to partake of the sacrament to-day, that we ought to relate to Brother Brigham what we had heard. President Woodruff requested Brother Joseph F. to do so, which he did. He qualified to some extent what Brother Knight had said to us, though the particulars varied but very little. Brother Smith spoke to him with some plainness; President Woodruff also. He replied that he felt very much ashamed of it, and would do what he could to repair the effect of what he had said by seeing Brother Knight himself and talking with him.
Our meeting to-day at the Temple was set for 12 o’clock, but the First Presidency did not reach there till a little after. The nine members of the Twelve Apostles who were present yesterday were present to-day.
President Woodruff requested the brethren to talk, but no one seemed to desire to say anything, and I arose and requested Brother Geo. F. Gibbs to read the remarks that Brother Grant had made yesterday in the meeting. I did this because Brother Franklin D. Richards said if there was nothing to say he moved that we should proceed to partake of the sacrament. I remarked that before doing so I wanted to express my feelings.
As the Office copy of the proceedings, taken by Brother Gibbs, gives details, I again copy from it:
[8,455 words quoting from the official minutes redacted]
The more I think about that which has taken place yesterday and to-day, the more I am surprised and grieved. There has a spirit obtained possession of some of the brethren that to me is very saddening. I could have said a great deal more than I did say, but I did not feel led to do it. I think it was wiser not to do so, because it would have provoked replies and might have aroused feelings that would have required days to have quelled.
I went home a very sad man, and I had to pray with much earnestness to the Lord to get relief from the oppression of that feeling. I feel that the Lord enabled me to clear up some points and to show how wrong the conclusions had been concerning them; and the other points that were alluded to could have been cleared up just as well, if time had permitted or it had been wise to have entered upon them.
Saturday, January 8, 1898
I spent a very wakeful night last night; but I felt a peace that came from the Lord.
I came to the office to-day, and was busy attending to affairs. President Woodruff talked very plainly to me about the spirit that had been manifested. President Woodruff is an aged man, but he is full of the spirit of discernment, and he spoke with great feeling about some of the brethren who spoke yesterday, particularly John Henry Smith and Heber J. Grant, and said that if John Henry Smith did not change his spirit he would get into trouble, as also Brother Grant. He found fault with his son Owen, and said he must talk to him. He had not seen him since the meeting, but he did not feel at all pleased with his course nor his spirit. I was pleased to hear him make these remarks, because he expressed my own feelings. Brother Owen Woodruff has just been ordained; he has been made a great deal of since his ordination, and he feels his importance to an unusual extent. When he grows older and has more experience, he will know more.
The First Presidency had an interview this afternoon with Bishop Preston, Franklin S. Richards, Frank Armstrong and John D. H. McAllister upon the subject of what is known as the Parson’s Ranch in Nevada. It was decided that if Brother Thomas Judd, of St. George, could be spared, he would make a suitable man to go to that country and take the lead of settling it.
I received a call this morning from Horace G. Burt, the new President of the Union Pacific Railway, who came to the office accompanied by Mr. Ed. Dickinson, the Manager of the Union Pacific. They are out visiting the Union Pacific lines and getting an understanding of the situation.
In the afternoon Mr. Lomax, of the Union Pacific, Mr. Wadleigh, of the Rio Grande Western, and Mr. Burley, of the Oregon Short Line, – all Passenger Agents – and Mr. Baxter, of the U.P., whose office is at Portland, Oregon, called upon us in relation to passes for our leading men on the railroads. President Smith explained to them why we needed these passes and the benefits they were to the railroads themselves, as the quarterly conference were held in different parts of the State, and if leading men could not go to them the people would not travel backward and forward to them. He set forth the advantage, therefore, of the leading Elders having passes, so that they could go to and fro, and in that manner make the conferences interesting to the public, who would travel on the railroads in order to attend them.
Sunday, January 9, 1898.
Madame Mountford was announced to speak in the Tabernacle to-day at 2 o’clock. President Woodruff and myself were the only Apostles present. Although it was stormy the Tabernacle was well filled. She wore a black surplice and had a decoration on her breast. She spoke 55 minutes, commencing by reading a portion of the 19th chap. of Luke, and a portion of the 23rd. chap. She started out in a loud, clear and distinct voice, and spoke with great energy and quite dramatically. Her remarks were interesting, though some portions were quite distinct from the views of the Latter-day Saints concerning heaven and the New Jerusalem. She spoke very nicely of President Woodruff (her allusions to him were really touching), and also concerning the Latter-day Saints. She expects to leave here to-morrow evening, and go by way of Toronto and New York to Jerusalem her native land.
In the evening I met in the ward and partook of the sacrament, and occupied about 45 mins. in talking to the saints.
Monday, January 10, 1898
Snowing quite heavily this morning.
The First Presidency had a long conversation together, and afterwards with Brother R. S. Campbell, concerning the proper method of arranging for the management of the tithes. After President Taylor’s death a change was made, taking the handling of the tithes out of the President’s Office and transferring it to the Presiding Bishop’s Office. It is now proposed to change this, and to have the cash tithing come to the office of the Trustee-in-Trust. The best method of doing this was discussed, also a plan for the dividing of the income for the various objects for which we make appropriations, and limiting these, so that we would know what we could appropriate, and also setting apart a sinking fund and enough to pay interest on our indebtedness. I suggested that when we get this digested properly we should send for President Lorenzo Snow and discuss this subject with him, and any of the brethren that might desire to learn about it.
I attended a meeting of the Bullion-Beck Co.
Tuesday, January 11, 1898
I was at the office to-day during the forenoon and attended to different matters of business.
To-day is my seventy-first birthday, and my family have insisted on having a dinner for the family. They have spoken to me about inviting others. I told them I thought we had better not – just confine it to our own family. On last Sunday I spoke to my wife Sarah Jane, informing her in part of what had occurred and the charges that were made against John Q. and against Frank, her son, and I suggested that perhaps, instead of having a dinner, we should have a fast, and distribute our viands to Abraham’s family and some of the others. She would not hear of it. She said she was in favor of having the dinner. I was greatly pleased at the spirit she displayed. She said as far as Frank was concerned, he had his faults, and they were serious ones; but she had confidence in him; and if there was anyone else that could do better than he could, all right, she had no objection. She appeared to think that he did his duty faithfully in whatever was entrusted to him, in which feeling I felt myself to share. I was much pleased at the way she received the communication. I feared that it would have a very depressing effect upon her. Seeing how resolved she was, as she has been the principal one in getting up the dinner, I felt to let the dinner go on. There were eighty-three sat down to dinner, and we had a very excellent meal. In the evening we had a most delightful entertainment. The children had got up a programme that was very interesting. All the little children and grandchildren performed parts in different scenes, as “brownies”. Their singing and performance created much amusement and delight. My daughter-in-law Annie, John Q.’s wife, is quite gifted in suggesting affairs of this kind, and it was
at her suggestion these different performances of the children. One would have imagined they had been practicing for weeks, but they had only had four rehearsals. My brother Angus spoke to us, and I also made remarks to my family. Altogether the affair went off very delightfully, and we were at liberty at 8 o’clock to separate if we wished. It is a great comfort to me to have my family so united and feel so well as they do. There is not a jar that I know of in any of their associations.
Wednesday, January 12, 1898.
The First Seven Presidents of the Seventies brought to the attention of the First Presidency the propriety of Brother Anthon H. Lund, one of the Twelve Apostles, ordaining Brother Joseph W. McMurrin to be one of the Seven Presidents of Seventies, when he reached Liverpool on his way to Palestine, and said that if we consented to it they would pay for a cablegram. The First Presidency consented to the arrangement.
Brother B. Cluff, Jr., has been telegraphed to by my son Frank to go to the Hawaiian Islands to collect data concerning annexation, and Brother Cluff had telegraphed to me to know whether he could go. Before President Smith was willing to consent he was anxious to know whether Brother Cluff was himself in favor of annexation, and a dispatch was sent to him, to which he replied that he was. He is desirous also to have Alaikaihonua, one of the natives residing at Iosepa and a man quite gifted in speech, accompany him. He was told that he could take him, but he was cautioned that perhaps this native, when he got back among his own people and found the sentiment so strong against annexation, might turn against it also.
Thursday, January 13th, 1898
At 11 o’clock President Woodruff and myself (President Smith being detained at home by the sickness of his wife) met in the Temple with the following members of the Twelve: Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor and Owen Woodruff.
The council agreed to accept the following proposition made by Brother Heber J. Grant:-
“Jany. 13th, 1898.
“Presidents Woodruff, Cannon & Smith and Members of the Apostles,
Salt Lake City, Utah.
I respectfully ask that the Church purchase from me the sum of $75,000 of the stock of the Salt Lake Theatre Co. at eighty cents on the dollar, and $5000 stock of the Utah Sugar Co. at par.
I ask that the above purchases be made, provided I am able to secure, on the note of the Trustee-in-Trust for three years at six per cent. the money needed with which to make the purchase.
While the above prices are very much in advance of the present market price for the stocks named, yet I feel sure these stocks will be worth all, if not more than I ask, by the time the three years shall have passed.
One reason that I feel justified in asking that the Church make a purchase of these stocks is that I am in a fearfully bad condition financially, and that the sale of the above securities seems to be about the only thing that I can do to maintain my financial credit, and another reason why I feel justified in asking for aid by getting a higher price than the market figures today, is that I could some years ago have sold my theatre stock for more than par, but my brethren did not wish me to do so, but asked that I retain my stock so as to keep the property in the hands of our people.
The Theatre has earned and paid five and one quarter percent in dividends during the past eight years in addition to paying over twenty five thousand dollars in paving taxes and improvements. The interest on eighty cents at six per cent will be less than five percent, and in the event that the property does as well in the next three years as in the past eight the dividends will pay the interest on the Trustee’s notes with which the purchase is made.
The Sugar stock is paying ten percent, so there will be a profit above the interest paid in purchasing this stock.
I regret having to ask the Church to carry any of my financial burdens, but it seems that this is my last and only chance to maintain my credit, and I therefore appeal to my brethren to aid me by making the above purchase.
Hoping that my proposition will meet with your approval,
Sincerely, your brother,
Heber J. Grant.”
The statement was made last Friday by Brother
s Brigham Young and confirmed by Brother Heber J. Grant, that, after President Woodruff and eight of the Twelve had decided in favor of relieving Brother Grant by accepting a proposition which he had made for the Trustee-in-Trust to endorse him to the amount of $80,000, I by my remarks had overturned their united action. Brother Heber J. Grant stated that I based what I said on the evident reluctance of President Woodruff to assent to this proposition, when in reality President Woodruff had assented to it. When this statement was made I said I certainly understood President Woodruff to express an unwillingness to accede to this proposition. I joined him in the feeling, but would not have expressed myself as I did, or done anything towards nullifying the proposition, had I supposed that President Woodruff was in favor of it.
To-day this matter again came up and I was much gratified to hear President Woodruff express himself emphatically to the effect that he was not in favor of endorsing that amount as Trustee-in-Trust. This cleared up and showed how baseless was the charge made against me of overturning the decision of President Woodruff and the Council.
Second. Remarks were made concerning gold mining, and it was intimated that I had been the leading spirit in inducing the First Presidency to enter into this business. I have been examining my journal to learn whether my memory had failed me on this point (for I have a distinct recollection that I was not favorably impressed with the scheme), and I take pleasure in showing from my journal the position I took concerning this proposition:-
“Monday, February 4, 1895.
Brothers Orson Smith and J. E. Langford had an interview with the First Presidency this morning, in which they described a very valuable property that had been offered and which they thought could be obtained for something less than $100,000 and which they felt we ought to buy if we could, as they believed it would relieve us from our financial difficulties if we purchased it. It is a gold property, and they have examined it carefully and are completely satisfied that there is from $200,000 to $300,000 worth of gold ready to be taken out, some of the ore being very rich. They say that it has been dug through to the bottom and there is gold all the way and in the bottom also. The reason that the people want to sell it is that one man who owned a large share of the stock was chosen as a trustee to hold the title of the claim, and the deed was made out in his name. This was before the property was developed, and there was neglect in inserting the word “trustee” in the deed, and therefore the title was vested in him individually. He had gone east, and another one of the partners had developed the property and found that it was very rich; but the knowledge of this had been concealed from the other man. He had sent an agent out to have it examined; but they would not let the agent examine it. This man, however, has now made an arrangement with Samuel T. Godbe for the sale of his share of the property, which is 48 1/2 shares out of 100, and the transfer of the deed, for $50,000. Godbe is willing to part with this to Brothers Smith and Langford if they will give him a commission of $2500 and 5% of the stock. He would not do this if he could make any arrangement with Mr. Montgomery, who is in possession of the mine; but Mr. Montgomery has proposed to let the brethren have that interest for about $20,000 and about one-fifth of the stock. This would make the whole property worth not far from $75,000. The brethren think with the expenditure of $7500 in furnishing a mill and repairing one already there, it would enable them to turn out quite a large product of gold every month. Brother Orson Smith says that he is quite willing to guarantee that by the 1st of May, and perhaps before that, they would be able to turn out $10,000 per month to the First Presidency, if they would buy the property, as their share of the product, and do that every month, at least till the whole cost was covered. I do not feel enthusiastic about this at all. I suggested that we should think it over till the next day.”
* * *
“Wednesday, February 6, 1895.
The First Presidency had another interview with Brothers Smith and Langford to-day, and I told the brethren that as far as I was concerned I did not feel to take the lead in this matter or to say one word about it. I said I generally felt very sanguine, more so than Brother Jos. F. Smith especially, and I said to Presidents Woodruff and Smith that I wanted them to say about this matter and I would do whatever they said, but I had no spirit myself to suggest it, much less to urge it. There was a good deal of conversation on the value of the property and the benefits that would flow from its purchase. The brethren went away for a while and afterwards came back, when the conversation was again renewed. President Smith took the ground that he could not in his individual capacity do anything towards buying that property, as he could not raise the money. I remarked that I thought probably the money could be raised, but it would be on our private estates as security. He replied that he did not wish to endanger his private estate. President Woodruff was quite willing to put up his Valley House property as security. President Smith took the ground that the Church could do it, or we could do it for the Church. In reply, I said I would much rather, if I were going into the business at all, do this in a private capacity; for I could defend my conduct if I risked my own property; but to do it on the credit of the Church, if it should be a loss, it might be asked if we were so certain of it why we did not take some risk ourselves. President Smith finally made a motion that we endeavor to secure the property, the understanding being that we should do it in our capacity as a Presidency. I did not second the motion, for I felt that I did not wish to do more than to sustain their feelings. President Woodruff put the motion without being seconded by me, he himself, I think, having seconded it, and we all voted for it.”
* * *
“Wednesday, April 24, 1895
We had conversation to-day with Brother Orson Smith, in the presence of my son Hugh, concerning the interest that all parties should hold in the stock of this mining property. The last purchase had been made in the name of the Sterling Company, and as President Jos. F. Smith was security on the notes equal with President Woodruff and myself, it appeared to me that he should have a larger interest than he now has, he having declined to carry as much as President Woodruff and myself and the others in the Sterling property. It seemed to me very unfair that with 4800 shares he should be required to carry one-third of the burden of this other property. I brought this before the brethren and I said
sometimes <something> should be done about it. President Woodruff was desirous that Brother Jos. F. Smith should define how much he wished to carry of $25,000. After considerable conversation we separated and met again, and it was then decided that he should be indemnified for the $25,000 less the proportion of 4800 which he held, and an indemnity bond was drawn up to that effect, and I suggested that he should have 1200 shares of stock taken from the Church share of stock and given to him. This was done.”
* * *
Respecting the purchase of the “Confidence” property I find the following:-
“Tuesday, October 8, 1895
At 9:30 the First Presidency had a meeting with Orson Smith, Jerry Langford, my sons Hugh J. & Abraham H. Cannon, and took into consideration the purchase of the ‘Confidence’ mine. We discussed this matter at great length, and it appeared that the feeling was against the purchase; but as there was a good deal of indecision, I said, in order to test the matter (thinking that by so doing the proposition would be voted down by Presidents Woodruff and Smith) I would move that we purchase the property. After the motion was made it was discussed at some length, and President Smith desired to make a motion that the whole matter be left to me, and that if I decided it should be purchased, being familiar somewhat with the whole proposition, then we should purchase it. But I declined this. I said I did not wish to take this responsibility. I was myself quite cramped for means and did not wish to take upon myself additional obligations if I could avoid it; still I said if the Company went into this I would go with them. President Jos F. Smith finally seconded my motion, and President Woodruff and all voted for it. We felt that it would not be proper for us to buy this and put it into the Sterling Company, as there were some members of that Company that had no interest in common with us, and we did not wish to be carrying them and increasing the value of their shares in the Sterling; so it was decided to organize a separate company, and it was proposed that we borrow $15,000 if we could, in order to get the necessary machinery to run the mine.”
Third. I have been blamed for being the cause of inducing the endorsement of the bonds for Mr. Banigan by the First Presidency and Frank J. Cannon. It has been made to appear that I profess to have the word of the Lord that it was the right thing to do, and I have been blamed therefor. The facts are, when this proposition came it was from Frank J. Cannon on Tuesday, November 26th, 1895. The office journal shows the following:-
[114 words of the official office journal redacted]
By reference to my own journal I find the following, recorded Monday, Dec. 2, 1895:-
“A meeting of the Twelve Apostles was called for 2 o’clock, and Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, John H. Smith, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon were found in the city. The object President Woodruff had in calling them together was to submit to them the proposition which had been made by Mr. Banigan concerning the Pioneer Electric Power company. The only terms upon which he would consent to buy the bonds was to have the bonds at 80% and $300,000 of preferred stock and a guarantee such as we placed upon the sugar bonds -- that is, the First Presidency and Frank J. Cannon. I had felt to reject this proposition entirely when I left for Omaha; but a letter from Frank came while I was gone in which the particulars of his conversation with Mr. Banigan were given, and which in order that it may be understood I copy here:
(Here the letter from F. J. C. is inserted.)
It seems that this letter had impressed Presidents Woodruff and Smith very favorably, and they had waited for my return. I was a little surprised that it had not been rejected. At this meeting a full statement of the condition of affairs was read, which had been prepared by Mr. Bannister, who had gone east on account of the sickness of a son of his at Chicago. Bishop John R. Winder was also present at the meeting, he being interested in the Company. After a full discussion, which lasted upwards of two hours, the brethren voted, at the instance of President Snow, to sustain us in giving this guarantee. They thought on the whole it was the best that could be done, although they thought Mr. Banigan asked an exorbitant price. Brother John H. Smith said to President Woodruff in giving his vote, that he did so because the rest did, but he was not altogether clear in his mind as to the propriety of the movement. I stated my feelings on the subject; that I had been entirely opposed to the proposition as it was originally made, but that since coming into the meeting my mind had received light in favor of it, and this was especially confirmed upon me by the feeling that President Woodruff had respecting this proposition. I had never seen him when he appeared more clear in his mind as to the propriety of accepting this than he did on this occasion. I afterwards said to several of the Twelve in talking with them about President Woodruff, that he was the man whom God had chosen to lead the people, and he was the man unto whom the voice and will of the Lord came in regard to matters of public importance for the government of the Church and the management of its affairs, and however men might say he was old and a man not familiar with business, &c., still he was the Lord’s choice, and I knew that for myself, and therefore when he was clear upon any point it gave me great confidence and strength in relation to it.”
In the Office Journal (the notes for which were taken in shorthand by Brother Geo. F. Gibbs) I am credited with the following:
[98 words of the official office journal redacted]
In reply to a suggestion of Brother Richards’ that a majority of the Apostles ought to be present, as if it should turn out to be a disappointment, it might be hurtful to the Church, the minutes show that I said:
[426 words of the official minutes redacted]
My object in making these extracts is to show exactly, as far as can be done from my own journal and the minutes of the meeting, the precise position that I occupied. It was charged in the Council held Thursday and Friday last, that I had said it was the word of the Lord that we should go into this Pioneer Power enterprise. I have felt clear upon the general proposition, but I certainly never said that it was the word of the Lord that we should endorse the bonds. To me that proposition was repellant when I first heard it. Afterwards, as stated in the Office Journal, I obtained light on the subject, and it seemed clearer to me than it did before. But it is doing me a great injustice to lay the responsibility upon me of being the cause of that action being taken, and upon this point the record must speak for me.
Fourth. There was considerable talk in relation to the Dedicated Stock of the Bullion, Beck & Champion Mining Company, and it was plainly stated that it was my duty to turn over that dedicated stock into the hands of President Woodruff as Trustee-in-Trust.
Had this dedicated stock, transferred to me by President Taylor, remained intact, I should never have thought of holding it in my hands any longer than to get it out of debt; but whenever one withdrew their stock, and my dedicated stock only was left, I did not feel that I was guilty of the least impropriety in retaining control of it myself. I have made a provision in my will concerning it. I have kept up to the present time a strict account of it, and hope to be able to make a full accounting at the proper time to my brethren of all that I have done with this. I have not felt, however, up to the present that it was either advisable or necessary that I should transfer it out of my own hands.
In making my remarks I said to the brethren that we all had dedicated property to the Lord, just as much as this stock had been dedicated. I asked the question, Are we ready to account for this dedication? The reply was made that no one had asked for an accounting. I then said, in order to understand this question as it should be understood, it is proper that you should know the terms on which this stock was dedicated, how it was done and why it was done. I then proceeded to read the document which President Taylor, John Beck and myself had signed, by which this stock was given to President Taylor. We say:
“We do hereby set apart and unreservedly give three-fifths of the said shares, amounting to 20,000 shares of the nominal value of $10 per share for each of us, or 60,000 shares of the nominal value of $10 per share in the aggregate for all of us, to John Taylor, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to be absolutely and unquestionedly held by him as his own personal property, to be disposed of by him in any manner and for any purpose that he may deem wise, for the benefit of the work of God and the advancement of its interests, and this without any supervision or question upon our part or upon the part of any authority in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“In making this gift of stock and placing it at the sole disposal of President John Taylor, we do so with the definite understanding upon our part that it is to be the commencement of the creation of a fund to be used by John Taylor, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the furtherance of its interest, whenever in his judgment it can be expended advantageously. And this fund shall be kept distinct and separate from the tithing and the other Church properties, and at no time shall be mingled therewith by the Church itself or by any of the officers thereof.”
President John Taylor, in the document signed by him twenty-three days before his demise confers “upon the said George Q. Cannon all the rights, powers and authority held, had or enjoyed by him, the said John Taylor, individually or otherwise, by virtue of the written instrument aforesaid, in and to said shares”[.] President Taylor mentioned the purchase of the Temple Block in Jackson County, that was designated and set apart by the Prophet Joseph as a site for a temple of God, as something that I was authorized to do with that fund. The closing paragraph of his deed to me says: “And it is distinctly understood that the said George Q. Cannon, in assuming the control of said funds, shall not be accountable for its disposition or management to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor to any authority thereof, but shall have absolute control and management of said fund, without question from any source whatever; provided only that said fund shall not be used for his own private benefit, nor for the benefit of his heirs.”
These extracts show conclusively that I have not exceeded any of the powers entrusted to me, in my management of my own dedicated stock. I have not used in any form one dollar of anybody else’s dedicated stock or its proceeds.
As I have said before, I consider this fund in my hand sacred, and will be able to make a satisfactory accounting for it at the proper time.
I have been thus particular in alluding to these different matters, because they were mentioned almost in the form of charges against me. They appear on the official minutes of our meeting. I have not, in any remarks that I have made, explained them sufficiently to clear them up. It is with the view that the truth in history may be vindicated and my action be clearly explained that I write these explanations. I do not want to stand in a bad light or an untrue light in the presence of my brethren or of my children, and it is to show exactly, as near as I possibly can, the truth concerning these matters that I have written the foregoing. The facts do not sustain the statements which were made at the meetings that took place last week. I have not occupied the position that was assigned to me. I have not, according to this record, improperly influenced my fellow servants of the First Presidency to come to the conclusions which we did do. This is all I am desirous to have understood - that I did not bring pressure to bear in any form upon President Woodruff or upon President Smith to carry these points and to cause them to agree to them. I am quite willing to assume my share of the responsibility; but I feel that it would be improper for me to assume more than that, or for me to be charged with more than that.
Now while, as I have said, the facts are not of a character to sustain the statements that have been made concerning my action, I wish to distinctly state here that there have been times in my life when I have known brethren to have the spirit of censure when the apparent facts did not warrant them in indulging in censure, yet the Spirit of the Lord impelled them to censure individuals, and they felt by the Spirit of the Lord that the man or men whom they censured deserved it. I will not say that this is not the case with myself. The Lord knows, and He is my judge. I wish to accept every reproof from my brethren in a proper spirit and as coming from the Lord. If I do not deserve it, it will not hurt me. If I do need it, and I accept it, it certainly will do me good. I feel so in relation to all that has taken place during the meetings I have referred to here. My brethren may feel that I assume too much; that I am too self-confident; that I overstep the proper lines. I will not say, in view of what they have said, that this is not true. I will endeavor to profit by that which has been said, and be more careful in the future; for I certainly do not wish to exceed the limit of my authority and my duties, not the breadth of a hair.
Friday, January 14, 1898
Bishop Bowns had been selected to go to examine a coal prospect that Brother Le Grand Young had secured an option on. The part that he had secured belonged to a Brother Halliday. Brother W. W. Cluff had been requested by Brother Le Grand Young to examine the property, and he had done so, and made a very favorable report concerning it. But Brother Le Grand Young had heard from Wm. G. Sharp, who is in charge of the coal properties of the Rio Grande Western, some things that had given him a little concern, and he desired to have a further examination of the property before closing for it. In view of this, Brother Winder and he had secured an extension of time on the option, in order that somebody might be sent there to give it a closer examination on some points that had been raised. For this extension they had agreed to pay $750. which was to be applied on the full amount if the property should be purchased; if not, it should be forfeited. Bishop Bowns is the foreman of the Union Pacific mines at Almy, and is a man of lifelong experience in coal mining. I telegraphed to Mr. Dickinson asking for him to be spared to us for a few days, and he had telegraphed to Mr. D. C. Clark, who has charge of the U.P. coal properties, to have Bishop Bowns put at our service. He has been down and examined the property, and returned last night, and we made an appointment to see him to-day at 2 o’clock, because he had brought some specimens of the coal and he was having them tested for coking purposes. When President Woodruff and myself heard his report yesterday afternoon, it suggested itself to us that it would be well to have Brother Lorenzo Snow and some of the Twelve come in and listen to it. Upon mentioning it to President Smith this morning, he thought it would be a good thing, too. Our object in having them come in was to listen to what was said and if they wished to enter into it with us, to give them the opportunity. Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, J. H. Smith and H. J. Grant, of the Twelve, came in, and there were also present, beside the First Presidency, John R. Winder, Le Grand Young and R. S. Campbell, who had an interest in the property. A statement was made to the brethren of what had been done by us. We had got an option on the property for $12,500. We had already expended about $1300.00. The coal is said to be the best that is known in our State for coking purposes. The coke is reported to be second to none in all this region; in fact, it is superior to everything excepting the Crested Butte coke in Colorado. The tests have been quite numerous, and all satisfactory. The point that had been raised in Brother Le Grand Young’s mind by Wm. G. Sharp was whether the coal at one opening was the same vein that was found at another opening. The latter opening was a 6-foot vein, and the coal from that had produced excellent coke. The other opening was a 10-ft. vein, and Mr. Sharp expressed doubts about it being the same quality. Brother Bowns had satisfied himself that it was the same vein. His report was very satisfactory, and he expressed himself with the utmost confidence concerning the property; thought it was a cheap property, and that it ought to be secured by us. The Rio Grande Western have been trying to get a controlling interest, but failed. They have an interest in it; but if we take up the option we shall have 18,000 shares more than the half of the stock. Our object in trying to get it is to secure property instead of allowing it to go into the hands of strangers and people who will employ strangers and monoplize. It is without doubt, so far as we have examined, a very valuable property. The brethren of the Twelve listened to what was said, and then made a motion to the effect that they did not desire to invest themselves, but they saw no reason why the First Presidency should not do so if they desired and had the means. The motion was made by Brother John Henry Smith and seconded by President Snow.
The First Presidency invited Brother Brigham Young to a conference in relation to the statements which he had made concerning Colonel Clayton. He said that he could not prove anything himself, but he could furnish the proof if it was desired. He said he had seen his wife on the street, watching for him, and he had been told that Nephi Clayton frequently went home drunk. If necessary to bring him face to face with him, he would institute inquiries that would bring the proof. I personally did not feel that it was necessary to bring him face to face with Brother Clayton, but to furnish evidence of what he had said.
After this, we had some further conversation with him about my son Frank J. Cannon. I told him that I felt very badly at his talking the way he had done in the Council, when our relations had been such that he might have come to me and told me, as a friend, what he knew about my sons. I said, “I did that with you, Brother Brigham, only a few weeks ago. Brother Joseph F. and myself heard stories about your son, B. S. Young, and I went and told you privately.” I said I did not like to hear such stories being circulated about him; I did not believe them; but, I said, I would tell you where the information could be obtained, if it is true, – from your Sister Phoebe. Our informant told us that Sister Beck had told Sister Beatie. Brother Brigham said he had not gone to Sister Beatie; he had not remembered that I had told him that. He said he had gone to his son B.S.. I said, “Yes, and now he thinks I have been starting stories about him. I have reason to believe that you have been prejudiced by some of your sons or someone else against me. Our friendship has been such that you ought to have come to me. You have been in my house, and I have been in yours, and I never had a feeling against you in the world. I looked upon you as one of my dearest friends. In fact, one of the brethren who has access to the Office Journal was astonished, he told me, when he read what you have said: ‘for’, said he, ‘I always supposed that Brigham was your pet.’ To this I replied that I had no pets, but we had been friends. Brother Brigham, I would have gone to you, if it had been your sons, and talked to you. I would not have said what you did in public.” He replied that they were public men, and it had not been in public, only before the Council. He asked me if I remembered the last time that my son Abraham was in the office. I said I did not. Well, he said, on that occasion Frank came in with Abraham, and he was “soaked”. Says he, I have been that way enough myself to know. He conveyed the idea that he was full of beer, and he said as he came into the anteroom Frank stumbled and pitched into his arms. He conveyed the idea that he was partly intoxicated.
Of course, a statement like this, coming from Brother Brigham Young, I could not dispute; but from any less credible source I could not credit it. My two sons, Frank and Abraham, were like twins. There was only six weeks between them, and they loved each other very strongly, and I know Abraham would never allow his brother Frank to come into our office, in the presence of the First Presidency, or in my presence alone, under the influence of liquor. His influence, I am sure, was sufficient with Frank to have kept him out. But still Brother Brigham makes the statement and I cannot dispute it. (See Monday’s journal for further remarks on this subject.)
Saturday, January 15, 1898
The morning train which leaves Salt Lake City at 7:50 stopped at 10th South Street to permit myself and wife to get on. I had accepted an invitation to attend conference at Nephi. I was met [at] Nephi by Brother George Teasdale, and we were carried to the meeting house, where we reached about 11:25. I spoke about 40 minutes and had a delightful flow of the Spirit. The people were very attentive and seemed greatly edified by what was said.
We went to Brother Teasdale’s, partook of dinner, and returned to the afternoon meeting. I did the principal speaking in the afternoon and had an excellent flow of the Spirit.
In the evening we met at 7 oclock. It was called a priesthood meeting, but all the saints were invited, and the attendance was better than in the previous meetings. I enjoyed my own remarks very much, as the people appeared to do also.
Sunday, January 16, 1898
Had a delightful night’s rest.
Brother Teasdale and myself met with the Presidency of the Stake and the High Council in circle meeting. I was not clothed in priestly apparel, but at their request offered the opening prayer.
This Sunday school met at 9:30, and after some brief exercises I occupied the time in talking to the children.
At 10:30 the conference opened. The authorities were presented by Brother Teasdale, and I occupied the remainder of the time, and felt well in doing so.
In order to permit of my return by the 3:25 train, it was decided to open the afternoon meeting at 1:30. After the administration of the sacrament, I was requested to speak. The house was very crowded, and the people listened very attentively.
This visit has been a very delightful one to me. I have enjoyed it exceedingly. Brother Teasdale did everything to make our stay pleasant.
We took dinner to-day with Sister Mary Pitchforth and family.
When the train reached 10th South Street we got off, and my son Preston met us there with a carriage.
I found my wife Sarah Jane suffering from a severe cold.
Monday, January 17, 1898
Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.
Since my return from Nephi I have been making further inquiries concerning my sons Frank and Abraham and the visit which Brother Brigham Young says they made to the office the last time Abraham came to the office.
I find that Congress adjourned on the 11th of June. Frank was at Washington till the adjournment. He then went to the St. Louis Republican Convention, at which he was a delegate. That was held on the 16th. He remained there several days. The Office Journal shows that he came to the office on the 24th of June, and reported to President Woodruff and myself what he had done at the Convention. In the meantime, on the 18th of June, Abraham had gone to California, in company with President Jos. F. Smith. My son Hugh also accompanied them. So that Frank and Abraham did not meet until after Abraham’s return from California. He returned in a bad condition of health on the 1st of July. I can find no evidence of Frank and him coming together to the office after his return. On the contrary, the general opinion is that Abraham was never in the office but once after his return. President Jos. F. Smith questioned whether he had ever been in the office after his return, because he was so very sick; but Brother Geo. F. Gibbs says he remembers that he came in for a few minutes, and that I chided him for his want of care of his health. He said he looked very badly indeed. I was lone in the office at that time. Now, this was the last time that my son Abraham was in the office, and Frank was not with him; and from all the evidence that I can obtain, Frank had not been with him in the office for months.
I mentioned the circumstance to my son Hugh, who is familiar with his brother Frank and his feelings. He said Frank would do anything to keep out of my way or the way of anybody whom he had any special regard for, years ago, when he had taken drink of some kind. He relates an occurrence that happened many years ago. He was in Ogden at the time, and Frank had been drinking, and he tried to persuade Frank to go home. He succeeded in forcing him almost to consent, and they went to hitch up a buggy; and while doing so, Frank saw his mother and Preston passing a place on their way to his house, and he begged of Hugh to release him from going home at that time, as he said he would not see his mother for the world while he was under the influence of drink.
This corresponds with my idea of his character. I therefore am forced to the conclusion that Brother Brigham Young has been mistaken in some way. The full truth of this, however, cannot be fully ascertained till I can see Frank.
The First Presidency received a large number of letters from Frank this morning, very interesting and gratifying to us, as they evince a good spirit and show the zeal with which he is working. He has effected a settlement with Mr. Banigan that we think very satisfactory.
I told Presidents Woodruff and Smith that I had written a private letter to Frank (which was sent to him last Wednesday) giving him some particulars of what had occurred at the Council. I said I felt that I ought to do so; it was a relief to me, though it may not have been very wise. President Smith thought it would have a very discouraging effect upon him. I proposed, therefore, that the First Presidency send a dispatch to him. Presidents Woodruff and Smith thought we ought to, and the following was framed and sent to him, signed by the Presidency:
“Be comforted. Batch letters received, very satisfactory. The Lord has blessed you, and we bless you, and say be encouraged and do not weaken.”
I do not want him to be discouraged, nor to feel that his efforts are not appreciated. I believe he is doing all he can, and I think he is quite capable of doing a great deal.
Brother Brigham Young has been intending for several days to take his wife Lizzie to California. She is in a very low condition and has scarcely been expected to live. She is troubled with her heart and dropsy. I went this afternoon to their house, and found that Brother Brigham was suffering from lameness, received in a fall which he had on the ice. Sister Young was very desirous that I should lay my hands on her and bless her, which I did in company with her husband, and I felt to implore the blessing of the Lord in her behalf.
Tuesday, January 18, 1898
There was a meeting of the Sugar Company this morning at 9:30, a meeting of the Salt Lake & Los Angeles Railway Co., and a meeting of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. to hear the report of the Attorney and Manager concerning the effort to settle with Geddes &Co. for their work on the dam.
General Penrose called upon me in the interest of his son, Dr. Penrose, who is trying to obtain the position of City physician.
Nat M. Brigham, ex-United States Marshal, called upon me.
The following dispatch was received from Frank this morning:
“I am very thankful to the Lord and the First Presidency. Comfort has been given me, and I pray to be humble, patient and useful to the First Presidency all my days. May the Lord preserve you.”
I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
Brother Brigham Young called in the office this morning. His wife was outside in the carriage; they were on their way to the train. She told me that she had spent the best night last night she had had for a long time, and she had felt the power of the blessing that I had bestowed upon her.
Wednesday, January 19, 1898
There was a meeting of Geo. Q. Cannon & Sons Co. this morning, it being the regular monthly meeting.
I had an interview with Mr. Bishop, Attorney General of this State, in which he requested my endorsement of him for the office of District Attorney of the State. I promised him I would write to Senators Hanna and Proctor about him, which I afterwards did.
I had an interview also with ex-Marshal Brigham, who desired me to write a letter of introduction to Senator Hanna for his attorney in Washington, and to ask the Senator to assist in the settlement of Mr. Brigham’s accounts.
I had a long conversation with Le Grand Young, John R. Winder and R. S. Campbell concerning propositions that had been received from Mr. Banigan through my son Frank. The Power Company was to have met to-day, but an adjournment was taken until Friday.
The First Presidency had a long interview with several brethren upon the subject of the Bikuben, the Danish newspaper.
Thursday, January 20, 1898
At 11 o’clock the First Presidency met at the temple with President Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant and A. O. Woodruff.
A few days ago Bishop Preston came to the office and had conversation with the First Presidency concerning the indebtedness of the Church to the State Bank, of which he is Vice President. He brought up items amounting to a little over $102,000. The presentation of this startled President Woodruff particularly, as it did all of us. I submitted the matter afterwards to Brother Jack and learned what it consisted of. It was not so bad as it appeared. We had bought stocks with some of this money, and had them to represent it. But Bishop Preston impressed us with the gravity of the situation of the State Bank, and told about Brother Grant’s indebtedness, and did not appear to see how the bank could accept the proffer that he had made, and which was voted upon last Thursday, that is, for the Trustee-in-Trust to give his note for $80,000 at 6%, payable in three years. President Woodruff said if he had known the situation he would not have voted for that, and thought of sending for Brother Grant to come to us and stopping all negotiations about it. I suggested that this had been done by the Council, and it would probably be better, before stopping it, to have the Council itself act. He was very emphatic, however, in his expressions to Bishop Preston that he did not wish the bank to make the loan. Brother Preston said he did not see how the bank could make it, as he alleged it would make us all liable to the law, and especially the bank officers.
Brother Grant had heard of this, and in his remarks to-day he spoke very strongly about Bishop Preston, and characterized his conduct almost as a betrayal, and intimated that Bishop Preston was anxious to get him out of the office of President of the bank, that he himself might be made President. He wanted to know whether President Woodruff would still consent to do what had been voted upon last Thursday.
President Woodruff’s reply was that Bishop Preston made one statement, and he made another, and he did not know which was correct.
Brother Grant last evening had suggested to me, as I was leaving the office, that he could obviate the necessity of the State Bank loaning money and doing anything that anyone could call illegal, by getting a loan from the insurance company in Hartford which he represented, for the amount, on the Trustee-in-Trust’s note. He mentioned this again to-day, and President Woodruff said he did not wish that, because we were trying to concentrate our loans, and we had given a statement to eastern bankers of what we were actually owing in the east, and it would not do for a note of that kind to be floated in addition.
This point had occurred to me in the night, and while thinking of what Brother Grant had said, and I explained it more fully to Brother Grant and to the brethren.
Brother Grant had telegraphed to his insurance friend at Hartford that he would meet him in Chicago and talk over business with him. This afternoon he changed his plan. He had been thinking about what had been said at the Council, and he now proposes to buy the entire theatre stock, if this gentleman will advance the money, and the Church to have the privilege of buying it at the end of five years
There was a meeting of the Directors of Z.C.M.I. at 2 o’clock.
In company with President Jos. F. Smith, I went to the 16th Ward meeting house, where a dinner had been prepared in honor of Bishop Kesler. He is 82 years old to-day. The house was filled with people, and an excellent meal was served. My wives Sarah Jane and Caroline were there. After the meal, I was called to speak, which I did for a few minutes, and was followed by Brother Lorenzo Snow. Some other proceedings were had, and at 5 o’clock I withdrew.
Friday, January 21, 1898
To-day has been an exceedingly busy day with me.
At 11 o’clock, after doing considerable business in the office, I met with the Union Light & Power Company. After this, had a conversation with Brothers Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Le Grand Young and R. S. Campbell upon the subject of the letters that have been written by my son Frank concerning the Banigan settlement.
At 12:30 we had a meeting of the Pioneer Electric Power Company, and read the letters above referred to, and took steps to have them answered.
A gentleman by the name of Moneypenny, a representative of the London “Times”, came to the office and was introduced to us by Mr. Glen Miller. He appeared to be a very gentlemanly, intelligent man, and we had quite a lengthy conversation with him.
I went down to the rooms of the Deseret Sunday School Union which they occupy jointly with the Seven Presidents of Seventies, and we attended to the business that came before the Board, and then, it having been arranged that the rooms should be dedicated to-day, I offered the dedicatory prayer.
Saturday, January 22, 1898
I spent an hour this morning at the office looking through correspondence, and the remainder of the day I was engaged at the Union Light & Power Co.’s office, signing 750 prior lien bonds.
I had an interview with Mr. Nat M. Brigham concerning a proposition that he had to make connected with the Uintah Reservation.
I had a lengthy conversation with Judge Shurtliff concerning the political situation and the necessity of taking early steps to shape affairs with a view to the next election.
Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
Sunday, January 23, 1898
I started at 8 o’clock, in company with Brothers George Reynolds and J. G. Kimball, for the Oneida Stake Conference, which opens this morning. Brother George Teasdale accompanied us as far as Brigham City, where he was going to attend Conference. We left the city with the expectation of going to Preston, and by the merest accident we found out at Franklin that the conference was being held there, which saved us a fruitless trip to Preston.
We took dinner at Bishop Hatch’s.
Attended meeting in the afternoon. The house was filled to its utmost capacity. Brothers Reynolds and Kimball were called upon to speak, after which I addressed the people for about an hour and had good liberty.
Brother Parkinson, Prest. of the Stake, was quite desirous that a meeting should be held at Preston this evening. I said I would be pleased to go there, and Brother Reynolds and I started after the afternoon meeting, in a sleigh. The weather was intensely cold. The thermometer must have been down to about 20° below zero. Brother Sol. Hale loaned me a veil, which was of great service in protecting my face, and I reached Preston without suffering much if any discomfort.
The meeting was held in the upper room of the Academy, which is capable of seating eight or nine hundred, and was very well filled. I was surprised to see so large an attendance considering the severity of the weather and the scattered condition of the people. Brother Reynolds spoke for a while, and I followed and enjoyed excellent liberty, and spoke with some force to the people. They listened with the utmost attention.
We put up at Prest. Parkinson’s, who also had come from Franklin.
Monday, January 24, 1898
Last night was very cold. This morning the thermometer on Brother Parkinson’s porch registered 24° below zero. Another thermometer on one of the brethren’s houses, which was more exposed, registered 27° below zero.
Immediately after breakfast we started for Franklin and reached there in time for meeting. The ride was a much colder one than last night’s.
The attendance at the meeting was very good; and as we intended to leave on the train, which would depart at 2:35, we concluded to hold meeting from 10 until 1:30. Brother M. W. Merrill was called upon to speak, and occupied about 65 mins., Brother Parkinson spoke about 35 mins., and I occupied a little over an hour, and was blessed with remarkable freedom. Brother Solomon Hale spoke afterwards.
The people all seemed to enjoy the Conference very much, and the attendance, considering the severity of the weather, was quite remarkable.
On our return we were joined at Brigham City by President Lorenzo Snow and Brother George Teasdale.
We reached Salt Lake City at 7:15.
Tuesday, January 25, 1898
The weather here is very cold, but it seems mild in comparison with that which I experienced at Preston.
Quite busy to-day with various business matters.
The First Presidency had a call from Mr. Wm. B. Clark, who is connected with the Inland Crystal Salt Co. He called to see us in relation to trying to effect a pooling arrangement with the Inter-Mountain Salt Co., of which we are members. He had considerable to say about the manuscript of the Book of Mormon, which was left at his bank by a grandson of David Whitmer. Mr. Clark thought that perhaps we would like to own this manuscript, and if so he thought he could be of service to us in securing it. He said there was a stone with it that they called a seer stone, about the size of his hand, with two holes in it. They talked about $50,000 or $100,000 as the value of these things. There was also a small table, on which the translation was claimed to have been written. President Smith showed Mr. Clark a portion of the original translation, which was put in the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House. It was found to be mildewed when that cornerstone was uncovered, and President Smith has a portion of it, and another portion is in the Historian Office. I think he proved conclusively to Mr. Clark that the Whitmer copy was only a copy that had been made for the purpose of the printers.
Wednesday, January 26, 1898
I spent the greater portion of the day at the Union Light & Power Co.’s Office attending to its business and dictating correspondence to Brother Winter.
Thursday, January 27, 1898
The First Presidency met in the Temple this morning with President Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, Heber J. Grant and A. O. Woodruff.
I had been waited upon by Mr. Nelden, President of the Chamber of Commerce, and Judge Colborn, the Secretary, in company with Brother T. G. Webber, whose object was to obtain my consent to call a public meeting of the business men, to lay before them the necessity of either continuing the present Chamber of Commerce or creating a new organization. I told them I would give them an answer on Friday. I submitted the question to the Council, and after considerable discussion, President Smith moved, and President Snow seconded, that I go ahead and call this meeting and act in conformity with the wishes of these gentlemen.
President Smith was mouth in prayer.
We had another call from Mr. W. B. Clark, of the Inland Crystal Salt Co.
I had an interview with Mr. Nat M. Brigham upon the subject of a property in the Uintah Reservation containing gold and copper, which he is desirous to have Senator Hanna and myself interested, and promises us a large portion of it in the event of its being a success. I do not take any stock in this sort of thing, though it may prove of some benefit, should Mr. Brigham’s plan succeed.
Friday, January 28, 1898
We had a call from Mr. Clark and Mr. Long, of the Inland Salt Co., in company with Colonel Clayton, in which the basis of an agreement was talked over between the two salt companies.
Brother D. C. Robbins called in relation to a marble quarry that he has, and we told him to do the very best he could with it. If he could get our people interested with him, we would prefer it, if not, he must try and take care of himself.
Bishop Robert Morris called in relation to the nomination of Arthur Pratt as Chief of Police. He seemed to think that the Mayor should withdraw the nomination. President Smith and myself talked to him very plainly on this subject, and I think it did him good. It seems hopeless, however, for Arthur Pratt to be confirmed.
Saturday, January 29, 1898
I have had correspondence with Mrs. Mary A. Whitney. I have received two letters from her, stating her circumstances and the need she has for $300, for which she wishes to give her note and any security she has. This lady, who is now 60 years of age, crossed the plains in the same company that I did in 1847, and was an intimate associate of my sister Anne, my cousin Maryann Taylor, and Elizabeth Hoagland, who was afterwards my wife. She and her sister Belle were about their age, and they were close companions. Her father’s name was Thomas Orr, and she had two brothers named James and Thomas. They were a very fine family. They came to the valley, lived here for two or three years, and then moved to California. When I presided over the California Mission they were of great service to the Elders. Their house was always open for entertainment, and their financial circumstances were quite good. When the break-up occurred in consequence of the Buchanan War, they advanced money to me to help the Elders return, and were very kind. Mary wanted to go to the valley then, but it seemed an inopportune time for her, and she stayed with her folks, and finally married Mr. Whitney, a man who did not belong to the Church. I wrote her to-day and sent her $300, and told her that she might accept it as a gift. I did not wish her note for it, and hoped it would be of service to her. She is at present at Pocatello with her son, who is a train dispatcher there.
This morning was occupied with a meeting of the Salt Lake & Deseret Agricultural & Manufacturing Co. stockholders. The old board was elected.
I dictated some articles for the Juvenile Instructor and correspondence, to Brother Arthur Winter.
Sunday, January 30, 1898
I took train this morning for Draper, and was joined there by Brother John Nicholson. The attendance of the Sunday school was very full, and we had a most interesting session. In the afternoon we held meeting. The house was filled. Brother Nicholson spoke, and I followed, and had good liberty.
Bishop Allen met me at the train, took me to his house to dinner, and carried me to the train after the meeting. I returned to the city, and Brother Nicholson went to Taylorsville.
Monday, January 31, 1898
Bishops Preston and Burton called in the office this morning to arrange about the manner in which the cash tithing should be sent to this office and how they should manage about that which was needed by them.
Directly after President Taylor’s death a change was made in the financial affairs of the Church. The receiving of the cash tithing was taken out of the hands of the Trustee-in-Trust and given to the Presiding Bishops. I was averse to it at the time; thought it was wrong; but my influence was such that anything I said had no particular weight. Since that time I have expressed myself on this subject a number of times in the Council, to the effect that it was wrong for the Aaronic Priesthood to be managing affairs in that way, as under this arrangement the Trustee-in-Trust could not draw $5 without sending to the Presiding Bishop’s Office. The stream was running, I said, the wrong way; it ought to run from the President of the Church down, not from the Presiding Bishop up. This continued until last month, when a circular was brought to the office for us to sign, instructing the Bishops to send their funds to the Presiding Bishop’s Office. I expressed myself to the effect that I could not sign that. I thought it was wrong. Then the change was made from the Presiding Bishop’s office to the Trustee-in-Trust, in which the Bishops acquiesced; and to-day it was to complete this arrangement that this conversation was had. I have not cared personally where the money went, nor how it was handled, if it was only done in accordance with proper regulations. The Trustee-in-Trust is elected by the people as the custodian of their tithing funds. He is really responsible for them, and not the Presiding Bishopric. I look upon them as the agents of the Trustee-in-Trust in handling the property that comes in. So with the cash. It comes to him, and it is disbursed by him as necessity may require, and the Presiding Bishops are his agents in carrying into effect the disbursements and in caring for the property tithings.
I am thankful that this change has taken place; for I have felt for years that it ought to be done.
The First Presidency had an interview to-day with Brother Emmett, who has come from the ferry on the Colorado river to suggest some changes, to which we agreed.
We had a meeting of the Grass Creek Coal Co.