February 1898

1 February 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, February 1, 1898

Bishop Clawson returned from California yesterday and called upon us, and we made an appointment to meet him this morning and hear his report. He had been sent to California to see if there could not be a reconciliation effected with Colonel Trumbo. We were very much interested in listening to Brother Clawson’s recital of his trip and the results; and in order to make clear what he did I will copy Col. Trumbo’s request in my journal:-

“San Francisco, January 28th, 1898.

Presidents Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith.


With a view of reaching an adjustment of matters between us, I submit the following suggestions:

Complete exoneration by the First Presidency to all the people, showing the position I had taken, where I had been, and the assistance rendered them; that I was the one instrumental in getting the amnesty, saving the franchise, instrumental in the return of the property and preparing the way for the return of the real property; the softening of the feelings of the people of the United States against them, and in accomplishing the association of strong friends and in bringing the best and strongest elements of this land to see the great purpose in the work that these people were accomplishing; in stopping all their troubles in every way, and, lastly, crowned all my efforts by getting Statehood and making the land free. These facts to be brought out in the Tabernacle and published in the Deseret New[s].

Regarding the house: I will deliver the Gardo House into the hands of President Woodruff, as the church parsonage. I to take the pictures and bric a b[r]ac and bronzes, the table linen, silverware and sets of fancy dishes – they being my own private property. The balance of my improvements to be settled for with Bishop Clawson as we have talked it over. These conditions to be confidential. My residence in Utah in no way to be denied but to be admitted, as I belong to Utah.

I only do this to defend my friends in the east who have been so kind in offering and furnishing their assistance and aid to the people of Utah. In a little while, when the opportunity presents itself, I hope to meet President Cannon and Bishop Clawson in Washington, and have them assure my friends personally that I in no way sold them out or accepted money in lieu of the promises made to Eastern friends.

About Joseph F. Smith: I hope President Cannon will show to his mind clearly that when General Clarkson spoke to me in Washington in regard to the Senatorial position that I never had a thought pass my mind in respect to asking for anything, and when the agreement was made in New York that General Clarkson would have the naming of the Senators, prior to that time I had no idea that the General in his generosity and good wishes would give me one of the places. Bishop Clawson was present at the conversation in Washington when General Clarkson said what he was going to do. He spoke to Platt, Quay and Aldrich upon the subject, and they all selected me. I said then that they would make a mistake, and I wished that they would withdraw my name and give the Senatorship to President George Q. Cannon, as he was the one it belonged to, and I did not wish it. Bishop Clawson at this same conversation joined me and said that President Cannon should be one of the Senators and that Colonel Trumbo ought to be the other. General Clarkson, in answer to this, said: We will take care of Mr. Cannon ourselves. I only say this because becoming aware of President Smith’s views expressed in conversation on several occasions I feel that I have been wronged, and it is simply justice that he should know the facts and that this be made right. I would like all this to be made known to the people as clearly as possible because of my position outside of Utah more than anything else. I think also that at the present time the truth will disarm a good many men now unjustly criticizing them not knowing the truth.

Isaac Trumbo.”

The following is a copy of an Instrument which Bishop Clawson holds, and which he is instructed by Colonel Trumbo to deliver to us on our compliance with the above request:-

“San Francisco, January 28th, 1898.

THIS INSTRUMENT WITNESSETH: That on compliance with my views and wishes this day expressed and communicated in writing and verbally to Bishop H. B. Clawson, I hereby release and forgive President Woodruff and the Mormon people from all obligations to return or pay to me the money advanced and spent by me in their interest and defense (which has not been paid) and this instrument when delivered shall be and witness the end of all money claims and controversy with or against them on my part personally of every kind and character whatsoever. This paper has no political significance whatsoever, nor does it release them from political promises made to the Republican party.

Isaac Trumbo.”

The First Presidency had quite a conversation about this, and we felt that this request of Col. Trumbo’s should be complied with. I felt very much gratified myself at this conclusion. I have this satisfaction: nothing that Colonel Trumbo asks in regard to this matter comes in the least conflict with my feelings. I have always taken the ground that he had done us eminent service, and that we should appreciate it. I have said so repeatedly, when a good many of the brethren have talked very hard about him and denounced him. There is only one thing that I have not agreed to in my feelings, and that is that he should be a Senator from this State. There was a time when I might have felt entirely willing; but after the contest opened it was in such a shape that I thought he would not be a suitable man for Senator, and so expressed myself, though I took no active steps to prevent him getting it. This feeling in me arose from the way he entered upon the campaign. It was highly imprudent, his wife’s deportment and his own. They made themselves objects of unfavorable comment. Another reason I had for having this feeling was that it was never understood by us that he was to be repaid for his services to us by being made a Senator.

We had a meeting of the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co. The object was to have an interview with Mr. Alfred Jaretzki, a member of the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, attorneys, who has come out here to see us and make arrangements for the interest on the bonds from July to November 1st. There was nothing definite done to-day.

I had an interview with Sister Susa Y. Gates, and listened with much pleasure to her account of her visits to the different wards and the manner in which she talked to the people about patronizing home publications. She is very zealous and very outspoken, and while her remarks may offend some, they are certainly straightforward and truthful.

To-day is the 47th anniversary of my wife Caroline’s birth. She had invited those of her mother’s family who could come. We had a most excellent dinner and a very enjoyable time.

2 February 1898 • Wednesday

Wednesday, February 2, 1898

Had an interview this morning with Brothers Creighton and Rigo Hawkins. The former is the father-in-law of my son Angus. I gave them a letter of introduction to Bishop Preston, as they wanted to secure wheat with which to sow their land in Emery Stake which they have recently taken up.

There was a meeting of the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co.

There was a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co.

Yesterday the subject of making some public acknowledgment of Colonel Trumbo’s services was considered, and President Smith moved that myself and Bishop Clawson draw up a written statement. President Woodruff and he voted for it; I did not vote, for the reason that I was doubtful about our ability to get up a suitable statement, and also for the reason that I thought perhaps the best way would be to speak on it impromptu from the stand, instead of reading anything. But I said I would certainly try and do what the brethren wished, though I was doubtful of our ability to do this. I dictated to Brother Arthur Winter, in the presence of Bishop Clawson, a document that I thought might answer the purpose of showing to some extent what form this statement ought to take.

3 February 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, February 3, 1898

The First Presidency and President Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant and A. O. Woodruff attended meeting at 11 o’clock in the Temple. President Smith desired to attend the Wasatch Stake Conference, and he and Brother A. O. Woodruff were selected to go there. It is the only conference that will be held next Sunday, it being fast day. Brother A. O. Woodruff was mouth in prayer.

At 3 p.m. there was a meeting of the Co-operative Wagon & Machine Co., which I attended.

I also attended a meeting of the Deseret Sunday School Union Board.

4 February 1898 • Friday

Friday, February 4, 1898

The First Presidency had a call this morning from Bishop Rawlins and Brother Thomas Wheeler, two of the trustees of the Academy that had been built by six Wards in the southern portion of Salt Lake County. The question they wished to ask counsel about was in relation to leasing the house to the Supt. of District schools, or whether they should attempt to revive the Church school. The building has been empty for two years. We laid before the brethren the difficulty we had before us in relation to our Church schools. We do not have the funds to sustain them. We thought that if they could lease this building without endangering their rights and ownership it would be a good thing, better than letting the building stand idle. They both expressed themselves very much in favor of our Church schools and the good effect they had. It was suggested that they endeavor to arrange so that there should be what is called religion classes held in the school after the dismissal.

There was a meeting to-day, which commenced before 12 o’clock and lasted till about 5, of the members of the Utah Loan & Trust Co. There were present beside the First Presidency, President Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards and (part of the time) Heber J. Grant, of the Twelve Apostles, and Geo. M. Cannon, John M. Cannon, Matt. Browning, and Bishop Stevens. The question debated was what to do. The bank was in peril, and would close its doors in the morning unless something was done for it. The whole afternoon was consumed in trying to devise some plan by which this might be averted. Finally, (after President Woodruff had gone) I suggested that if the bank had any negotiable notes which they could give to the Zion’s Savings Bank, the Trustee-in-Trust would endorse a loan of $5000 to the institution. This, it was thought, would keep it going until something more could be done.

5 February 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, February 5, 1898

Mr. Sam Godbe has come up from the Sterling mining property, of which he has been in charge about eight months, and reported its condition. I thought his report, on the whole, rather favorable; but the Board (of which I am not a member) decided that they would offer the property for $200,000, but not less than $150,000. I am told that this will come short by $75,000 of meeting the indebtedness of the Company. I asked the members what they intended to do about the $75,000 in case it was sold, stating it was not in my power to pay my proportion. It did not seem to me that the proper course was to sell, under the circumstances. According to Mr. Godbe, $25,000 invested would make the property a paying property, and also develop its richness if it had any. This the members of the Company thought was the risk, that they might spend the $25,000 and then the mine give out. Of course, there is such a risk, but I thought the risk was not very great, and if the mine could be developed Mr. Godbe admitted that it could be sold to much better advantage. Brother A. H. Woodruff made the motion to sell. He seems to be very timid, though he has comparatively little in the property. I told the brethren they could do as they please; I would not find fault with what they did after I had expressed my views. I went into this business very reluctantly, and it was really against my own judgment; but President Woodruff seemed to be impressed, and I followed his lead in the matter.

The First Presidency had an interview with Brother Ben Rich, who related to us the condition of affairs in Idaho. He thought there was mismanagement in political matters up there; that President Ricks particularly was putting himself in a wrong position in relation to the county seat of the county in which he lived. He had favored the attempt to change the county seat from St. Anthony to Rexburg, but had afterwards changed his mind, and had disgusted, so Brother Rich said, some of the Gentiles who subscribed money for the purpose of having it changed.

President Jos. F. Smith thought the article that I had dictated concerning Colonel Trumbo was very good. He suggested one change only, and that a slight one. Arrangements were made for its publication to-day in the Deseret News.

I dictated to Brother Winter an article for the Juvenile Instructor.

I called at the Walker House to-day to see Mrs. Whitney. She was not in, so I left my card. My daughters Mary Alice and Emily accompanied me.

6 February 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, February 6, 1898

I called at the Walker House again, but failed to see Mrs. Whitney; but my daughters called and had a lengthy conversation with her. I talked to her also through the telephone, and invited her to dine with us, but she could not do this.

In the afternoon I attended fast meeting, and listened with great pleasure to the testimonies of the Saints, and I spoke myself about a quarter of an hour.

In the evening Brother David McKenzie delivered a lecture to the Mutual Improvement Association. It was quite an interesting lecture.

7 February 1898 • Monday

Monday, February 7, 1898

I dictated to Brother Arthur Winter an article for the Juvenile Instructor this morning.

President Woodruff and myself had some conversation with Bishop David Stoker and Brother B. H. Roberts.

I have been desirous to see some of the City Council in relation to the franchise to be granted to the Union Light & Power Co., and the following members came to the office to-day: Arthur Barnes, John Allen, E. M. Weiler and Henry Wallace. I explained to them with some detail what we were aiming to accomplish, and set before them our situation and how desirable it was that our brethren in the City Council should recognize what we were doing, and not treat us as a foreign corporation. I afterwards spoke to them about the Arthur Pratt business – not so much that either as to bring to their attention the necessity of union; that it was a City council of thirteen Mormons and two Gentiles, and that the Latter-day Saints would be blamed for everything that was not right, and therefore they ought to act in harmony and not as partisans. Arthur Barnes made the remark that they were elected as Democrats, on a Democratic, ticket. I dwelt on that and showed that they should be Latter-day Saints first, above all things. I told them that if they divided and pulled against each other, as they had started out to do, they would bring themselves into discredit. I talked with exceeding plainness to these brethren, as did President Woodruff also. I fear that this conversation will not effect any great change in their feelings, but we shall have given them our views, and if they do not act upon them they will be without excuse. In parting with them I told them, as a servant of God, that they would always be safe in following the counsels of the servants of the Lord.

8 February 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, February 8, 1898

I went to Provo this morning to attend a meeting of the Grand Central Mining Co. After paying all debts, the Company has about $1700 left in the treasury. There is a $30,000 bill to meet at the end of April, which Manager Loose hopes to be able to meet out of the product of the mine. Then there is another $49,000 to be met in June. These heavy bills to meet make it rather discouraging.

I arrived at Salt Lake City at 12:20.

Spent most of the afternoon in arranging for a settlement of the Trumbo business. I have felt very much impressed to close this business up and secure from Bishop Clawson the receipt that Trumbo has given him for us when we complied with his terms. To my surprise, Bishop Clawson expected that something would be said in the Tabernacle as well as the article that was published. A perusal of Col. Trumbo’s letter conveys that idea; but, as I told Bishop Clawson, I thought that when he accepted this writing and wanted it put in the paper, that complied with the request. I said I could not say anything more on the stand than had been published, and it seemed to me entirely unnecessary. He said he thought that I ought not to be asked to say anything; but somebody ought to say something. President Woodruff said finally that he would talk, for he was heartily sick of this whole business and wanted to get it out of his hands, and he was willing to do anything he could do to close the business up. I have been under the impression that we had not to pay any money, but it seems I was mistaken – that we have to pay $10,000 for the Gardo House improvements which Col. Trumbo made; so to-day we advanced $2000 in cash, and gave two notes for $4000 each, payable in 90 days and 6 months, with 5% interest from maturity. I dictated receipts for Bishop Clawson to sign, also a letter embodying the proposition concerning the Gardo House, which he signed, addressed to us. I am glad to get this business closed up. President Woodruff agrees to make some remarks on Sunday, and with that understanding Bishop Clawson gave us Trumbo’s receipt in full, and also a receipt for the $10,000 as agent for Col. Trumbo.1

9 February 1898 • Wednesday

Wednesday, February 9, 1898

At the Union Light & Power Co’s office, dictated journal and other matters to Brother Winter.

Had a meeting of the Deseret News Co., at which Geo. C. Lambert was present. He wished some concessions made to him on notes that he had given to the Company for paper that had been bought by him from the Deseret News Co. It was agreed to lower the principal from $7500 to $7000, and to reduce the interest on that amount from 12% to 8%. This undoubtedly was a hard bargain made by Brothers W. H. Rowe and J. W. Summerhays with Geo. C. Lambert; but the times were good then, and money was drawing a high rate of interest; but it was only a short time till the depression came. This action of the Company was taken after hearing the statements of Brothers Lambert and Summerhays.

The First Presidency had a meeting with Brother Andrew Jensen on the subject of taking charge of the “Bikuben”, which has been going behind between $1500 and $2000 each year. He had stated that he thought it could be made self-sustaining, and on the strength of this statement we had conversation with him and told him we wished he would take charge of it.

10 February 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, February 10, 1898

Attended to some business at the Union Light & Power Co’s office, and was called for by Presidents Woodruff and Smith and went with them to the Temple meeting. There were present, beside the First Presidency, President Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, Geo. Teasdale and Heber J. Grant. A letter was read from Brother A. W. Ivins, of Mexico, asking questions in relation to the proper treatment of a man who had come into the settlement, whose wife was a Mormon, and who was very kindly disposed himself – whether they would be justified in selling him land and permitting him to participate in their social parties; and whether students not belonging to the Church who attended the schools throughout the session should be permitted in closing up to attend parties with the rest of the students. It was decided that every case of this kind should stand on its own merits and one should not be a precedent for another; but these questions might be answered in the affirmative.

I have been much impressed with our want of system in our labors as a First Presidency, and I proposed to-day to Presidents Woodruff and Smith that we have a regular time to devote to the business that comes before us, and not to permit ourselves to be interrupted and diverted from this. A great deal of business has been neglected because of our having no fixed time to consider it. It was suggested that we should meet on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, at 11 a.m.; Wednesdays and Thursdays we have other appointments, and Saturdays we are frequently away. Presidents Woodruff and Smith thought the plan a good one.

President Woodruff and his daughter Blanche and myself and wife Caroline attended a sociable at Sister Jennings, and spent a very delightful evening. There must have been nearly 100 guests present. The refreshments were very complete. Before we separated, President Woodruff and myself made remarks.

11 February 1898 • Friday

Friday, February 11, 1898

At 11 o’clock this morning the First Presidency listened to the reading of a large number of letters which had not been answered. There were quite a number of them which my son Frank had written to us. We suggested answers to be made to all of them, and felt much gratified with the result of our meeting.

Brother Thomas E. Ricks had an interview with the First Presidency concerning the statements that had been made by Brother Ben E. Rich regarding the county seat business.

Brother Brandley, Bishop of Richfield, wanted to get counsel about moving to Canada. We thought that if he could be spared from his field, it might be a good thing to do, as he had boys that would be of great assistance to him if they were in a land like Canada.

Brothers John T. Caine and H. B. Clawson brought to the office Dr. Hughes and Mr. Falkenburg, of the “Woodmen of the World”. Dr. Hughes is a son of Bela M. Hughes, an old friend of mine, and brought me a letter of introduction from his father. His father and his grandfather were both friends of the Latter-day Saints while they were in Missouri, and were very fairminded, honorable men. The object of the visit of these gentlemen is to organize a branch or branches of the society which they represent. It is a benevolent society, and is no doubt an excellent one of its kind. We talked to them about it being a secret organization; that we did not believe in alliance with such societies; but they were desirous, if we could not endorse them, at least to speak in favor of the objects. They were going to leave to-night. I regretted I did not have more time to show Dr. Hughes attention.

12 February 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, February 12, 1898

I started this morning, accompanied by my wife Caroline, to attend conference in Ephraim. Reached there about 1:30. Was met at the station by Brother John B. Maiben, who took us to the house of Prest. Petersen. We partook of dinner, and then repaired to the meeting. Brother Teasdale came here yesterday, and had attended a meeting at the Academy last evening, and had occupied the time this morning. I spoke this afternoon, and an excellent spirit prevailed. In the evening we had a priesthood meeting, to which all the saints were invited. The house was well filled, and Brother Teasdale spoke, and I followed.

13 February 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, February 13, 1898

We had Sunday school at 9 o’clock, and held it till 10:30. Brother Teasdale and myself occupied the time and enjoyed excellent liberty in talking to the children. At 10:30 the Conference convened. The house was crowded. Brother Teasdale spoke to the people. Brothers Maiben and Beal, Counselors to Prest. Petersen, also spoke. In the afternoon the authorities were presented, sacrament was administered, and I occupied the time afterwards. I enjoyed myself exceedingly in talking to the people, and everybody seemed deeply interested. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out abundantly upon us. Brother Teasdale went to Spring City in the evening to hold meeting.

14 February 1898 • Monday

Monday, February 14, 1898

A number of the brethren came into Prest. Petersen’s last evening and this morning and I had a very pleasant time conversing with them and in answering their questions concerning doctrine and counsel. My wife visited her sister-in-law, the proxy wife of Brother Brigham Young. She has been sealed for eternity to her brother, Joseph A. Young. In company with Prest. Petersen, we went to the house of Brother Anthon H. Lund, and spent some time with his wife and children.

At 12:20 we left Ephraim for home.

This visit has been a very pleasant one. We have been entertained with great kindness by Brother Petersen and his wife, and the spirit that has prevailed in our meetings has been very sweet.

We reached home at 5:30, and were very sorry to learn that our son Wilford was attacked with scarlet fever. Carol, Ann and Georgius removed to the Farm house, and Clawson to my wife Martha’s[.]

15 February 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, February 15, 1898

Bishop Preston was in the office and brought to our attention the condition of the White River Ranch and the necessity for something being done in the appointing of someone to take charge of affairs there. He and the brethren who are interested in the Ranch had thought that Brother Thomas Judd, of St. George, would be a very suitable man. Personally I have rather felt that if anyone else could be obtained it would be better than to remove Brother Judd from where he is. St. George is a very weak stake because of the energetic men leaving there on account of the few opportunities there are for enterprise. Brother Judd is a very energetic man, and is engaged in a number of enterprises there. But I waived my feelings, and dictated a dispatch to be sent to Brother Judd.

16 February 1898 • Wednesday

Wednesday, February 16, 1898

There was a meeting of the Sterling Mining Company this morning, to take into consideration what should be done in relation to the property.

C. W. Nibley came in and reported to us what he and Brother David Eccles had been doing respecting the extension of the line from Milford on the grade that had been built by the Union Pacific. He related what progress they had made. They had agreed with the Oregon Short Line people for the latter Company to advance rails and to buy ties (Brother Eccles to furnish the ties at Huntington), and the Company to take its pay in bonds, they to have the majority of the bonds. They were to have an option also on the stock – on 51% of the stock for five years, on payment of $30,000 for the stock. Brother Nibley thought it was an excellent arrangement. After grasping the affair, I had quite a long talk with him, expressing my disappointment at what had been done. In the first place, I said, Brother Eccles had been elected a Director in the Company in place of Abraham H. Cannon, with the expectation that he would take up the matter where Abraham laid it down. It was contrary to our views and intentions to do anything that would give the Oregon Short Line the opportunity to control the road in any form. That was the difficulty that we were now laboring under, that the Oregon Short Line people owned all the railroad property in this State that had been built and once owned by Latter-day Saints. This proposition that was now made was only a continuation of the same thing, in case they wished to take possession of that road. We could build the road, and they, after it paid, would take possession of it. I said that every mile of railroad that formed the Oregon Short Line system in the State of Utah, excepting from Lehi Junction to Tintic, had been built and owned by the Latter-day Saints. If we had retained possession of all these lines, we would have been masters of the transportation of this country. Instead of that, all our people were turned out of these roads, and we could not get employment scarcely for any of them. I felt very much worked up over this, because it was not in line at all with our policy, and I talked rather sharply about it.

Brother Nibley, in defense, said they were not aware that that was our policy, and they had done this thinking they were doing a good thing; that it would be an advantage to the people south to have a road even if we did not own it; but we would own it until they chose to take up the option, and perhaps they would not do that. He said it was a good money-making scheme.

To this I replied, it was not money we had in view. Of course, if we did anything of this kind we would want it to pay; but our motive was not to make money so much as to get some control of transpor[t]ation in our own country.

Elders F. M. Lyman and M. F. Cowley arrived to-day from the South and East. We were all glad to see them. They report the condition of affairs in the Southern States in great fullness. The Elders are doing a good work, and there is no doubt that the visit of these two Apostles has been and will be of great benefit to the Elders there. It is very apparent that the visits of Apostles to the branches of the Church are very profitable and in many cases necessary. Conditions had grown up there which needed changing.

17 February 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, February 17, 1898

President Snow was sent for, and a statement was shown him of the expenditures of the Tithing during the year 1896, and also the division of the Tithing for various purposes to be adopted by us in our appropriations during this coming year. The Tithing of 1896, amounting in the aggregate to $626,000, was adopted as a basis. Ninety percent. of this has been apportioned for various purposes, the remaining ten per cent being reserved for casualties and extraordinary requirements that may arise during the year. This plan has been adopted in order that we may have some definite idea of our business. Heretofore we have been appropriating as though our funds were without limit and could not be exhausted. This plan, if carried out, will keep us constantly in debt; but the new proposition to divide our income and set aside so much for each account, will enable us to keep track of what we are doing. In order that President Snow might have this matter before him, and be able to submit it to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Joseph F. Smith gave him copies of the following statements, and made explanations concerning them:-2
























General Church Authorities





Stake Officers, Bishops, &c.





Employes, Attorneys,


Traveling Expense,


President’s & Historian


Offices, etc.















Church Herd Expense,

Compensation, Rents,

Expenses, Barn, and

Losses in Produce

handling, etc.























(Based on Tithing of 1896)







Salt Lake City


St. George


































General Authorities 8% 50,000

Stake Presidencies 4% 25,000
















do. Stake Storehouses





Including cattle expense, rents,

Agent, &c.




EXPENSE, Salary Employees, &c.,

President’s Office




EXPENSE, Bishop’s General Storehouse Over 10 %




















At 11 o’clock the First Presidency met with the Twelve Apostles in council at the Temple. Of the Twelve there were present, President Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, and M. F. Cowley.

Brother Grant brought up the condition of the Utah Loan & Trust Co.

Brothers Lyman and Cowley made their report of their visit to the Southern and Eastern States Missions.

At 2 o’clock there was a meeting of Z.C.M.I., which I attended.

18 February 1898 • Friday

Friday, February 18, 1898

Brothers Eccles and Nibley came down, and we had further conversation concerning the extension of the railroad from Milford westward. Part of the conversation that took place between Brother Nibley and us the other day, was repeated. Brother Eccles explained that he had made a report in the spring concerning the grade down there and what might be done; but no action had been taken upon it, and he felt that he was at liberty then to go ahead as he had done. I acknowledged that there was some justification for this, because no action had been taken on his report. The excuse for this, if any were needed, was that we were all so crowded; but, I added, my expectation was that he would take hold of this business and relieve us entirely, just as Abraham had tried to do. That was the purpose in getting him. It was not that we expected to take any action on these matters; it was for him to push the business ahead. He intimated, however, that he would not do what he had done if members of the Company such as McCornick, Dern and others were to get the benefit of it. After some little conversation, I made a motion that they go ahead with their project and make the best terms they could. They had intimated that they would throw it up, and we could try it on the lines that we had been working on. In reply to this, I remarked that it was no use, they had gone so far in this matter, and the Oregon Short Line people had got their ideas fixed concerning obtaining the control of that road, and it would be useless to attempt to get them to look at it from our standpoint now.

John M. Cannon and my son Hugh came in this morning and talked over a proposition which Mr. Harrison had made for the purchase of the Sterling mine. After some time spent in deliberation, it was decided that we would sell the property on the terms proposed.

The First Presidency listened to the reading of considerable correspondence. The plan of having a fixed time to attend to business directly belonging to the First Presidency works well, so far as we have gone with it. I trust we will be able to continue it. We have been in a very unsatisfactory condition in this respect. We have had scarcely any privacy, and no opportunity of comparing our views and getting each other’s mind concerning propositions or counsel that might be laid before us. If, however, we can have fixed times for this business, and unitedly be able to deliberate upon it, the results are likely to be much more satisfactory than the plan we have been pursuing in the past.

Bishops Preston and Burton came in at our request, and we submitted to them copies of the papers that we had given to Brother Snow, and talked over with them the plan that we had in contemplation. They seemed very pleased with the suggestions, and thought it was the only way that could be done to save ourselves from trouble.

At 2:30 I went to the Latter-day Saints College, in conformity with the request of Principal Willard Done, and while there delivered an address of half an hour’s length to the students.

19 February 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, February 19, 1898

I was busy this forenoon attending to different matters of business; among other things, attended to some Deseret News business, which is weighing heavily upon me at the present time. In the afternoon I dictated to Brother Arthur Winter articles for the Juvenile Instructor and correspondence.

20 February • Sunday

Sunday, February 20, 1898

I was greatly delighted this morning to meet my son Brigham T., who has just returned from a mission to Germany, having been absent three years. The family were very much excited and pleased at his return. He looks healthy and strong, and of course is delighted to get home. From all I can learn, he appears to have been a very energetic and useful missionary. He has acquired German, and for four months has been laboring in Geneva, preaching in French. He seems to have been gifted in acquiring languages. He has mastered the German very thoroughly, and is a pretty good French scholar also. He attended the German meeting this morning.

At 2 o’clock I attended the meeting in the Tabernacle, and four returned missionaries were called to the stand – Orson Hyde, David Edwards, Charles Dinwoodey, and Brigham T. Cannon. The three first named have been laboring in the States, and spoke excellently. I enjoyed their testimonies very much. Brigham followed, and I was pleased with what he said; but he found it difficult to speak in his mother tongue, as his thoughts ran in German and French, and he had to translate as he went along. His remarks were quite interesting. He did not speak so loud as the others, and probably was not heard by the entire congregation. My brother Angus followed in a few remarks and bore a strong testimony to the people.

In the evening I attended the Ward meeting and partook of the sacrament. Brother Wilcken and my son Hugh spoke to the saints, after which I spoke a while, and felt very well in talking.

21 February • Monday

Monday, February 21, 1898

On Saturday last, President Smith left for the east, to meet his son who is returning from a mission to Great Britain, and to help Brother Spence in emigration matters.

President Woodruff and myself listened to the reading of correspondence this morning, and heard an appeal case from Milville, in which Brother John King was the appellant. We sent the papers to Brother Mathias F. Cowley, with instructions to try and arrange an amicable settlement in this, as the case has been put off for so long a time that we felt that some extra pains should be taken to endeavor to settle this without having to resort to extreme measures.

We held a meeting of the Grass Creek Coal Company this afternoon.

We received word from St. George, through a telegram from my brother David, that Elder John L. Smith, a brother of the late President George A. Smith, and an uncle of John Henry Smith, had died after a long illness.

Brother Heber J. Grant related to President Woodruff and myself the result of his appeal to Jesse Knight, of Provo, for an investment of $10,000 in the Utah Loan & Trust Co. Jesse Knight declined to do this, but said he would advance $9000.00, if he could get a Tithing receipt for the same, whether he would have that amount to pay this year or not.

22 February 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, February 22, 1898

I spent the day very quietly at home, it being Washington’s Birthday and a holiday.

This is the 9th anniversary of my release from the penitentiary. I think with pleasure of the delight which I experienced in being once more a free man.

23 February • Wednesday

Wednesday, February 23, 1898

President Woodruff and myself listened to correspondence to-day.

We had an interview with Brother Thomas Judd in relation to his proposed duties in taking the lead in the White River country.

At 11 o’clock I met with the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co, and attended to considerable business.

Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

24 February 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, February 24, 1898

This morning I spent an hour or two signing consolidated bonds for the Union Light & Power Co. I have 4500 to sign, and I have to take what opportunity I can to do this.

At 11 o’clock President Woodruff and myself went to the Temple and met with President Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff, of the Twelve Apostles.

Brother Grant brought forward his financial condition; and after remarks were made by all the Twelve present, I moved that the former action of the Council, which proposed to purchase from him Theatre stock, &c., be rescinded, and then moved that the Council sustain the Trustee-in-Trust in endorsing Brother Grant to the amount of $65,000, leaving him to work out the payment of this himself. The first proposition meant an out-and-out sale of stocks to us, and would relieve Brother Grant entirely from the indebtedness and lay it upon the Trustee-in-Trust; but this latter proposition would enable him to arrange his own affairs and pay his indebtedness himself. We all thought that this was the better way, under the circumstances, which Brother Grant agreed with so far as the Trustee-in-Trust was concerned.

In speaking about Brother Grant’s situation, President Snow spoke in most eulogistic terms of Brother Grant’s financial ability and what he had done for the Church. Brother Richards followed in a good deal the same strain. Brother Grant himself spoke in high terms of what he himself had done.

I felt that this sort of talk to him was not beneficial. I do not think it a wise thing to praise men in the strain in which Brother Grant was praised to-day. He already has a very high opinion about his own financial ability and the exertions he has made; while the truth is, without speaking in the least disparagingly of Brother Grant’s labors, other men have done as much or more, but they do not say much about it. He has a good faculty for making known what he has done and the sacrifices he has made. He is an able man, kind-hearted and liberal, and can raise money very well; but his career has not shown wisdom in the management of funds or the organization of companies. His financial judgment is not good in some directions. The unstinted praise that was bestowed upon him to-day, President Woodruff and myself think hurtful to him; but it would have come with ill grace at the time to have said. Opportunity will have to be taken to allude to it at another time, as he is exceedingly sensitive.

I always admired President Young in this respect. He was a man that never indulged in praise. Some perhaps thought he did not do enough in this direction; but my experience in human affairs is that it is better to err on that side than it is to indulge in the habit of praising people.

As far as raising money is concerned, Brother John W. Young could beat any of us; he was a man of extraordinary ability in that direction; but he could also spend it!

President Woodruff and myself had a conversation with Brother M. F. Cowley respecting the amount that he should draw for his support. He had desired me to give him my views about this, but I told him I would prefer having President Woodruff with us when this was talked about. We explained to him that the system which had prevailed for some time of fixing certain amounts to certain officers was one that I for one was utterly opposed to. I had been protesting against it ever since it was instituted shortly after President Taylor’s death. I thought it a bad thing, and that if it were not checked it would lead to our having a hireling ministry. My view was – in which President Woodruff coincided – that it was right for the brethren to have what they needed to sustain them economically and comfortably, but that there should be no fixed amount for them to draw, only to the extent that there should be a limit to their drawing.

There was a special meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank at 3 o’clock to consider the affairs of the Utah Loan & Trust co. It was finally concluded that the best plan to adopt, under the circumstances, was to endeavor to sell the building for $150,000, and with the money thus raised pay off the mortgage and use the rest for the settlement of the affairs of the Bank.

I had a family meeting this evening at my house. There were not many present, but we had a very interesting time. I spoke to those who were present, and we prayed together.

25 February 1898 • Friday

Friday, February 25, 1898

I had a meeting of Cannon, Grant & Co. called together this morning. Whenever I think of this business it distresses me. I am very anxious to get some sort of settlement, and I have tried in vain to reach some basis of settlement. Abraham’s death interrupted the plans which he was forming for this purpose, and since that time no one has done anything, and I cannot apparently induce anyone to feel the seriousness of the case. I determined to suggest the employment of some competent bookkeeper to go through our affairs and give us an exhibit. At this meeting we selected Brother H. T. McEwan, the bookkeeper in the State Bank, who is already somewhat familiar with our affairs. We sent for him, and he expressed a willingness to take hold and do what we desired.

There was a meeting to-day of the coal company in which the First Presidency and Le Grand Young are interested. A board of directors was elected, consisting of John R. Winder, Le Grand Young, Joseph F. Smith, Orange Seeley, and myself, with R. S. Campbell as Secretary. Brother Winder was elected President.

President Lorenzo Snow was invited to the office by President Woodruff to listen to the report of the Presiding Bishopric of their attempt to bring their expenses down to the amount that had been apportioned out of the Tithing. We desired President Snow to listen to this, so that he might form some idea of what was being done, and also that it might be an aid to him in arranging the reduction of the expenditures of the Temple. He appeared greatly pleased with what was being done and approved of it very heartily.

In the evening, in company with my son Brigham and my daughter Grace and granddaughter Dorothy, I attended a concert in the 11th Ward meeting house, which was given to raise funds for Brother Hirini Whaanga, who is about to return to New Zealand, his native land, as a missionary. It was a most delightful entertainment. The house was crowded to overflowing, and hundreds went away. When I entered I was led to a seat on the stand. Before the close, I was invited to make remarks, which I did quite briefly.

26 February 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, February 26, 1898

Dictated articles to Brother Arthur Winter, also my journal and correspondence.

Had conversation with Brother Winder and Bishop Clawson respecting the Gardo House.

27 February 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, February 27, 1898

At 2 o’clock I attended meeting in the Tabernacle and listened to Elders B. J. Stewart and John M. Knight, who have just returned from missions. Brother Stewart is a good speaker. Brother Knight looked so innocent and rather countryfied that I had sympathy for him when he had to follow Brother Stewart; but he gave me great gratification by his remarks. He is a grandson of Millen Atwood’s, and has a strong voice, and he was heard distinctly all over the Tabernacle. His remarks were excellent. He is evidently a young man who has studied and who is quite intellectual. Both the brethren spoke well, and after they sat down I spoke to the people.

In the evening I attended sacrament meeting in the Ward and listened to Brother James H. Anderson.

28 February 1898 • Monday

Monday, February 28, 1898

President Woodruff and myself, accompanied by Brother Winder and Brother Abram Hatch, went through the Gardo House this morning. It is now rented to Brother A. W. McCune, and we desired to look at it before his family occupied it. The house is very fine and will make a beautiful residence.

A man by the name of Jamieson called upon me and read a lecture that he had prepared to deliver in the East. I am uncertain whether he is a fraud or not. He occupied two hours of my time and then borrowed $6.00 off me.

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February 1898, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed February 27, 2024 https://production.churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon/1890s/1898/02-1898