The Church Historian's Press

March 1898

1 March 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, March 1, 1898

This is President Woodruff’s birthday. He is 91 years old to-day, and he is in better health than he was a year ago; in fact, his health of late has been very good.

I had a long interview with Brothers Le Grand Young, R.S. Campbell and John R. Winder over Mr. Banigan matters. I have been suffering in my feelings for some time because of delay in answering letters of his. I have been depending upon Brother Le Grand Young, who has been very closely occupied with legal matters that prevented his bestowing attention to this. I was very glad to get the business in my hands to-day, and I sent letters to Mr. Banigan and to my son Frank.

I spent the evening at my wife Martha’s. Brigham had Miss Alice Clawson down there visiting. I was greatly pleased to see the improvement Brigham has made in other directions than missionary labor. He has, besides acquiring the German and French languages, learned to play on the zither and on the piano, and to sing.

2 March 1898 • Wednesday

Wednesday, March 2, 1898

I met with the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co. this morning at 11 o’clock and attended to business. Afterwards had conversation with Brothers Winder and Campbell on business affairs.

I worked on preparing articles for the Juvenile Instructor.

Some days ago, Judge L. W. Shurtliff of Ogden called upon the First Presidency and had a private conversation with them concerning political affairs. Before closing, he informed us that he had been invited while in Washington (from whence he had just returned) to attend a meeting of the Silver Democrats, he himself being a Democrat. There were present at the meeting, Senator Jones of Arkansas, Senator White of California, Senator Rawlins of Utah, and others. I think he said Representative King was present also. At this meeting the question of who ought to come back from Utah as Senator was discussed. The united feeling was that my son Frank should be re-elected, and they were bringing pressure to bear on Representative King, who has ambition to be Senator, to suppress him, so that he would not be a candidate, but he was very reluctant to yield. The feeling that they had was that a Silver Republican ought to be sent from Utah, and not a Silver Democrat. Judge Shurtliff related to us what had occurred, said it was confidential, and remarked that Frank had told him that he was ready to do whatever the First Presidency desired. If they wished him to go on a mission, he would go gladly, or do anything else that they wished; but he would not make any attempt to be Senator unless the First Presidency wished it and approved of it. Presidents Woodruff and Smith both spoke very strongly in favor of Frank making the race for the Senatorship, and hoped he would [be] elected, as they felt he would represent us better than anyone else that was likely to be elected. President Woodruff was very strong in his expressions about it. This ought to have been put in my journal on the day the conversation occurred, but was omitted, and I mention it here.

3 March 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, March 3, 1898

At 11 o’clock, President Woodruff and myself went to the Temple, where we met with President Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, Geo. Teasdale, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff.

Brother Teasdale reported his visit to one of the Stake Conferences.

The case of James T. Little, who had recently died, was mentioned, application having been made by his friends to have him clothed in his Temple apparel. President Woodruff and myself had decided that this would be improper. This led to an understanding on the part of all present that a person who had left off their garments and died in that condition ought not to be entitled to be clothed in their Temple clothing at their demise. I made some remarks on this subject, and said that I thought there should be a distinction maintained by us, as far as we possibly could do so, in relation to those who were entitled to wear their Temple clothing after death. If we did not maintain a strict distinction on this point, the value of that clothing and the esteem in which it should be held would be lost.

Brother F. M. Lyman read a letter from Sister Hannah Sorenson, which was signed by two or three sisters, in which they had invited him to have a meeting with them to-morrow at 10 o’clock. It was arranged for one of the Twelve to go with Brother Lyman. This led also to general conversation concerning Sister Sorenson and her teachings, which we think are somewhat extreme in relation to diet, etc. It was thought that it would be wise to check, to some extent, the tendency that was manifested among the sisters through her teachings.

After we returned from the Temple, the First Presidency had a call from Brother Reuben Collett, of the Uintah Stake, who asked for aid for their Academy. We explained to him our situation, and left the impression on his mind that we would not be in a position to render them any aid.

My wife Martha and her girls had invited a number of young people to meet at the house with Brigham, in honor of his return. There was a very delightful gathering, and the evening was spent very pleasantly. Brother Arthur Shepherd, a young man of 17 years, who has been studying music in Boston for five years (he went when he was only 12 years of age), played several pieces on the piano. They excelled anything I ever listened to in private company, and in fact I never heard anything on the stage that pleased me as much as did his playing. He is a remarkable performer. My son Brigham was the youngest in the company, excepting Brother Shepherd, and I was greatly pleased to see how well he appeared among his friends. I think he has made use of his opportunities since he has been away, and comes back to us greatly improved. I trust that his improvement will continue, and especially that he will keep the harness on so far as his religious duties are concerned.

4 March 1898 • Friday

Friday, March 4, 1898.

I was busy signing bonds several hours to-day, I dictated my journal and some correspondence to Brother Arthur Winter.

5 March 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, March 5, 1898

I spent the forenoon arranging the sleeping rooms of my family and attending to some outdoor affairs. In the afternoon I came up to the office and spent the remainder of the day there.

6 March 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, March 6, 1898

I attended a meeting of the Temple workers this morning, in company with my wives Sarah Jane and Martha. There was a very interesting meeting, and the testimonies were borne with an excellent spirit. At the request of President Snow and others, I spoke about 15 mins. and felt free in talking.

In the afternoon I attended testimony meeting in our Ward, which was held for the first time in our new meeting house. I was quite pleased with the appearance of the house, and when it is finished I think it will make a very commodious place.

In the evening there was a meeting of the Mutual Improvement Association. My son Brigham was the principal speaker. He bore testimony in the afternoon also.

7 March 1898 • Monday

Monday, March 7, 1898

President Woodruff and myself had a meeting with Bishop Preston this morning on matters pertaining to the Tithing Office.

There was a stockholders meeting of the Bullion, Beck & Champion Mining Co. at 3 o’clock this afternoon. The old Board of Directors was re-elected, with the exception of C. W. Stayner, whose place Hyrum Beck was elected to fill. A Directors meeting was held after the stockholders meeting.

8 March 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, March 8, 1898

I went to Provo this morning to attend a meeting of the Grand Central Mining Co., and returned to the city on the train which reaches here at 12:15. I was driven from the depot to the house of Bishop Appolos Driggs, of Forest Dale, where his mother-in-law, Sister Mary Wood Pratt, widow of the late Parley P. Pratt, was prepared for burial. At the request of the family, I occupied the time in addressing the saints assembled. Brother Joseph Young, her son-in-law, made some remarks also after I had finished.

Upon reaching the office I found President Joseph F. Smith there, he having returned yesterday afternoon from his trip to the States. He is enjoying good health, and has had a pleasant time while absent. President Woodruff and myself explained to him what had been done in relation to the apportionment of the tithing while he had been absent, and a letter was dictated to President Snow, asking for a report from him. President Smith was appointed to act in conjunction with the Presiding Bishops as a committee (Prest. Smith to be chairman) to take the Historian Office in hand and regulate it according to our new arrangements. A letter was addressed to the Presiding Bishops, notifying them of this appointment.

9 March 1898 • Wednesday

Wednesday, March 9, 1898

I spent some time at the Union Light & Power Co’s office this morning, attending to executive committee business, and also to the meeting of the Board. I signed several hundred bonds.

The First Presidency had a meeting with Bishop Thomas R. Cutler in relation to money that the Church is owing to the Sugar Company, and we arranged matters in a way that we thought would be satisfactory.

10 March 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, March 10, 1898

Mr. Bamberger called on me this morning and had conversation about the situation of the Bullion-Beck affairs.

At 11 o’clock the First Presidency went to the Temple and met with President Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant and M. F. Cowley, of the Twelve Apostles.

Among other business discussed was a question propounded by President Snow, whether sisters could have the privilege of meeting in a prayer circle in their Temple robes and [four words redacted relating to sacred ceremonies], they having a room set apart for that purpose in the Temple. He understood, he said, that they had that privilege in the Manti and St. George Temples. After considerable conversation, President Woodruff appealed to me to know what my views were. I said it did not strike me favorably; I thought it was an improper thing. The general expression of the brethren was in the same direction, and it was decided that the request should not be granted, and that inquiries should be made of the other two Temples to know whether they did have circles there composed of women only, and, if so, by whom the practice was instituted, and for how long it had been in operation. I may here say that the reply received immediately from St. George was that such a thing had never been in practice there.

Judge L. W. Shurtliff brought to the office, by appointment, Mr. Adamson, to see me. Presidents Woodruff and Smith were there also, and he expressed great pleasure in meeting them. He is a Director in the Bear River Canal Co., and is an interested party in a large chemical organization in Liverpool, which has a capital of thirty millions. He thinks that that company might be induced to establish works at Ogden and get their power from the Union Light & Power Co. He feels very favorably disposed to us, though he thinks he has been badly deceived by William H. Rowe, who has professed to be a leading Mormon. He expressed himself in very strong language concerning William H. Rowe’s operations; how he had misled them, and him particularly. He said he had been Mr. Rowe’s friend and had stood by him in London; but they had been grossly deceived, and he did not hesitate to call him a man so untruthful that he could not be believed. He spoke quite plainly about his fraudulent course, but did so confidentially. The reason W. H. Rowe had had such influence with them was that he had represented himself as a leading Mormon and as having great influence. They had employed him at a salary of $750 a month, but, Mr. Adamson said, he had acted dishonestly. We were sorry to learn that William H. Rowe had taken this course.

At 3 p.m. I attended a meeting of the Bullion-Beck Co. I introduced a resolution that the salaries of the President and Vice President be discontinued, and a previous resolution had been adopted to discharge the attorney. My resolution was adopted. I myself am the Vice President.

I went to my son Hugh’s to dinner. His mother was there, also John Q. & wife, and my son Abraham’s wife Sarah and son George J. Hugh has got a very elegant house, for a beginner, which has cost him $2500; but the pleasure of it is taken from me by learning that he is in debt $2000 for it, on which he is paying a 8% interest per annum. He has borrowed this from the Building Society. I have a great horror of debt. I think it is a bad beginning for any young man to take upon himself the burden of debt.

11 March 1898 • Friday

Friday, March 11, 1898

The First Presidency listened to correspondence, and also to an appeal case.

In our communications to-day there was some mention made of a sister going on a mission with her husband. This called forth the reading of a letter which I had received from Brother Joseph McMurrin, of the presidency of the British Mission, in which he stated the good that had been done by sisters who had been visiting England, and expressing the opinion that the selection of sisters and the sending them out as missionaries would be attended with excellent results. Brother Nye, who is presiding over the California Mission, had asked for some of the wives of Elders that were with him to go to California. President Woodruff and myself decided that if they could pay their own passage, and they could be recommended as bearers of the Priesthood are recommended, we saw no objection; but we did not think it proper, because a man was called on a mission, that his wife should go also, unless she was a suitable person. A gossiping woman, unwise in her ways, might do more harm than she would good; but where discreet women could be found, we saw no objections to their going with their husbands on missions, and perhaps there might be no objection to such women being set apart as missionaries. Prest. Osmond has recommended a Brother Campbell as a missionary, and his intended wife would marry and go with him if it was thought best. They are both physically and mentally qualified, and we gather are prepared with means to go. We gave it as our opinion that they might go.

12 March 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, March 12, 1898

I took the dummy line this morning at 9 o’clock for East Bountiful, and was met at the station by Brother Rampton, who carried me in his surrey to the meeting house, where the quarterly conference of the Davis Stake was held. There was a very good attendance of saints present. Brother Franklin D. Richards also had come from the north to attend the conference.

After remarks by Prest. John W. Hess, describing the condition of the Stake, I desired Brother Richards to speak; but he preferred that I should occupy the time. I spoke for three quarters of an hour, and he followed me.

We had dinner at Bishop David Stoker’s.

In the afternoon Brother Richards spoke nearly an hour, and I followed. I enjoyed the meeting.

I returned to the city after the meeting.

13 March 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, March 13, 1898

The wind blew violently a portion of the night last night, and when I arose early this morning for the purpose of going to Nephi (where I had an appointment to deliver a discourse to the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association) I found the ground slightly covered with snow, and shortly afterwards the storm broke with considerable violence from the north. I had my son Preston drive me up to the Oregon Short Line station, and it was as disagreeable a ride as I have had for a long period.

I reached Nephi a little after 11 o’clock, and was met there by Brother Teasdale’s sons, he having insisted on my stopping with his family while I was in Nephi. He is absent attending conference in Bingham Stake.

Brother Langley Bailey invited me to attend the North Ward Sunday school, which I did, and, upon invitation of the Supt., spoke to the children about 20 mins. I was much pleased with this meeting house. It is new and very commodiously arranged.

I had dinner at Brother Teasdale’s.

Attended meeting in the afternoon. The storm still continued, but there was a very good turnout of saints. I occupied the time in addressing them.

I went with some of the brethren to administer to a sister by the name of Stout, who is paralyzed.

Brother and Sister Sperry and Sister Pitchforth were invited by Sister Teasdale to take dinner at her house, to be company for me.

At 7:30 I went to the meeting house, which was well filled, though not so crowded as probably it would have been if the weather had not been so disagreeable. I spoke for an hour and a quarter on the subject that had been assigned me, “The relationship of Mormonism to the Christian world.” This is the third time that I have spoken on this subject, but what I have said each time has not been a repetition of the other. I had excellent freedom this evening, although I went there with some degree of fear.

After meeting I called at Sister Pitchforth’s and administered to her daughter Alice.

14 March 1898 • Monday

Monday, March 14th, 1898

I arose this morning a little after 5 o’cloc[k] and partook of breakfast, which Sister Teasdale had prepared, and was taken in the carriage by Brother Teasdale’s sons to the depot. The train left at 6:30 for the city.

I have enjoyed my visit very much, and have been treated with the utmost kindness by Sister Teasdale and the family.

I reached Salt Lake City a little after 9 o’clock.

The First Presidency listened to the reading of correspondence.

I dictated some letters and journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

15 March 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, March 15, 1898

At 11 o’clock President Woodruff and myself listened to correspondence.

I was greatly shocked this morning at learning that Bishop Elias Morris, of the 15th Ward, had met with a very serious accident last night, at the Co-op. Furniture Co’s store. The Cambrian Society, of which he is a member, had been holding a meeting there, and he had gone back to the rear of the store, to go to a closet, and the elevator shaft was left open. By some means he turned in the wrong direction, and fell down this shaft a distance of 9 ft, striking his head on a beam, and receiving so severe a shock that he was rendered unconscious. He has not yet recovered full consciousness, and lies in a very precarious condition. It is a dreadful event. He is a man very much beloved. When an accident is unavoidable it does not seem so terrible as in this case. The shaft was left open – a most reprehensible thing – and he walked into it, probably to his death. A railing around it might have prevented the accident.

An appointment had been made by Governor Wells to bring to the office about noon to-day Governor Adams of Colorado and Governor Richards of Wyoming. They came accompanied by our Governor and two officers of his staff – General John Q. Cannon and Colonel N. W. Clayton. We had a very interesting conversation with them at the Alta Club, and I accompanied them in a carriage to the club house. All the officials of the State were present, and an elegant repast was served. I was placed in the seat of honor at the head of the table. After the lunch, the party proceeded to the Lake. I excused myself from going, as I had business that prevented.

The First Presidency had some conversation with Prest. Geo. C. Parkinson of the Oneida Stake and Chester Call concerning the construction of a dam in Bear River and the taking out of a very large canal that will water several hundred thousand acres of land. President Woodruff and myself (President Smith not present) heartily approved of the plan if the brethren could carry it out.

In the evening there was a reception held at the Knutsford Hotel in honor of the two visiting Governors. I received an invitation from Governor Wells to be present, and took my wife Carlie and spent two hours very pleasantly there. Both Governors expressed the great pleasure they had had in visiting Utah and in the attention they had received.

16 March 1898 • Wednesday

Wednesday, March 16, 1898

I called at Bishop Morris’ this morning and was met at the gate by one of his sons, who told me that his father was sinking. I went in and found him in a very shattered condition physically. He was breathing heavily, and seemed to be unconscious. I asked Brother Rodney Badger to anoint him with oil; then invited all who were there to join in administering to him. I was mouth in the administration. The results were most gratifying: He recovered consciousness, recognized me, called me by name, asked why he was in bed and what had happened; and when told of his fall he said he had no recollection of it. I was greatly pleased and felt very hopeful, there being such a marked change in him through the administration. The family felt much relieved, and I urged the boys to have him administered to constantly, as I gathered from Dr. Wilcox, who was present, that there was but little if any hope from a human standpoint.

I went to the office of the Union Light & Power Co. for a few minutes, and at 11 o’clock had a meeting of the executive committee there.

I found Brother B. Cluff, Jr., at the office when I returned. He has just arrived from the Sandwich Islands, where he had been for a short time in the interests of those who favor the annexation of the Islands to this country. It was my son Frank who induced him to go, and furnished the means to pay his expenses. The object of his mission was to see how general the feeling among the natives was, and also to set forth the advantages of annexation.

Sister Susa Young Gates called to see us in relation to availing herself of Major Pond’s services as Manager for lectures that she and her sister Zina thought of delivering in the States. Pond is the man that had Ann Eliza in charge. I have very little respect for him; but he has had a great deal of experience in this business. We said to her that it would do no harm to find out what Pond thought of the project, and whether he would accept the position of Manager.

In the evening myself and wife attended a social gathering of the leading people of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association and their guests, the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association. While there I was pressed very hard to make some remarks, which I did, and broached the idea of our sisters going on missions, if they could be suitably recommended by the Bishops.

17 March 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, March 17. 1898

I received a letter from my son Lewis in relation to the suggestions I had made to him about going on a mission. He informed me that he had had a conversation with Dr. J. M. Tanner, the Principal of the Agricultural College, upon the subject, and as I wished him to go he was quite willing to go, though he remarked that there were some things that he did not understand in the same light that some of the Elders did; but he would do what I wished in the matter. He thought, however, that he might stay another year and earn something that would help him on his mission and enable him to travel in Europe while he was absent, without being dependent upon anyone else. My feelings are, however, for him to go as soon as the school year expires.

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

The subject of women forming prayer circles again came up, in consequence of a letter which had been written by Brother John D. T. McAllister, the president of the Manti Temple, in response to an inquiry made of him. The brethren thought that his letter was not as clear and frank a communication as it might have been.

After we returned to the office there was a meeting of the Directors of Z.C.M.I., and after that a meeting of the Co-op. Wagon & Machine Co.

We were greatly pained to-day by hearing the sad news of Bishop Elias Morris’ demise. A good man has gone from our midst, faithful in all his duties, a useful citizen, a man of good judgment and reliability, and a man sound in doctrine and firm in the faith.

18 March 1898 • Friday

Friday, March 18, 1898

I was saddened this morning, upon coming to the office, by hearing the news of the death of a four-year-old daughter of President Jos. F. Smith, named Ruth. She was attacked with scarlet fever, but bronchitis is supposed to have contributed to her death as much as the fever. Several of President Smith’s children are suffering from scarlet fever.

We had some conversation with Bishop Preston to-day concerning tithing affairs. He submitted to us the charity account as revised, which brings it within the amount that has been apportioned for that purpose, and from our examination we think that there will be no suffering among the people in consequence of the change.

Brother Orson Smith, President of the Cache Stake, called upon the First Presidency (President Jos. F. Smith was not present) about his account. He told us he had overdrawn his account $5000 in the course of three of four years. This startled President Woodruff. We put off answering Brother Smith until the First Presidency could be all together and consider the matter.

A day or two ago Mr. Dooly called upon me and made a proposition to sell to us a bank – the Utah National Bank at Ogden. The capital is $100,000, and it has a reserve fund of $20,000. His object in selling is that he has too much idle money; he cannot loan it for sufficient security, and he has on hand about 80 % of the deposits. His idea seemed to be that we, being borrowers, could use the funds of the bank to the fullest extent without being impeded by the law, which requires that $10,000 be the limit to one person. It would give us over $200,000, part of which would be at no interest and the other at 4 %. To-day we laid this confidentially before President Lorenzo Snow, the Presiding Bishops, T. G. Webber, Geo. M. Cannon, and John M. Cannon. After conversing upon the subject freely, it was thought better that I should see Mr. Dooly again and ask him a number of questions to learn more of the details.

I went this evening to see “The Serenade”, an opera, given by the Bostonians. It was very enjoyable. The house was crowded as full as it could be.

19 March 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, March 19, 1898

I was busy to-day with my private affairs. Dictated letters and articles to Brother Winter.

20 March 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, March 20, 1898

The funeral of Bishop Elias Morris took place to-day, the services being held in the Tabernacle, which was filled to overflowing. The coffin was covered with flowers, and great interest was manifested by all classes in the services. President Woodruff was present, and upon being consulted by the President of the Stake (my brother Angus), he expressed his desire that I should speak. I told him that my emotions were such that I was afraid I could not control myself; the scene before me brought so vividly to my mind the death of my son Abraham, which was the last public funeral that had been held in the Tabernacle. He repeated his wish that I would talk, and I told him I would do the best I could. I preferred, however, having some of the brethren who had been associated with Brother Morris speak first, and my brother called upon Brother Geo. B. Wallace, and he was followed by Bishop Robert T. Burton. Angus himself made a few remarks, and then I occupied about 50 mins. in addressing the congregation. President Woodruff spoke about 10 mins. In company with the rest of the Board of Directors of the Sugar Company, I went to the graveyard in a carriage which held nine of us.

21 March 1898 • Monday

Monday, March 21, 1898

Brother John Henry Smith called at the office; he has been absent about eight weeks, traveling through the Stakes in the South in company with Brother John W. Taylor, and had gone as far as into Mexico. He looks well, but feels considerably tired.

I was busy at the office all day, part of the time signing bonds.

22 March 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, March 22, 1898

We heard correspondence this morning, and also rendered decisions in two appeal cases, one from the Salt Lake Stake and the other from San Luis Stake.

The subject of appointing new Presidents for the Scandinavian and German Missions came up, but no action was taken.

23 March 1898 • Wednesday

Wednesday, March 23, 1898

I met with the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co. this morning and attended to business.

At the office the First Presidency had an appointment with Brother Franklin D. Richards. We wished to submit to him the report made by the committee that had been appointed to examine into the affairs of the Historian Office and to reduce expenses. This committee consisted of President Joseph F. Smith and the Presiding Bishops. We had quite a lengthy conversation with Brother Franklin about the affairs of his office, and he seemed gratified that such a report had been made. He has not had apparently the control of affairs there in his office as he should have had. The brethren laboring there have not seemed to look upon him as the head or that they were under his jurisdiction. We talked very plainly to him on this subject and told him he ought to assert himself and have a thorough organization of the office on the lines that had been suggested by the committee.

Sister Susa Young Gates called on us to know whether she should accept the proposition of Major Pond, who was willing to arrange for her and one of her sisters to deliver lectures in the East. After hearing her statement, we decided that she was at liberty to go and do the best she could; we had no objections to it, although we felt that there might be some odium attached to her in going out under Pond’s management. This she was willing to bear, if her husband and the First Presidency were willing.

Brother Fjelsted was in concerning the Scandinavian Mission, and we decided that Brother George Christensen should be appointed to preside in place of Brother Lund, to act until a President could be selected to go from here. Brother Christensen is an excellent young man, and has been there some time; but we thought he might stay a few months longer until we could select Brother Andreas Peterson to go, who is not quite ready at present.

The First Presidency had an interview to-day with the Presiding Bishops in relation to the case of Brother Orson Smith, President of the Cache Stake, who has overdrawn his account about $5000. It was decided that if there was any part of this that could be remitted, to have it done, and then the balance he should secure by note to the church.

I received two letters yesterday, one from Brother A. B. Irvine, of Logan, and the other from my daughter Rosannah. Brother Irvine stated that he wished to get my consent to marry my daughter Rosannah, whom he loved, and who had expressed a willingness to marry him. He stated who he was; that he had been on a mission to Sweden and Scotland, was now a schoolteacher in Logan, was president of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, and Asst. Supt. of the Sunday school, and referred me to all the leading men of Cache Valley as to his character. He is poor, he says, but he has ambition to work, and hopes to be able to get along financially. Rosannah wrote asking my consent to the marriage, and expressing her love for this young man. I wrote to each of them to-day, giving my consent. I had submitted the matter to my wife Sarah Jane, the mother of Rosannah, and she was willing, after reading the letters, that they should be united in marriage.

24 March 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, March 24, 1898

Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

We had a call this morning from Governor Wells and General John Q. Cannon. They came to introduce Governor Hastings of Pennsylvania, Senator Cockring and the Attorney General of that State, accompanied by a number of ladies. President Woodruff had quite an interesting conversation with them, in which I took some part. They were afterwards taken out to the Lake on a special car.

At 11 o’clock the First Presidency met with President Snow, F. D. Richards, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and M. F. Cowley, of the Twelve Apostles. Among other business, Brother John Henry Smith announced his desire to be a candidate for the United States Senate, in case his party – the McKinley wing of the Republican party – should get in power here. He said he was desirous to serve his country, etc., etc. It was moved by President Joseph F. Smith, and seconded by President Snow, that there were no objections to his trying to get this position. The proposition did not strike me very pleasantly, as I think the highest office any man can hold on the earth is that of an Apostle, and to magnify that properly, it seems to me, requires all his time and his powers. I myself, however, have gone to Congress while an Apostle; but it was because I was urged to do so, and not from any desire of mine. I would rather have gone on any mission to preach the Gospel than to have gone there, and so told President Young when he proposed that I should go to Washington.

After we came from the Temple we had a meeting at the office of the brethren with whom we had met before, to consider the proposition of Mr. Dooly and the sale of his bank at Ogden. In addition to the brethren we had before, we had this time Brothers F. D. Richards and H. J. Grant, whom we had invited before, but they were absent. After some discussion, it was decided that we would not accept the proposition.

The question came up before the First Presidency and the Presiding Bishops and Brothers Lorenzo Snow and F. D. Richards, of the allowance which is made for the care of the Tithing. 10 % is the amount that is allowed; but some of the Stakes consume as much as 12, 13 and even 15 %. It was decided that the Stakes should be limited to 10 %; that this should be the general rule; but in the event of it costing more than that in some of the sparsely settled Stakes special appropriations should be made to cover such cases. I urged this myself as the proper thing to do, and also that we should make the compensation of those who are employed in various capacities by the Church according to the worth of the services rendered, but that in the event of some not being able to live on that salary, through the size of their family or other circumstances, in such cases special appropriations should be made to help them. I suggested this plan to save feelings concerning one man obtaining more compensation than another, though his services did not deserve higher compensation.

25 March 1898 • Friday

Friday, March 25, 1898

I went to Provo this morning, accompanied by my wife Caroline and children Ann and Georgius. I went down to attend the meeting of the Grand Central Mining Co., and she went with her children to visit her brother and his family, thinking it would do the children good to have a little “out”.

We returned to the city at 12:15.

On my return I found that President Woodruff was not at the office, but had sent word that he was suffering from a cold and would not come.

Correspondence was read to President Smith and myself.

26 March 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, March 26, 1898

I was busy at the office to-day. Neither President Woodruff nor President Smith was here.

There was a meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co. in the forenoon, at which were present, beside the Trustees, the following widows of President Young: Harriett Cook Young, Naomi Twiss Young, Margaret Pierce Young and Eliza B. Young. We made a full statement to them of the condition of affairs, and read the Treasurer’s Report, and they were made to perceive that the income of the property was not equal to the expenses. The proposition had been made that their income should be reduced from $75 to $50 a month. After hearing all that was said, they seemed to be willing for the reduction and voted for it. I took occasion to express to them the situation of affairs and the desire that I had that they should be free from any apprehension concerning the property. I said the property was very valuable; but rents had gone down to such an extent that we could not meet expenses, although there was no one drew anything from the Company excepting the Manager, and a few dollars paid for bookkeeping. The rest went to pay for their support and the interest on the indebtedness. They appeared to feel very well at what I said to them. I explained what I had done myself – that I had contracted heavy debts to buy the stock as long as I had any credit or any means to do it with, and was now paying interest on over $40,000 that I had put into the Trust Company to keep it from falling into the hands of strangers; that I had been paying interest on this money for years, and it had led to very serious embarrassment for me; but I felt that as long as I could raise money I would do it for this purpose.

In the afternoon I dictated to Brother Arthur Winter.

I called on Mr. Dooly and notified him of the conclusion that had been reached concerning his proposition to sell his bank.

27 March 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, March 27, 1898

I attended meeting in the afternoon at the Tabernacle, and listened with much pleasure to three returned missionaries, Elders B. D. Nebeker, John Gallagher and W. J. Sloan. They were followed by Brother Heber J. Grant, who spoke for about 10 mins, and I occupied the remainder of the time.

After the services, I met with Senator White, of California, who with his mother is returning from California to Washington. He was accompanied by Mr. R. C. Chambers, Mr. E. A. McDaniel and Mrs. A. W. McCune. I had a very pleasant conversation with him, and the choir sung some pieces for their edification.

In the evening I attended meeting in the Ward, partook of the sacrament, and listened to Brothers Levi Young and J. Christopherson. I was greatly edified by the remarks of the latter.

28 March 1898 • Monday

Monday, March 28, 1898

President Woodruff is still suffering from severe cold and sore throat, and sent word this morning that it being stormy he would not come to the office.

The Brigham Young Memorial Association met to consider a letter that had been sent from Paris by Mr. C. E. Dallin, the sculptor, complaining of the slowness there was in sending him the funds that were due to him for his work. It was decided that something should be done about this at Conference.

There was a meeting of the General Board of Education at 2, at which was discussed the proposition, made by President Kingsbury and Profs. Toronto and Stewart of the University of Utah, suggesting the idea of making our Church schools preparatory schools to the University. There were present with us, Prof. Cluff, Principal of the Brigham Young Academy; Prof. Kerr, Principal of the Brigham Young College, and Prof. Willard Done, Principal of the Latter-day Saints’ College. The brethren were averse to the proposition. It was therefore decided that an answer should be sent to the University officials, informing them that the Principals of the Church schools would be pleased to meet with them and arrive at some conclusion that would be satisfactory to all parties. After this was finished, the question of making the Latter-day Saints’ Business College a distinct institution from the Latter-day Saints’ College in this city, was discussed. Before any definite action was taken, the meeting adjourned until to-morrow morning at 9 o’clock.

29 March 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, March 29, 1898

At 9 o’clock this morning the Church Board of Education met and decided to have the Commercial Department stand as a separate institution from the Latter-day Saints’ College, and that $1000 be appropriated to help it.

I communicated the fact to Bishop H. B. Clawson this morning that I had learned from a banker that a man on Wall Street, New York, by the name of None, had asked if $50,000 could be raised on the $75,000 notes that John M. Cannon had signed, and which we had endorsed, in payment of the $100,000 given General Clarkson, $25,000 of which John M. Cannon had taken up. Brother Clawson was surprised at hearing this, and it was agreed that a dispatch should be sent to Frank J. Cannon, advising him of what had occurred.

It was thought better to have Brother Clawson go to California and endeavor to obtain some terms from Isaac Trumbo on the $8000 in notes that had been given him in settlement of the Gardo House affair, $2000 having been paid in cash and $8000 in notes.

At 2 o’clock President Smith and myself went down to the Temple to counsel with the brethren of the Apostles concerning the Utah Loan & Trust Co. There were at the Temple, President Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, G. Teasdale, H J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill, M. F. Cowley and A. C. Woodruff.

Brother Grant reported the progress he had made towards raising funds to purchase the bank building and settling up the business; in other words, to liquidate the indebtedness of the bank. He then presented a plan for organizing a new bank combined with an insurance company, and thought that such an organization might be attended with success. He dwelt on this very fully, explaining his views and the probabilities of it being a successful venture, though, he said, some of the brethren were not in favor of it, and none of those who had promised money to buy the bank building had been willing to subscribe for a new bank; yet, notwithstanding the distrust these brethren manifested, he felt it might be made a success if one or two of the First Presidency and several of the Twelve were to be connected with the new Board. I then stated the other proposition, viz.: to buy the bank building for $150,000, pay off the mortgage of $75,000 now on it, and with the remainder and the other assets of the bank pay up the depositors and wind the affair up. There was some discussion on this; but the feeling was very plain on the part of several who are familiar with the affairs and deeply interested in the adoption of some plan, that the bank should go into liquidation and the affair be terminated. A motion to this effect was carried. Brother F. D. Richards made it, and Brother Lorenzo Snow seconded it. I told them that if it was possible I would try and raise $15,000 to put in to assist in this, and would make it $20,000 if I could. I am not in a condition to do this, if I should consult my financial situation; but the consequences are likely to be so very serious to all concerned in this bank unless something shall be done that I feel it is the duty of every one of us to do all in our power to settle the affair up.

I had a call from Dr. Mattie Hughes Cannon, who related some incidents connected with her trip east and her visit to Philadelphia, where she met my son William.

Brother L. W. Shurtliff was in to speak to us on politics.

Brother William T. Jack, President of the Southwestern States Mission (formerly the Indian Territory Mission), called upon us. He related some of his experience in the mission, which was very pleasing to listen to. Among other matters that he brought before us was a suggestion that the name of the Mission be changed from the Indian Territory Mission to the Southwestern States Mission. This change was made and recorded.

30 March 1898 • Wednesday

Wednesday, March 30, 1898

I dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

I signed a lot of bonds of the Union Light & Power Co., and at 11 o’clock met with the executive committee of that Company.

31 March 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, March 31, 1898

The First Presidency had some conversation with Geo. M. Cannon in relation to the Big Cottonwood Power Co’s affairs, and a meeting was agreed upon for to-morrow.

The First Presidency went to the Temple and found all of the Twelve Apostles present, excepting Brother Lund, who has gone to Palestine.

Brother Lyman propounded a question which he desired answered. It was to the effect, what the standing of Moses Thatcher was. He said there was a difference of views. Some thought that the Apostleship or the Priesthood could not be taken from Moses Thatcher without his being severed from the Church. Others entertained a different view, of which he was one. He took the ground that the action in Moses Thatcher’s case deprived him of all authority in the Priesthood and Apostleship. President Woodruff called on the brethren to express themselves upon the question. President Jos. F. Smith took a view which was diametrically opposed to that of Brother Lyman’s. He said that a man might be silenced and be deprived of all power to operate in the Priesthood, and be entirely dead as it were, but, in answer to a question by President Snow, he said that if Moses Thatcher were to repent, and it were deemed proper to restore him to the quorum of the Apostles, it would not be necessary to ordain him, but merely to receive him and set him apart. There was much talk over these points, most of the brethren giving their ideas. Brother John W. Taylor entertained the idea that President Smith held on this point. President Woodruff asked me for my views. I waited, however, till all the rest had done speaking, and then I stated that there was more of a difference in words than there was in conception. I did not feel myself that it was right for us to have disputations; for the Lord had cautioned His Nephite Apostles against that; and when we became heated we were not in a position to look calmly upon the question and discuss it fairly. I said I could see but little difference between President Smith’s statements and Elder Lyman’s. If a man were silenced and completely dead as it were, whether it was through being excommunicated or not made but little difference. But the great point that I saw was in the reply made by President Smith to President Snow’s question, to the effect that Moses Thatcher would not need ordination to the Apostleship, as he now stood, if he were selected for that position - he would only need to be set apart. I said I believed there was full authority given by the Lord to the Council of His Apostles to deprive an Apostle who had transgressed of his Apostleship and Priesthood. I believed the Lord gave great power to His servants, and I could not think that after the Twelve had acted upon this case and had said he should be deprived of his Apostleship, that it was non-effective. I said it is admitted that Moses Thatcher ought to have been cut off the Church; President Woodruff says so, some of the Twelve have said so. Now, shall the non-action of the Council, in refraining from cutting him off, give him the power to remain as an Apostle? I did not think so, I said. President Smith was very radical in his expressions, and I did not wish to express myself very fully, because he requested, when I got to my feet, that decision on this question should be reserved till the First Presidency could meet together and talk it over. President Woodruff followed me, and he expressed himself very clearly that a man could be deprived of his apostleship and of his Priesthood, even though he was not cut off the Church.

After returning to the office, the First Presidency met with Sisters Young and Wells, of the Kindergarten Association, and we appropriated $250 to help that Association.

I had a meeting with my family this evening and gave them instructions.

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March 1898, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 25, 2024