The Church Historian's Press

May 1898

1 May 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, May 1, 1898

This is fast day, and I arranged to have three of my wives, Sarah Jane, Martha and Caroline, taken to the Temple. I went there also, and we joined in the fast meeting of the Temple workers, over which President Snow presided. Three hours were spent very profitably and interestingly. A great many bore testimony, and I spoke for about 20 mins. Brother Lorenzo Snow and Brother Brigham Young, of the Apostles, were present.

In the afternoon I met with the Ward in fast meeting. It was storming, and there were but few present. The meeting, however, was quite interesting, and nearly all present spoke.

2 May 1898 • Monday

Monday, May 2, 1898

The news this morning from the Phillipine Islands is that Commodore Dewey with his fleet has annihilated the Spanish fleet. The news is rather meager, but it is sufficient to create great excitement and jubilation, as from what has come to hand it is evident that the Spaniards have received a very severe blow. Word has not yet reached the government from Commodore Dewey himself.

Bishop David Stoker called in to explain to us his position in regard to the enlistment of volunteers, as he has got an impression that we did not think his action exactly correct. We assured him that we had heard nothing that reflected upon him in the least, and explained to him what our views were and the counsel we had given respecting volunteering for the war.

I signed 400 bonds to-day of the Union Light & Power Co.

There was a meeting held of the stockholders of the Rexburg Milling Co., in which President Smith and myself are stockholders. A dividend of 5 % was declared, payable on June 1st.

3 May 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 3, 1898

The First Presidency had a call from Brothers Willard Call and Joseph J. Holbrook, of Bountiful, to get counsel about volunteering for the war. They had been sent for by the Governor, and they felt like going, but they did not wish to go without knowing how we felt on the subject. While we did not wish to counsel them directly as to whether they should go or not, we told them they would have our blessing in going. This seemed to satisfy them, and they desired, if, they should be accepted, that they might be set apart, with their companions from Bountiful, which we promised them they could be.

Brother George Reynolds read to us a number of letters which had accumulated during the past few days.

Sisters Maria Y. Dougall and Phoebe Y. Beatie called to see the First Presidency in relation to the condition of Sister Zina Huntington Young, who has been their mother since the death of their own mother. They are desirous to have her come and live at Sister Beatie’s, in consequence of her condition; and it was understood that the First Presidency would write a letter to her upon the subject.

I had a family meeting this evening at my house, and I read to my family extracts from the character sketch written by W. T. Stead of George Mueller, the philanthropist, who has lately died at the age of 93. I gave the folks my views confirmatory of this man’s experience through the exercise of the principle of faith. Our meeting was quite interesting.

4 May 1898 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 4, 1898

At 11 o’clock I attended a meeting of the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co. We attended to considerable business.

Brother Sjodahl had a conversation with the First Presidency concerning his past relations with the “Bikuben” as editor. We saw Brother Andrew Jenson also on the same subject.

Brother B. Cluff, Jr., saw the First Presidency in relation to a good site for a reservoir up the Beaver Canyon, above the buildings that we are intending to devote to school purposes.

I had an interview with Bishop Thomas R. Cutler and Dr. Beatie, in which the latter set forth the desire of a company of which he is the Vice President to have me take an interest with them. It is the [blank] Co., and they intend to build a sugar factory, and sell land with water right[s] attached, etc. They were very desirous to have me take hold with them, and he made me an offer of some stock in the company. I asked him what would be expected of me if I were to accept the stock and to join the company. He said all they wanted was my presence at meetings to act as one of the directors, and my counsel and advice. I told him I thought I would accept the position. My reason for assenting to this is that Brother Thomas R. Cutler informs me that if I do we can pretty much control the company and its affairs. He will be manager, and he will be on the Board of Directors also. I am always anxious to do anything that can be done to secure control of affairs of this kind, as they are of such importance to our people.

I afterwards described to Presidents Woodruff and Smith what had taken place between us, and they expressed their entire approval of the action.

5 May 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, May 5, 1898

The First Presidency met at the Temple with the Apostles, all of whom were present, excepting Brothers Merrill and Lund. There was nothing of importance. Brother Brigham Young was mouth in prayer.

After our meeting had adjourned, the First Presidency had some conversation with the Twelve concerning compensation. I expressed myself with some degree of freedom to the brethren, giving my views as to compensation, I told them that I would feel humiliated to receive a stipend for services and to have that arranged according to the office which I held in the Priesthood. For upwards of ten years I have been dissatisfied in my feelings with the arrangements which were made by the committee, of which Moses Thatcher was chairman, after President Taylor’s death. There was a certain amount allowed for each one of the Twelve Apostles and each of the Presiding Bishops, and those who had drawn had done so with the understanding that they were entitled to so much. This really assumed the form of a salary, and I had felt that it was something I could not defend. An effort had been made then by President Joseph F. Smith to have a distinction drawn between the men who had large families and those who had small families; but Brother John Henry Smith had intimated that that was giving a premium to men to marry wives and have children. I said now, however, under our proposed arrangement, I did not think it would be right for young men with small families, such as Brother Cowley and Brother Owen Woodruff, to draw the amount that might be allowed to the older members of the quorum. It was not a salary, but it was that which was necessary to support them. I felt quite relieved at being able to talk in this strain, because it is a matter that I have thought about for years, and it seems now that we have reached a point when it can be applied. The plan that I think the Lord would approve of is for a certain limit to be placed beyond which no one shall go, and that that limit should be fixed by each of the Apostles saying what he thought he could live on, and for him to draw as much less than that as possible, and let the amount be proportionate to his wants. If he could not live within the limit, then he could ask for a special appropriation.

At 3 o’clock I attended a meeting of the Sunday School Union Board, and remained there about half an hour.

I accompanied President Woodruff and wife to the Cannon Ward, where our Relief Society had prepared a feast. President Joseph F. Smith, my brother Angus and his first counselor, Brother Taylor, were also present, as well as members of the Ward. I think it is the best meal I ever ate at a Ward Reunion, and we enjoyed ourselves very much. My own family are the principal ones in the Ward, and most of the labor in providing the meal devolved upon them. There was a little programme afterwards.

6 May 1898 • Friday

Friday, May 6, 1898

Correspondence was read to us this morning by Brother Geo. Reynolds, and answers were suggested to the various letters.

The First Presidency and the brethren interested in the salt business held an informal meeting to decide who should be directors in the new organization. We are to have five of the seven directors, and the other company two. It was suggested that I should be one of the directors, but I nominated Brother Joseph F. Smith, Brother Owen Woodruff to represent his father’s interest, Brother F. S. Richards to represent the Trustee-in-Trust’s interest, and Brothers Jack and Clayton to represent their own interests.

7 May 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, May 7, 1898

I went down to Provo this morning and attended a meeting of the Grand Central Mining Co.

On my return I went to the office and was busy dictating my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

8 May 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, May 8, 1898

I was taken with a pain in my back this morning, from which I suffered all day. I went to the Tabernacle, however, at 2 o’clock, but sat in great pain. Bishop C. F. Whitney spoke to the people and gave an excellent address.

I went to the house of my son-in-law, Lewis M., where I found my daughter Emily; but I was in too much pain to eat anything.

9 May 1898 • Monday

Monday, May 9, 1898

I arose this morning quite free from pain. The weather is very beautiful.

I was at the office all day engaged in various matters.

The First Presidency listened to some correspondence, and the appeal case of Nathan Tanner, Jr., in which his divorced wife is the plaintiff, was considered. We sustained the decision of the High Council of the Weber Stake, and a letter was sent to the High Council to this effect.

10 May 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 10, 1898

Engaged part of the day signing stock certificates of the Union Light & Power Co.

Judge Le Grand Young made a report to the First Presidency concerning his visit to the East. He expressed himself to the effect that he thought I ought to go East. There is a meeting appointed of the Union Pacific Board of Directors on the 23rd of May, and he thinks that if I would attend that meeting it would be a good thing for me to see the parties with whom Frank is negotiating for a loan. He himself saw Judge Dillion and Mr. Winslow S. Pierce, who are the legal advisers of Mr. George Gould.

At 3 o’clock I attended a meeting of the Bullion, Beck & Champion Mining Co., and a dividend of 10¢ a share was declared.

My daughter Hester this morning was walking up from the house to the city to go to her work at the Juvenile Instructor Office, when she was accosted by a man who looked like a workman, at a lonely point in the road. This must have been a little after 7:30. He bade her “good morning”, and after walking a few steps attempted to put his arm around her waist, which she repelled, and he then clasped her with his arm, put his hand over her mouth to stop her cries, whereupon she struggled with him and screamed. He then knocked her down, and knelt down beside her, still endeavoring to stop her screams by putting his hand on her mouth. She fought him vigorously and, as she says, with superhuman strength. At one time he tried to hold her arms extended so that she could not use them, but she broke loose from him and struck him in the face and made his nose bleed. In her extremity she prayed to the Lord, and the man arose and let her get up. She ran back, and he threatened her as she ran, and then pushed through the willows the other side of the road and tried apparently to intercept her, but she made her way to the nearest house, which is Brother Nethercott’s. I came along in the car a short time afterwards, and Sister Nethercott stopped the car and told me that my daughter wanted to see me. I had no idea who it was, but I got out of the car, and my son Tracy accompanied me. I found her with her clothes all soiled, her hair disheveled, her arms aching very much, and suffering greatly from the shock. After talking to her a little she became calm, and I sent Tracy home for a buggy to take her home.

My sons have been very much excited over the occurrence, and have had detectives at work all day trying to get some clue to the villain.

This evening I had my family together, and we had a very interesting meeting. I talked very plainly to my growing boys.

11 May 1898 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 11, 1898

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

I returned to the office and dictated to Brother Winter my journal and correspondence.

12 May 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, May 12, 1898

On arriving at the office this morning I heard the sad news of the death of Sister Elizabeth Fenton Young, who departed this life at 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon. She had been a great sufferer for a long time, and her vitality has been surprising. When taken to California it was thought she might not live to reach there, and after she was there it was thought by a great many that if brought home again she would have to go in a coffin. The administration of the ordinance has been a great help to her, and it is the faith of her husband and children and the Elders who have administered to her that has kept her alive. My first acquaintance with her was in Philadelphia, when I was sent on a mission to the East in the fall of 1858. I made her father’s house my headquarters. He was not in the Church, but his wife was and he was very friendly. This daughter was not in the Church either, but she was always very kind to the Elders, and just as I left Philadelphia she expressed quite a strong desire to join the Church. She afterwards came to this country and married Brother Brigham Young, entering into plural marriage. She has borne him two daughters and a son, and has been a very devoted wife and made his home very happy.

At 11 o’clock the First Presidency attended meeting at the Temple. There were present of the Apostles, President Lorenzo Snow, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant and A. O. Woodruff. Brother A. O. Woodruff was mouth in prayer. There was not much business attended to.

There was a meeting of the stockholders of the Inland Crystal Salt Co. for the purpose of consolidating the two salt companies and electing officers. A Board of Directors was chosen, consisting of John Long, W. D. Clark, Joseph F. Smith, F. S. Richards, James Jack, A. O. Woodruff and I. A. Clayton, Brother Woodruff was chosen to represent his father’s stock on the Board, and F. S. Richards to represent the Trustee-in-Trust’s stock; each of the others represents his own. They desired me to be on the Board, but I declined. Mr. Long was elected President, I. A. Clayton Secretary & Treasurer, N. W. Clayton Manager.

I left that meeting to go to the Templeton building, to meet with the Sunday School Union Board. Attended to the usual business.

13 May 1898 • Friday

Friday, May 13, 1898

The First Presidency listened to correspondence this morning.

Brother Richard W. Young, who is Captain of one of the batteries of light artillery from Utah, called and expressed a desire to be blessed before leaving. President Woodruff, President Smith, Heber J. Grant and myself laid hands on him, and President Smith was mouth in blessing him.

Judge Le Grand Young called to see us this afternoon and expressed himself very plainly to the effect that I ought to go to New York, or if I could not go, someone else should, to help bring to a conclusion the effort which is being made to secure a loan there. President Woodruff afterwards consulted with Brother Joseph F. Smith, and they decided that I ought to go. I immediately telegraphed to Frank, telling him of the decision and asking him if I could be of any assistance. I also telegraphed Mr. Meyer, whether I was coming through St. Louis. I advised him that I was going, but I could not at present give him any information as to when I would leave or whether I could pass through St. Louis. I telegraphed Brother George Teasdale, with whom I expected to go to Sanpete Conference in the morning, that I had been assigned duty elsewhere and would not be able to go.

At 3 o’clock there was a meeting of the Bullion-Beck Co., which Brother Joseph F. Smith and myself attended.

14 May 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, May 14, 1898

I came to the office and dictated journal and letters to Brother Winter.

In view of my anticipated departure on Tuesday next, I had requested my nephew, C. E. Loose, to come and see me. I have some stock in the Grand Central Mining Co., and I had an understanding with him that I was not to sell. He has a very large interest in the property, and my shares joined with his places the control of the Company in his hands, with me to assist him. There have been some rumors that he was selling, in view of the advance that had been made in the stock. He informed me, however, that it was not the case, and urged me not to sell; that the property would pay well, and it made no difference to us how the stock might be, whether it was up or down, if we were determined to hold on to the property. His plan now is to make a record for the property. There have been no dividends paid yet, but he thinks it will now begin to pay dividends. After it has made a good record, he thinks it can be sold then as well as now, and for as large or a larger amount. I told him that I had no disposition to dispose of my stock, although I was very greatly cramped for means, and if he held on to his I should hold on to mine. He said that whenever he sold he would sell share and share alike with mine – that is, he would not sell one share without selling one of mine. With this assurance I felt quite satisfied.

15 May 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, May 15, 1898

11 o’clock was the hour appointed for the funeral of Sister Mary Elizabeth Fenton Young, the wife of Brother Brigham Young. My wives Martha and Caroline and myself and some of our children attended the funeral at the residence of the deceased. Bishop Whitney conducted the funeral services. The speakers were President Lorenzo Snow, my brother Angus, President Joseph F. Smith, myself and Bishop Whitney. After the services, myself and wives went to the grave.

Upon my return I stopped at the office of the Presidency and met my son John Q., who is to leave this evening for Cheyenne with a troop of soldiers, to join Torrey’s regiment of “Rough Riders”. I had a very interesting conversation with him; gave him counsel as to the course that I thought he ought to pursue, and at his solicitation I laid my hands upon him and blessed him. He was very much moved by the blessing, and embraced me with great affection when he parted with me. I went to the train at 6:20 and saw them start. There was an immense crowd at the depot, and considerable cheering.

16 May 1898 • Monday

Monday, May 16, 1898

I was busy to-day attending to various matters, preparatory to leaving in the morning for the East. I dictated to Brother Arthur Winter my journal and letters.

17 May 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 17, 1898

This morning my wife Caroline, my son Georgius and myself left home for New York, by the Union Pacific Railway. Preston took us to the train, and we were met at the depot by my sons Hugh and Joseph.

19 May 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, May 19, 1898

There was nothing of any importance occurred between Salt Lake City and Chicago. We reached Chicago to-day. In the afternoon took the Pennsylvania line, and telegraphed from Altoona for my son William to meet us, but he did not receive the telegram (so I learned afterwards) and therefore did not meet us.

20 May 1898 • Friday

Friday, May 20, 1898

Reached New York in the evening. Put up at the Plaza Hotel.

21 May 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, May 21, 1898

Called at the Holland House with my wife, and left her there to meet Mrs. Meyer[.]

I proceeded to the Union Pacific office, where I met President Burt, and Mr. Pierce, President of the Board of Directors, and Secretary Millar. At my request, President Burt wrote passes for my children to return from school. He appeared pleased to see me and treated me with consideration.

Upon returning to the hotel, I found Mr. & Mrs. Meyer there. His cousin, Mr. F. G. Meyer, and a Mr. Williams, took Mr. Meyer and wife and myself and wife to the Casino in Grand Central Park, and gave us a very fine luncheon, and had us ride in carriages for some hours in the Park. We visited General Grant’s tomb. It resembled Napoleon’s at the Invalides, France.

In the evening, Mrs. Meyer (her husband having an engagement) took us to the Garrick theatre to see “The Little Minister”. Maude Adams is the star. She is a daughter of Aseneth Adams, and a granddaughter of Barnabas Adams, who belonged to the Church, and she herself was born in Salt Lake City. It was one of the most delightful plays I ever witnessed, and she played most excellently – so naturally. This is the kind of play that leaves a sweet taste in the mouth.

22 May 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, May 22, 1898

We were prevented from attending meeting with our people at Brooklyn to-day by Mr. & Mrs. Meyer calling on us early. They wished to spend the day with us, as they had remained two days here to meet us. They stayed till 5 o’clock, and took lunch.

Brother Junius F. Wells called on us in the evening and spent two hours and a half in conversation.

23 May 1898 • Monday

Monday, May 23, 1898

Mr. & Mrs. Meyer insisted yesterday on our breakfasting with them this morning at the Holland House.

We had a call from Nettie Easton, a sister of my wife’s. I was out at the time. Her husband is taking lessons in music. He has a good voice, but no knowledge of notes. It will require about two years’ training to qualify him for the musical profession.

At 2 p.m. met with the Board of Directors of the Union Pacific. Mr. Winslow S. Pierce presided. Most of the Directors were present. The association was very pleasant.

Mr. Marvin Hughitt, President of the Chicago & Northwestern, was very kind to me, and, without asking, proffered myself and party transportation over his line, and afterwards sent it to the hotel, with a note stating that when he got to Chicago he would send me an annual pass.

24 May 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 24, 1898

My son Frank arrived this morning, and I had a most delightful visit with him.

Like yesterday, the day was very rainy.

25 May 1898 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 25, 1898

As I had to purchase a wedding dress for my daughter Rosannah, we ate breakfast early and my wife and Frank and myself went to H. B. Claflin & Co’s, and purchased a dress pattern and some other goods.

At 11 O’clock Frank and I had an interview with Judge Dillon concerning our financial business. I made many explanations, and he was very favorably impressed. He said he was not flush, but he thought so well of the prospect that he would recommend it to Mr. Gould and would invest in at least five bonds himself. He would go with us at any time to see Mr. Gould, and sent out to learn whether Mr. Gould was in or not; but he was not in.

Frank and I went from there and interviewed Mr. Jarvis, Vice President of the North American Trust Co. about a loan for G.Q. Cannon & Sons Co.

Frank took us to lunch.

We also made calls at the National Park Bank of New York and Sullivan & Cromwell’s. The latter are the attorneys of our partners in the Union Light & Power Co.

26 May 1898 • Thursday

Thursday, May 26, 1898

I called this morning upon Mr. Curtis, at Sullivan & Cromwell’s, and had conversation with him upon the Union Light & Power Co’s business. Frank joined me there.

Frank and I went to see Judge Dillon, who took us to Mr. Gould’s room, where we had a long interview with George Gould on the subject of investing money in our country and giving the Church a loan. Judge Dillon was very emphatic in his expressions concerning the reliability of the loan from the showing that we had made to him. He expressed himself to the effect that he thought such a loan would be as good as a government bond, and he stated to Mr. Gould that he would be very willing himself to invest in it. He spoke in very high terms of the character of our security and of the showing we had made to him concerning our tithing, and our reliability as a people. I was greatly pleased with the result of the conversation, because it showed that in the minds of these business men our affairs are in a better situation than many of our people are inclined to give credit for. Mr. Gould said that the greater part of his funds were in use, and he had no money to spare for other purposes than those he was engaged in, such as railroads. Frank repeated to him conversations he had had with him about the Gould Estate funds being invested in some such way. He spoke favorably of this, but his brothers and sisters would have to consent. Judge Dillon spoke very warmly of the loan, and Mr. Gould said he would speak to his friends about the business with Mr. Winslow S. Pierce, who promised to use his influence with all the Gould heirs.

Frank returned to Washington at 1 p.m.

Myself and wife left New York for Philadelphia at 4:50, and put up at the Continental.

I may say that during the last two days in New York it has been very rainy, and I have had my feet wet, resulting in a severe cold.

27 May 1898 • Friday

Friday, May 27, 1898

My son William took breakfast with us, and we afterwards called at Dr. Krusen’s, who is very sick. We saw his wife, but he was too weak to be seen.

We spent the day visiting with William.

28 May 1898 • Saturday

Saturday, May 28, 1898

At 10:20 this morning we took train for Washington. Were met at the depot by Mr. Greaves, Frank’s secretary. We put up at the Shoreham hotel.

Frank and his wife and Colonel L. C. Hopkins and wife spent the evening with us.

29 May 1898 • Sunday

Sunday, May 29, 1898

Mattie took us to Cabin John and Chevy Chase. She dined with us, and we spent the evening visiting with Frank (he having got through his work) and Captain Willard Young. Capt. Young is in Washington to secure the appointment of Colonel, and with the assistance of Frank and others he is likely to succeed.

30 May 1898 • Monday

Monday, May 30, 1898

This is Decoration day. We witnessed the procession to-day. Afterwards went with Capt. Young to the Navy Yard, and visited the Congressional Library there. This building is one of the most elegant buildings I ever saw.

In the afternoon we went to witness a bicycle race.

I am feeling the effects of sickness, brought on partly, I think, by being wet. I felt quite badly this afternoon, but felt better in the evening.

Captain Young took us to the theatre, to see the play “Held by the Enemy”.

31 May 1898 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 31, 1898

Frank called on me this morning, and I told him my condition. He insisted on sending a Dr. Crook to see me. I remained in my room all day. Received a number of cards of Senators. Carlie and Georgius went with Capt. Young to Mt. Vernon and to Washington’s Monument.

Captain Young received his appointment as Colonel to-day.

I was very sick this evening, and fainted, and it was with great difficulty that they got me into bed. My wife was very much alarmed.

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