Thursday, December 1, 1898
Met with the First Presidency and the following members of the Twelve: Franklin D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, John H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley and Rudger Clawson. The Presiding Bishops were also present. The subject of issuing bonds was brought up. President Snow stated his feelings concerning it. The question had been sprung as to whether it would not be better to have $50,000 per year for ten years laid aside as a sinking fund, and this was discussed. I made a motion that we change the former proposition of $25,000 to $50,000 per annum for a sinking fund, and this was finally carried. In speaking to this motion I spoke very hopefully of the affairs of the Church and the condition we were in. President Snow followed and took a different view to what I had done. He said we were in a dreadful condition, and unless the Lord came to our help we were ruined. He spoke in this strain considerably, and rather rebuked me for the view I took of our affairs. Before he got through he asked my forgiveness if he had said anything to hurt my feelings, and asked the forgiveness of the Lord if he had said anything wrong. I did not make the least response to what was said. I want to accept everything of this kind in the right spirit. If I have been too sanguine, I must try and look at things differently; but it is my nature to feel hopeful, and I think I have great cause to feel so; still I do not want to indulge in any spirit that my brethren find fault with.
I attended a meeting of the Sunday School Union at the Templeton this afternoon.
I made arrangements to-day with L. S. Hills, President of the Deseret National Bank, to borrow $15,000 or $20,000, which I wish to get for the purpose of liquidating my indebtedness in New York. I am now owing $53,500, and I have felt quite impressed to endeavor to release my obligations there and pay this up. I have to meet a note on the 28th of December, and I shall have to make very strenuous exertions, by borrowing, etc., to obtain this amount. This is the remaining half of the $100,000 that Abraham and I assumed for Cannon, Grant & Co. It has been a very heavy burden for me to bear since Abraham’s death.
Friday, December 2, 1898
The First Presidency met with John M. Cannon and Hugh J. Cannon and talked over Sterling Mining Co’s affairs. President Snow was desirous to know the condition of the Company, and he received pretty full details concerning it from these boys.
I had a visit from Mrs. John Beck, who was in great grief, and almost became hysterical in talking to me of her situation. I tried to comfort her, but it is a case that it is difficult to find much comfort in. Brother Beck is completely ruined, I suppose, and she thinks she is in danger of being turned out of doors, and she has nothing to live upon.
We listened to a long communication which President Snow had received from Brother Horace G. Whitney, who laid out his plans for the management of the Deseret News property in case he should be chosen as its Manager.
Saturday, December 3, 1898
Listened to correspondence and busy with other matters.
Sunday, December 4, 1898
This is fast day, and I went with my wives Martha and Caroline to the Temple, where fast meeting was held in which those present bore testimony. President Snow was suffering from cold and was not present. Brother Winder conducted the meeting. Brother Cowley and myself of the Apostles were present. We had an excellent meeting.
After meeting I called upon President Snow and found him suffering a little from cold that he had contracted through having his hair cut; nothing serious.
In the afternoon attended Ward fast meeting, and had an excellent meeting. Sister Woodruff accompanied my wife Caroline home from the Temple and spent the afternoon and part of the evening with us.
Monday, December 5, 1898
We had a call to-day from John Beck, who had a long conversation with President Snow, and afterwards with myself. Now that he is in desperate straits he comes to the First Presidency to arouse their sympathy and perhaps get their help; but in the days of his prosperity he had no counsel to ask of us.
Tuesday, December 6, 1898
There was a meeting of the Grand Central Mining Co. to-day at Provo, which I attended. I returned on the 12:20 train. A dividend of 12 1/2¢ a share was declared.
On my arrival at the office, the correspondence was read to the First Presidency and suitable answers suggested.
Brother Heber J. Grant has had some advances made to him by a middle man to make a loan to the Church, and he came in and talked it over with the First Presidency.
Wednesday, December 7, 1898
At 10 o’clock I met with the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co.
At 1 o’clock had a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co., and a dividend of 6% was declared.
Mr. O’Meara called upon the First Presidency and had conversation with us. He proposes to raise money for us if the securities are suitable.
President Joseph F. Smith, my brother Angus and myself were invited with our wives to take dinner with Brother George Stringfellow and family. I went there about 5 o’clock. We had a delightful evening, and I enjoyed the visit very much. His son Joseph has just returned from a mission, and our conversation with him and the music from their daughter were very pleasant. I feel very kindly towards Brother Stringfellow, and cannot forget the attentions that he showed to me in the penitentiary. He came often to visit me there, and on various occasions brought articles of food that were not permitted to prisoners only by the favor of the Warden and when brought by outsiders.
Thursday, December 8, 1898
At 11 o’clock the First Presidency met in the temple with Brothers F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley and Rudger Clawson. President Smith was mouth in prayer.
After the Council, at the request of President Snow, I went to see Brother L. S. Hills and invited him to come up to the office at 3 o’clock. The purpose of this invitation was to explain to him that plan that we had in contemplation of issuing half a million of bonds. It is necessary to have two trustees to the bonds, and after considerable talk on this subject it has been decided to have L. S. Hills and David Eccles as the trustees. It was for the purpose of talking to L. S. Hills over our situation that he was asked to come to the office, because we wanted him to thoroughly understand what we were doing. At the request of President Snow, I explained our situation to him, and after talking very freely and suggesting some slight changes in the wording of the bond, he expressed his entire willingness to become a trustee. We were much gratified at the manner in which he received this proposition, because it had been thought that he might decline to have anything to do with it; but he spoke very favorably of the proposition, and thought it was a good thing.
President Snow, President Smith and myself and some of the brethren went down to Brother Daynes’ music store and listened to a child of ten years of age, named Paloma Schramm, play on the piano. Her skill on the instrument is something very remarkable. Her parents are with her, and she is in charge of a man named Partridge, who is anxious to get the Tabernacle for her to give a concert in.
Friday, December 9, 1898
President Snow has been paying a good deal of attention lately to the situation of the Deseret News. He is in favor of a thorough renovation of the establishment and an entire change of management, etc. He, as Trustee-in-Trust, has assumed the liabilities of the Company and intends to take charge of the whole property. It has been transferred from the old corporation to him as Trustee-in-Trust. Brother Penrose has been selected as editor of the paper, and H. G. Whitney as business manager. It will require a great deal of money to get the establishment in a proper condition, and the two brethren named were in this morning talking over the situation with the First Presidency. In our conversation we tried to define the duties of both the editor and the manager, that there should be no collision.
Saturday, December 10, 1898
The Salt Lake Stake Conference convened to-day. I attended the meeting in the forenoon. I made a few remarks at the close. In the afternoon we met again in the Assembly Hall, and listened to several Elders, after which I spoke for about 20 mins.
I had to withdraw from the Conference to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bullion, Beck Co. A dividend of 10¢ a share was declared. At this meeting Mr. Bamberger moved that we employ John Beck at the rate of $150 a month, the money to be given to his family and not to be handled by himself. I seconded the motion, for I was very much in favor of doing something for his destitute family. It is put in this form so that fault cannot be found by the stockholders. He is given nominal employment.
Sunday, December 11, 1898
I attended Stake Conference this morning. A statement of the financial aid rendered the poor was made to the Conference. Brother Penrose, after reading this report, made some remarks, and he was followed by my brother Angus, whose remarks I enjoyed very much. I spoke a short time.
I attended the afternoon meeting, which was held in the Tabernacle, and an excellent spirit prevailed. After the presentation of the authorities by Brother Joseph E. Taylor, and remarks made by him, I spoke for about 50 mins., and enjoyed considerable freedom.
After meeting, Brother Penrose took the opportunity of speaking to me in relation to his appointment as editor of the Deseret News. He said he had not had the opportunity of expressing his feelings concerning it to me, but he wished to do so now. He thanked me very much for securing the position he had occupied in the Historian Office, and said he would much rather continue his labors in the Historian Office than to go to the News; the labor would be more agreeable to him; but it seemed to be President Snow’s desire that he should labor there, and he had consented to do so, and he wished me to understand his feelings on the subject. I told him that I thought myself that he was getting to be an aged man, being 67 years of age, and the work of a daily newspaper was very laborious; but I did not see who else could be appointed to that position. There seemed to be no one around that would give satisfaction; but I did hope that younger men would come forward after awhile and be able to bear such burdens.
Monday, December 12, 1898
Correspondence was read to the First Presidency to-day.
Tuesday, December 13, 1898
Brother David Eccles came down this morning, by appointment, to meet President Snow. We informed him concerning the proposed issuance of bonds, and that he had been selected as a trustee. Brother Eccles readily acceded to the proposal that he should be one of the trustees, and seemed almost enthusiastic respecting the readiness with which he thought the bonds would find purchasers.
Wednesday, December 14, 1898
There was a meeting of the Union Light & Power Co. Board at 10 o’clock, and considerable business was transacted.
Thursday, December 15, 1898
The First Presidency and Twelve Apostles met in the temple at the usual hour. President Snow was under the necessity of leaving the meeting before we got through, and left me to preside.
Friday, December 16, 1898
There was a meeting of the Sugar Co. at 9 o’clock this morning. We are very much gratified at the reports made of the condition of business.
At a meeting of the Deseret Telegraph Co., at 1 o’clock, President Snow was elected President of the Company in place of President Woodruff.
We had a call from Mr. Ramsden, of Liverpool. He is a son of Mr. Ramsden that shipped so many of our people from Liverpool.
Saturday, December 17, 1898
With my son John Q. I visited Westover this morning and spent the forenoon there.
I was at the office in the afternoon.
Sunday, December 18, 1898
At 8 o’clock this morning I went up to Kaysville to attend the Davis Stake Conference. President Jos. F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, B. H. Roberts and Andrew Jenson were there also. I put up at Brother Barnes’.
Conference convened at 10 o’clock, and after hearing from Prest. Hess, Brother Heber J. Grant and President Smith spoke.
In the afternoon the authorities were presented, and Brother Roberts spoke. I followed, and had excellent liberty. Brother John W. Taylor was present, but as he expects to be at the conference to-morrow, I did not call upon him to speak. Brother Jenson occupied a short time after me.
President Smith and myself returned to the city in the evening.
Monday, December 19, 1898
Was at the office attending to various matters of business.
Tuesday, December 20, 1898
The Beehive House, formerly the residence of President Young, was sold at auction to-day, it having been purchased by John Beck from Zion’s Savings Bank, but he failed to make payment on it. It was bid in by the Bank for $40,000, it being the understanding that if the Bank bought it at that price the Church would take the property off its hands.
I had been invited to go down to Provo to attend a reception given by the Academy people to the leading authorities. I also had to attend a meeting of the Board, to be held at 7 o’clock. I went down there and had a very interesting time. While we were in Board meeting, President Smith, F. M. Lyman, John H. Smith, Heber J. Grant and Anthon H. Lund addressed the students. After we were through with our Board meeting, I went up with the rest of the Directors and was called upon to address the students, which I did for a short time. We then held a reception. Upwards of 700 students shook hands with us. When this was finished we had supper, and a great many toasts were given, Brother Hinckley being the toastmaster for the occasion. I responded to the toast, “Brigham Young, the founder of the institution”. Myself and wife were assigned to Brother Reed Smoot’s, with Brother Lund.
Wednesday, December 21, 1898
We were entertained very hospitably by Brother Reed Smoot and his wife, who have a very elegant residence.
After breakfast, my wife started for home, and I went to Nephi, in company with Brothers Lyman, Smith, Lund and A. O. Woodruff, to attend the funeral of Sister Teasdale, the wife of Brother George Teasdale. We found Brother Teasdale bearing up better than I had almost expected. The services were held in the North Ward meeting house; and though I felt very badly when I went down there, the remarks that were made at the meeting comforted me very much, as I know they must have done Brother Teasdale. The congregation was addressed by President Smith, Brothers Lund, Lyman and myself. Brother John Henry Smith made the opening prayer and Brother Owen Woodruff the closing prayer. There not being time for us to go to the cemetery, we went down to Sister Grover’s, where President Smith and his wife had stopped.
We returned to Salt Lake City, and reached there at 6:20. I have not felt so tired for a long time as I did this evening.
Thursday, December 22, 1898
Had a meeting of the Union Light & Power Co. at 10 o’clock. Had it not been for this and the usual meeting in the temple, I should have stayed at home, as I felt quite unwell.
President Snow’s daughter, Sister Pierce, died very suddenly this morning. This makes his approaching Christmas a sad one. He did not meet with us in the temple. There were present, beside President Smith and myself, Brothers F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, A. H. Lund, A. O. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson. We listened with much interest to the report made by Brother Woodruff of his visit to the Stakes in Arizona and Mexico. He described the condition of the Ramah ward, and that something should be done there. On motion, I appointed a committee, consisting of Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith and A. O. Woodruff, to take into consideration the situation of that ward, and to make such suggestions as they thought wise about it – whether to increase it in strength or to release those that considered themselves on missions there.
Friday, December 23, 1898
I had some conversation with President Snow, President Smith, John M. Cannon and James Jack concerning the Sterling Mining Co. The debts are pressing us, and upon being asked by President Snow what I thought I told him I could not speak with any definiteness upon this subject, for I thought that we ought to have a thorough understanding of the condition of affairs connected with the company, and after we had got that we could then talk understandingly. He suggested that steps should be taken to secure the information, and that then in company with some of the Twelve we should consider the matter. Next Thursday, at 2 o’clock, was appointed as the time. In the meantime Hugh J. & John M. Cannon will get a statement of the affairs of the company out, so that we can have it before us.
I read an article which had been written for the Juvenile Instructor connected with the issuance of bonds, to President Snow. He was very much pleased with the article.
Saturday, December 24, 1898
Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.
Sunday, December 25, 1898
I kept close around the house to-day, not feeling in good condition.
Monday, December 26, 1898
I stayed at home all day.
Tuesday, December 27, 1898
At the office we had a call from Prest. Rulon S. Wells and Jos. W. McMurrin, who have just returned from the European Mission after an absence of upwards of two years. The brethren are in good health and look very well.
I brought up a letter which Brother B. Y. Hampton had written to me concerning his condition, and we discussed his case at some length. It was decided that if we could furnish him some employment in the temple we would do so, although we really have no need of additional help there. His case is one that appeals very strongly to us.
Wednesday, December 28, 1898
At 10, o’clock attended meeting of the Union Light & Power Co.
Brother B. H. Roberts was in and had some conversation with the First Presidency about his case. President Snow spoke very encouragingly to him and felt quite hopeful. He had some conversation with me afterwards and seemed to be desirous to know my feelings. I cautioned him to be very careful and not commit himself by any acknowledgment of his position with his family. If they made charges against him, let them prove what they alleged; but by no means for him to take the position of defending what is called unlawful cohabitation. Public sentiment was so intense in the United States upon this question that the less we could say the better, and we must not, according to my view, allow ourselves to be put in the position of defending the association of a man with his plural wives. We must not allow them to force such an issue upon us. I told him that had I been asked about his candidacy I should have said it was inadvisable for him, occupying the position he did in relation to this mooted question, to become a candidate for Congress. That had been my own judgment. But, I said, Brother Roberts, I intend to exercise all the faith I can for you. You are in the fight now, and you ought to be sustained; and anything I can do I will do with pleasure. But, I said, I have had feelings against you, and I want to be frank with you and tell you. I hope it is not true what I have heard, but I have heard that you said concerning Heber M. Wells, our Governor, that he was a damned son of a bitch. I said I could not believe it when I heard it, but it came to me in such a straight form and on such good authority that I could not dispute it, but I intended whenever the proper time came, to ask you concerning it. I said, if you made that expression I could not fellowship you. A man in your position to make such an expression against one of the brethren is something I could not reconcile with your position. He admitted that he had said it. He seemed to be surprised that I should know of it, and said that he was very angry when he made it, and it was wrong, etc. He did not say whether he had made the matter right or not. Somebody came in and interrupted our conversation just at this point. After a little while I had an opportunity of talking privately to President Snow and President Smith, and I related to them what had occurred between Brother Roberts and myself.
Thursday, December 29, 1898
This has been a sorrowful holiday season for President Snow. His daughter died last week and he attended the funeral. To-day he is absent at Brigham City, to make preparations for the funeral of his wife Adeline, who has just passed away at the ripe old age of 87 years.
We held our usual meeting in the temple.
Friday, December 30, 1898
My health is still impaired through something like la grippe.
Saturday, December 31, 1898
My son Preston J. Cannon and my grandson George J. Cannon (son of Abraham) started this morning on a mission to Germany.