August 1899

6 August 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, August 6, 1899

We reached home this afternoon and were met by my son Brigham. Found all well at home. Was glad to reach home, my health was so poor.

7 August 1899 • Monday

Monday, August 7, 1899

My son William called upon me this morning and examined me. He said one of my lungs was congested. He insisted that I should not go out to-day. My chest was rubbed with hot turpentine and oil and wrapped in flannel.

8 August 1899 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 8, 1899

Still quite sick, but I had meetings to attend and I went to the city.

At 9:30 Brigham Young Trust Co.; no quorum.

At 10 o’clock met with the Executive Committee of the Union Light & Power Co.

Busy at the office.

I felt so sick that I told President Snow I felt scarcely able to take the journey to Canada to-morrow. President Snow said he thought President Smith might be able to go. I said I had never declined to go on any duty that had been assigned me, and I did not like to fail at this time. I would wait till morning and see how I felt.

9 August 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 9, 1899

Yesterday I ought to have gone to a meeting of Grand Central Mining Co., but I was so sick I did not go.

I felt some better this morning and concluded to go to Alberta this evening. At 8:45 p.m. we took train for Butte - Judge Le Grand Young, Brother & Sister George Crismon, myself and wife and two sons, William and Sylvester. I take William as my physician and nurse, and Sylvester as an engineer to measure work on the canal if we need to do so, and Brother Crismon because of his familiarity with the classification of materials in the canal.

One of my reasons for being desirous to go on this trip was that I am a director of the Company which has this business of constructing an irrigation canal in hand. There are three directors in London - Mr. Burdett-Coutts, Colonel Woodhouse, and [blank]. The other two directors are Mr. E. T. Galt, President of Alberta Coal Co. and of the Great Falls and Canada Railway, and myself. Because of holding this position I thought I might be of more use than if someone else were to go.

10 August 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, August 10, 1899

Reached Butte about 2 o’clock, and as we are to remain here until 8:30 we took rooms at the Butte Hotel. All of the party but myself went out to see Butte, but I remained in the house. I have heard a great deal about Butte, but nothing favorable to its character. I do not know that I ever was in a place - a mining town - that seemed more repulsive to me than this city. The air is so poisonous through the smelters that no trees or grass can be seen, and the moral atmosphere, if the reports be true, is as bad as can be.

We took train for Great Falls at 8:30.

11 August 1899 • Friday

Friday, August 11, 1899

We reached Great Falls at 3 o’clock this morning. Put up at the Park Hotel, a plain but well-kept and clean house. We all enjoyed our sleep here, except my son Sylvester, who was purged and vomited all night.

After breakfast met Mr. Magrath, who had come from Lethbridge with Mr. Galt’s private car for myself and party. We crossed into Canada about 4 o’clock, and reached Lethbridge about 9 in the evening. Mr. Galt had a conveyance there to meet us and took my wife and myself and Brother Crismon and wife to his quarters, where he had provided bedrooms for us and welcomed us as his guests. Sleeping quarters were provided for Judge Young and my two sons on sleeping cars.

12 August 1899 • Saturday

Saturday, August 12, 1899

All our party breakfasted at Mr. Galt’s. We had a dainty but characteristic English breakfast. Mr. Galt is very comfortably situated here, but he only spends about 30 days of each year at this point, his home being at Montreal. He is a bachelor, and has a housekeeper and servants here, who take charge of his establishment.

I had calls from the Premier of the Northwest Territory, Mr. Haultain, and from Mr. Oliver, a Member of Parliament, and Mr. Dennis, whom I had met at Irrigation Congresses, and who is an officer of the government and deeply interested in the question of irrigation.

Mr. Galt had arranged for the party to go by special train to Sterling, a hamlet selected for our people. The party consisted of Mr. Anderson, the Chief Engineer of the Canal, Judge Young, Bro. Crismon and my son Sylvester. Brother Hammond also accompanied the party. Myself and wife and son William also went to Stirling, but Mr. Galt suggested to me that we should let Judge Young and Mr. Anderson and the others examine the work and investigate the causes of difficulty and report to himself and me, and that we should not join in the investigation. This proposal I approved of and mentioned it to Judge Young, who also thought it a proper course for us to take. Stirling is 20 miles from Lethbridge. We met Brother John W. Taylor, and the party took lunch with Brother Brandley, who is selected as Bishop of this place. Brothers Leonard G. Hardy, Will Hardy and Jesse Hardy have their lots selected here. Brother L. G. Hardy and his daughter Minnie came over from their camp at Magrath and myself and wife and Judge Young rode with them to their camp, which is 18 miles distant and within 1 1/2 miles of Magrath. The meeting between my wife and her sister, Miriam Hardy, was a very joyful one.

13 August 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, August 13, 1899

We camped last night with Brother Hardy. Judge Young and my son Sylvester stayed with Brother Rasmussen at his camp, and Brother Crismon and wife at Brother Orson Woolley’s at Magrath.

Learning that the people were expecting me to meet with them at Cardston to-day, although 30 miles distant, I resolved to not disappoint them, but to go there. Bishop Harker of Magrath took me and my wife and Son William in his vehicle, and we started about 8:30. Brothers Rasmussen and L. G. Hardy took the rest of the party in their vehicles. We reached Cardston about 1 o’clock. A finer country for grazing I have never seen than that which we passed through between Magrath and Cardston. Under proper cultivation and settlement the people who take up land here have a bright future before them.

At Cardston we put up with Brother and Sister Card, who welcomed us warmly to their home.

At 2 o’clock we met with the Saints in their meeting house, which was very well filled. The Bishop of this ward is named Hammer. After the administration of the sacrament, the meeting was given into my hands and I addressed the people for upwards of an hour. I spoke upon the principle of tithing and had great liberty in talking to the people, and enjoyed the meeting very much.

An evening meeting was appointed for 7:30, and again the house was well filled. A good many strangers were present, among whom were Mr. Oliver, a member of Parliament, and Mr. Hamilton, the Presbyterian minister. Brother John W. Taylor, when invited to speak, told me that he had rather have the time occupied by myself and others. At my request, Judge Young, Brother George Crismon, my sons William and Sylvester, addressed the congregation for a short time each, and I occupied the rest of the time. I felt exceedingly well in speaking to the people and enjoyed freedom of utterance. Among other subjects I dwelt on the importance of finishing this canal, and that I hoped they would do everything in their power to help us complete it in the time agreed upon.

14 August 1899 • Monday

Monday, August 14, 1899

It rained very heavily this morning, but Judge Young, Brothers Crismon, Hammond and John W. Taylor and my son Sylvester proceeded to the canal to examine the work. They prepared themselves against getting wet by taking waterproofs along. About the middle of the day the rain ceased.

Myself and wife and son William and Brother Card and wife were invited to take dinner with Brother Heber Allen and wife. Brother Allen is very enterprising, keeps a store here, and in conjunction with one of the Brothers Harker is erecting a roller flour mill. We visited his store and I took some interest in pricing goods so as to form a proper idea of the differences that exist between our prices in Utah and those at this point. I find that woollen goods are much cheaper, but calicos and all cotton goods bear a higher price than with us. Sugar is fully as cheap as with us. Teas are cheaper. Furniture is very cheap. Hardware I should think about the same price.

When we returned to Brother Card’s we found the house filled with brethren and sisters who had come to spend the evening with us. They had brought food with them and all enjoyed a light supper. The brass band serenaded us, and upon leaving gave three cheers for President George Q. Cannon. At the request of Brother & Sister Card, I made a short address to the company, in which I spoke encouragingly and predicted a great future for the country and for them as Latter-day Saints. I warned them, however, that they might and would likely have opposition to contend with, for Satan would do what he could against them.

15 August 1899 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 15, 1899

We bade good-bye to Cardston this morning and started for Brother Hardy’s camp. I rode in the buggy with Brother Card, and my wife, Sister Card and son William rode with Bishop Harker. We reached Hardy’s camp between 6 & 7 p.m. My wife was seized with diarrhoea on the road and had a hard time. The wind blew very hard and made it disagreeable riding. We all were chilled through. Brother & Sister Card went to Brother Zeb. Jacobs’ camp for the night. We remained at Brother Hardy’s, where we were made comfortable.

16 August 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 16, 1899

Brothers Le Grand Young, Crismon, Hammond and John W. Taylor and my son Sylvester came in this morning; also Mr. Anderson, the Chief Engineer. I had some conversation with the latter, in which he expressed the hope that we would reach satisfactory settlement of the matters in dispute. He mentioned to me also stories that had been circulated concerning his language and treatment of our people, and hoped I would not be prejudiced against him. He admitted that he had uttered some expressions which had been reported, but not to the extent reported. I assured him that I was not affected by stories which I heard about people, for I myself had been so misrepresented and slandered that I attached little importance to reports which were put in circulation concerning other people.

About 10 o’clock we started for Lethbridge. My wife rode in the buggy with Brother Card; my sons rode with Brother and Sister Hardy; Brother Le Grand Young rode with Mr. Anderson, and Brother Crismon and myself rode with Brother Gibby.

Myself and wife put up at The Hall, which is the residence of Mr. Galt. He had urged us when we first came to Lethbridge to make our home at his bachelor quarters and stay a week or two weeks, or as long as we should desire, as we were very welcome.

After lunch, Judge Young came to Mr. Galt’s, and Mr. Galt and myself and Mr. Magrath listened to the report which Judge Young had to make of their investigations. There are two points upon which differences exist. One is classification of the material. Judge Young read a clause from the contract which had been departed from. He took the ground that clay had been classified as earth and paid for at that rate. It was impossible for men and their teams to make wages at that rate of pay. He showed plainly that under the clause of the contract it should be paid at day’s wages with 10% added. The other point was that in estimating day’s wages enough had not been allowed. Mr. Anderson took the ground that he was justified by the contract in the course he had taken in making the allowance for the time, etc., consumed. He had caused the men to be watched and the hours’ work they had done to be counted. To this Brother Young objected, firstly, because it took two to make a bargain, and this mode of estimating the value of the work had been done arbitrarily by Mr. Anderson. Secondly, the contractors, supposing that they were doing the work for themselves on contract, and not knowing that they were watched, worked to suit themselves, at their own convenience. Thirdly, that the whole method was contrary to the contract. Brother Young took up these points and argued them with clearness and force. He claimed that a great deal of the work should have been classified as clay.

We had free conversation on this subject. I said considerable concerning the situation, and acknowledged that we had almost been culpable in not having some capable man to protest and to call attention to these objectionable points before matters had gone so far. But we were not aware of the difficulty until within a short time, and then we had taken such steps as we thought proper to remedy them. I thought, I said, one of the causes of these prices being put down so low was that Mr. Anderson had made an estimate as to the probable cost of the canal, money had been obtained on the basis of that estimate, but the gumbo is so abundant that it was now apparent that the canal would cost more than had been supposed.

Mr. Galt, after listening to all these arguments pro and con, took Mr. Anderson outside, and upon his return suggested to me that Mr. Young and Mr. Anderson get together again and see if they could not reach a basis of settlement. He expressed himself quite fully upon the position he and the company were placed in, and how much it depended on us; that it would be ruinous to him individually and to all their plans if we did not work together. I replied that we were aware of that and that very fact made us feel more sensibly the importance of doing all in our power to fulfil this contract to the very letter. This condition of affairs, I said, appealed to our honor, and we were exceedingly desirous to maintain that, and to do everything to save all concerned from disappointment.

17 August 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, August 17, 1899

Brother Young told me yesterday evening that he and Brother George Crismon were united in their view as to the proper course to take in regard to payment for work, but that Brother Hammond and some of the others did not agree with them. Brother Young was in favor, if a fixed price could not be obtained that was large enough, to have it arranged so that they would get pay for their work at the price for which teams could be hired in the open market. He and Brother Crismon appeared to be of the opinion that this would be more advantageous than to have a fixed price stated as the price of teams might go up and exceed the price now fixed and agreed upon. He said that Brother Hammond wanted the price fixed at $5.00 per day. He himself thought that $4.50 was the highest price that would be allowed and that to insist on $5.00 would bring about an open rupture. He said that the brethren he had spoken with had all seemed to be satisfied with $4.50 per day as the price per team. I told Brother Young last night that Brother Hammond said he and Brother John W. Taylor would like to see me to give me some points before the business was closed up and I wished him to tell them that I would be over to see them this morning after breakfast. I got Brother Hammond, Brother Taylor and Brother Card together in a room at the hotel and sent for Brother Young (Brother Crismon was sick this morning) and I told the brethren that I had come to hear what they had to say. Brother Hammond informed me that they had communicated all their views to Brother Young, as he and Mr. Anderson seemed to have the settlement in their hands[.]

We then talked over the team business, and I drew out from them their views, and it was agreed that if Brother Young could not get $5.00 allowed per day, which Brothers Hammond and John W. Taylor seemed to think was the best, to have arrangement made that they were to be paid the ruling price for teams. Mr. Galt had spoken to me yesterday about his syndicate borrowing money from the Bank of Montreal, using the land as collateral, to stop the sale of land certificates by our people, and pay them cash instead of land. He said he had heard that some of our people were selling their land certificates at half price - $1.50 per acre - which he thought most unfortunate. The land was really worth over $5.00 per acre, and they would not sell it for less, and at $3.00 an acre it was very, very cheap. The suggestion at first struck me favorably, but in thinking further about it I thought it would not answer a good purpose. Those who would get money instead of land would spend the money and would be left landless. Our object is to have them take land and become settlers and wedded to the soil. I submitted this question to the brethren and they agreed with me in this view of the case. I talked to these brethren very plainly about the course they should pursue with our people. They must not encourage murmuring and discontent. In a conversation with Brother Hammond yesterday morning I had warned him about this and I told him this morning that I thought my counsel yesterday was good, for I had since heard that he was very familiar with every man who had complaints to make and knew the nature and extent of his complaints more than he did the work that had been done on the canal.

An appointment was made with Mr. Galt to meet Mr. Anderson and Judge Young at 3 o’clock in his sitting room. Brother Young had met Ray Kimball and others in the meantime, and brought to my attention some new complaints and difficulties which had been raised. After some talk Brother Young went off to get Brothers Hammond, Card, Taylor and Crismon, to have a meeting with Mr. Galt, Mr. Anderson and myself. I felt more discouraged after hearing this report of Brother Young than I have been since I left home. It seemed as though we had made no progress, that a settlement was further off than ever. I felt that we had great need of faith and prayer. I need not repeat all that took place at our meeting with the brethren; but this plan was decided upon - that Mr. Anderson on the part of the Company, and Judge Young and Brothers Card and Hammond on the part of the contractors should go to the line of the canal and see all the sub-contractors, and with the aid of Mr. Anderson’s records of what had been done and the sub-contractors’ own records try and effect a settlement for the work that has been done. Brother Young would like to have gone home and left this work for somebody else to do, but Mr. Galt and myself felt that he must stop and see this business through. This being our conclusion he wanted to start immediately, and they all got off about 6 o’clock in the evening. Mr. Anderson expressed himself as being sure that he could reach a settlement with the men. I felt greatly relieved when this plan was adopted. My discouragement vanished and I felt hopeful that the Lord would open the way for speedy settlement of this business, which has been very vexatious and unpleasant. Upon the brethren leaving I charged them to use all the faith they could muster and their good offices with the people to effect a satisfactory settlement. I mentioned a good many reasons why this should be done - reasons that go far beyond the little difficulties that we have here and the local surroundings, and that are far-reaching in their consequences, affecting Zion as a whole.

18 August 1899 • Friday

Friday, August 18, 1899

Mr. Galt is very hospitable and treats us with the utmost kindness, insisting upon our making ourselves perfectly at home and placing that which he has at our service. Besides myself and wife, my two sons stop here with him. Sylvester will probably leave this evening for home, as he thinks he will need the remaining time between the present and the 2nd of Sept. to get ready for a mission to Holland, to which he has been appointed.

The weather is delightfully pleasant. The nights are cool, making the sleeping under two blankets quite agreeable.

Sylvester will have to leave this evening on the train or else stay until Monday evening, as there are no Saturday and Sunday trains leaving here.

Mr. Galt expressed a wish to talk with me concerning the business of the Alberta Irrigation Co. He handed me a paper containing the names of the Directors of the Company. $50,000 in stock stands in his name. It is really more, he says, than he can carry. There are two things which seem to trouble him. First, the canal is going to cost more than was estimated, and he dreads to call on the stockholders for another assessment. Second, he fears the canal will not be completed in time. He proposed that I join him in a letter to the London people, explaining the situation - which I am very willing to do.

19 August 1899 • Saturday

Saturday, August 19, 1899

Our stay here is beginning to be tiresome to me. Inaction always is.

I was surprised this afternoon by Brother Le Grand Young dropping in upon us from the canal. He and Mr. Anderson had had words. Mr. Anderson had plainly intimated to Judge Young that his presence was not necessary in settling with the sub-contractors; that he (Anderson) was going to do that. Judge Young left him and came back here, but on his way called upon our brethren the subcontractors and did what he could to make an amicable settlement. I was very much disappointed, for I had expected that he and Mr. Anderson would remain and work together until the settlement was completed. Brother L. G. Hardy brought Brother Young in, and I seriously thought of returning with him. Brother Young thought I had better not, as he believed that Mr. Anderson would get through his settlement and be back to-morrow; besides, if I should return with Brother Hardy, it being so late, it would be about midnight when we would reach his camp. Brother Hardy started this evening, but afterwards concluded not to trust himself on the plains and stayed here all night.

20 August 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, August 20, 1899

The weather was quite threatening. It rained during the day. Mr. & Mrs. Reeve called upon us this afternoon. He is the representative of the Bank of Montreal at this place. This is the largest bank on the continent and third in size in the world. They invited us to tea on Monday, at 4 o’clock.

21 August 1899 • Monday

Monday, August 21, 1899

This day was very stormy. We were unable to accept Mr. & Mrs. Reeve’s invitation to take tea at their home.

In the evening I had a long conversation with Brothers Young, Card and Hammond, in which we went over all the affairs of the canal in detail. I gave the brethren counsel upon a good many points. There was one point I impressed upon them particularly - that they must restrain the sale of land certificates to non-settlers of hamlets. Our contract gave us 8333 acres of land to each hamlet. This is earned with the water right in payment for half of the work on the canal. This land ought to go to actual settlers of hamlets and not to non-residents. We had a very full and free conversation on all these points.

22 August 1899 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 22, 1899

This has been a day of the most miserable weather I ever saw at this time of the year. It has rained steadily all day. It is a cold, disagreeable rain. The day was dreary and depressing.

23 August 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 23, 1899

We were pleased this morning that the rain had ceased and the sun had broken through the clouds. With great anxiety we waited the return of Mr. Anderson, as we desired to get through so that we could return home this evening. We have been here as Mr. Galt’s guests and he has treated us with great kindness. His trouble seems to have been that he could not do more for us, to make our stay more pleasant and interesting. I have felt for a few days that we were becoming a burden, if not to him, at least to his housekeeper; but he himself has protested that he was pleased and honored to have us stay with him. I have had some thoughts of trying to secure a ranch up here and have had some conversations with Mr. Magrath upon this subject. He has promised to watch for an opportunity to secure me some land. Mr. Anderson returned about 5 p.m. He reported that he had settled with the sub-contractors with whom he had met, excepting two, and he expected to be able to satisfy them. He appeared to have no doubt about settling with all in a satisfactory manner, and he asked that he might have the opportunity given him to settle with all for the future work. To this we saw no objection. At 7:45 we held our final meeting. There were present, Mr. Galt, Mr. Magrath, Mr. Anderson, and Brothers Young, Card, Hammond, Crismon and myself, in which meeting we went over the business in every way and in a united spirit. Mr. Anderson and Brother Hammond appeared reconciled. Mr. Anderson expressed himself to the effect that he would do all in his power to promote and maintain kind and peaceful relations with all the men on the work. Mr. Galt assured me that I could depend upon his doing all in his power to help our people and to promote their interests. Brothers Hammond and Card expressed their determination to carry out the counsel I had given them and to do all in their power to have the contract fulfilled.

After this meeting I felt very clear to return home. I felt that the Lord has been with us and has heard our prayers. I feel to praise him and to bless each one who was present. Mr. Galt accompanied us to his private car, which he gave us to Great Falls. He thanked me very warmly for coming up here and for bringing everything to so happy a conclusion. Mr. Magrath also came down to the car to see us off. We left Lethbridge at 9:45 p.m.

I wrote a letter at Mr. Galt’s request to the Directors of the Canadian Northwest Irrigation Co. who are residing in London. He thought it would have a good effect upon them coming from me as a fellow-director and giving my views of the situation of affairs. I also wrote a letter to Brothers John W. Taylor and C. O. Card, which they thought would be influential with the saints when they should read it to them. I insert here a copy of each letter.

[Remainder of page blank with diagonal penciled line drawn through.]




Lethbridge, N.W.T. August 23rd. 1899

Mr. William Burdett-Coutts, M.P.
- and-
The Board of Directors of
The Canadian North-West Irrigation Company,
London, England.


Having just completed a visit of a week’s duration to the Canal which is being constructed for the irrigation of the lands of The Canadian North-West Irrigation Company, I deem it proper, as one of the Directors of the Company, to write you a few lines upon the subject, thinking that what I may have to say may be of interest to you.

I have had much pleasure while I have been here in my association with Mr. Galt. As the President of the Canadian North-West Irrigation Company he has given me the fullest information concerning the business and plans of the Company. In my capacity of Director these explanations have been satisfactory and gratifying to me, and I may say that the interests of the Company are being looked after by Mr. Galt with a zeal and efficiency that leave nothing to be desired.

The work on the Canal is being industriously prosecuted and I entertain little doubt that it will be completed by the time agreed upon; in fact it is the determination of the Contractors to do everything possible to have the work finished by the end of the year. So far as I have observed it is very well constructed, and in the opinion of gentlemen familiar with this kind of work and the construction of irrigation canals, it will answer the designed purpose excellently. [Repeated headings and page numbers are omitted.]

There have been some difficulties to contend with which were scarcely expected, and which have involved, and will still require, a great deal of extra labor.

In the greater part of the distance traversed by the Canal there has been a very stiff clay encountered, the local name for which is “Gumbo”, a hard indurated compact clay, very difficult to dig, and making the work more expensive than was originally estimated. This material is not only hard to dig, but it requires more time than was expected when the work was begun.

Concerning the Soil, I may say that myself and friends who have accompanied me from Utah, have been greatly pleased with its character. It appears very productive and when irrigated will no doubt produce the best of crops; indeed, we think that the prospects of the Settlers are very excellent and we feel greatly encouraged at what we have seen on our visit here.

Speaking of the Immigrants generally, they feel much encouraged and I have no doubt that letters from them to their friends will have the effect to induce many others to come here. We see no reason why industrious economical men cannot lay the foundation for a prosperous future and build up homes in this region that will be very attractive.

The range for stock I have never seen excelled on this continent, and the prospects before the settlers in the cultivation of flocks of sheep and herds of cattle are very promising.

Vegetables and all farm products command such excellent prices here, that after the land is broken up and irrigated, I have the best reasons for believing that all industrious settlers will make a good living.

These extensive plains will furnish homes for a great many people and I feel sure that when the advantages of the Country become known to the people of Utah, that very many who are living in the elevated valleys of that region will move in this direction.

The opportunities for employment during the Winter are very excellent and no doubt hundreds of settlers will be able in this way to strengthen themselves in the land, and to obtain the means necessary to make themselves and families more comfortable.

One great advantage which settlers will have is the cheapness of the fuel, of which there is great abundance here. Timber and other materials necessary for building comfortable homes is also cheap and easily procured. All these advantages lead me to think that there will be a good many settlers come up to this Country during the next year or so, especially if pains are taken to give the people a proper description of what can be done here in obtaining land and building themselves up in this new country.

I have taken the liberty of communicating these views to you, thinking that they might be satisfactory to you.

I remain,

With sentiments of high esteem,

Your obedient servant.

[Remainder of page blank]




Lethbridge, N.W.T. August 23rd. 1899

Elders John W. Taylor


C. O. Card,

Dear Brethren:-

It would have given me great pleasure to have had the opportunity of meeting with our people and giving them my views concerning their labors in this Country. I have met, as you know[,] with them and addressed Congregations, but there are many people whom I have not seen and with whom I have not had the privilege of conversing.

Before leaving I would like to communicate some of my views to you, and through you have them told to our Brethern who are engaged in this labor of constructing the Canal, as well as the others who have not yet taken hold of this work.

It is of the utmost importance that we should have this work completed by the end of the year 1899. The First Presidency are bound by contract to have the Canal completed by that time. We are bound by contract also to have the necessary number of Settlers at each hamlet. Upon my return to Utah, I shall call this latter point to the attention of our Brethern there and I have no doubt that everything will be done that is possible to furnish the necessary number of settlers, and also to get what help we can to assist in completing [the] Canal.

I have been informed that there are teams enough in the possession of our people in this region to do the necessary work. I hope that this is so and also that you will be able to obtain teamsters and other laborers to the extent that will be required. We must complete this contract by the time appointed. We are not only bound to do this to avoid penalties, but our honor, to a great extent, is involved, and I hope that our Brethern will perceive and take into full consideration our position and share with us in our anxiety to do our part to the fullest required extent.

I trust that you will be able to appeal to the Saints in such a way as to call forth a willing response from them. You understand that we have, as a First Presidency, no personal pecuniary interest in this matter. What we are doing, we are doing with the hope that it will be of benefit to all the people and we would like our Brethern to fully understand this. I am sure that if they do understand it, they will render us all the help they can.

Another point that I wish to call to your attention is this. As you know we have agreed to place a certain number of settlers in each of these hamlets, in consideration of this we are to have land and the water right at $3.00 per acre. Now, I understand that a number of persons are earning this land, who do not expect to live at these hamlets. If this be the case, you can see how important it is that they should not dispose of their land thus earned to any but these who are going to be bona fide settlers at the hamlets. We would like you to use all your influence with persons in this position, to not dispose of their land to any but actual settlers at the hamlets. I wish to call this to your attention and hope you will be impressed with this point. Already, I understand some men have sold their land certificates, which at a much less price than $3.00 per acre. This is very unfortunate and everything should be done that can be to prevent any further sales of this kind.

You will pardon me for dwelling so lengthily on these points, but I desire, on behalf of Presidents Snow and Smith and myself, to call these things to your attention, and to have you lay them before the settlers for us. I am sure that we will not appeal to them in vain.

Trusting that you will be very successful in your labors and

With love,

I remain

Your Brother.

24 August 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, August 24, 1899

We reached Great Falls too late to connect with the Great Northern for Butte. We hired a carriage and drove 12 miles to the Great Falls. We did not intend to drive that distance, but became so interested in what we saw, and thinking we might not get another opportunity, we decided to go there. Brother & Sister Crismon were not feeling well and did not go with us. Brother Le Grand Young, my wife, my son William and myself went. We were greatly pleased with what we saw of Great Falls. It is a promising city and beautifully located. Water power is in great abundance, as the Missouri rolls past the town. The Missouri here is a most beautiful stream, clear and crystalline. As we left the city we passed some smelting works which are very extensive. There are some falls at this point. Farther on we left our carriage and descended to the brink of the river to view the Crystal Spring, the most beautiful and interesting spring that I ever witnessed. The volume of water which it throws up is very large. Brother Le Grand Young thought it as large a body of water as the Weber river contained at Peoa, but its chief beauty was its remarkable clearness. It was rightly named Crystal. One could peer into its depths as though looking through plate glass; and beautiful foliage covered all the rocks in its depths. I would not have missed seeing this remarkable spring for a good deal. After witnessing this we proceeded to the Rainbow Falls. At this point the river tumbles over a ledge of rocks upwards of 50 ft. in height, which stretches clear across the river. This fall derives its name from the rainbow hues which are witnessed on the surface of the water around it. This is a most beautiful fall and looking at it in front it reminded me very much of the Muir Glacier which we saw in Alaska. Above the Rainbow Falls is a fall called the Horse Shoe, which, however, is not so high as the Rainbow; and below it a short distance there is what is called the Crooked Falls. From here we drove to the Great Falls, over which the river comes tumbling with great violence and much broken up except at one side where the river falls in direct descent considerably over 100 ft., making a very fine fall. We were highly repaid for our trip. I felt very much gratified in viewing these grand sights of nature. It is seldom I have derived more pleasure from sightseeing than I have to-day, and we all shared in this feeling. A Mr. Gibson, founder of this town, saw my name on the hotel register and sought an introduction to me. He appears a very fine gentleman. All improvements we see, – and there are many – have been made since 1887.

25 August 1899 • Friday

Friday, August 25, 1899

We took our departure this morning from the Park Hotel. The train left at 9 o’clock. We traveled through quite a romantic country all day. Passed Helena in the afternoon and reached Butte at 4:30. The railroad ran through many tunnels to-day and the road was tortuous. The places that we saw were not inviting and there was very little agricultural country. We made a speedy transfer to the Oregon Short Line, which pushed right out. We got an excellent meal at the little station called Melrose, and we were prepared for it, as we had had nothing to eat since morning.

26 August 1899 • Saturday

Saturday, August 26, 1899

Reached Ogden about 7 o’clock, where we took breakfast. Before 9 o’clock we were in Salt Lake City, where we were met by my sons Angus and Brigham.

After reaching home I became unwell. I do not know the cause of my feeling badly, but I received news of Preston’s illness and his removal to Hamburg. He was suffering from pain where he had had an operation for appendicites. He had been taken to Hamburg for better treatment, it being the headquarters of the Mission, and Lewis had been summoned to his side by telegraph. My wife Sarah Jane read me communications from Preston himself, and there was a long letter also from Lewis to myself, in which he gave me the full particulars of Preston’s illness. This, no doubt, contributed to my illness this morning; for I felt the seriousness of my dear son’s condition. His own letters to his mother were full of hope and courage. I had a cablegram sent as follows: “To Arnold Schulthess: Cable me Preston’s condition.” I was grieved also to learn that through some mismanagement there had been 55 young bucks, which had been brought in from the sheep herd to sell, destroyed by dogs. They were worth from $5 to $8 per head. I was greatly annoyed at this news, for it seemed to me it was due to neglect and carelessness.

27 August 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, August 27, 1899 [Blank]

28 August 1899 • Monday

Monday, August 28, 1899

I relieved my feelings this morning somewhat by having a very plain talk with my two sons Brigham and Reed. I called their attention to the fact that there seemed to be a lack of interest on their part in our affairs. I mentioned particularly to the destruction of the sheep, and a statement I had heard about the horses being allowed to destroy the corn in the ground. This waste of property appeared to me an evidence of the lack of interest taken by some of my children in affairs that ought to be looked after by them. I pay two of my sons wages; I pay three hired men wages, and all five allow this destruction to take place under their very eyes, when it might have been prevented by ordinary foresight. Besides these hired people I have five boys, ranging from 11 to 13. I felt that I ought to talk plainly on this subject. The boys both acknowledged that I was justified in saying what I did to them.

29 August 1899 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 29, 1899

I found Presidents Snow and Smith had returned and was glad to see them looking so well. They evidently have enjoyed their visits north. I was made quite sorrowful in hearing from President Smith a description of the condition of Brother Franklin D. Richards. He informed me that he seemed to have lost his power of concentration and his mentality is affected so that in speaking to the saints at Bear Lake he stood as much as 4 or 5 minutes without saying a word, apparently unconscious that he was not talking. He told me several things which are very painful. I do most earnestly pray that Brother Richards and all the rest of the Lord’s servants who have been so prominent in the Church may be delivered from weakness of mentality while th[e]y live, that none of us may become a spectacle to the saints or to the world. He has been a faithful man and possesses some lovely traits of character. I feel deeply grieved at hearing of any failure on his part, for I have anticipated that he would live for very many years, as he comes of a very long-lived family; but whether he lives or dies I would feel greatly pained to see him fail mentally.

I gave the brethren a pretty full description of my trip to Canada and what had been done, and they appeared gratified at the result.

At 3 o’clock I had a meeting with my sons at the store, and several business matters were talked over, but particularly the condition we were in in connection with the Vowles flour mill. Brother Vowles is the owner of a mill in the First ward, and some time ago he talked to me about taking an interest in the mill. I was rather favorably inclined to do so. It seems that he has finally got to the end of his rope and could not do another thing. He came to my sons and reported the condition of affairs during my absence. We had let him have several hundred dollars’ worth of wheat, and he had used this up. The boys felt to help him still more. He said he would like to get 200 bushels more, which they let him have, and afterwards let him have another 100 bushels, making a total of value in money of $550. He proposed that we should take his mill, which is mortgaged for $2290, and his debts, amounting to [blank], and pay him $250, and take the whole property. The boys did not want to decide this till I came home; so today I met with them and enquired into the whole business. I felt very much indisposed to touch it, because I thought it better that we should lose what we had put in than to go on losing, if the property could not be made to pay. I asked him if there was any way that he could keep his property and secure us for what we had advanced. This he could not see his way clear to do. The boys in talking with him insisted that he must give some pledge that he would work for one year and conduct the mill, if we took it, because without him it was hopeless to expect the mill to pay, for it was his methods of manufacture that have made the flour popular. After he had withdrawn, the question was submitted to all the boys present, commencing at the youngest. Radcliffe, Reed, Joseph, Brigham, Angus and John Q. all expressed themselves and said in substance that under the circumstances, to save our $550, we had better take hold and see what we could do with it, and a vote was taken to that effect. So without our wish, certainly without mine, we are the owners of a grist mill. All through my early life I felt as though I would like to own a grist mill. The recollection of the pinching times we passed through for want of breadstuffs has left a deep impression on my mind, and I have always wanted to have plenty of food on hand, but at the present time a grist mill is not a desirable piece of property; there is no profit in it.

30 August 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 30, 1899

At 10 o’clock met with the Board of the Union Light & Power Co. and transacted considerable business. A great deal of work had accumulated in the shape of vouchers to be signed, which I attended to after the meeting. My daughter Emily had sent invitations to a large number of young people to attend a dancing party at our place this evening in honor of her brothers Joseph and Sylvester, who are going on missions. The boys have laid a very fine dancing floor on the lawn, and the place was lit up to-night by electric lights in a brilliant manner. The scene was a very charming one, and the night was admirably adapted for the occasion, it being just cool enough to make dancing very pleasant, and there were no mosquitos to annoy anyone. Refreshments were served to the guests in the schoolroom. I was pleased to notice that everything went off in the most delightful manner, and all seemed highly pleased.

31 August 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, August 31, 1899

Mr. Tresize, of Boulder, called upon me a day or two ago. He is the coroner of Boulder, and is here attending a convention of undertakers. I called at his hotel once this morning, but did not find him in. I arranged for Brother Spence to have an organ recital for him. I desire to show him some attentions, because of his kindness to myself and family while we were in Boulder. He has an elegant livery establishment, and he took Sister Cannon and my two daughters around Boulder and showed all that was worth seeing. I told him at the time that I would be glad to return his kindness at any time, if he ever should come to Salt Lake.

At 11 o’clock the First Presidency met with the Twelve in the temple this morning. Present of the Twelve: Brigham Young (who has just returned from a seven weeks’ absence in the east and in Mexico), John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, A. O. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson. Several letters were read, and there was quite a conversation concerning President Richards’ condition, in which President Snow described how he was affected. Brother Merrill was mouth in prayer.

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

Cite this page

August 1899, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 22, 2024