Friday, September 1, 1899
I ordained my sons Joseph J. & Sylvester Q. as Seventies this morning. They intend to start on their missions to-morrow morning. I also gave them money to take with them, besides paying their passages to Liverpool
Saturday, September 2, 1899
I took train this morning for Mt. Pleasant. President Snow and wife, President Smith and wife, John Henry Smith and wife, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund, A. O. Woodruff, Rudger Clawson, W. B. Preston, Joseph E. Taylor, Arthur Winter, Le Roi C. Snow and myself and wife comprised the party. We left at 8 o’clock and reached Mt. Pleasant at 11:30, where we were received with great honor by a band of music and carriages, and were driven through the streets to a pavilion on the Tabernacle square, where the people were assembled in conference. After singing by the choir the congregation was dismissed, to meet again at 2 o’clock.
Myself and wife were taken in carriages to Brother David Candland’s, and were welcomed there very warmly. I was very pleased to have the opportunity of renewing acquaintance with Brother Candland, whom I have known from early boyhood. He is within a few weeks of 80 years of age, and is very active and well preserved for a man of his years.
At 2 o’clock we met with the saints in the pavilion. President Snow opened up the subject of tithing, as he has done at all the conferences which I have attended lately, and spoke for about an hour. He was followed by Bishop W. B. Preston, Jos. E. Taylor, A. O. Woodruff and A. H. Lund.
We had an evening meeting, but the electric lights failed us. President Snow was not present, and I presided. They procured lamps, and we thought it better, as the people had assembled, to occupy a portion of the evening in speaking to them. Brothers Rudger Clawson and J. G. Kimball spoke. I was particularly interested in the remarks of Brother Kimball. There was a bluntness about his talk and he referred to his personal experience in such a way as to make it interesting to the people. We dismissed early.
Sunday, September 3, 1899
At the forenoon meeting to-day the speakers were President Joseph F. Smith and Brothers Seymour B. Young, John Henry Smith and Arthur Winter.
At the afternoon meeting I was called upon, and spoke for about half an hour, followed by Brothers H. J. Grant, Le Roi Snow, and J. G. Kimball. President Snow made some closing remarks.
Monday, September 4, 1899
At 10 o’clock I attended meeting in the pavilion, where the funeral services of Brother George Christensen’s wife and child were held. There was quite a large congregation, and deep sympathy was felt for the family. She died in childbirth and her babe was enclosed with her in the coffin. At the request of the Bishop, myself and President Smith talked. Brother Smith wished me to precede him, and I had most excellent liberty. We did not speak long, as we were pressed for time. Brother Smith delivered quite a powerful discourse on the resurrection.
At 2 o’clock we took train for home.
I have enjoyed my visit here. Brother David Candland and family have been very kind to myself and wife. I left my blessing with them.
On the train Brother A. H. Lund informed my wife that he thought he had secured two girls for her to help the family. When I reached the city I wrote to each of these girls and enclosed a railway ticket for her passage from Ephraim to the city.
Tuesday, September 5, 1899
I was busy with various matters at the office to-day.
Brother Richard W. Young came in and submitted his case to the First Presidency for counsel. He has been appointed one of the nine supreme judges at Manila. His appointment was made by General Otis, the commander of the American army there. He wished to know whether it was our counsel that he should go there or not. He spoke of his own preferences – that he rather thought he would like to stay here; but wished us to decide. President Snow and myself expressed ourselves favorable to his going, but after he related his circumstances and the situation of his family, we did not wish to give positive counsel to him, and President Snow felt to leave the matter entirely with him to decide.
I have decided to sell Z.C.M.I. stock, which is now at 130, to help pay my debts, which oppress me.
Wednesday, September 6, 1899
Busy arranging affairs with my wife Carlie and paying her money I borrowed from her in stocks. I also concluded to give the children shares in Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. in place of their stock in Geo. Q. Cannon & Sons Co. This latter company has failed entirely to pay its debts, and I am burdened with heavy debt in my effort to carry this concern, and I think it better to have everything now in my own name. It will take between $10,000 and $25,000 to do this, and I am already carrying $82,000 for it.
I was busy all forenoon at the Union Light & Power Co. office.
There was a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. at 1 o’clock. We listened to a long letter from John Beck asking for some reimbursement from the bank of money which he claims he has overpaid in purchasing the Beehive house. After the petition was read he was admitted and gave a long talk to the Board. While I pity this man very much, notwithstanding the wrongs he has attempted upon me in former days, I did not like to hear him attribute the wreck of his affairs to the bank, for this is not true.
Thursday, September 7, 1899
At 11 o’clock we held the usual meeting of the Presidency and Twelve in the temple. Present: the First Presidency and Apostles Brigham Young, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund, A. O. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson. Brother Brigham Young was mouth in prayer.
Friday, September 8, 1899
Accompanied by my wife Carlie and daughter Carol, I went to Provo this morning to attend a meeting of the Grand Central Mining Company. We had a great deal of business before us, principally in connection with the suit that is being planted against the Mammoth Mining Co. for encroaching upon the Grand Central Co’s ground and extracting ore therefrom. They have been remonstrated with, but persist in doing it, and there appears to be no alternative but to plant a suit against that Co. I dislike lawsuits exceedingly and would do a great deal to avoid them; but I consented to this, thinking perhaps that, seeing the probability of legal trouble, there could be some terms of agreement reached. I am told that Mr. McIntyre, the principal stockholder in the Mammoth, is a very stubborn man and determined to carry his points. It means a very serious lawsuit if this is persisted in. In consequence of this, no dividend was declared by our Co.
We took dinner at Sister Holbrook’s. Brother Holbrook was present.
Saturday, September 9, 1899
We had a very delightful meeting in the Assembly Hall this morning, it being the conference of the Salt Lake Stake. Brother John Nicholson addressed the congregation on behalf of the High Council. He was followed by Brother J. H. Paul, who spoke in the interests of the Latter-day Saints College. He was followed by Bishop Miller, who reported the Riverton ward. My brother Angus, President of the Stake, made some closing remarks, and I enjoyed them.
At 2 o’clock we again met, and President Snow addressed the congregation, which was not very large, and spoke with a good deal of power on the subject of tithing. He was followed by Bishop Preston. Strong testimonies were borne by these brethren, and I am sure it must have a great effect on the faithful Latter-day Saints. It was interesting to hear President Snow describe how the tithing had increased during the past two or three months.
Sunday, September 10, 1899
Conference convened in the Assembly Hall at 10 o’clock. The congregation was but very little larger than yesterday, I suppose in consequence of the Sunday schools being held as usual. President Snow called upon me to address the saints, and I occupied about 25 mins. in doing so. The other speakers were Joseph E. Taylor, A. H. Lund, C. W. Penrose and A. O. Woodruff.
In the afternoon we met in the Tabernacle. President Joseph F. Smith delivered a very powerful discourse on the subject of tithing, quoting extensively from the Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. He was followed by Brothers J. G. Kimball and H. J. Grant.
In the evening I attended our ward meeting, partook of the sacrament, and listened to Elders Uriah Miller and [blank] Stevenson.
Monday, September 11, 1899
At 10 o’clock there was a meeting of the Church Board of Education, at which a good deal of business was attended to.
Brother Wm. W. Riter came to the office, and informed the First Presidency of the plans of the Oregon Short Line and the Rio Grande Western railways concerning a union depot. He desired our influence to be used to prevent the “News” from committing itself in any way on this question until it had been decided what course should be pursued.
I attended meeting of the Bullion-Beck at 3 o’clock.
I am very much exercised about my debts. I have felt impressed now for a good while to make every exertion I could to extricate myself from debt. I might have done a good deal toward this if I had not pledged myself to not sell Grand Central stock. I have had many offers for it, but have declined in every instance. I find, however, that others who have made similar pledges have not been true to their pledges, and I have had a suspicion that I have not been kept informed as I should have been about what has been done. I feel to regret the situation very much, because being in debt is a very great cause of anxiety to me. I have property that I could sell and pay considerably upon my debts, but I do not like to do it if it can be avoided, as it is my source of income. The Bullion-Beck is in a very precarious condition and appears to be pinching out. I ask the Lord to guide me in the management of these affairs, and I have confidence that everything will be overruled for good. There is one thing which has been a great consolation to me, and that is, I have tried to pay my tithing fully and completely. The late First Presidency have been placed under some degree of censure because of our operations in different directions. It may be that I am over-sensitive on this, but I have felt that we were looked upon as having been unwise in some of our transactions; in fact, it has been so stated. If, in addition to this, I had neglected my tithing, I should have felt very badly. I am willing to leave our management as a First Presidency to the Lord to vindicate, knowing that we did the best we could, and that we sought to know His mind and will continually. While I do not pretend to have done my whole duty in the matter of tithing, still I feel that my record on that point will bear examination. Within the last ten years I have paid upwards of $50,000 tithing. Already this year I have paid $4,500. So that, while not claiming any credit myself, I feel exceedingly thankful to the Lord that He has prompted me to do as I have done in the matter of tithing. In these days, when we are stirred up by the Spirit of the Lord, and the Elders speak with such pungency, and almost severity, it is consoling to think that one has not been altogether culpable, and I thank the Lord for it.
Tuesday, September 12, 1899
Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter this morning.
Wednesday, September 13, 1899
Attended meeting of the Board of Directors of the Union Light & Power Co.
I went down to Brother Symons and sat for my likeness.
I met with Brother Holbrook at the Juvenile Instructor Office and had a long talk with him concerning Grand Central. I talked plainly on the manner in which I had been treated by my fellow-stockholders. They have been selling stock and taking advantage apparently of their knowledge of things, and I have been kept in ignorance of many things. I do not know that I would have sold stock if I had been told fully all that was going on, because I am reluctant to do that; but I would have been in possession of information which I could have used or not, as I pleased. I told him that I felt disgusted almost at the manner in which the thing had been done. He acknowledged that I ought to have been advised. I said to him, “You all knew how heavily I was in debt; that I had more need to protect myself from debts than anyone, and I have held loyally to my word.” I have even refused to sell one of my wives, to whom I was owing, any stock, but I had bought stock for her and paid $8 a share, when if I had known the actual condition of affairs I would not have suggested that she should pay such a price for it. I feel now as though I would like to sell at least sufficient to pay all my debts. Edwin Loose, my nephew, is away. He will not be back for ten days perhaps. Brother Holbrook suggests that maybe he will help me carry it and might take the stock himself. I said to him that I did not wish to do anything rash or that would hurt the rest of the stockholders, but I felt very much dissatisfied with what had been done.
Brother James E. Talmage came to the office with a number of questions that he wished answered. The First Presidency listened to them. President Snow excused himself and asked President Smith and myself to answer them. They were questions concerning science and the attitude that scientific men occupied in relation to the scriptures. He wished these questions answered because he is professor of geology in the University and holds the chair endowed by the Church. I fancied from the drift of his talk that he himself was unsettled on some points, for instance, the antiquity of man, and whether there were more progenitors of our race than Adam.
Thursday, September 14, 1899
Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.
At 11 o’clock we held our usual meeting in the temple. Beside the First Presidency, there were present of the Apostles, Brothers John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund and Rudger Clawson. After transacting some business, President Smith offered prayer.
I was busy for some time trying to make arrangements about finances to meet some obligations.
I wrote a pretty severe letter to my son John Q., who has gone off hunting without speaking to me upon the subject, at which I was much displeased, as my correspondence has been neglected and is very much behind.
I attended meeting of the Sunday School Union Board.
I dictated an article for the Juvenile Instructor.
Friday, September 15, 1899
There was a meeting of the Utah Sugar Co. this morning.
Sister [First, middle, and last names redacted] called upon me, she having written to me that she wished to have an interview to-day, and I was kept fully three hours listening to her story and reading correspondence concerning her troubles with her husband. She blamed very severely [first name, middle initial, last name redacted] for having encouraged her husband to court her and, as she thought, to entangle him in marriage, although she did not use that word; but she had succeeded through her son in stealing one of [first name redacted]'s letters to her husband and had given a copy of it to Brother Karl G. Maeser, and had in every way shown an exceedingly jealous disposition, she justifying herself in her course and blaming her husband very much. I talked very plainly to her, and said it was a very singular circumstance. She had been married six years to her husband, and he had notified her that he could live with her no longer, and now for a number of years he had lived apart from her, although treating her with great kindness and supporting her all the time. He could not stand to live with her, and wanted her to get a divorce from him, so that he might get another wife, which she persistently refused to do. She was very anxious that I should believe she was truthful and honest, and that her view of her proceedings was correct. I told her I could only judge of her conduct from what she said, and I did not wish to decide anything. It was a very remarkable thing to me that a man should break off from his family as her husband had done, and declare he was unable to live with her any longer, unless there was some very serious cause for such conduct. I said that while I could not approve of his and [first name, middle initial, last name redacted]'s conduct, I thought that perhaps the girl had considered it no impropriety to accept any advances he might make to her with a view to matrimony, as I knew the general opinion was that he ought to be separated from her, and that the separation would take place if it were not for her obstinacy and her disposition to prevent him from marrying again, though he had declared he would never live with her. I said, however, respecting the manner in which she had obtained that letter it was very dishonorable. Such conduct would be considered base among people of honor, to steal a letter and then give a copy of it to another person. I thought the best thing she could do with the letter was to burn it. I listened patiently to her story. It seemed impossible to get away from her, though it interfered very much with my other engagements.
I dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.
Saturday, September 16, 1899
My sons Frank and Hugh came back from the east yesterday. My son Brigham also returned, he having been to Canada to buy sheep which he expects to sell and make a profit on.
I had a long interview with Frank, Hugh, Angus and Brigham, in which Frank described a wonderful invention that had been made by a gentleman named Tripler. It is the manufacture of liquid air. The uses to which this liquid air can be put are numerous and the effects are very marvelous. Mr. Tripler has taken a great fancy to Frank and has insisted on his taking hold with him in this business and has given him considerable advantage connected with it. Frank has been the means of organizing a company. If it shall be successful – and there seems to be but little doubt of it – it is going to be attended with wonderful results and will be the means of revolutionizing matters in many directions, and if rightly managed, I should think, will result in great profit. Mr. Tripler is the President of the Company, and Frank is the Vice President and Manager. Senator Jones of Nevada and ex-Senator Dorsey of Arkansas are connected with the company. It seems that Frank’s agency was necessary to have them secure their part in the contract. Mr. Tripler has had very fine offers made to him by other parties, but seemed to be enamored of Frank. One party had offered him $2,500,000 for his rights, which he had refused. He has been a man of wealth himself, and now lives in most aristocratic fashion, but on his wife’s means, as he has spent his own very largely in this invention. The intention is, if Frank can raise his share to carry on what is necessary at the beginning, for Mr. Tripler and Frank and ex-Senator Dorsey and one or two others to go to London and form a company there for the use of this liquid air on vessels. It can be used for navigation and will produce wonderful results in that direction, for a vessel can be driven across the Atlantic with seven-tenths less coal than at present used for steam. I do not know, of course, how this may result, but it looks like a stupendous proposition and one that it seems to me, if rightly managed, will result in great changes and in the making of a great deal of money.
Busy dictating letters to Miss Alice Young, and my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.
Sunday, September 17, 1899
I took the Salt Lake & Ogden line this morning to Farmington. President Snow and his wife and son were on the train, also Brother Winter. We were met at Farmington by vehicles and carried to the bowery. Prest. John W. Hess had a new carriage, in which President Snow and wife and myself rode. He expressed great pride in being able to carry us in a carriage of his own, as it was the first time he had had it in his power to do so.
The conference commenced about 10:30. There was a good attendance. President Snow requested me to address the saints. I occupied about 40 mins., and felt uncommon freedom in talking. The meeting was dismissed early to enable the children to get together, as it is the intention for them to shake hands with President Snow this afternoon.
We ate dinner at Prest. Hess’, and got to the meeting a little before 2.
President Snow spoke to the children a short time, and I followed him for a few minutes. It took the remainder of the afternoon for him to shake hands with the children, who passed in single file before him. The brethren of the Stake were desirous that the children should also shake hands with me, but I thought this would interfere with the remembrance of the children, as it was desirable that they should remember President Snow, and they might get confused shaking hands with me too. I told them I thought it was far better to confine the handshaking to him.
The brethren gave President Snow and myself each a fine watermelon to bring home with us. We returned at 4:30.
Monday, September 18, 1899
President Snow, Bishop Preston, Brothers J. Golden Kimball, Joseph E. Taylor and Arthur Winter and myself went to Farmington this morning on the Oregon Short Line train, and were again met by vehicles and carried to the meeting.
President Snow occupied about 50 mins. this morning in addressing the congregation on the subject of tithing. Bishop Preston also spoke.
We again took dinner at Prest. Hess’.
At the afternoon meeting the speakers were Brothers Joseph E. Taylor, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale and J. Golden Kimball. There was a few minutes left, which President Snow desired me to occupy, and as I did not occupy all the time, he followed in some remarks. A most excellent spirit prevailed in this meeting, and all, I believe, enjoyed themselves.
We again returned on the Salt Lake & Ogden line at 4:30.
Tuesday, September 19, 1899
I had another conversation with my sons Frank and Hugh in relation [to] this proposed organization for liquid air. After listening to all Frank said, all that he wished to accomplish, and all that he thought could be accomplished, I had a very plain talk with him upon the situation of affairs. I told him that I knew him to be of a very sanguine disposition, and I was inclined to think that he talked himself into beliefs and convinced himself by his own arguments. I did not know but he had done it in this case; still, I said, I could not see any flaw in his statement or any particular weakness, except on one point, which I wanted to be satisfied upon, and that was, whether this liquid air could be manufactured cheap enough to make it of use for power. He gave me his reasons for believing it could be. He had the best of reasons, he thought. Mr. Tripler had told him and Hugh the process, and they and a very few others were the only ones who knew the secret. Not being a scientist himself, however, he could not say; but the fact that Mr. Tripler had refused cash for any portion of this and preferred taking stock in the company was a great evidence to him that it could be cheaply manufactured. He said all the examinations that had been made had been made by scientific men, and he thought the evidence was so abundant in favor of it[s] cheap manufacture that there could be no question upon the subject. I then interrogated him about his tithing, and I said I wanted to have nothing to do with him in any company where there was no respect paid to the laws of the Lord, and I spoke upon the importance of having the blessing of the Lord attend what was done. Frank told me that while he had not paid as large a tithing as some men he had paid the largest tithing of any man in his ward until David Eccles moved into the ward, and his Bishop, (Brother Stevens) and Prest. Shurtliff gave him the credit of paying the largest tithing, in proportion to his means, of any man in the Stake. He related incidents that occurred which he had noticed in my history, that led him to do as he had done in many things, and his ambition had been to be as devoted to the work of the Lord and have his means used for forwarding it as I had been. I told him then that I felt clear in relation to this matter. While I was in debt, still I would try and do something as he proposed. He said that he would have $28,000 coming to him on the 1st of April, and as he wanted $40,000 this would leave $12,000 for him to raise. He would have to have the $40,000 now though, which I would have to get for him and be repaid the $28,000 when it was due. I have prayed and seriously thought upon this subject, and I feel clear in doing this. I find from what he and Hugh say that there will be ample returns if the thing is successful; and, as one of my sons remarked, it is either a thing that will amount to nothing or else it is a very big thing. I succeeded in arranging for $40,000, which I am to get to-morrow. This will give us nearly the control in the company, if the contract is carried out. I earnestly hope that it may be successful for many reasons. I would like to see relief brought to the Church and people, which I think this will bring if successful. I have thought that if it should prove a failure it would be a loss to me of $12,000 and to Frank of $28,000, which Frank at least could illy spare.
A question arose before the First Presidency in relation to the wording of the Lord’s Prayer. The Sunday School Union intend to get out a card containing the Lord’s Prayer, and a point had arisen in the Sunday School Union Board as to the language that should be used in the expression “Lead us not into temptation”. There was a difference of view on this among the members of the Board. Brother Maeser clung to the old version; Brother Reynolds favored the translation of Joseph Smith. It was decided to submit the question to the First Presidency. The matter was taken up in the Council when I was absent, and on motion of Brother Joseph F. Smith, seconded by Brother Clawson, it was proposed that the translation of Joseph be used, “Suffer us not to be led into temptation.” Before the vote was taken, however, Brother Lyman suggested it be left till I should be present. To-day, in considering the question, I suggested that it would lead to endless inquiries, if the new version were adopted, because the old version was in the Book of Mormon, and it might be asked, if Joseph translated the Book of Mormon correctly why was not this new version put in the Book of Mormon? I suggested that it would be far better to have the old version remain, and make verbal explanations if necessary. However, I said I was not at all particular myself. Whatever President Snow and the Council decided would be quite acceptable to me. Brother Joseph F. Smith being absent, no decision was reached, though Brothers Grant and Lund (who were present) favored the old version under the circumstances, and President Snow was inclined that way.
Wednesday, September 20, 1899
Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.
There was a meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co. to consider the question of taking down the old wall in front of the office of the First Presidency and of selling the building to the Church. It was once the property of the Church, but in the time of the attempt of the government to seize everything that we had it was sold quietly to the Brigham Young Estate. There was considerable talk back and forth. Some were disposed to ask the very full value of what the property is now worth. I said I thought we ought to be governed by the price that the Estate paid for the property, which if I remember right, was comparatively a small amount, and which was sold by the Church for the purpose of saving it from confiscation. As President, I was requested to appoint a committee to examine the mortgage to see whether it was included in the mortgage, also to get the size of the land and appraise its value. I appointed Andrew Brixen, Laurence H. Young and Charles S. Burton.
I had another serious talk with my sons Frank, Angus and Hugh, and afterwards with Brigham, in which I impressed upon them the great importance of living their religion, and while they were absent, living prayerfully before the Lord. I described the course I had taken while in Washington. I had never allowed more than twelve days to pass without having my temple clothes on. The blessings I had received and enjoyed through my life were due to waiting upon the Lord, and I wanted them in all their operations to live near to Him, and to pray in their hearts as well as on their knees.
Thursday, September 21, 1899
I met with Walter Lewis and my sons Hugh and Angus and my nephew John M. Cannon, to talk over the business of Geo. Q. Cannon & Sons Co. I have assumed all the debts of that company. I have also bought from my children the stock in Zion’s Savings Bank in lieu thereof, so that now, with the exception of some shares which my son William has hypothecated, I have the entire stock in my hands – or am to have it. Besides this I have paid about $82,000 in debts that the company owed, and it is this that is burdening me at the present time. The proposition now is that a company be formed, consisting of my sons John Q., Angus and Hugh, and John M. Cannon and Walter Lewis, they to take the store, the printing office, and all the material on lease, for which they are to give me $300.00 a year and pay the taxes and insurance. I have been very anxious to get this business out of debt. There has been serious question as to whether it could pay its way, and I am desirous that they should give it a fair test. The proposition is for the company to deed to me the real estate and to give me a note for any difference that may exist.
After I reached the office this morning, Brother John Henry Smith handed me the following letter, which had been sent to him by the writer to hand to me:
“Ogden, Utah, Sept. 9th, 1899.
President George Q. Cannon,
Salt Lake City.
Dear Brother:- Without adverting to the injustice which, as things appear to my mind, I have suffered at your hands, and the injuries which, as I see things, you have done me, I deeply regret whatever I have said or done that has injured you, and I hereby ask your forgiveness for the same.
(signed) Nathan Tanner, Jr.”
This man, Nathan Tanner, Jr., has been determined apparently to bring me into disrepute and to have trouble with me. He accuses me in this letter of having done him injustice and injury, and I never, to my knowledge, have in any manner done him the least injustice or injury. Some time ago he came to the office and wanted to have an interview with me. He is a man that I do not wish to have an interview with, so I requested Brother Gibbs to see him. He said he had come to make matters right with me, and for me to tell him what he had done to make feelings on my part. I told Brother Gibbs I had not the least feeling against him. Brother Gibbs told me then that Tanner had published a long communication in the Herald, in which he had accused me of teaching false doctrine, and that I had apostatized. I had heard that they were talking about my having apostatized in the papers, but I had never seen or known anything about it, nor where it came from. I have been so much maligned by papers that I paid no attention to this, supposing it to be some lie that had been manufactured; but Brother Gibbs informed me that Nathan Tanner was the author of this. I told Brother Gibbs to tell him that if he had done wrong against me he knew it, and to make it right himself. But this has not satisfied him, and he has been determined apparently to have me tell him that I thought he had done wrong. It seems that the High Council will not consent to his rebaptism unless he makes things right, and I have sent word to him that he must satisfy his own conscience in the matter. Now he writes me this communication, to which I have dictated a reply to Brother Gibbs to send. I do not wish to write him myself, because I should be flooded with interminable letters. I really think the man is demented in some respects, but he is very cunning nevertheless.
President Snow is not here to-day. He has gone up to the funeral of Bishop Nichols, of Brigham City.
I met with the Council in the temple at 11 o’clock. There were present Elders John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, Anthon H. Lund and Rudger Clawson. We attended to some business, made appointments for conferences, and then Brother Teasdale offered prayer.
Returned to the office and listened to a description of Franklin S. Richards of the situation of the canal companies on the Jordan and the necessity of something being done to check the aggressions and appropriation of water by a power dam company that had built some works on the Jordan river. A committee of two brethren – Brigham Young and John Henry Smith – were appointed to see to this matter and to bring about a meeting of the parties interested.
At 3 o’clock I attended the meeting of the Sunday School Union Board.
Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
Friday, September 22, 1899
I had an engagement at the dentist’s this morning at 8:45.
Afterwards was at the office. President Snow returned from Brigham City this morning.
We had a meeting with Bishop Rawlins and Brothers Brigham Young and John Henry Smith, and afterwards with Franklin S. Richards added, to talk over the canal question and the encroachments that are being made by the Jordan River Power Co., the promoters of which are now talking of dyking the Utah Lake and making it a reservoir. We all felt the imminency of the peril to our people of such a proceeding on the part of an outside company. It is clearly the duty of this city and county to take this business in hand, and if Utah Lake is to be dyked, for them to control it for the benefit of the whole people; for if this foreign company should do this work they would without doubt levy a tax upon the people for the water and it would lead to serious complications.
In the midst of this discussion I was called out to attend to the marriage of my granddaughter Dorothy (my son Frank’s oldest daughter) to Brother A. E. Hyde, Jr. They wished me to perform the ceremony. I went to the temple and attended to this, and then went to Brother A. E. Hyde’s, on the invitation of himself and wife, and took dinner with the party. The intention is for young Alonzo and his wife to accompany Frank and his wife to New York in the morning.
Brother Brigham Young has had in hand the business of testing our Iron County coal, to see whether it possesses any coking properties under a new patent that has been brought out. He has taken some interest in this matter, and President Snow and myself decided that he should continue this and see what the results will be, even if it should prevent him from attending conference. It will be necessary for him to go down to Chicago.
Saturday, September 23, 1899
My son Mark had some conversation with me concerning his wish to enter the army. He says he has an ungovernable desire to do so. I talked to him very freely upon the subject, and found that he seemed determined to enter upon army life if he could do so. I expressed my feelings upon the subject, and the manner in which I had opposed my son John Q. and would not consent to give him a nomination for a cadetship at West Point when he was a young fellow, and my dislike to my sons entering into army life. Mark’s hope is that Frank’s influence and mine might get him a commission as second lieutenant in the volunteer service, and that perhaps by faithful, meritorious work he might get into the regular army. I told him it was doubtful about Frank being able to secure him such an appointment, though I thought he had a good deal of influence; but there were so many persons who wanted that position that it was not easily obtained, and if not obtained, I asked, what next? Well, he said, he would like to enlist and work his way up, which he thought he could do. He is evidently so smitten with this idea that he cannot be content in his present position. I have no doubt that he would make a very good officer. He is now captain of a company in the Utah National Guard, and has shown considerable military efficiency, so I have heard. Of course, I did not feel warranted in telling him he must not go, because that might lead to worse results than enlisting in the army. He is naturally of a restless disposition, and perhaps army life might steady him.
At 10 o’clock this morning met with the presidents of the different canal companies in this county. Brothers Brigham Young, Heber J. Grant and Franklin S. Richards were also present. We had a very full and free discussion concerning the situation, and it ended by Brothers Brigham Young, Heber J. Grant and myself volunteering to see members of the City Council and the Mayor to bring before them the importance of doing something to preserve our rights to the waters coming through the Jordan river. Another committee was appointed, consisting of John Mackay, Jr. H.T. Spencer and William McLachlan, to investigate quietly the steps that the Jordan Power Co. were taking to secure an increase of water for their plant.
Bishop Preston was in and talked over with President Snow and myself the mortgage on the property of Thomas Taylor in Iron County. Somebody had proposed to get an option from us on that property for two years, at the expiration of which they would pay $6000 if they concluded to take it. We decided that this could not be accepted.
Sunday, September 24, 1899
Attended meeting at the Tabernacle at 2 o’clock, and after listening to Elder Smith, a returned missionary from Colorado, I was asked to speak and occupied about 50 mins. It is seldom that I have felt more reluctant to speak than I did today. This is the first time I have spoken in the Tabernacle since the April conference. After speaking some time I felt pretty free – and enjoyed my own remarks.
In the evening attended meeting in the ward, partook of the sacrament, and after listening to Brother Robertson and my son Reed (who were there as missionaries), I spoke for about 20 mins. to the people.
Monday, September 25, 1899
I received a letter from my wife Sarah Jane, informing me of her safe arrival at Ann Arbor in company with our daughter Rosannah and her husband, and that they were comfortably situated. I wrote a letter in answer.
Dictated my journal to Brother Winter, and “Topics of the Times” and “Editorial Thoughts” to Brother Hunsaker.
Tuesday, September 26, 1899
At 11 o’clock this morning met at the office of Z.C.M.I. with the Mayor and nearly all the City Council, and Brothers Heber J. Grant, Le Grand Young, John R. Winder, T. G. Webber and F. S. Richards, to consider the water question, and it was decided to take the necessary steps to protect the City’s water by having a decision in the courts as to the rights of the different canal companies (five in number, including the City) to the waters of Utah Lake. I took quite an active part in this meeting, for this is a subject that appeals very strongly to me. Our water is our life, and to allow men to come in here and acquire rights by encroaching on existing rights is something which should not be done.
My brother Angus sought an interview with the First Presidency this afternoon, in which he stated a grievance he held against the Sugar Company for the manner in which they had taken possession of his stock and caused it to be forfeited. His complaint was that they had concealed from him the fact that they were about to declare a 25% dividend in stock at the time they got him to surrender his stock. If he had known of this, he says he could have saved the stock, because he could have borrowed money with which to release it, instead of having it forfeited.
The news that I have received concerning my son Preston has caused me some anxiety. He has been for some time now in care of the doctors at Hamburg, where he went when he was attacked with pains arising from the operation he had for appendicites before he left home. The fear is entertained that the part that was operated upon has grown to some other part, and it causes him great pain. During his pain he becomes unconscious. I spoke to my son William last night about going right away to Germany himself, as he is called on a mission to Belgium; but he cannot get away from here early enough to sail immediately, and would necessarily have to leave Philadelphia not earlier than the 14th of next month. I had a telegram sent to Frank to-day asking him to cable and find out where Preston is. I have just received a letter from Preston, however, in which he speaks very encouragingly. It is dated the 12th inst. I do not think that he writes anything to discourage, that being his nature; and I expect his case is more serious than he represents it to be.
Wednesday, September 27, 1899
Received a dispatch this morning from Frank, saying that he had telegraphed Prest. Lyman to learn of Preston’s condition. In a short time I received another dispatch informing me that Prest. Lyman had telegraphed him that Preston is no better. Frank informed me that he would telegraph his mother, but not so abruptly. I did not feel well this morning, and this added to my bad feeling. After considering the matter I concluded that the best thing to do would be to send my son William, who is a surgeon, immediately to Europe, and if it is necessary to perform an operation, to have it done there or to bring him home for the purpose, as deemed best in his judgment. I sent for William and he promptly said he was ready to start immediately, and he would get ready to go in the morning, to sail on the steamship “New York” next Wednesday. I was pleased at the promptness with which he told me he would be ready. He did not hesitate a moment. This has been one of my characteristics through my life. I am glad to see it in my children. I have gone on sudden calls a great many times.
Corrected articles for the Juvenile Instructor, and dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
My son William was set apart by President Joseph F. Smith and myself. I was mouth in ordaining him a Seventy.
Thursday, September 28, 1899
My son William started for New York this morning.
At 11 o’clock the First Presidency and Apostles met in the temple as usual. There were present of the Twelve, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale , H. J. Grant, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley and A. O. Woodruff. A number of letters were read, and Brother Lyman was mouth in prayer.
At 3 o’clock I met with the Deseret Sunday School Union Board and transacted a good deal of business.
There was a meeting in the evening at 7 o’clock which President Snow had mentioned to me, and I came up with my son Radcliffe to attend it. It was of very little importance, however. He was not present himself. President Smith and some of the officers of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association were there and they were discussing a program for some future meetings.
Friday, September 29, 1899
Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
Judge G. W. Bartch gave us a two hours’ recital of his visit to the east and his interviews with President McKinley and several Senators and General Clarkson. From his account of his interviews with these gentlemen, it would seem that he has exerted a very good influence with them and given them a correct idea of the situation out here and the effect it would have politically upon the Republican party to do anything that would be injurious to the Mormon people. His point was to avert the proposed amendment to the constitution. It would be destructive of the Republican party’s prospects to favor such action, as it would be looked upon by the Mormon people as a direct blow at them. He sounded these public men as to my being nominated to the Senate by the Governor to fill the vacancy. All agreed that no attempt of this kind should be made until after Senator Quay of Pennsylvania should be seated; but even then, while speaking very highly of me and my influence, they said it was a question that we must decide for ourselves out here as to the effect my nomination would have on the situation. On this point I spoke very plainly to President Snow and Judge Bartch, that I thought, looking at it from a political standpoint, it would be unwise for me to be sent to the Senate at the present time. There was a time when I believed that my election as United States Senator would have a good effect, but I believed at the present time it would be seized by our enemies and used to make the country believe that it was only another attempt to foist polygamy upon the nation. I expressed myself in this way because I have felt for some time that I should not go to the Senate; in fact, I can see, I think, that it would not be attended with good effect, viewed from this standpoint.
Saturday, September 30, 1899
President Snow brought up to-day before President Smith, Bishop Preston, C. W. Penrose, H. G. Whitney and myself the question of building a printing office on the old Council House corner. Brother H. B. Clawson had 27 feet west of the land owned by us, for which he asked $300 a foot. He had asked $400, but had reduced it to $300. President Snow wanted to know my mind about buying that, and I told him I was decidedly in favor of it, if the building was put there. On motion of President Smith, which I seconded, it was decided to build a printing office on the corner, the building to be five stories in height.
I attended to a great deal of business at the office to-day.