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December 1899


1 December 1899 • Friday

Friday, December 1, 1899

There was a meeting of the General Board of Education to-day, at which a good deal of business was done. The meeting was so protracted that I had to beg to be excused before it closed.

2 December 1899 • Saturday

Saturday, December 2, 1899

Brother Joseph F. Smith brought to the attention of President Snow a letter that John M. Cannon had written to him on the subject of doing assessment work on the Sterling mine in Nevada. If it were not done before the 1st of January there would be danger of the property being lost. We had a lengthy meeting on the subject. President Snow did not favor the expending of any money on that property. He appealed to me to know if I would take the whole thing on my hands and get the patents for the property. I replied that I could not possibly do it; I did not have the means. If I were situated as I have been sometimes, and as I hope to be again, I certainly would be willing to expend $5000 (the amount that it is estimated it will require to do the assessment work and secure the patents) to get the property into shape. I have had a great anxiety to see it handled in such a way as to reimburse the Church for all it has expended; but if this assessment work is not done, the whole thing will be lost.

3 December 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, December 3, 1899

To-day being fast day, I repaired to the temple, where fast meeting was held. A most excellent spirit prevailed, and I enjoyed the meeting very much. In the afternoon I attended our ward meeting, partook of the sacrament, listened to the testimonies of the saints, and bore testimony myself.

I took dinner with my daughter Adah. My wives Eliza and Caroline were there also.

4–5 December 1899 • Monday to Tuesday

Monday & Tuesday, Dec. 4 & 5, 1899

At the office. Nothing particular to record.

6 December 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, December 6, 1899

Attended meeting of the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co.

7 December 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, December 7, 1899

Attended meeting at the temple and was able to put on my temple clothing and join in the circle with the brethren. Brother Grant opened, and Brother Merrill was mouth in the circle. There were present, beside the First Presidency, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale , H. J. Grant, John W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley and R. Clawson, of the Twelve Apostles.

I was invited by my son-in-law Lewis to eat dinner at his house. I went there and found my brother Angus and wife and Brother Brigham Young and wife. My wife Caroline was invited, but could not be there because of the sickness of her mother, whose condition is very low.

Thomas Taylor was in the office this afternoon and had a long conversation with us concerning the mortgage that the Church had on his Iron County iron properties. I have had nothing to say to him. He is a very disagreeable man to have any conversation with.

8 December 1899 • Friday

Friday, December 8, 1898

I felt quite unwell this morning, and the weather was threatening, but an appointment had been made by President Snow to meet with Thomas Taylor at 10 o’clock, and I felt that I ought to be present; so I rode up in the Church carriage, and felt better after I got to the office.

I forgot to mention that yesterday Edwin Loose and Reed Smoot came up to see me, and after talking a little about Grand Central they stated that the object of their coming was to know what I thought about Reed Smoot running as candidate for Congress. I brought Presidents Snow and Smith in to give their opinion. They withdrew all objection to Brother Smoot running, so far as his ecclesiastical position was concerned, and in my feelings I thought he would make a very good candidate; but he seems reluctant himself.

Thomas Taylor came to the office, but nothing could be done with him. He made a most absurd proposal with regard to the mortgage. He wanted President Snow to relinquish the mortgage and let him give his note for the amount, at the same time asserting that he did not owe anything on the mortgage; that he ought never to have given the mortgage at all, thus denying the correctness of the obligation, and yet proposing to give his note to pay it. After such conduct as he has been guilty of in disseminating falsehood concerning all this transaction, and assailing in the most scandalous manner President Taylor's memory as well as myself, I would not trust him and would consider his note worthless. President Snow proposed, through Judge Le Grand Young, to extend the mortgage and to let Thomas Taylor have this extension on his signing a document that it was done by his consent, and that he would pay it at the time the document became due; but this did not suit him; he picked up his hat and walked out of the office.

9 December 1899 • Saturday

Saturday, December 9, 1899

I felt more depressed this morning than I have for some time; in fact, I was much more so than I was during all my sickness in New York. I suppose this feeling was produced by the sickness of my mother-in-law, Sister Young, and that of President Franklin D. Richards. The news of the death of both came to me this morning; Brother Richards died at 14 mins. past 12 midnight, and Sister Young at about 4 o’clock this morning. Brother Franklin’s life has been one of extended usefulness. From his youth up to the time of his death he has been a very faithful laborer in the cause of Zion and has accomplished a great work. His death has been expected by some, because they saw from his condition that unless miraculous power were manifested he must soon go. There seemed to be a failure of his mental powers while he was on his last trip with President Snow and the brethren to the north, and they had not improved. I have always entertained the idea that Brother Franklin D. Richards would live to be a much older man than he was. He comes of a long-lived ancestry. His Aunt Rhoda lived to be over 90; his father lived to be over 85, and he himself seemed to be hearty and strong not long ago, and I have heard him express himself how well he felt. Sister Young has led a most delightful life. She was a woman of a very sweet and attractive character, but has been very retiring and modest. There is no doubt if she had been a woman of more energy to push forward, her talents would have made her conspicuous. She has had quite a poetical fancy, and was a woman of strong mind. She was greatly beloved by her children. Her suffering, however, made them feel less keenly her departure, for she appeared to suffer a good deal. I spent some time at Brother Clawson’s, making arrangements about her funeral this morning.

At 2 o’clock I went to the Assembly Hall, where the Conference of this Stake was being held. There was a thin attendance.

10 December 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, December 10, 1899

Attended Conference in the Assembly Hall, and enjoyed the meeting very much, although there were not so many people there as there ought to have been on such an occasion. I spoke 15 or 20 minutes.

At 2 o’clock I attended the afternoon session in the Tabernacle. After attending to the business of sustaining the authorities, etc., Elder H. S. Tanner and Bishop Iverson addressed the congregation, and I followed, occupying about 15 mins.

11 December 1899 • Monday

Monday, December 11, 1899

President Snow has been absent at Brigham City.

We had conversation with Brothers Brigham Young and John W. Taylor, of the Apostles, concerning the funeral of Brother Franklin D. Richards. The arrangements for his funeral are left in the hands of the Apostles, in conjunction with the family.

12 December 1899 • Tuesday

Tuesday, December 12, 1899

I was at the office this morning, and at 12 o’clock went to Ogden in company with President Snow and a number of the brethren, to attend the funeral services of Brother Richards. The time set for the service was 1 o’clock, at the Tabernacle. There was some little delay about getting the body and the mourners there, and it was 1:30 before we commenced. It was the wish of the family that Brother Shurtliff, the President of the Stake, Brother McQuarrie, the Bishop of the Ward, and Brother D. H. Peery should address the congregation. They expressed the wish also for the First Presidency and, if there was time, some of the Twelve to talk. Brothers Shurtliff, McQuarrie and D. H. Peery spoke. The latter exhausted eulogium in his praise of Brother Richards. He was most lavish in his expression of admiration of him. He had been acquainted, he said, with all the Presidents of the United States from William Henry Harrison down, also with Webster and Clay, and others of the great men of the nation, as well as the leaders of our Church, and he rather placed Brother Richards above all, though he did mention Brother Woodruff in connection with him. Apparently one of the chief reasons for speaking so highly of him was that he was a man that never speculated or dealt in money. Brother Brigham Young followed, then President Snow, then myself, and then President Smith. Brother Lyman opened the meeting by prayer, and Brother John Henry Smith dismissed. I do not remember attending a funeral service where there was so much eulogium pronounced on the deceased as in this instance. Brother Franklin D. Richards occupied a very high place in the affections of his friends and of the people. This was apparent from all the remarks that were made.

As it was very cold and we had had nothing to eat since breakfast, Presidents Snow, Smith and myself concluded not to go to the grave. President Snow went to a daughter of Brother Salmon’s and took dinner, and President Smith and myself went to Brother Shurtliff’s, where we were very hospitably entertained. My wife Sarah Jane, who is a niece of Sister Franklin D. Richards, was with me.

13 December 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, December 13, 1899

Attended meeting of the Board of Directors of the Union Light & Power Co., and at 12 o’clock went to the 12th Ward meeting house to attend the funeral of Sister Emily D. P. Young. Brother Joseph F. Smith had been selected to do the most of the speaking, but before he spoke Brothers Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman and myself addressed the congregation. We had a very interesting meeting, and everybody commented on the peaceful influence that seemed to prevail. With my wife I followed as one of the mourners to the grave.

14 December 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, December 14, 1899

The First Presidency and Brothers Young, Lyman, Teasdale, Grant, Taylor, Lund, Cowley and Clawson, of the Twelve Apostles, met at the temple this morning. Brother Taylor was mouth in prayer and President Smith was mouth at the altar. The subject of dividing the Salt Lake Stake came up for discussion and the committee were instructed to continue their labors and to learn as far as possible the wishes of the people, and to endeavor to divide the Stake so as to meet the wishes of all.

I attended a meeting of the Sunday School Union Board this afternoon.

15 December 1899 • Friday

Friday, December 15, 1899

About two weeks ago a meeting had been appointed of the students of the Brigham Young Academy, and this was to be a fast day with them. President Smith and myself were invited to go down and take part in the proceedings. President Snow was also invited, but it was cold weather and he deemed it prudent to decline the invitation. The time left for President Smith and myself was from ten mins. to two till three. President Smith got so engaged in his subject that he occupied the whole of the time. I was averse to saying anything, because the students were fasting, and we expected to go back on the 4:40 train; but President Smith and Brother Cluff insisted on my speaking, so I occupied about 15 mins. I felt as though I ought to say something, because I am President of the institution and I had come down at the risk of my own health.

They had luncheon after meeting was ended, and we returned on the 4:40 train.

16 December 1899 • Saturday

Saturday, December 16, 1899

It was storming this morning, and I stayed at home all day, as I did not feel well.

17 December 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, December 17, 1899

I arose this morning feeling badly; but this is the day appointed to hold Sunday school jubilees in the wards, and I have been invited to go to the 14th ward, of which I was formerly a resident, and where in the winter of 1864 I revived Sunday schools, there being no Sunday school at that time in the city. I took part in the exercises this morning, and returned home not feeling very well. I did not think it prudent to go to the Tabernacle, but attended the jubilee in our own ward this evening, and enjoyed it very much.

18 December 1899 • Monday

Monday, December 18, 1899

I was at the office in the forenoon.

Brother John R. Winder was 78 years of age last Monday, and the Temple workers intended to give him a surprise party on that occasion, but the death of Brother Richards caused them to postpone it, and it was held to-day. I was invited with my wives. We went at 2 o’clock. There was a goodly company. Brother Madsen, the assistant President, took charge of affairs. We had singing by the choir, a solo by Sister Hull, and an address was delivered with a boquet of flowers to Bishop Winder by Miss Mabelle Snow, and he spoke in response at some length. He was followed by President Snow and myself, and by Sisters Bathsheba Smith, L. G. Richards, Maria Y. Dougall and Minnie Snow. A lunch was afterwards served, and the occasion passed off very pleasantly.

19 December 1899 • Tuesday

Tuesday, December 19, 1899

The First Presidency had an interview to-day with Brother J. H. Paul, the principal of the Latter-day Saints College, Brother Maeser and Brother Reynolds, to talk over a difficulty that has arisen between Brother Nelson and the Board of the College. We were desirous to learn from Brother Paul his understanding of the arrangement that had been made with Brother Nelson when he agreed to labor under his (Brother Paul’s) direction. A dispute had arisen as to the terms of payment which the teachers under Brother Nelson were to receive, and there has been a good deal of bad blood over this affair, and we were anxious to get at the root of the matter if we could.

20 December 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, December 20, 1899

Attended meeting of the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co.

At 4 o’clock went with my wife Caroline to Sister Barratt’s, who had invited us to be there. There were present, President Snow and wife, President Smith and wife, Brothers Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith and Heber J. Grant with their wives, and Brothers A. H. Lund and M. F. Cowley without their wives. Bishops Preston and Winder with their wives were also there, and Sister Wells, Sister Bathsheba Smith, Sister Emmeline Wells and Sister Watson. We had a most enjoyable time. Food was served about 7 o’clock.

21 December 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, December 21, 1899

I have been selling Bullion-Beck and Grand Central stock, and I wished to pay tithing on all I have sold. I made a proposition to President Snow this morning that I would like to furnish $11688. in Grand Central stock at $6 per share (which is the ruling market price) and get therefor a cash tithing receipt for that amount. I told him that the object in offering the stock instead of cash is that if I were to place such an amount of stock on the market it might break the market down; besides, those who are interested in the Grand Central are very desirous that no large quantity of stock should be put on the market at the present time. I said if it were not to pay debts I would not sell the stock at less than $9 or $10 a share, if I sold at all. I had the utmost confidence in the mine, and was very well satisfied that it would prove a very valuable investment. He remonstrated with me for paying it; said why not take it and pay my debts. I told him I was trying to do that, but I wished to do this also, because I felt that I owed it to the Lord to do this. He said, Well, you have always been very liberal in paying tithing, and there is no necessity for you to put yourself out in this way. I told him that there were two reasons I had always had for paying a large tithing – a tithing in excess of what anybody else probably did; one was that I wished to prepare myself for the United Order and to keep my family strict and economical in money matters; the other was that I thought by paying tithing I could get means with which to pay my debts. I have already paid $4500 in cash this year, and now wish to pay this additional amount.

In the afternoon I submitted to my sons what I had done, and John M. Cannon arranged to go down to Provo to-morrow morning to have the stock transferred. It will be 1940 shares.

We had our usual meeting in the temple, dressed in our priestly robes. In addition to the First Presidency, all the Twelve were present, except Brothers Teasdale and Merrill. Brother Lyman offered the opening prayer, and I was mouth in the circle.

At 2 o’clock we had a meeting of Z.C.M.I., and at 3 o’clock a meeting of the Co-op. Wagon & Machine Co.

22 December 1899 • Friday

Friday, December 22, 1899

Came up to the office as usual and attended to various matters.

23–25 December 1899 • Saturday to Monday

Saturday, December 23, 1899

Sunday, ″ 24, ″

Monday, 25,

Saturday morning I did not feel well and feared that I was threatened with a recurrence of pneumonia; so I determined to stay indoors these three days and see if a rest and keeping in the house would not help me. I felt myself benefitted by doing this. I had a very enjoyable Christmas. My family all called to see me.

26 December 1899 • Tuesday

Tuesday, December 26, 1899

I was at the office to-day with the First Presidency, and Brother Evan Stephens, the leader of the Tabernacle choir, brought his case before us. He wishes to obtain leave of absence for eight months, and perhaps a year, and the question he submitted was, what steps should be taken to secure a leader for the choir while he was absent? Should he resign and another be appointed in his stead, or should someone be appointed to act during his absence? After considerable conversation we decided that it would be best for him to select Brother Horace Ensign as his assistant. This seemed to be his mind, and he spoke very highly of Brother Ensign’s ability for the position.

We had a proposition from a Mr. Miller, who has for several years past been at Saltair in charge of the lunch counter, and Brother Bateman, to lease Saltair and the railroad, and give us 75% of the earnings, but to guarantee us $8000 per annum. The proposition seemed to strike President Snow favorably, as it did myself. President Snow informs me that the auditing committee have made a report concerning Saltair that it is not at all satisfactory under its present management.

27 December 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, December 27, 1899

Attended a meeting of the Union Light & Power Co. this morning and transacted considerable business.

28 December 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, December 28, 1899

Brothers C. O. Card and M. D. Hammond came in from the north and surprised us very much by reporting that they need $20,000 from the Church to pay the hands. They have borrowed money with which to do this and are in debt up there. This is very astounding news to us, particularly to President Snow, to whom they look to raise this money.

At 11 o’clock we met in the temple, and there were present, beside the First Presidency, Apostles Brigham Young (who did not clothe), F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith (who did not clothe), Geo. Teasdale , H. J. Grant, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley, A. O. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson. Brother Woodruff prayed and Brother Cowley was mouth in the circle.

I attended the meeting of the Deseret Sunday School Union this afternoon.

29 December 1899 • Friday

Friday, December 29, 1899

At 3 o’clock there was a meeting of the First Presidency, those of the Twelve who were in town, the Presiding Bishops, and Brothers S. B. Young, C. W. Penrose and H. B. Clawson. The object of the meeting was to consider the situation of affairs politically among us. Brothers John Henry Smith and H. B. Clawson seem to have got information concerning the danger we are in and offered suggestions as to what steps ought to be taken to avert this danger. Among other things they propose that the Deseret News should have another editor appointed – a Republican – and that Brother Penrose should be made Historian of the Church in place of Brother Franklin D. Richards, deceased. A very full and free conversation followed. The general opinion was averse to the change of editor, and when President Snow expressed himself against it, that ended it. Another meeting was appointed for 2 o’clock to-morrow.

30 December 1899 • Saturday

Saturday, December 30, 1899

We had a meeting to take into consideration the proposition of Messrs. Miller and Bateman in relation to Saltair, and it was decided to decline the proposal.

At 2 o’clock the same brethren met in the President’s Office as met yesterday, with the exception of Brother Lyman. The situation was further talked over. I took the liberty of suggesting what I thought would go far towards placating the powers that be – that is, the Republican party. I spoke of how they had been deceived in their expectations concerning Utah. Instead of the Republican party having any chance in Utah, it seemed to be completely Democratic. The Senator was a Democrat, the Representative was a Democrat, and if the other Senator had been elected he would have been a Democrat. This is contrary to the expectations of the Republican party and to the hopes they were led to entertain concerning Utah. We had gone over bodily to the Democrats. I said that if we wished to placate the party it seemed to me one of the best things we could do would be to elect a Republican Representative, and for Governor Wells to fill the vacancy in the Senatorship, if such a thing were possible, by appointing a Republican Senator, one who would be in thorough harmony with the party. Let these men go to Washington and keep in touch with the party, and they could remove many prejudices and do us a world of good.

31 December 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, December 31, 1899

Attended meeting in the Tabernacle. Brother Rudger Clawson spoke for 30 mins, and was followed by Brother C. W. Penrose, who delivered a most excellent discourse.