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February 1900


1 February 1900 • Thursday

Thursday, Feby. 1, 1900

The First Presidency met this morning at the office with Messrs. Galt and Magrath and Engineer Anderson. Judge Young and Brothers Card and Hammond were also present. After some conversation, it was arranged that the parties should get together and try and arrange matters of difference without taking up the time of the First Presidency.

2 February 1900 • Friday

Friday, Feby. 2, 1900

Brother Reed Smoot came to the First Presidency this morning for counsel. He has been pressed by many to stand as a candidate for the nomination of Representative to Congress. He is a Republican. It is thought better, however, for him not to run, as his own feelings are averse to it.

Brother Talmage laid before us his plan of making the Pearl of Great Price conform to the style of the Book of Mormon and Book of Doctrine and Covenants – that is, arranging the contents in paragraph form, with references. I told him my feelings very plainly, that I wanted no footnotes. I was in favor of references, and I hoped there would be no credit given to anybody in the title page. To this he consented.

Brother B. Cluff, Jr., wished to get the names of the First Presidency as being in favor of the South American expedition that he is organizing. He proposes that six students of the Brigham Young Academy should be selected as missionaries, two to be left among the Mayas, two among the Indians on the Magdalena river, and two to remain in Peru.

Mr. Galt and Mr. Magrath came to the office, accompanied by Mr. Anderson, Judge Young and Brothers Card and Hammond, and informed us that they had come to a satisfactory arrangement in relation to the lands and the terms of settlement, and the water, etc. After we were through with this business, Mr. Magrath, on behalf of Mr. Galt and the Irrigation Company, made a proposition in writing to the Presidency to the effect that inasmuch as we had been compelled to take six thousand acres of land from the settlers and give them the cash therefor, the Irrigation company would furnish us water for two years free for the six thousand acres. He also offered a quarter section of land in two different places, on which to form villages, with the privilege of purchasing three thousand acres of land in the vicinity. He also offered $5 a head for immigrants to settle these villages, either from Europe or America, and $300 towards paying the expenses of a man to act as a missionary in gathering up these immigrants, the $300 to be deducted from the amount advanced for immigrants.

3 February 1900 • Saturday

Saturday, Feby. 3, 1900

Mr. Magrath, Judge Young, Brothers Hammond and Card came to the office, they having met together at Judge Young’s office for consultation. They brought to the office an agreement signed by Mr. Galt and Mr. Anderson, and to be signed by the First Presidency, which was done. This agreement was in the shape of an acknowledgment on the part of the Alberta Irrigation Co. that their contract with the First Presidency had been filled, and that the Presidency were under no further legal responsibility. Mr. Galt has expressed a great desire to have the Church complete the canal, as he feared if we withdrew it would have a bad effect on the Englishmen who had furnished the money. President Snow objected to this, as he did not wish to incur further responsibility. As a result of the contract just completed the Church has had to advance $20,000 and take land therefor, and President Snow did not wish to have to do that again. This paper which they brought is intended to relieve the Presidency from any further legal responsibility connected with the work, so that they may prosecute this labor without further liability. President Snow instructed Brother Hammond to comply with Mr. Galt’s wishes in this respect. Brother Le Grand Young advised that this be done, as it would not only furnish our people with the cash employment, but the credit of building this canal, which is said to be an excellent piece of work so far, would belong to them. Both President Smith and myself concurred in the action taken.

4 February 1900 • Sunday

Sunday, Feby. 4, 1900

Brother Geo. B. Wallace’s funeral took place at the Assembly Hall at 12 o’clock. Several Elders spoke and did so in the warmest terms concerning him and his labors. I also spoke. Brother Wallace was a man of great integrity, and all who knew him were impressed with his fidelity. He has lived to a good old age, being 83 years old, and has occupied very honorable positions. He was President of the High Priests of this Stake at his death.

This afternoon I attended fast meeting in the ward, and among others bore my testimony to the Gospel and gave some instructions.

5 February 1900 • Monday

Monday, Feby. 5, 1900

President Snow and myself met with Governor Richards of Wyoming, Secretary of State Chatterton, and Judge Knight of the Supreme Court of that State. Brothers A. O. Woodruff and Kingston were present at the interview, the object of which was to talk over the settlement of our people on lands in the Big Horn country, which the officials of Wyoming are very desirous we should occupy. Judge Knight, on behalf of himself and the Governor and Secretary of State, presented also a scheme for the settlement of some lands near the South Pass, on the Big Sandy, which they thought very suitable for our people to settle. I was not very much impressed with this proposition.

We had a call from Brother B. H. Roberts, who has just returned from Washington, where he has been refused his seat in Congress to which he was elected. All of us expressed to him the pleasure we had had in his able defense of his position.

We had a call also from Brother Wesley K. Walton, who is the Chairman of the Republican State Committee.

Mr. J. E. Dooly called on us by appointment, to learn from us whether we would sell the Saltair beach and railroad. He talked about $300,000 or $350,000 for the property. When we separated it was with the understanding that if we would sell we would advise him what we would take for the property.

6 February 1900 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Feby. 6, 1900

Mr. Geo. Y. Wallace called upon the First Presidency to-day to state what action his company had taken in regard to our proposition to him to buy the telegraph line. He said the company would be willing to give $5000 for the line, provided we would take the amount in stock in their company. They would like us also to sell $5000 of stock more to our people, so as to have them interested in the telephone line. If we would sell $25,000 worth of stock they would allow us 25% commission. We told him that we would think the matter over.

Brother Roberts came in this afternoon by appointment and had a long conversation with the First Presidency. Brother M. F. Cowley was also present. He made many explanations concerning affairs in Washington and the course he had taken. He was especially desirous to justify himself for calling attention to the fact that the Administration had appointed polygamists in Utah to office, and that if the compact, as was alleged by our enemies, had been broken, it had been broken by the Administration as well as by us. I have had feelings on this point, and I took occasion to tell him plainly how I felt. I thought it was very imprudent, and it had a bad effect on his own case. I looked upon it as unjustifiable; for the Administration had not, as far as we knew, done anything against him, and to assail the Administration as he had done on the floor of the House had the effect to solidify the Republican party against him and to do no good whatever, except to give his own party a weapon to use against the Administration. In appointing these men the Administration had felt friendly; President McKinley had shown a willingness to appoint our people to office, and I thought it came with a very bad grace from one of us to turn on the opposition against him. Brother Roberts, however, said that all this was known to the public before he had said anything on the subject, and the Democrats were using that against the Administration. While this was the case, I said, still his joining in it had, I thought, given our opponents weapons to use against our friends. I added, however, that I felt he had had a very difficult position to fill, and that a great deal could be pardoned in a man who was in such a close place as he was in Washington, and he had my sympathy.

7 February 1900 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Feby. 7, 1900

President Smith and myself went to Bountiful this morning to attend an old folks’ party at the meeting house there. We had a very interesting time. Both of us spoke to the saints. An excellent repast had been prepared, of which we partook, and we returned home at 4 o’clock.

8 February 1900 • Thursday

Thursday, Feby. 8, 1900

At 11 o’clock the First Presidency and the following members of the Twelve met at the President’s Office: F. M. Lyman, Geo. Teasdale, M. W. Merrill, John W. Taylor. Brother Taylor was mouth in prayer. Considerable business was attended to.

9 February 1900 • Friday

Friday, Feby. 9, 1900

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

10 February 1900 • Saturday

Saturday, Feby. 10, 1900

At 11 o’clock this morning the First Presidency met with two men named Geo. P. Frisbey and Geo. D. Cole, two members of the sect called Hedrickites, who reside in Independence, Missouri, and who have a society of about 140 members. The title to the temple lot at Independence is held by them. They called here on Thursday, and an appointment was made with them for Friday; but in consequence of my absence at Provo, President Snow deferred the meeting until to-day, so that I might be present. Their object in coming here was to induce us to consent for four members of our Church, selected by us, to join with four members of their branch and four members of the Reorganized Church and hold a conference at Independence, for the purpose of taking the necessary steps towards building the Lord’s house at the appointed place in Jackson County. They had already seen Joseph Smith, the son of the Prophet, and Alexander Smith, another son, who form the First Presidency of that Church, also Bishop Kelley of that Church, and they had received the proposition very kindly, and had expressed a willingness to join in such a meeting. These men, Frisbey and Cole, felt that they were inspired of the Lord to take this step. They had been under the conviction for a good while to do something of this kind. We had a very lengthy and interesting conversation with them. I made a number of inquiries, to satisfy myself as to the objects they wished to accomplish; and while I favored the proposition, I stated expressly that I had no faith in the result, because I was of the opinion that there were insuperable obstacles in the way of the recognition of authority. They conveyed the idea that there was a disposition on the part of the “Josephites” to do something. We, however, felt that the conduct of the “Josephites” towards us had been such as to cause us to look upon them as our deadly enemies. I alluded to the fact that this man Kelley and others had been in Washington at the time of our direst trouble and used every influence they could against us. These two men said they had causes of feeling also against the “Josephites”; they had treated them very badly; still they were desirous to see if something could not be accomplished. The conclusion of our talk was that President Snow, while favoring this plan, inasmuch as it had come in this manner (not that he had any hopes of any good results; but we all felt it better not to reject a proposition of this kind), concluded that before we could do anything decisive in the matter there should be a meeting of the quorum of the Twelve. There are only five that we can reach immediately, but we think two more may be obtained, if these two men could stop long enough, which they were willing to do. They are short of means, and Bishop Preston was instructed to see that they had what they needed to enable them to stay till we could get a quorum of the Twelve present.

At 1 o’clock there was a meeting of the Bullion-Beck Mining Co.

At 2 o’clock I went to the theatre and enjoyed very much the play of the “Merchant of Venice”, with Frederick Warde as “Shylock”.

11 February 1900 • Sunday

Sunday, Feby. 11, 1900

I was to have spoken at the Tabernacle this afternoon, at the funeral obsequies of some of our brethren who were killed while fighting in Manila, but I felt so unwell, my lungs giving me some trouble, that I concluded to send an apology and not to go. I stayed in the house all day.

12 February 1900 • Monday

Monday, Feby. 12, 1900

Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

Sent for Brother F. S. Richards to consult as to the best method of arranging for the change of management of the Salt Lake & Los Angeles Ry.

I submitted to President Snow a proposition from P. T. Farnsworth to buy the Bullion-Beck stock owned by the Trustee-in-Trust. There are 7393 shares which I turned over to President Snow as Dedicated Stock. I also paid 3748 shares on a note which I was owing to the Church, being a part of the Cannon-Grant settlement. At the time I turned over the Dedicated Stock to President Snow it was valued in the market at $6 per share. Since that time it has depreciated. I have turned over as dividends on that stock [blank]. Brother Farnsworth’s offer is that he will give $4.25 a share for all this stock, and pay in notes, payable in four, eight and twelve months, bearing 6% interest. Presidents Snow, Smith and myself conversed on this, and he agreed to accept these terms. President Smith is also willing to sell 263 shares at the same price. He intends to retain 100 shares in order that he may act as a Director. I will also retain 100 shares for the same purpose, as Brother Farnsworth desired, if I was willing, that I should remain on the Board. Notes were signed by him for this, and given to President Snow. The notes for the Dedicated Stock amount to $31,420.25. The notes for the stock that I paid in on my account amount to $15,929.00 being $1686.60 in excess of what I paid it in at. I was very glad that the Church could make this on my transaction with it. I would have felt badly if the stock had not sold for as much as I had turned it in at. Brother Farnsworth agreed that if the mine should yield any good paying ore soon he would give the Church some portion of it in addition to his notes; or if he should sell it at an advanced price he would divide some of the profits. I have felt much gratified in my feelings over this transaction.

13 February 1900 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Feby. 13, 1900

At the office, but there was not much business done, as this is a holiday, because of the funeral of the dead soldiers whose bodies have been brought home from Manila.

14 February 1900 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Feby. 14, 1900

Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter, and two articles for the Juvenile Instructor to my son John Q., and did some other business. There was a meeting of the Directors of the Salt Lake & Los Angeles Ry., at which the resignation of Brother N. W. Clayton as Director and Manager was accepted, as also that of Brother Isaac Clayton as Secretary and Treasurer. President Snow and Brother L. J. Nuttall were elected Directors, Brother Wm. McMillan Secretary & Treasurer, and Brother W. J. Bateman Manager.

15 February 1900 • Thursday

Thursday, Feby. 15, 1900

There was a meeting of the Utah Sugar Co. this morning, at which I presided. Considerable business was done.

The First Presidency had a call this morning from Prest. Orrin Miller, of the Jordan Stake, and his Counselors, Brothers Goff and Jensen. They called to talk over affairs and get instructions.

Instead of going to the temple to-day, our regular meeting was held in the President’s Office. There were present, beside the First Presidency, F. M. Lyman Geo. Teasdale, A. H. Lund and John W. Taylor, of the Twelve Apostles. Brother Lund was mouth in prayer.

16 February 1900 • Friday

Friday, Feby. 16, 1900

At the office this morning. There was nothing special attended to to-day.

17 February 1900 • Saturday

Saturday, Feby. 17, 1900

The Mayor of the city, Mr. Ezra Thompson, had desired yesterday to have an interview with me, and as I had some business at the City and County Building yesterday morning I advised Brother F. S. Richards (whom he had asked to see me) that I would call at his office. His object in desiring to see me was to lay before me the efforts of the City to secure water rights in opposition to claims made by a man named Lamson. There is considerable feeling in Utah County in relation to the City’s claims, and a public meeting had been called to convene at Provo to-day, and the Mayor wished to know whether I could attend that meeting and represent the City’s interests there. I told him I would do so. I induced President Smith to accompany me, and we went down on the 8:35 train. The meeting convened at 12 o’clock, and was in the interests of the farmers of the county. Brother Holdaway was selected as chairman of the meeting. A good deal of speechmaking was indulged in, and the feeling was to resist the claim which Salt Lake City had made to raise the waters of the Utah Lake five feet above what is called compromise point. Speeches were also made in favor of Mr. Lamson’s project to dyke the lake. I listened a good while to what was said, and then asked the privilege of addressing the meeting. I had with me some tracings which had been furnished me by Mr. Kelsey, the City Engineer, and I described what Salt Lake City desired, and endeavored to disabuse their minds respecting the claim to raise the lake five feet. I said the City had to make claims to equal Mr. Lamson’s, so that he could not come in after a while and say that he had made a claim that had not been questioned, and in that way establish a right to water. The City claimed all the water there was to be got from Utah Lake. Its present plans, however, would not interfere in the least with the waters of Utah Lake, nor do the least injury to the people of Utah County. Their interests and the interests of Salt Lake County were identical, and for one I would be as ready to defend their rights, if entrenched upon, as I would those of Salt Lake County; but we must look after our water rights. We must not permit adventurers to come in and speculate with our water. Water was the life of the country, I said, and we must cling together and not allow any party or parties to get up claims to water that was already appropriated. My remarks had the effect to remove a great deal of feeling, and I think our visit did good.

We afterwards visited the bazaar of the 4th ward with Brothers Partridge and Reed Smoot, and partook of luncheon there.

Returned home this afternoon.

18 February 1900 • Sunday

Sunday, Feby. 18, 1900

Attended meeting in the Tabernacle, though I felt very little like going, as I was not well; but I was glad that I did go, for I listened to an excellent discourse by Brother J. H. Paul, and I followed him.

19 February 1900 • Monday

Monday, Feby. 19, 1900

At the office.

The First Presidency had a call from H. E. Bowman. He has just returned from Switzerland, where he has been presiding.

Judge Bartch called upon us and had quite a conversation about the policy of the Deseret News. While engaged in this, Brother Penrose, the editor, came in, and the feelings concerning the attitude and tone of the News was fully discussed.

20 February 1900 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Feby. 20, 1900

I was at the office this morning, and was very glad to welcome Brother John Henry Smith, he having just returned from his visit to Washington.

There was a meeting of the Utah Light & Power Co.

21 February 1900 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Feby. 21, 1900

I was at the office.

At 10:30 there was a special meeting of the First Presidency and the following members of the Twelve: F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale, M. W. Merrill, John W. Taylor, A. H. Lund and A. O. Woodruff; also Bishops Preston and Winder. President Joseph F. Smith was not present. Mr. Frisbey and Mr. Cole, of the Hedrickites, also met with us. There was a full conversation on the object of their mission. They laid before the brethren of the Twelve that which they had laid before the First Presidency. After doing so, they withdrew, in order that we might come to some decision. We adjourned and met again in the afternoon to consider the matter. After all had expressed themselves, President Snow said that his feelings were clear that we should not accept the proposition of these men. Whereupon, I moved that this decision be accepted by the Council as the will of the Lord on this subject, and that these visitors be notified accordingly. This motion was carried unanimously.

22 February 1900 • Thursday

Thursday, Feby. 22, 1900

Washington’s Birthday – a holiday. I remained at home.

23 February 1900 • Friday

Friday, Feby. 23, 1900

First Presidency at the office. No particular business.

24 February 1900 • Saturday

Saturday, Feby. 24, 1900

I was at the office and attended to some business.

25 February 1900 • Sunday

Sunday, Feby. 25, 1900

I felt quite unwell to-day and concluded to stay at home.

26 February 1900 • Monday

Monday, Feby. 26, 1900

At the office. Dictated letters and article for the Juvenile Instructor, to my son John Q.

27 February 1900 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Feby. 27, 1900

Had a meeting of the executive committee of the Utah Light & Power Co. this morning; afterwards came to the office and attended to various matters of business. Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

28 February 1900 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Feby. 28.1900

First Presidency at the office.

My brother Angus addressed a communication to President Snow, giving a statement of his situation financially, and asking the First Presidency to grant him $500 additional per annum until he could get relieved from his present embarrassments. He hoped that when the railroad was built to Deep Creek he would get relief, as he had valuable property out there; but at present it could not be reached so as to make it profitable. This request was granted.

Sisters Felt, Freeze and West, Presidency of the Primary Associations, and Sister Anderson, the Secretary, called to see us to-day concerning the Religion Classes and the Primaries. They interfere with each other to some extent by their present method of meeting, and these sisters suggested that there should be an arrangement made by which the two might work harmoniously. We were impressed with the idea, and saw no reason why their wishes should not be granted, and recommended that Brother Maeser should be seen on the subject.