July 29, 1887
Went to Salt Lake City to attend and [?] the funeral services of Prest. John Taylor. The Proceedings were impressive and strikingly orderly. The thousands of people in attendance were directed with a precision little short of the marvellous. Utah has seen few days of mourning at all comparable to this.
August 1, 1887
Election day: voted the Peoples’ Ticket, including an affirmative vote on the question of the adoption of the proposed State constitution.
Started today on a short excursion long planned by Bro. [Dregg?] and family and myself. We went to Pleasant Grove, thence East to the mountains.
August 5, 1887
The week has been pleasantly spent, and I have been considerably improved in health by the “out.” Returned home tonight.
August 6, 1887
Visited folks in the farms. Administered to Sister Zella Webb.
August 7, 1887
Elder Glazier and myself went to American Fork today in the capacity of Home Missionaries. We attended the Prayer Circle Meeting and addressed the following:- Sunday School, Afternoon regular meeting, and a conjoint meeting of the Improvement Associations at night. Returned home by late train.
September 11, 1887—Sunday
Sunday. In the afternoon addressed the regular Stake meeting for a short time on the subject of “Education”. In the evening I spoke by appointment on the same subject before the Third Ward Meeting.
Assisted in administering to Sister Zella Webb.
September 12, 1887
In the afternoon I attended the funeral services, and officiated therein as Chaplain, of Mr. Bee – a neighbor to us when we lived in town. He has been agreat and an imbecile sufferer for many years.
In the evening I assisted again in administering to Sister Zella Webb and stayed at the house all night. She has been taken somewhat worse and appears to be sinking. Her sufferings are most terribly intense yet she bears them with heroic fortitude
September 13, 1887
Sister Zella seems to have rallied from the extra attack of pain and weakness under which she has been suffering during the few days last passed. I stayed again by her bedside during the night. The spirit of peaceful resignation which is resting upon her is truly angelic. This has been with her ever since the administration was performed upon her by Prest. Woodruff Aug. 24. She contemplates death as one would naturally think of a proposed pleasure journey. She preaches a strong sermon by her heroic endurance.
September 14, 1887
Sister Zella Webb has suffered so much, and longs for death so sincerely, that tonight, the President of the Stake and other elders were called and we dedicated her to the Lord for death if such be His Almighty Will. After the ordinance she seemed at peace from her pains. I staid again to watch during the night.
September 15, 1887
Staid again during the night at Sister Webb’s. Zella’s endurance is phenomenal. She is sustained by a higher power than mere physical strength. She has now gone 8 days without any nourishment at all.
September 16, 1887
Again we administered to Sister Zella – reconfirming her dedication. Staid again to watch during the night.
September 17, 1887
Watched again by the bedside of Zella during the night. She appeared to be very rapidly sinking. She felt that she was dying, though she has had this present- must several tries before and such proved to be a mistake.
September 18, 1887—Sunday
Sunday. In the early morning the friends of Zella were gathered about her couch, constantly expecting her to breathe her last.
Yet again she rallied. In the afternoon I attended and addressed a meeting of the sabbath schools of the city, known as the S.S. Reunion.
Staid again at Zella’s during the night.
September 19–20, 1887
Watched both nights at Sister Zella’s side. She has been without nourishment now for 12 days – is reduced to a new skeleton, and yet she lives and suffers. Internal disorders, painful and dangerous have set up of late, so that the pain of her extensive burns terrible as that must be is of secondary importance.
September 21, 1887
This is my birthday – 25 years old. May I be better in spirit on my next birthday. I have been setting up in the sick room now for 9 nights in succession, and have attended to my usual daily labor without interruption; but I am really growing somewhat alarmed over my condition. Sleep seems to have left me. For the last 216 hours, I have not slept soundly at all, and have dozed less than 15 hours, or below 1/14. During that time my appetite has been seriously impaired – seldom I have eaten more than once, and never more than twice daily. I have sacrificed my rest to stay with Zella night after night, because I saw she and her devoted though worn-out mother felt more at ease if I were present, than if a stranger were called in. And again it is desirable that someone shall be on constant watch who bears the priesthood, and I find less than one man in three score who is able to stay awake at night in the sick room. I am fortunate in being able to do so; and if I can do the least towards giving that afflicted family ease, I seek to do so <it.> I trust my health will not suffer.
Tonight I did not stay there; thinking I would best seek sleep. I was able to remain in bed in all less than 5 hours, and less than 1/2 of that time was able to slumber. ‘Tis an abnormal state of excitement brought on doubtlessly by anxiety and nervous stimulation. It will take time to subside.
September 22–23, 1887
Stayed both nights with Zella, and administered to her. She has been now 15 days without nourishment. Such endurance is wonderful. The Lord truly works in mysterous ways.
September 24, 1887
This is Saturday, and having no funeral appointment I tried hard to sleep during the early part of the day, and under the advice of a physician took a heavy opiate. This brought on a two hours’ slumber, from which I awoke with an excruciating headache accompanied by a severe tooth ache – an experience I have never before passed through. During this sleepless spell my bodily weight has fallen off 15 pounds. I trust there is less danger than many of my friends seem to think and than I fear.
Tonight again I staid at Sister Zella’s.
September 25, 1887—Sunday
Sunday. In the early morning I administered to the child of Bro. F. Raile – a recent emigrant from Palestine – one of my friend, Bro Tanner’s converts.
Today an attack of sore throat made its appearance. This is an old affection with me. At the request of the family I stopped all night at Sister Webb’s. I cannot help but regard the opportunity of watching by the side of that dying girl as a great and blessed privilege. She has been to me a teacher. In her moments of worst agony she has display a a spirit of never failing fortitude and courage. Her nearest approach to a complaint has been “When will God grant me release, and call my spirit home?” Death to her is looked forward to as a most welcome visitor. She has talked to me many times of her glimpses of the other world, and regrets that we cannot all accompany her for our sakes. Her nature has been purged of everything gross and temporally weak. To me she appears as the purest and noblest being I have ever had the privilege of associating with.
September 26, 1887
Zella is rapidly sinking – dying without doubt of starvation. My sore throat has grown today very rapidly worse. I have been unable to talk aloud before my classes, and have occupied them in written reviews.
Tonight I retired early staying at the residence of Sister Tanner, that I could be easily reached if needed at.
September 27, 1887
Zella’s. I was called at 3 a.m.; and found her suffering greatly. I administered to her, she seemed then easier; fell into a dose, but soon awoke in delirium. I have been again unable to talk so that I could be understood today and could not appear before my classes.
Tonight I stayed at Sister Tanner’s again, but rose and visited Zella during the nght though I did not stop. She lies in unconsciousness. A slower mode of death, a more gradual dissolution I cannot imagine
September 28, 1887
Throat better today. In the evening I called at the residence of Sister Webb, and found that Death had come to Zella’s release at 7.30 p.m. She is now at peace. Yet, though her friends have been expecting, and in fact desiring her departure from this – to her a world of torture, – we seem sadly prepared for it, and the call strikes us with alarm and sorrow.
September 29, 1887
Zella requested before her death that as long as her body remained unburied it should not be left in the charge of strangers; but if it were possible the same watchers as had been on duty during the latter part of her illness should be present. This being so I took my turn tonight in watching by the remains of my departed sister & friend
September 30, 1887
Today there fell to my lot the discharge of the saddest duty of my life. Since an early period in Zella’s suffering, she has ever requested that if she was taken hence I should preach her funeral sermon. I have not before mentioned her request, as I had hoped and prayed to be spared the sad undertaking. I have felt strangely sympathetic with that dear girl, and to speak at her funeral cost me the keenest pangs of anguish. By the help of God I discharge the duty. Elder K. G. Maeser, & Prest. A. O Smoot added supplementary remarks.
It was the intention of the family, after the services to remove the body to her former home — Payson. This was done on the evening train. I accompanied the remains, riding in the express car with casket, and taking charge of the same till it was deposited in the home of Zella’s Sister — Mrs Stark.
As this is the last night her remains will be above earth, I assumed the duty of sitting as watcher again. And under such conditions I cannot feel alone. There is an influence of peace about her body which I cannot but deeply experience Bro. George Smoot, to whom the young lady was engaged to be married at the time of her accident also accompanied the remains but did not feel equal to the undertaking of remaining at the house.
[The following is written sideways in left margin]
Mention should be made here of an incident which occured today as it may be needed for a future reminder. After the formal services were closed, Sister Alexander — wife of Wm Alexander, and Sister to my friend George Coray, asked of me a promise that if she died before myself, and it were possible I would preach her funeral sermon. I promised as requested.
October 1, 1887
The interment took place today at noon. Our last offices are filled. More cannot be done. She is at peace may, it be undisturbed. “Dust to dust”, “Ashes to Ashes” – but not Zella to dust, or my sister and friend to Ashes. – May God comfort her sorrowing family.
I returned to Provo by evening train.
October 2, 1887—Sunday
Sunday. Presided at the B. Y. Academy Missionary Meeting. In the afternoon attended the Conference of the Mutual Improvement Associations.
October 3, 1887
It is and has been my desire to do something – all that lies within my power though that be but little – toward assisting in defraying the expenses connected with Zella’s long illness and death. I have talked over the matter with several friends of the family; they coincided unfruitly; so today I opened a subscription owing such true friends as have been proved, and such only. It has thus far met a hearty response.
October 8, 1887
Went to Salt Lake City by evening to attend the Semi Annual Conference already 2 days in session Was present at morning and afternoon services, and returned to Provo by evening train.
October 9, 1887—Sunday
Sunday. In the afternoon it fell to my lot to preside at the Stake Meeting, I being the only representative of the High Council present.
And the stake presidency being all away. The absence of all is explained by the fact that conference is in session in Salt Lake City; at which I would also have been present today but for indisposition, and so I, the least among the proceeding offices of the Stake had to take charge. In the evening preached in the Third Ward Meeting. Administered to the son and the grandson of Bro. Robt. J. Dugdale.
October 12, 1887
Enjoyed a ride into Rock Canyon today in company with Sister Tanner.
In the evening presented to Mrs. Webb the result of my effort to raise her a substantial testimonial of the regard of her friends in the shape of One Hundred and Forty Dollars ($140) in gold. She was so surprised as to be entirely overcome. May it do to her good.
October 13, 1887
Today the Executive Committee of the Academy met and fixed my salary for the year at $1400 with the promise if the year be a successful one financially that it be raised to $1500.
October 14, 1887
Went to Salt Lake City by evening train, and procured materials for scientific dept. Returned to Provo by night train. Tonight the term party at the Academy was held. I did not attend – I have grown to dislike dance-parties as they are usually conducted. Stayed at Sister Tanners – my former boarding place – too noisy at the Academy.
October 15, 1887
Delivered a lecture before the County Teachers’ Association on the subject “Collecting, and preserving Cabinets.” —————
October 17, 1887
Visited folks on the farm. Today I have suffered through a feeling of mental depression, and an presentiment of impending danger or evil I hastened on the farm tonight, but was pleased to find all well; though Mother has been under the presentiment of similar ill, but she felt the danger was over me.
I left my horse there; an occasional ride does me much good in health, but I am able to use a horse so little that I felt it wise to leave him on the farm to be cared for.
October 21, 1887
Delivered a lecture before the Polysophical Society of the Academy on “The Microscope” with lantern illustrations. This is the old lecture again.
February 4, 1888
[I] called at the residence of a former student at the Academy, the present teacher of the District School in this town, and above all a very dear friend. […] It was not without previous thought that I arranged to stop Kaysville, for I had intended and desired to make the call alluded to. This intention and desire I believe influenced me more strongly than the “specimens” and “examinations of the lake shore” to make the present trip, for these pursuits could have been postponed to other and more favorable times. But I wished to see my friend—Miss May Booth—a noble woman devoid of the blemish of artificiality so widely affecting our girls; a sincere woman, and above all a woman who makes the living of her religion the supreme object of her existence. […] Though our associations have never been other than those of teacher and student, I had (very recently) made the matter of my interest toward a subject of sincere prayer, and I felt that God approved my decision. This evening I asked…if she would be my wife. Her positive answer was given exactly in the way in which I had asked of the Lord as a sign of his approval. […] My love toward her is no idle fascination—it is a love founded on respect and esteem, and as such I feel it will live.
June 27, 1888
In the evening according to previous appointment, I went to Springville to lecture there under the auspices of the Improvement Associations, on the subject of “Nature and Nature’s God.” I have been requested by the Springville people, since before the time of the accident to my eye, that I should speak in that place on “Evolution” as a partial offset to the tendency of certain atheistical doctrine there through the teachings of a certain Dr. York. The subject was treated tonight according to my poor ability under the title first above named. I trust I did some good—