-- Thursday, Apr 27, 1899
[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] Salt Lake City
All of the Presidency and Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, Francis M. Lyman, Myself, Geo. Teasdale, Marriner W. Merrill, Anthon H. Lund, Mattbias F. Cowley, Abraham O. Woodruff, and Rudger Clawson met in the Temple and had prayer and assigned the brethren to their fields of labor for the next two weeks.
We adjourned to the President's office to consider and took into consideration the tender of President Geo. Q. Cannon of his share of the dedicated stock in the Beck and Bullion & Champion Mining Co. to President Lorenzo Snow to be held by him for the purpose designed in the Revelation. [See August 27, 1896, diary entry and note.]
President Joseph F. Smith moved that the President accept the tender. I seconded the motion. After some talk by several of the brethren, the motion carried. There were 7,500 shares of stock and something from the dividends.
[Went to Colorado, Kansas City, Independence, St. Louis, Nashville, and other cities in the East with Sarah.] (1)
-- Apr 27, 1899
[Apostle Marriner W. Merrill Diary] Thursday. Salt Lake City. I attended the Council meeting at 11 a. m., and another meeting at the President's office at 12:15 p. m. This meeting continued in session until 3:30 p. m. discussing Bullion Beck matters. Dedicated stocks, etc. President Cannon turned over all the dedicated stock to President Snow as Trustee-in-Trust for the Church that he had in his possession, with the accrued interest up to date. (2)
-- Apr 27, 1899; Thursday
Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow, [George Q.] Cannon and [Joseph F.] Smith were at the Office, where they received a call from Mr. Cameron of the Rapid Transit Railroad Company of this city, whose object was to enlist the cooperation of the church in obtaining for that company a right of way over South Temple Street between State and Main, and up North Main to North Temple. Mr. Cameron was promised what help could be consistently afforded.
At 11 A.M. the regular meeting of the First Presidency and the Apostles convened in the Temple. Present: Presidents Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith and Franklin D. Richards; Apostles Brigham Young [Jr.], Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Marriner W. Merrill, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham O[wen]. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson. ...
Brother Lund was handed certain papers and requested to investigate a complaint made by a Brother and Sister Hansen against a Brother Ek, which case had been before the High Council of Cache [Utah] Stake and decided against Brother Hansen.
Brother Lund reported having received a letter from Elder F[erdinand]. F. Hintze of the Turkish Mission, stating that he had gone into Greece. Brother Hintze suggested the purchase of a piece of land and the sending of a blacksmith, a dentist and a merchant to help to establish a colony there. ...
President Snow now informed the Council that business of importance was to be considered and that an adjournment would be taken to the President's Office.
At 12:15 p.m. the adjourned meeting convened, all being present who were at the meeting in the Temple; also Bishops [William B.] Preston, [Robert T.] Burton and [John R.] Winder and Bishop H[iram]. B. Clawson.
President Cannon was asked to state the object of the meeting. He said that he had felt impressed for some time, and especially since President [Wilford] Woodruff's death, to transfer to President Snow as Trustee-in-trust what is known as the "dedicated stock" in the Bullion-Beck mine. He had therefore drawn out a statement concerning it, including the amount received by him in the shape of dividends, the disposition he had made of these funds and what remained in his hands. When this was proposed to President Snow he felt disinclined to accept such a statement at once, taking time to consider the matter a little further; afterwards, a week ago to-day, they had a meeting at which the affairs of the Sterling mine were investigated; a meeting which the speaker said he was very desirous should take place, for one reason particularly--to clear up the relationship of the First Presidency to that mine, and he was pleased with the result. When thinking about it afterwards, it occurred to him that there was something necessary for him to do in relation to this other matter. President Snow having taken into consideration the expense of this mine, (the Sterling), he (President Cannon) felt to propose the turning over of the "dedicated Stock" in the other mine, on behalf of the late First Presidency, to liquidate the obligation assumed by them in connection with the Sterling property; and he subsequently proposed this to President Snow. The latter desired to submit the matter to the Twelve, and expressed the wish that nothing be done in the premises until he had thought more about it. This meeting was the result of a proposition to turn over the dedicated stock to the Trustee-in-trust.
President Snow then said that he would like to have the proposition read, and President Cannon thereupon read a statement that he had had prepared in book form, giving the history of the dedicated stock and accounting for the dividends received by him from the same and the disbursements that he had made. Following are the figures; taken from the book containing the history of the stock:
There were 7,373 shares, valued at $10 a share. On this stock there had been received in dividends, $159,669.69, and interest thereon amounting to $20,000. Total amount of receipts, $179,669.69. Disbursements: Paid on Sterling mine, $11,177.78; invested in Cannon-Grant Company, $36,000; Temple donation, $4,000; for tithing and personal services $40,000; donation to
Utah Loan and Trust Company, $2,000; donation to Charles M. Wilcken, $500; donation to some party (name not given) $1,000. President Cannon now proposed to turn over to the Trustee-in-trust the house and lot known as Cannon House, (corner First West and South Temple Streets, Salt Lake City) at $60,000; One hundred and seventy shares of Saltair Beach stock, at $100 a share, making $170,000; Church bonds, $1,500; and cash $6,391.91, amounting in all to $179,669.69.
President Snow asked the brethren present to express themselves, and after Bishop Clawson had withdrawn, after testifying to a certain matter connected with the original transaction, upon which point Apostle John Henry Smith also testified, President Joseph F. Smith, Bishop Preston, Brother Merrill, Brother Lyman and others, spoke upon the question, which President Snow stated to be: Will the brethren accept from President Cannon this dedicated stock and the accounting he makes of its dividends. He said that if all the earnings of the stock were to be turned over in cash there could be no question in receiving the trust; but the question was whether the brethren could accept of it for the Church in the condition in which it now came. He had previously remarked that it was a very serious matter, more serious than the Council might imagine, and he did not feel to accept of this accounting, in fact could not conscientiously do so, as representing the Lord, without first laying the matter before the Apostles and the Presiding Bishopric. He did not propose to express any opinion upon it at present, but it became a serious matter when looked at in its full light. This fund was created by revelation given to President [John] Taylor, who received another revelation confirming the former one, and to the effect that a portion of the fund should be used to assist President Cannon on a certain occasion. It was a holy and sacred trust to President Taylor, and whether it would be right to blot out the fund entirely, so that it would cease to exist after his death, was a grave question, and one for the Council to decide. Whatever the spirit suggested, he for one would accept without hesitation.
President Smith said that the dedicated stock concern was one of those things that perhaps had never been heard of before, and whose parallel would never be heard of again. It never pretended to stand upon business principles. It was something that originated with President Taylor and the Lord. He went on to give President Taylor's reasons for establishing the fund, a fund that might be used as the tithing could not be used. The fund consisted of three-fifths of the Bullion-Beck Mining stock, and its object was to protect the liberties of our people; also to purchase the Jackson County [Missouri] Temple lot, the Kirtland [Ohio] Temple lot and other properties which had been in possession of the Church; but the upshot came when President Taylor's heirs, John Beck and others drew out of the combination. President Smith favored President Snow's receiving this trust from President Cannon, without going into its history or the merits of the case, thus leaving the latter responsible for its past use. President
Snow to become alike responsible for it and free to use it as he might deem proper.
Brother Lyman and Brother John Henry Smith, both agreed with President Smith that President Snow should accept of President Cannon's tender of this fund, and the former thought it would be a good idea to apply it on the Sterling mine indebtedness. The latter thought that the fund should never have been in the hands of any one but the Trustee-in-trust, who had given a bond in connection with the Bullion-Beck mine's troubles, a proceeding to which he and other Apostles objected at the time, until President Taylor told them that it was the will of the Lord. This occurred at Bishop Winder's house in the days of the "raid".
Brother Merrill said it appeared that no one connected with the fund had any respect for it except President Cannon, all others having withdrawn their interests in it, and he could not see why President Cannon should contribute this means to the Church, and all the rest go free; he thought President Cannon was just as much entitled to his share of the fund as the others.
President Snow (to Brother Merrill): But you did not understand anything about the dedication, while President Cannon understood all about it, and he dedicated this means to the Lord through President Taylor.
President Cannon: Yes, this stock is dedicated, and is the Lord's, and you President Snow can make of it as you please.
President Smith then made the following motion: I move that in consideration of the facts set forth and involved in the evidence, as shown in the written documents we have heard read, that it be the sense of this Council that this property is dedicated property, and was absolutely put into the hands of President Cannon to do with as he pleased, without being questioned or asked to give an account of it by anybody, the Church or anybody else; that the property being absolutely his, to do with it as he pleases, we therefore accept of his tender of this property for the use and benefit of the Church.
The motion was seconded by Brother John Henry Smith, and President Richards and Brothers Woodruff, Clawson, Lund, Cowley and Teasdale then expressed themselves in favor of President Snow's receiving the fund from President Cannon for the use of the Church, and using it or any portion of it as he might see proper.
President Cannon reminded the brethren of the circumstances under which this fund was turned over to him. President Taylor and he were alone, so to speak; President Smith not having returned from the Islands, and none of the Twelve being at hand. President Taylor, who had brought him up, and was his uncle by marriage, had entire confidence in him, and knew, from his past course, as chief executor of President [Brigham] Young's estate, that he desired to respect the rights of the Church. Was it to be wondered at that he placed confidence in him, as President Young had previously done, knowing him as he did personally? The speaker thought that the confidence was warranted, especially when there was nobody else to counsel with. It should be remembered, too, that at that time the Bullion-Beck stock was practically without value. It was all very
well to say now what should have been done, since the mine had become valuable. Would anybody blame President [Wilford] Woodruff had he given the Sterling mine in a similar way with its present value. All the circumstances surrounding the transaction at the time should be considered, and not the circumstances that govern to-day.
After some further talk, President Snow put the motion, which was carried unanimously.
Bishop Preston now asked that his name and the names of Brothers M[arriner]. W[ood]. Merrill and C[harles]. O. Card, which had been mentioned as holding dedicated stock, be not numbered among such stockholders, as there was no dedication whatever by them of the stock they held in the Bullion-Beck mine. The Bishop had previously stated that while he was President of Cache [Utah] Stake, with Brothers Merrill and Card as his counselors, President Taylor had asked him and his counselors to raise $5,000 for him, as he was very much pressed for money. Half that amount was raised and taken to the President, who was not even asked what was to be done with it, neither was any explanation made. He was afterwards informed by President Taylor that he was a stockholder in the Bullion-Beck mine. He had nothing to do with the dedication of the stock, knew nothing of it, neither did his counselors, and later, when Moses Thatcher and the Taylor heirs began fussing over it, he wondered what it was all about. To this statement Brother Merrill added a similar one, saying that until Arthur Stayner wrote to him, asking him if he wanted to sell his shares in the Bullion-Beck Mining Company, he did not know that he was connected with it, and as for the dedicated stock and its troubles, he knew nothing at all about them.
In conclusion, President Cannon expressed his thanks to the brethren for their patience in listening to him, and for receiving at his hands the tender of the dedicated stock.
The meeting then dismissed.
The sum of $10.75 was appropriated to purchase medicine and pay the fares of one Dr. Lowell and a woman companion to the Hawaiian Colony of Josepa in Tooele County [Utah]. They go to the colony believing that they can cure the cases of leprosy there.
A message was sent by cable to Liverpool [England], releasing from the European Mission, Elder Joshua Coombs, whose wife is said to be in a dying condition. (3)
1 - Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith
2 - Notes from the Miscellaneous Record Book, 1886-1906: Selected diary notes from the journal books of Marriner Wood Merrill, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
3 - First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes
LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow
Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow
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