-- Thursday, Jan 31, 1901
[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] Salt Lake City
At 2 p.m. a large company met at the Residence of Hon. Franklin S. Richards to the 80th birthday of Zina D. H. Smith and the 78th birthday of Jane S. Richards.
We had a nice Lunch. Speaches were made by Prests. Lorenzo Snow, Geo. Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, Myself, John R. Winder, Zina D. H. Y. Smith, Jane S. Richards, Bathsheba W. Smith, Nathan Tanner, Sr. & Samuel W. Richards. Papers were read by Susie Y. Gates, Lula G. Richards and Mrs. L. F. Moench.
The Doxology was sung and Benediction was offered by Patriarch John Smith. It was a happy day and long to be remembered. (1)
-- Jan 31, 1901; Thursday
At 11 o'clock council meeting was held in the Temple. There were present: Presidents [Lorenzo] Snow, [George Q.] Cannon and [Joseph F.] Smith, also Elders Brigham Young [Jr.], Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, John W. Taylor, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham O[wen]. Woodruff, Rudger Clawson and Reed Smoot. ...
A written report signed by Elders Brigham Young, M[arriner]. W[ood]. Merrill and M[atthias]. F. Cowley was read on the division of the Cache [Utah] Stake of Zion. The brethren recommended that the Stake be divided into three stakes. Elder Cowley stated that the suggested division on the lines proposed were the expressions of Brother Merrill which he had arrived at after duly considering the matter. Also the suggestions were made that Elders Joseph Morrell preside over the middle stake with headquarters at Logan; Elder Brigham A. Hendricks preside over the northern stake and that Bishop Charles G. Hyde preside over the southern stake. The reason for suggesting these brethren was that they would be the most likely to break down what is known as the [Moses] Thatcher influence in Cache valley.
President Cannon spoke of the recent visit to Lewiston [Idaho] by himself and President Smith and while there he was greatly impressed with the ability of Bishop Lewis and felt that he would be a suitable man for the position of President of that division. Elder John W. Taylor also expressed his view as being the same as President Cannon's. Elder Lyman stated that he was satisfied with the proposed division of the stake. President Cannon then moved that Cache stake be divided into three stakes as proposed along the lines recommended by the committee.
President Smith thought there was no immediate reason for making a change in the presidency of the center stake which at present is presided over by Elder Marriner W. Merrill. Elder Cowley moved that Elder Charles G. Hyde preside over the south stake, that W. H. Lewis preside over the north stake and that the center stake remain as it is for the present. Seconded by President Smith. Elder John Henry Smith thought it would be a proper thing to release Brother Merrill as a stake president that he might not be curtailed in his privileges and duties as an Apostle, and this was agreeable to Brother Merrill's own feelings, as expressed a short time ago. President Smith stated that he knew of no reason why Brother Merrill should not be released if he desired to be that he might labor in the duties of the Apostleship. After further discussion on this subject it was stated by President Snow that at the time Brother Merrill was appointed to preside over the Cache stake there were special
reasons for it, but he felt that those reasons did not now exist and therefore Elder Merrill ought to be released. President Cannon stated that it was the solemn duty on the part of the brethren to see that certain ideas as to doctrine and the rights and authority of the Priesthood were extirpated from the people of Cache stake, and that now was the time to choose strong, capable men to do this work. After further discussion it was decided to release Brother Merrill on motion of Brother John Henry Smith.
The motion of Elder Cowley was then put with the substitution of the name of Joseph Morrell instead of M[arriner]. W[ood]. Merrill as president of the middle stake of the proposed division, thus making Bishop Lewis president of the north stake, Joseph Morrell president of the middle stake and Bishop Charles G. Hyde president of the southern stake. The committee on division proposed that Logan, Greenville, Hyde Park, Benson and Providence be included in the middle stake; Millville, College, Hyrum, Paradise, Avon, Mount Sterling, Wellsville and Mendon in the southern stake and Smithfield, Richmond, Coveville, Lewiston, Trenton, Clarkston and Newton be included in the northern division. No names were proposed for these new stakes, the names used were merely for the purpose of designating the proposed divisions. ...
The question of disorganizing Eastdale settlement was considered. It appears that the people settled at this place under the protest of Silas S. and John Henry Smith, but feeling that they were compelled to go somewhere where they could be protected in their family relations, they decided to run the risk of obtaining sufficient water for irrigating purposes by making a reservoir; but after doing so they found themselves short of water. There is now a project contemplated for digging a canal, but the settlers are still in doubt, even after making the canal of being able to obtain the necessary water. Bishop Jenson, under these circumstances, felt himself in doubt as to whether the people should remain there or move to other settlements, and he had referred the matter to the Presidency.
After some talk on the subject, President Smith moved that the people of Eastdale settlement be left to take such action in relation to the matter of their removal or remaining, as they were in the better position to judge in the matter. The motion was carried.
A letter from President Collins R. Hakes, setting forth the fact that the people of Pine Ward of the Maricopa [Arizona] Stake would be broken up in their homes unless something was done to change the proposed boundary of what is called the Forest Reserve in Arizona. He desired that the Utah Congressmen be appealed to to see if something could not be done in this matter and together with Arizona's representative a change in the proposed boundary might be made. The matter was referred to Brother Reed Smoot for the purpose of communicating with the Utah Senators in Washington also the Representative.
A long communication to President Snow as General Superintendent of the M.I.A., signed by Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant and B. H. Roberts was submitted. It asked that the sphere of the Improvement Era be enlarged by not confining it to Improvement
Societies alone, but that it be allowed to become an organ for instructing quorums of Priesthood as well.
President Snow remarked that he felt somewhat jealous of giving to any organization authority to instruct any of the quorums of the Priesthood, and being in doubt was his object in bringing it before the brethren.
President Smith stated that the Seventies of the First Council had themselves expressed a desire to use the columns of the Era by way of reaching the several quorums of Seventies.
President Cannon thought it was a matter that required time to consider, and being pressed for time now he suggested that it be deferred. This suggestion was acted upon and the matter postponed for the present. ... (2)
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 - 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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