Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » A Few Minutes in Joseph, Utah, 1891

A Few Minutes in Joseph, Utah, 1891

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 18, 2014

20 September 1891

Present on stand Councelor John Ross Elders John Johnson Pri[n]cipal of S.S. Academy & Elder Hansen of Elsinore. Singing. Prayer by J.H. Wells. Singing.

Sacrement administered by Elders E. Newby and L.H. Jackman.

Elder Johnson spoke on the necessity of the children of the Latter-day Saints obtaining a correct education. Showed the great good the Church schools were doing, explained the difference between Caracter and Repputation, gave a history of the organization of the Church school by Pres Brigham Young, and their growth in the past 15 years from 1 school to over 100 from 29 students to over 2,500, bore testimony etc.

Bro. Hansen. Bore testimony to the good effects of attendance at the Church Schools etc.

Elder John Ross. Corroborated the previous remarks. We are required to give our children a chance to learn the principles of the Gospel even if we must make sacrifises. Urged the Saints to endeaver to more earnestly sustain the Sabbath schools.

There is work for all in the Kingdom of God. And all are required to fullfill their part etc.

Singing. Benediction by Saml Wells.

27 September 1891

Present on the stand Bp Murdock and Councelors Ross and Hopkins. Singing

Sacrement administered by Elders E. Newby and J.H. Wells.

Elder Wm Shelton made a few remarks on his experience in the past, etc.

Bp Murdock. Did we understand who we were and the work that was required of us. Spoke on the imence work there was to do for those that had died w2ithout a knowledge of the Gospel spoke on the requirements to liberaly assist in the erection of sutible Buildings to worship in. This was the day of lethergy spoken of by Nephi. The Saints are required to become saviors on mount Zion. We must be up and reform our lives etc.

Singing. Benediction by Councelor Ross

4 October 1891

Present on the stand Bp Murdock and councelor Hopkins.

Singing. Prayer by Bp Murdock. Singing

No Sacrement administered.

Elder Thomas Ross Felt to exhort all to faithfulness, spoke on the many testimonys he had received in the past in regard to the truth of the gospel, etc.

Elder Geo Charlesworth. Wished to do his duty at all times. Was no speaker had not in the past improved his opportunity as he might Was satisfied this was the work of God, etc.

Councelor Hopkins. Bore testimony to the previous remarks etc.

Bp Murdock gave notice of the Defence fund and Tabernacle Fund being due also the Temple quarterly Donation

All were required to do their duty everyone must work out their own salvation, etc.

Singing. Benediction by Wm Shelton.

11 October 1891

No Clerk being present No Record taken

18 October 1891

Present Bp Murdock councelors J Ross Home Missionaries C Nelson J.C. Johnson and Elders R.R. [or B.B.?] Farnsworth and L.A. Bean of Stake Presidency of the Y.M.M.I.A.

Singing Prayer by J. Ross Singing

Elder Nielsen spoke at some length on Sabbath Breaking etc.

Elder Johnson spoke on the same subject also on keeping all the commandments of God etc.

Elder Farnsworth Presented the Manual of the General Superintendency of the Y.M.M.I. Associations for their guidence and control for the coming season. Gave some Instruction and Councel. Spoke on the duties of the Saints on the intentions of the Leaders to rush the Salt Lake Temple to completion as quick as possible all must seek the Holy Spirit to guide them the [through] the Numerous Trials the Saints must pass through etc.

Elder Bean This is an individual Work each and every one for themselves with the assistance of the Holy Spirit etc.

Bp Murdock Was pleased with the remarks made wished the Y.M.M.I.A. to commence their meetings on Monday Oct 26” The pushing of the Temple was significant to him at least etc. Singing. Benediction by Samuel Wells.

25 October 1891

Present on stand Bp Murdock Councelor Hopkins WH Clark of the Stake Presidency Elders J Ostlund & WA Warnock.

Singing. Prayer by Samuel Wells. Singing

Sacrement administered by councelor Hopkins and Elder G Charlesworth.

Elder Ostlund was pleased to meet the saints in Joseph The Saints are different from the world because we have got knowledge of God and his attributes Showed the absurdity of the sectarian idea of our He[a]venly Father etc Bore testimony of the Gospel etc.

Pres W.H. Clark. Spoke on the instructions of the speakers during the Semi Annual Conference. There is no excuse for an Elder not doing their duties as placed upon them by those over them in the Priesthood it must be first the Kingdom of God. Refered to the report of the Utah Commission to Congress of its falseness and baseness. Explained the nature of the resolutions adopted at the Conference on the Commission’s report to Congress. The contributions to the defence Fund was an absolute duty of the Saints to assist in building up the Kingdom wherever needed and that it was to be a perpetual Fund as long as needed the People were required to assist the Sugar Factory with their means by taking stock in the same. Spoke on establishing Church Classes in Religion in each Ward. The Saints are required to aid in completing the Temple in Salt Lake City as speedily as possible and all the Saints might contribute according to their means. Spoke on the building of the Tabernacle in Richfield etc

Singing Benediction by W.A. Warnock



  1. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen speakers discuss the difference between “Caracter and Repputation.” That must have been a very reassuring subject in the days when there was such a difference between what Mormons really were and what people said about Mormons.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 18, 2014 @ 6:51 am

  2. Joseph, Utah?

    Oh, kind of southwest of Richfield. I’m not familiar with that part of the state.

    Comment by Amy T — February 18, 2014 @ 7:27 am

  3. Fund the sugar factory as well as the Church’s legal and political defense.

    One could liken unto us, but I defer.

    Comment by Grant — February 18, 2014 @ 8:55 am

  4. Yeah, I wasn’t sure what he was referring to when soliciting donations to the “Defence fund.”

    Comment by David Y. — February 18, 2014 @ 10:02 am

  5. Like a lot of the towns strung along U.S. 89 from Sanpete County down through Sevier and Piute and Garfield and Kane, it was just another signpost, a slowing to avoid the speed traps and to give the locals a chance to make their left turns, and then forgotten. But “Joseph” was memorable since it seemed incomplete. I remember seeing the sign and wondering, “Joseph what?” Who names a town “Joseph” anyway? Shouldn’t it be given the dignity of a “City” or “Town” or even a “Saint”–George got one, after all.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 18, 2014 @ 10:02 am

  6. Hey, my family lived in Joseph! Play nice! :)

    Yes, when the Church was fighting for its very existence, as well as the liberty of so many of its men, they enlisted Mormon and non-Mormon lawyers to help. I’m not so sure, either, that all payments raised by the defense fund went to … how shall I put it … payments that the recipients would have listed on their income tax returns. In a dirty world where the terms are set by dirty politicians and editors, sometimes you have to play by dirty rules.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 18, 2014 @ 10:09 am

  7. “In a dirty world where the terms are set by dirty politicians and editors, sometimes you have to play by dirty rules.”

    Whoah, Ardis! You can’t just casually drop that line and then saunter off!

    Comment by David Y. — February 18, 2014 @ 11:09 am

  8. :) Sure I can! I just did!

    I can’t take the time at work today to look up specific references, but there are evidences that the Church, or some of its agents, paid newspaper editors to print favorable editorials (the only way the Church could get its side into the public press), and that payments to Congressmen were sometimes contemplated — and no doubt followed through — to win their support against an anti-Mormon bill by keeping the bill from coming to the floor for a vote. I’m aware of this during the Brigham Young and John Taylor years; I don’t have research later than that.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 18, 2014 @ 11:12 am

  9. OK, thanks. This is helpful. I just needed some follow-up simply because the comments here went from basic info on a legal defense fund to something worthy of a cable legal drama in .02 seconds.

    Now, no more bugging you, Ardis. Thanks again.

    Comment by David Y. — February 18, 2014 @ 11:18 am

  10. I currently live in Hyrum, UT. The neighboring city was supposed to be called Joseph, but somehow wound up as Wellsville instead.

    Comment by LauraN — February 18, 2014 @ 11:24 am

  11. ardis What happened to fall general conference in this series of meetings?

    Comment by marva Packer — February 18, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

  12. marva, within Utah, a few stake or ward leaders might travel to Salt Lake for Conference, but for most Latter-day Saints outside of the immediate range of Salt Lake, it was just too far to travel. And of course there was no radio or TV broadcast in 1891. So most wards, even as near Salt Lake as Provo or Ogden, held regular Sunday services on weekends when the Church was meeting in Conference. Most people learned about Conference either by reading the talks published in the Deseret News (and later the Improvement Era), or else by hearing talks in their own wards once the few people who could afford the time and money to go to Conference in the Tabernacle returned home.

    Good question.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 18, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

  13. What about the Utah Commission? I’ve read something about them, either having to do with not seating B. H. Roberts when he was elected to Congress, or later with Reed Smoot. Or I could be wrong altogether, but somebody that I’ve read was blasting the Utah Commission in a letter to someone else, and complained that they (the commission) had hardly set set foot in Utah, so how could they know about conditions there? I wasn’t paying that close of attention at the time, and I could be thinking about the wrong decade entirely.

    Comment by kevinf — February 18, 2014 @ 4:56 pm

  14. Yours must be a later Commission, kevinf. The one referred to here was called for as part of the infamous Edmunds-Tucker Act (1887). They came out to micromanage our elections, decide who could register to vote and who would be allowed to hold office and whatever else they were detailed to do. I think the main Commission had five members (I haven’t doublechecked that), but that main body appointed men (almost all non-Mormons) throughout the territory to register voters (or rather, to prevent the registration of ineligible Mormons) and to supervise local elections. That all went away with Statehood, though.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 18, 2014 @ 5:16 pm

  15. The custom of holding regular ward meetings on General Conference Sundays continued at least into the 1970’s in the Washington, DC area. The Saturday morning session was frequently broadcast on TV on Sunday mornings, so Sunday School was cancelled, but Sacrament Meeting was held later in the day as usual, because there was no way to listen to conference.

    Comment by LauraN — February 20, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

  16. Thanks, Laura, that makes sense. I have been trying to remember my own early experience, since we lived in places far beyond the reach of KSL. I can remember years when we could get only a single session on radio or TV (the Church always asked us to write our thanks to the stations so they would continue the single broadcast the next Conference season), but I can’t remember one way or the other about Sacrament Meetings later in the day.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 20, 2014 @ 7:42 pm

  17. John Ross, counselor, is my great grandfather. It is wonderful to read a little of what he said. My mother always referred to Joseph as “Joe Town.”

    I have a photo of the Joseph Sunday School taken around 1900. I would be glad to share it.

    My grandmother, John Ross’ daughter, married a grandson of Ann Horrocks Marsh. She has found her way onto your blog in the past.

    So glad you posted this.

    Comment by Mary Lou — February 21, 2014 @ 11:50 am

  18. Mary Lou, I’m always tickled to learn that someone has found a family connection (or two) to a post — thanks for letting me know! I’d also love to post your photograph. Could you send it to me at AEParshall [at] aol [dot] com? .jpg is the easiest format for me to use, but I can probably adapt anything else, too. Thanks.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 21, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

  19. This post just made my day today!

    My family is from Joseph also. William (Bill) Roberts owned the log store in town. It often wasn’t stocked that well, but if someone wanted something he’d hop in his Model T and drive to Elsinore or Richfield to get it. That’s a bit after these minutes though.

    I’m curious who the Elder Hansen from Elsinore was because that is where my grandmother’s Hansens are from.

    I just love these minutes. Thank you so much for sharing them Ardis.

    Comment by Stan — February 22, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

  20. Visited Joseph on July 16, 2015. Found Thomas and Rachel Ross’s graves. After I got home I looked in our family bible and found that my great grandparents went down to visit in Joseph bringing their four little girls. They caught cholera while in Joseph in Oct. 1888 and buried three of their four daughters there. Sad trip.

    Comment by Diane Tanner — July 18, 2015 @ 2:07 pm