Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ann Prior Jarvis Diary — April 29–May 3, 1884

[Ann's dates were mixed up for a few entries here and show corrections.]

Tusday 29. Weather changeble I spent the day at Em she had a rag bee    they were a dull crowd  baby crying was the amusement. It made my head ache.

Wed 30. Wea[ther] dull cloudy it is the last of this month we still continu to have showers the Lord is indeed blessing the dry desert land with early and better rains according to the promise of the servants of the Lord

Friday 1. I spent the day mending & other [illegible] work (We are having slight showers

May 1 thursday Weather pleasant Father & I went to fast meeting  I attended my relief society in the lyceum was pleased with the beautiful neat building   I thought I would like a room finished like ^it^

[From Charles Lowell Walker's diary: "Went to Fast Meeting and spoke a few words on the gift of toungues and refered to a Prophecey that was given in tongues when I was a child in England; that my Father and his family should all be gathered to the land of Zion which was literally fulfilled although in a curious manner. I blessed the little daughter of Hyrum S Prisb[re]y...Bro Jarvis and Barnes assisting, also its Father."]

2 Friday. It is a most delightful day all nature seems glad of the warm sunshine we must be thankful for the rains if I were not to watch my thoughts I should murmer at the blessing of God when he permits it to rain Father is mending ^Br Milnes fence^

[In margin: I rode in the buggy
I was
danger [indecipherable] to
sick in
half the
day could not breath

3 Saturday Weather fine my health is bad I have a distressing cough I rode out in the evening Father turned a dollar on the Tithing office to the herd Boy on account of herd

Rag bee — A rag bee was a gathering of women. They cut or tore up old clothing into strips and then rolled the strips into a ball. The rags could then be woven into rugs.

"Father & I went to fast meeting" — This was when Fast and Testimony Meetings were held on Thursdays. Why Thursdays? Probably the same reason Thanksgiving, or days of fasting and days of thanksgiving, were held on Thursday: each day of the week except Thursday already had specific functions in Colonial America, and the Church arose in this religious and cultural tradition.

Lyceum — When the Temple was completed in 1877, the adjoining bakery was converted to a community building. It was called the "Lyceum" and was the Relief Society building and city library.

"a dollar on the Tithing office" — Cash was scarce in the Mormon settlements, so the pioneers would sometimes use what was called "tithing scrip" to substitute for cash. See Leonard Arrington's Great Basin Kingdom for more details, particularly Bill Nye's humorous and "undoubtedly aprocryphal" story about the use of tithing scrip:
In those days if you wanted to go the theatre you took butter, eggs, chickens, potatoes, wheat, anything like that to a tithing house, and they would give you script for it. Then you took the script to the theatre or to any store and bought what you wanted with it. 
On one occasion I took a big fat turkey up to the tithing yard to sell for script and the tithing clerk had gone to supper. I waited and he did not return, so I had to go and get the young lady I had invited to go with me, and I carried the turkey into the window of the box office and asked for two balcony seats. 
That clerk at the window handed out the two tickets and two spring chickens for change and I had to sit there all through the performance with a chicken under each arm and the young lady I was with was quite peeved that I paid so little attention to her. I was never so embarrassed and uncomfortable in all my life. (GBK, 144-145.)

Arrington, Leonard J. Great Basin Kingdom; An Economic History of the Latter-Day Saints, 1830-1900. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958.

"Raider of gin," [pseud.], "Chickens.jpg" [picture of spring chickens taking dustbath], Flickr, August 27, 2012.

Walker, Charles L., Andrew Karl Larson, and Katharine Miles Larson. Diary of Charles Lowell Walker. Vol. 2. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 1980.

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