Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter LXI
Circular to the heads' of families. Names of Committees. Exercises for Wednesday, a. m. Wednesday, p. m. Thursday, p. m. Friday, p. m.
Prompt attendance. Letter from H. A. Hendrickson. Extracts from eastern communications. Weather propitious. Children amused. The hall. How occupied. Invited guests. Table scenes. Bachelor group. The Re-union indescribable. Article from Deseret N'eivs, by C. W- Pen rose.
'HIS chapter, and the chapter of addresses which fol- lows, very briefly report the unprecedented re-union which my brother had contemplated for months, and which, in its recent performance, resulted in a magnificent success, even beyond his most sanguine anticipations.
GRAND RE-UNION AND ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION. PART FIRST. CIRCULAR.
To the Head of each Branch of my Family:
For some time past, my mind has been considerably impressed with the subject of a family re-union, including my wives, my sons, my sons-in-law, my daughters, daughters- in-law and grand children, numbering considerably over one hundred, now living. The more I reflect upon this subject, the greater are my anxieties and desires for a family gathering, that I may see you all once in my life, and give you a father's blessing.
On the third of April next, if my life is spared, I shall be seventy years of age, and I think the seventieth anniversary
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of my birth a suitable time, and its celebration a fitting occa- sion for the contemplated re-union.
In view of the third of April being so near our annual Conference in Salt Lake City, also of that early season being subject to cold and stormy weather, I have decided on the seventh, eighth and ninth of May, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I request every one to be in Brigham City as early as Tuesday night, in order to join in the exercises of Wednes- day morning.
To make this family meeting pleasant, amusing and profitable to both old and young, I shall spare neither time nor expense, that every one may feel at home, free and sociable. Ample provisions will be made to make all comfortable for food and lodging, etc., as soon as they arrive. Programmes will be drawn with care and consideration, keeping in view the different ages and requirements; all to be carried out with life and spirit, for the gratification of the little ones as well as the amusement and edification of the older ones, that all may. be, interested and happy.
I shall forward you a copy of the programmes, and I trust you will consider no labor nor expense too much; and that you will allow nothing to prevent your attendance and that of your children, except the most serious and insurmountable obstacles, as it is very probable that this, our family re-union, will be, not only the first, but also the last we shall have in this state of existence.
Brigham City, Box Elder Co., Jan., 1884.
Names of Committees. First evening Parlor entertain- ment, by the children; Committee, Mrs. Minnie J. Snow, Mrs. Abigail S. Rosenbaum, Mrs. Eliza S. Dunford. Second even- ing Theatrical performance; Committee, Mr. Elijah A. Box, Mr. George F. Gibbs, Mr. Eli H. Peirce, Mrs. Lydia S. Peirce.
Third evening Family dance; Committee, Mr. Alphonso H. Snow, Mrs. Sylvia S. West, Mr. Leonidas T. Peirce, Mrs. Lydia S. Peirce, Mrs. Ida S. Gibbs. Committee on Decorations, Presi- dent Oliver G. Snow, Mr. Lorenzo Snow, Jr., Mr. Frank Snow, Mrs. Sylvia S. West, Mrs. Huldah J. Snow, Mr. M. D. Rosen- baum.
Programme for Wednesday, a. m. Bell-ring, half-past 0; assemble at 10. Order of exercises: Singing, "Welcome to all" (organ accompaniment), by the family ; prayer, President 0. G. Snow ; singing, "Greeting song" (organ accompaniment), the small children; opening address, President Lorenzo Snow; address (extempore), Mrs. Adaline Snow; address (extempore), Mrs. Harriet A. Snow; organ solo, Miss Parintha Snow; address (extempore), Bishop George Dunford; address (extem- pore), Mr. Orville Hendrickson ; " My mother's dear old song (organ accompaniment), Mrs. Clara S. McAllister; address '(extempore), Mrs. Sarah A. Snow; address (extempore), Mrs. Abigail S. Rosenbaum; singing, "Hard times come again no more," the family; address (extempore), Mrs. Phebe A. Snow; singing, "Bye and bye," all; benediction, Mr. Elijah A. Box.
Wednesday, p. m. Exercises: Singing, "Gospel call," by the family; prayer, Bishop G. Dunford; singing, "Glorious things," etc., the family; poem, Mrs. E. R. S. Smith ;' recita- tion, Miss Roxcy Lana Snow ; " Cuckoo song" (organ accom- paniment), Mrs. Huldah J. Snow; address (written), Mr. G. F. Gibbs; "My little German home across the sea" (organ accompaniment), Miss Dora Snow; address (extempore), Mr. E. A. Box; "Under the daisies" (organ accompaniment), Mrs. M. J. Snow; "The bells" (recitation), President 0. G. Snow; piano solo, Mrs. Ida S. Gibbs; address (extempore), Mrs. Eleanor H. Snow; "How the old horse won" (recitation), Mr. Alvirus E. Snow; song (organ accompaniment), Miss Virginia Snow; song, " Goood night," the small children : benediction, Col. C. Loveland.
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Thursday, a. m. Blessing meeting.
Thursday, p. m. Exercises: Singing, "What shall the harvest be?" by the family; prayer, Mr. G. F. Gibbs; singing, the family; address (written), Mr. M. D. Rosenbaum; piano duet, Mrs. I. Gibbs and Mrs. M. J. Snow; "Eugene Aram's dream" (recitation), Mr. Leslie W. Snow; "The white canoe" (organ accompaniment), Mrs. Rosetta S. Loveland and Miss Dora Snow; "jSheridan's ride" (recitation), Mr. George F. Gibbs; "Schneider's ride" (recitation), Mr. Eli H. Peirce; song, "Eilene Allanna," Mr. Leonidas T. Peirce; address (poem), Mr. Orion Snow; piano solo, Miss Virginia Snow; address, Mr. Frank Snow; "The two cousins" (vocal duet), Miss Parintha and Mrs. Huldah Snow; address (extempore), Mr. Alphonso Snow; "His mother, the boy's best friend" (song), Mrs. Sylvia AVest; address (written), Mrs. M. P. Young; "Jane Conquest" (recitation), Mrs. Ida S. Gibbs ; " Peace upon the waters," Mr. Eli and Mrs. Lydia S. Peirce ; address (impromptu), Mr. Charles W. Penrose; singing, "The crowning day," the family; bene- diction, Mr. F. H. Snow.
Friday, a. m. Blessing meeting.
Friday, p.m. Exercises: "Shall we gather at the river?" by the family; prayer; singing, the small children; organ duet, Mrs. M. J. and Miss Dora Snow; address (extempore), Mrs. Mary H. Snow; Trio, "Come, rise with the lark," Presi- dent 0. G., Mrs. Mary P. and Dora Snow ; address, Mrs. Minnie J. Snow; song, "Sweet Evangeline" (guitar accompaniment), Mrs. Eliza S. Dunford; address, Mr. Hiram Hendrickson; song, "Lillie Dale" (organ accompaniment), Mrs. Roxcy S. Box; address, Col. Loveland; parting address, President Lorenzo Snow; singing, "Sweet bye and bye," all ; benediction President Lorenzo Snow.
In prompt response to the circulars issued by Brother Lorenzo, the members of his family, with very few exceptions, were present at the opening exercises of his birthday celebra- tion and family re-union. The unavoidable detentions were
surmounted with promptitude, and the delinquents put in their appearance in eager haste, in all possible cases.
The following, from Mrs. Mary Adaline's eldest son, by her former husband, is the expression of a noble, honest and appreciative heart:
PAROWAN, IRON COUNTY, MAY 5, 1884. Hon. Lorenzo Snow:
Dear Father. It is with the greatest reluctance that I am compelled to say I shall be unable to attend the coming celebration of your seventieth anniversary. I have delayed making excuse until this late moment, in the vain hope that something would occur which would enable me to be present.
However, if I may not be present in person, I certainly shall be in spirit, desiring that everything on that occasion may bring to you, honored sir, an increase of joy, honor and praise.
In reviewing your life-labors and sacrifices, I am almost constrained to write encomiums, but I forbear I will leave that for a more worthy hand; but permit me to say that the examples set before me in your life are not altogether lost. I feel their impress every day I live; and whatever I have of hope, of aspiration or ambition, seems to rest on a worthiness of a name and place in your family.
When I see you, I doubt not, I will be able to give sufficient and satis- factory reasons for my absence from the family re-union.
With good desires and well wishing,
I remain, affectionately yours,
HIRAM A. HENDRICKSON.
Extracts from two letters written by non-"Mormon" rela- tives in the East, in response to invitation circulars from Brother Lorenzo:
CHICAGO, MAY IST, 1884.
Dear Cousin Lorenzo. Your kind invitation to your family re-union was duly received, and we are truly grateful for your remembrance of us. After due and thoughtful consideration, we cannot see our way clear to join you. We are very loth to relinquish our hope of commingling with you on an occasion so full of promise, and of congratulating you and cousin Eliza on the blessed privilege you will enjoy in thns uniting in social re-union.
We have no one here to whom we can safely entrust our cares more especially the responsibility of our young family, and we feel compelled to
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forego the happiness \ve should fully appreciate. Our aged mother is now
with us, and wishes me to express her warmest regards and love for you all.
Hoping and firmly believing that at no very distant day I shall visit you at your home, and wishing you and yours much joy and many happy
I remain, most sincerely yours,
TAYLOR A. SNOW.
AUBURN, GEAUGA COUNTY, OHIO, MAY 2, 1884.
Dear Cousin Lorenzo. With mingled feelings of pleasure and regret, I now write you. It is pleasure to be the recipient of an invitation to a great event, and with feelings of deep regret
we are obliged to decline the
invitation. After the receipt of yours, for weeks we neither talked, dreamed or thought much of anything but going to Salt Lake. Alonzo, myself and our wives decided on coming, but Alonzo's son-in-law, who had been in a decline, was taken worse, and his condition became so alarming, we could not leave; and at this writing his death is hourly anticipated.
- I must close by sending our love and good wishes to you and
your magnificent family. May you live to enjoy many anniversaries.
Wishing you success in all your undertakings, and hoping we may yet visit you and your family,
I subscribe myself, your cousin,
OLIVER F. SNOW.
The programmes, which had been pre-arranged, were car- ried out with very few alterations, and were, without one exception, executed in the most gratifying manner. Even the elements seemed to participate in the arrangement ; Nature, by refulgent smiles and harmonious bearing, contributed much to the enjoyment of the auspicious occasion. It was a strik- ing and very noticeable coincident, that the weather, which for a long time previous had been drearily stormy and threat- ening, even up to mid-day before the opening, on that momentous morning presented a cloudless sky and calm atmosphere, which continued till after the close of the festival.
Our new-styled Patriarch apparently lost sight of nothing that would add to the innocent and laudable gratification of all ages and capacities. On the evening preceding the open-
ing of the general entertainment, for the special amusement of the little folks, who were in groups frolicking on the lawn in front of his residence, he had a variety of fantastic Chinese lanterns suspended in convenient proximity; the novelty of the queer illumination of those swinging orbs, with the small children, to whom the sight was new, created convulsions of laughter and merriment, in which some of "larger growth" participated through sympathy with the youngsters.
The upper hall of the court house, in which the devo- tional and intellectual exercises were performed, is 45x65 feet, with a gallery extending across one end. A platform twelve feet wide, extending the width of the hall raised one foot above the floor, was occupied by the family, with the exception of from twenty to twenty-five small children; these were seated in double rows beside the platform; and having been prepared by careful training, sang sweetly, as none but children can sing, to the no small gratification of all present. Near one end of the platform (one on each side of the speak- er's table), stood a piano and organ. The brass band occupied the stage on the left; the auditorium, including the gallery, on the right, was filled with guests.
With the exception of the family dance on Friday even- ing, in the Social Hall, the "COUNCIL OF THE UNITED ORDER OF BRIGHAM CITY," with their wives, were invited guests during the three successive days and evenings. In view of contributing, so far as consistent with the peculiarities of the occasion, to the happiness of many, Brother Lorenzo reached beyond his own family circle and the "Council," by increasing the audience to the full capacity of the auditorium, inviting as many of the citizens of the city and vicinity as could be accommodated.
The entire exercises were performed by Brother Lorenzo and family, with the following exceptions: brass band; Elder C. W. Penrose, editor of the Deseret News, and intimate friend of my brother, by special invitation being present, gave an
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eloquent extempore address on the platform also a humorous speech at the table, which elicited much applause. Mrs. M. P. Young, whose son is now a missionary on the Sandwich Islands, with his wife, Armeda S., was invited as their repre- sentative, and responded to the programme in a well written address; also the writer in a poem written for the occasion. At the conclusion of the table convivial on Friday, several of the gentlemen who had politely and genteelly served as hosts, were called on for speeches, and each appropriately responded, eliciting hearty cheers.
The after-dinner-table scenes were truly exhilarating, and added greatly to the ever-varying enjoyment. There perfect freedom, untrammeled by restraint, ruled the festive hour, when toasts, speeches, conundrums, and whatever would conduce to free, jolly, innocent amusement, interspersed with refined, high-toned sentiment, was in order.
Mr. Charles Kelley, a gentleman of proverbial amiability, and fully competent, superintended the table arrangements. The dining hall, 22x45 feet, had commanded the attention of the decorating committee. Two tables, extending the whole length, were amply spread with the bounties of the earth, and artistically decorated with flowers, and with beautifully mottoed cakes, fresh from the hands and plastic molds of skilful confectioners. The adults were seated at one table, and the little people, as chatty as magpies, and apparently as loving as doves, at the other, reserving a sufficient number of seats at the head of the table to accommodate the " bachelor group," over which one of the unmarried daughters presided.
The appended article, from the gifted pen of the editor of the Deseret News, which we copy from that paper, in his own eloquent style, touches the really indescribable subject- Lorenzo's family re-union. Any attempt at pen and ink representation, which necessarily fails to include the spirit and pervading influence of that entirely unique and unprece- dented social entertainment, must fall short of reality, from
the fact that human language is inadequate to express the inspiriting sensations and emotions of the head and heart. To say the least, everything moved with the precision of clock- work, and proved a grand and complete success ; every one, even to the little three-year-old, was fully up to his and her part in the programme of exercises.
GATHERING OF THE SNOWS.
On the 3d of April, 1884, Apostle Lorenzo Snow reached his seventieth year. Few who have noted his upright form, his quick, active step, his ready mind and his sharp, intelli- gent eye reading small manuscript without glasses have been aware that he was near upon the scriptural age of three score years and ten. He had been impressed for some time with a desire to gather around him his family and connections on the occasion of this birthday, but recognizing the fact that it was close to the time of the general conference, and com- monly a season when travel is difficult because of the spring rains, he fixed upon the 7th, 8th and 9th days of May for the family re-union. Invitations were extended, therefore, to his wives and children, sisters and brothers, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, with their little ones, to meet on those days in the court house, Brigham City, which was placed at his disposal for the purpose. The writer was present by special invitation, and greatly enjoyed the festivities.
At 10 o'clock, local time, the family met, numbering a hundred and ten persons present, and were called to order by Apostle Lorenzo Snow, who explained the object of the gather- ing, and announced the programme which had been arranged. He was assisted by his son, President Oliver G. Snow, in the management of the exercises. Speeches were made by the several wives of the honored Patriarch, expressive of their good wishes to him and their veneration for the principles of celestial marriage by which they were united to him and to each other; songs were sung and recitations given by daughters and sons, and at noon, in one of the lower rooms, tables were
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spread with a rich collation for the whole party. Here a speech was called for and responded to, impromptu, by C. W. Penrose, of Salt Lake, and pleasant sentiments were expressed by the company.
At 2 p. m. the exercises were resumed, the court room being filled with invited guests, and songs, recitations, written addresses, a very fine poem by Sister Eliza R. Snow Smith, extemporaneous speeches, etc., were delivered until 5 o'clock.
During the proceedings, the following telegram was received from Brother Snow's brother, a non-"Mormon :"
Santa Barbara, California, 4:30 p.m., May 7, 1884. Lorenzo Snow :
Hail, brother, sister! Love, peace, happiness, God's bless- ing on all. SAMUEL P. SNOW.
In the evening an entertainment was given by the little folks of the family, in the same place, which was filled with invited guests. Little children four years old and upwards recited, danced, sang, played on musical instruments and per- formed a pleasing play, introducing a fairy spectacle that gave an opportunity for the smaller children to display their talents. The costumes were elegant and appropriate, the performance was excellent, and everything passed off without a jar. The confidence and aptitude exhibited by the very little ones in coming out upon the stage alone to recite, making their bow and retiring with grace, was really remarkable as well as pleasing in the extreme.
On Thursday the family met again at a general dinner, at half-past 12 o'clock, when toasts and sentiments were called for from nearly every member of the family but the grandchildren, and none failed to respond. Wit, humor, good wishes and benedictions filled up the time rapidly until 2 o'clock, when the entertainment was continued, the court room being crowded to its utmost capacity. Some most excellent
impromptu speeches were delivered and recitations and poems declaimed. In the evening, "Love's Sacrifice" was splendidly performed, all the actors being members of the family, sons or sons-in-law, daughters
or daughters-in-law of the honored
The general talent displayed was really exceptional. Every one called upon, down to the little girls scarcely able to speak plainly, responded without hesitation, and none were unable to perform their respective parts in a manner that would do credit to well trained professionals. It is indeed rare to find so much talent in one family. Usually gifts of this kind are possessed but by one or two members, but the Snows seem all to be musical, poetical or dramatic, or all combined. Some most excellent addresses, written and impromptu, were made during the festivities, and we only regret that we have not space to reproduce them.
On Friday another family dinner was given, at which the sallies of wit, in toast and conundrum, were brilliant and humorous, and all the remaining adult members of the family who had not previously contributed to the after-dinner exer- cises responded to calls from the President. A number of young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four were seated together at the head of one table as the bachelors' group, and were the objects of much pertinent advice. But they were fully able to return the retort courteous and added much to the general enjoyment.
In the afternoon, most of the family assembled on the east porch of Brother Snow's residence, facing the co-operative store, and were photographed in a group. In the evening a grand ball was given in the upper room of the court house, when the public part of the proceedings was brought to a close in a most enjoyable manner. During the intervals between the exercises, lasting threeMays, Brother Snow, as the Patriarch of his house, bestowed blessings upon the heads of many mem- bers of his large family, intending to continue before they
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separated for their respective homes, to lay his hands upon and bless them until all received his administrations, as it is unlikely that they will ever enjoy another re-union of this kind in this state of existence. Bi\t in the great eternity before us all, they expect a re-union of a far more extensive and pleasing character. When the head of this family, having gained his exaltation, and holding the keys of eternal lives and endless increase, will gather around him all that belongs to his house, saved, redeemed, resurrected, glorified to reign over them as a king and a priest unto God for ever, when there will be no trial, no weakness, no pain, and no death, and where perfect union and unfading affection will bind all together in the perfection of bliss and the majesty of the glorified sons and daughters of the Eternal Father.
In conclusion, we repeat the sentiment we expressed on the occasion : Health, blessing and peace to the Snows of our mountain valleys, with their head, chief and Patriarch ! May they be as numerous as the flakes that fall in winter, as firm and solid as the snows of our loftiest peaks in the defence of right and the maintenance of true principles ; as resistless as the mighty avalanche in sweeping away error and rooting up iniquity ; and shining in the sunlight of celestial glory, remain forever the emblem of all that is pure and beautiful and good !