Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter XXXIX
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All was flourishing. Attaining to independence. Factory burned. Sent a chill to Lorenzo's heart. Instead of discouragement it was proof of the strength of their compact. Everywhere manifest, even in the Children. Union could not be broken. Impregnability of their Order. Deseret News speaks. Commendatory. Sympathy. Calamity is proof of the strength of the Co-operative system. Determination to rebuild.
HILE everything in connection with the United Order was in a nourishing condition, and the people, through their extensive departments of home indus- tries, were fast attaining to a comparative state of indepen- dence, in the providence of God a serious calamity befel them, 'j'heir woolen factory, one of their most productive and important departments, with all it contained, was des- troyed by fire, which will elsewhere be fully explained.
After all the deep study, intense anxiety, constant labor and long-continued watchfulness in behalf of the interests of the people dependent on the success of their united efforts, the burning of their factory, although at the instant it sent a chill to his heart, was proof to Lorenzo of the power and strength of their grand compact. Instead of discouragement, misfortune actually seemed to draw the people more closely together, and more firmly cement the bonds of union.
This principle was everywhere apparent even actuating the little children, as was shown in instances when little girls and boys, of their own accord, came forward with the small fractional moneys they had been carefully saving for Christ- mas, saying, " We will r/ive it io Brother Snow to help build another factory." Children, with few exceptions, are an index to the parents, and the foregoing little incident goes far to illustrate the general feeling in Brigham City after the burn-
ing. Their subsequent losses, although heavy, and aggra- vated by injustice and oppression, had not sufficient power to disrupt the bond of union in which those people were linked .together. By the help of the Almighty they had constructed a fortress that was proof against calamity, and impregnable to the common vicissitudes of human life, for the vital reason it was founded and conducted on eternal prin- ciples.
Relative to this subject, the Deseret News expressed as follows:
"The intelligence of the destruction, by the devouring element, a few days since, of the Brigham City woolen factory, caused a general profound feeling of regret and sympathy in the minds of the Latter-day Saints. That little community in the northern part of the Terrritory have been engaged, for a little over a dozen years, in demonstrating a principle of intense importance the feasibility of a self-sustaining co-oper- ative policy. In this direction they stand in advance of the people of the entire West. In fact, considering the numerous disadvantages under which they have labored, we doubt if a more satisfactory development of material interests exists anywhere on this globe.
"The eyes of the Latter-day Saints have been turned in the direction
of the people of Brigham City, and their co-oper-
ative system has been watched perhaps more closely than was imagined. It was thought that the burning of their excellent factory would retard the development of their home industrial pursuits, and delay the further demonstration of the great truth that a community, even a small one, can exist and flourish in a condition of measurable indepen- dence of the changes and fluctuations in operation out- side of it. Apparent misfortunes are, however, not deficient of benefit. This seeming calamity exhibits, perhaps as much as any other circumstance could, the extraordinary vitality and consequent power existing in a comparatively united
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community, whose business is done on a co-operative mutual protective system.
"Nothing daunted, those good people, inspired by the example of their leaders and advisers, and by the spirit of the Gospel say, 'We will build another factory,' and at once commence to carry their commendable resolution into effect.
"Coupled with this determination, is another to provide labor and the means of subsistence, in the meantime, for the operatives thrown out of employment by the burning of the factory.
"Such a community shows its independence in the true sense of the word; and every right thinking person cannot do otherwise than wish such a people well.
"We understand there are between forty and fifty home industrial branches of business carried on under the Brighani City co-operative system."