Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter XXXVIII

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Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow:

One of The Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Eliza Roxcy Snow
Chapter XXXVIII


CHAPTER XXXVIII.

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290 BIOGRAPHY AND

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

Lorenzo's gigantic movement. In accordance with President Young's sug- gestion. A social monument. To be perpetuated. Letter to Bishop Lunt. Mercantile and Manufacturing Association. Effort requisite. First, Merchandise. = Second, Tannery. Third, Woolen Factory. Fourth, Dairy. Fifth, a Horn Stock Herd. Agricultural Department. Hat Factory. Between thirty and forty industrial branches. Furnish employment for all. Form of checks. Labor received for capital stock. Organization of the Association. Directors. Council.

great work, designed to bring into exercise the gigantic powers, and exhibit Lorenzo in a higher sphere of practical engineering as an organizer, states- man and financier, was yet to come.

Prompt to the suggestion of President Brigham Young, in an order designed to firmly cement the bonds of union among the Latter-day Saints, thereby laying a foundation for mutual self support and independence, through a combina- tion of temporal and spiritual interests, founded on a co-op- erative basis, Hercules-like, Lorenzo put his shoulder to. the wheel, and, although he saw at a glance the, magnitude of the undertaking, that it required almost superhuman skill and the labor of years, with him duty was the watchword, and success the ultimatum. Results have shown that no difficul- ties were too great for him to encounter, and no achievement too ponderous for his grasp.

Generations hence, when its illustrious founder shall be sleeping with the fathers, Brigham City will be an unique, interesting subject for the study of the sociologist, and the review of the historian. It will stand as an example of a city that grew up on a pure co-operative plan; it will prove that social commonwealths are possible; and it will historically


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perpetuate to the Latter-day Saints themselves the order that the Prophet Joseph revealed as the basis of a millennial society. Truly is Brigham City a great social monument of the age. Its venerable founder is worthy of immortality for the social problems he has solved for our latter day Zion; and the people who have so nobly wrought with him are worthy of remembrance in the pages of history.

In the following leCters the reader will find a condensed history of the United Order of Brigham City, which shows the work of great inventive skill, the power and strength of union and concert, combined with unabated perseverance and unwavering faith in God.

Notwithstanding a series of calamities have, for a time, partly suspended the combined operations of this model system of co-operation, the very satisfactory point to which it has attained, and the beneficial results of the workings of the combination, are proof of the practicability of its success.

BRIGHAM CITY, OCTOBER, 1876. Bishop Lunt, Cedar City:

In accordance with your request, I send you the follow- ing brief account of the rise, progress and present condition of "Brigham City Mercantile and Manufacturing Association."

We commenced over twelve years ago by organizing a mercantile department, which consisted of four stockholders, myself included, with a capital of about three thousand dollars. The dividends were paid in store goods, amounting, usually, to about twenty-five per cent, per annum.

As this enterprise prospered, we continued to receive capital stock, also adding new names to the list of stock- holders, until we had a surplus of capital, or means, and suc- ceeded in uniting the interests of the people and securing their patronage. We resolved, then, to commence home industries and receive our dividends, if any, in the articles produce d.


292 BIOGRAPHY AND

Similar fears and notions were entertained by the stock- holders when this was proposed as you stated agitated the minds of your capitalists, viz: a possible diminution of dividends. It required some effort on the part of our stock- holders to reconcile their feelings with a knowledge of their duty and obligations as Elders of Israel and servants of God. A good spirit, however, prevailed, and a desire to build up the Kingdom of God, and work for the interests of the people, outweighed all selfish considerations; hence, consent was granted by all the stockholders to establish home industries and draw dividends in the kinds produced.

We erected a tannery building, two stories, 45x80, with modern improvements and conveniences, at a cost of $10,000 (ten thousand). Most of the materials, mason and carpenter work were furnished as capital, stock by such persons as were able and desired an interest in our institution.

The larger portion of this work was done in the winter season, when no other employment could be had, one-fourth being paid in merchandise to such as needed. We gained, by this measure, additional capital, as well as twenty or thirty new stockholders, without encroaching much on any one's property or business. This tannery has been operated during the past nine years with success and reasonable proiits, pro- ducing an excellent quality of leather, from $8,000 to $10,000 {eight thousand to ten thousand) annually. We connected with this branch of industry a boot and shoe shop; also, a saddle and harness shop, drawing our dividends in the articles manufactured in those departments.

Our next enterprise was the establishing of a woolen factory, following the same course as in putting up the tan- nery procuring the building materials, doing the mason and carpenter work in the season when laborers would otherwise have been unemployed. This, also, added to our capital increasing the number of our stockholders without interrupt- n g any man's business. The profits of the mercantile


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department, with some additional capital, purchased the machinery. During the past seven years this factory has done a satisfactory business, and we have not been necessitated to close for lack of wool, winter or summer, and have manufac- tured about $40,000 (forty thousand) worth of goods annually. This establishment, with its appurtenances, cost about $35,000 (thirty-five thousand).

With the view of probable difficulty in obtaining wool, we now started a sheep herd, commencing with fifteen hun- dred head, supplied by various individuals who could spare them, as capital stock. They now number five thousand, and prove a great help to our factory in times like these, when money is scarce, and cash demanded for wool.

Our next business was the establishment of a dairy; and, having selected a suitable ranch, we commenced with sixty cows; erected some temporary buildings, making a small investment in vats, hoops, presses, etc., all of which have been gradually improved till, perhaps, now it is the finest, best and most commodious of any dairy in this Territory. The past two years we have had five hundred milch cows, producing, each season, in the neighborhood of $8,000 (eight thousand) in butter, cheese and pork.

Next we started a horn stock herd, numbering, at present, one thousand, which supplies, in connection with the sheep herd, a meat market, owned by our association.

We have a horticultural and agricultural department, the latter divided into several branches, each provided with an experienced overseer.

Also, we have a hat factory, in which are produced all our fur and wool hats. We make our tinware have a pottery, broom, brush, and molasses, factory, a shingle mill and two saw mills, operated by water power, and one steam saw mill; and also blacksmith, tailor and furniture depart- ments, and one for putting up and repairing wagons and

car- 

riages.


294 BIOGRAPHY AND

We have a large two-story adobie building, occupied by machinery for wood turning, planing, and working mould- ings, operated by water power.

We have established a cotton farm of one hundred and twenty-five acres, in the southern part of the Territory, for the purpose of supplying warps to our woolen factory, where we maintain a colony of about twenty young men. This enter- prise was started about two years ago, and has succeeded beyond our expectations. The first year, besides making improvements in building, making dams, constructing water sects, setting out trees, planting vineyards, plowing, scraping, leveling and preparing the ground, they raised a large crop of cotton, which produced in the neighborhood of seventy thousand yards of warp. More than double that amount has been raised this season.

. We have a department for manufacturing straw hats, in which we employ from fifteen to twenty girls. Last year we employed twenty-five girls in our dairy, and have them in con- stant employ in our millinery and tailoring departments, also in making artificial flowers as hat and shoe binders as weavers in our woolen mills, and clerks in our mercantile department.

Many of our young men and boys are now learning trades, their parents being highly pleased that they are being furnished employment at home, rather than going abroad, subject to contract bad habits and morals.

We have erected a very elegant building, two stories, 32x63 feet; the upper part devoted to a seminary, and the lower occupied as a dancing hall. I have considered it of the highest importance to the interest of our community, to pro- vide for and encourage suitable diversions and amusements.

We have a department of carpenters and one of masons, embracing all in the city of that class of workmen.

Our association now comprises between thirty and forty industrial branches a superintendent over each, who is res


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ponsible to the general superintendent for its proper and judicious management. The accounts of each department are kept separate and distinct stock' taken annually sepa- rate statements and balance sheets made out and kept by the secretary of the association, so that the gain or loss of each may be ascertained and known at the end of the year, or oftener if required. At the close of each year a balance sheet is made from the several statements, giving a perfect exhibit of the business. From this exhibit a dividend on the invest- ments or capital stock is declared. The profit or loss of each department, of course, is shared equally by the stockholders.

We aim to furnish every person employment, wishing to work; and pay as high wages as possible mostly in home products. The past two or three years we have paid our employees five-sixths in home products and one-sixth in imported merchandise, amounting in aggregate, at trade rates, to about 160,000 (one hundred and sixty thousand). In the year 1875 the value of products, in trade rates, from all our industries, reached about $260,000 (two hundred and sixty thousand). All these figures which I give you indicate our trade prices, which are less subject to change than when arranged on a cash basis.

The employees in the various departments are paid- weekly, at the secretary's office, in two kinds of scrip; one of which is redeemed at our mercantile department, the other is good and redeemed at our various manufacturing depart- ments. These checks are printed on good, strong paper, in the form of bills, from five cents up to twenty dollars, and constitute the principal currency in circulation.

Through this medium of exchange our employees pro- cure their breadstuff's, pork, mutton, beef, vegetables, clothing, boots and shoes, building materials, such as lumber, shingles, lath, lime, adobies, brick, etc., and pay their masons and car- penters, school bills, admission to concerts, theatres, lectures; also pay for Deseret News, Salt Lake Herald and Juvenile


296 BIOGRAPHY AND

Instructor, etc., besides many other things that are unnecessary to mention.

The following is the form of our checks: First class


No. $

BRIGHAM CITY MERCANTILE AND MANUFACTURING ASSOCIATION. Good for In Merchandise. Secretary.


Second class


No. $

BRIGHAM CITY MERCANTILE AND MANUFACTURING ASSOCIATION.

Good for

Payable at our retail trade prices, in an assortment of

Home Manufactures. N. B. Good only to stockholders and employees of Brigham City.

Secretary.

Last year it cost $30,000 (thirty thousand) cash to carry on our business; half of this was paid to employees, in imported merchandise, one-sixth of their wages, the other for imported material, such as iron, horse shoes, nails, furniture, boot and shoe trimmings, paints, dye-stuffs, warps, etc., neces- sary in our business.

Labor is received from employees for capital stock, and dividends paid in home products, averaging about twelve per cent per annum, since starting our home industries.

'Trusting this brief review will satisfy your inquiries, I close with the most sincere and heartfelt wish that you may prosper and succeed in establishing principles of union and brotherhood in the hearts of your people.

Respectfully,

LORENZO SNOW.

The following shows the elaborate organization of the grand systematic co-operative order which combines the faith, wisdom, intelligence, means, skill, labor, effort and enterprise


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of many in one general interest. Names of the officers: Original directors Lorenzo Snow, president; Samuel Smith, Abraham Hunsaker, Alvin Nichols, James Pett, H. P. Jensen, G. W. Ward, J. D. Reese, W. L. Watkins, secretary. United Order Council Lorenzo Snow, Samuel Smith, Alvin Nichols, H. P. Jensen, William Box, John Welch, James Byvvater, N. C. Mortensen, A. Hillam, I. Jeppason, L. Mortensen, W. Wrighton, John Christensen, J. M. Jensen, G. W. Ward, M. L. Ensign, J. C. Wright, Mads C. Jensen, S. N. Lee, J. C. Nielson, David Boothe, Ephraim Wight, Paul Stork, Jacob Jensen, Carlos Lovelaud, John Johnson, B. Morris Young, R. L. Fish- burn, 0. N. Stohl, Alexander Baird, Abraham Hunsaker, Oliver G. Snow, J. D. Burt, Charles Kelley, James Pett, Henry Tingey, Adolph Madsen, L. C. Christensen, William Horsley, T. H. Wilde, George Reader, A. Christensen, P. F. Madsen, H. E. Bowring, Elijah A. Box, William L. Watkins, N. H. Nelson, P. A. Forsgren, A. A. Jansen, Willard Hansen, Neils Madsen, Jr., P. C. Jensen, Lucius A. Snow, Lars A. Larsen, Jonah Evans, Neils Madsen, J. D. Reese, J. C. Wixom, C. Hansen, Charles Wight, George Facer, F. Hansen.