The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, June 08, 1899, Page 12, Image 12

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12 'Cbe Conservative *
TIVE on the rear platform ; and dust is
projected in such quantities as only the
most conscientious correspondent would
endure. But the Weber river is really
a fascinating stream , and one imagines
how Fremont would have enjoyed riding
its waves in his famous india-rubber
boat , with faithful Basil Lajounesse be
hind to pick up the pieces. Wo pass
the 1000-mile tree , one of the most in
teresting of relics to the observer of rail
road antiquities. It is a venerable pine ,
rather the worst for wear , which stands
facing a formidable cliff of red rock ;
a painted sign , hanging from one of its
few remaining boughs , tells a tale which
is no longer truthful , for changes in the
line have set the real 1000-mile post
some miles further on , and other cut
offs now contemplated will , it is said ,
dislocate it some thirty miles more.
Now we outer a state with a unique
history , which will perpetuate the mem-
. ° iy ° f BriSham
Young when Mor
mons are no more , should such a time
over come. There is no lack of Mor
mons , however , at present , and at Mor
gan , our first stop , we see a token of
their presence in the sign on the front of
the main store , where the letters Z. O.
M. I. appear : indicating that great cor
poration in whoso title religion and
business are so characteristically blended ,
the Zion's Cooperative Mercantile In
stitution. Ogden seems to be a
thoroughly modern town ; it has a great
power plant , driven by water from the
mountains , the power of which is carried
across the plain by electric wires to Salt
Lake City. Ogdeu is said to be a gentile
town ; two gentiles of the seed of Abra
ham are busy disputing on the platform ,
presenting a spectacle to bo enjoyed no
where in the world outside Utah. But
on the train we are among Mormons ; a
tall gaunt female with a keen eye re
calls Artemus Ward , and sends a chill
down a conservative spine ; and a scrap
of overheard conversation reveals the
presence of unaccustomed forces ; "so-
and-so holds his place , not through his
own ability , but thanks to his ecclesias
tical position. "
On the return journey there are a
dozen young men setting forth on a mis-
Mormons. sionary career ,
Chattanooga being
their objective point. It is known that
they are paid no salary , but one wonders
by what means they are chosen. "Are
you also among the lucky ones ? " says
one to another. They have the hands of
workiugmeu , but their clothes and their
persons are apparently clean ; illustrat
ing two cardinal points of Brigharn
Young's creed , industry and cleanliness.
None of them is observed to chew to
bacco , drink anything from a pocket-
flask or tell unsavory stories ; each is
armed with a King James' Bible and
the Book of Mormon , and their conver
sation is on technical subjects , illustrated
with chapter and verso. Two of them
are discussing the apostolic hvjniiction ,
"Saluto ono another with a holy kiss. "
It does not appear that either one is so
liciting that refreshment , they merely
argue for the joy of disputation. It is
learned that it is not displeasing to them ,
to bo called Mormons , and that each one
firmly believes that Joseph Smith found
golden plates with the Book of Mormon
written on them , in characters which
learned men from New York considered
to be Hebrew and Egyptian mixed ; that
he read them by means of miraculous
spectacles , and that the One who brought
them to him subsequently removed them
whence he came.
Thirty hours from the Missouri river
we come again upon Captain Fremont ,
_ . . , . , who himself is
The Lulu : . . , . , ,
ninety-eight days
from the bank of that stream. We meet
upon the shore of the Great Salt Lake ,
and it is a most unearthly looking sheet
of water that bears that name. Many
uncanny and superstitious legends in re
gard to it were current among the early
explorers ; Fremont's men told him
things about it which excited his liveliest
curiosity , and he began to speculate on
what he would find two or three weeks
before he came to it. "Among the trap
pers , " he says , for example , "were many
who believed that somewhere on its sur
face was a terrible whirlpool , through
which its waters found their way to the
ocean. " If its appearance today is
fairly representative of its ordinary as
pect , it is little wonder that it aroused
suspicion in the minds of the hunters
who came upon it in the midst of this
laud of desert and mirage. Its gray
levels stretch without apparent bounds
to the west , where everything vanishes
in an indistinct haze. There is no horizon
zen line , the water , strange long shad
ows and stratified bands in the
distance all running together in a
perplexing way. Mountains of uncouth
configuration loom through the murky
air , some near , some indefinitely remote ;
and the water , instead of a sparkle of
blue waves , exhibits only a dead white
surface which glistens unwholesomely.
The flats along the shore are muddy ex
panses with a white fringe of salt , and
resemble the tidal marshes of the New
England coast.
Entering Salt Lake City , one hardly
thinks himself in America , for the very
g ° ° d reaSOU that
The City.
he sees no foreign
ers on the street and hears only English
spoken. The pleasant impression made
upon strangers by this city is a frequent
remark among travelers. It lies agree
ably , for one thing , with a most satis
factory set of mountains behind it , very
restful to travel-strained eyes. It is a
green city , moreover , having many
trees , prevalent among which is the tall
Lombardy poplar , not a common tree
elsewhere in this country , at least not to
this extent. Hero it is the favorite , in
country and city as well , owing its thrift
apparently to the free use of water. It
is doubtful if any other inland city in
the world is so lavish with water ; not
every town has unlimited mountain-
water to command , to begin with. On
the corner north of the Temple , in a
quiet residence street stands a stone
structure , from within which emerges a
fine rushing mountain-torrent , which
flows thence down the very middle of
the street in a miniature canyon of its
own ; and the sewer-basins at the street
corners , reversing the usual practice ,
give forth tiny mountain-rivulets of the
clearest water , which run prettily down
the street , a streamlet on each side , next
the curb. On the side streets , a little
off-shoot diverges into each man's gar
den , for him to irrigate with if he
choose ; on the main business street there
are the same swift clear brooks , flowing
around the feet of standing horses and
bearing away the banana-peels of the
populace. Again ono is reminded that
he is in an extremely cleanly com
The Temple and Tabernacle are there ,
as represented , but they are surrounded
by a twelve-foot fence which is not
shown in the pictures. On the main
corner is the statue of President Young ,
the work of a native sculptor , which
strikes THE CONSERVATIVE as being an
unusually effective figure ; the extended
left hand mny be a little equivocal , but
the artist has come by an attitude of the
right , holding the historic cane , which
expresses tremendous force.
Salt Lake City appears to be not only
a good place to live , but a very tempting
place to ono interested in what Ameri
can men have done , within the space of
a life-time , with the wilderness that
Fremont , now only nine years dead ,
traversed when ho was a young man ;
opposite the Temple is what they call
the tithing-lot , a kind of corral with
thick and lofty walls of rough stone ,
which has an air of fortification ; the
town is full of the adobe houses that the
immigrants built when the days of their
first hardships were over ; within a cou
ple of blocks of the Temple , two even of
the primitive log-cabins , still in use , are
observed ; but THE CONSERVATIVE for
its part , has antiquities nearer home
which demand more immediate atten
tion than do those of Salt Lake City.
How many Americans understand
that public offices were created for pub
lic utility ? How few Americans real
ize the importance of fewer executive
or ministerial offices with better incum
bents ?
To those who falsely assert Jefferson
to have been the "father of universal
suffrage" the following is recommended
for rumination : "The cement of this
Union is in the hearts' blood of the people
ple ; the yeomanry of the country are
not tUe canaille of Paris. "