[George F. Richards]
My brother Fred came down from Logan [Utah] and I spent an hour with him and my mother at her home and after his departure at 3:30 to go down town and attend to business, I talked with Mother upon a subject about which we have never before conversed.
She told me about President Brigham Young's treatment of Father Willard [Richards]'s family after his death. Father Willard as Church Historian had his office in his home where my mother and his sister Sarah lived. At his death the office effects, papers, records &c were removed from there and when certain papers were wanted and could not be found Brigham came over to their home and charged them with having purloined them for the purpose of getting money out of them later "as did Emma Smith." Mother and Aunt Sarah disclaimed any knowledge of them and he in a gruff manner insisted that they had them and commanded them to tear open their feather beds, which of course they did not do, and when they shed the tears of broken hearts and wounded spirits he charged them with shedding crocodile tears. Bro[ther]. Robert Campbell later told the folks that the papers had been found but no apology was ever offered. The women took in sewing and did what they could at maintaining themselves and raised what they could in their garden. It was in a conspicuous place where the present Des[eret]. News building stands & in the rear. Brigham told Tho[ma]s. L. Kane the administrator of the estate that that family must be moved from there. Brigham told him to have them moved to Farmington [Utah] and it was done to the sorrow and almost breaking of their hearts. This the cause of the move because these widows were seen working in the garden which was a shame and a disgrace, to whom? After property had been recovered, Brigham instructed B[isho]p. J. W. Hess to not let the Doctor's widows be baptized at time of the reformation and it became known and they were under a cloud in Farmington in consequence, but later word was sent to them that they might be baptized. At one time the properties were consecrated to the Church. Brigham told our folks they owned nothing it all belonged to the Church but when he came to try & sell the property he found the title vested in the family (Estate) Jennings Corner. I allude to particularly as it was he who was trying to buy the property. Mother's justification for speaking of these things even now for the first time when I am in my fiftieth year is as a partial paliation for the weak faith of Heber, Willard & Joseph, not justifying them but accounting for their condition of faith.
[George F. Richards, Diary]