typewritten bound autobiography A Sketch of My Life, 1 vol. 260 pp.; typewritten bound biography Mary E. Woolley Chamberlain: Handmaiden of the Lord, 1 vol. 364 pp: ill.
Mary Elizabeth Woolley Chamberlain was born January 31, 1870 in St. George, Utah. She went to school in Kanab, Utah and later attended the L.D.S. College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mary returned to Kanab to work as a store clerk. There she met Thomas Chamberlain whom she married on August 6, 1900. She was Thomas' sixth wife. Mary moved to Salt Lake City where her first child, Royal, was born. Soon, Mary and Thomas were subpoenaed before the U.S. Senate regarding hearings over Reed Smoot, a Utah senator and accused polygamist. Because of this, the Chamberlain family went underground to escape persecution and imprisonment. They rarely saw each other for the next six and half years. During this time, Mary moved between Salt Lake City, Centerville, Utah and Colonia Juarez, Mexico where her second son, Dee, was born. She moved back to Kanab after the polygamist raid died down, but lived under the assumed name of Mary Howard. In 1911, Mary was elected president of the town board. This board was composed entirely of women and attracted much national attention. In 1918, Thomas Chamberlain died, leaving six wives and fifty-five children. Later Mary moved to Provo to be closer to her two sons. By 1930, Mary wanted to be closer to the L.D.S. temple and moved to Salt Lake City, where she died in 1953.
Mary Chamberlain's autobiography is hardbound with typescript pages, making it easy to read and follow. The contents are memories, so at times the writing jumps and rambles, but her style entertains. Mary includes detailed descriptions of the duties in running an early 20th Century dairy farm and many pioneer remedies for curing ailments. Mary gives insight and explanation on the blessings and trials of polygamy. She includes narration of the social, economical, and geographical settings of the early 20th Century American West. Mary's autobiography ends with a testimony of her faith in her church, family and God. MSS SC 1099: This hardbound biography is actually a reprint of Mary Chamberlain's autobiography. However, the introduction is a compilation of tributes and memories of Chamberlain's extended family. The editors of the biography are Chamberlain's sons, who have retyped her story in a cleaner font. Mormon women, Medicine