Mary Hannah Hayward Baker Bean was born 25 March 1868 in Nephi, Sanpete County, Utah, the sixth of thirteen children born to William George and Hannah Hayward Baker. In 1872, she and her family settled in Richfield, Utah, where Mary attended school, participated in theatre, and served in the Primary, Mutual, and Sunday School organizations. She married Victor Emanuel Bean on 7 December 1887 in the Logan Temple. They lived in several places as Mary's husband taught school, attended Brigham Young University, and worked as principal of the Richfield and Escalante Schools. In 1903, Mary and Victor moved to La Grande, Oregon to farm. Six years later, they rented a farm in North Powder. In 1913, tragedy struck when Victor worked as the foreman in a lumber camp and a tree fell on him. With ten children left at home, Mary sold their farm and moved closer to the church and school in La Grande. Besides serving as a Stake Relief Society Councilor, Mary had the challenge of raising her children: Ethel, Victor, George, Erma, Ellis, Walter, Hannah, William, Jesse, and Lila. In her older age, she spent time doing Temple work and visiting with her family. On her sixty-sixth birthday, Mary died of heart failure.
This collection is a combination of various letters, genealogical materials, photos, biographies, and autobiographies of the Baker family. The section containing Mary's biography is four typewritten pages long and also includes pictures of her family, a family group record, poetry about the family, and the biography of her husband. The biographer focuses more on Mary's adulthood than on her childhood. She tells of how Mary kept eight boarders in her home when Victor was attending BYU so that she could help pay for school expenses. Although it was difficult for Mary to live away from her family, she was always supportive of Victor and eventually grew to love her home in Oregon. When her husband died unexpectedly, life for Mary changed drastically as she became the sole provider for her ten children. When her children grew up, Mary longed for the fulfillment of a promise made to her in her Patriarchal Blessing, stating that she would serve in the temple. When she was called to serve in the Salt Lake Temple for one year, she gladly moved to Salt Lake and found joy in doing Temple work. Her daughter writes that Mary advised her children not to mourn her death because she would be able to join her husband again. Service, Widow