Papers; Notes written for the benefit of members of the Woman's Hygienic Physiological Reform Classes; Selections from writings of pioneer poets: Y.L.M.I.A. Literary Course; Songs Celebrating the Relief Society; The poetry of Emily Hill Woodmansee
Emily Hill Mills Woodmansee was born March 24, 1836 in Warminster, Wiltshire, England to Thomas and Elizabeth (Slade) Hill. When Emily was 12 years old she heard LDS missionaries preaching the gospel in her neighborhood and quickly became convinced of the truth of their words. Emily's family and friends were less than thrilled with her enthusiasm for the Church. She was told by her father that if she joined the Church she would not be welcome in their home. Despite this opposition Emily was baptized when she was 20 years old and immediately left for the United States with her older sister, Julia, who had also converted. Upon their arrival in America, Emily and Julia traveled from New York to Iowa where they joined a handcart company to make the Mormon trek west to Utah. Their company experienced many difficult trials and may not have made it to Utah except for the timely rescuers sent from Salt Lake City by Brigham Young. In Utah Emily entered into the covenant of plural marriage when she wed William Gill Mills on June 14, 1857 in Salt Lake City. The couple had one child before William left on a mission for the Church. After he had been gone for three years Emily received a message from William stating that he would not be returning to Utah and severing their relationship. Following this difficult trial Emily married Joseph Woodmansee on May 7, 1864 in Salt Lake City and bore him eight children. When Joseph experienced financial difficulties due to incorrect mining speculations Emily began working in the real estate industry, where she became quite successful. Because of her talent in business Emily was appointed Treasurer of the Woman's Cooperative Store - a position she held for over ten years. Emily was also well-known for her abilities as a poet. Many of her poems were published in various magazines and journals, such as The Contributor and Parry's Literary Journal. In October 1899 she was awarded the gold medal for the Sunday School Jubilee Poem. Emily died on October 19, 1906 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
This collection includes three boxes of material dating from 1852 to 1906. The bulk of the three boxes are Emily's poems. Most are organized with an original copy of the poem followed by a typed copy and/or a clipping from a magazine if it was published. The first box also contains a sketch of the life of Emily Hill Woodmansee written by Mary Kelly. Other items in the first box are as follows: one copy of the October 1880 edition of The Contributor and two copies of the September 1885 edition of Parry's Literary Journal, (magazines in which Emily had published poems), minutes covering 1925-1926 from the Woodmansee Family Organization ( a group made up of family members for the purpose of doing genealogy and temple work), and notebooks in which Emily organized her poems alphabetically by title. Emily's poems cover a full range of topics and themes. Some of these topics include religion, family, God, faith, trials, trust, love, prayer, polygamy, and the role of women. Some of her poems are epitaphs for close friends and some are written for birthday or anniversary celebrations. Vault 618 So68n 1892: This item is a short book of notes written by Hannah Sorensen, teacher of the Woman's Hygienic Reform Classes. The notes were written and printed because there was not a textbook available for the class and because Hannah thought the notes would help her students learn and remember what they were taught. There are about 80 pages of notes which discuss feminine hygiene, pregnancy, and midwifery skills. On the last page of the book is a poem written by Emily Hill Woodmansee titled, The Daughters of Zion, the Friends of the Poor. BX 8608 .A1a no. 1462: This folder contains two copies of a small 15 page booklet titled, Selections From Writings of Pioneer Poets. There are five poems in the booklet: three written by Eliza R. Snow, one written by Emily Hill Woodmansee, and one written by Emmeline B. Wells. The booklet was a part of the Y.L.M.I.A. literary course for 1909-1910.BX 8608 .A1a no. 7154: This folder contains one piece of cardstock paper that was printed in 1992 by the LDS Church. The paper gives the words to two poems that were put to music and used by the Relief Society. The first poem is A Hundred Thousand Strong by Beatrice F. Stevens. This was the official rally song used by the Relief Society Membership Campaign before the 1942 centennial Relief Society celebration. The second poem, by Emily Hill Woodmansee, is titled Song of the Sisters of the Female Relief Society. It is ten stanzas long, but has since been modified and printed in the LDS hymn book as the song, As Sisters in Zion. BX 8688.1 .W859p 1986: This is a book of 355 of Emily Hill Woodmansee's poems compiled by Myron Bentley Abegg, one of Emily's great-great-grandsons. The compilation is about 540 pages and lists the typed poems alphabetically by title. Included in the book are photocopied pictures of Emily, her husband, Joseph Woodmansee, some of her children, two of her homes, and her gravestone.