a biography, journal, and other documents relating to the Yearsley family
Mary Ann Hoopes Yearsley was the second child born to George and Albina Woodward Hoopes on 8 January 1811 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Her family belonged to the Society of Friends, or Shakers, and lived the principles of honesty, industry, and frugality. Mary Ann was married on 11 September 1830 to David Dutton Yearsley, a man five years her senior, who had recently received a comfortable fortune and prosperous business from his father's estate. Soon after their marriage, Mary Ann and her husband received a nine year old orphan boy into their home, whom they raised carefully. About 10 years later, they were visited by missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mary Ann and her husband traveled to Nauvoo to research the church, where they met the Prophet, Joseph Smith. They became so convinced of the church's truth that they sold their land in Pennsylvania and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. Soon after their arrival in 1841, Joseph Smith told them that the Lord wanted him to form a stock company at $1.00 per share and build a Nauvoo House. Mary Ann and her husband quickly bought $3,000.00 shares. Her husband also rented and managed the Red Brick Store for the Prophet. In 1846, mobs drove Mary Ann's family out of Nauvoo and they were forced to leave their home and store and follow the Saints to Winter Quarters. From there, they moved to other places for short intervals until they settled at Rocky Ford. In 1849, Mary Ann's husband died and she was left to care for eight children. Before she left Rocky Ford, Mary Ann received a portion of her father's estate in Pennsylvania, which helped provide many families with money to make the trek to Salt Lake City. In 1850, Mary Ann reached Salt Lake City and settled in Weber. Two years later, she moved to North Willow Creek. While there, Mary Ann married Albert Allen on 29 February 1852. They had one daughter. After his death, Mary Ann moved to Ogden until she died on 22 November 1903.
This collection contains of a biography compiled in 1914 by Mary Ann's grandson, J.D. Cummings, a photograph of Mary Ann, correspondence from LeGrande L. Baker requesting biographical information about D.D. Yearsley, a certificate of baptism for D.D. Yearsley on 4 October 1844, and a diary handwritten by Mary Ann in 1872. The diary consists of daily entries about the weather, friends, relatives, and events from 1 January 1872 to the 26 of June. The handwriting is very difficult to read. The brief biography chronicles Mary Ann's life and provides a few supplemental stories from her life. Mary Ann was very patriotic. At the age of 15, she was proud to have the opportunity to wait on the table of Lafayette, the general in the Revolutionary War. Membership in the L.D.S. Church also brought Mary Ann unique experiences. After she was baptized by Joseph Smith in the Mississippi River, he swam out into the river a short distance. This greatly surprised Mary Ann, who thought Prophets should be less rambunctious. Mary Ann was also able to be present at the organization of the first Relief Society meeting. Maintaining an intimate relationship with Joseph Smith, Mary Ann and her husband often gave their money to the Prophet without expectation of it being repaid. Once, Joseph Smith asked her husband to provide the Nauvoo Legion with shoes and boots from the store, promising that the bill would somehow be paid. Mary Ann remained faithful to the church until her death.