Elizabeth Payne Bell was born October 2, 1864 in Heber City, Wasatch County, Utah, to Edward and Emma Powell Payne. Her parents' conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints caused them to emigrate from England to America. Ten days after Elizabeth's mother made the long trek to Utah, she gave birth to Elizabeth. When Elizabeth was four years old, grasshoppers destroyed her parents' crop in Heber City, and her family moved to Coalville, Utah where her father mined. In 1874, they moved to Glenwood to farm a small plot of land. Elizabeth married Fredrick Hyrum Bell in the Salt Lake City Temple on November 29, 1883. In the spring of 1884, she and her husband settled in Rabbit Valley, where they owned a farm and began their family. When their crops failed and their daughter died, they moved to Glenwood. In 1885, they moved again, this time to Aurora, where Elizabeth had two more daughters, served with church youth groups, and worked as a nurse. They returned to Glenwood four years later, where Elizabeth gave birth to another three daughters. In 1895, her sister- in- law died and left two orphan children in Elizabeth's care. While living in a small, two- room home, Elizabeth reared seven children. When finances became meager, she wove and sold carpets, continued to work as a nurse, and started a millenary store. In Elizabeth's older years, she remained busy doing service, operating her millenary store, and working in the temple. She lived with her daughters as her health declined and she died March 13, 1952. Elizabeth is buried in the Glenwood Cemetery.
This collection consists of biographical materials relating to the Payne family. Elizabeth's three page, typewritten biography was written and submitted by Ireta B. Mason in 1949. Only a brief account is given of Elizabeth's life, but a few interesting stories are included. When Elizabeth was a young child, she waited in line with other Sunday school children to catch a glimpse of a train. Seeing a train for the first time was exhilarating for Elizabeth. When the church instigated the United Order, which required members to share land, possessions, and skills, Elizabeth contributed her time by gleaning grain from the fields, spinning wool, and gathering cat- tails, which were apparently used in pillows and beds. Although the United Order was discontinued, Elizabeth continued to work hard to help support her family. She did housework, ironing, washing, and mending for large families, earning $1.50 each week. Although Elizabeth held many responsibilities as a young adult, she often found time for leisure. She loved to play games, sing, and dance with her friends. After Elizabeth's marriage, she spent much of her time nursing. The biographer writes that Elizabeth delivered more than 250 babies and cared for numerous diseases. Many times, she offered her services to others without charge. When her husband died July 27, 1941, Elizabeth spent much of her time as a ward missionary and genealogist. Considered by many to be a great asset to her community, Elizabeth held an interview with KSVC Radio in October 1948, and shared advice and stories with listeners.