Mary Elizabeth Maugham Howell was born December 8, 1856 in Wellsville, Utah, to parents Bishop William H. Maughan and Barbara Morgan Maughan. Her entire childhood was spent in Wellsville, where she was the second Caucasian child born in the Cache Valley. At the age of 23, Mary married Joseph Howell. In 1902, the family moved to Logan, where shortly thereafter Joseph was elected as an at large representative to the United States Congress. Mary was the president of the Ladies Entrenchment Society, a predecessor to the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association. Nancy and Joseph had ten children; Joe, Barbara, Mary, Reese, Luther, Mattie, Victoria, Wesley, Ruth, and William. Mary died December 10, 1937.
A part of the Mary Ellen Stoddard Smith collection, the first page in a photographic album of the Howell Family. The front side of the page contains several photographs of Mary from 1878, 1890, 1912,1916, and 1930. On the backside of the page, there is also a copy of Nancy's obituary, a photograph of her apartment that she lived in until her death, and an image of her daughter modeling Mary's dress fashioned in 1905. In the obituary, it states that because of her husband's status as a Congressman, they spent lengthy amounts of time in Washington D.C., where their home was used for regular church meetings. Mary was described as always active in the LDS faith. She was also involved in several committees, such as National Council of Women's Convention and the Congressional Club. On the third page of photographic album is a large picture of the entire family taken in 1902.