Mary Ann Brown Clark was born on July 7, 1859 in Lehi, Utah to John Brown and Amy Snyder Brown. Her father was a polygamist and Amy Snyder was his second of three wives. The family lived in Pleasant Grove, Utah when Mary Ann was a child. Mary Ann’s mother died when she was eleven. Mary Ann and her two sisters lived with their father’s other wife “Aunt Maggie,” and spent much time with Grandmother Snyder in Salt Lake City. Mary Ann’s father John Brown was in the company of the first Mormon pioneers to make the trek to Utah. John Brown and Orson Pratt were scouts and the first to view the Salt Lake Valley on July 19, 1847. John “made thirteen trips across the plains” and led seven companies of Mormon pioneers. Brigham Young appointed him “President of Emigration.” John Brown also served as an LDS missionary in England and presided over the Southern States Mission. Mary Ann was nicknamed “Cot” by her father. In 1878, Mary Ann visited her mother’s sisters in Panguitch, Utah and met Albert DeLorma Clark. They met again in St. George, Utah and were married in February 1879. They lived in St. George, where they had their first three children Amy Genevieve, Nellie, and Laura. In 1837 the family moved to Panguitch, Utah where they had three more children, Zella, Albert DeLorma Clark Jr., and Vera. The family was active in Church. Mary Ann’s husband served in the Bishopric and Mary Ann served in the Relief Society and sang in the ward choir. She also served as a Stake Primary President. In 1906 Mary Ann and Albert moved to Provo, Utah. In Provo Albert served as a stake patriarch. The couple spent a few years in Salt Lake City, to work in the temple there. They actively attended LDS temples all over Utah, and often spent winters in St. George, to serve in the temple. Albert died on June 11, 1937. Mary Ann was deemed “Utah’s Oldest Woman” in 1962 at age 103. Mary Ann died on February 24, 1966 at age 105.
The collection contains a nine-page, typewritten biography of Mary Ann, written by her granddaughter Cecil Dixon. The biography includes details about her childhood. Mary Ann and her sisters made the cloth for their own clothes from wool that they “sheared, washed, dyed and spun.” As a child she earned money by “gleaning barley from the fields of friends and neighbors.” Mary Ann loved to sing and had a “beautiful alto voice.” She participated in church choirs her whole life, and as a girl attended a local Singing School. Her first years of marriage in Panguitch were particularly scarce, and the family risked freezing to death through several harsh winters. The collection also includes a photograph of Mary Ann from 1963, and two photocopied newspaper articles from 1962, paying tribute to Mary Ann at age 103.