Mary Reynolds Warner was born on February 17, 1822 in Surfleet, Lincoln, England. Her parents, John Skinner Reynolds and Ann Long, had nine children, of which she was the ninth. Surfleet was a small farming village where a large number of geese were raised. Mary Reynolds married William Warner on May 18, 1848 in England. In 1852, they heard the gospel preached, one year later Mary, William, and Mary’s parents were all baptized. Shortly after, Mary and William decided to travel to America. To earn enough money, William went to Utah to work, while Mary was left to support the family in Saint Louis. In 1857, they were re-united and settled their family in Spanish Fork, Utah. Mary Reynolds Warner continued to work hard raising her family until her death in 1896 at the age of 75.
This manuscript contains a typed biography about Mary Reynolds Warner and personal letters approximately eight pages in length. Mary gives great personal detail into her childhood and her life in America. Mary amusingly remembers with being bitten by a goose as a young girl and the lifelong scar it left. Though she had little schooling, Mary dedicated herself to training her memory, so that she could learn as much as possible. Her limited schooling gave her opportunity to develop other talents such as weaving, she would later use those talents to support her family. Her letters regarding her journey to Utah show the difficulties faced by families split up trying to travel to the West. She and two children travelled to Saint Louis after selling their home in England, while her husband worked in Spanish Fork, Utah. She reflects in one letter on the expensive housing in Saint Louis, despite lower prices for goods. Mary Warner worked in hotels and as a weaver in order to pay for her and her children’s journey. At one point, she came into contact with small pox while working at a hotel. Even in her autobiography years later she still blamed herself when her son contracted the disease a few days later. After earning enough funds, she and her children traveled to Spanish Fork where she worked as a weaver. Mary Warner was a clever and frugal woman, she had her children gather wheat before they went to play. One summer they collected enough to bake bread the entire year. She also worked hard to support her family’s faithfulness in the Church and before her death she gathered dozens of names for temple work.