Ellen Farozine Redd Bryner was born on 6 January 1872 in New Harmony, Utah Territory. She was the ninth of 13 children belonging to Lemuel Hardison Redd and Keziah Jane Butler, the others of whom were Lemuel Hardison, Jr., Mary Jane, John Wilson, William Alexander, James Monroe, Caroline Elizabeth, Amos Thornton, Sarah Della Lancaster, Loraine Edward, Mariah Luella, Charity Alvira, and Alice. On 29 June 1897 in St. George, Utah, Ellen married Casper Franklin Bryner. They had 4 children together, Gwendolyn, Hardison Redd, Ulrich Redd, and Merril Redd. Casper, a widower, brought with him one child from his previous marriage as well, Franklin Dora Bryner. Their early marriage was spent in Price, Utah, and both Gwen and Hardison were born there. In 1900, Ellen and her family moved to Lund, Nevada, where Ulrich and Merril were born. Unfortunately, in Lund, Casper died of Pneumonia on 5 January 1905, leaving Ellen a widow with 5 children to raise and look after on her own. Luckily, Ellen’s sister, Della, lived nearby, and they found great comfort in each other while Ellen raised her family and Della awaited the return of her husband from a mission to England. Eventually, Frank moved back to Price to live with his maternal grandmother. At the urging of her brother, William, Ellen sold her land in Lund and moved her remaining family up to Raymond, Alberta, Canada with him and his family. Tragedy stuck once again when Merril died there on 16 April 1913, at the tender age of only 9. Eventually, Ellen moved her family back to Utah, in Salt Lake City. She served in many callings within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including within the Primary, Sunday School, Relief Society, and Mutual organizations. For the last 15 years of her life, she even taught social science lessons in Relief Society. Her whole life was devoted to furthering the work of God. As Ellen grew older, her health began to fail somewhat, resulting in several heart attacks. She passed away quietly on 13 May 1957 in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her son, Ulrich, present to witness her death.
This folder contains two items. The first is a single-page, handwritten note, dated December 1955 and addressed to Wendell, one of Ellen’s nephews. The note tells of Ellen’s decision to not try to get her article published, but that she thought her recipient might enjoy reading it. She goes on to explain that the article she wrote features many details about her father and the role he played in the “Hole-in-the-Rock expedition” that she wrote about. She closes her note with wishes for Wendell and his family to have a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year, as well as a post script suggesting that he have his secretary type a copy to send to his mother. The second item is a 32-page, handwritten manuscript bound in red suede and entitled, “Settlement and Growth of San Juan County.” It is written by Ellen Redd Bryner and is dated December 1955. In this work, Ellen outlines the history of San Juan County, from its beginnings as a place primarily for criminals to hide from the law to the flourishing settlement it eventually became. It talks about the Mormons who came to settle Bluff, as well as the Navajos and Paiutes that inhabited the area. Two men that figure prominently in the stories about the settlement are Lemual Hardison Redd Jr. and Kuman Jones, both influential in civic and religious affairs of the community.