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Fanny Fry Simons autobiography

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3085

Scope and Contents

The first folder of the collection holds a photocopy and typescript of the original manuscript; the second holds 5 pages of the original manuscript (the first two and the last three) that were detached from the original and were in brittle condition; and the third folder holds a box containing the original manuscript, which measures 23 x 14.5 cm and has approximately 50 pages, written on both sides. The autobiography was written by Fanny Fry Simons in the latter part of her life. It details her mother's conversion to Mormonism in England and Fanny's trip from Liverpool to Salt Lake City via ship and then as part of a handcart company. Among other things she relates the difficulty she had with one member of the company who tried pressuring her into marrying him as a second wife; being pushed to the point of exhaustion, fainting, and waking up with two feet of her grave dug and half her body sewed up in a burial sack; and other deaths and trials of members of the company. She relates her marriage to John Zundel; a dream of John's in which he saw Fanny sitting by his deathbed, whereby he knew she was to be his wife; the account of her giving birth to their one child and of her husband's concurrent sickness and death; her husband's visitation to her after his passing; a brief mention of her work as a nurse (she mentions blessing water to give to patients); her post-partum-like depression (not called that) and struggles as a widow; her receiving of her endowments and becoming more active in the Church; and her second marriage, to Gustavus Simons.


  • undated


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Condition restricted; photocopies available for patron use. Permission to use original documents must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Fanny Fry Simons autobiography must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Fanny Fry Simons was born 6 September 1842 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England and was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age nine, in 1851. In 1858 the Latter-day Saint Elders encouraged Fanny's mother to send her three oldest children (including Fanny) to Utah, which she did. Fanny crossed the plains from Iowa City to Salt Lake City in one of the ten handcart companies. She married John Zundel on 28 November 1859 and, after his death on 25 February 1874, married Gustavus Simons. According to her autobiography, Fanny had some talent as a nurse. She passed away on 22 December 1912 in Payson, Utah.


3 folders (0.5 flinear ft.)

Custodial History

The autobiography was passed from Fanny to her daughter Elversa Simons, to her daughter Georgia Griggs Hanson, to her daughter Jolene Monk, who donated to to the L. Tom Perry Special Collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Jolene Monk.


19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.

Register of Fanny Fry Simons autobiography
Amy Perez
2011 March 16
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States