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Emmeline B. Wells letters to Barrymore Hillard

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8417

Scope and Contents

Materials include two letters from Emmeline B. Wells to her great-grandson Barrymore Nugent Hillard. The letters are dated November 1903 and November 1906. They contain Wells' inquiries about her family and her admonitions for Hillard to be a good boy. They also include some information about Wells' life and feelings about her life at the time. Dated 1903 and 1906.


  • 1903-1906


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Emmeline B. Wells letters to Barrymore Hillard must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Emmeline Blanche Woodward Wells (1828-1921) was a women's rights advocate, the fifth president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the chief editor of the journal Women's Exponent.

Emmeline B. Wells was born on February 29, 1828, at Petersham, Massachusetts to parents David Woodward and Deiadama Hare. When she was four years old her father died, which meant she and her siblings were raised mainly by their mother. In 1842, she joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a child, Wells was very well-educated and began teaching in her early teenage years. She married James Harris at age fifteen, they had one son who died shortly after his birth, but Harris deserted Wells. Wells then married Bishop Newel K. Whitney in 1849 and they had two children. When he died in 1850, Wells raised her children on her own in the Salt Lake Valley, where they had immigrated to in 1848.

In 1852, she married Daniel Wells and had three more children. She continued teaching while in Utah and she also became involved in civic affairs such as suffrage and women's rights. Wells was the chief editor of the women's rights journal Women's Exponent. She was also friends with famous suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and in 1899 she was invited by the International Council of Women to speak at its London meeting as a United States representative. Wells served as the general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1910 to 1921.

She died on April 25, 1921 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Biographical History

Barrymore Nugent Hillard (1893-1947) was a stock broker in Los Angeles, California.

Barrymore Nugent Hillard was born on October 19, 1893, in Spokane, Washington, to parents Barry Nugent Hillard and Verona May Woods. Verona is the granddaughter of Emmeline B. Wells through Wells' daughter Melvina Caroline Whitney. In 1917, he married Hester Araminta Baker and they had three children. Around the same time, Hillard entered the draft to serve in the US Army during World Ward I. Hillard later married Catherine Mathilde Hansen on February 7, 1936.

Hillard died on January 5, 1947, in Beverly Hills, California.


2 folders (0.02 linear ft.)



Custodial History

Donated by Richard Rosing, the great-great-great grandson of Emmeline B. Wells, to Brigham Young University on March 19, 2014.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Richard Rosing; March 19, 2014.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy 1.V, November 2013).

Processing Information

Processed; Zoë Brimhall, student manuscript processor, and Ryan K. Lee, curator; 2014.
Register of Emmeline B. Wells letters to Barrymore Hillard
Zoë Brimhall
2014 March 19
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