Ann (called Annie) was raised in England as the illegitimate daughter of a working-class spinster. Along with her uncles and cousins, she and her mother Jane converted and came to America. Annie and Jane crossed the plains in the same company as Marjorie Hinckley’s grandmother Mary Goble Pay, who remembered Annie in a letter years later as “Anna, the wife of Bishop Wells of Spanish Fork.” This company suffered greatly due to the lateness of the season in which they traveled and the harsh weather.
|Annie's signature and page she wrote in a journal|
In Utah, Jane was sealed as a fourth wife to the baker Richard Golightly, who adopted adult Annie and was sealed to her as her father. Richard probably crossed the plains in the same group as Stephen Wells. Annie had several other connections with her future husband: her uncle traveled in Stephen’s wagon company, Annie had attended the same Paddington Branch (after Stephen left for America, but she probably knew his mother and sister there), and he was married to her cousin Mary Ann. Although Mary Ann was thirteen years older than Annie, the two looked very similar.
|Annie on the left--and the big mystery, |
who is in that picture she's holding?
Annie married Stephen Robert Wells as his second wife, and the Wells family settled in Spanish Fork, where they had their first three children. Stephen was then called to take his family to settle in Dixie and they raised their family in St. George. They even named their first son born there after the city itself. Their son Samuel became quite prominent, and their daughter Ann Eliza was the plural wife of J.D.T. McAllister and accompanied him when he became president of the Manti Temple. Nevertheless, Annie must have mourned the deaths of her teenage son Brigham and her toddlers Ezra and Edith in the early Dixie years.
In their later years, Annie and Stephen worked together in the St. George Temple and were remembered for being always faithful and efficient. As an aged widow, Annie went blind and needed much care. Her son Saint George and his family moved in and took care of her for twelve years. One day, she was standing in front of their open fireplace and reached up to get something from the mantle. As she did so, her dress caught fire and the flames quickly flared up and burned her face badly. She died shortly thereafter.
|Annie with her sons (St. George on the left)|
I would give her some jewelry--it looks like she enjoys wearing accessories!