Life Sketch and a History of Ann Howell Hughes

A nice pair of histories written by Ann's grand-daughters. Ann was the first wife of Bishop Henry Hughes. Her true age is and has been something of a mystery, as I don't believe anyone has ever been able to put an accurate date on her birth. She just was always just five or six years older than everyone thought.


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  • History of Ann Howell Hughes
  • Historical Sketch of Ann Howell Hughes

History of Ann Howell Hughes

Ann Howell was born in Paisley, Shropshire, England, January 1821 of Welsh parents, whose names were Edward Howell and Ann Hughes Howell. She was the third child of a family of seven. Their names were Mary, Ann, Sarah, Martha and Rose. Her only brother was Isaac who died early in life. When grandmother was a young lady she wasn’t very well, she needed a change and a rest. At this time her sister Mary lived at Durham in Northern England, so grandmother went to stay with her for a while. Her sister Mary at this time took in boarders and some of them were men working in the coalmines of England. Grandmother was a very friendly person, she enjoyed very much talking with the boarders. There was one she was most of all interested in, a tall, dark, handsome young man with brown eyes and curly hair. He, in turn was interested in her, falling in love at first sight. They were married November 4th, 1850. After they were married, they went to live at Winget, North England. They were very happy and on June 14th, 1852 their first son, Henry was born.

In Winget, there were some preachers or ministers with a new religion. They were making quite a stir among the people. Grandfather and grandmother met the men, heard their message of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were truly honest in heart and they accepted the Gospel and belonged to the Wiggen’s Branch of the New Castle Conference. Then there burned within their hearts the great desire to come to the United States and Zion. It wasn’t easy to tell their family that they were leaving. It was a great decision to make and required much thought and planning and prayer. It was so difficult to kiss their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and friends goodbye. They wondered if they would ever see them again. It was frightening to start life in a strange and new country that they knew nothing of. All these things were weighed very carefully. The Church meant everything to them, so everything was sold but a few personal things. They kissed their loved ones and said farewell to Wales and England, the land of their birth. On the 28th of March, 1853 they boarded the ship Falcon for the United States. Sometimes the sea would be smooth and beautiful and other times raging and furious. They wondered at times if they would have a grave in the angry deep, but Heavenly Father was with them. There was a mission of great importance before them. They must live to do this work for themselves, their children and their ancestors. They had each other and they had the beautiful baby. They were on the sea nine weeks. They landed in New Orleans the first part of June and in Salt Lake City on October 16th, 1853. It took them seven months from Liverpool, England to Salt Lake City, Utah.

They spent the first winter in Salt Lake City and then in the spring moved to South Mill Creek Canyon. There on June 15th, 1855 they were blessed with another son, Charles. They moved to Cottonwood Canyon in 1855 and grandfather worked there for seven years. John and Thomas were born there. With all these boys there was never a dull moment. On one occasion, Mendon had a celebration with different floats, a small town band and a queen, attendants and all it takes to make a pioneer parade. The floats were on hayracks and with wagons and drawn with oxen or horses. They were decorated with whatever they had. On this occasion the parade was nearing Bishop Hughes’ home, located on Main Street and just a block below the meetinghouse. Those who weren’t in the parade were lined up on the sidewalks. One of grandfather’s boys and friends were just in front of the house, very much interested, but suddenly they disappeared. They went to the barn, grandfather had hung one of his old dusters just inside of the barn. A duster was a long linen coat, used to be worn over a good suit when riding some distances in a wagon or buggy. There were a few sheep there in the barnyard. Well this boy was a strong, husky lad and he grabbed the duster, then a sheep and put its two front feet in the sleeves of the duster. Somehow the barn door flew open and out went the sheep, the duster flapping, cracking and snapping with every leap. It ran straight for the parade. The frightened horses reared, plunged and the people were terrified, some pale and some of the ladies about to faint. There are always those who can’t help but laugh. What a commotion and disturbance, but the sheep sped on, leaving the parade in its dust. Soon the horses were under control, the people calmed, the band played and the parade went on with nobody hurt.

On October 7th 1870, grandfather Henry Hughes was ordained Bishop of the Mendon Ward and was set apart by President Brigham Young. Brigham Young, Jr. and Orson Pratt assisted. Grandmother was thrilled with this appointment and felt within her heart that all the sacrifice, suffering and leaving her loved ones was worth it. She was so proud of her husband because he was famous in acting and working for our Heavenly Father. On December 14th, 1870 grandfather married Sarah Ann Goatman as his second wife. She was a good woman, but very set in her ways and very firm, a hard worker and did much for the family. She had no children. Five years later, July 14th, 1875 grandfather married a beautiful young Welsh girl, Rebecca Bassett. She was a sweet, kind, gentle and good dispositioned girl. Having had no girls in her family, grandmother accepted Rebecca more as a daughter and her children as grandchildren. Rebecca had five children, two boys and three girls. Grandmother loved those little girls. While babies she rocked and sang them to sleep. It really spoiled them. When they were older she kissed their hurts and troubles away. Her favorite nursery rhyme was Steven Forster’s “Doo Dah Doo Dah Day.” “I will bet my money on the bobtailed nag while you bet yours on the gray.” The children really loved that song about the horses. She taught Rosa Jane, the oldest girl, little poems. Rosa is still alive, but could remember two lines of a little poem grandmother taught her. These are the two lines— “On no I would rather work hard gleaming all the day, my little blue apron to fill.” Grandmother made her a little blue apron and they would recite this as they worked in the fields. She taught these little children to say their prayers, sing little songs and how to knit.

Grandfather had a farm about four miles south of Mendon. Up to this time they had all lived together. Rebecca now had three children, George, Rosa Jane, and Sarah Ann. A house was built on the farm so Rebecca and aunt Ann and the children moved there. Grandmother’s boys really had two homes— the one on the farm where they worked and the one in town with their mother. They were very well cared for. On the farm they raised the cattle, turkeys, chickens and pigs. This furnished milk, eggs, meat, grain for flour and feed for the animals. It was a very good farm. In town were the fruit trees, apples and plums and also a family garden. Out on the farm Rebecca was blessed with two more children, Margaret and William. On celebrations or get together days, the family would come in town to celebrate. Grandfather’s birthday was on the 25th of December, so there would be a week of real celebrating the birthday and Christmas on the same day. Roast turkey and chicken, hams and beef would come in from the farm. Pies and cake, some made by grandma, she made very good raisin bread and cake. When she used plenty of raisins it was called raisin cake. When raisins were scarce it was called hunting cake because you had to hunt for the raisins. Either kind was very good. The week before Christmas, the boys would go to the mountains above Mendon and get a big Christmas tree. What fun they had decorating it with popcorn, berries off from wild rose bushes and apples and candy. Grandfather would have choice candy from ZCMI in Salt Lake City and a present for everyone. The married children and their children would be there and what a wonderful time they would have. Grandfather loved to tell the stores of his boyhood days and he sang Welsh songs. Rosa would recite the poems grandmother taught and the other children would take part. My grandmother, Ann Howell Hughes was not only a devoted and faithful worker as a wife to her bishop husband for thirty or more years, but she took part in church affairs. She was a teacher in the Relief Society from the time of its organization until she was released because of her age.

She was cheerful and generous and had a great sense of humor and loved to get together with her English and Welsh friends to exchange ideas and jokes, laugh and sing. She was sincere and had a strong testimony of the Gospel burned in her heart and she tried to live all its principles. She was a devoted wife and mother to her children as well as the [other] wife’s children and loved them all dearly. On July 2nd, 1909 after a brief illness, she passed away at the age of eighty-six. She was buried in Mendon, Cache County, Utah. I can’t help but pause before closing and pay my highest tribute to my dear grandmother, Ann Howell Hughes who for thirty two years gave of her love, time and energy to be a good bishop’s wife and mother to her family and ward. She never left out his other wives and families. It is often said, “Behind every good Bishop is a good Bishop’s wife,” and that was certainly true in her regard. May we as her descendents follow her wonderful example, so that when we go to the other side there will be great rejoicing in the meeting.

When my oldest sister Mary Ann Bird’s daughter Artice was born July 4th, 1908 grandmother went down and asked them to name her Articedella after her grandmother Articadella Hughes. That is how Artice Cedella got her name.1

Edith H. Winn


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1. Ann Howell Hughes, Edith Hughes Winn, unpublished manuscript.

Historical Sketch of Ann Howell Hughes

Ann Howell Hughes was born in Paisley, Shropshire, England, January 1823 of Welch parents whose names were Thomas Howell and Ann Hughes Howell. She was the third child in a family of seven. Her sisters were Mary, Ruth, Sarah, Martha, and Rose. Her only brother was Isaac, who died while quite young. While on a visit to her eldest sister, she met Henry Hughes, to whom she was married on the 4th of November 1850. They went to Winget, North England to live, and here her oldest son, Henry was born in 1851. In 1851, she with her husband joined the Mormon Church. They belonged to the Wiggens Branch of the New Castle Conference. After selling everything but what few things they could carry with them, they left Liverpool for the United States on March 28th, 1853 on the ship called Falcon. They were nine weeks on the ocean and landed at New Orleans the first part of June. Then came the long journey with ox teams across the plains. In the same company came Maria Baker and her mother, also Forsters’ and Finleys’.

On October 4th, 1853 they arrived in Salt Lake City, where they spent the following winter. In the spring they, with the Forster and Finley families moved up Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was here her sons; Charles, John, and Thomas were born. Her husband came to Mendon in 1859 and put up hay, but did not move his wife until the spring of 1862. Her son Edward was born soon after. She was a teacher in the Relief Society from the time of its organization until she had to resign on account of her age. She died July 1st, 1909, after a brief illness.1

Annie H. Sorensen


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1. Ann Howell Hughes Sketch, Annie Hughes Sorensen, 19 October 1919, unpublished manuscript.