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Eliza Free Wells

3 October 1859–2 December 1940

Born 3 Oct. 1859 in Salt Lake City.[1] Daughter of Daniel H. Wells and Louisa Free.[2] Baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1867.[3] Attended family gatherings with EBW.[4] Graduated from the University of Deseret, 1881.[5] Owned a home in Salt Lake City, described by EBW as “large and commodious.”[6] Taught school in her father’s home, in the Salt Lake City Thirteenth Ward School, and in the public school system and was a clerk in the Utah Third District Court.[7] Member of the First Unitarian Church; sponsored social gatherings in her home for Unitarian church members.[8] Prominent in early literary and cultural organizations in the city, including the Cleofan Literary Club, Home Dramatic Club, Salt Lake Red Cross, and Daughters of Utah Pioneers.[9] Cared for Wells family friend Judge Samuel A. Merritt, 1904–1910.[10] Rescued from a house fire with two sisters, Clara Wells Hodges and Emeline Young Wells, 23 Nov. 1930.[11] Died 2 Dec. 1940 in Salt Lake City.[12]

 

[1] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. H, 1872–1878, p. 164, line no. 3498, Eliza Free Wells, 14 Sept. 1874, microfilm 183407, DGS 5270330 (restricted access), FHL. Junius F. Wells, “The Wells Family Genealogy,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1915): 11. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 18 June 2019), Eliza Free Lyde Wells (KWVR-9R1).

[2] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. H, 1872–1878, p. 164, line no. 3498, Eliza Free Wells, 14 Sept. 1874, microfilm 183407, DGS 5270330 (restricted access), FHL.

[3] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. H, 1872–1878, p. 164, line no. 3498, Eliza Free Wells, 14 Sept. 1874, microfilm 183407, DGS 5270330 (restricted access), FHL. 

[4] EBW, Diary, 13 July 1894. “Wells Family Reunion,” Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Oct. 1910, 9.

[5] Third Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students in the University of Deseret for the Academical Year 1870–1871 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1869), 19. “Early S.L. Educational Leader Dies at 81,” Salt Lake Telegram, 2 Dec. 1940, 9. “Deseret University,” Deseret Evening News (Salt Lake City), 3 June 1881, 3.

[6] EBW, Diary, 29 May 1900.

[7] “Early S.L. Educational Leader Dies at 81,” Salt Lake Telegram, 2 Dec. 1940, 9.

[8] “Society,” Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Apr. 1917, 9. “Society,” Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Dec. 1914, 21. First Unitarian Church, “First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City Records, 1891–2010,” Biographies, Membership Cards, Eliza Free Wells, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

[9] “Early S.L. Educational Leader Dies at 81,” Salt Lake Telegram, 2 Dec. 1940, 9. “Red Cross Meeting,” Salt Lake Tribune, 26 May 1898, 5. EBW, Diary, 5 Jan. 1904; 26 Apr. 1904; 21 Nov. 1904. 

[10] “Merritt Will Brief, but to the Point,” Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Sept. 1910, 14. “Former Chief of Utah Supreme Court Is Called by Death,” Salt Lake Telegram, 9 Sept. 1910, 8.

[11] “Aged Invalids Carried from Blazing Home,” Salt Lake Telegram, 23 Nov. 1930, 1. 1940 U.S. Census, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., UT, p. 21, Eliza Free Wells.

[12] “Utah State Archives Indexes,” database and images, Utah State Archives (https://archives.utah.gov, accessed 18 June 2019); Utah Department of Health Office of Vital Records and Statistics Death Certificates, series 81448, file no. 1892/1997 (1940), Eliza Free Lyde Wells. “Early S.L. Educational Leader Dies at 81,” Salt Lake Telegram, 2 Dec. 1940. “Eliza F. Wells,” Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., UT, Find a Grave, posted 10 June 2019, memorial no. 22653136 (http://findagrave.com, accessed 10 June 2019).