The Church Historian's Press The Church Historian's Press

Helena Middleton Fobes

11 January 1858–18 October 1926

 Born 11 Jan. 1858 in Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York.[1] Given up for adoption by George Middleton and Mary Ann Tully.[2] Adopted as a child by Simeon D. Fobes and Charlotte Crandall.[3] Learned of her adoption when her adoptive father abandoned her as a young adult; thereafter took her birth name as an additional name.[4] Accomplished pianist.[5] Baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 19 Mar. 1878.[6] Married Junius Free Wells, 17 June 1879; two children.[7] Often entertained, assisted, and hosted EBW, both in Salt Lake City and while living in New York City, 1889–1901.[8] Friend of Elizabeth Ann (Annie) Wells, 1896–1899.[9] Suffered a period of ill health, 1898.[10] Lived in California and the eastern U.S. while her husband worked to create the Joseph Smith Memorial and the Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris memorials, 1910–1919.[11] Chose to live in Cambridge, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, while Junius fulfilled a mission to England, 1919.[12] Raised her grandson Edward Junius Wells, son of Hugo Daniel Wells and his estranged wife Hilda Wilhelmina Danielson Wells, with the help of her daughter, Abbie H. Wells.[13] Died 18 Oct. 1926 in Cambridge.[14]

 

[1] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. I, 10 Oct. 1878–27 Mar. 1884, p. 52, line 15, Lena Fobes, 5 June 1879, microfilm 183408 (restricted access), FHL. Junius F. Wells, “The Wells Family Genealogy,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1915): 15. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 13 Aug. 2019), Helena Middleton Fobes (KCFK-2G6). 

[2] Abbie Wells Collection, 1874–1975, p. 67, MS 1350, box 1, folder 5, CHL.

[3] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. I, 10 Oct. 1878–27 Mar. 1884, p. 52, line 15, Lena Fobes, 5 June 1879, microfilm 183408 (restricted access), FHL. Abbie Wells Collection, 1874–1975, p. 67, MS 1350, box 1, folder 5, CHL. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 13 Aug. 2019), Helena Middleton Fobes (KCFK-2G6). 

[4] Abbie Wells Collection, 1874–1975, p. 67, MS 1350, box 1, folder 5, CHL. 1900 U.S. Census, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., UT, ED 38, p. 8B, Helena M. Wells.

[5] Abbie Wells Collection, 1874–1975, p. 69, MS 1350, box 1, folder 5, CHL. “Wasatch Redivivus,” Salt Lake Herald, 22 June 1890, 5. EBW, Diary, 29 Feb. 1888.                                  

[6] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. I, 10 Oct. 1878–27 Mar. 1884, p. 52, line 15, Lena Fobes, 5 June 1879, microfilm 183408 (restricted access), FHL. 

[7] “Sealings of Couples, Living and by Proxy, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. L, 14 May 1878–8 Nov. 1883, p. 86, Junius Free Wells and Lena (Helena) Fobes Middleton, 17 June 1879, microfilm 183402, DGS 5270325 (restricted access), FHL. “United,” Salt Lake Herald, 18 June 1879, 3. “Home Affairs,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 July 1879, 21. Junius F. Wells, “The Wells Family Genealogy,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1915): 15–16. 

[8] EBW, Diary, 6 Feb. 1889; 15 Jan. and 11 Mar. 1890; 9 and 15 May 1891; 28 Nov. 1894; 28 Jan. and 4 Feb. 1896; 11 Feb. 1898; 26 and 27 Feb. 1899; 6 and 8 June 1899; 15 Aug. 1899; 30 Apr. 1900; 22 Mar. 1901.

[9] EBW, Diary, 24 Jan. 1896; 14 Aug. 1899.

[10] EBW, Diary, 18 Jan. 1898.

[11] Abbie Wells Collection, 1874–1975, pp. 1–13, MS 1350, box 1, folder 6, CHL. Junius F. Wells, Papers, 1867–1930, MS 1351, box 1, folder 17 (limited access), CHL.

[12] Abbie Wells Collection, 1874–1975, pp. 1–13, MS 1350, box 1, folder 6, CHL. Abbie Wells Collection, 1874–1975, p. 367, MS 1350, box 1, folder 5, CHL. 1920 U.S. Census, Cambridge Ward 8, Middlesex Co., MA, ED 29, p. 15A, Helena F. Wells.

[13] Abbie Wells Collection, 1874–1975, pp. 5–8, MS 1350, box 1, folder 6, CHL. 1920 U.S. Census, Cambridge Ward 8, Middlesex Co., MA, ED 29, p. 15A, Helena F. Wells.

[14] “Massachusetts, Death Index, 1901–1980,” database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com, accessed 18 Sept. 2020), Helena F. Wells. Abbie Wells Collection, 1874–1975, MS 1350, box 8, folder 4, CHL. “Helena Middleton Fobes Wells,” Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Middlesex Co., MA; Find a Grave, posted 7 June 2015, memorial no. 147559836 (http://findagrave.com, accessed 26 Aug. 2019).