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Junius Free Wells

1 June 1854–15 April 1930

Born 1 June 1854 in Salt Lake City.[1] Son of Daniel Hanmer Wells and Hannah Corilla Free.[2] Baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by his father, 6 Nov. 1862.[3] Served missions to the British Isles, 1872–1874, and to the southern U.S., 1875–1876.[4] Appointed by Brigham Young to organize the young men of the church, 6 June 1875; first meeting held 10 June 1875.[5] President of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association,  Dec. 1876.[6] Married Helena Middleton Fobes, 17 June 1879.[7] Founded, edited and published the Contributor, a magazine for the Mutual Improvement Association, 1879–1892.[8] Represented EBW in negotiations for the sale of her home, Jan. 1887.[9] Acting as agent for the church, purchased the Solomon Mack farm (birthplace of Joseph Smith); designed and created a memorial monument, dedicated 23 Dec. 1905.[10] Instrumental in securing monuments at the grave sites of Oliver Cowdery, 1911, and Martin Harris, 1925.[11] Served in the British mission, 1919–1921; associate editor of the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star.[12] Sustained as assistant church historian and general recorder during general conference, Apr. 1921.[13] Died 15 Apr. 1930 in Salt Lake City.[14]

 

[1] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake Temple, vol. F, 1866–1868, p. 351, line 4636, Junius Free Wells, 15 Aug. 1868, microfilm 183405, DGS 5270328 (restricted access), FHL. Junius F. Wells, “The Wells Family Genealogy,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1915): 10–11. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 2 July 2019), Junius Free Wells (KWVR-9TL). 

[2] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake Temple, vol. F, 1866–1868, p. 351, line 4636, Junius Free Wells, 15 Aug. 1868, microfilm 183405, DGS 5270328 (restricted access), FHL. Carol Cornwall Madsen, Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2017), 504. 

[3] “Junius F Wells,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Early Church Information File, 1830–1900, card 305, microfilm 175024, DGS 7101209, image 9478/12693, FHL. 

[4] “Junius Free Wells,” Go Ye into All the World (https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/missionary, accessed 2 July 2019).  

[5] Junius F. Wells, “Historic Sketch of the Y.M.M.I.A.: First Period,” Improvement Era, June 1925, 713. Leon Marshal Strong, A History of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, 1875–1938 (Master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1939), copy at CHL.

[6] Richard E. Turley and Steven C. Harper, Preserving the History of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010), 32–33.   

[7] “Sealings of Couples, Living and by Proxy, 1851–1889,” 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.   

[8] Junius F. Wells, “The Contributor,” Improvement Era, Nov. 1929.

[9] Carol Cornwall Madsen, Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2017), 245n11.

[10] Joseph Fielding Smith, Proceedings at the Dedications of the Joseph Smith Memorial Monument at Sharon, Windsor, Vermont, Dec 23, 1905 ([Salt Lake City]: Deseret News, [1906]), copy at CHL.

[11] Richard E. Turley and Steven C. Harper, Preserving the History of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010), 32–33.

[12] Richard E. Turley and Steven C. Harper, Preserving the History of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010), 32–33. “Junius Free Wells,” Go Ye into All the World (https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/missionary, accessed 2 July 2019).

[13] Richard E. Turley and Steven C. Harper, Preserving the History of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2010), 32–33.

[14] “Utah Death Registers, 1847–1966,” 1930, Junius Free Wells, citing series 21866, from Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Utah State Archives and Records Service, Salt Lake City. “Junius F. Wells Discovered Dead in Bed at Hotel,” Deseret News, 15 Apr. 1930. “Junius Free Wells,” Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., UT, Find a Grave, posted 20 Mar. 2009, memorial no. 35032432 (http://findagrave.com, accessed 2 July 2019).