Maria Lucy Dewey was born August 3, 1823 in Westfield, Massachusetts to Ashbel Dewey, a carriage maker, and Harriet Adams. The family joined the L.D.S. church in 1843 and Maria moved to Nauvoo some time before 1845 as her parents wrote her a letter from Westfield in 1845. Her family also moved to Nauvoo before the exodus of 1846. Maria married John Mills Woolley in the Nauvoo temple on January 9, 1846. At the time of the general exodus from Nauvoo in February 1846 John and Maria together with the other members of their families crossed the Mississippi and started west, across the southern part of Iowa arriving at Winter Quarters in June or July where they learned that because of a call from the government for five hundred men to volunteer in the war with Mexico, it would not be possible to continue their journey that year. Maria's father died at Winter Quarters October 6, 1846. Maria and John's first son was born in Winter Quarters on December 30, 1846. Early in the spring of 1847 John and Maria and son left in George Wallace's fifty to make the long trip to the Salt Lake Valley leaving John's brothers behind to mind the store. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in September and took up their residence in the log fort in the western part of the city where Pioneer Park is now situated. Early in the spring of 1848 they built the first house in the Fourth South, Third East block (what would come to be known as the Woolley Block as the rest of the family eventually built homes there also) in the 9th Salt Lake City Ward at 326 East 4th South in Block 35, Plat "B", Salt Lake City Survey. On January 25, 1857 they yielded obedience to the principle of plural marriage and John married Caroline Patience Harrar, a widow. Maria must have been kept busy as the mother of 5 living children and being a bishops wife. John Mills died August 18, 1864 as a result of an accident near his saw mill at the early age of 41. She probably knew Eliza R. Snow as Eliza wrote a poem for John's funeral. Maria was now a widow with 5 children, the oldest being 18 and also a 4 and 2 year old to take care of. Maria and John Mills had 7 children, 5 living to adulthood. Maria lived a long life being one of about 50 surviving original pioneers of 1847 to be honored at the Semi-Centennial celebration in 1897 where they were given a gold broach to commemorate the occasion. Maria died in Salt Lake City on January 24, 1911 at the age of 88. This information was taken from "The Utah Woolley Family" book by Preston Parkinson
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