In central Utah lies Spring City, a peaceful farming community noted for the preservation of its historic roots. There, in Spring City’s small cemetery, lie the earthly remains of Mary Ann Price Hyde, wife of Latter-day Saint apostle Orson Hyde. Emmeline B. Wells described her as “noble, gentle, kindly, with sweet humility.”1 Emmeline also noted that Mary Ann “had rare executive ability, and was of a highly spiritual nature; with the two combined she was eminently qualified for her important labors,” for she was a woman who “enjoyed her labors and magnified her callings.”2
Mary Ann’s birth on June 5, 1816, to William and Mary Ann Price in Lea, England, was much anticipated. As the second child and first daughter, Mary Ann found herself in a family leadership position, especially after her older brother’s death in 1836 and her father’s death some four years later on January 10, 1840. Life in a comfortable English family provided her with excellent educational experiences, both in the Anglican faith and in secular subjects at the nearby Broad Oak Academy.3 Mary Ann’s marriage to cousin Thomas Price on June 30, 1836, continued her cozy lifestyle.
After a hesitant inquiry about the Mormons in 1840 and subsequent reading of several Church publications, Mary Ann became convinced of the truth of the restored gospel; her husband, Thomas, was strongly opposed to her associating herself with this new faith. Others of her family, including Mary Ann’s brothers and sisters and their mother, were also converted, and together they emigrated from England in 1841 to join the Saints in Nauvoo. Mary Ann married apostle Orson Hyde as a plural wife (1843) and bore and buried her only child (1846). She trekked to the Salt Lake Valley in 1852, homesteaded in the Carson Valley in 1855, and settled in tiny Spring City in 1860.
Belief in the restored gospel provided Mary Ann an exciting and challenging life with continual opportunities to be fed spiritually by early Church leaders, experience tests and trials, and make important decisions. She was a supportive companion to family and friends and possessed leadership capabilities that guided her as Relief Society president of the Sanpete Stake for many years. Although pain and sorrow were her frequent companions, Mary’s strong faith and knowledge upheld her. She freely shared her many gifts along her life path, all the while strengthening those blessed to gravitate into her sphere of existence.
1. Emmeline B. Wells, Inscription on Mary A. P. Hyde’s headstone, Spring City Cemetery, Utah.
2. Emmeline B. Wells, “In Memoriam,” Woman’s Exponent 29 (June 15, 1900): 11.
3. Lea’s population might have been around 200 in 1816. Myrtle Hyde, Orson Hyde: Olive Branch of Israel (Salt Lake City, UT: Agreka Books, 2000), 153.