Four Zinas
by Martha Sonntag Bradley
and Mary Brown Firmage Woodward

Chapter 9.
Zina Presendia
Two Plural Marriages, 1868, 1884

“[Zina Presendia] has preached the worth and beauty of plural life …”
—Susa Young Gates

[p.246] Bright and fanciful as a child, Zina Presendia as a teenager apparently suffered from ill health. Half-sister Susa Young Gates once referred to her “delicate composition”1 but did not identify a particular ailment. Zina Presendia does not describe a sickly childhood but, in a sketch written in 1914 when she was sixty-four, recalled, “My health was not very good when 16 years old. … Had a very sick spell, and was healed by the faith of my Father, D H Wells and George Q. Cannon, with the tender nursing of My Mother.”2 Like her mother, Zina Presendia often struggled with poor eyesight, health problems, and other maladies, and seemed to have perceived herself as frail. Although she does not specifically say so, the problem could have been emotional and psychological stress. In an odd variation of Zina Diantha’s young womanhood, Zina Presendia was also faced with a romantic quandary and, like her mother, resolved it by yielding to priesthood authority.

Physically, according to a reporter who conducted an interview in 1869 when she was nineteen, Zina Presendia was “quite tall, and slim in proportion, somewhat pretty, and apparently about twenty years of [p.247] age.”3 The fact that he over-estimates her age may have meant that she looked older than her years. Lisle Lester, writing for the LDS church’s British publication, the Millennial Star, also describes Zina as mature at age sixteen when he saw her as floor manager for the 1868 Leap Year dance in the LDS church’s Thirteenth Ward. He noted: “Miss Zina Young, the floor manager, particularly attracted our attention, not only for the responsible position she maintained, but for herself, for her winning qualities that were evident in her dress and movements. Few ladies could grace such a position better than this dignified daughter of the President.”4

Thus, it is not surprising that Zina Presendia was the object of romantic interest while still in her teens. T. B. H. Stenhouse, a well-known journalist and Mormon intellectual, courted Zina as a sixteen-year-old. Zina herself referred to this incident only briefly in her reminiscences: “I was sought after as a young girl by a man who was Educated and fascinating but by a wonderful manifestation in a dream I was preserved and snatched from a man who afterwards proved a traitor to the church and a wicked man.”5 She later learned that he had had a troubled marriage with his first wife, Fanny, who gave a negative but riveting account in her anti-Mormon exposé, “Tell it All.” According to Fanny, T. B. H. became “particularly regular in his attendance at the theater.” Then he announced that he wished to take a plural wife and asked her permission to marry “the daughter of Mrs. Zina D. Huntington Jacobs. … She was one of the actresses in the theater—for many of Brigham’s daughters at that time took part in the representations—and I had frequently observed very pretty little notices of her in the Salt Lake Daily Telegraph.”6 Fanny snidely implies that the notices were not “quite merited.” T. B. H. had taken a second wife earlier, so Fanny raised little objection to a prospective third wife except to say, pointedly: “I thought he would have quite as well fulfilled the commands of God if he had taken an older and plainer-looking wife.” She continued:

My husband in due form proposed, and was accepted; and it was soon rumored abroad that he was going to marry one of the “President’s” daughters. … In the course of a day or two they were formally “engaged,” and a more loving couple could not possibly have been found. The young lady herself afterwards told me that their love was of no ordinary kind; and [p.248] I’m sure I did not doubt her word. But consider how pleasant such intelligence must have been to a wife!

Zina’s friends who wished to cheer me up and make me happy, told me that my husband’s love for her was perfectly engrossing, they “thought he could never have really loved before—there was something very beautiful in their loves! I need hardly say that I saw these things in quite another light.

… The young lady, I believe, regarded my husband’s second wife and myself with a great deal of sympathy; for she thought that, however affectionate he might have been to us, she was his first real love. It is a most astonishing fact, that if a certain man, when courting the twenty-first, to make her believe [he had never found] love before; and then, if afterwards he took a twenty-­second, … she may be quite sure that she too would be persuaded, or would persuade herself, into a belief in the very same statement. With the last wife, it is always an article of faith that she is the husband’s first and only love.7

T. B. H. had joined the church in England. During the fifteen-­month courtship, they passed love letters back and forth, with Zina having hers delivered to Fanny’s house by a variety of individuals.8 Neither Brigham Young nor Zina Diantha objected to the match—at least none that has been preserved—and it is doubtful if Zina Presendia would have persisted if either parent had expressed reservations. Stenhouse, as a recognized suitor, called regularly at the Lion House where Zina Presendia received him.

On some level, however, Zina Presendia must have felt uneasy, for a chilling dream convinced her that she should break off the relationship:

I dreamed I was walking near my schoolhouse where I received my Education—a Private school for My fathers family. Near the house was a stream of water and on the Opposite bank was a beautiful flower growing[.] I thought—I would go and get it, in making the attempt to go I found that something cold and clammy was clinging around my ankles which prevented my making any headway towards the flower. I struggled to free myself and upon stooping to try and use my hands to assist me I saw that the body of a large snake was holding me fast. I finally succeeded in getting one foot free and planted it firmly upon the head of the reptile which rolled its Eyes and looked up into my face[.] the eye was the Eye of [p.249] the man who was pressing his suit for my hand and I knew uppon awakening that he was not for me for he was a bad man.9

When she awoke, she immediately knelt and implored God to show her who to choose as a companion. When Stenhouse became involved with the Godbeites, a group of dissidents pressing for less church control over political and economic life in Utah, and left the church, Zina Presendia felt that the dream had preserved her from a terrible fate.

Chastened by the negative outcome, Zina Presendia settled on a match which had authority and security. She reportedly had many suitors at the time, and within six months accepted an offer of plural marriage from Thomas Williams, a forty-year-old convert from South Wales she had known since she was thirteen. A scribe in her father’s office and in charge of the box office at the Salt Lake Theatre, Williams had come to Utah and had married Annie Eckford in 1857 and her sister Marion Eckford ten years later, just a year and a half before he married Zina.

No contemporary accounts exist of the courtship or marriage, aside from a single sentence in one of Zina Presendia’s memoirs: “He was much older than she and she didn’t do this of love but to know him was to love him”10 In fact, having been deceived once by love, she would probably have mistrusted her decision if romance had been a part of it. Zina Diantha would likely have supported her daughter in making such a decision since she presumably had suffered when Brigham Young separated her from Henry Jacobs. Still, since Zina Presendia makes a point of saying she had prayed for God to show her the man she should marry, it seems odd that she nowhere records any spiritual confirmation of her decision. Perhaps because the marriage ended with Williams’s premature death, and a spiritual confirmation did accompany her decision to marry her second husband, Charles Ora Card, Zina Presendia preferred not to evaluate a youthful decision, taken at a time when she was still recuperating emotionally from Stenhouse.

The marriage to Thomas Williams took place on 12 October 1868 in the Endowment House. Zina Diantha, Zina Presendia, and Chariton had moved into a home Brigham Young had given his wife on the corner of Third South and State streets in the Thirteenth Ward on 1 January 1870.11 Zina Presendia continued to live with her mother, with Williams [p.250] paying her conjugal visits. His other families lived in the Fourteenth Ward, not far away.

On 21 September 1870, Zina Presendia gave birth to Sterling Williams in Zina Diantha’s house, with her mother acting as midwife. The experience must have offered yet another bond between the already close mother and daughter. The second baby, Thomas (“Tommy”) Edgar Williams, Jr., was born in the same house on 21 July 1873. Thomas changed jobs that year to work as an accountant and treasurer for Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution.

Sterling was four years old and baby Tommy was just a year when Thomas died suddenly on 21 July 1874. Thomas had rushed in the noon heat to take the streetcar from ZCMI to Zina Diantha’s house to join the family for dinner. He sat down to the table, offered a blessing on the food, and began serving the meal. As he stood to pass the plate down the table, he began coughing violently. Blood gushed from his mouth. According to Brigham, “A blood vessel broke, and his mouth and throat were instantly filled with blood to that degree that he could not speak a word.” Thomas struggled to swallow a little salt and water, but could not. Instead he fell to the floor.12 Zina Presendia rushed to help him clear a passage so he could breathe more freely, while Zina Diantha summoned the closest doctor. The physician arrived promptly; but within twenty minutes, Thomas was dead. His body was taken to Annie’s house, and funeral services were held in the Fourteenth Ward meetinghouse. Sterling, almost five, remembers his mother weeping long into the night and the bloodstained trail on the dining room carpet.

Zina’s father spoke at her husband’s funeral held in the Fourteenth Ward on Sunday morning, 2 September. He paid tribute to Thomas, describing him as a diligent worker. “I wish our business men would take pattern by him who lies before us. He was our paymaster in the Parent Branch of Z.C.M.I., and attended to this Branch of the financial business of the Institution.” Thomas had, according to his father-in-law, completed each order of business daily before returning home for dinner. “In all his business there was not one scratch of the pen wanted to be done by other clerks, but every iota was done just as much as though he had known that he was going to breathe his last in twenty minutes.”13

After her husband’s death, Zina Presendia was left to her own ­re­-[p.251]sources. According to one biographer, “the anguish she passed through none can tell but those passing through similar trials. Her time was spent in Church duties and in the support of her two children.”14 She learned to make wax fruit and flowers, which she sold at the Savage Art Gallery. She later recalled these tasks with pleasure: “I … made an immense glass globe of flowers in the shape of a cross. I also made a basket of beautiful flowers which seemed so life-like, also a smaller globe, the top being oval shape, with a mirror in the bottom and was of a pond of lilies, the mirror resembling water.”15 She offered one particularly beautiful bouquet to be raffled at the gallery, earning enough money to buy a portrait of her deceased husband painted by noted artist Dan Weggeland. When Brigham Young learned what she had done, he asked, “Why, daughter Zina, don’t you know that raffling is gambling?” “No, father,” she replied, “a great many people raffle off their pictures at Savages Gallery.” “Well,” said Young, “my daughter can’t raffle her flowers to pay for her husbands portrait in any such way. I will pay for his portrait and you will take the money back to Mr. Savage and have him give everybody who has bought a ticket their money back. It is a wrong principle to raffle and I cannot let you do it.”16

At age five, Sterling attended school in the schoolhouse located north­east of the Eagle Gate inside the old stone wall that surrounded the Brigham Young estate. This was a private school taught by Camilla Maeser Cobb, sister of early Utah educator Karl G. Maeser. Most of Sterling’s classmates were his cousins, the children of Brigham’s sons and daughters, and were older than Sterling. He was the only one in his grade.

This arrangement came to an end, however, early in 1877 when Brigham Young advised Zina Presendia to homestead a quarter section of land in Sevier County near her brother Zebulon “for your boys.” Young offered to “pay your pre-emption fee.”17 Zina Presendia obediently packed and left her mother. Zebulon built her and her sons a one-room log cabin on her own land, planted some trees, and built a fence around the yard. Zina Diantha sent money to pay for the construction of an irrigation canal to her property. Zina Diantha later remembered:

It was necessary for her to live on this property to obtain possession of it, and one night a terrific storm came up. She and her children were alone in [p.252] their little log cabin. The wind shrieked and whistled through the cracks in the walls and blew out their candles so that they were left in total darkness. All night the storm raged mercilessly, and in the morning Zina’s brother came for her and took her back to his home.18

They stayed on the land just long enough to establish a claim to it. Zina Presendia wrote to her mother on 4 March 1877 to thank her for a gift of some money. “The money just pays for my house. I am not living in it Brother Bean says it is not nessery [sic] I shall do all that is needed to secure it. I hope you will be able to bring a little money for me as I need some to prepare for the south [for the dedication of the St. George temple]. wil you please bring the glicarine as my hands are so rough my dress and underclothes, a new hat for Sterling and a pair of shoes for me no. 3 1/2 or 4.”19

A friend, William Seegmiller, drove Zina Presendia by buggy to St. George in January 1877 where Zina Diantha had accompanied Brigham Young and several members of the Young family. It was the first time she had seen her mother in almost a year. Young and Zina Diantha visited her in Sevier County on their return trip and invited her and her sons to travel back with them to Salt Lake City. Soon after their return, Brigham became ill and died on 29 August in his bedroom in the Beehive House. Zina Presendia, seated at his bedside, heard him utter his last words: “Joseph, Joseph.” She remembered his face as radiant and beautiful.20

Zina Diantha was also at Young’s bedside, as were his brother Joseph and many of his other children and wives. His doctor, Seymour B. Young, administered opiates to relieve his pain and he slept much of the evening. They placed him in front of an open window so that he might feel the cool air and his family could gather around him. Zina Prescendia remembered how difficult it was to watch him suffer.

As we saw his life ebbing rapidly, we all knelt down around the bed and Uncle Joseph [Young] offered a fervent prayer to God that his going should be in peace and not in distress. I knelt where I had full view of his countenance, and in the middle of the prayer I was impelled to open my eyes, and father’s face was radiant with inward glory. It seemed that a cloud of light surrounded him. … As the prayer was finished, the Doctor [p.253] said, “He is gone.” … The husband, the father, the leader, the chosen prophet of God, lay sleeping before our eyes never more on earth to give his words of counsel, of wisdom.21

Zina Diantha corroborated this gentle ending: “His last moments ware peaceful & the hapy glow that came over his face as his noble spiret fled was sugestive of his abundant enterance into his rest.” She continued her final farewell to the man who had been her husband for thirty years in private but impersonal musings:

I saw him on the 8th of August 1844 when he was transfigured before the assembled saints, the voice of Joseph perfectly, looks, gestures, the same spirit was there. He wore the mantle [and] has laboured hard, ben faithful to the Priesthood. There are now 3 temples in erection in this teritory & scarce a town but he has assisted in dictatin [sic] for its good. … He was a kind Husband, an indulgent Father.22

Brigham Young’s estate was divided up evenly23 among his large family after a long and complicated struggle between the church and some family members. Zina Diantha and Zina Presendia received inheritances. This would prove enormously useful to Zina Presendia after she received her share while in Canada, raising children from her second marriage.

Zina Presendia did not return to Sevier County. She moved in again with her mother, living off her earnings from the sale of her flowers and her inheritance. As she was leaving for the dedication of the St. George temple, a neighbor told her she had stayed on the land long enough to secure her rights to it. Zina never was able, however, to secure title to the land she had preempted. Regardless of her careful efforts to conform to the legal requirements of filing, establishing residency, making necessary improvements, and so forth, when the land office moved from Beaver County to Salt Lake City, they ignored her file. She eventually lost the land and received no remuneration for her efforts.

In the fall of 1878, Karl G. Maeser, principal of Brigham Young Academy (BYA), invited Zina Presendia to teach at the Provo campus. Although reluctant to leave her mother, Zina agreed, largely because of her respect for Maeser and because her sister Susa Young Gates, who taught [p.254] music there, had suggested her for the opening. (This was after Susa had divorced her husband and moved back from St. George.) BYA had opened two years earlier and Maeser was creating the form it would take by his selection of staff members. Zina Presendia recalls how she made this decision:

So, with [Susa’s] wonderful persuasive advice, because I loved her so, and Brother Maeser also, I consented joyously, for I felt that I was not competent of myself to raise my two little sons, Sterling and Thomas, as I desired, with my limited education, and here was a fine chance to gain useful knowledge under my beloved teacher, Brother Maeser, and in company with my best beloved sister Susa. So my mother gave her consent, and I left my little boys with her temporarily, and went to Provo, much to Susa’s and my satisfaction, and Brother Maeser’s also. He told me in that expressive way of his: “My dear little Zina, don’t you know your father wants you and Susa here? He said to me that he wanted you in this school.” This of course made me feel more enthusiastic than ever to be once more a school girl under his matchless powers as teacher and friend.24

She registered only as a student for the first term. When Maeser asked her, just before the second term began, if she would be the matron, she “told him I felt so weak and helpless and knew so little of what was required that I hardly dared consent. He, in his fatherly way, said: ‘God will help you, little Zina, and I will always be here to advise and counsel.’”25

It was not immediately clear what her duties would be except for teaching a class in domestic arts to all girls over age thirteen. She also taught a variety of other courses, including drawing, flower design and arrangement, physiology, hygiene, sewing, handicrafts, and related domestic skills. But as school matron, Zina managed a group of girl monitors and developed a program of religious education for young women. She later described this as “useful” as was some “ornamental knowledge pertain[ing] to the home life which was a joy unspeakable to me.”26

In 1880 Provo businessmen and philanthropists Abraham Smoot and Harvey Cluff paid for a large classroom to be built for a women’s department. The main room measured sixty by twenty feet and was carpeted with home-made rag rug donated by the Relief Society. Furnishings included chairs, work tables, and a display cabinet. “Here,” Zina wrote, [p.255] “our bazaar of materials could be displayed to the best advantage, and here we could hold our classes undisturbed, and not as formerly, wait till school was closed for the day” to lay out their displays.27 The school celebrated completion of the addition with a banquet given by teachers and the older girls in the class. “I was the happiest, proudest woman in the school at that time,” she recalled. “To think, I had a room, a place, where we were undisturbed and I could branch out and have a real work room where we did splendid good business, every girl being required to learn all the stitches used in plain sewing, and no one was allowed to do fancy work until she had passed the milestone of good button holes, back-­stitching, over and over, putting on bands and making a suit of under clothing by hand.”28

Zina’s favorite subject was fancywork flowers. “My, how they bloomed beneath the deft fingers of those young girls, —wool flowers, hair flowers, tarlton flowers, feather flowers and wax flowers were taught in that first pioneer Ladies Work Room Class.”29 Each girl was also required to make a work bag for her supplies and tools. Every year the women’s department became a more important part of the academy. Zina described its value as “not only in teaching plain and fancy needle work, but in lectures that were suited to the needs of young girls away from home influences.”30 Zina fondly remembered the way teachers’ and students’ “lives seemed to blend in a deep and ever-flowing fountain of intelligence!”31 Besides teaching in the classroom, Zina helped her girls find suitable boarding houses, visited them when ill, and tried to mother those she thought needed it. As many as 400 girls were enrolled in the program by the time she left in 1884.

Zina also headed the Primary, or Preparatory, Department, from 1881-84. When first given this appointment, she worried she was unsuited. But kindly Principal Maeser reassured her that she would learn and rise to the occasion. “She was to the girls what Brother Maeser was to us all,” wrote a former student, “sister, mother, friend, lover, counselor and guide.”32

Zina penned a description of her Primary Department work for the Woman’s Exponent in 1880:

Tuition in drawing, singing and object-lessons is given once a week, as [p.256] also in hygiene, thus giving the little ones [children] an idea of the importance of preserving their health, and by what means it can best be accomplished. Thus the monotonous routine of school life is done away with at our Academy, and instead of a feeling of repugnance, the little darlings are possessed with so keen a relish for learning that nothing less than some extraordinary temptation could induce them to absent themselves from the school room.33

As matron, Zina felt the press to produce new ways of teaching. Funding those new efforts was not easy and she fretted about finances. She approached church president John Taylor in the early 1880s about the financial difficulties she felt the academy was facing. After patiently listening to her, Taylor took her hand and said kindly,

My dear child, I have something of importance to tell you that I know will make you happy. I have been visited by your father. He came to me in the silence of the night clothed in brightness and with a face beaming with love and confidence told me things of great importance and among others that the school being taught by Brother [Karl G.] Maeser was accepted by the heavens and was a part of the great plan of life and salvation; … And there was a bright future in store for … preparing … The children of the covenant for future usefulness in the Kingdom of God, and that Christ himself was directing, and had a care over this school.34

Zina was responsible for developing a curriculum for many of the wo­men’s classes. Her notes on “health essentials” show her father’s ­influence:

Breatheing properly, oxygen stimulates circulation. Exercise is necessary. Bright eyes, rosie cheeks, pure breath, sleeping, naps, nervous, relax, pleasant expression, Gods laws, eating and drinking, quality, quantity, calories, when and how. Breathe deeply before rising. Home work. Report-prayer, arise in time for a good breakfast, Water, eat slowly, tidy room, help mother, If boarding be thoughtful of hostess. Drink water freely.

A perfect body. Development. How to Preserve it. health the great factor. Habits correct posture. Sacred and devine. Picture of the Venus.

Intellectually. Deep lies the Gem—dig and it is yours. Nothing worth while is obtained without effort. past and present opportunities—a. home, [p.257] b. Sunday School, c. primary, d. YLMIA, e. District School, present, BYA. To succeed, employ 1. concentration, 2. application, 3. system and 4. will power. Choice of books, Tell me with whome you associate and I will tell who you are. Tell me what Books you read. I will tell you what you are.35

Her home economics series included a wide variety of topics:

1. The home life of a Saint. 2. Preparing for the baby. 3. Mothers and fathers united efforts. 4. A childs right to be well born. Training of children in the home of obedience. Lessons: Husbands rights. Wifes rights. Shall we follow the teaching of the church or of the world? Limiting the family. House making. House keeping. Economy, thrift, comfort, wealth. Marriage: 1. solemnity of purpose 3. time 4. eternity 5. one of own faith 6. one outside the church 7. one of no church. Partnership in all things. Forgive and Take. Bear and Forebear. Dress. Outward semblance of inward grace. Manners. Habits. Sex in this life.36

In another report to the Woman’s Exponent about the school’s activities in the fall of 1880, she emphasized the importance of religious ­education:

My review of the Theological department of the Academy must be understood by my sisters as only one principle of education adopted here, but it is the most important and receives the most thought from the teacher. And if you, my dear sisters, could behold the scene as I do from day to day, the gradual awakening of the truth of this great work upon the minds of the children of the Latter-day Saints, you would say “Glory to God,” that we have such an institution in our midst, where your children and mine can drink in and receive of the blessing of a testimony and assurance of the true object of life.37

For Zina, the spiritual message she had to teach her students was paramount. In her curriculum, she always stressed the importance of morality, honesty, and truthfulness. Putting her own trials into perspective, she encouraged students to live lives of faith:

We all have trials to pass through, but we should not sit down and fold our hands, allowing them to curtail our usefulness. Let us ask God to give us strength to bear what He gives us to bear, working faithfully and [p.258] unceasingly to further the advancement of this great work, which is committed to our charge. We should also train our children to habits of industry, which will save them from many evils.38

Zina’s sense of Mormonism had developed under the tutelage of her parents, whose lives had been shaped by their commitment to the church. It was natural that Zina would do likewise. Ringingly she ­affirmed:

That God, our Eternal Father, has given this plan, and is willing for all to believe, and be saved, I do know and testify; that the time has come for a people to prepare themselves for the coming of Him who was slain by the unbelieving Jews, that the way might be prepared for us to progress here and hereafter; that this message is sent to all, to those who sit in high places and low. And because those great fundamental truths are not believed by all, men rise up and say, “you shall be slain if you persist in such heresies; you must be as we are; right or wrong;” when they know not the truth as we know it. “You must lie to your own consciences and turn traitor to your God,” that God whom we have always sworn to serve and obey. To all such I say, Never!

Truth is truth, and when assailed it only shines forth with greater brilliancy. What I give up, for fear of men, that which God has stamped upon my soul as an everlasting truth? How dare they ask it? I do not ask any one to believe as I do, unless that person be convinced of the truth; none can say truthfully that the Gospel was forced upon them. Yet would I rejoice that every honest heart could enjoy and know the blessings of the Everlasting Gospel.39

Zina Presendia’s letters home are heavy with loneliness and a sense of responsibility as a single parent. Involved in Relief Society work, particularly sericulture, Zina Diantha must have felt pressed to stay in Salt Lake rather than join her daughter in Provo.

For example, on the evening of 25 October 1879, shortly after her second year of teaching began, Zina Presendia lamented that her mother had not been able to visit them as planned: “The children and my self went to the depot to day in high glee, but returned with long faces and sad hearts, we have every thing in ‘apple pie order’ for your inspection,” she wrote.40 Besides wanting to see her mother, Zina Presendia was troubled by her future. Should she stay in Provo or return to Salt Lake City to [p.259] be near her mother. “I am praying earnestly all the time for the Lord to direct me right,” she wrote. She was thinking about purchasing a home if she stayed in Provo, and asked her mother’s advice. She and her mother both knew that she would need to borrow money for such an investment. She concluded, “I hope I have not tired you mother, I could talk all night to you and then not say what I wish to, answer immediately mama, and oblige your sleepy girl.”

One of the spiritual highlights of Zina Presendia’s years at BYA was shared with her mother. Brother Maeser, concerned that some students were attending parties without permission, called a meeting for all students and faculty and invited Mary Ann Hyde, wife of Apostle Orson Hyde, and Zina Diantha to speak. Zina Presendia recalled that day’s moving events:

[Brother Maeser] gave us a hearty welcome and addressed us with such fervour and eloquence that many were in tears. The spirit of the Lord was with us in rich abundance. Sister Mary Ann Hyde arose and amidst a sacred hush broke forth into a beautiful song, given in the gift of tongues, which thrilled every heart, which was far more impressive than any one had heard before. To many, the gift was a new experience. Sister Zina D. Young, my sainted mother, arose in her humble way, and interpreted the song and the tune in an angelic voice and all in beautiful poetry, told what that school meant in the heavens that was visited by angels, and Jesus himself claimed it as his school among the Latter-Day Saints whose power and influence should be spread abroad and felt to the ends of the earth, and that some who were there would live to see great and marvelous events and should receive the highest blessing that the Lord had in store for his children here on the earth, for everyone who stood firm and steadfast upholding their school system, and the inspired leader, Brother Maeser, for this was “the school of Christ.”41

Sterling and Tommy, eight and five when Zina Presendia began teaching, attended the academy’s Primary Department during these years. Sterling quickly moved into the Intermediate Department, mastering third and fourth grade readers. Sterling became friends with Thomas N. Taylor, whose father owned a furniture store about a half block east of the Academy Building on Center Street. The boys would do odd jobs for Thomas’s father, varnish chairs, or retouch them before delivery. They [p.260] rode their horses together in the fields on the edge of town or hiked in the foothills. Sterling, Thomas Taylor, John D. Dixon, and Orlanda C. Beebe sat together during the daily devotional addresses that Maeser delivered.

Zina Diantha described Tommy as a “regular and diligent scholar” who “has made rapid progress in his studies, and in the principles of the Gospel. His affectionate disposition and gentlemanly ways, although only a child, won for him the kind feelings of his teacher and the sincere love of his schoolmates.”42

As matters turned out, Zina taught at BYA for five years. She took in boarders to supplement her income and managed the household with the help of her children and a succession of hired girls. Willard Croxall, son of Mary Young Croxall, her foster sister, and Moses Thatcher of Cache Valley, a future apostle, lived with Zina and her sons while attending school.

Zina opened her home to those in need, regardless of their station, and Susa praised her generosity:

She loves everybody, good, bad and indifferent; and there are not wanting people who with sly nods and winds, assert that this is all put on. They know better, you see; they drag out their own pint measures and behold they find nothing in their tin cups to justify such a characteristic, so then, of course, no one else can possess such an unearthly trait. Then, again, this dear sister of mine lacks self-control, and the power to refuse favors. She positively will not control her hospitable instincts enough to keep her from running the gravest risks with her health to work for others. She will not control her love of doing good sufficiently to prevent her from committing slow suicide; and withal she is altogether too big-hearted and unselfish for such a poor sort of a world as this. She has, however, a bit of sarcastic gall just under the tip of her tongue, and once in a very great while she can drop one stinging word upon some hapless wight who has richly earned a tongue lashing at a good woman’s hands. All in all, I am very sure I am within reason when I say there is no better wife, no truer mother, no more affectionate friend, and no wiser counselor among the daughters of Zion than Sister Zina Young Williams Card.43

“So hospitable was she that her own peace and comfort, even her health, were set entirely aside, while she waited upon friends and acquaintances night and day,” added another description.

[p.261] Zina Prescendia’s social life included faculty parties, student activities, theatrical performances, and musical programs. She became an officer in the Provo Silk Association and was also called as president of the Utah County Stake Primary Association, an appointment she fulfilled from 1879 to 1884. Her mother had assisted Eliza R. Snow in organizing local children’s Primaries following the organization of this group in 1880. Like her mother, Zina Presendia traveled throughout the county, visiting ward Primaries from Alpine in the north to Santaquin in the south. Primary workers held a stake fair in 1881, selling hand-crafted items and raising enough money to purchase instruments for a martial band for the boys.

Loyally, Zina supported the school when Brigham Young’s successor, John Taylor, cut back financial support to the school, due to the church’s economic difficulties as the campaign against polygamy hardened. She recalled:

Being matron to the girls I was well acquainted with its troubles and dark outlook for the future. I told President Taylor that I could not understand how it was that the Spirit of God had inspired my father to establish these church schools for the benefit of the youth of Zion … [and] why he as President could not view it in the same light and had not given to the school the support … father had intended for it.

Taylor had reassured her that he had seen Brigham in a vision and that the school had a “bright future in store.”44 Furthermore, he expressed confidence in Brigham’s daughter by asking her to go to Washington, D.C., with Emmeline B. Wells to represent Mormon women at the National Women’s Suffrage convention in January 1879.

Twenty-nine-year-old Zina was appointed to the convention’s finance committee, while Emmeline served on the resolutions committee. Curiosity about these plural wives had never been higher, since the U.S. Supreme Court had just ruled that polygamy was not protected under the First Amendment. Zina and Emmeline, with considerable self-­pos­ses­sion, addressed the House Judiciary Committee, called on Senator George Frank­lin Edmunds of Vermont, whose Edmunds Act (1884) and Ed­munds-­Tucker Act would wreak havoc on Zina’s life during her second marriage, and called on President and Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes, where Zina told them that, although polygamy might bring sorrow to some [p.262] women, “it would be a far greater one to be the mother of fatherless children who were not claimed, honored, or respected by men who should have protected them.”45

Back in Utah, Zina and Emmeline reported on their experience to many gatherings where Zina “quickly gained the reputation of being a fluent and forceful speaker.”46 In one of Zina’s Ogden audiences was Charles O. Card of Logan, her future husband, who summarized in his diary that she “had just returned from Washington where they had been to represent the sisters of our Church.”47

The most difficult trial of Zina Presendia’s life came in April 1881 when eight-year-old Tommy played with seven of his cousins from Salt Lake City. Exposed to diphtheria, he came down with the virulent disease on 22 April and died six days later in Provo. Zina Diantha came to Provo to help her daughter nurse her seriously ill son. Zina Diantha wrote a touching tribute to him that also praised her daughter’s staunch faith: “The sweet smile that lingered on that exquisitely lovely face, seemed to say ‘be comforted, all is right, my papa wants me.’ … The sorrowing young mother and loving little brother, his companion and playmate, are almost broken hearted, but they trust in the living God, who knows what is best for us all, and who doeth all things well.”48

Emmeline B. Wells, her mother’s friend and almost a second mother to Zina Presendia, wrote her a long letter that mingled comfort and exhortation, urging her to think what her son had been spared by dying early:

I, myself am much changed in my views of death on account of seeing so many, from whom we expected great things, turn away and follow after the vanities of the world, or give themselves up to habits that sink them to the lowest level of depravity almost. I have often thought how much happier Mother Whitney would feel today, had some of her sons died in their innocent childhood, when they were full of faith and trust in God. And yet they had the tender influence and noble example of a truly pious mother;—a sterling man of God for their father, their youth bade [sic] the richest promise of a glorious manhood. …

And even here, one so pure and fine in his nature as was Tommie, … how often … would his sweet temper chafe and his tender heart bleed, at the cruel thrusts—and thousand and one shafts of envy, jealousy and [p.263] ­unscrupulous acts of men, who feeling his superior goodness would seek to destroy the virtues which elevated him above his fellows, and humiliate him by their withering sarcasms and merciless sneers? …

No love so loyal, pure and unselfish as mother love. And now dear girl, perhaps I have said more to wound you, than to heal, but in my heart of hearts I hold your grief sacred, and I know, because my own heart speaks to me forcibly, that time may close up the gaping wound, so that the world may not see, but she who hears it feels its stab, its inward pang.49

Zina was thirty-one years old. Within a seven-year period, she had lost her husband, father, and son. Nevertheless, she continued her responsibilities, including honing her public speaking abilities in defense of plural marriage. A frequent invited speaker at women’s meetings, Zina asserted in December 1881: “We, daughters of Zion, should step forth and use all our powers to maintain it. We should teach our children that it is a pure and holy order, and will exalt and ennoble all who live it according to the spirit thereof. When selfishness is put away, and we can love our sisters as ourselves, then we can be happy.” Zina affirmed that plural marriage would stop the tide of corruption that was “sweeping the earth.”50 Soon Zina would test her personal commitment to the heavenly principle.

According to family tradition, in 1882 J. Golden Kimball, one of Heber C. Kimball’s sons, began courting Zina Presendia. A self-­pro­claimed “cowboy” with little education, he had attracted her by his devotion to the church and testimony of the gospel. Although his financial prospects were limited and he was two years her junior, he proposed marriage and they became engaged. Then, in April 1883, he accepted a call from President John Taylor to serve in the Southern States Mission. Zina Presendia met this interruption to their plans with the same faith and support that her mother had always shown towards Henry Jacobs’s numerous missions.51

J. Golden’s mother, Christeen Golden Kimball, was troubled because Zina was sealed to her first husband. According to Mormon doctrine, J. Golden’s children by Zina would thus belong to Thomas in the hereafter. Christeen persuaded him to break the engagement, and he dutifully wrote to Zina, asking her to release him from their engagement. She quickly granted his request but, still grieving over Tommy’s death, [p.264] felt the rejection keenly and suffered debilitating depression for several weeks. Ironically, it was in Christeen’s home in Salt Lake City that she had first met Charles O. Card in 1882.52 That same year she also struck up a friendship with yet another suitor, John Beck. John, in a letter dated 12 June 1883, reminded Zina of when he had confided in her the desires of his heart: “My feelings toward you are yet unchanged, and only stronger, after having submitted them to the Lord for his direction.” The attributes Beck admired in Zina help to explain her appeal as a young woman. “I have a feeling of respect, and admiration for you, on account of your great ambition and exertion, which you exhibit, for the welfare of the Lords work, and your nobility of character, and superior talents which stimulate me very much.” Unlucky in love, John Beck considered himself lucky to have had Zina for a friend.53

A devastating fire broke out at the academy on 27 January 1884, destroying most classrooms, supply rooms, and two wings recently added to the original structure. Zina watched helplessly with other faculty and students as the fire burned out of control. She felt “like one who had planted a tree, watched and tended it till it had flowered and borne fruit, then the rude hand of the destroying element laid in ashes my fair dream, our beloved home, room and school house were things of the past.”54

Charles O. Card bravely retrieved supplies and equipment from the buildings and saved books and papers from the library. Zina Presendia knew two of his children who were attending the preparatory program. Charles’s first wife, Sarah Jane (“Sally”) Beirdneau, was estranged from him. She would divorce him two months later after seventeen years of marriage because she hated polygamy. Although Charles received custody of their two children, eleven-year-old Charles Ora Jr. and fourteen-year-old Sarah Jane (“Jennie”) Card, they continued to live with their mother. Jennie felt some of her mother’s bitterness about polygamy, and Card urged her to seek out “Sister Zina and allow her to advise you.”55 Card visited his children several times and no doubt consulted Zina Presendia about their welfare during his visits.

The fire delivered a devastating blow to the young academy. Undaunted, Principal Maeser set up temporary classrooms in the Provo Meetinghouse, buildings owned by the school’s benefactor, Abraham O. Smoot, and in a store owned by S. S. Jones. Zina continued to teach un-[p.265]der these conditions through the spring term, but did not feel strong and was increasingly concerned about her mother’s health. However, changes were coming that would prove to be greater than any she had imagined.

Desiring spiritual renewal, Zina Presendia left Provo to attend the dedication of the Logan temple with her mother, her aunt Presendia, and a number of their friends on 17 May 1884. The next day they attended services in the Logan Tabernacle described by Zina as “just as good if not better than they were yesterday in the Temple.”56 Feeling renewed, she, her mother, and Aunt Presendia decided to devote themselves to temple work for a time and made arrangements to purchase a house from Charles O. Card located east of the temple where the three women and fourteen-year-old Sterling could live. On 20 May, in Logan, Zina Presendia and Zina Diantha were called “from the stand … to labor in the Logan Temple.”57 Zina Presendia wrote in her diary, “I trust that my Father in Heaven will inspire my heart and give me grace and wisdom.” The next day, she recorded, “Went to Temple and sewed today had a lovely time. made an important article for endowments.” Charles helped Zina Pre­sendia arrange her financial affairs, saying “It is no more than I would do for any friend that has taken an interest in my children, as you have.”58

She returned to Provo on 23 May to sell some of her things and pack the rest. “I am not well but must work,” she recorded. While trying to sell her buggy and make arrangements to rent her house furnished, she received a letter from Charles asking her to marry him. Taken aback, she recorded, “[I] am surprised. what shall I write in reply. God direct me.” She certainly had a high regard for Card, but had never contemplated a personal relationship with him. “While she respected him very much she had never thought to [marriage] for him [sic]. She deferred answering him until she went back to Logan. She had a dream that convinced her that he was the right man.”59

Card was forty-five, Zina thirty-four. He had been born in New York on 5 November 1839 to Cyrus Williams Card and Sarah Ann Tuttle Card, who joined the LDS church in 1843 and moved to Michigan in 1846, after Joseph Smith’s martyrdom. Charles was baptized by a missionary uncle, Joseph France Card, on 12 April 1856 at age sixteen, only a few days before his family and uncle left for Utah. Although they traveled with the Ells­worth handcart company, they had two wagons. [p.266] Charles’s father, uncle, and sister all became ill; his fourteen-year-old sister Polly died. The family settled first in Farmington, then moved north to Cache Valley in March 1860. Nineteen-year-old Charles had gone ahead the previous fall and built a cabin. Ordained a seventy in 1858, he worked with his father in farming, building roads, canals, saw mills, and grist mills, taught school for four years, was elected to the city council where he served for sixteen years, and had many civic appointments including coroner, justice of the peace, juror, road supervisor, county commissioner, chair of Logan’s board of trustees, and member of the board of Brigham Young College in Logan. He supervised the construction of the Logan Tabernacle (begun in 1873) and temple (1877-84), served in the local stake presidency in 1879, and, during the stake conference held the day after the temple dedication, was sustained as Cache Stake president.60

Although his divorce from Sally Beirdneau became final on 24 March 1884, Charles had previously taken a plural wife, eighteen-year-­old Sarah Jane Painter, daughter of George Painter and Jane Herbert Painter, on 17 October 1876. They were the parents of six-year-old Matilda Frances, four-year-old George Cyrus, three-year-old Lavantia Painter, and two-month-old Pearl Painter.61 Thus Sarah Jane Painter was Charles’s only wife, though not a legal one.

Zina’s dream confirmed Charles was the man she should marry. However, she withheld her decision. The day before she left Provo, a Sunday, the members of Brigham Young’s family in town took dinner together, then talked about the academy. Zina was so ill with an unspecified ailment that she could “hardly sit up.”62 The train to Logan was delayed for three hours by a severe rainstorm, during which time she contemplated her future and wondered, “What shall I say to someone?” Card met them at the depot and his kindness was so welcome that Zina revived slightly, writing, “The more I see him the better I like him.”63

On Tuesday, 10 June, Charles called at her new Logan home and they discussed his proposal of marriage. Her fluctuating emotions are revealed in fragmentary and fluttering sentences, despite her determination to be “businesslike,” and include a hint of jealousy: “Bad time. But it has happened. Called in a most business like way.” Zina confided in him the things of her heart, writing in her journal that evening: “Ah well. It is the truth and I can’t help it. I don’t think he is in love with me much. How [p.267] can he be when he is looking with wishful eyes at two young girls. I guess he will make it a mere matter of business. But I can be just as cool as he is. But I know it is right to go ahead. Must go to bed.” They made arrangements to be married seven days later.

Working in the temple brought a measure of peace to Zina during this emotionally turbulent time. The next day she wrote: “how blest I am. I will be content no matter what comes if I can stay here and work in the Temple. I saw him a moment. he is mighty cool.” Because of her skills in lace making and fancy stitchery, Zina Presendia directed the making of ornamented cloths to cover the temple’s altars. Although she was immersed in work she loved, her heart was heavy. Her feelings were obviously tender, and she felt that she had committed herself more deeply to the relationship than had Charles.

On her wedding day, 17 June, she was baptized for eight of her kindred dead, then, while still in the temple, met Charles at 5:00 p.m., and the two were married in a secret ceremony by John T. D. McAllaster, the temple president. There were no witnesses, not even Zina’s mother, for fear of federal marshals. Zina Presendia then went home as usual, cooked supper, saw Sterling off to bed, and waited for Charles to come. By 10:00 p.m., when she sat down to write, he had still not arrived. Her solo efforts on such an important day are reminiscent of the poignant descriptions of routine work her mother recorded in her journal on birthdays—never once spent with her husband. “My life has found its joy and I am blest far beyond my fondest anticipations this day. My heart is sad for we live in a trying and eventful time but my prayers are answered, and I shall strive to be faithful and true. I have no fear of him but of myself. God help us each to do and be all we should to each other,” Zina Prescendia wrote.

As the night wore on and Charles did not come, she could not restrain her tears and finished sorrowfully, “Well this is a lot worse than I bargained for. I have cried till my heart feels like it would burst. Can I bear to go through the agony I have once endured.” Clearly, despite her efforts to defend plural marriage and remain faithful to its concept, she had experienced its pain. Sacrifice, loneliness, and disappointment were part of the routine. “Oh God, rather let me go heance. I will go to bed.” She spent her wedding night alone. The next night Charles arrived, apologetic about the delay and “truly penitent for the sorrow he has caused [p.268] me. It nearly broke my heart. I pray I may never have another such a trial. he is very sweet and kind. I hope he will learn to love me. S[terling] feels kindly. I am so glad of that. I wonder what dear mother will say. Aunt Presendia suspects nothing.”

Despite the rocky start, Charles and Zina Presendia seemed to find happiness with each other. Two days after her delayed wedding night, Zina wrote with anticipation: “He is coming tonight. happy thoughts. may the angels of peace guard us.”64 These moments of peace would be rare, for over the next three years Charles and his wives had to resort to extraordinary measures to avoid arrest for polygamy. Although Charles was an effective and dedicated leader and organizer, he was heavily in debt; three months after their marriage, Zina loaned him $1,500, which she had saved from her BYA salary, nor was it her last financial contribution to the marriage.65

Zina continued to use “Williams” and present herself as a widow to diffuse suspicion, but this ruse became increasingly transparent especially after she became pregnant in September. She gave birth to Joseph Young Card on 26 June 1885, a year after their marriage. Shortly thereafter, Zina was transported in a makeshift bed in the back of a buggy to Paradise, Utah, where she convalesced at Orson Smith’s home. Six months later on 2 December, Charles married his fourth wife, nineteen-year-old Lavinia Rigby, daughter of William F. Rigby and Mary Clark Rigby of Rexburg, Idaho. Mary had died when Lavinia was five and the motherless child had been raised by a sister wife. She continued to live with friends and kin after her marriage to Card, remaining inconspicuous in Idaho.66 Sarah Jane Painter, Card’s only publicly known wife since his divorce from Sally Beirdneau, was relatively free from harassment, but Zina and Charles had to be constantly on their guard. Their stories of hide-­and-seek are frequently dramatic. Card resorted to disguises and pseudonyms, often escaping arrest by only a narrow margin.

When Charles asked her to marry him, Lavinia was already going steady with another man. Nevertheless, she discussed the proposal with her aunt who advised her to do what she thought was right. Her father said the same. She decided that Charles Card was a man of God and it would be a privilege to be his wife. During the week before the wedding the next month, Zina Presendia, married to Charles eighteen months [p.269] earlier, and an aunt helped Lavinia make her trousseau and sew her wedding dress. In addition, the three women made underskirts, underwear, night gowns, and other linens. Lavinia’s brother Will was the only one in her family in whom she confided the news, and he brought her to Logan in a wagon the morning of her wedding. During the ceremony, Zina stayed home preparing a feast for the three of them. Charles and Lavinia spent the next three days in Logan. Although Lavinia saw Charles during the next year and one half, it was usually for only a day or two and always in secrecy.67

According to the most frequently repeated story, when Charles was finally arrested by federal marshals he was eating dinner with Sarah Painter’s family. Escorted onto the train by three officers, Charles asked permission to get a drink of water from the container in the corridor after the train was moving. Noticing that the marshals were distracted, Charles casually stepped off the moving train and rolled down a small embankment. A large gray horse, bridled and saddled, was tied to a telephone pole east of the tracks, left according to plan. Card ran for it, mounted, and galloped toward town. The officers demanded that the conductor stop the train, but he refused: “We do not stop between stations, if you want to follow your prisoner you will have to go the way he did.”68 By then, the train was moving too fast for the officers to descend.

In the meantime, Zina was waiting in her buggy on Main Street when Charles rode down the street. He jumped aboard, whipped the horses to a gallop, and raced toward Bishop William Preston’s home. There he quickly dressed in women’s clothes, put a basket on his arm, and shaded his head with a broken umbrella. Slowly he walked up the hill to Bishop William Hyde’s house where he hid for a few days.

To avoid being questioned about her husband’s whereabouts, Zina stayed that night with John Smith’s family, leaving her nursing baby with Zina Diantha. Sterling and cousin Willard Croxall were hauling hay in Card’s west field near Logan. Zina Diantha tracked them down and told them to hide until after dark so they would not be subpoenaed. After an agonizing night for both grandmother and baby, Zina Diantha sent the baby to Zina Presendia to be fed.

That night Charles drove Zina and the three boys up Blacksmith Canyon, fighting a fierce wind and darkness. They reached Meadowville [p.270] at 3:00 a.m. and rested through the day until warned that apostate Mormons were watching. They hurried to a hay farm where they were given shelter in a log cabin but were soon wakened with the warning that trouble was approaching. Again they traveled through the night. They were faint with hunger when Sterling and Willard succeeded in killing chickens they came across in a field. They roasted the fowls on sticks over a bonfire and made a satisfying meal. Finally, they arrived at the camp of Bishop William Preston, also hiding from the marshals, and stayed with his party for the next three weeks.

Returning to Logan, Charles asked Apostle Moses Thatcher for advice about what to do next. Thatcher told him to take his plural families to Mexico to avoid persecution. It was the summer of 1886. Charles had been in hiding since the summer of 1885. His ability to provide for his families was shattered, nor could he function as stake president. He asked President John Taylor for permission to immigrate to Mexico, initially taking Lavinia with him.

Zina was able to return to her home, but Charles remained in hiding. Zina wrote anxious and loving letters, carefully directed to pseudonyms and delivered by the hands of trusted friends. Concerned for his safety, she was uncertain what the future held for them. In one undated letter written “at home,” she wrote: “I am feeling more uneasy for myself than ever before. I am in doubt as to what to do before they will nab me.”

Worriedly, she reported in October 1886 that a mutual friend would soon be tried for unlawful cohabitation. “How much wisdom we need. What is for the best? And what will be required at our hands? Are questions I am asking myself every day. But you are safe, and that is a great comfort, only those who are away can seemingly be and it gets worse with everyone.” The letter continued, “It has been very trying on my nerves not to hear from you. and as I am nursing our boy yet and get beautifully less everyday, but it is a matter of astonishment to me that we all are so content, and I am sure we need not worry for there are so many not half so blest as we are, and our trials are only begun many of our leaders think. God help us!” Trying to raise Charles’s spirits, she described the antics of sixteen-month-old Joseph with his father’s photograph. “He stands and laughs, points his little finger and puts his little face on the glass and tries to pick your eyes out.”69

 [p.271] On 15 January 1887, Joseph was diagnosed as suffering from a case of pinworms. Zina Presendia thanked Charles for his prayers and Zina Diantha for her nursing: “She is so thoughtful and prompt.” It was a moment of sheer motherly pleasure in her child, a respite from constant worry about her safety and that of Charles. But matters would change dramatically within the next few months.


1. Susa Young Gates, “Zina Young Williams Card,” Young Woman’s Journal 4 (November 1892): 50.

2. “Notes on Life of Zina Young Williams Card, 1914,” 2, Zina Young Williams Card Collection, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. The Zina Card Collection contains five personal histories with similar titles and content. They were most likely written by her daughter Zina Card Brown and include: (1) “A Life Sketch of the Life of Zina Young Card,” 6 pp., typescript; (2) Zina Young Card Brown, “A Biographical Sketch of the Life of Zina Young Williams Card,” 3 pp.; (3) “Zina Young Card,” 3 pp., typescript; (4) “A Biographical Sketch of Zina Y. Card, written for B.Y.U., Provo, Utah,” 12 pp., holograph; and (5) “Zina Y. Card,” 11 pp. typescript.

3. “Utah Unveiled,” The World (New York), 17 November 1869, 4.

4. Lisle Lester, “Lisle Lester at a Mormon Ball,” Millennial Star, 30:316. A floor manager was essentially the hostess for the night who encouraged couples to begin dancing, introduced strangers, and kept things lively.

5. Zina Young Card, “A Biographical Sketch,” Zina Young Williams Card Collection, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

6. Fanny Stenhouse, “Tell It All”: The Story of a Life’s Experience in Mormonism (Hartford, CT: A.D. Worthington & Co., 1874), 536.

7. Ibid., 538. More philosophically, Fanny added: “It is a curious question—If a man of many wives starts with as much love for his first wife as ordinary one-wifed men have for theirs, and goes on increasing his love with each additional wife, so that he can always say to the last that ‘he never really loved before;’ how much love will he have when he gets to the tenth or the twentieth? At that rate, Brigham, who in the course of his life has had—say, thirty wives, must have a ‘30-love’ power of affection for the last. The extent of his devotion must be something utterly astounding; by this time the old man must be a perfect Vesuvius of love!”

8. See also Ronald W. Walker, “The Stenhouses and the Making of a Mormon Image,” Journal of Mormon History 1 (1974): 57.

9. “Notes on Life of Zina Young Williams Card,” 1914, 2.

[p.272] 10. “A Life Sketch of the Life of Zina Young Card,” 1.

11. Chariton recorded this move in his journal on 19 July 1870: “I found Mother in her house one the Pres gave her on New Years day, situated at the corner of 1st east Street and 3rd South st.”

12. Brigham Young, 19 July 1874, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (London and Liverpool: LDS Booksellers Depot, 1855-86): 16:137.

13. Ibid.

14. “A Life Sketch of the Life of Zina Young Card,” 2.

15. “Dictated by Zina Young Card,” 13 March 1925, Zina D. H. Young Collection.

16. Told in “Zina Young Williams Card, A Biographical Sketch,” 6.

17. Zina Young Williams Card, “A Biographical Sketch,” 7.

18. Ibid., 8.

19. Zina Young Williams, Letter to Zina D. H. Young, 4 March 1877, Sevier County, Zina D. H. Young Collection.

20. Zina qtd. in Susa Young Gates with Leah D. Widtsoe, The Life Story of Brigham Young (New York, 1930), 361-63.

21. Ibid.

22. Zina Diantha Young, Autobiography, 3, Zina D. H. Young Collection.

23. Leonard J. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985), Appendix D, 422-30.

24. Zina Y. W. Card, “Sketch of School Life in the B.Y.A. 1878-1884,” n.d., 1, typescript, 3 pp., Zina Young Williams Card Collection.

25. Ibid.

26. Ibid.

27. Card, “Zina Young Williams Card,” 54.

28. Card, “Sketch of School Life in the B.Y. A. 1878-1884,” 3.

29. Ibid.

30. Gates, “Zina Young Williams Card,” 54.

31. Ibid., 54.

32. Gates, “Zina Young Williams Card,” 51.

33. Zina Young Williams, “The Brigham Young Academy,” Woman’s Exponent 9 (15 October 1880): 51.

34. Leonard J. Arrington, The Presidents of the Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1986), 108-109.

35. Zina Young Williams, Lesson notebook, BY Academy, holograph, Zina Young Williams Card Collection.

36. Zina Young Williams, Lesson notebook, holograph, Zina Young Williams Card Collection.

37. Zina Young Williams, “The Brigham Young Academy,” Woman’s Exponent 9 (15 October 1880): 80.

38. Zina Young Williams, “Remarks by Zina Y. Williams,” Woman’s Exponent 10 (15 January 1882): 123.

[p.273] 39. Zina Young Williams, “The Reason Why,” Woman’s Exponent 10 (21 April 1882): 167.

40. Zina Young Williams (Card), Letter to Zina D. H. Young, 25 October 1879, Zina Young Williams Card Collection.

41. Zina Y. W. Card, “Sketch of School Life in the B.Y.A. 1878-1884,” n.d., 2-3.

42. Zina Diantha Young, “Thomas Edgar Williams,” Woman’s Exponent 9 (1 May 1881): 181.

43. Card, “Zina Young Williams Card,” 53.

44. Zina Young Williams Card, “Short Reminiscence of Karl G. Maeser,” n.d., typescript, Zina Card Collection, LDS Church Archives.

45. “A Life Sketch of the Life of Zina Young,” p. 1, Zina Young Williams Card Collection; Zina Young Card Brown, “A Biographical Sketch of the Life of Zina Young Williams Card,” 26 March 1930, 17 pp. typescript, 9-10, Zina Young Williams Card Collection; Annie Wells Cannon, “Zina Young Card, ” Relief Society Magazine, April 1931, 204; Journal History, 17, 18, and 19 January 1979, LDS Church Archives.

46. Donald W. Godfrey, “Zina Presendia Young Williams Card: Brigham’s Daughter, Cardston’s First Lady,” Journal of Mormon History 23 (Fall 1997): 107-27.

47. Charles Ora Card, Diary, 6 February 1879, Special Collections, Lee ­Library.

48. Ibid.

49. “Aunt Em” [Emmeline B. Wells], Letter to Zina Young Williams (Card), 1 May 1881, Zina Young Williams Card Collection.

50. Zina Young Williams, “Remarks by Zina Y. Williams,” Woman’s Exponent 10 (15 January 1882): 123.

51. Although J. Golden does not mention explicitly an egagement with Zina in his journal, he does spend the day before he left for his mission in 1883 with her. He writes on 8 April 1884: “In company with Zina went to my home, ate supper and by her kind invitation accompanied her to Bro Primroses and spent the evening very pleasantly.” During his mission Zina sent him numerous letters and books. On 24 December 1883, he writes, “Received a letter from Zina. Enclosed found her picture also Christmas and New Years card[’]s. My appreciation of them is beyond the limit of language to express.” In total, J. Golden mentioned Zina in seven journal entries during his 1883-1884 mission. See J. Golden Kimball, Diary, under dates cited, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

52. Mary Firmage Woodward, interview with Martha S. Bradley.

53. John Beck to Zina Young Williams, 12 June 1883, Provo, Utah, Zina Young Williams Card Collection.

54. Card, “Zina Young Williams Card,” 54.

55. C. O. Card, Letter to Jennie Card, 7 January 1887, Zina Young Card Brown Collection.

[p.274] 56. Zina Young Williams Card, Diary, 17, 18 May 1884, Zina Young Williams Card Collection.

57. Zina D. H. Young, Diary, 21 May 1884.

58. Charles O. Card, Letter to Zina Young Williams, 18 April 1884, Logan, Utah, Zina Young Williams Card Collection.

59. “A Life Sketch of Zina Presendia Williams Card,” 3.

60. Donald G. Godfrey and Brigham Y. Card, eds., The Diaries of Charles Ora Card: The Canadian Years, 1886-1903 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1993), xxxv-xxxvii.

61. Their children included: Matilda Frances Card, 26 April 1878; George Cyrus Card, 26 January 1880; Lavantia Painter Card, 6 November 1881; Pearl Painter Card, 20 April 1884; Abigail Jane Card, 3 April 1886; and Franklin Almon Card, 3 January 1892.

62. Zina Young Card, Letter to Zina D. H. Young, 31 May 1884, Zina D. H. Young Collection.

63. Zina Young Card, Letter to Zina D. H. Young, 4 June 1884, Zina D. H. Young Collection.

64. Zina Young Card, Journal, 20 June 1884, Zina D. H. Young Collection.

65. Zina Young Card, “An Open Letter,” n.d., Zina Young Williams Card Collection.

66. Charles and Lavinia would have five children together: Mary Rigby Card, 14 October 1887; Lavinia Rigby Card, 15 November 1890; Charles Rigby Card, 28 November 1896; Stirling Rigby Card, 18 December 1899; and William Lavoir Card, 17 January 1904.

67. “History of Lavinia C. Rigby Card,” as told to her children, n.d., typescript, 19 pages, in the possession of the authors.

68. Sterling Williams, “Biographical Memos of Sterling Williams,” 9 July 1956, 8, copy in authors’ possession.

69. Zina Card, Letter to Charles O. Card, 29 October 1886, Logan, Utah, Zina Young Williams Card Collection.