lowell mormons

lowell banner
Lowell WomenLowell MenLowell ChildrenMissionaries and Apostles

Hannah Maria Libby


Hannah Maria Libby (Smith Smith)

Hannah was the daughter of Nathaniel and Tirzah Lord Libby, born June 28, 1828 in Ossipee, Grafton, New Hampshire. Nathaniel Libby died July 18, 1840. After Nathaniel's death, Tirzah and her two daughters Hannah and Sarah Ann Libby moved to Lowell, where the three worked for the mills. Thus Hannah began working in the mills at the age of 12, certainly at first as a "doffer", replacing the empty spools. Girls aged 10-12 were hired for this safe and easy job. Although the 14-hour shifts (5:00 am to 7:00 pm) were long, doffing only took 15 minutes out of every hour, and the young girls were allowed to leave the mills for the other 45 minutes. They were also well-paid and received three "substantial meals" every day for their work. As Hannah grew older, she would have been given new responsibilities and harder (and better paying) jobs to do.

The two Libby sisters joined the LDS Church in Lowell on May 15, 1844, for which their mother disowned them. The two sisters then polygamously married Jospeh Smith's younger brother, Apostle William Smith. In 1905, Elder Joseph F. Smith (1876-1972) wrote to Richard C. Evans, counselor in the First Presidency of the Reorganized LDS Church, that "William [Smith] entered into plural marriage in the Prophet's day and his wives lived here in Utah. They were Precilla M. Smith, Sarah Libby and Hannah Libby. One of these is still living today." (Joseph F. Smith, Blood Atonement and the Origin of Plural Marriage, Deseret News Press: Salt Lake City, 1905, p. 49.) The first of William Smith's plural wives mentioned here was Persillia Mogridge (or Morgridge) from Wiltshire, England. She and William Smith were married in August 1845 in Nauvoo and then she married man named Lowery and later William Carter Staines. William Smith may have married the Libby sisters in Lowell after their baptisms, or he may have married them later in Nauvoo (about August 1845, as with Persillia Mogridge).

After William Smith's excommunication on October 19, 1845, the two Libby sisters in Nauvoo then married William's first cousin, Apostle George Albert Smith, on November 20, 1845. Hannah Maria Libby Smith Smith died in 1906, and was therefore the one referred to above by Joseph F. Smith as "still living today" in 1905.

Tirzah Lord Libby died of "apoplexy" in Lowell on October 26, 1846 at the age of 52.

Hannah Libby Smith Home in Provo
Hannah Maria Libby Smith (in white apron) & Family Members
in front of her home in Provo, Utah

| Women | Men | Children | Missionaries & Apostles

Contact Connell

"Lowell Mormons" has no official connection to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
© 2005-2007 Connell O'Donovan. All rights reserved.
Do not use without written permission from Connell O'Donovan