Shauna Ray (Wells) Solace family book of mormon.
Our family BOOK OF MORMON, an original 1830 leather bound edition, was bought by Moses Wade in New York and given to his daughter Minerva Emma Wade Hickman. The Wade family, having been baptized in 1837, were new converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-bay Saints and had emigrated from Farmersville, New York to Hancock County, Illinois in 1841. Not liking the hardships of frontier life, her two sisters returned to New York. In 1845 the remaining Wade family was driven out of Hancock County by mobs and driven into the city of Nauvoo.
This is an original leather bound Book of Mormon although the title page and copyright are missing as is much of the beginning of the book. Pagination is disjointed and pages are missing throughout. This volume included many newspaper bookmarks and a square piece of tightly woven scrap material a cream background with equally spaced large brown circles ...smaller than a dime. Inside each circle is a smaller darker brown circle. The bottom 1/4 of these inner circles are fully colored while the upper portion of the circles have equally spaced lines between the dark brown color. An Oak leaf was pressed against the inside pages of the book and preserved.
This Book of Mormon was handed down to my father, Edwin Leonard Wells, by his mother Katharine Fidelia Vanderhoof Wells. Its condition is rather dilapidated. It survived a prairie fire and the fire that destroyed my father’s apartment, which he shared with second wife, Doris Ulin Madsen Wells. Much of their Long Beach apartment complex was also destroyed. I am not sure of the date of that fire, but according to my father, was front page news at the time. This book was given to me shortly before his death in 1976 and was the only thing not totally destroyed. The spine is coming apart, the fragmented pages are coming loose from the backing, the pages are yellowed and water stained. An inscription near the back of the book (p. 573) reads: Ben read and reared (sic) and read over again and again. This could explain part of the books condition but certainly not all.
By 1920, Lerona has been in possession of the BOOK OF MORMON for four years. Katharine, with two marriages behind her, was no longer living in Utah, having met and married my grandfather in April of 1916. They were living in Washington State where my father is born [August 1917] according to the 1920 census. In 1922, they moved to San Diego to care for his aging father, Homer Leonard Wells, also a medical doctor, who died in February 1924 after being hit by a Street car. By the time my parents met in the late 1930’s, the family had permanently settled in Southern California. Katharine received the BOOK in September of 1938, just 15 months before Lerona’s death. With our parents union, my sister and I became first generation Californian’s.
The inscriptions on the front cover reads: One of the 1st Books of Mormon published. Bought by Moses Wade in N. Y. Brought (Sic) to Utah 1849 by his daughter Minerva Wade Hickman. P. T.D. No. 9, Box 81, Ogden, Utah. She is now in her 88th year and sends greetings with the book. Born 1828 - died 1919. The inscription on front inside cover, in Lerona’s handwriting, reads: My mother Minerva Wade Hickman said she was born in 1828 ... her niece said 1830. Farmersville, Cataragus (Cattaraugus) County, New York — Lerona M. Vanderhoof, Snow Valley, Box Elder Co., Utah. March 23 (98)1921. In Katharine’s handwriting below it reads: given to me by my mother Lerona Minerva Hickman Vanderhoof September 14, 1938. — Katharine Fidelia Vanderhoof Wells born in Montana 1873 Wilmington, California. Note: Katharine is spelled with an ‘a’ not an ‘e’. On the back inside cover it reads: "Given to Shauna Rae Wells Solace from my father Edwin Leonard Wells, only son of Katharine and Edwin M. Wells 1976.