Mary Ann Turley
1827-1904

Born: 13 July 1827 in York (now Toronto), Ontario, Canada1
Died: 24 December 1904 in Santa Paula, Ventura County, California2
Buried: Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery in Santa Paula, Ventura County, California3
FamilySearch ID: KWVM-XQR
FindaGrave Memorial ID:  111884163

Mary Ann was the daughter of Theodore Turley and Frances Kimberley.

Mary Ann was sealed as a plural wife to Brigham Young in the Nauvoo Temple on 3 February 1846.4 They divorced on 15 January 1851 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah.5 Mary Ann later married John Cook on 8 September 1851 in San Bernardino County, California.6 They had the following children:

  1. Henry Theodore Cook (1853-1941) m1. Sarah Ellen Wilkerson, m2. Olive Hunt, m3. Mary Ollie Fuller, m4. Jennie E. Johnson
  2. John Edward Cook (1855-1855)
  3. Mary Effie Cook (1867-1942) m. Zacariah Hector
  4. Isabel Priscilla Cook (1860-1862)
  5. Sarah Ann Cook (1863-1934) m1. Charles John Harris, m2. John Davis Seward
  6. Caroline Owena Cook (1865-1845) m1. Bernardo A. Smith, m2. George W. Silvey
  7. Charlotte Thankful Cook (1867-1867)
  8. Jonathan Cook (1868-1868)
  9. Marinda Maria Cook (1869-1946) m. Herbert Hall
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Life Sketch

Life sketch coming soon.

Biographical sketch from The Theodore Turley Family book (p. 59-60)

MARY ANN TURLEY was born in Toronto, Ontario on July 13, 1827 to Theodore and Francis Amelia Turley. She mar­ried JOHN J. COOK September 8, 1851.

MARY ANN’s parents emigrated to Canada in 1825 with two children. They settled near Lake Ontario, having been given a plot of land and a blooded herd of cattle by the King of England for services rendered him. He continued preaching Methodism. In 1837 her father and mother were baptized and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, sold their farm and moved to Far West, Missouri, arriving in July, 1838. They later moved to Nauvoo, Illinois in 1839 and in 1846 traveled by ox team to Winter Quarters, Nebraska where they stayed until 1849. During that time six members of the family died, including her mother. In 1849 they traveled by ox team to Salt Lake City, Utah and in 1850 went with about five hundred others to build a settlement in San Bernardino County, California, where a large tract of land was purchased. It was here that MARY ANN met and married JOHN JAMES COOK.

The following is taken from History of Ventura County California, Volume 2. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1926.

Among the early settlers of Ventura County was the John J. Cook family. Their identification with this county dates back to 1869, which dates back ninety-nine years ago, which period practically embraces its development from a stretch of wild plain and barren wilderness to its present prosperous condition, and during these years the members of this family bore their full part in the upbuilding of the community.

John J. Cook, who was orphaned early in life, was of German descent, born in Mohawk County, New York, May 22, 1827, while Mary Ann (Turley) Cook was of English antecedents, her father coming to this country and serving in the Civil War with the rank of Captain. Mary Ann was born in Toronto, Canada, July 13, 1827 and died December 24, 1904, at the age of seventy-seven years.

In 1869 the family left San Bernardino County, locating near what is now Bardsdale, Ventura County, but which then was in Santa Barbara County. In 1872 the family moved to Santa Barbara and in 1873 to Ukiah, Mendocino County, where they lived until the spring of 1875, when they returned to Ventura County, for permanent resi­dence, Santa Paula, California.”

The following article was taken from the Santa Paula Daily Chronicle dated 12/26/1904, written by Etta L. Ricker upon the death of MARY ANN COOK:

On December 24, 1904, the gates of heaven rolled wide for this good woman and she passed away to eternal rest. Her passing calls for more than a casual notice. Mrs. Cook was one of the pioneers of this state, born in Toron­to, Canada, July 13, 1827, she journeyed from there with her parents to California, making the entire trip across the continent with ox teams. Arriving in California in 1851 she soon after married John Cook, an honored pioneer of this state. It can never be said of Mrs. Cook that she lived in vain. In those early days of California her whole life was given to help those in need of help. She was mother, sister, doctor and nurse to all. None were too poor, too dirty, or too wicked to be comforted, nursed and cared for by her. Many a sad heart was comforted by her loving care, and she would share all she had with those in need, trusting with the faith that never faltered for her own poor needs.

In the early days of San Bernardino as well as of Ven­tura County she came at last to be a veritable Peter among the poor and needy. “If only her shadow might fall on them they felt comforted.”

. . .Mrs. Cook has left a more beautiful monument than any chiseled from marble. It is her good works for others, her kindness to the poor and needy, and the help she gave to those that needed help. . .

JOHN JAMES COOK, while traveling by train through Arizona, was mur­dered and no one seems to know where he was bur­ied or any more of the details.

Related Links

Timeline

1827
July 13: Mary Ann Turley was born to Theodore Turley and Frances Kimberley in York (now Toronto), Ontario.7

1838
The Turley family traveled with a group of fellow Latter-day Saints to settle in Far West, Missouri, led by Elder Almon W. Babbitt. Theodore Turley later recalled that he, Frances, and their six children (Frances A., Mary Ann, Priscilla, Frederick, Sarah, and Isaac) made the journey with two wagons and four horses.8

Far West & Evacuation of Saints

1838
July 18: The Turley family arrived at Far West, Missouri.9

Life in Nauvoo, Illinois

1845
December 20: Mary Ann Turley received her endowments in the Nauvoo Temple with four other family members: Theodore Turley, Frances Kimberley, Frances Amelia Turley, and Priscilla R. Turley.10

1846
February 3: Mary Ann Turley was sealed as a plural wife to Brigham Young in the Nauvoo Temple. Theodore Turley served as a witness to that sealing.11

Exodus from Nauvoo and Life in Winter Quarters

Crossing the Plains and Life in the Salt Lake Valley


1849
Late October: Theodore Turley and his family entered the Salt Lake Valley with the Silas Richards Company.12 The family lived at the southwest corner of South Temple and 500 East.13

1851
January 15: Theodore’s daughter, Mary Ann, obtained an official divorce from Brigham Young. Although Mary Ann was sealed to Brigham Young five years earlier, there’s no evidence she ever lived in his household.14
March/April: Mary Ann was enumerated in Theodore Turley’s household in Utah County for the 1850 United States Federal Census.15

Settling San Bernardino, California

Important Places

Ontario: York & Churchville
Far West, Missouri
Nauvoo, Illinois
Winter Quarters, Iowa
Salt Lake City, Utah
San Bernardino, California
Santa Paula, California

  1. Family Memorial-Frances Kimberley, Theodore notes in that memorial that Mary Ann’s birth was registered with the Methodist Episcopal Church in York, Upper Canada (now Toronto), but we have not yet located that record; Devery S. Anderson and Gary James Bergara, The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846: A Documentary History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2005), p. 109; Nauvoo and sealing record “A”, 1846-1857, p. 577-578, entry for Mary Ann Turley, FHL 183374.
  2. The Theodore Turley Family book; FindaGrave.com, memorial page for Mary Ann Turley Cook (13 Jul 1827–24 Dec 1904), memorial no. 111884163, citing Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery, Santa Paula, Ventura County, California, United States.
  3. FindaGrave.com, memorial page for Mary Ann Turley Cook (13 Jul 1827–24 Dec 1904), memorial no. 111884163, citing Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery, Santa Paula, Ventura County, California, United States.
  4. Nauvoo and sealing record “A”, 1846-1857, p. 577-578, entry for Brigham Young and Mary Ann Turley, FHL 183374.
  5. Jeffrey Ogden Johnson, “Determining and Defining ‘Wife’: The Brigham Young Households.” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 20, no. 3 (Fall 1987): p. 63 and p. 68 Footnote 38. A story related years later by Mary Ann’s sister, Sarah, to Joseph Soll Turley suggests Mary Ann was not happy in the relationship (1971 letter from Joseph Soll Turley).
  6. The Theodore Turley Family book. We still need to confirm the marriage day with other historical records, but the general timing of the marriage seems to be accurate. “Brother Rich was reminded that at Sycamore Grove, near the mouth of Cajon Pass, before the pioneers entered the valley of San Bernardino, three weddings occurred under a sycamore tree. General Rich officiated in marrying Sister Lydia Shepherd to James J. Davidson and about the same time Nathan Swarthout was married to Emma Tanner, and Mary Ann Turley to John Cook, these being the first pioneer weddings.” “Pioneers,” San Bernardino Daily Sun, Sunday 7 Mar. 1915, p. 4, col. 4, Newspapers.com.
  7. Family Memorial-Frances Kimberley, Theodore notes in that memorial that Mary Ann’s birth was registered with the Methodist Episcopal Church in York, Upper Canada (now Toronto), but we have not yet located that record; Devery S. Anderson and Gary James Bergara, The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846: A Documentary History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2005), p. 109; Nauvoo and sealing record “A”, 1846-1857, p. 577-578, entry for Mary Ann Turley, FHL 183374.
  8. Richard E. Turley, Jr., “5: Gathering with the Saints, 1838,” Theodore Turley: A Biography newsletter series, citing Theodore’s missionary diary.
  9. Theodore recorded July 18th as the date of their arrival in his missionary diary. Joseph Smith’s journal records the arrival of Elder Almon W. Babbitt’s company on Saturday, July 28th. Richard E. Turley, Jr., “5: Gathering with the Saints, 1838,” Theodore Turley: A Biography newsletter series.
  10. Devery S. Anderson and Gary James Bergara, The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846: A Documentary History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2005), p. 109.
  11. Nauvoo and sealing record “A”, 1846-1857, p. 577-578, entry for Brigham Young and Mary Ann Turley, FHL 183374.
  12. According to the Pioneer Overland Travel Website, the Silas Richards Company departed Council Bluffs, Iowa, on 10 July 1849 and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley 25-29 October 1849. See https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/companies/5/silas-richards-company-1849.
  13. Related blog post: “In the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.”
  14. Jeffrey Ogden Johnson, “Determining and Defining ‘Wife’: The Brigham Young Households.” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 20, no. 3 (Fall 1987): p. 63 and p. 68 Footnote 38. A story related years later by Mary Ann’s sister, Sarah, to Joseph Soll Turley suggests Mary Ann was not happy in the relationship (1971 letter from Joseph Soll Turley). In contrast, Mary Ann’s younger sister, Priscilla, who also became a plural wife in Nauvoo, moved into her husband Amasa Mason Lyman’s household shortly after evacuating Nauvoo in March 1846.