Lucy Ann Decker

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Lucy Ann Decker Seely Young was the first polygamous wife of Brigham Young. His first wife died before he married his second wife, so Lucy was also his third wife.

Lucy was born on May 17, 1822, in Phelps, New York. The family moved to Portage, Ohio, when Lucy was 13. There they were converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She married William Seely one year later and she bore two sons and a daughter.

During the persecution of the Saints in Ohio, Lucy and William were forced off of their property and William was shot. Although he survived, he suffered greatly from his wound and was alcoholic and abusive. He and Lucy divorced.

When she was 20 and had three young children to care for alone, she married Brigham Young. She moved with the rest of Young’s family to the Salt Lake Valley in 1848.

Lucy bore seven more children and was a “well organized and efficient homemaker.” She was “always diligent, energetic and attentive to every duty reposed upon her.” She and her children were the primary occupants of the Beehive House, which Brigham Young deeded to her upon his death in 1877.

One daughter reported, “Aunt Lucy Decker . . . kept the Beehive House as clean and spotless as a scoured silver plate, and yet made it so comfortable and homelike that father found infinite peace and rest in his own quarters there, for his bedroom and sitting room was there, for many years, separated from the more crowded and noisier Lion House.”

She died on January 24, 1891. She is buried in the Brigham Young Family Cemetery.

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