Zina Young Williams Card

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Zina Presendia Young Williams Card was the second in a line of three notable women named Zina. Her mother, Zina D. H. Young, was one of the wives of Brigham Young and served as third general president of the Relief Society. Her daughter, Zina, was the wife of apostle Hugh B. Brown.

Zina grew up in the Lion House, one of many children reared in a polygamous household. She recalled her childhood as “joyous”[1] and learned dance, music, and theater at home.[2]

She met her first husband, Thomas Child Williams, at the Salt Lake Theatre. She became his plural wife at the age of eighteen (in 1868) and bore him two sons. After her husband’s death in 1874, she entered a second polygamous marriage in 1884 with Charles Ora Card.

During the ten years while she was a single parent, she supported herself producing silk and teaching people how to make wax flowers. In 1878, she attended Brigham Young Academy and became its first Ladies’ Matron. She was also in charge of the domestic science department.

In 1879, Church president John Taylor asked her to attend the convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association in Washington, DC with Emmeline B. Wells. She was one of the first Utah women to advocate for women’s suffrage and also advocated for the right to follow personal religious belief that included polygamy.

After her marriage to Card, she spent time “underground” to avoid arrest for “unlawful cohabitation. She bore him a son in 1885. She was selected by his wives to travel with him to Canada, where he had been sent by Church leaders to settle a colony of Latter-day Saints. In Canada, she bore her daughter Zina and another son. She directed much of the “social and ecclesiastical life . . . entertained distinguished visitors, and traveled to and from Utah to assist her mother in the Relief Society work.”[3]

When her husband’s health was failing, she returned to Logan with him and her children, where he died in 1906. She then returned to Salt Lake City and became the matron of LDS College. She also served on the Primary General Board and worked in the Salt Lake Temple. She also served on the Board of Trustees for Brigham Young University from 1918 to her passing.

She died on January 31, 1931.