Jennetta Richards Richards 1845

                                                                        Portrait by William Warner Major


















Above: Daguerreotype taken in Nauvoo of Willard Richards, jennetta, and their son, Heber John ca 1845 (William W. Slaughter, Life in Zion, 22).


Above: Painting of Jennetta Richards Richards (Wife of Willard Richards, Summer 1845.  Used by permission of the International Society-Daughters of the Utah Pioneers 

 Love Story

While on a mission to London in 1839, Willard Richard's recorded in his journal his first meeting with Jennetta:

(March) 10.--Elders Kimball and Fielding arrived in Preston from Ribchester.

I took a tour through the branches and preached.

While walking in Thornly, I plucked a snowdrop, far through the hedge, and carried it to James Mercer's, and hung it up in his kitchen; soon after Jennetta Richards came into the room, and I walked with her and Alice Parker to Ribchester, and attended meeting with Brothers Kimball and Hyde at Brother Clark's.

While walking with these sisters I remarked, `Richards was a good name--I never want to change it, do you, Jennetta?' `No, I do not,' was her reply, and I think she never will...

(September) 24.--I married Jennetta Richards, daughter of the Reverend John Richards, Independent minister at Walker Fold, Chaidgley, Lancashire. Most truly do I praise my Heavenly Father for his great kindness in providing me a partner according to his promise. I receive her from the Lord, and hold her at his disposal. I pray that he may bless us forever. Amen  (Journal and biographical sketch (1836-1839) "History of Willard Richards," The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 27(1865):118-20, 133-36, 150-52, 165-


Portrait History

William W. Major began Jennetta's portrait in 1845, but she died before it was completed. These entries in Willard Richard's Journal give added insight:

"21 July, ...went into the 70's Hall to see the paintings. Rhoda Ann [22 month old daughter of Richards] pointed out Mother's profile though not 1/2 finished."

"28 July, Went to 70's Hall to see profile/ to sit for painting by Major."

"13 Aug 4:p.m...went to 70's Hall with Ann [Fox, polygamist wife of Richards], Rhoda Ann and Sarah Langstroth [polygamist wife of Richards] where Ann sitting for Major to paint rings and Book of Mormon for Jennetta..."

It is with regard to this painting that we learn the wages of an artist in 1845: "Saturday, Sept 20, 1845...called on Sister Kimball and Whitney to see her to 70's Hall to see the finishing Jennetta's painting / on to ? to pay Major 1.50 cts."14