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Martha Jane Knowlton Coray
Martha Jane Knowlton Coray.PNG
Board of Trustees, Brigham Young Academy
October 1875 (1875-10) – December 14, 1881 (1881-12-14)
Called by Brigham Young
Personal details
Born Marth Jane Knowlton
(1821-06-03)June 3, 1821
Covington, Kentucky
Died December 14, 1881(1881-12-14) (aged 60)
Provo, Utah
Notable works History of Joseph Smith by His Mother
Spouse(s) Howard Coray
Children Howard Knowlton Coray (b. 1842)
Martha J. Knowlton Coray (b. 1844)
Harriet Virginia Knowlton Coray (b. 1846)
Mary Knowlton Coray (b. 1848)
Euphrenia Serephia Coray (b. 1850)
Helena Knowlton Coray (b. 1852)
William Henry Coray (b. 1853)
Sidney Algernon Coray (b. 1855)
Wilford Coray (b. 1856)
George Quincy Coray (b. 1857)
Frances DeLaVan Coray (b. 1860)
Louis Laville Coray (b. 1862)
Don Silas Rathbone Coray (b. 1864)
Parents Sidney Algernon Knowlton
Harriet Burnham Knowlton

Martha Jane Knowlton Coray (June 3, 1821 – December 14, 1881) was a Mormon pioneer, record keeper, and educator. She was the only female member of the first board of trustees of Brigham Young Academy. Born in Kentucky and raised in Ohio and Illinois, Coray converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a young woman and moved to the Mormon settlement of Nauvoo. There, she assisted Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of Joseph Smith (founder of the Latter Day Saint movement), in creating a biography of Joseph, later published under the title History of Joseph Smith by His Mother. After crossing the Great Plains alongside other Mormon pioneers, Coray settled in Utah Territory, homesteading in towns such as Tooele and Mona. She helped support her family financially through dairy production, home chemistry, and other crafts. Though she never received formal schooling, Coray studied various topics in her free time and sought to teach her children what she knew. She took an interest in law, becoming involved in local court disputes and political discussions. Towards the end of her life, in 1875, Coray was appointed a member of the first Brigham Young Academy Board of Trustees, the only woman to serve in this capacity at the time. While serving as trustee, she focused her efforts on encouraging education for young women and creating a curriculum of religious education for the Academy. Today, the lecture hall in the Karl G. Maeser Building on Brigham Young University's campus bears Coray's name, and the University's 1997 homecoming celebrations honored her achievements.

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