Boden, Annora Coleman - Biography

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Annora Coleman Boden was born at Pontypool, Monmouthshire, South Wales, on 4 May 1828. She was the daughter of James and Mary Coleman. Her father died when she was but a small child leaving her mother with a family of five small children and in poor circumstances. Therefore, Annora was compelled early in life towork for a living. When a young girl she worked in a confectionary store where the people made their own candy. She was encouraged by them to learn the trade, as they told her that later in life it might be of use to her.

When eighteen years of age she married James Boden. Through this union eleven children were born: six girls and give boys. For many years before she and her husband and family emigrated to Utah they lived in Aberdare, Glamorganshire, South Wales.

Annora heard the gospel preached when she was about 20 years of age. She had always been of a serious and religious nature, and when she first heard the gospel preached it appealed to her as the teachings of the New Testament which she learned to read while attending Sunday Schools.

She was baptized into the Church in 1848 by William Howells, father of the late Ann Burt. [See his individual file on this website.] Her husband soon became interested in the gospel too, and he was also baptized. Their home was always open to the elders. Her husband took an active part in the Church for about 20 years before they emigrated to America.

They emigrated to Utah in 1868 after being on the ocean three weeks, during which journey her life was despaired of. But through her faith she was restored.

They crossed the plains in ox teams. A baby boy was born to her while crossing the plains. It lived but twelve days and was buried on the plains. Her husband became ill with mountain fever the day they started their journey across the plains, gradually becoming worse until they reached the Salt Lake Valley on 3 September 1868, just one day after they arrived at Salt Lake City leaving his wife penniless with seven small children,the oldest but sixteen years of age.

She had expected to live in Salt Lake City had her husband lived, but having two daughters who had emigrated (one four years before and the other one year before)  living at Brigham City, the rest of the family joined them there.

She made a livelihood for her family by making candy (Boden Candy) and any other employment she could get to do while the children were small. When her daughters became old enough to help her she kept a hotel. She numbered her friends by the score, not only in Brigham Citybut by all the traveling public who became acquainted with her. Her memory is still cherished by all who knew her.

She died peacefully on 24 October 1899 after several weeks of suffering. Five of her children preceded her in death. At the time of her death she left six children, 37 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

It is told that she traded a pig to Brigham Young for her first sack of sugar to make candy with to support her young family after she was widowed. This later became the now famous Boden Candy. The recipe for this candy has been secret, only in the possession of one member of the family at a time. Presently a Mrs. Richard Cannon in Logan, Utah, a great-great-granddaughter, has the recipe and makes and sells the candy commercially around Christmas time each years.

Boden Candy


“Little girl, you’d better learn how to make this stick candy; it might help you make a living some day.” This prophetic advice was given to Annora Coleman Boden when she worked in a candy factory in Wales.

She was born 4 May 1828. In her early years she learned the candy trade and worked as a housekeeper and cook. She married James Boden at age 19 and they had ten children while they lived in Wales. They left for the United States to join the Latter-day Saints in August 1868. Their eleventh child died on the way to Utah and James died of mountain fever the day after they arrived in Salt Lake City. She was left without money or a home and seven children.

They moved to Brigham City to be near the two oldest daughters who had gone ahead of the family. She and the boys worked at whatever they could find that first winter. She bought sugar whenever she got her hands on a few dollars and made candy in an iron kettle over an open fireplace. In the 31 years she lived and worked in Brigham City she developed a boarding house, the candy business and served the neighborhood as resident nurse.

When she passed away in 1899 the candy duties fell to her daughter Ann. Eight years later it passed to her sister Elizabeth Boden Morrison. Her daughter Elizabeth Morrison Eskelsen resumed the family tradition in 1947 after a ten-year hiatus. The candy recipe was reduced to science through her efforts. her daughters Elizabeth Peters and Karen Cannon have kept the tradition alive. Karen’s husband has made it since 1971. Occasional Welsh visitors recognize the candy and call it Humbug Candy.

Kept cool and dry the candy has a shelf life of up to a year but softens with time as the glassy state reverts to crystalline sugar.

Mrs. Richard (Karen) Cannon, 366 West 775 North, Logan, Utah 84321 Phone 752-4206.



Boden, James

Coleman, Annora


Thanks to D. Clair Phillips of Dayton, Idaho, for sending biographies and pictures of his Boden and Phillips ancestors. (Email address -