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I will attempt to explain the reason for writing "The Story Of Welthy Ann," by saying that I have always been interested in learning "what makes people tick," to use a slang phrase. I had lived a few miles from the Shain farm all my life without knowing that such an unusual person as Welthy Ann* ever existed. Mere chance brought her to my attention.
My grandparents were among the first settlers in Mars Hill, and when I was a little girl my grandmother amused me for hours at a time relating the stories of the hardships and pleasures of life in the "old days." I decided to attempt to write a "homespun story" of the town in which I was born. Going from place to place gathering material for "Mars Hill, Typical Aroostook Town" I stumbled upon some information, and some misinformation, regarding the Shain family, especially Welthy Ann. I was amazed, but not satisfied, until I had run down every possible clue.
A friend advised me to go to Washington, and read for myself, the old newspaper accounts of the sensational trial in which she was a principal figure. Welthy Ann was a beautiful, proud, eccentric woman who was very desirable to men. With rapid strides she traveled from a log cabin in Maine, to a mansion in Washington. She knew complete happiness and deep despair; she was a victim of circumstances and of her own unwise decisions.
I became so absorbed in the story that I lived every part of it. I was angry with Samuel Emmons; I wept for Anita in her hour of tragedy, and I suffered with Wethy Ann many times.
*Welthy Ann, also Wealthy Ann and Welthea Anita
Prestile Publishing Company
Welthy Ann Emmons, Westfield, Bridgewater, Maine, Aroostook County, Fiction
Tweedie, Gladys Sylvester, "The story of Welthy Ann" (1953). Books and Publications. 41.