I have always loved this story from my mother's files:
"During my childhood (1920s), my mother, Mary Ann Price, and her sister, Banche Sedam, visited each other and the talk would eventually turn to their childhood and the memories they had of their grandmother, Mary Ann Pierce. My mother was her namesake.
"Mary Ann Pierce was divorced when her children were young and she supported them by working outside her home. One of her jobs was head cook at the Bates House in Indianapolis and another was the store she and her husband had in a fort in Wyoming.
"Legend had it that she had married several times, but neither my mother nor Aunt Blanche could remember. Each time their grandmother visited their home it seemed that she was accompanied by a different husband! The names Crout, Rhodes and Pilson were often recalled. Frankly, there was doubt that she had been married to anyone except their grandfather, James Pierce.
"Mary Ann Pierce returned to her family regularly to buy supplies for her store and to replenish her wardrobe. She would arrive dressed in buckskins and wearing her six-shooters which was an embarrassment to those who met her train. When she left them, she would be dressed in the latest fashion - always black. And while in the household, she was domineering and the children "danced to her tune."
"Family photographs show her as a large woman, dressed in her black finery. No photograph of any husband exists in the family.
"Through marriage records and census records, it has been proven that Mary Ann did indeed have more than one husband and that she lived in Wyoming. Her first marriage was to James Pierce. There is a marriage record in Laramie, Wyoming that shows her name as Crout, and she married William H. Lovett on 25 March 1876. The 1900 census shows that she lived in the home of her son, Harvey, in Indianapolis and her name is Pilson."