Eunice Dunning Holbrook

1810 - 1890

    Eunice Dunning was born April 6, 1810 in Scroon, Essex County, New York, the eighth of nine children of David and Susannah Colvin Dunning. She married Chandler Holbrook on June 22, 1831, at Wethersfield, Genesee County, New York, where they soon bought a hundred-acre farm.

    They were baptized and confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on January 14, 1833. On October 27, 1833, their first child was born at Wethersfield.

    Eunice and Chandler were parents of the following seven children:

Diana Eliza, born 1833
Mary Maria, born 1836
Eunice Emma, born 1838
Orson Chandler, born 1841
Joseph Hyrum, born 1844
Lafayette, born 1850
Erasmus, born 1852 (died as a child)

    They were asked by Joseph Smith to go to Missouri to help rescue the Saints there from harassing mobs. At Rush Creek, Eunice became very ill with cholera. Brigham Young administered to her and kind friends took her into their home and nursed her with the greatest attention so that in a few days she had recovered.

    They experienced a short period of respite from the mobs, and they were able to build a house. Soon after, the "Extermination Order" was signed by the Governor of the State of Missouri and the Saints made their way to Illinois. Eunice and Chandler helped all who were unable to help themselves to safety outside of Missouri.

    In 1839, the Holbrook family settled in Commerce, Illinois, and were soon engaged in building yet another city of refuge, Nauvoo, They were closely associated with the leaders of the Church. Fifteen years after their marriage, Eunice and Chandler were sealed in the Nauvoo Temple by President Brigham Young.

    When mob persecution again made it necessary to leave Nauvoo, Chandler left with the advance company. Eunice and their five children left Nauvoo with her husband's brother, Joseph, and his family, in a wagon drawn by oxen and cows. Chandler met them six weeks later as he was returning from his duties with the advance company. They were advised not to travel further that season, but to find a nearby location to winter.

    Ponca Indian Chiefs invited the whole group to be guests on their land, near the junction of the Missouri and Running Water Rivers. Their invitation was accepted and the group spent an interesting winter among the Ponca Indians.

    In April, 1847, the Ponca Camp was ordered to return to Winter Quarters where they spent another year or more raising crops and preparing for the westward trek. They finally left for the West on May 17, 1848, by wagon, in the Brigham Young company. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on September 21, 1848.

    Early in the Fall of 1851, the family settled in Fillmore, Utah, where they stayed for the remainder of their lives. Their home was open to the leaders of the Church as they traveled to St. George, Utah and then back to Salt Lake City.

    They were very charitable. They paid the passage for many young men emigrating to Utah from England. Eunice's energy and endurance seemed limitless. She was quick, dynamic, and excelled in preparing and serving delicious meals.

    Her husband passed away in Fillmore fifteen months before Eunice, who died December 30, 1890.  They were buried side by side at the Fillmore Cemetery. 

History taken from Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude, Volume II, an International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers publication. 1998.

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