Hannah Flint Holbrook

1806 - 1883

    Hannah Flint Holbrook was born July 18, 1806, in Braintree, Orange County, Vermont, the daughter of wealthy farmers.  Her parents were Rufus Flint (a native of Windham County and township, Connecticut) and Hannah Hawes (a native of Worchester County, Massachusetts).  Hannah had three brothers and two sisters.

    In 1831, Hannah moved with her parents to Madison, Ohio. It was there, in Ohio, that Hannah first heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the Fall of 1837, after two years of studying, she was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    Hannah moved with her sister, Mary, and Mary's husband, Anson Call, to Kirtland, Ohio, to join the Saints. Hannah's parents were against the Mormon conversions and stayed behind. 

    Later, Hannah and the Call family immigrated to Missouri.  There, Hannah purchased 80 acres of land in Ray County. After being driven several times from their homes, the extended family moved to Nauvoo, Illinois.

    Hannah's brother-in-law, Anson Call was well acquainted with Joseph Holbrook, a widower. He told Joseph that Hannah would make him a good wife. Joseph considered it and asked her. She refused him, but after doing so, she didn't feel just right. She thought about it and began to imagine what life was to Joseph's four motherless children. It was in at Anson Call's home in Nauvoo that Heber C. Kimball performed the marriage of Hannah Flint and Joseph Holbrook on January 1, 1843. Hannah soon began to cut up some of her own dresses to sew much-needed clothing for the children.

    Hannah and Joseph were baptized in the Mississippi River for many of their deceased parents, grandparents and other relatives.

    Hannah's income from teaching Nauvoo greatly assisted Joseph in the care of the family. He was often away with missionary work, bringing wood from the Black River pinery in Wisconsin, grafting fruit trees in Pike County, Illinois, and Church assignments. Hannah cared for his children while he was away. She taught school in her home, found the firewood to heat it, and was paid $1.50 per student in her class.

    In May 1848, they left for the Salt Lake Valley in Brigham Young's Wagon Train Company. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on September 24, 1848, then moved north to Bountiful, Utah.

    Hannah's first school room was a wickiup down on the Jordan River in the Fall of 1848. In this Indian shante made from mud, cowhide and willows, she taught her step-children and her sister's family. Soon a log cabin was built for the family and Hannah established her first real school in her home. The children sat on a bench aside her bed thus using the bed as a back rest. In 1851, Hannah moved into her first school house purchased by Joseph for $800. With the school house's six windows, a door, a fireplace, and a wooden floor, the house was almost a mansion. Teaching was hard for Hannah but she never turned down a student. B.H. Roberts got his first schooling from her. He called her "Aunt Hannah". In 1854 she had from 70 to 80 school students and was getting paid a salary of $30 per month. Apostle Wilford Woodruf visited the school and said, "Sister Hannah Holbrook has taught a school here........ She has taken much pains with her scholars and manifested great interests in their learning."  [Insert is a copy of receipt for Newton Tuttle's schooling.]

    Three months later Apostles George A. Smith and Ezra T. Benson visited and recorded, "The north school has 60 scholars, taught by Mrs. Hannah Holbrook, an experienced and very efficient teacher." It soon became harder for Hannah to walk a mile to school, so she turned her attention to the many children of Joseph Holbrook. Brigham Young wrote, "Hannah's mission as a foster mother was needed more than she could appreciate."

    Hannah was a beautiful seamstress. A large, very heavy, blue and white bedspread made by Hannah is in the D.U.P. [Daughters of Utah Pioneer]  pioneer cabin in Bountiful. 

    Hannah died suddenly while at breakfast in her home at Bountiful on April 21, 1883. She was 77 years old.

    The Hannah Holbrook Elementary School exists today in Bountiful, Utah. It is a fitting tribute to a faithful pioneer who shared her talents with many, many children.


"Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude," Volume III, published by International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1998. pp 1385, 1836.
Nauvoo Marriages.  Family History Library film #889392
"An Enduring Legacy," Volumes I, VI, published by Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1978.
"Heart Throbs of the West," Volumes III, XII, published by Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1947.
"Ancestor Histories, presented by members of the East Mill Creek Chapter," published by Sons of the Utah Pioneers, 1980
"East of Antelope Island," published by Davis County Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1971
History of Hannah Holbrook Elementary School, Bountiful, Utah.  Website address: http://www.davis.k12.ut.us/holbrook/Every.htm

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