Moses Angell Holbrook

1858 - 1928

Moses Angell Holbrook Family
1st row:  Laura, Moses Angell (father), George Mervyn, Jane Ann (mother), Mable
2nd row:  Nancy, Moses, Oscar, Elizabeth "Lizzie", Hattie

    Moses Angell Holbrook was the fourth child of Joseph and Caroline Angell Holbrook. He was born on January 16, 1858 at Bountiful, Davis County, Utah. It was his father's 52nd birthday. 

    Moses' father had considerable land which he acquired about 1848-49. The early childhood of the boys was spent at work on the farm, getting firewood and building materials from the nearby canyons. They were all good workers. Although Moses' education was very limited, it equaled that of most people in his day. He became an expert in penmanship, writing in a bold, clear, shaded lettering.

    In November 1870 Moses (age 12) and two of his brothers took 70 gallons of molasses and drove by team to Cache Valley to exchange it for wheat; a gallon per bushel. They brought it home in two wagons. They were gone about ten days on this journey.

    On November 23, 1882 Moses married Jane Ann Knighton in the Salt Lake Endowment House. Their first home was one room of his father's house. His father gave him 10 acres of farming land. Moses and Jane Ann hauled rock from the local canyons to build their home, which now stands on the corner of Tenth North and Main Street in Bountiful. The cornerstones were parts of granite hauled for the Salt Lake Temple. Moses acquired additional acreage in Bountiful and Woods Cross; also a homestead of 160 acres to dry farm at Holbrook, Idaho. 

    For many years he operated a molasses mill about 1-1/2  miles north of his home. He had complete charge of cooking the cane juice until it became molasses. During the busy season this often required around-the-clock work days. Each fall he could spend 6 weeks, day and night, catching some sleep in the covered wagon. His meals were prepared and sent three times each day. The meal was usually put on an unbreakable plate, the plate set on a dishtowel, with the two opposite ends tied in a knot. Usually a child stood by the roadside, waiting for a passerby whom he could ask to drop off the meal at the molasses mill.  Each fall at the close of the season, the molasses was hauled by a team and wagon to Salt Lake City, exchanged for "Due Bills" instead of money. These bills provided the chief means of clothing the family.

    In 1890 Moses was called and fulfilled a two-year mission in the Southern States, serving mostly South Carolina, traveling without purse or script. At this time he and Jane Ann had four children, the oldest seven years and the youngest seven months. No means was laid away for missionary necessities or family keep. Times were very dull and his wife's livelihood depended on what could be raised between the orchard trees.

    The following was written by Jane Ann's own hand ... one of many such faith promoting experiences:  

"In our orchard I had planted potatoes, peas and turnips. They were extra good. While picking the peas one day, two farmers stopped by and told me not to pick them as they could not be sold. My husband had sent for money to buy shoes and I was depending on their sale for that money. I felt very bad, and made it a matter of prayer, told the Lord of my needs and asked for His help. I returned to the house to care for my baby and as I was crying, a stranger drove to the gate, in a carriage like the one my husband's father used to own. He asked if I had chickens, eggs, or butter to sell. I answered, "No," but I would like to sell the peas as my husband was in the mission field and I needed money to send to him. He answered that he did not deal in vegetables, but he was on his way to Farmington and for me to keep picking the peas and he would see what he could do for me on his return. He was not gone long enough to go half that distance when he returned, took my peas and gave me 45 cents a bushel for them. It gave me exactly the required money my husband had sent for. The man left, I never saw or heard of him or that kind of carriage after, but I prayed to the Lord that the man would be able to sell the peas and thanked Him for answering my prayer. This was a great testimony to me because I know He was sent by the Lord to help a missionary and his family."

    Jane Ann studied midwifery and graduated from the training in 1902. By this time in her life she had seven children at home to be cared for. During the practice until 1926 she assisted in the birth of more than 1,000 babies, and also nursed the sick.

    Moses and Jane Ann were the parents of eleven children -- three boys and eight girls, three girls dying in infancy.

    One day when Moses and his brother Brigham were riding the Bamberger commuting train from Salt Lake to Bountiful after a day of several sessions in the Temple, Brigham said to Moses, "That finished all the names we have record of." It was a Friday night.  The following Sunday the children of Moses called at the Post Office before Sunday School to get the mail as was customary. General Delivery was given out from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. The children carried home a large envelope clean and new. Inside were six sheets of Fool's Cap paper, aged and worn but clearly written in beautiful handwriting. At the top of the first sheet was the name of SILENCE HOLBROOK, followed by the names of her family, dates of births and deaths and information about each one. The postmark read 'Salt Lake City,' but they were never able to find any clue as to where the package came from or who sent it. These papers were given to Miss Cameron (the lady who had been hired to do research for the Holbrook family). In her books was found the name of SILENCE HOLBROOK, the same as on the sheets, but all her family names, as appeared on the sheets were missing.

    Both Moses and Jane Ann spent their later years doing temple work, standing proxy for hundreds of persons. They were both true examples of righteous living and honesty. About the last words uttered by Moses were, "My only indebtedness is current utility bills."

    To a visiting neighbor Moses bore his testimony and when asked, "Did he fear death?" he answered, "Surely a God who created such a beautiful world for mankind, with a sun to give light and warmth, trees and flowers to bud forth each spring, rain to provide water, all living things for the good and well being of many, surely a God would never leave His highest creations unprovided for. I am not afraid to die."

    Moses Angell Holbrook died May 6, 1928 at the age 70 of years.  His wife, Jane Ann, died January 31, 1945 at the age of 81 years.  The lives they lived were truly a credit to our honorable HOLBROOK name. Both are buried in the Bountiful Cemetery.

History and Photo Submitted by Elaine Child

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