Isaac Brockbank, Jr. papers
L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Isaac Brockbank, Jr. papers (MSS 8837). This collection contains Isaac Brockbank Jr.’s personal diaries between 1900-1925, an autobiography which he began to write during the time he spent in a Utah prison for Unlawful Cohabitation, and a typed forward of Brockbank’s diaries which includes a personal history of Brockbank’s life alongside summaries of each of his diary entries found in the included diaries. Materials dated between 1884-2016.
Isaac Brockbank Jr. was born on July 13, 1837 in Liverpool, England to Isaac Brockbank and Elizabeth Mainwaring. His parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1851, emigrating to New Orleans on the Ellen Maria in Feburary 1852. In the course of the family’s journey to the Salt Lake Valley, Isaac’s mother disappeared and was never heard from again. Within a month of their arrival, his father married a Sarah Brown. The family eventually settled in Spanish Fork, Utah, where Isaac, Jr. opened his own dry goods/grocery store, with a partnership contracted to carry U.S. mail south of Salt Lake. On June 25, 1860, he married Katherine Howard and they had seven children together, all of whom survived to adulthood.
In January 1865, being asked to support another family, he married Mary Ann Park; she bore twelve children, losing two in infancy.
In 1867, Isaac helped to build a section of the Transcontinental Railroad. He served in the bishopric of the Eighth Ward from 1871-1891, and was also called in 1871 as a clerk in the Tithing Office. In 1878, he served on the Salt Lake City Council. Isaac was charged in September 1886 with unlawful cohabitation, fined $300, and sentenced to six months in the Utah State Prison. After his release, he worked by contract on what would become the Saltair Railroad, did excavations for various Salt Lake City buildings, and served as Salt Lake County Bailiff and Deputy Sheriff. He died in Holladay, Utah, on March 4, 1927 at the age of 89.