My Mother
Isabella Eleanor Marden Pratt Robison

The first part of this is taken from her own records.

Isabella Eleanor Marden Pratt Robison, daughter of Parley P. Pratt and Belinda Marden Pratt, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sep.1, 1854 at 20 minutes past 5’clock A.M. Her father at his residence 22 Sep. 1855 blessed her.  Baptized by Elder G. Morris 4 Sep. 1862; confirmed the same day in the 17th Ward school house by Nathan Davis and George Morris.

She passed through many trying scenes through childhood and youth, her father having been killed when she was between 2 and 3 years of age and her mother left with the care of raising her family in newly settled country.  She attended the early schools in Salt Lake.  Eleanor McComb Pratt was one of her teachers and such persons as Orson F. Whitney, Heber J. Grant, and the children of Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards having been schoolmates.  She chummed much with these children, especially the Richards as they lived next door on what is now Richards Street across the road from the South Temple Block gate.  She was born and raised there too, the Pratt property adjoining the Richards. She played on the temple grounds and walked around the block on the wall while the temple was being built.

She had unusual teaching ability and learning and intelligence beyond her years.  She taught a class of primary age children when only 12 years old.  In this she earned her first wages.  The class consisted of 20 small children.  At the age of 15 she taught the Primary school at the University of Deseret, held in a building opposite the South Temple gate, the first store built in Salt Lake and after wards used by the lower grades of the University of Deseret, at present the university of Utah, and still later as the Deseret Museum. Her tuition was paid by her teaching; she also got her teacher’s training at the same time.  She attended and graduated from Morgan’s Business College, the same school where Heber J. Grant learned to write such a beautiful hand.  Some of Mother’s copy books are still in our family.  She, too, was a beautiful penman.

In the spring of 1870 she was chosen as secretary of the Ladies Cooperative Retrenchment Association, later called Mutual Improvement Association, of the 14th Ward in Salt Lake City, Utah, and held that position until October of that same year.

In October 1870 her family moved to Fillmore, Millard Co., Utah, her oldest brother Nephi having been sent there by the church to look after the tithing as a tithing clerk.

Mother’s life was so eventful and filled with works of love that it could not be told in detail.  After she went to Fillmore she taught school for two years.  All my life, at different times, I have met people who told me they attended her school and how much they loved her.

April 10, 1872 she married Franklin Alonzo Robison.  She was then 17 years old.  She became the mother of 12 children.  During the years she had her family and up to her death, she not only raised them well and taught them proper principles – “To pray and to walk uprightly before the Lord,” and set them a good example, but worked constantly in the church classes in the Sunday School and the other organizations, and presiding over organizations such as the Primary, Religion class, Y.L.M.I.A. and Relief Society.  She was always speaking words of love and inspiration to people she associated with to help them to lives and to live the gospel.

She was a public worker for Fillmore and Millard County.  She was secretary of the school board for many years, president of the Woman’s Republican Club, county recorder for two terms, deputy in the county treasurer’s and county clerk’s offices.  She was an abstractor, making abstracts to many lands.  John Cooper, the county clerk, told me he proved her to be strictly honest and dependable.  She loved everyone and everybody loved her.  She was very affectionate, kind and sympathetic in her family.

At the time of her death, which came very suddenly when she was only 57 years old, she was a deputy in the county clerk’s office and stake president in the Relief Society of the Millard Stake, a position she had held for eight years.  She had had to visit all of the different Relief Societies in every ward of the stake once a year or more, attend union meeting once a month, and all stake conferences, going with horse team, wagon or carriages as circumstances demanded.  Automobiles were not heard of then.  As the wards, Deseret, Oasis, Sipio, Lemington, Oak Creek, Kanosh, Meadow, Fillmore, and Holden were mostly many miles apart, she had to travel the day before and remain overnight – generally 2 nights at each ward.  At that time, 1904 to 1912, the stake presidents outlined the courses of study for their stake societies for the year ahead, and sent it to the general presidency of the Relief Society of the church in Salt Lake City, Utah for approval.  She made these courses of study by hours and hours of hard study and research and long hours of outlining.

Apr. 22, 1912, at the age of 57, she was stricken with apoplexy and died the next day, Apr. 23, 1912 at 5 P.M.  The people from all over the county, as well as her own ward and many in Salt Lake and far off places mourned the loss of so valiant an associate.
Carrie P.R. Despain

[transcribed by Maurine Colgrove, Jan. 2007, History & Genealogy of the Franklin Alonzo Robison Family, written & compiled by Carrie Robison Despain and Melba Despain Garner, 1960]

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