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Isaac Brockbank Jr. papers

Identifier: MSS 8837

Scope and Contents

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.


  • 1857-2016
  • Majority of material found within 1900-1925


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Isaac Brockbank Jr. papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

Isaac Brockbank Jr. (1837-1927) was an Mormon convert and polygamist, grocer, tanner, farmer, miner, and railway worker. He helped build stretches of the Union Pacific and Saltair Railroads, served in the bishopric of the Eighth Ward (SLC) for twenty years, and was a Salt Lake City Council member and Salt Lake County Bailiff and Deputy Sheriff.

Isaac Brockbank Jr., eldest son and child of Isaac Brockbank and Elizabeth Mainwaring, was born in the area of Liverpool, England, on July 13, 1837. As a youth, Isaac was educated at various religious schools and briefly attended the Mechanics Institute and Advanced School; he also made deliveries and collections for his father's meat business, and later worked as an office boy in a legal firm. 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 (which they reached in September of the same year), Isaac's mother disappeared and was never heard from again. Within a month of their arrival, his father married a Sarah Brown who had sailed on the same ship, primarily for the sake of his children. The family eventually settled in Spanish Fork, Utah, where Isaac was Elder's Quorum clerk. Here he opened his own dry goods/grocery store, with a partnership contracted to carry U.S. mail south of Salt Lake. In 1858, he met Katherine Howard; the two courted and were married on June 25, 1860. Isaac then joined his father-in-law in the tannery business. Isaac and Katherine bore seven children, 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 Union Pacific Railroad stretching from Echo Canyon to Promontory Point, and was also briefly employed in Mr. Howard's mining operation (the claim failed). 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. After the passage of the Edwards Law in 1882, Isaac was charged in September 1886 with unlawful cohabitation, fined $300, and sentenced to six months in the Utah State Prison (both maximum sentences for that offence). 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 also attempted mining several more times, usually with disastrous results. He died in Holladay, Utah, on March 4, 1927 at the age of 89, at one time (with Katherine) holding the honor of being the oldest married couple in the state.


1 carton (1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Diaries and autobiography were in the possession of Blair McDonald, a great grandson of Isaac Brockbank, Jr. Donated in 2016 by Gaylie Morehead and Kam McDonald Capik, cousin and sister of Blair McDonald, all descendants of Isaac Brockbank Jr.

Materials donated in March 31, 2017 by Mike and Kam Cupik.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Gaylie Morehead and Kam Capik; March 2016.

Donated; Mike and Kam Cupik; March 2017.


Utah and Western American and LDS cultural, family, social, intellectual, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy IV.a.i.1 and 4, November 2013)

Processing Information

Processed; Eric Wolford, student manuscript processor, and Ryan K. Lee, curator; 2016.

Processed; Eric Wolford, student manuscript processor, and Ryan K. Lee, curator; 2017.

Register of Isaac Brockbank Jr. papers
Under Revision
Eric Wolford
2016 May 16
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States