Juanita L. Brooks

Social Science & Humanities

Juanita L. Brooks (1898-1989)

was born and raised in Bunkerville, Nev. She was the last of 10 children and an early marriage suggested she would follow a predictable course in the small community. However, the death of her husband from cancer 15 months after their marriage left her with a young son to raise. A great passion for learning guided her life. With perseverance, sacrifice, personal stamina and intellectual courage, she pursued an education, graduating from Dixie College and Brigham Young University, and then receiving a Master’s degree from Columbia University in New York City.

After returning to Dixie as Dean of Women, she married William Brooks, combining her son with his four sons and then adding one daughter and three sons of their own to complete her “compound-complex” family. In addition to being a successful wife, mother, teacher and community member, she was an outstanding historian and author. She published 15 books and 36 articles. Her best known work was the Mountain Meadows Massacre. She received honorary doctorates from the University of Utah, Utah State University and Southern Utah University. She is a member of the Utah Beehive Hall of Fame. With occasional time off to raise a family, her influence as a teacher was felt at Dixie College from 1925-1965.

She is recognized by scholarly consent at Utah’s foremost historian. Her approach to Mormon history changed the way that Mormon history was written. Her great love of Dixie College prompted her to purchase the first set of Carillon bells for the Dixie campus.