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Brooks, Juanita Leavitt (1898–?) - Biography

utah mormon university diaries

Juanita Leavitt Brooks was born on January 15, 1898, in Bunkerville, Nevada, to Henry and Mary Ann Hafen Leavitt. She attended one year of normal school before becoming a teacher at age nineteen. She was married to Leonard Ernest Pulsipher for sixteen months before he died in 1922 of cancer of the lymphatic system, leaving her to care for one young son. She completed her education at Dixie College in St. George, Utah, and Brigham Young University, and received a master’s degree in English at Columbia. She became an English teacher and dean of women at Dixie College. In 1933 she married county sheriff William Brooks; between them they had nine children. Despite her busy life, Brooks began a diary-collecting project for the Works Project Administration (WPA) in the 1930s; the typescripts from this project were eventually deposited in the Library of Congress.

In 1941 Juanita Brooks completed a biography of her grandfather, Dudley Leavitt. In 1944 she published Indian Relations on the Mormon Frontier . She became a field fellow for the Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino, California. For five years she poured over diaries donated to the library and received a Rockefeller Foundation grant to research the Mountain Meadows Masacre, resulting in a book by the same name in 1950. She and Robert Cleland began editing the diaries of John D. Lee, resulting in A Mormon Chronicle: The Diaries of John D. Lee . In 1961 Brooks edited On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout , and in 1970 she wrote a biography of her husband entitled Uncle Will Tells His Story .

Like Fawn Brodie, Juanita Brooks was often controversial, and was forced to defend her work. She was especially criticized for writing about the Mountain Meadows Massacre, which some felt showed the Morman Church in a bad light. She was blacklisted from church periodicals, and she and her husband were left out of certain church activities. Despite this, she was a member of the Utah Board of State History and was given the distinguished service award from the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. She was also awarded honorary degrees from Utah State University and the University of Utah. Juanita Leavitt Brooks was placed in a nursing home in 1988; the date of her death is uncertain.

Brooks, Vincent K.(1958–) - Army officer, spokesperson, Joins the Military, Serves During Second Iraqi War, Chronology [next] [back] Brooks, Harriet

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