Isabella Eleanor Marden Pratt (1854-1912)

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Isabella Eleanor Marden Pratt Robison
Born: 1 Sep 1854 Salt Lake City, Utah
Died: 23 Apr 1912 Fillmore, Utah
Father: Parley Parker Pratt
Mother: Belinda Marden
Siblings: Nephi Pratt
Belinda Pratt
Abinadi Pratt
Lehi Pratt
Isabella Eleanor Marden Pratt
Spouse: Franklin Alonzo Robison
Married: 10 Apr 1872 Salt Lake City, Utah
Children: Alonzo Franklin Robison
Parley Proctor Robison
Joseph Alfred Robison
Herma Lucretia Robison
Belinda Pratt Robison
Ruth Pratt Robison
Isabella Pratt Robison
Carrie Pratt Robison
Alma Pratt Robison
Harmel Pratt Robison
Parker Pratt Robison
Olea Pratt Robison

Isabella Eleanor Marden Pratt was born September 1, 1854 in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, the youngest child of Parley Parker and Belinda Marden Pratt. She was only about 2 1/2 years old when her father was murdered in Arkansas. Birdie's mother, Belinda, was left to provide alone for her 5 children.


Bird went to school in Salt Lake. Among her teachers was Eleanor McComb McLean, her mother's sister-wife. At twelve years old Isabella earned her first wages as a primary teacher, having charge of twenty small children.

At the age of 15 Isabella taught Primary School at the University of Deseret. Her tuition was paid by her teaching, she also got her teacher's training at that time. Isabella later attended and graduated from Morgan's Business college in Salt Lake City.

Move to Fillmore

In the fall of 1870 Isabella moved, with her mother and brother, Nephi, about 150 miles south, to Fillmore, Millard County, Utah Territory. Shortly after the Pratts arrival in Fillmore, Isabella began teaching at the school there. She taught at the school until her marriage to Franklin Alonzo Robison in 1872.


On April 10, 1872, Isabella Eleanor Marden Pratt and Franklin Alonzo Robison were married in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory at the Endowment House. Isabella's mother accompanied the young couple on the trip from Fillmore to Salt Lake.

Isabella and Lonnie, as her husband was called, created a family together. Lonnie had previously built a house in Fillmore. They brought a wagon load of furniture back from Salt Lake with them after their wedding.

Over the years Isabella bore twelve children: Alonzo Franklin, Parley Proctor, Joseph Alfred, Herma Lucretia, Belinda Pratt, Ruth Pratt, Isabella Pratt, Carrie Pratt, Alma Pratt, Harmel Pratt, Parker Pratt and Olea Pratt Robison.

In addition to her responsibilities as a mother and wife, Isabella was active in church and civic events. It is recorded in the Women's Exponent that in 1879 Isabella was a speaker at a Mass Meeting in Fillmore protesting against the Anti-polygamy Crusade.

Isabella's husband married his second wife 10 years after his first marriage. He married his third wife 7 years after the the second. When the laws changed, Lonnie was forced into hiding for a time. Birdie was left to fend for her large family and to take care of their farms while Lonnie was hiding in Arizona. She had her boys to help her, the oldest boy was 17 at the time. She received her second Patriarchal Blessing at that time to help her prepare for her husband's absence.

The following was written during the time her husband was in Arizona:

One Day's Experience

Isabella E. Pratt Robison
15 March 1892

Yesterday morning I arose from my bed with a determination to seek to cultivate patience, not to get nervous and cross at the little delays and accidents so incidental in large families of small children. I breathed a prayer to that effect and I tried to keep it in mind through the day.

I put the boiler on to heat the wash water, got breakfast, sent three of the little ones to school. Carrie, age 6, said she was sick. I told her to be good and go to school and perhaps she would feel better in a little while.

I began to wash. Alfred wanted some sacks mended to carry grain into the field to sow. I left the clothes soaking, mended the sacks; put up victuals to last him a week. Wash half an hour. Alfred wants one more sack; empty and weigh my dried fruit, put it in anything that is clean and comes handy, fix my tithing fruit ready to take to the bishop when it is handy, go back to the clothes, find they have not diminished in numbers during my absence. Rub, rub, rub.

Then come the children from school. Carrie is as pale as a ghost, give her some physic and warm tea, put her to bed and ask God to bless and heal her. Rub, rub, rub. Carrie comes out and wants a piece of toast, make her some. She is better and says she is well. Wash again a little while.

A visitor comes. While resting and conversing hear a racket as though the dishes were falling from the cupboard, discover that Ruth has tipped from the top shelf of the cupboard a pan of milk. Think I will punish her as soon as company withdraws. Am glad company is present so that my nervous anger will abate before being left alone with the children. Company goes. Think what is the use to scold over spilt milk? Think I will have a little lunch before resuming laundry work. Milk all over the pantry floor to the exclusion of every one, milk on every shelf, in every dish, in the butter, meat, sugar, and fruit, milk everywhere and yet not a drop for my lunch, nor can I have a lunch till Herma cleans up the milk.

Child comes in with an egg, it drops, little ones run through it.

Three hours later. All in all, I have many things to be thankful for.

Later Years

As her children grew up and began to establish lives of their own, Birdie remained active in church and community affairs. In 1894 she was called as Secretary of the Fillmore Ward Relief Society. She would also teach in the Ward Sunday School whenever possible.

In 1904 Birdie was called to be the Preside over the Millard Stake Relief Society. As president she had to visit each of the different Relief Societies in every congregation of the Stake at least once each year, traveling with horse team, wagon or carriages as circumstances permitted. As the congregations at Deseret, Oasis, Scipio, Leamington, Oak Creek, Kanosh, Meadow, Fillmore and Holden were mostly many miles apart, she had to travel the day before and remain overnight for each visit.

Birdie was also elected as the Millard County Recorder and was in her third term at the time of her death.

Isabella Pratt Robison died early Tuesday morning, April 23, 1912 at her home in Fillmore, Utah. She left her husband and 11 of her twelve children.



My belief is that God is an individual, personal being, with body, parts, and passions; that man is in His image and possesses his attributes; that He is our Father in Heaven, the creator of our spirits; that He prepared or organized this earth, that when it was finished the Great Architect and Builder, sent Adam and Eve to be the great progenitors of the race; that the penalty which we have to pay for Adam's transgression is mortality and death of our bodies; that we, his descendants have for all these centuries been following Adam's example, to beget mortals, which is all in the great and wise plan. It ushers us into a place of experience where we have to make a constant struggle to get means to clothe and feed us and where we have to content with the lusts and appetites of the flesh and prove what future we are worthy of.

That we have to be accountable for our own sins and not for Adams transgression; that if we seek for good that God helps and blesses us; that our prayers are wafted to His ears and intelligence brought to us by a means to us invisible but by natural cause; and that it is no more impossible for Him to see and hear all of His children than for Edison to find a way to receive two telegraph messages at once or to discover a means to converse with and see people a long way off.

That Jesus is the real and only Son of God in the flesh, and that if He was not begotten as all children are, that the intelligence and power of the God of the universe could, if He wished, find another method as easy as Jesus could find a quicker and easier, and yet just as natural way, to bring bread from the elements and change water into wine, as to do it by the well known but slower process.

That Jesus is our elder Brothers and that He is our mediator with God; that to Him is given the keys of the resurrection and the life; that when our spirit is clothed again with a body that it will be an immortal body and in it we will be judged for our time and actions here and will be placed in the condition and circumstances which we merit, and in which we are capable of progressing.

The nearer we walk in the footsteps of Jesus, the greater will be our reward. Man could not be happy or appreciate that for which he is totally unprepared any more than can a child in the chart class progress or be contented if shoved along far beyond the limits of its understanding. Our Father in Heaven will do the best He can for all of us, but he will not place us in advance of what we earn, merit, or stand worthy of, because that would only retard our advancement. If we wish to move in the highest circles we must not sleep on our rights but find the true way and walk therein.

Let us look briefly at the life of Christ: Born in a manger, fleeing from those who sought His life, astonishing the learned doctors when but 12 years old with His wisdom, baptized at 30 years which was as soon as the Jews would allow that ordinance to be administered. Jesus said, "Only by the water and by the spirit can ye enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Then did He go from city to city, healing the sick, casting out devils, comforting the mourners. He was poor and despised, spit upon and crucified. A crown of thorns upon His head. They also in mockery proclaimed Him and wrote to that effect above His head - "King of the Jews". Which is all the truth for is He not King of the whole world."

Submitted by Carrie Garner Strong from History & Genealogy of the Franklin alonzo Robison Family Written and Compiled by Carrie Robison Despain and Melba Despain Garner, 1960


The Evening Standard (Ogden, Utah), April 25, 1912, Page 5:

Mrs. Isabella P. Robison, wife of Franklin Alonzo Robison, died at Fillmore, Utah, at 2 o'clock yesterday of hemorhage.

Mrs. Robison (familiary known among her old acquaintances as "Birdie" Robison) was born in Salt Lake City September 1, 1854, being the daughter of the late Parley P. and Belinda Marden Pratt, and the sister of the late Nephi and Lehi Pratt and Belinda Pratt Musser. She was married to Franklin Alonzo Robison of Fillmore April 10, 1872, and was the mother of twelve children, eleven of whom survive her-five sons and six daughters.

In Millard county, and particularly in the city of Fillmore, Mrs. Robison was widely known and much loved. She had served three terms as recorder of Millard county, and as such had enlarged her acquaintance to include most of the inhabitants of that political subdivision.

The Progress-Review, Vol. 19, No. 17, Fillmore, Utah, Friday, 26 Apr 1912, p. 1:

Died at her home in Fillmore on the evening of Tuesday last, Mrs. Isabel Eleanor Pratt Robison. She was the daughter of Parley P. Pratt and Belinda M. Pratt and was born September 1, 1854 in Salt Lake City. Her father was one of the early converts to the faith of the Latter-day Saints and was one of the original quorum of the twelve apostles and was assasinated while doing missionary work in Arkansas, in the summer of 1857, leaving the subject of this sketch fatherless in her early childhood the youngest of her mother's five children all of whom except one have preceeded her to the great beyond. Came with her mother and other members of the family to Fillmore in 1871, where on April 10, 1872 she became the wife of Franklin A. Robison who with her 11 motherless children is mourning the loss of a true and noble wife and mother. Her surviving children are:- Alonzo F., Joseph A., Mrs. Herma L. R. King, Mrs. Belinda R. Young, Mrs. Ruth P. Peterson, Mrs. Isabel R. Keith, Mrs. Carrie R. Dispain, Alma P., Harmel, Parker and Olea Robison. She is also survived by 28 grand children.
The deceased appeared to be in her usual fair health till about 8 o'clock in the evening of Monday last when she was suddenly stricken with hemorage of the brain, which caused a paralytic stroke, rendering her unconscious from which state she never revived but breathed her last about 6 o'clock on Tuesday evening.
As such a life as her's was a blessing and benefaction to all within the sphere of its influence so is the death of such a one a public misfortune, as well as an irreparable loss to the home circle made desolate by her departure.
In the presence of such sorrow how cold and impotent are words and how doubly deep would be the grief did not the Christian hope span the dark gulf between time and eternity and such pure, bright lives inspire the belief that there is a better world beyond where freed from the corroding cares of earth, the good and true are reunited.
Mrs. Robison has served the public in various positions both civil and ecclesiastic and held the office of Stake President of the Relief Societies at the time of her death. Funeral services are being held as we go to press.

The Progress-Review, Vol. 19, No. 18, Fillmore, Utah, Friday, 3 May 1912, p. 1:

Funeral Services over the remains of Mrs. Isabel E. Robison whose death we chronicled in last week's issue, were being held in the Fillmore Ward Chapel on Thursday last week as we were going to press. Bishop Brunson conducted the services.
The choir sang "Rest for the weary soul." Invocation, "O My father" was sung by Mrs. Katherine Rasmussen.
The speakers were, Christian Anderson, J. D. Smith, Willis E. Robison, Presidents O. L. Thompson and A. A. Hinckley and Bishop P. L. Brunson, who all spoke words of praise of her good works and nobility of character. Solo "Face to Face," was sung by Mrs. Estella Day.
The following resolution adopted and offered by the Fillmore Relief Society was read by Mrs. May Stevens,
Be it resolved by the officers and members of the Fillmore Relief Society that we deeply regret the loss of our beloved stake president, Sister Isabella E. Robison and we extend our sympathy and condolence to the relatives and family of the deceased and say unto them: Emulate the noble characteristics of this good woman. To her children we would say: Let her life be your guide, be comforted in your thought that she was good and pure and that she is now in the presence of God.
Mother! Dear, sacred name and sweet;
how slow are we to prove
the height and depth and
deathlessness of perfect mother care,
just as the thoughtless followers
Look up to God for daily light
because we know 'tis ours;
But whom we miss, from heart and life,
the comfort of her care,
Then we must learn to live
without her presence and her prayer,
'Tis then the name of mother
is to us a holy thing,
And hovering low we teem to
feel the shelter of her wing.
The following communication from the Oak City Relief Society was also read: The Oak City Relief Society wish to express their heart felt sorrow and their deepest regret at the death of President Robison. We know that God has called her home and that she will wear a glorious crown of motherhood in the Celestial Kingdom of God." Ann E. Lyman, President. Mary M. Lyman, Stake Missionary.
Choir sang "I need thee every hour," and benediction was pronounced by James A. Kelly.
The audience was very large and a long cortege followed the remains to the city of the dead.


  • Name variations:
Birdia [cemetery records, p. 59]
Isabel [obit]
Bird [History and Genealogy of the Franklin Alonzo Robison Family]
  • Pet name: Birdie [Builders, p. 492]
  • Marriage: FHL Film #183398, Salt Lake Temple Records, Endowment House Sealing Record, Book H, 1871-1873, p. 114, #1464:
Robison, Franklin Alonzo
Born: 29 Jul 1851, Crete, Will, Illinois
Sealed to:
Pratt, Isabella Eleanor
Born: 1 Sep 1854, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Solemnized by: Pres. D. H. Wells
10 Apr 1872, in the Endowment House
Witnesses: Jos. F. Smith and A. Pratt
  • Patriarchal Blessing: Historian's Office, Index to Blessings:
Name: Robison, Isabella Eleanor
Born: 1 Sep 1854
Blessed: 26 Apr 1877
Recorded: Vol. 49, Page 521
  • Census: 1880 Federal Census, Utah, Millard County, Fillmore City, Page #9, Dwelling #75, Family #84:
ROBISON, Franklin A.
Isabel E., w, f, 25, wife, md, kh, UT, NY, NH
  • Patriarchal Blessing: Historian's Office, Index to Blessings:
Name: Pratt, Isabella Eleanor
Born: 1 Sep 1854
Blessed: 20 Oct 1889
Recorded: Vol. 106, Page 250
  • Death: Register (Record) of Deaths, Fillmore City, Utah, Book 2, p. 12, no. 217:
Mrs. Isabella E. ROBISON
Age: 57y 7m 23d
female, white, caucasian
Born: Salt Lake City, Utah
Comments: married, Asst. County Recorder
Last residence: Fillmore City
Died: 23 Apr 1912
Cause: hamourhage of brain
Buried: Fillmore City Cemetary, block 51, lot 2
Informant: Parker Robison.
  • Death, Burial: Lichfield, Beulah Menlove. Cemetery Records, Fillmore, Millard County, Utah, p. 57:
Name: ROBISON, Isabella E.
Born: 1 Sep 1854 in S. L. C., Utah
Age at Death:
Parents: Parley P. Pratt & Belinda Maden [sic]
Died: 23 Apr 1912
Buried: in Fillmore Block 51, Lot 2
Reported by: Parker Robison
Comments: Married. Was ass't county recorder.
  • Death, Burial: Fillmore City Corporation, Cemetery Single Line List, by Deceased Name, 22 Apr 1990, p. 41:
ROBISON, Isabella E.
BLK 51, Lot 2, Grave 2
d. 4-23-1912
  • Death, Burial: Fillmore City Corporation, Cemetery Master List, by Deceased Name, 13 Jun 1994, p. 389:
ROBISON, Isabella E.
BLK 51, Lot 2, Grave 2
b. Salt Lake City, Utah
d. 4-23-1912 Fillmore, Utah
Comments: Age at death: 57 yrs, 7 mos, 23 dys
Current Owner: Robison, F. A. Deceased
Original Owner: Robison, F. A.
  • Gravestone: Fillmore, Millard, Utah
Isabella E. Pratt
Beloved Wife of
Franklin A. Robison
Daughter of
Parley P. and Belinda M. Pratt
Born Sept. 1, 1854
Died Apr. 23, 1912
  • Despain, Carrie Robison and Garner, Melba Despain. History & Genealogy of the Franklin Alonzo Robison Family, pp. 1-27, 66, 132.
  • Day, Stella H. ed., Builders of Early Millard, pp. 492, 603-605.
  • Lichfield, Beulah Menlove. Cemetery Records, Fillmore, Millard Co., Utah, pp. 36, 59.
  • Nicolo, Margaret LaDean Sutton Sweeting. Sweeting Family Records Binder
  • The Progress, Friday, February 11, 1949, page 1, Obituary: Robison, Alonzo Franklin
  • Willis E. Robison Scrapbook, Obituary: dated 19 Oct 1936: Robison, Franklin Alonzo
  • The Millard County Progress, Friday, 23 Oct 1936, Obituary: Robison, Franklin Alonzo
  • The Millard County Progress Review, vol 22, Friday 28 Feb 1913, No. 9, Obituary: Keith, Isabella Robison