George Washington Brimhall




George Washington Brimhall was the son of Sylvanus Brimhall and Lydia Ann Guiteau.  His life was eventful and VERY interesting. 

He was a Patriot, Pioneer, and Patriarch.  His forefathers on his father's side were men and women who helped make this great commonwealth, from the very beginning.  His grandparents were sons and daughters of the American Revolution.  His third great-grandfather, George, came from England with his wife Martha and made his home in Dover, Maine.  Martha was left a widow as her husband was killed by the Indians in 1689, and she took her family and moved to Massachusetts.  From there the Brimhall family spread all over the United States.

George first heard and embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in September 1842 in McHenry County, Illinois probably in Pleasant Valley.  He then preached the gospel for about 2 years in the surrounding country.  As he states it, "A reaction came upon me.  I sold my home and returned to my parents and decided to gather with the Latter-day Saints at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, in march 1844.  From here I went to Knoxville, Illinois, where I met Lucretia Metcalf and married her on July 4th, 1845.  I bought some more land and made a nice home.  I wanted to go west with the Saints.  I asked my wife to go but she said she could not stand the trip.  She became very bitter against the Mormons."  At one time when his hopes were the lowest, he reached his doorway, and looking west, God caused his future years to pass before him.  He saw himself in all his brilliant manhood walking toward the west, crossing rivers and plains and mountains and then emerging into a beautiful valley 4,100 feet above sea level...  He fully realized that from his vision he HAD to leave for the valley. 

His writing continues:  "In February 1850, I decided to go.  We had three children and I wanted her and the children to go.  I left my wife thinking perhaps they would come later when I was prepared to send for them.  Her folks persuaded her not to come.  I walked all the way to Salt Lake City, and jointed the Saints July the 10th, 1850.  Later on he received news that she had divorced him and married another man. 

While serving as a member of the House of Representatives in Salt Lake City, he met and married Rachel Ann Mayer (or Meyer) on February 2nd, 1852.  He studied law and was admitted to the Bar in May 1852.  When they moved to Iron County, he was elected prosecuting attorney and was again elected to the House of Representatives from Iron County and moved to Salt Lake. 

He had a great urge to learn the Indian language.  He believed firmly in feeding the Indians rather than oppose them.  His mastery of the language seemed to be divine preparation to meet Chief Walker, a despotic tribal leader.  He and his brother Norman and John Cox were instrumental in forming a treaty which ended the Black Hawk war.  It proved to be the last and best treaty ever made between the Indians and white men.  Poetically grandpa wrote:

No greater foes in bloody battle's strife

Than these with hatred's sharpened scalping knife.

But kindly feelings influenced all the band;

We meet and greet each other with kind hand.


He was road commissioner and prosecuting attorney.   He felt an urge to teach.  He went to Ogden and taught school, became a city counselor and political leader and rock layer.  He was an outstanding speaker and did his part towards women's right to vote.  His belief was "that the greatest happiness that mortals can enjoy is to do good to others, and after having done it, to know that it is appreciated."

So much more, read the Histories.

Brief History of George W. Brimhall:  Originally By Grandaughter Fay B. Cummings.  Housed at:  Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum, Salt Lake City, Utah.




    AUTOBIOGRAPHY - The Workers of Utah        SLC Library #
    A Documentation of the Bramhall-Brimhall Family in America     SLC Library #
    History by DAUGHTER Grace B. Calderwood   includes an Autobiography of GWB
    History by GRANDDAUGHTER Fay B. Cummings
    Brimhall Family Organizations   Really Neat with lots of Reading!
    John Brimhall - Has same ancestors
    Search results through the Patriot Library at BYU

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This site was last updated 02/01/07