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George B. Hobbs

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George B. Hobbs Biography, Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneer
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George Brigham Hobbs

Born: Feb. 22, 1856 in Hersham, Sussex, England
Died: Nov. 19, 1921 in Nephi, Juab, Utah
Pioneer: Arrived in Salt Lake City on Oct. 26, 1864 in Capt. Hyde Company
Father: William Down Hobbs Jr.
Mother: Mary Ann Pope Hobbs

George was born February 22, 1856 in Hersham, England to William and Mary Hobbs. He was the ninth child and second son of ten children. The family accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and were baptized in 1851. George was 8 years old when he left England. He enjoyed walking across the plains in Utah. In Parowan, when he got older, he herded sheep. In the process of finding good grasses, he found Bryce and Zion’s Canyons. Later in life he contacted the owner of the Union Pacific Railroad and told him about the beautiful canyons and encouraged him to make a rail line to Cedar City, so tourists could enjoy those canyons.

Hole-In-the-Rock Scout
In 1878, when George was 22 years old, he was called to be a part of the last company of colonizers called by the Mormon Church to settle the unknown section of our state, known as San Juan County. The first company was composed of 26 men, 2 women, one being his sister, Elizabeth Hobbs Harriman and 10 children. They left Parowan on May 4, 1879 and crossed the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry and down into Arizona and back up to San Juan. They build Fort Montezuma for the protection of the 2 families who stayed and returned by a northern route. The large company started in October of 1879. The leaders had heard of a new and direct route by way of Escalante and “The Hole in the Rock” down the Colorado River. “The Hole” had to be prepared to be able to take the wagons down. George and 3 other men were asked to explore the other side of the river and find a suitable way to travel to Fort Montezuma. They took 8 days rations, but ran out after 2 weeks and nearly starved to death. They found Elizabeth and family very low on food, so George promised to return with food. The 4 men were able to buy flour from an explorer to make the return trip. As soon as George returned, he found his mules and went to Escalante for supplies for his sister. On the way back he got into a huge snowstorm and the snow was up to the horse’s belly. This was in Silver Falls Wash. He thought that he might not make it out, so he chipped his name in the wall of the canyon. The snow stopped and he did deliver the food, but 2 of Elizabeth’s children had died of starvation before he returned.

Family Man
When George had finished his mission to the San Juan, he traveled to Nephi to visit his sister, Mary Hobbs Gadd. There he met Julia Broadhead, and they were married on October 18, 1883 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. They had 11 children, seven of which lived to maturity. He spent the rest of his life in Nephi, Utah.

He was a builder and contractor. He built plaster mills and the one in Sigurd is still in operation. He built the Whitmore Mansion and many other homes in Nephi. One of his last projects was the Hobbs Apartments, so that Julia would have an income after he was gone.

Family First
George would never do anything alone. In their family there would always be at least 2 doing every task, like milking the cow, making a bed, picking plums, apples, or raspberries. He taught my father, Lloyd, to do carpenter work at an early age. George was a hard worker and he accomplished a lot. His family never wanted for any of the necessities of life. He loved going to Salt Lake on the railroad to buy lovely things for his wife and children.

He had a habit of putting nails in his mouth as he was working and he developed cancer of the mouth because of it. He spent time in the Salt Lake Hospital.

Generous and Honest
George was generous with his means and he was the first to help the widows and those in need. He was an honest man who lived his religion all his days, and I am very proud to be one of his descendants.

Submitted by Grandson, Graig Taylor

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George B. Hobbs Biography, Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneer
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