Biography of Mary Ann Hobbs Parkinson

by her son B. R. Parkinson*

Charles R. Hobbs, the father of Mary Ann Hobbs, emigrated from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, in 1859 and settled in Franklin in 1864. They were six weeks crossing the ocean in a sail vessel. Mary Ann was the oldest of twelve children. They were very poor, and Mother worked very hard as a young girl to help care for the large family. Her parents were honest, humble people who had great faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Mother developed into womanhood at an early age, and at 16 she married Father. She did all the hard work incidental to pioneer days. No doctors in those early days, so it was the practice for the mid-wife to assist in bringing all the children into this world, each experience costing Father $5.00, so Father got 13 children $65.00, and I guess when they looked at some of us they thot they were beat even at that price. Besides taking care of her family we always had hired men to cook for.

Mother was self-educated, and she loved good books. She had the writings of Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Count Leo Tolstoy, and many others of the best writers of that day. Mother and Father both loved music, and a great deal of money was spent for the children to learn to sing and play the piano. Mother sang in the choir and took some part in dramatics. Mother was an excellent speller and assisted Father a great deal in spelling many of words for him when he wrote letters.

She sacrificed a great deal for the family and her life was spent entirely for them. She was a wonderful cook, and the taste of the butter, bread, jelly, mince pie, fruit cake, ice cream, suet pudding, roast turkey still lingers with me. She made many of the children’s dresses and darned their stockings, and then after we had all gone to bed she would take down a good book and read a few chapters. We must remember all these things took place in the horse and buggy days, coal oil lamps, pumps not running water. No telephones, no radios, no electric refrigerators or vacuum cleaners.

She died at age 58 of apoplexy and thus ended the life of a loving mother, a noble character, a true Latter-day Saint.


* This handwritten biographical sketch lists no author but was found among the possessions of B. R. Parkinson’s widow Karma. Preston Parkinson’s sketch of Samuel C. Parkinson lists similar details and attributes them to B. R. Transcribed February 2006 by Ben Parkinson (spelling and punctuation somewhat standardized.) The title was added by Ben.