Mormon Healer and Folk Poet: Mary Susannah Fowler’s Life of “Unselfish Usefulness”

During the course of her life, Mary Susannah Fowler filled many roles: a much loved mother who underwent twelve pregnancies, a midwife and nurse, a leader in Church and civic organizations, a poet, and a wife. Margaret K. Brady’s Mormon Healer and Folk Poet looks at the different aspects of these roles and their significance both to Mary and to those around her. Born October 23, 1862, in Woods Cross, Utah, Mary Susannah Fackrell was the seventh child of David Bancroft Fackrell and Susannah Sumner Fackrell. David had come west during the gold rush of 1849, had found relatives in Utah and had joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Susannah, orphaned at the age of twelve, had crossed the plains with the Mormon pioneers and, upon arriving in Utah, had been given a home by the Fackrells in Bountiful. When David discovered his Fackrell relatives, he met Susannah. David and Susannah fell in love and were married.

In 1862, David took a second wife, Hannah Proctor, and six years later, when David was called to settle the Muddy, he took Hannah, her children, and Susannah’s oldest son with him. Two years later, he returned for Susannah and the rest of their children. By the time David, Susannah, and their younger children arrived in southern Utah, the mission to the Muddy had been disbanded. Over the next few years, the Fackrells lived in St. George, Mt. Carmel, and Long Valley before settling in Orderville.

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