The American Southwest is a region rich in history and culture, with countless stories of exploration, settlement, and innovation. One family that played a significant role in the development of the Southwest was the Hamblin family, a prominent Mormon pioneer family who helped to establish many of the communities and institutions that still exist in the region today. From Jacob Hamblin, the “Buckskin Apostle,” to his son John David Hamblin and granddaughter Alice Hamblin Frost, the Hamblin family left a lasting legacy in the history of the Southwest. In this article, we’ll explore their stories, their contributions, and the places and landmarks that bear their names.
Hamblin’s of the Southwest
The Hamblin family played a significant role in the history of the American Southwest, particularly in the development of Utah and Arizona. Here’s an overview of each family member, their significance in history, personal information, and what is named after them:
- Jacob Hamblin (1819-1886): Jacob Hamblin was a Mormon pioneer and missionary who played a key role in the settlement of southern Utah and northern Arizona. He was known as the “Buckskin Apostle” for his rugged appearance and extensive travels throughout the region. Hamblin was instrumental in establishing friendly relations between the Mormon settlers and the Native American tribes in the area, including the Navajo and Paiute. He also served as a guide and interpreter for various government expeditions and played a role in the creation of the Arizona Territory. Hamblin died in Santa Clara, Utah, and is buried there. The Jacob Hamblin Arch, located in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, is named in his honor.
- Rachel Judd Hamblin (1821-1909): Rachel Judd Hamblin was Jacob Hamblin’s first wife and a pioneer in her own right. She traveled west with her family in 1847 and settled in Salt Lake City, Utah, before moving with her husband to southern Utah. Rachel played a key role in establishing and supporting the Mormon settlements in the area, helping to build homes and schools and raise crops and livestock. She was known for her skill in nursing and midwifery and often traveled with her husband on his missions to the Native American tribes. Rachel died in Santa Clara, Utah, and is buried there.
- John David Hamblin (1849-1936): John David Hamblin was Jacob and Rachel Hamblin’s oldest son and a prominent figure in the development of Arizona. He was involved in mining, ranching, and real estate, and played a key role in the establishment of the town of Page, Arizona. Hamblin also served as a member of the Arizona Territorial Legislature and was involved in the construction of the Arizona Canal. He died in Phoenix, Arizona, and is buried in Mesa. The town of Hamblin, Arizona, was named in his honor.
- Alma Hamblin (1855-1936): Alma Hamblin was Jacob and Rachel Hamblin’s second son and a successful rancher and farmer in southern Utah. He was known for his work in developing new agricultural techniques and for his involvement in community affairs, serving as a school trustee and as a member of the Utah State Legislature. Hamblin also played a key role in the establishment of the Bryce Canyon National Park. He died in Orderville, Utah, and is buried there.
- Alice Hamblin Frost (1867-1928): Alice Hamblin Frost was John David Hamblin’s daughter and a prominent suffragist and women’s rights activist in Arizona. She was a member of the Arizona Equal Suffrage Association and worked to secure the right to vote for women in the state. Frost was also involved in the establishment of the Arizona Historical Society and served as its president. She died in Phoenix, Arizona, and is buried in Mesa. The town of Frost, Arizona, was named in her honor.
The Hamblin family left a lasting legacy in the American Southwest, with various landmarks and places named in their honor. From the Jacob Hamblin Arch to the town of Hamblin and the Alice Hamblin Frost Memorial Garden, their contributions to the history and development of the region are remembered and celebrated to this day.