Commentary by Mary Phoenix:
The pioneer home of Jacob Hamblin is often referred to as the most authentic pioneer structure in the state as well as all of the West.
When Jacob Hamblin was a young man he had a very spiritual experience. He believed he was told that he was to work with the Indians for their betterment and for peace between the tribes and the whites. He was told that as long as he did not shed one drop of Indian blood he could not be harmed. In 1854, soon after the experience, Brigham Young called him to a lifelong mission to the Lamanites (the Mormon name for Indians). He felt that his experience was indeed divinely inspired. That he was successful can be attested to by the number of treaties he was able to bring about in Arizona and New Mexico as well as Utah.
In 1854 he was called to help settle Santa Clara and lived in the Fort until the flood of 1861 washed everything away and then he started to build the rock house on the hill which has endured to the present time. The building was mostly constructed from material found on the hillside back of the house. The lumber was secured from a sawmill in Pine Valley. When it was finished in 1862 it was the largest house in southern Utah. The house originally had two rooms on the ground floor. They were furnished with a fireplace, a bed, a table, and a settee. Upstairs there was one large room and a wide porch. It was called the weaving room for the Hamblin women excelled in this art. It was also used for many other purposes such as dances and school. A cool storage room was dug into the hill to provide storage for the provisions they brought from their ranch in the higher regions.
The family tells a story of how the room off from the upstairs was built. Originally the upstairs was divided by a curtain at nightfall. One side was for the girls and one was for the boys. One time the girls prepared a petition for their homecoming father stating they were too old to have their brothers just through the curtains. The amused Jacob set the boys to building it the next morning.
Although Hamblin married four times and sired twenty four, no more than two wives and twelve children occupied the home at one time. Family legend has it that when church authorities suggested Hamblin also take an Indian wife, his reply was, "When one of you gentlemen do, I will."
He was called to Kanab in 1869 and the house passed into the family of Samuel Knight who lived in it until recent years.
Jacob Hamblin Home
Jacob Hamblin Home
A room in the Jacob Hamblin Home
Location: Highway 8 in Santa Clara, west of St. George
Jacob Hamblin made several exploring trips across the Colorado between 1858-1863, being the first person to circumnavigate the region of the Grand Canyon. He also explored a wagon route to the Colorado River near Callville (Las Vegas area) in 1864. In conjunction with Henry W. Miller and Jesse W. Crosby, Hamblin took a boat to the Colorado River at the mouth of Grand Wash in 1867, and they were the first white men known to have navigated the river from that point to the Virgin Rivers confluence about 75 miles down stream. Hamblin also assisted John Wesley Powell in his surveys of the Colorado River area. Together they helped negotiate a peace treaty with Navajo at Fort Defiance.
The descendants of Jacob Hamblin and a group of citizens of Kanab, Utah have set out to errect a monument to Jacob Hamblin to be located in the heart of the City of Kanab. It will be viewed by millions who pass through this town where Jacob once lived in route to the many spectacular scenic wonders of the area where Hamblin once blazed trails and reared his family. The monument will consist of a larger-than-life sized bronze sculpture of Jacob and his horse, together with information about his accomplishments. Learn how you can help as well as everything you want to know about Jacob Hamblin at:
Jacob Hamblin met Joseph Smith the prophet in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1842. Hamblin had recently been baptized in Wisconsin, and traveled down the Mississippi River a few hundred miles to join with the "Saints" .