Brooks was born in Bunkerville, Nevada, in 1898. She was raised in Bunkerville and in 1919 married Ernest Pulsipher, who died of cancer little more than a year later, leaving her with an infant son. She acquired a bachelor's degree from BYU and a master's degree from Columbia University. Settling in St. George, Utah, she became an instructor of English and dean of women at Dixie College. In 1933 she resigned from the college to marry widower Will Brooks and become the stepmother to his four sons. Within five years the couple added a daughter and three sons to their family.
Brooks wrote two books that made her famous: The Mountain Meadows Massacre (1950) and John Doyle Lee: Zealot, Pioneer Builder, Scapegoat (1961). Though they were full of difficult issues for her fellow Latter-day Saints, they became accepted for their integrity, impeccable research, and deep compassion.
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