John Allen Holbrook

Arkansas Conference President, 1896-1899

His Early Years

John Allen Holbrook in 1899

John Allen Holbrook was born near Fort Scott, Kansas, on June 27, 1863. In 1864 the family moved west to Brush Prairie, Washington, and John was brought up in a frontier settlement (Gleaner, 1950). At the age of nineteen he began teaching public school. On August 7, 1887, he was united in marriage with Anna Mariah Higdon, who died in 1893. To this union were born two children, Blanche and Ray. In the fall of 1888 Elder J. W. Scales held a course of lectures in Garfield, Washington, and the Holbrooks decided to join the Seventh-day Adventist church. Two years later Mr. Holbrook entered the ministry in the Upper Columbia Conference. The next year his wife’s health failed and he took her to the Battle Creek Sanitarium for treatment. In spite of the care she received, she passed away (Review, 1950).

Years of Ministry

John and Eva Holbrook with their son, Paul, ca. 1915 (Ancestry, 2010).

On July 29, 1894 he married Eva May Slaton. To this union was born one son, William Paul, who grew up to become a doctor (Directories, 1940). In August 1894 John A. Holbrook was ordained to the gospel ministry at Keene, Texas, by Elders E. W. Farnsworth and W. W. Prescott. Mrs. Holbrook gave valued help to her husband in his evangelistic work for many years. After several years of evangelistic work in Texas, during which time he also taught Bible for a period at Keene Academy, he accepted the presidency of the Arkansas Conference where he remained three years doing much evangelistic work in addition to his official duties (Gleaner, 1950). Elder Holbrook was then invited to the Northwest and labored again in field work in the Upper Columbia Conference and taught Bible in Walla Walla College for about one and a half years. Following this he was called to the Montana Conference to act as president and while there founded Mt. Ellis Academy free from debt. Elder Holbrook went to the Washington Conference in May 1906, for district and evangelistic work, continuing until August 1929, when he retired from active work (Review, 1950). Eva and John divorced around 1926.

Retirement Years

Mary Helen Young Holbrook in 1910 (Ancestry, 2014)

After his retirement John conducted many services and was always willing to do all that his strength would permit. Elder Holbrook was a powerful exponent of the Word of God. He was a keen student of history and prophecy, and a clear, logical and convincing preacher. During the long period covered by his ministry he gave himself unsparingly to the work of God. In April 1930, Elder Holbrook was married to Mrs. Mary Helen Young. They made their home at Clear Lake, Washington, where he died December 9, 1949. Mary survived him by nearly ten years. (Gleaner, 1950).


(1940) Occupational Licenses, Registers, and Directories, 1876-1969. California State Archives: Sacramento, California.

(1950, Feb. 23). Review and Herald, p. 20.

(1950, Feb. 27). North Pacific Union Gleaner, p. 8.

Ancestry Family Trees. (2010, May 12). John Allen Holbrook. Retrieved from

Ibid. (2014, Jun. 17). Mary Helen Pound Young. Retrieved from

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: