Here at Milo and Ann Brooks Andrus’s adobe home during the mid-1850s and a decade thereafter, before any form of electronics existed, was the cultural and social center of Holladay, due to Ann’s musicianship and piano. Ann studied music as a youth in London and taught music 5 years in St. Louis, where she bought an expensive, large walnut piano.
In 1853 at age 22, she came west with the understanding that her piano come also. But the heavy square instrument slowed the wagon train and was burdensome for the oxen, so decisions were made to jettison the piano. Ann’s pleadings prevailed until the wagon train came to the Missouri River and an order was given to leave the piano. After the caravan crossed over, Ann could not be found until she was seen across the river sitting on her piano, refusing to go unless her piano go also.
Ann’s piano was again loaded, becoming the second or third piano in Utah, the first in Holladay. For years Ann taught music, hosted parties, and taught school. Schoolchildren who had not whispered all week were invited to her home to hear her play. She also became a midwife, one who helped mothers give birth, assisting in the health of mother and baby. Today Ann’s piano is in Salt Lake Citys Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum.