Margaret Gay Judd Clawson was born on September 6, 1831 to Thomas Alfred Judd and Teresa Hastings in West Port, Ontario, Canada. Shortly before Margaret's fifth birthday, her parents were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the age of ten, Margaret arrived in Nauvoo, Illinois with her family. In the spring of 1849, they started for Utah, and on October 16, 1849 they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. At age nineteen, Margaret joined the Deseret Musical and Dramatic Association where she met Hiram Bradley Clawson whom she married as a plural wife on August 21, 1852 in the Salt Lake Temple. Margaret continued her acting career until 1857 when Johnston's Army arrived, and Margaret moved to Provo. She returned to Salt Lake City soon after the army left. Margaret bore eleven children who grew to maturity: Teresa, Stanley Hastings, Rudger, Sidney Beatie, Thomas Alfred, Phoebe Taylor, Mary Beatie, Tessie Groesbeck, Lola, Mabel, and Alice Gay. Margaret died on February 10, 1912 in Salt Lake City.
This fourteen-page typewritten biography of Margaret Gay Judd Clawson was written by Ruby Kate Smith at the request of Tessie Clawson Groesbeck in 1955 and is found in the bound book entitled 'Pioneer Biographies' (Box 6, Folder 2). Besides recounting Margaret's major life events, the biography honors Margaret's ability to be 'the mother of the drama in Utah' and a mother of eleven children: 'It was a mystery how Margaret had accomplished so much in the world of theatre without sacrificing her efficiency as a mother, but no one who knew her family would question that she played her most successful role at home' (p. 9).