The Henry T. Reynolds, Sr.,and Rebecca Reynolds House, built c.1875 and c.1891 (nominated as part of the “Historic Resources of Springville City” Multiple Property Submittal), is significant in the broad patterns of Springville history as an example of the larger, more substantially constructed homes built in Springville during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These buildings reflect the growing prosperity and sophistication that the arrival of the transcontinental railroad (in 1869) and other links to communities outside Utah brought to Springville. The first owner, Henry T. Reynolds Sr., was one of the most prominent and successful citizens in Springville. As such, the Reynolds family was able to build a home commensurate with their station in the community. The earlier, simpler, more utilitarian building, was renovated c.1891 with Victorian Eclectic stylistic features. Contact with the outside world brought awareness of popular architectural styles, such as the new eclectic Victorian
styles exhibited on the Reynolds House, to Springville. Buildings such as this house were the result of such awareness.
The home at 270 West 200 South consists of an original brick hall parlor portion built with Classical stylistic influences, which was subsequently expanded with substantial Victorian style additions. The precise date of construction of the original portion is difficult to establish. It is constructed of brick, which was first produced locally during the 1860s but which did not attain widespread use until somewhat later. The hall-parlor plan and remaining Greek Revival stylistic elements indicate initial construction prior to the arrival of the picturesque styles in Utah. Evaluation of the construction materials, house type and original stylistic elements suggests that initial construction occurred between c.1870 and c.1880. The subsequent structural additions and application of Victorian Eclectic
decorative trim likely was undertaken c.1891.
The original hall-parlor house was first owned by either Joseph Allan, a pioneer blacksmith of Springville, or Loren Harmer, who purchased the property from Mr. Allan in 1876.6 Mr. Harmer was engaged in farming and gardening locally. In 1881 the property was purchased by George M. Nelson.
A carpenter by profession, Mr. Nelson conceivably could have been the original builder of 270 W. 200 S., although this implies a relatively late date of construction.
The principal owners of the home were Henry T. and Rebecca Reynolds, who acquired the property in It was during the Reynolds’ ownership that the major Victorian additions to the home were undertaken. Henry T. Reynolds, Sr. was among the most highly prominent of Springville’s early
citizens. He was born in Springville in 1860, a son of pioneer settlers Joseph D. and Elizabeth Taylor Reynolds. Upon graduating from Brigham Young University in 1880, Mr. Reynolds engaged in farming for several years but soon turned his attention to merchandising and other business enterprises. In 1882 he co-founded the H.T. Reynolds & Co. mercantile business, of which he became president and principal owner. The business quickly grew into one of the most prominent and successful mercantile concerns in the state. After locating initially in two smaller stores, Reynolds built the H.T. Reynolds & Co. commercial block on the corner of Main Street and 200 South in 1892. Said to have been the largest general store south of Salt Lake City, it remains the dominant building on Springville’s Main Street. Mr. Reynolds served as president of H.T. Reynolds & Co. into the 1920s.
Also active in various other business enterprises and community affairs, H.T. Reynolds, Sr. was a cofounder in 1891 of the Springville Banking Co., serving initially as vice president and later succeeding Romanzo A. Deal as president of the institution, holding that office from 1903 until close to the time of his death in 1929. A member of Springville’s corps of road construction contractors, Mr. Reynolds founded and headed the Reynolds-Ely Construction Co. The firm was a major builder of railroads in the western U.S., and carried on (as Reynolds-Ely Construction Co. and later as Reynolds Construction Co.) as a highway contracting concern through the 1930s into the 1940s, during which time it was headed by Reynolds’ sons Henry T., Jr. (Harry T.) and J. Ernest. Some sources indicate that H.T. Reynolds, Sr. first became involved to some degree in the contracting business even before he entered the mercantile field, working as an early builder of wagon roads and later of railroad grades.
Other business interests pursued by Mr. Reynolds included the Utah Wholesale Grocery Co., of which he was president, which carried on trade throughout Utah and other western states. He was vice president of the Springville-Mapleton Sugar Co., which built a beet sugar refinery near Springville c.1918. The company was one of only a few independent producers to operate in a region dominated by the Utah-Idaho Sugar Co. Springville-Mapleton Sugar Co. was turned over in 1928 to an investment company which then sold the operation to Utah-Idaho Sugar Co. in 1932.
Politically active throughout his life, Henry T. Reynolds, Sr. served on the Springville City council for 13 years. He held the office of mayor for two terms. At the state level he was a member of the Utah legislature, serving one term in each of its houses. Mr. Reynolds also occupied the office of Utah
County Commissioner for one term.
Henry married Rebecca (Reba) Porter in 1887, about two months after his acquisition of title to this house. Rebecca was born in Mt. Pleasant in 1866, the daughter of James B. and Mary Ann Porter. After her father died when she was seven years old, Rebecca moved to Springville with her family.
She converted to the Mormon church about one year later. Rebecca served as treasurer, teacher and president, and counselor of various auxiliaries associated with the local ward (parish). She and Henry had eight children.
In 1928, Mr. Reynolds was forced to move to California due to III health, at which time title to 270 W. 200 S. passed to Reynolds’ son, J. Ernest. The following year H.T. Reynolds, Sr. was able to return to Springville, where he died on September 23,1929.8 The family residence at that time was 109 North Main Street, where Rebecca continued to live (together with a daughter, Helen) following the death of Mr. Reynolds, and lived there until her death in 1958. The property at 109 N. Main St. was first purchased by H.T. Reynolds in August, 1925.
Available records do not indicate whether J. Ernest Reynolds resided at 270 W. 200 S. during his adult life, though he held title to the property for some 14 years. Directory records show him as residing in Provo after at least 1935. J. Ernest occupied the position of secretary-treasurer of Reynolds-Ely
Construction Co. He remained with the firm when it later became Reynolds Construction Co., and continued in the contracting business throughout his life until retiring in the early 1960s. During this time he made his residence in Provo, together with his wife, Ruth. For many years they lived at 357 N.
400 E. in Provo. Following Mr. Reynolds’ retirement, the family moved to 729 E. 2730 N. in Provo.
From 1942 until 1944, title to 270 W. 200 S. was held by Abbie Ashcraft. Directory records show that she and her husband, Don, took up residence in the home some years before that, perhaps renting from J. Ernest Reynolds. Don Ocean Ashcraft was born in Provo in 1874, a son of James E. and Lamina Fullmer Ashcraft. He married Abbie Wordsworth in 1698, and that same year embarked upon a career In railroading. For 36 years, until being retired in 1934, he was employed by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, being a locomotive engineer for 26 of his years with the company.
After residing initially at various Utah localities, the Ashcraft family settled in Springville in 1918. Between 1920 and 1935 Mr. Ashcraft and his four sons maintained a large farming operation near the city. Don Ashcraft died in 1940. Abbie Ashcraft, who had resided in Springville prior to marrying Mr. Ashcraft, remained in the community following her husband’s death. She hold title to 270 W. 200 S. between 1942 and 1944. at which time she sold the home to Arthur J. and Pearl L. Rich.
Prior to moving to Springville, Mr. Rich was employed as an engineer with Geneva Steel and had his family residence at 432 E. 600 N. in Provo. Available records do not provide occupational information for Mr. Rich during his time in Springville. He and his wife, Pearl, resided at 270 W. 200 S. into the 1960s. The home appears to have been vacant for a short time c, 1965, after which it was evidently rented to Ashel H. Tanner, a seminary teacher at Springville Junior High School. He occupied the home c. 1967 with his wife, Donna.
Between 1965 and 1969, title to 270 W. 200 S. was held by Donald I. and Esther B. Rich, who subsequently sold to James Ruel and De Ann J. Plowman. Mr. Plowman was involved in the auto repair business. The Plowmans resided at 270 W. 200 S. for only a short time before selling in 1970 to Bahe Billie, an Instructor at Brigham Young University, and his wife Florence. They likewise were resident only briefly.
Control of the property was acquired in 1974 by Brigham W. and Mary Mitchell, who resided in Orem. Directory records list 270 W. 200 S. as Vacant’ between 1972 and 1977. Title was next obtained c. 1977 by Bill and Delia Mitchell, who moved into the home and performed extensive restoration work on the interior, which had not fared well in the years that the house was vacant. The Mitchells were resident until about 1983.
270 W. 200 S. was subsequently rented briefly by Grant and Fran Roylance, c. 1985, then owned and occupied by Lynn and Signe Hale. The home was acquired by current owners Calvin and Linda McCausland in 1992.
The home is old of Utah’s oldest.