The John T. Reynolds/Henry T. Reynolds, Jr., House, constructed in 1910, is
significant as one of approximately six well-preserved houses in
Springville which document the period of growth and prosperity of the town as it changed from a tranquil agrarian community to a thriving commercial center at the turn of the century. The wealth and prosperity that came to the town was the result of the success that several local construction companies experienced and is documented in the large homes built within the first decade after the turn of the century. The Reynolds House is one of the best preserved and more impressive examples of these homes. The Reynolds House is also architecturally significant as a local example of a transitional building which combines the irregular massing and some decorative features of the Victorian design with the proportions, roof pitch and decorative features of the Craftsman period. At the turn of the century it was quite common to combine Victorian Eclectic and classical features within a single design, but Victorian Eclectic and Craftsman combinations are rare in Utah. The Reynolds House is one of three houses of this type in Springville. The Reynolds House is also historically significant for its association with Henry T. Reynolds, Jr., a prominent local business and civic leader, who lived in the house for over 35 years.
The house was built in 1910 for John T. Reynolds. Lew Whitney was the architect and Ed Child did the brick work.2 John sold the house in 1919 to his nephew, Henry T. “Harry” Reynolds, Jr. The house was occupied by Harry and his family from 1919 until the death of his widow in 1983. The house was purchased in early 1985 by Allen and Marty Young, who have plans to convert the house into an art gallery.
John T. Reynolds was a contractor in Springville for a time, but in 1913-14 he was listed as the manager of H.T. Reynolds & Co., a local mercantile store owned by his brother, Henry T. Reynolds, Sr. John Taylor Reynolds was born in Springville on November 3, 1877, the last of eight children. His parents emigrated from Yorkshire, England, and his father was a tailor. John and his wife, Edith Berry Reynolds, moved to San Francisco soon after selling this house to his nephew in 1919. John died there in 1958.
Henry “Harry” Taylor Reynolds, Jr., was born July 23, 1888, in Springville to Rebecca Porter Reynolds and Henry Taylor Reynolds, Sr. Following in his father’s footsteps, he established himself as a prominent civic and business leader in Springville and Utah County. He served as vice-president and director of Utah Wholesale Grocery, president of Kolob Lumber Company, president of Associated General Contractors of Utah, and as partner, with his brother Ernest, in Reynolds Construction Company. Harry Reynolds also served a term as city councilman in Springville and as a national committeeman of the American Legion. He died in Springville September 4, 1955.
Reynolds Construction Company (also known for a time as Reynolds/Ely Construction Company) was one of several major construction companies based in Springville. Though only a small town of a few thousand people, Springville surpassed both Salt Lake City and Ogden, the largest cities in the state, as a center for the contract construction industry. The industry gained its start in Springville in the late 1870s when a number of local men became extensively involved in freighting. That activity, in turn, led to railroad construction. Many of those early construction firms have continued in operation up to the present, and the town is still regarded as a center of construction activity.
The success of the construction industry in Springville brought unprecedented economic growth to the community. This new-found wealth was reflected in the emergence of fine, large homes, such as the Reynolds House, that were built around the turn of the century. The Reynolds House is one of the most impressive houses of the period, and is one of the best preserved examples of the type built at that time.
The architect, Lewis Jothan Whitney, was born June 18, 1874, in Springville. He was the son of Leonard J. and Tryphena Perry Whitney. During his life in Springville he was active as an architect, and as a road, bridge and home contractor. Lew Whitney died in September 1954 of a heart ailment. Lew designed an built a number of homes in the Springville area and in southern Utah, though none besides this one have yet been specifically credited to him. The Roylance House, located one block east of the Reynolds House, was probably designed by Whitney, judging from its very similar appearance. It, however, has been extensively altered by a large addition when it was converted into a mortuary.