Located at 284 East 100 North in Provo is the George M. Brown House, it was built as a home for a “polygamous wife” of lawyer George M. Brown. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The George M. Brown House was built in the 1880s, on property obtained from Abraham O. Smoot. This is a two-story, central-hall, vernacular type house. “The Brown House exhibits the versatility and decorative jigsaw work usually found in the Gothic Revival, but displays the horizontal siding, simulated quoins, and symmetry of the local building tradition.” The George M. Brown House was designated to the Provo Historic Landmarks Registry on March 21, 1996.
Though built during the Victorian era, the George M. Brown House is a distinguished example of carpenter Gothic architecture. Containing thin wooden tracery, a monochromatic color scheme, and steep gables as well as other features, the Gothic style is very evident in this home. The Carpenter Gothic style emerged as builders became more concerned with costs, namely the cost of stone. “The Brown home attempts to combine the best of two generations with its asymmetrical Victorian east elevation and its symmetrical, dormered north elevation which contains nearly all the elements of typical pioneer homes of the mid-1870s (Roberts p. 2).” Decorative elements on the home include bargeboards, Quoins, a bay window, chimneys, window trim, door trim, dormers, a cornice, siding, and windows.
Born on April 5, 1842, in Macedonia, Illinois, George Mortimer Brown settled in Utah with his family in 1842. A member of the Mormon faith, George served a mission to Norway in 1866, the same year he began his marriage to Elizabeth Olsen. After his mission, George became an attorney. In addition to Elizabeth, George married two more women – Amelia West and Pearl Wilson.Shortly after the initial construction of the home, Brown’s first wife attained the title to it, and Brown and his two other wives and children left and settled in Colonia Diaz, a Mormon settlement in Mexico. He ran a store there until he died on July 6, 1894.
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