Built c. 1876 of red brick by Samuel Worthen and sons for William Stirling, one of the first settlers of Leeds. Fine example of “Dixie Dormers” unique to Southern Utah. Marker placed 1973 by Mrs. David Stirling and Family.
William Stirling, a prominent and early settler of Leeds, came into what seemed, for
the times, a fortune. Stirling, a farmer and winemaker, was also the chief executive
officer for the Leeds Water Company. In 1872, on a cold winter day while riding his
horse through Silver Reef, he observed that the Christy Mill, a five-stamp silver ore
processing mill, was overheating as a result of the routine water supply freezing solid.
An explosion was inevitable. He moved swiftly into action, opening head gates which
directed water from the Leeds ditch system to cool the overheating mill. A disaster was
averted. The owners of the Christy Mill demonstrated their gratitude to Stirling by placing him on the payroll with a handsome salary for a year with no expectation that he
work for the wage. Stirling used the wage to build this two-story brick home.
The Stirling home was built in 1876 by Samuel Worthen and Sons at a cost of
about $5,000. The house exemplifies well the “Dixie Dormer” upper floor
windows, which were a popular architectural design of the day. Eldon Stirling,
grandson of Sarah Ann and William Stirling, lived in the home during the latter
part of the twentieth century. He updated the woodwork on the porch and
balconies in the early 1980s, hand turning on a lathe all the balusters for the
William Stirling played an important role in the history of early Leeds and the
short existence of Silver Reef (1875 to 1889). After the silver boom declined,
Stirling realized that many of the empty wooden buildings still standing in
Silver Reef could be “mined.” In 1895 he purchased and moved the vacant St.
John’s Catholic Church of Silver Reef to Leeds. He converted the building into
the Leeds Social Hall or “Old Stirling Hall.” Plays, variety shows, dances, and
many festive activities took place in the building. People came from a wide
area to enjoy the performances. The building, which was located on Main
Street, no longer stands today.(*)
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