Provo’s First Tithing Office was South of Provo’s Town Square, Now Pioneer Park.
Because of the scarcity of money in Utah Territory, Provo’s early settlers paid their tithing in kind, donating ten percent of what they produced to the LDS Church. It became necessary for each community to build a tithing office and yard where a clerk recorded everything people brought in and safely stored a variety of donations that included butter, eggs, livestock, hay, potatoes, brooms and even salted fish in barrels.
The community’s Presiding Bishop supervised the collection and storage of the tithing. He also distributed goods to public workmen and the needy. Freighters transported the surplus tithing to the General Tithing Office in Salt Lake City.
On February 12, 1852, Brigham Young directed Provo’s Presiding Bishop, Elias H. Blackburn, to build a tithing office, corral and other needed storage facilities. Men donating labor tithing soon began construction of Provo’s first tithing yard and office located on the northeast quarter of the block directly south of Pioneer Park, Provo’s first town square.
The adobe, two-story office was built on a good, rock basement level, and measured 36 feet long and 24 feet wide. Workmen finished the sturdy storehouse that fall. In April, 1854, an earthquake visibly rocked the tithing office for two or three seconds but the tremor did not damage the building.
In 1858, after only six years of use, Brigham Young wanted the tithing office and yard moved to another location on the east side of town. The church then rented out the old property. The exact date of the building’s eventual demolition is unknown.