Brigham Young Used Surplus Labor in 1858 to Build a New Tithing Office in Provo.
When federal troops under General Albert Sidney Johnson “invaded” Utah Territory in 1858, Brigham Young moved the headquarters of the LDS Church to Provo. He instructed all of the people who lived north of the Point of the Mountain to move south. Many of these people came to Provo, thus creating a surplus of manpower.
President Young looked for ways to put this expanded labor foce to work. He decided to move the tithing yard oand office from its location directly south of Pioneer Park to a site on the north side of Center Street between what is now University Avenue and 100 East.
The LDS Church purchased the properties of the families living on the block where the Knight Building stands today. Workmen erected a cobblestone wall around the southeast quarter of this block fronting Center Street and 100 East. This area became the new tithing yard.
On the frontage facing Center Street, masons erected a substantial stone tithing house. By August, 1858, all tithing transactions took place at this new location. Church member used this tithing office and yard for nearly thirty years.
In 1885, workmen demolished the rock fence and replaced it with a lumber enclosure. Two years later, the LDS Church built a larger tithing office on the south side of 100 North between University Avenue and 100 West. Businesses, including a dress shop and a newspaper office, rented the old stone building on Center Street. It was torn down in the first part of the 20th Century to make room for a new Paramount Theater, and, later, current commercial buildings on Center Street.
This is plaque #18 in the Series of Events from Provo’s History.