William Stuart Brighton was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1829. He married Catherine Bow (born in 1827 at Sterling, Scotland) in 1850. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1844. They immigrated to Missouri in 1855 with two children, one of whom was a two-year old daughter, Mary, who was buried at sea during the passage. They came to Utah in 1857 by handcart company. They had four sons born in the United States – Robert, William, Thomas, Daniel, and Janet, born in Scotland.
In 1871 William S. Brighton claimed over 100 acres at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon. William and Catherine built the first hotel there at “Brighton” in 1874. It was razed in 1945. Later they added cottages, the original Brighton store, a post office, a telephone service, a dairy service, freight haulage, a bakery and a sawmill.
Catherine Bow Brighton named the lakes around Brighton – “Mary” after her infant daughter, “Catherine” after herself, “Martha” after a friend, etc. About 1887 the Brighton sons built the first telephone line through Brighton to Alta. The world famous ski resort and area is now permanently called “Brighton” after this early family.
William Stuart Brighton died in 1895 and Catherine Bow in 1894. They are buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.