The Jabez Faux Home is significant as an excellent example of one of the first brick pioneer homes constructed in the Sanpete Valley. It is also important as the home of one of the community’s leaders of Moroni.
Jabez Faux was born in Yorkshire, England, March 16, 1837. He learned the trade of a fitter in a machine shop before joining the Mormon Church and emigrating to Utah with the Daniel Robinson Handcart Company in 1860, Shortly after his arrival in Utah, he settled in Moroni which had been established two years earlier in 1858. In Moroni he first built a dugout then a log cabin and finally the brick home in which he lived for over fifty-five years. Mr. Faux worked as a blacksmith for a short time after his arrival in Moroni before turning his attention to farming. He was director of the Moroni Cooperative Mercantile Institution established in 1868 as part of the Mormon Church effort to maintain economic independence in light of threats from the soon to be completed transcontinental railroad and non-Mormon merchants. Because of his long association with the Moroni Co-op, the store was closed in honor of Mr. Faux during his funeral in 1923. In addition to his economic pursuits, Jabez Faux filled many church .and civic positions including Sunday School Superintendent in the Moroni Ward for twenty years, Ward Clerk, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Moroni City Library and Literary Association. After Mr. Faux f s death in 1923, the home passed to members of his family but by 1950 was abandoned and remained unoccupied until 1970 when the Wilsford Clark Family purchased and renovated the home.
The Jabez Faux home is significant architecturally as the oldest known kiln-fired brick structure in its region. History leaves no evidence of the early brick-making industry in Moroni but the brick for the Faux home was probably manufactured locally inasmuch as the railroad did not come to the area until 1874 and transporting brick by freight wagon from northern counties was impractical, especially in light of the on-going Black Hawk War. It may have been the war itself that hastened the development of kilnfired brick, a building material much superior in its permanence to the adobe and wood then being used. Due to the active Black Hawk War, most pioneers in Moroni still lived in the fort. Jabez Faux may have felt the only way to reduce the risk of living outside the fort was to construct a sturdy home of the most permanent materials possible. A brick home built in 1867-68 was a significant advancement in technology for the Sanpete Valley region and nearly corresponded with the introduction of commercial-grade brick in Utah and Salt Lake Counties in 1863-64.
At a time when most homes were at best 1 1/2 stories in height, the 2 story “I-form” Faux residence was also advanced in its structure. While the 2/2 hall-parlor plan was not uncommon by the 1870’s, houses of two full stories and segmented arches in door and window bays were rare, just being introduced. The simple paired brackets and frieze, and scalloped bargeboards may have also found their precedent for the Moroni area in the Faux home. A feature which is definitely unique is the wall construction of the first story. There are seven courses of stone up to and including the course in which the sill stones are set. The remainder of the superstructure is brick. We can only speculate as to the reason stone was discontinued in favor of brick at the sill level. Fresh from England, Jabez Faux demonstrated a desire for residential refinement at an early period of colonial development and helped bring to an end the vernacular style which had previously pervaded the entirety of pioneer architecture in Moroni. (*)
Next door to the south, the Jabez Faux Jr home is a beautiful red brick home. I saw this old photo of it online.