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Early Education in Layton

Education was a priority to early pioneers. In 1857 Layton settlers built Adams School. The log structure was 20 x 32 feet, with a thatched roof, dirt floor, and a brick fireplace. The teacher was paid in produce, bacon, or flour.

School buildings were frequently used for church and community events. Transportation to school was often difficult. Most children walked, but a few had access to a horse, buggy, or wagon. Settlers built a stable to accommodate the animals during the day. Outhouses were built next to the stable, one for boys and one for girls. Lunches, which usually consisted mostly of jam/molasses or tomato sandwiches, were carried to school in buckets. Each day buckets of fresh water were brought into the school and served with a large ladle. The teacher traditionally rang a hand bell to mark the beginning or ending of school, recess and lunch. The playground consisted of a ball diamond and some bleachers.

In 1890 the Public School Act was passed in the Territory of Deseret. It marked the beginning of graded schools. On October 12, 1902, Layton Elementary was built. It included all grades up to and including the 7th grade. The site selected was 339 West Gentile Street. The land was owned by the Episcopal Church which had previously housed St. Jude’s School. The city purchased it for $600.00. However, proposed construction bids exceeded the budget, so the school was built using day labor.

Other early one-room schools in Layton were:

  • Tramain Log School (built in 1860)
  • Dawson Hollow School (built in 1875)
  • Log School (built in 1880)
  • Five Points School (built in 1881)
  • St. Jude’s School (built in 1888)
  • West Gentile School (built in 1892)
  • Doman Frame School (built in 1892)
  • William Nalder School (built in 1897)
  • Stephen Nalder School (built in 1897)
  • Kershaw School (built in 1897)
  • Sand Knolls School (built in 1898)

After completion of Layton Elementary, all one-room schools closed, leaving Layton Elementary the only school in Layton until 1942. On September 24, 1984, the school building was demolished and a new Layton Elementary was constructed.

DUP Marker # 564, located at 369 West Gentile Street in Layton, Utah – for other DUP Markers visit this page. (it is #564 on the plaque on site, but so is “Pioneer Women” in Price, Utah – this one is listed as #566 in the D.U.P.’s book.)