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George W. Layton House

The George W. Layton house, built in about 1897, is significant as one of a very limited number of houses designed by the Kaysville architect William Allen, that is virtually unaltered. William Allen was the only architect in Davis County at the time that the Layton house was designed, and continued to be the leading architect in the county until the 1920s. The Layton house also documents the use of pattern book house types in the late nineteenth century, and it is the same pattern that Allen used in the John Henry Layton house in West Layton, and possibly in the Joseph Adams house in East Layton. Of the three houses the George W. Layton house received the most ornate program of ornament, and thereby records one extreme of the stylistic possibilities of pattern book design. The complexity of the brick and wood ornamentation, and its unaltered and well preserved condition make the George W. Layton house one of the most distinctive Victorian pattern book houses in Utah. In addition, Layton, who is credited with the resident’s actual construction, served in a number of capacities within the community.

Located at 2767 West Gentile Street in Layton, Utah and added to the National Historic Register (#82004123) on February 11, 1982.

The George W. Layton Farm House, in West Layton, was built c. 1897. According to Vera Louise Layton Merrill, a daughter of Layton, the house incorporated an earlier three-room structure. The house was designed by William Alien, a prominent Davis County architect, and the actual construction of the residence is credited to Layton himself. The George W. Layton house is a two story red brick house with a stone foundation that was designed by the Kaysville architect, William Alien. It is a pattern book design with an impressive program of East lake and Queen Anne ornamentation. The pattern Alien chose for this house is almost exactly the same as the one he used for the John Henry Layton house which is several miles east on West Gentile Street. The John H. Layton house has longer proportions, but in general massing it is the mirror image of the George W. Layton house.

In 1851, Joseph (Cap) Hill “I” homesteaded at the mouth of Kay’s Creek. In 1862, James Sevens built a house on the south side of Kay’s Creek. Seven years later, Christopher Layton and some of his sons and sons-in-law cleared six sections of land to be dry farmed. This dry farm and the adjacent areas became known as West Layton. The early settlers of the area were sons and daughters of people who had settled in Kaysville and other areas of Davis County.

George Willard Layton was born November 11, 1863, in Kaysville, Utah. He was a son of Christopher and Rose Ann Hudson Layton. George W. spent his early years in Kaysville. It was there that he met and married Jeanette Maria Hill on December 18, 1884. Layton purchased 82 acres of land located in West Layton in 1891 from William and Aaron Call. At that time, there was a three room structure located on the site, and in about 1897 Layton had Allen design the present structure, with Layton himself involved in its construction.

Layton’s activities were not limited to farming. He has been characterized as being involved in “everything from baseball diamonds to banking.” He raised cattle and livestock and also grain to provide feed. He was president of the First National Bank of Layton and was a major stockholder in the Layton Sugar Company and the Ellison Cattle Ranch. He is also credited with building eleven other houses, in addition to his own. The Laytons were members of the LDS Church and were active in church activities. The couple had eight children, two of whom died in early infancy.

In the early 1900s the Laytons moved from the farmhouse to a house located nearer to the town of Layton. The farmhouse was used as the residence of the hired farmhand. This enabled George W. to take care of his responsibilities at the farm and in town. The children loved the new location because it was located nearer to the train station which provided transportation to Lagoon, a popular resort.

Mrs. Layton died in 1933. George lived eleven years after her death, passing away on January 10, 1944.

The house was deeded to Glen Seymour Layton and other members of the family in 1931. In 1961, the property was acquired to Sheron Layton Ahlstrom and Patricia Layton Evans, who presently (1980) own the property. The house is being used as rental property.