The John George Moroni Barnes house was constructed c. 1884, with an 1896 addition, this brick home is an excellent example of Victorian design. Designed by William Allen, it stands as a monument to its original owner, John George Moroni Barnes. Born March 5, 1860, in Kaysville, Barnes became one of the town’s leading businessmen and helped in founding Kaysville’s first bank.
Located at 42 West Center Street in Kaysville, Utah
The John George Moroni Barnes House is significant because of its association with John G. M. Barnes, who succeeded his father, John R. Barnes, as the dominant business and political figure in Kaysville. It is also significant as an outstanding example of a Victorian mansion built in two sections and at least partially architect-designed. Because the integrity of both the older and the newer sections of the house have been maintained, one can discern the subtle changes that occurred during the construction of monumental houses within a ten to fifteen year period of the Nineteenth Century. William Alien, an architect known to have designed a number of important buildings in Davis County, including the Kaysville Presbyterian Church (1888), the Kaysville Tabernacle (1912), the Barnes Bank Building (1910), and the houses of Henry H. Blood, John R. Barnes, and Hyrum Stewart, is reported to have designed this house. The front and more recent section of the house has details that appear in other houses by Alien and seems to indicate that he had a hand in this one. Particularly unique to this design is the rounded bellcast roof tower with its unique gable roof dormer and the treatment of the second story door. The house was built in two sections for John George Moroni Barnes. The first section was constructed in the early 1880s, the second ca. 1896.
Barnes was born in Kaysville, March 5, 1860 to John R. and Emily Shelton Barnes. An early settler of Kaysville, his father became one of the town’s prominent citizens and by the early Twentieth Century owned the town’s leading store, its bank, its cannery, its mill, and operated one of the largest farms in Davis County. John G. M. Barnes left school at the age of fourteen to work in his father’s general store. Eventually he became its president and, through his involvement in other enterprises, succeeded his father as the town’s leading businessman. He was involved with his father in founding Kaysville’s first bank, he organized the Kaysville Irrigation Co. and was a pioneer in dry farming in Davis County. In this connection, he founded the Utah Fruit Juice Co., which, he said, was dedicated to proving that concord grapes and cherries could be grown on a commercial scale without the use of Irrigation. He was involved with his father in founding the Kaysville Canning Co. in 1902 and the Kaysville Milling Co. in 1904, and he established the Kaysville Brick and Tile Co., and the Kaysville Canning Corporation. He was vice-president and a director of the Davis and Weber County Canal Co., President of the Utah Canner’s Association, and a director of the National Canner’s Association.
Active in politics as a Democratic, and as a Populists in the 1890s, when that third party was a viable force both in Utah and the nation, he was elected Kaysville City Treasurer in 1882, served on the City Council from 1892 to 1896, was Mayor from 1898 to 1902 and again from 1922 to 1928, served in the Utah State Senate from 1901 to 1903, and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1900 and 1924.
Following Battles’ death in 1932, the house remained in the Barnes family until the early 1970’s, when the present owners bought it.
The home was listed on the National Historic Register (#82004120) on February 11, 1982.