This house was constructed in 1903 by Herbert Clegg for John E. Austin, a leading sheepman in Wasatch County. In 1908 Austin moved to Wyoming and the house was sold to Dr. William Russell Wherritt. A native of Missouri, Dr. Wherritt was for many years the only physician in Heber Valley. The house is one of the most elaborate Victorian homes in Heber Valley. It is now owned and occupied by Dr. Wherritt’s daughter, Mrs. Dean Todd.
This was the home of John and Mary Lucinda McDonald who crossed the plains and were among the early settlers of the Heber Valley. John built the home in 1874 and was known as a man of faith, a pioneer, and Indian fighter and peacemaker, a Martin Handcart rescuer, a cattleman rancher, a builder, a patriarch and a father. For his great contributions to the valley, his community and family, we dedicate this building to John McDonald (1833-1910) and his family.
Built in 1906-1908, the Heber City Amusement Hall became a part of the Town Square complex, which included religous, governmental, and recreational facilites. Designed by Mr. Watkins of Provo and built of red sandstone, the structure’s unusual dance floor was considered to be one of the best in the state. The oval-shaped floor is set on 56 heavy coil springs, which are embedded in native sandstone. Dancers often boasted of its excellent “feel”. The hall’s doors and semicircular windows are topped with Roman arches, and pendant arches originally supported the ceiling. The kitchen, added to the southwest corner in 1917, housed cooking and dining facilities. The gables at the north and west ends were probably added in 1928, the same year the pendant arches were replaced and a large annex added to the west side. At this time the front facade was also altered somewhat. Located at the north end of the main hall were the entrance, ticket office, and cloakrooms; at the south end was a stage and bandstand. Once threatened by destruction, the hall was saved through the efforts of concerned citizens.
During the Blackhawk War the Mormon settlers and the Utes struggled to feed their people. Mormon livestock displaced wild game the Indians depended upon, forcing them to prey upon Mormon livestock.
In the spring of 1867, a hungry Ute was captured butchering a cow in the Heber Valley. Bishop Murdock told him he would be released if he would carry a personal message to Chief Tabby (Tabiona) requesting an end to the long and needless war. A government Indian agent tried to meet with Tabby to talk peace, however the Chief said he would talk only with “Old Murdock!”
On August 19th Chief Tabby and several hundred of his people entered the town of Heber City. They went directly to Joseph’s home where they camped in his yard and pasture. The following day Joseph’s wives and the townspeople prepared a feast on this lot (where this monument is located) owned by John Carroll and a pit was dug to roast enough cattle to feed everyone. Each woman had been asked to bake a dozen loaves of bread and rows of tables were loaded with corn and whatever they could find to feed their guests.
After a day of feasting and talking, Joseph, Chief Tabby, and his Sub-Chiefs went across the street to an upstairs room in Joseph’s home where a peace pipe was smoked and a treaty of friendship was signed.
This treaty ended the fighting between the settlers in Heber Valley and the Northern Utes. Joseph and Tabby served their people well. They honored their vows to maintain peace and remained friends for life.
A Monument/Plaque to Heber C. Kimball at the Main Street Park in Heber. Across the street from the DUP Museum.
The people of Heber City cherish the heritage bequeathed by our pioneer forebears and the challenge set forth by the city’s namesake, Heber C. Kimball: “Now you people have named your little town after me, I want you to see to it that you are honest, upright citizens…. that I may not have cause to be ashamed.”