670 S Main St in Heber City, Utah
The Joseph Stacy Murdock House, built in Heber City Utah c.1865, is historically significant for its association with Murdock, an important early convert to and later leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, and as the site of an important early treaty between the Mormon settlers and the local Ute-Shoshone people. Murdock was a friend and adviser to the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, before the martyrdom in 1844, and served in a similar capacity to Smith’s successor, Brigham Young, during the, Mormon colonization of the Great Basin West after 1847. In 1863, Murdock became the first ecclesiastical leader of Heber City, the principal settlement in the Provo River Valley east of Salt Lake City. Murdock was integrally j involved in all facets of Heber City life, and his personal relations with the Ute-Shoshone chief, Tabiona, helped ease Mormon-Indian tensions in the area during the Black Hawk War. An important treaty between the two leaders, signed in this house in 1867, was instrumental in bringing an end to the hostilities. In addition to his leadership role in Heber City, Murdock led the expedition that established the Mormon buffer settlements along the Muddy River in northern Nevada between 1867 and 1870.(*)
In 1858 a group of men came from Provo, surveyed the valley into 20 acre plots and selected the townsite of Heber. The following winter twenty families stayed here. As protection from the Indians they built a fort 1 block south and 1 block west from this site. Homes built of cottonwood logs and joined together formed the outside walls of the fort. A schoolhouse 20 by 40 feet was built within the fort with two fireplaces and a stage. The building also served for church and socials. In 1860 the fort was enlarged to house forty-four families.
Son of Chief Tabby
One day of 1867, Chief Tabby came into Provo River Valley after the Indian peace treaty with his dead son in his arms. As he rode up on his horse, Joseph Stacy Murdock, the Mormon Presiding Bishop, recognized Chief Tabby. After a brief greeting, Chief Tabby said that he was holding how own dead son, who was killed in an accident while hunting. The chief knew that Joseph was the religious leader among his people, so he asked that Joseph bury his son in the custom of the Mormons. With a feeling of great sorrow for his friend, Joseph conducted a Christian funeral service and buried Tom Tabby under a beautiful pine tree, which had been planted several years before by John H. Murdock in the Heber Cemetery.
When the final prayer was said, Chief Tabby said, “My son has been buried in the white man’s custom. Now he will be honored in the Indian fashion.” A rick of cedar logs was then laid upon the new grave and the boy’s favorite pony was led up to it, where it’s [sic] throat was cut and the animal was laid upon the pier and the logs were set afire.
As the embers slowly died, Chief Tabby got on his horse and rode into the mountains east of Heber with his braves.
Historic Former Heber City Library
188 S Main Street, Heber City UT 84032
The historic former Heber City library was constructed as a federal Public Works Administration (PWA) project during the latter years of the Great Depression.
Construction occurred between Aug. 1938 and May 1939. The PWA supplied a grant of $13,275 toward the project, whose total cost was $27,529.
The building served as the community’s library until construction of the new Wasatch County Library, completed 2004.
The New Deal facility now houses the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum.
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.