Constructed in 1914 by the community. The wood frame hall contains a gymnasium, stage, kitchen and basement. As a community recreation center, the hall was used for dances, plays, basketball games, programs, and movies. It served as the annual meeting place for the Koosharem Old Folks Party, a well-known traditional town reunion.
The house was built c. 1877 for Joseph Tattersall, an early settler of Beaver City. It is one-and-a-half-story tall building constructed of black rock – a hard, dense volcanic stone that is commonly found in the nearby foothills in small outcroppings; it was a fairly common historic building material used in Beaver. The house features a steeply pitched roof, end-wall chimneys, two dormer windows, center gable with a door, and two bay windows that are located on the main façade. The home is the work of Thomas Frazer, a Scottish pioneer stonemason who did a lot of building in Southern Utah, particularly in Beaver.
The First National Bank of Layton, built in phases between 1905 and 1945, is a one-part commercial block in the Victorian Eclectic style. The bank building is significant under Criteria A arid C for its association with the development of Layton, and for its association with Davis County’s most prominent and prolific architect at the turn of the century, William Allen. In 1905, the First National Bank was the third bank to be established in Davis County and during 2005 celebrated its centennial as the oldest continually operating business in Layton. For a century, the bank has been an integral part of the Layton City and Davis County economies. The bank building includes a 1915-1916 expansion, which provided office space for the Layton Sugar Company, the area’s largest employer at the time. During the 1940s, the bank building expanded again mainly due to the rise in population associated with the development of Hill Air Force Base (Hill Field). Between 1905 and 1916, the bank building was designed, constructed and expanded by Davis County’s most respected architect, William Allen. William Allen began his career as a brick mason and ended it as a contractor and self-taught architect. He was among the first architects licensed by the State of Utah, and the only licensed architect in Davis County for many years. Of Allen’s over one-hundred documented works, six are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and another is pending. The First National Bank of Layton is a contributing historic resource in Layton, Utah.
Located at 50 West Gentile Street in Layton, Utah and added to the National Historic Register (#06000232) April 5, 2006.
Layton, Davis County’s largest city, was originally an outgrowth of Kaysville, a Mormon pioneer town first settled in 1854. By 1886, a separate precinct and post office were located in a small business center north of Kaysville. The community was named Layton, for Christopher Layton, a prominent early settler of the area. In 1902, the community of Layton legally severed the ties with Kaysville and became an unincorporated area. With a population of 500, Layton was incorporated as a third-class town in 1920. In 1950, after a decade-long boom period which accompanied the development Hill Air Force Base, the population reached 3,456 and Layton was declared a third-class city.
Layton’s historic business district is clustered near the intersection of Gentile Street and Main Street, which for many years paralleled the track of the original Utah Central Railroad (the tracks were removed in 1953). The Layton business district was also serviced by the Oregon Short Line (later Union Pacific, 1912-present) on the west side of town and the Bamberger Electric Railway (1906-1952, later obliterated by Interstate 15) east of the commercial district. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Layton’s business district included two general stores, a meat market, saloon, coal dealer, blacksmith shop, barber shop, hotel, and the Layton Milling and Elevator Company, which in 1903 shipped more flour than any other Utah mill. Through the first half of the twentieth century, the economy was predominantly agricultural. The most important cash crops were alfalfa, grain, onions, and potatoes. A cannery was built to process tomatoes and peas, and a factory was established in 1915 to process sugar beets. The business district was the support and shipping center for products of Layton fanners.
The First National Bank of Layton was established in 1905. At the time it was only the third bank in Davis County, and one of only two national banks that were established that year. The Layton Bank was established during a period of banking expansion that followed the depression years of the mid-1890s. The bank required a $20,000 minimum of capital in order to comply with Utah’s 1888 Banking Act. The original thirty-nine stockholders raised $25,000 (250 shares of $100). Most of the stockholders lived in Layton with a few living in the nearby communities of Ogden, Kaysville, Plain City and Syracuse. Among the stockholders were several prominent members of the Ellison family, whose descendants own the original bank building. The first officers of the bank were James Pingree, President; E. P. (Ephraim Peter) Ellison, Vice-President; Rufus Adams, Vice President; James E. Ellison, Cashier; and Laurence E. Ellison, Assistant Cashier.
The bank officials selected Kaysville architect, William Allen, to draw up plans for the new bank building. William Allen had designed E. P. Ellison’s Farmers Union store in 1892. The bank was built on land across the street from the store at the corner of Main and Gentile Streets. The land was originally patented to Thomas Sandall in 1875, but was not purchased by the bank until 1911. The one-story brick building first opened its doors for business on May 15, 1905. On October 20 and 21, 1906, an east wind blew through northern Davis County causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. Among the casualties of the disaster was the Layton Bank Building, which was “completely destroyed roof and walls.” An examination of the building concluded that the “violent wind blew in the bank’s east window, creating intense internal air pressure, which caused the front brick wall to explode onto Gentile Street.”
The bank moved its operations temporarily to the Farmers Union Store, while William Allen redesigned the bank. Though the disaster had occurred just eighteen months after the bank’s opening, the board of directors was determined to persevere. The Davis County Clipper reported on the first annual meeting after the windstorm stating “No quarterly dividend was declared, probably, it had been paid to the east wind that blew the bank building down. It is thought that it will probably take another quarterly dividend to pay for the damage done by the wind.” Another article in the Davis County Clipper described the construction enhancements of the new building: “The Layton bank which is being rebuilt is as strong physically as the Bank of England is financially. Iron anchors, several feet long, were placed in the walls and other irons were put between the courses of brick in such a way as to hold the building together.”
The bank moved from the store back into the new building in the spring of 1907. In October of that year, two burglars broke into the bank vault, but were unable to open the safe where the money was kept. A second attempt in May 1910 was also unsuccessful. By that time, the Layton Bank had a time-locked safe. Frustrated in their attempt, the two thieves locked cashier, Laurence Ellison and night-watchman, Hyrum Evans, in the vault. Ellison and Evans managed to escape and the would-be robbers were apprehended. Laurence Ellison, who had been promoted to Cashier after his brother James left, was the bank’s lone employee, until he was joined by Vird Cook in 1913. Vird Cook, who was nineteen at the time, spent the next forty-six years working in the bank. By 1914, the assets of the bank had grown to $187, 907. During its first decade, the Layton Bank’s stockholders and customers included most of the business owners and farmers of Layton.
Agriculture had been the economic base of Layton since the pioneer era, but by the 1890s many farmers were beginning to specialize. In particular, the sugar beet was an important cash crop in northern Davis County, with many thousands of tons of sugar beets shipped to sugar plants in Lehi, Utah, and later Ogden, Utah. In 1913, Kaysville-Layton area farmers and businessmen organized the Layton Sugar Company in 1913. The company was incorporated in 1915, with E. P. Ellison as one of the founders. By the fall of 1915, the Dyer Construction Company had completed a $500,000 sugar plant on a forty-eight-acre site near the Denver & Rio Grande tracks in west Layton. The first year the plant processed 25,000 tons of beets from farms in Kaysville and Layton. In the next two years, the output doubled. The factory employed approximately 300 men working round-the-clock shifts. James E. Ellison served as manager and president of the company.
On August 25, 1915, the minutes of the First National Bank of Layton record that a committee was organized to “investigate the feasibility of remodeling the bank building and making an addition thereto to be rented to the Layton Sugar Company.” In September, the bank board approved plans for the addition and a charge of $60 per month rent to be paid by the Layton Sugar Company. William Allen was again chosen as architect for the addition and remodeling. The Davis County Clipper reported that expanded bank would have several objectives: “to furnish a larger home for the bank, provide offices for the sugar company as well as for professional men, etc.” 10 The newspaper continued to monitor the progress of the building. According to one report the contractors, Hyde and Sheffield, “have employed all the bricklayers in Davis County that they could get and some few from the outside” for the bank building and another project. As the construction neared completion in January 1916, the Clipper published the following glowing report: “The brickwork on the First National Bank addition is completed and the new metal cornice is in place. The metal cornice was placed on the old building so as to make it harmonize perfectly with the new. The cement trimming about the door and windows gives it a massive and attractive appearance. The mason work has also been done with skill. The building is certainly a credit to Architect Allen.”
The Layton Bank weathered difficult times through the 1920s, including a successful robbery in 1920 in which the robbers made off with several thousand dollars in war bonds. In 1924, the bank installed the security alarm box still extant on the south elevation. Utah experienced several years of depression even before the stock market crash of 1929. However, the First National Bank of Layton thrived, most likely because it had several large depositors, including the sugar company and the Davis and Weber Counties Canal Companies, in addition to its community customers. The bank hired several bookkeepers, including its first women employees, Beth Green and Norma Underwood. In 1922, the Kaysville Weekly Reflex printed this description of the bank’s operations: “The bank does a business extending over the state of Utah and into Nevada and Canada, where Layton people have large interests” 13 In the 1930s, the old system of banks issuing currency was abandoned, and today the few surviving First National Bank of Layton notes are held by collectors. The 1939 remodeling of the bank’s interior utilized the popular Art Deco style of the period. That same year, the decision to build an air depot near Ogden would greatly impact the economy of Layton.
The bulk of the Hill Field base was within Davis County with Layton as the closest established community to the base’s main gate. The base was operational by November 1940, and even before the United States’ entrance into World War II, the economy of Layton was booming. Although the bank benefited from proximity of the base; with so many employed in war-related services, the bank had difficulty finding employees. The Layton Bank even changed its hours to accommodate paydays for Hill Field employees. In 1941, Laurence E. Ellison was elected president of the Utah Bankers’ Association. The bank began planning to expand its facilities and build a new vault in 1944, but wartime shortages of materials postponed the project. Though the exterior of the expansion was almost complete in October 1945, the interior work was not completed until 1946. The addition and remodeling included a new bank vault, new safe deposit boxes, a paneled boardroom, kitchenette and restrooms. The addition also doubled the size of the sugar company offices. When the Layton Sugar Company went out of business in 1959, and the bank operations took over the entire building.
In the post World War II years, the First National Bank of Layton became an even more integral part of the economic community. The bank was one of the first in Davis County to offer loans guaranteed under the G.I. Bill. Many important businesses were started with loans from the Layton Bank. One example was Rufus C. Willey of Syracuse, who was a bank customer and founder of the R.C. Willey Company, today Utah’s largest furniture and appliance retailer. Through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the bank continued to upgrade and modernize. A night depository box was first installed in 1954. The glass vestibule was installed in the 1970s. In 1981, the bank moved across the street to the restored Farmers Union Building, where it currently conducts business. During the move, the marble teller stations and the vault were also moved. The L.E. Ellison Family Company purchased the building in 1985. In the 1980s and 1990s, the building was used for a variety of businesses including a print shop, coffee house, computer store, bridal & photography, beauty salon, and most recently, a jewelry store. The building has been vacant since 2003.
The First National Bank of Layton, built in four phases between 1905 and 1945, is a one-part commercial block, located at 50 West Gentile Street in Layton, Utah. The building is brick masonry with stone and concrete foundations. The current roof is flat and built-up. The original bank building, a one-part Victorian-style commercial block with an angled entrance, was constructed in 1905. In October 1906, the building was partially destroyed by a windstorm. Between 1906 and 1907, the bank building was rebuilt using the surviving stone foundation and two brick walls. Most of the Victorian elements of the 1905 building were replicated during the 1906-1907 reconstruction, but the parapet was built higher and other modifications were made. In 1915, the bank building was expanded to the east and a new entrance was built flush with the south elevation and featured stylized classical elements. In 1945, the building was expanded to the east and in the rear, creating a wedge-shaped east elevation that followed the line of Layton’s Main Street. The interior of the bank has been remodeled several times, with the extant finishes dating from 1939 to the 1980s. The bank building has been vacant since 2003.
The original 1905 building measured approximately forty-three by twenty-two feet. The longest elevation faced south onto Gentile Street with the shorter end on Main Street. The main entrance was angled and faced southeast toward the intersection. 1 The foundation was rock-faced sandstone. The face brick was laid in a stretcher bond. There was a corbelled brick base with a sandstone stringcourse, which also served as the sill. Historic photographs show the south elevation divided into two bays by brick pilasters. Each bay featured a large plate-glass window with several courses of segmental-arched rowlock brick. A decorative stringcourse highlighted the arched windows. A similar bay was on the east elevation. The angled entrance featured stone steps, double wood-sash doors, with transoms and a segmental-arched hood. Above the fenestration were three corbelled brick courses and a brick parapet with a metal cornice. A decorative block with the date “1905” was above the entrance. The west elevation had a small window near the south end (now filled-in), but otherwise the west and north elevations were blank. On October 20-21,1906, a windstorm blew in the east window creating a vacuum, which caused the roof to collapse and the south elevation to explode. Between late 1906 and 1907, the bank building was rebuilt using the original foundation and surviving north and west walls. The rebuilt structure was similar in design to the original, but featured a much higher and stronger parapet. The new parapet was completely brick and featured a dog-tooth course above the original corbelling. The brick masonry was reinforced with iron bars and anchors. The sloped roof was reinforced as well.
Between 1915 and 1916, an L-shaped addition was constructed effectively expanding the building twenty feet to the north and twenty-five feet to the east. The addition created a south facing entrance and an extra bay to the east. The addition was designed by the same architect-builder as the original building, and the brickwork is nearly identical. The main difference between the old and new bays is the use of concrete for the foundation and sills, rather than stone, and vents in the dogtooth course. The new steps are also concrete. The new entrance features a slightly projecting surround of cast concrete. The flanking pilasters were banded, as were a dividing mullion and pilasters (with capitals) in the slightly recessed double doors (the mullion was removed in the 1970s). Above the arched opening is a cast concrete panel with the words “First National Bank.” These elements give the building’s entrance a stylized classical appearance. The brick parapet was also enlarged in 1915-1916, and with accent block appeared as a classical balustrade. The date “1905” is in a block above the main entrance.
The building was expanded again in 1945-1946. During this phase the east elevation was demolished and the façade was expanded by another bay, which replicated the 1915-1916 addition. A similar, but smaller bay faces east. The remainder of the east elevation addition angles to the northwest along the line of Main Street. The angled wall is constructed of brick on a concrete foundation and features a geometric design of corbelled brickwork. The parapet is plain and has been used as a signboard. There is a simple metal coping along the parapet. The brickwork for the north elevation addition is similar. There are windows (now filled with glass block, date unknown) in the north and west corners of the building, but no other openings. The different building phases are best discerned on the west elevation where the joints between additions are visible. There is a double-door service entrance in the center of the west elevation (probably 1980s). Other modifications to the exterior include the installation of an interior alarm box (circa 1924, south elevation), exterior paint (white in the 1960s and currently tan with darker tan and gold accents), and the removal of the double entrance doors to provide a single glass door into a vestibule (circa 1970s).
The interior of the building has been remodeled several times. The original 1906-1907 interior featured a marble lobby with a pressed-tin ceiling. The vault was built out in the northwest corner. During the 1915-1916 expansion the lobby was not altered but additional vault and office space was added to the rear. The addition included office space for the local sugar company to the east, which had its own vault. In 1939, a major interior remodeling included the removal of the original ceiling and a change to the teller cages. The 1939 interior remodeling had some elements of the Art Deco-style. 2 Further remodeling accompanied the 1945-1946 addition. The banking space was expanded to include the 1915-1916 spaces and the vault was moved to the rear. Decorative plaster work was added to the ceiling and walls of the main banking space (extant). The rear addition included an upper-story accessed by a central closed stair. The rear addition has three rooms (currently finishes from the 1980s) and parts of the 1915-1916 building exterior are visible on the south walls. On the main floor, a wood-paneled board room was installed (extant although slightly damaged). In the northwest corner a kitchenette and restrooms were installed (extant). The glass vestibule was installed in the 1970s and a night depository box was added. There is a wall-mounted safe near the vestibule (date unknown, possibly 1980s). The marble teller counter and the vault doors were relocated to the Farmers’ Union Building (listed on the National Register in November 1978) across the street when the bank moved its operations there in 1981. In the bank area, many of 1939-1946 features and finishes have survived. To the east, where the offices were located, most of the current interior finishes date from the 1980s after the bank moved out.
The First National Bank of Layton sits on a wedge-shaped parcel of 0.1779 acres. It is located at the angled corner of Main Street and Gentile Street. There is a sidewalk and planters on Gentile Street, but only a sidewalk on Main Street. A narrow pedestrian alley is located between the bank and the historic building to the west.
There is a small asphalt parking area in the rear (against the north elevation). The bank is one of several historic buildings located in downtown Layton, but most, with the exception of the Farmers Union Building and one general store, have been altered. The First National Bank is in good condition and contributes to the historic resources of Layton, Utah.
The Farmer’s Union is significant for housing the Farmer’s Union Mercantile Institution, the first commercial enterprise in Layton, Utah. The building was the first prominent business structure erected in Layton and served as the community’s primary meeting hall, social center and recreational facility. The building played an important role in Layton’s successful attempt to become independent of nearby Kaysville, Utah. The Farmer’s Union is also important for its close association with the lives of leading business, civic and religious figures of early Layton, including Ephraim P. Ellison, Christopher Layton and George Washington Adams.
12 S Main Street in Layton, Utah – Added to the National Historic Register (#78002656) November 30, 1978.
Layton, Utah was founded in 1850 by William Kay, Edwards Phillips, John Green and Elias Adams, converts to the Mormon Church. Located along creeks in a popular trapping and grazing area, the small settlement grew slowly and was for many years considered part of a larger nearby community named Kaysville. As the settlement assumed an identity as an independent community it attempted to separate itself from Kaysville and become an incorporated town. Kaysville leaders were unwilling to approve the incorporation, however, on the premise that a severe loss of tax revenue would result. Determined to demonstrate that the unnamed settlement justified independent status, area leaders, lead by Ephraim P. Ellison, attempted to establish a bona fide business district and challenge the right of Kaysville to impose taxes on it. A small one-story frame building belonging to Christopher Layton was moved from Kaysville to the site of the present Farmer’s Union and the commercial district had its beginning. The relocated building housed the Farmer’s Union, an organization established in 1882 as the Kaysville Farmer’s Union. As E.P. Ellison, who was superintendent of the store and Christopher Layton, the building’s owner, were both part of the faction opposed to paying taxes to Kaysville, the name Kaysville was dropped from the store’s name. The new town was named Layton and pushed for incorporation. As a final measure to insure the independence of Layton as a town entity, Ellison, Layton and others combined their capital and in 1890 had constructed an impressive two-story, Victorian-styled store of brick and stone with metal trim. This building which was expanded in size in the late 1890’s and again in 1930, housed the growing Farmer’s Union institution. The building, besides functioning as a store, was the headquarters of the group responsible for the movement to organize a new town. In addition, the store played an important role in the 1891 Utah Supreme Court case of Ellison versus Lindford in which Chief Justice Charles S. Zane ruled that property of E. P. Ellison which had been confiscated and sold for tax purposes in 1889 had been done illegally in that the “little place called ‘Layton’ in a country road leading to the city (of Kaysville) proper” was too far from Kaysville to receive any benefit from taxes levied. On the same day as the court decision, Feb. 4, 1891, Layton became an incorporated city.
The Farmer’s Union continued to play a significant role in the burgeoning community of Layton. Its major tenant, the Farmer’s Union of Layton, was incorporated in 1909 and functioned as a general store, bank, and post office. The upper floor was used as a public hall and community center. For many years, regular weekly dances with a live orchestra were held there. Church events, basketball games, political meetings, club parties and promotional events by traveling salesmen were among the varied uses of the second story hall. As the building expanded to the north and other meeting places became available in town, the second floor was converted to residential apartments which are still extant. The Farmer’s Union business was dissolved in 1956. After which the building was used by various retail establishments. At present, the building is vacant and awaits restoration by its owner, the First National Bank of Layton.
The Farmer’s Union is significant for its close association with the lives of many of Layton’s early town leaders. Ephraim P. Ellison, its manager, president, and biggest stockholder, maintained his office in the building. He was the chief organizer and president of the Davis and Weber Counties Canal Co. which made possible the agricultural development of that area. Ellison was the major figure in the Layton Milling Co, First National Bank of Layton, Layton Sugar Co., Ellison Ranching Co., and Ellison Milling and Elevator Co. He also served as president, director or manager of the following: Clearfield State Bank, Pingree National Bank, Deseret National Bank, Knight Sugar Co., Beneficial Life Insurance Co., Amalgamated Sugar Co., Western Ore and Purchasing Co., Utah Ore Sampling Co., Weber River Water Users Association, Ogden Sugar Factory, Knight Woolen Mills and several others. Ellison was involved with mining magnate Jesse Knight in many enterprises, was a financial counselor to the Mormon Church and served his church in numerous leadership capacities.
Christopher Layton, another prominent figure in the development of Layton and the Farmer’s Union had served in the Mormon Battalion and helped colonize Cardon Valley before settling near Kays Creek in 1858. A shrewd businessman, Layton became a successful ranger, farmer and miller and sat on the first territorial legislature. In 1862 he became the first Mormon bishop in Kaysville. A popular colonizer, Layton was sent by his church leaders to establish settlements in remote parts of Utah and Arizona. Cities were named after him in both states. Layton was a director of Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution (Z.C.M.I.) and like Ellison, directed and owned stock in many corporations. A polygamist with ten wives, one of his interesting enterprises was a steamship line which he operated on the Great Salt Lake.
George Washington Adams, Elias Adams, Jr., John Ellison, Thomas W. Hodson, Joseph Samuel Adams, William N. Nalder, Richard Felling and Alexander Dawson were other important citizens who were closely associated with the Farmer’s Union.
The Farmer’s Union was built in three sections, the first being erected in 1890, the second shortly thereafter, and the third in 1930. As originally built, the Farmer’s Union was a two-story store located slightly south of the southwest corner of Gentile Street and the old State Road, Layton’s primary downtown intersection. The building had a pent corner which faced the center of the intersection. It featured decorative stone, brick and woodwork and a scrolled pediment with the inscription: “Farmer’s Union, Established A.D. 1882.” The pent corner and pediment were removed when the 1930 addition was built. Also removed at that time were other Victorian ornamental elements belonging to the earlier two sections of the building. These included a coffered metal parapet wall, cornice, pinnacles with spiraled balls, and a paneled wooden bulwark. The original leaded glass transom windows and ornamental cornice grill have been concealed but are apparently intact.
Excellent documentation exists to substantiate the original appearance of the Farmer’s Union, including the architect’s original working drawings and early photographs. Structurally, the building has a brick superstructure with walls four bricks wide. The foundation walls are stone. The floors consists of standard wooden joists supported at midspan by a built-up girder over wooden posts. The roof is made of wooden trusses which are anchored into the masonry side walls by metal rods and plates. The simple load-bearing, post-and-beam structural system was also employed in the two subsequent additions. As the building grew, care was exercised to match floor and ceiling heights. The plans of architects Anderson and Young for the final addition in 1929 called for the retention and duplication of all original decorative elements. A revised set of plans in 1930, however, eliminated the historical ornamentation, whether for reasons of economy due to the Depression, or “streamlining” to be in step with modern architectural trends, is not recorded.
In its present appearance, the Farmer’s Union, is a white painted brick building, two stories in height and is roughly square in plan. The building has two “front” elevations, the east and north, both of which have new fenestration along the bottom floor but are fairly intact, except for the loss of the cornice, along the second floor. The east elevation features pairs of one-over-one windows within segmentally arched bays. Original wooden columns with Corinthian capitals adorn the center mullions of the older windows. They also feature foliated scrollwork in the arch panel. The window bays are set in planes which appear to be recessed because of pilasters which separate the bays. The north elevation is similar to the east with the exception that the windows are smaller and are contained within square bays. The “interior of the Farmer’s Union retains much of historic appearance. A small balcony has been added on the first floor level to increase floor space.
William Allen, the only architect practicing in the county at the time, designed the Farmer’s Union and its first addition. Alien, who became an architect in the 1870’s after taking a correspondence course, was responsible for designing most of the county’s landmarks until well after 1900. His better known works include: the Davis County Courthouse, Barnes Bank, West Layton Ward Church, Presbyterian Church, and Governor Henry Blood’s residence.
The Star Theater was built in 1923-24 for the Georgedes brothers: Pete, Angelo, Charlie, George and Harry. Natives of the Greek island of Mytelene, the Georgedes brothers immigrated to the United States and by the early 1920’s had become successful businessmen. The theater was designed by architect J. A. Headland of Salt Lake City. The architectural features, with Corinthian columns and second story masks representing figures from Greek Theater, reflect the Greek heritage of the original owners. In 1964, the building was acquired by Duane and LaVern Steele, and later acquired by Curtis Steele and Scott Sjostrom in 1985.
The West Jordan Mill is significant for its association with Archibald Gardner, a pioneer builder of canals and over 30 mills. Gardner was a dominant figure in the Salt Lake Valley as an early settler, aiding in the development of the new communities of Mill Creek, West Jordan, Big and Little Cottonwood, Spanish Fork, Pleasant Grove, American Fork, and others through building sawmills, flour mills, canals, roads, and dams all necessary in establishing productive settlements. His influence extended beyond Utah to Wyoming where he also built five mills. Prominent in politics as well, Gardner served as a delegate to various conventions^ including the drafting of the Utah constitution, and he served in the State Legislature for two terms. He was also a Mormon ecclesiastical leader in West Jordan for 32 years. The West Jordan Mill, which is also significant as one of Utah’s oldest few remaining flour mills, stands as a record of an industry essential to the pioneer agrarian economy and of a time when gristmills were found in almost every Mormon community. Mills were so important to new settlements that the machinery used in the first mill built in Utah was brought with the first company of pioneers. Other mills soon followed, and in about 1848 Gardner built the third” flour mill in Utah which was located at Mill Creek, in southeast Salt Lake Valley. Another mill site to the west of Mill Creek, in present day West Jordan, was chosen by Gardner and! there he moved and in 1853 built his second Utah flour mill. This mill was replaced in 1877 by the more “modern” structure which exists today. The West Jordan Mill is also an example of early industrial vernacular architecture in Utah which simulated on an over-sized scale the formal Federal style used for domestic architecture. The mill duplicated early homes in style, actually being an oversized frame house which had been equipped with the machinery and chutes of the flour industry (much of which still exists). Six other flour mills in Utah are currently listed, or nominated for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places, including: Isaac Chase Mill, Salt Lake County; Joseph Wall Gristmill, Sevier County; E. T. Benson Mill, Tooele County; Huntington Roller Mill, Emery County; Bicknell Gristmill, Wayne County; and the Burch-Taylor Mill (nominee), Weber County, The West Jordan Mill, although comparable in design to the latter four, represents the only example of the style in the southern part of the Salt Lake Valley .and the only documented example of an existing mill built by Gardner in the state of Utah.
Located at 1050 West 7800 South in West Jordan, Utah – the mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places (#82004153) on September 29, 1982.
Archibald Gardner, born in Scotland in 1814, emigrated to Canada with his family as a boy. At age 17 he undertook to build his first mill. He completed a second mill in Canada before becoming a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), for which he was persecuted by friends and neighbors. Taking his tools with him, Gardner and his family went to join the Mormon community in their journey west. The pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in October of 1847 and settled near streams to plant, irrigate, and power the mills essential to community life. Charles Crismon was immediately asked by the church High Council, which allocated and regulated economic rights, to build a gristmill on City Creek. Machinery had been brought with the first company of pioneers, and the mill began to operate as soon as November.
Gardner was involved in building a saw mill at Warm Springs which turned out the first saw-cut board in Utah. But the mill, powered by warm water, was unsuccessful and Gardner moved it to Mill Creek. There, he also built the third flour mill in Utah, two miles below one built by John Neff. Then in 1849-50 Gardner moved to an area almost uninhabited in West Jordan, at the south end of the Salt Lake Valley, to establish a sawmill. At a cost of $5000 he built a two-and-a-half mile long mill race from the Jordan River to power it. Adjacent to the sawmill he erected in 1853 a flour mill also powered by water. Early settlement centered around the West Jordan Mill. Other industries and businesses sprang up including a woolen mill, tannery, and blacksmith shop. The growing population increased demand and led to the decision by Gardner in 1877 to replace the old mill with “a better and more modern one.”
The new flour mill, built on a stone foundation, duplicated early homes in style. It was actually an oversized frame house which had been equipped with the machinery and chutes of the flour industry. This was common at a time when commercial and industrial buildings shared with their domestic counterparts the restrained architectural vocabulary of Federal and Greek Revival styles with their formal balance and symmetry. Thus, in the early industrial vernacular, a factory differed from a home primarily in scale.
Gardner built over 30 mills in his lifetime, including flour mills, sawmills, shingle mills, planing mills, and woolen mills. Brigham Young, LDS church president, once stated that Archibald Gardner and Daniel H. Wells were “doing more to furnish employment than any other two men in the State of Deseret.” These two made roads and built bridges into the canyons surrounding Salt Lake Valley making building materials available to the early settlers. Gardner was also very much involved in building irrigation canals and dams throughout the area, and his capable dispatch of construction projects made him prosperous and a man of affairs. When in 1863 the first silver mining district in Utah was organized by General Connor, Gardner was himself a shareholder and the recorder. When the railroads came to Utah, Gardner contracted to supply ties. As befit a man of his stature in the Mormon community, he took a number of wives, the eleventh and last in 1870, and fathered forty-eight children. Gardner was also active politically. He served as a delegate to various conventions, including the Territorial Convention when a constitution was drafted to organize a provisional state government and apply for statehood. He also served two terms in the state legislature. Also an ecclesiastical leader, Gardner served as Bishop of the West Jordan Ward for 32 years, and was Patriarch of the Jordan Stake.
In 1880 the West Jordan Mill was sold to Jonas Erickson. It was later converted to a roller mill and apparently sold or leased to Frederich A. Cooper. Cooper, once miller for Gardner, is listed as proprietor of the mill in the early 1890’s. In 1894 the West Jordan Manufacturing and Mercantile Co. was incorporated to buy and operate the mill and its surrounding cluster of enterprises which had at various times included a tannery, blacksmith shop, broom factory, mattress factory, woolen mill, sawmill, and general store. Gardner held no stock in the new company, nor did Cooper, although he may have been retained to operate the mill. The mill continued to operate and expand its plant until 1949. In 1967 the West Jordan Milling Co. was disincorporated and the building was used for grain storage until 1975. The current owners are restoring the building and it is being used as a country furniture store. Plans for converting it to a restaurant and further restoring it are underway. Existing machinery, wheels, and chutes will be preserved and incorporated in the décor.
Of the numerous flour mills which once existed in the United States, most of the small ones are gone and the big ones have become centralized and even larger. According to Willard Sandberg, in 1920 there were over 10,000 flour mills in the United States and now there are less than 250.
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.
The Beaver Main Post Office is a one-story, buff-colored brick building on a raised concrete basement. The front façade is symmetrical, divided into five bays devoid of significant detailing. A centered entry bay with two equally-sized window bays on either side break the otherwise plain façade. Granite steps and landing, flanked by square concrete buttresses, provide access to the entry. Above the entry doors, and fronting a transom window is an ornate aluminum grille in which a low-relief sculpted eagle is centered. The façade is terminated by a plain limestone frieze with a slightly projecting molded cornice. A hipped roof, clad with copper, covers the front portion of the building while the rear is covered by a flat built-up tar composition roof. Centered on the ridge of the hipped roof is a square copper and glass cupola.
Built in 1941 at 20 South Main Street in Beaver, Utah
The front facade (east) is divided into five flat-arched bays. The main entry bay is centered, and flanked on each side by two window bays. The entry bay is slightly recessed from the brick-faced facade and framed in wood. The entry consists of double metal doors with six-light glass panels, topped by a nine-light transom window which rests atop a plain wooden door head. The ornate painted aluminum grille, in which a flat relief sculpted eagle is centered, is set in front of the transom window. Single free-standing lanterns in a torch motif rest atop each of the entry buttresses.
The window bays are identical to each other and of the same dimension as the entry bay. The bays consist of triple-hung six-light windows of wood sash which are set above a plain sandstone panel. The panel is slightly recessed and rests on the limestone facing of the raised basement wall. A plain limestone frieze extends across the façade between the line marking the tops of the bays to a plain, slightly projecting sandstone cornice. “United States Post Office”, “Beaver, Utah” is carved into the frieze and centered on the entry. The copper-clad hipped roof is topped by a square cupola a copper base, centered copper louvers flanked by four-light glass panels, and flat copper cap. A weather vane is set atop the cap.
The south façade is flat and divided into two sections the front section projecting slightly relative to the rear. Each section contains two window bays identical in design and detail as those of the front façade. Sandstone faces the exposed basement wall, frieze above the window bays, and cornice. Brick faces the remainder of the façade. The hipped roof overlies the front section and the flat built-up tar composition roof covers the rear.
The north facade is almost identical to the south facade. It differs in that one window bay is filled with brick (original construction) and one small one-over-one light double-hung sash window flanks each side of the bricked-in window.
The rear facade is similar in design and use of materials as the front except that the entry has been replaced by a brick-enclosed concrete loading platform. Extending rearward, the platform is slightly offset from the center of the building. The platform opens to the north with a single metal overhead loading door and a single metal pedestrian door. The west and south sides are solid brick. A flat roof with a metal marquee which projects over the loading area covers the platform. Two window bays, identical to those of the front and sides of the main building, flank each side of the platform. A smaller vertically-aligned window with one-over-one, double-hung wood sash occupies the northern corner.
The physical appearance of the Beaver Post Office has not been altered. No major renovations have occurred since its 1941 construction.
Though not yet fifty years old, the Beaver Post Office is exceptionally significant on the state level for art and architecture and on the local level for politics/government. The design is a duplicate of several other western post offices, but it is the only example of Depression-era Federal architecture in Beaver. Moreover, it is the only example of its design-type in Utah. The building and the mural which it contains represent the efforts of the federal government, through its public works and art programs, to assist communities during a period of economic emergency. The mural, one of three post office murals in the state, represents a significant type, period, and style of artistic expression which, through its visual expression, relates to the social history of its locality. Finally, the building symbolizes the linkage between the federal government and local citizens through their home-grown Congressman, Abe Murdock.
The Beaver Main Post Office is a well-preserved and unaltered example of a small-town, single-purpose post office in the Starved Classical style. The building exhibits the modern or the International design influence in its flat facades and lack of explicitly articulated historical design elements, yet retains Classical symmetry and proportion. Flat brick piers, extending from the exposed basement wall to a broad limestone band, divide the five bays of the façade. These elements are reductions of the pilasters or columns, and the entablature of the Beaux-Arts designs. Ornamentation is stripped and limited to the ornate grille in which is set a low-relief eagle sculpture (also standardized) which rests above the entry doors. Although the building is given an American Colonial flavor by use of a hipped roof and cupola, the design is modern.
The design represents the culmination of the evolution of federal design in the vastly expanded public buildings programs beginning at the turn of the century. The buildings prior to 1920 were designed in the Beaux-Arts tradition. Those buildings of the early 1930s carry over this tradition, yet begin to show the transition to the modern. The Classical influence remains clear and the historical detailing retains its definition, however the facades become flatter and tend toward simplicity. Federal architecture after the mid-1930s evidences greater refinement and attention to the modern influence. This is strongly evident in the Beaver Post Office which represents the end of the design revolution, which essentially ended at the onset of World War II. As such, it is a significant element in the state’s legacy of federal architecture and integral to the group of post offices included in this thematic nomination. Therefore, the building has statewide significance under Criterion C.
According to Dan E. Burke, in the exhibition catalogue for Utah Art of the Depression (1986), the public arts programs sponsored by the federal government in Utah during the Depression were successful in not only in enriching the lives of Utah citizens but also for laying down the first stone in the foundation of a vital cultural movement. The first of the federal programs, the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), functioned from December 1933 to June 1934. Under the direction of the Women’s Division of the Utah Civil Works Administration, projects were initially assigned to Utah artists. Included in this body of work were sculptures, sketches, easel paintings and murals for the Utah State Capitol rotunda. After the initial projects were completed, several other artists received commissions to execute murals and easel paintings.
Following PWAP, arts programs were continued under the Federal Emergency Relief Administration of Utah (FERA) which existed in Utah from April 1, 1934 to July 1, 1935. Administered by Judy F. Lund, twenty-two artists produced eighty-three art works. These works included easel paintings, ceramic pieces, woodblock prints, sketches, sculptures, posters and the completion of the State Capitol dome murals. The program allowed completion of projects initiated under PWAP, provided additional opportunity for artists to produce their artwork, and continued federal support for the arts until the beginning of the Section of Painting and Sculpture.
The Section of Painting and Sculpture (renamed the Section of Fine Arts in 1938) was established by the Treasury Department on October 14, 1934. It was under this program that the Beaver mural and murals in the Provo and Helper post offices were completed. The Section, which was administered in Washington, dealt directly with the artists, and selected artists through national and regional design competitions. The Section sought the best decorative art that it could find for designated federal buildings. The intent of the program’s administrators was that the work would reflect the themes and styles of the American Scene, with a hope that it would strike a responsive chord in the general public. Although the program is attributed with having fostered an American Regionalism, art critics could never find a coherent body of work that was truly Regionalist or representative of particular sections of the country. The work that was created did, however, portray the American Scene in the form of localized subject matter. Further, the work resulting from the program tended to pursue an inoffensive middle ground of style and content which was sometimes viewed as producing limp platitudes rather than strong statements. This resulted from the requirement for final approval from Washington as well as compliance with local preferences. The strife or dark side of the Depression was not portrayed, but instead the nostalgic and positive events of the American Scene were depicted.
No Utah artist received a commission under the Section of Fine Arts program and none participated in the Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP) which was initiated in July 1935.
The WPA Federal Art Project (WPA/FAP) perhaps made the greatest contribution to the body of Utah art. Implemented in mid-1935, the Utah program was sponsored by the Utah State Institute of Fine Arts. Three areas of activity were covered by the program: (1) creation of art; (2) technical research; and (3) art applied to community service and art education. Several hundred works of art including fourteen murals were added to the collections of the State, and various public agencies and municipalities.
Beaver’s mural (approximately 12′ x 6′, oil on canvas), entitled “Life on the Plains”, is attached to the lobby wall over the Postmaster’s door. One of only three post office murals in the state, it was executed in 1943 for a sum of $740. The mural depicts prospectors panning for gold, wranglers rounding up a steer for branding, and traders dealing with local Indians. John W. Beauchamp, the artist, was born in Marion, Indiana on June 22, 1906. He studied under Richard E. Miller, Leon Kroll and P. Lewis Schlemmer and was awarded the Beck Medal for portraiture by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in 1935. His other post office murals included Millinocket, Maine and Muncey, Pennsylvania.
The Beaver Post Office is significant under Criterion A for its historic association with the federal government’s New Deal public arts programs. The mural is also significant under Criterion C as an integral part of a building that represents a significant type, period, and style of artistic expression. Finally, the building is eligible under Criterion D because of its information potential relating to artistic expression and techniques of the period, and social history of its locality.
Politics / Government
The building, the city’s first federally-constructed post office, is a legacy of the massive federal public works programs which were designed to assist local communities during a period of national economic emergency. Other WPA projects in Beaver at this time included work on local schools, an armory, reservoir, and racetrack. The post office also represents the efforts on the part of local citizens, through their elected representatives in Washington, D.C., to secure a federal building. This linkage is especially meaningful for Beaver since Congressman Abe Murdock (D), who served in the House from 1932 to 1940 and in the Senate from 1940 to 1946, was raised and practiced law in Beaver. The local press credited Murdock, “better known in Beaver as ‘Abe'”, as “the one man responsible” for the post office, and praised his “splendid efforts in behalf of our little city.”
Beaver City is in southwestern Utah on the high, Great Basin desert at the foot of the Tushar Mountains. It is the county seat of Beaver County and had an estimated 1984 population of 2,076. Tourism, agriculture and its status as the local retail and service center provide the base for the local economy.
Beaver City was founded by Mormon pioneers in 1856 on the banks of the Beaver River. Because of its high altitude (6,000 feet which makes for a short growing season) and arid climate, Beaver was settled primarily as a stock raising village, though local farmers have always grown hay, corn and oats. Ross A. Rogers was appointed the settlement’s first postmaster on July 24, 1857. After the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857, many of the refugees from the abandoned Mormon mission in San Bernardino settled in Beaver, considerably boosting its population. But the young community faced so many hardships and experienced such poverty that church leaders decided new leadership was necessary. John Riggs Murdock of Lehi became Beaver’s new leader in 1864 and soon things began to improve. By 1868, there were approximately 1,000 people living in Beaver. It had been designated county seat, and it appeared that the tentative community had finally taken root as a permanent settlement.
In 1870 a woolen factory was built and in 1873 a U.S. military post (Fort Cameron) was established in Beaver. Both contributed greatly to Beaver’s growth. By the 1870s Beaver had also become a crossroad for travelers as well as a supplier for the nearby mining towns. While Fort Cameron closed in 1883 and the mills closed in 1900, Beaver’s role as a mining supplier and traveler’s stop helped it to maintain its commercial position. In 1900 Beaver’s population was 1,701; it has fluctuated very little since then (its 1980 population was 1,792). When mining operations in western Beaver County began to decline after the 1910s, it was about then that motor vehicles become more popular and plentiful and Beaver again emerged as an important spot for travelers (this time for tourists).
The Beaver Post Office is on the southwest corner of Main Street and West Center Street in the city’s central business district. Adjacent land uses include the Beaver City Library (one-story brick, Neoclassical/ NHR) to the west and the Beaver Stake Visitor’s Center (one-story log cabin, 1940, on site of 1865-1866 Tabernacle) to the south. The National Guard Armory (discussed in news coverage of Post Office construction) is south of the log cabin. North of the site, across West Center, is the Mansfield, Murdock & Co. Store (two-story brick, NHR). Two-story brick buildings are north of the Mansfield, Murdock Building (commercial block). One-story brick commercial buildings are in the block opposite the Post Office to the northeast and across Main to the east. Although the Post Office is not within an historic district, the buildings noted as NHR are included in the Beaver Multiple Resource Area which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Local newspaper coverage of the construction of the Beaver Main Post Office
In 1937 Beaver celebrated the 80th anniversary of its 1857 founding. During this time the Beaver Press was able to report considerable progress for the city: on May 21st it reported that the Chamber of Commerce was planning a $22,000 racetrack for the city, on August 6th it announced that Beaver’s new $25,000 theatre would open that night, and on October 8th it reported that the Beaver City Bank would soon be opening (the town had been without a bank since the closing of the State Bank of Beaver County). The year before there had been discussion of a new hospital and a new armory (articles of March 6, and March 20, 1936).
1938 brought news of progress for Beaver’s federal building. On August 4, 1938 the Beaver Press reported “Bids Opened Today for Federal Building Site” (two bids were received) . An article of September 22nd explained that congress had approved the building during the last session, primarily due to the “inexhaustible efforts of Congressman Murdock, better known in Beaver as ‘Abe’.” (Abe Murdock (D), a resident of Beaver, served in the U.S. Congress from 1932 to 1940, and in the U.S. Senate from 1940 to 1946.) The same article revealed that a new choice for the site was a centrally located corner site, owned by the church. The church was asking $10,000 for the property, but was willing to lower the price to $7,500 if the City Council would agree to sponsor a $2,500 project to improve the adjoining park.
In 1938 the Beaver Press also reported further discussion of the racetrack, which would be built with WPA funds (August 18th article) and it was reported that $160,000 worth of work was slated for Beaver schools, with $72,000 coming from the WPA (July 27th and September 29th articles). An article of October 27th commented on the “considerable building and construction work in Beaver County” and mentioned a reservoir project that would also utilize WPA funds. On November 17th the paper announced that the corner site had been approved for the federal building. It was reported that the building would house the Post Office, Forest Service, Farm Administration, County Agent and Welfare Office, and that “this project will help the unemployment problem.”
Bids for Beaver’s federal building were requested in the Beaver Press on February 8, 1940. On March 7th it was announced that John Bernstson of Salt Lake City was the low bidder with a bid of $53,436. An article of April 18th reported that excavation was complete, construction had started, and gave credit to Congressman Murdock for his effort in securing the project for Beaver. Another Beaver project was discussed in a Beaver Press editorial of May 2nd the armory. The editorial noted that the armory project would give employment to WPA workers and cost $50,000 (Beaver would contribute $4,300 and the site). A week later the paper reported that the city had agreed on a site and the cash for the armory (May 9th article).
An article of June 6th noted “work progressing on Federal Building” the plumbing was in and concrete was being poured but on September 12th it was reported “$80,000 Federal Project Delayed.” Work had been suspended due to failing quarry conditions in the area; arrangements had been made to ship in limestone from Bedford, Indiana. “Beaver May Have to Wait Until Next Summer for New Post Office” was the story of September 26, when it was reported there had been communication with Bedford regarding the “much needed limestone.” A month later it was reported that work was moving forward bricklayers were setting stone, the lawn was in and sidewalks and driveways were completed (October 17th article).
On September 25 , 1941 a front page photograph of the Federal Building illustrated an article reporting that the building had been officially opened on September 2nd. On October 3rd another front page article gave credit to Senator Abe Murdock as “the one man responsible for this fine structure” and praised his “splendid efforts in behalf of our little city.” The paper also noted that “construction was started over a year ago, but because of the rapidly increasing demand for materials for national defense programs it was not until just a few weeks ago that the building was finished.”