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Tooele County Town Hall and Courthouse

Published / by Michael Anderson-McEwan / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Michael Anderson-McEwan

Placed by: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, No. 84, Utah American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and Tooele City Corporation, and The National Register of Historic Places

GPS coordinates: Latitude: 40.530757  Longitude: -112.297398

Photo Credit: picryl.com (Accessed 3.14.19)

Historical Marker Text (1):

Erected in 1867 as a county court house. Active in construction were James Hammond, William Broad, Isaac Lee, W.C. Collaher, John Gillespie, George Atkin and john Gordon. The building was used for court house, city hall and amusement center, until 1941, when the new city hall on Main Street was completed. Later the building was turned over to the daughters of Utah pioneers for use as an amusement and meeting hall. Rock used in building was taken from settlement canyon in Tooele County.

Historical Marker Text (2):

Dedicated to the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the United States of America and sponsored by the Utah American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and Tooele City Corporation. Built in 1867 as a meeting hall, this building also served as County Courthouse and City Hall, with a jail in the rear. In 1941, the building was given to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers who have maintained it as a museum. They and Tooele City have renovated the building.

Historical Marker Text (3):

This Greek Revival temple-form building was constructed in 1867 using local stone. The belfry, added sometime after 1874, is picturesque in style and has lathe-turned posts accentuated by scroll brackets, a distinctive spindle band, and a slightly bellcast pyramid roof. The hall was built, according to a newspaper article of the time, by the citizens of Tooele “for a dancing hall, for dramatic representations and other social and intellectual purposes.” It was leased to William C. Foster and Thomas Craft but was also used for holding court and other city and country business. Live entertainment, however, proved financially unsuccessful, and by 1871 the hall was utilized primarily as a courthouse. In 1899 a new courthouse was constructed, and the building became solely the city hall. In 1942, with the construction of a new city hall, it was authorized for use as a museum by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. Marker placed in 1991.

Extended research:

The Tooele County Courthouse and City Hall was constructed in 1867 thanks to the combined efforts and planning of James Hammond, William Broad, Isaac Lee, W.C. Collaher, John Gillespie, George Atkin, and John Gordon (Atkin and Gillespie would later serve on one of Tooele City’s first city councils, see image). Using stone sourced from nearby Settlement Canyon, they constructed the only extant temple-form city hall in Utah (and the oldest known to date)¹ with the total cost for the initial construction and furnishing of the hall adding up to $600² ($10884.91 adjusted for the 2018 inflation rate).³

Tooele City council featuring George Atkin and John Gillespie (3rd and 6th from the right) (Photo credit: Utah State Historical Society)

The hall was meant to be used as both a social and governmental space, but due to the lack money in the territory⁴, few Tooele residents were able to scrape together the necessary $400 to rent out the building. The hall’s managers soon found themselves unable to make ends meet and they were forced to use the building and its furnishings as collateral to pay off overdue rent to the city in April of 1871. From then on, it was used predominantly as the county’s city hall, jail, and courthouse⁵ and was used as such until the county built a new courthouse in 1899 and a new city hall in 1941.⁶

After city officials moved to the new city hall in 1942, they granted the Daughters of Utah Pioneers a 50-year lease on the property, which they converted into a museum of local history.⁷ An addition to the building in 1975 connected it to the adjacent Sons of Utah Pioneers Museum (formerly Carnegie library), creating what is today known as Pioneer Plaza. These two museums possess a wide array of artifacts from local history, including an entire log cabin (originally built in 1855) which occupies the lot next door to the courthouse where a fire station formerly stood.⁸

[1]National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form page 2

[2]Information from an interview I conducted on site with one of the Hall’s current docents, Judy Schneider

[3]“The Inflation Calculator,” Morgan Friedman, accessed March 15, 2019

[4]George W. Tripp, Early Tooele A Documented Chronology 1867-1874. Vol. II, 5, Accessed April 5, 2019.

[5]NRHP nomination form page 4

[6]Ouida Nuhn Blanthorn, A History of Tooele County (Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1998), 86-87, accessed March 14, 2019.

[7]NRHP Nomination form page 6

[8]Interview with Judy Schneider

For Further reference:

Primary sources:

Tooele City Council. 1850-1870. Utah State Historical Society Classified Photo Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Tooele. In Tooele City Council. UT: Utah State Historical Society, 2013. Accessed March 14, 2019.

Secondary sources:

Blanthorn, Ouida Nuhn. A History of Tooele County. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Historical Society, 1998. Accessed March 14, 2019.

Friedman, Morgan. The Inflation Calculator. Accessed March 15, 2019.

Schneider, Judy. “On the History of Tooele County Courthouse and City Hall.” Interview by author. March 1, 2019.

Tripp, George W. Early Tooele A Documented Chronology 1867-1874. Vol. II. Accessed April 5, 2019.

United States. United States Department of the Interior Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service. Tooele County Courthouse and City Hall. By UDSH Staff. National Park Service. 1-6. Accessed March 14, 2019.

Salt Lake Temple

Published / by Matthew Berrett / Leave a Comment

Written by Matthew Berrett

Placed by: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Geographic Coordinates: 40°46’14” N 111°53’29” W

Marker Transcription:

“The temple is used by Church members for marriages and other sacred ordinances designed to strengthen families, both now and for eternity. Begun in 1853, it was completed 40 years later. Granite rock used in its construction was hauled 23 miles by ox-drawn wagons from Little Cottonwood Canyon. The walls are nine feet thick at the ground level and narrow to six feet thick at the top. The east center tower is 210 feet high and is topped by the statue of an angel heralding the restoration to earth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter days.”

Extended Research

Photo Credit: Church History Library. Wilford Woodruff Journal page dated July 28th 1847.

Four days after Brigham Young entered the Salt Lake Valley, he took members of the church’s governing Quorum of Twelve Apostles with him to a site for a new temple. The original idea for a temple block included forty acres, perfectly placed so the city would grow and develop in all directions from its central location North, South, East, and West. The location of the temple was not merely a religious center, but as Young envisioned it. It would serve as the geographic center for the entire Salt Lake Valley.[1]

The construction of the Salt Lake Temple also parallels the events that led to the development of the territory and eventually to statehood for Utah. The Salt Lake Temple’s long forty year construction process reflects the political strain that developed between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the U.S government.

Beginning of Construction

After the initial selection of a temple block in 1847 the actual construction of the temple began in 1852 when workers completed a wall surrounding ten square acres, a scaled down version of the forty acres Young originally envisioned. The groundbreaking and eventual cornerstone ceremony took place on 6 April 1853. The temple cornerstones were cut out of what is now known as Red Butte Canyon, located just east of the University of Utah.[2]

Design of the temple had started long before the actual dedication of the cornerstones. Truman O. Angell was the chief architect on the temple under the supervision of Church leaders including, Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff.[3] Young would often visit Angell and give instruction on how the temple should be constructed but would leave the interpretation of what he said up to Angell and the other architects. One of Young’s visits was documented as follows:

Sketch of temple spires.

“Brigham Young drew upon a slate in the architect’s office a sketch, and said to Truman O, Angell: “there will be three towers on the east, representing the President and his two counselors; also three towers on the west representing the Presiding Bishop and his two counselors; the towers on the east, the Melchizedek Priesthood, those on the west the Aaronic Priesthood. The centre towers will be higher than those on the sides, and the west towers a little lower than those on the east end. The body of the building will be between these and pillars will be necessary to support the floors.”[4]

Photo Credit: Church History Library. Truman Angell journal page of payments for workers.

The Romanesque and Gothic design can be attributed to Brigham Young and his missions to England. Young, served missions in England from 1839-1841 and fell in love and even obsessed over English history and architecture.[5] Young was especially enamored with Westminster Abbey in London. He even purchased an architectural guide to the Abbey itself.[6] Young sent Angell to Europe to study English and European architecture. Angell eventually returned with a negative attitude toward European architecture, but he used what he learned from his trip and developed his own style. Angell, for example, relied more on the design of the Nauvoo Temple than what he had learned in England and Europe.[7] Upon returning Angell became more and more involved in the temple construction process. Angell kept meticulous details of the dimensions of each room, as well as the payments of each stonecutter that worked on the temple.[8] His journals reveal the commitment that Angell had to the construction process of the temple. A similar devotion was found among all of the workers of the temple.

The Utah War

The construction of the temple came to a halt in 1857 when word reached Salt Lake City that the U.S military was on their way to “subdue an alleged rebellion” in the territory of Utah.[9] In response the workers buried the foundation of the temple so as to keep the sacred ground from becoming desecrated by the incoming army. Young also charged all Latter-day Saints to evacuate the city and to be prepared to burn it to the ground if the army invaded.[10] Fortunately the army marched peacefully through an abandoned city in 1858, and construction on the temple resumed thereafter. After uncovering the buried foundation the workers discovered that the sandstone cornerstones had cracked under the weight of the dirt of the reburial. The workers thus knew that stronger cornerstones needed to be found and the old sandstone cornerstones needed to be completely replaced.

Post War Construction

Photo Credit: churchofjesuschrist.org

Heber C. Kimball, first councilor to Brigham Young, asked his fellow Saints after the discovery of the cracked sandstone: “Shall we have the Temple built of stone from Red Butte, adobes, rock or the best stone the mountains afford?” He insisted that the Latter-day Saints “build a Temple of the best materials that can be obtained in the mountains of North America.”[11] The ‘best material’ was found in the Cottonwood canyons located nineteen miles southeast of the city center, where large caches of granite rock were located and were the perfect stone from which to build a temple.[12] By 1860 teams were hauling large granite stones from little Cottonwood canyon to the temple block.[13] The granite blocks were so large and heavy a team of four oxen took three to four days to travel from the canyon to the city center with one large boulder. The construction process thus took longer than expected.[14] The first showings of the walls from the deep foundation of the temple were not seen above ground until the end of the 1867 building season.

The Transcontinental Railroad

Photo Credit: templesquare.com

The completion of the transcontinental railroad in May 1869 both delayed construction on the temple and hastened its completion. Brigham Young initially asked that all able men, even those who were working on the temple, stop and help complete the transcontinental railroad. The railroad offered paying jobs and proved a boost to Utah’s economy.[15] Young also recognized that with the development of the main rail line, smaller lines would eventually reach the Salt Lake valley and from there they would extend towards Little Cottonwood Canyon where large amounts of granite could be loaded and brought back to the temple block. The first railroad branches reached Cottonwood canyon in 1873.[16]

The Capstone

Photo Credit: chruchofjesuschrist.org

After the passing of Brigham Young in 1877, his successors oversaw the slow pace of temple construction. By the time Wilford Woodruff became Church president in 1887, the temple walls were still being built. By 1892 the three spires on the West and the East ends of the temple were completed and the famous golden statue of the Angel Moroni was set in place. The Angel Moroni is an important figure in Mormonism, believed by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to be the messenger sent from God to the faiths founder, Joseph Smith to direct him where to find the golden plates, which Smith then claimed to translate into the Book of Mormon.The angel Moroni statue measures twelve and a half feet high, and was designed and sculpted by C.E. Dallin.[17]

Following the addition of the angel, Woodruff announced that the interior of the temple would be completed in one year’s time. The dedication date for the completed structure was then set for the 6th of April 1893, making it forty years to the day of the original cornerstone dedication in 1853.

The Dedication, April 6th 1893

Just as promised, the first dedicatory session of the Salt Lake Temple started on Wednesday, 6 April 1893. The interior paint of the temple must have still been drying when the first session began, given that the interior workers finished the day before the dedication. The first session was attended by the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other authorities of the Church and their families. Within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all temple dedications involve a prayer to sanctify and protect the temple.[18] After the dedicatory prayer the temple becomes operational for religious ceremonies and practices only for members of the faith who meet given requirements.[19]

The Exterior

The gothic look of the Salt Lake temple has made it one of the most unique and noticeable buildings in the city and state. Millions of people flock to Temple Square each year to see the temple for themselves. Temple architects wanted to make sure that visitors recognized that the temple was a different kind of building. The exterior was to be “widely different” from “cathedral, tabernacle, mosque or synagogue.”[20]

On the walls of the temple there are found carvings of the earth, moon, sun, stars, and clouds, all designed to remind worshipers that the work that goes on inside the temple is to lift thoughts and actions away from the world and towards deity. Also the constellation of Ursa Major is found on the West side on the center spire. The symbolism behind the constellation most commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere is meant to suggest to those that might have lost their way that the temple is a constant guiding beacon just like Ursa Major.[21] An “All seeing eye” and an opened scroll with the statement “I am Alpha and Omega” along with another carving of hands grasped together in fellowship are also found on the exterior walls of the temple, all meant to symbolize the nature of the worship performed within the walls.[22] All of these carvings were handmade out of granite stone and placed on the exterior of the temple.[23] The entirety of the Temple building is symbolic of a fortress ready to defend those who enter into the building – a fortress to protect the beliefs and to help them separate themselves from the busy city. The temple block also serves as another barrier from the world.[24]

The Salt Lake Temple is a religious building completed in the 19th century and still used today in the 21st century. Weddings and other sacred rituals are performed inside to help members of the faith to remember their God and how to return back to his presence. Being able to go inside is a sacred responsibility that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are asked to take seriously. Visitors are welcome to visit and learn more about the temple at the visitor centers located on Temple Square.


[1] Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff Journal and Papers 1828-1898 (Salt Lake City: Church History Library, 1847) 80-81.

[2] Paul Richards, The Salt Lake Temple Infrastructure: Studying it Out in Their Minds (Provo: Brigham Young University, 1996) 206-208.

[3] Charles Mark Hamilton, “The Salt Lake Temple: An Architectural Monograph” (PhD diss., Ohio State University, 1979)

[4] Hamilton, “The Salt Lake Temple,” 61.

[5] Hamilton, “The Salt Lake Temple,” 53.

[6] Hamilton, “The Salt Lake Temple,” 54.

[7] Hamilton, “The Salt Lake Temple,” 56-57.

[8] Truman Angell, Record Book 1853-1881 (Salt Lake City: Church History Library, 1871) 55-152.

[9] James Talmage, The House of the Lord: A Study of Holy Sanctuaries Ancient and Modern (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1912), 126.

[10] Richard Poll, and William MacKinnon, “Causes of the Utah War Reconsidered,” Journal of Mormon History 20 No. 2 (Fall 1994): 42.

[11] Talmage, “The House of the Lord,” 128.

[12] Hamilton, “The Salt Lake Temple,” 65.

[13] Richards, “The Salt Lake Temple Infrastructure,” 206.

[14] Talmage, “The House of the Lord,” 129.

[15] Thomas Stevens, “The Union Pacific Railroad and the Mormon Church, 1868-1871: An in Depth Study of the Financial Aspects of Brigham Young’s Grading Contract and its Ultimate Settlement” (MA Thes., Brigham Young University, 1972), 102-106.

[16] Talmage, “The House of the Lord,” 133.

[17] Talmage, “The House of the Lord,” 162.

[18] Samuel Brown, “A Sacred Code: Mormon Temple Dedication Prayers, 1836-2000.”Journal of Mormon History 32, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 177.

[19] Talmage, “The House of the Lord,” 148.

[20] Talmage, “The House of the Lord,” 160.

[21] Richard Oman, “Exterior Symbolism of the Salt Lake Temple: Reflecting the Faith That Called the Place into Being.” BYU Studies Quarterly 36, Iss. 4. (1996): 12.

[22] Oman, “Exterior Symbolism,” 21.

[23] Talmage, “The House of the Lord,” 163-165.

[24] Oman, “Exterior Symbolism,” 10.


For Further Reference

Primary Sources

Wilford Woodruff journals and papers, 1828-1898; Wilford Woodruff Journals, 1833-1898; Wilford Woodruff journal, 1847 January-1853 December; Church History Library https://catalog.lds.org/assets/a5c827b5-938d-4a08-b80e-71570704e323/0/87

Angell, Truman Osborn 1810-1887. Record book, 1853-1881. 1-152. https://catalog.lds.org/assets/626b24e6-5a44-4300-888e-041c1732213b/1/0

Angell, Truman Osborn 1810-1887. Journal, 1867 April-1868 April. https://catalog.lds.org/assets/626b24e6-5a44-4300-888e-041c1732213b/2/0

Secondary Sources

Brown, Samuel. “A Sacred Code: Mormon Temple Dedication Prayers, 1836-2000.” Journal of Mormon History 32, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 173-196.

Hamilton, Charles Mark. 1979. “The Salt Lake Temple: An Architectural Monograph.” PhD diss., Ohio State University, 1979.

Oman, Richard G. “Exterior Symbolism of the Salt Lake Temple: Reflecting the Faith That Called the Place into Being.” BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 36: Iss. 4, Article 2 (1996): 7-68.

Poll, Richard D, and William P. MacKinnon. “Causes of the Utah War Reconsidered.” Journal of Mormon History 20, no. 2 (1994): 16-44.

Richards, Paul C. “The Salt Lake Temple Infrastructure: Studying It Out in Their Minds.” In BYU Studies Quarterly 36, no 2 (1996): 203-221.

Stevens, Thomas M. “The Union Pacific Railroad and the Mormon Church, 1868-1871: An in Depth Study of the Financial Aspects of Brigham Young’s Grading Contract and Its Ultimate Settlement.” MA Thesis., Brigham Young University, 1972.

Talmage, James E. The House of the Lord: A Study of Holy Sanctuaries Ancient and Modern. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1912

Images

“Building Zion.” Chapter 16 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-16?lang=eng.

“Church History Topics.” Angel Moroni. https://www.lds.org/study/history/topics/angel-moroni?lang=eng

 Flitton, Alexandra, Alexandra Flitton, Myrna Clawson, Jessica Doxey, Kenny Howcroft, Jennifer Simpson, Mustapha Hadjrabia, Jerry Christopherson, and David Hilton. “Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About the Salt Lake Temple.” Temple Square. September 27, 2018. https://www.templesquare.com/blog/interesting-facts-you-didnt-know-about-the-salt-lake-temple/.

Oman, Richard G. 1996. “Exterior Symbolism of the Slat Lake Temple: Reflecting the Faith That Called the Plance into Being.” BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 36 : Iss. 4, Article 2. 7-68.

Richards, Paul C. 1996. “The Salt Lake Temple Infrastructure: Studying It Out in Their Minds.” In BYU Studies Quarterly, 203-221. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University.

“Salt Lake Temple.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. https://www.lds.org/temples/details/salt-lake-temple.

Beehive House

Published / by Daniel Wahlquiest / Leave a Comment

Write-up by: Daniel Wahlquist

Placed by:

Young Men’s and Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Associations and Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association

GPS Coordinates:

40°46’9” N 111°53’23”W

Transcript of marker:

No 50 June 9, 1935 The Bee-Hive House Erected about 1852 by President Brigham Young as the official residence of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and occupied by him from the time it was completed until his death in 1877. From 1852 to 1855 it also served as the executive mansion of Governor Brigham Young of the Territory of Utah. It was also the home of Presidents Lorenzo Snow (1898-1901) and Joseph F. Smith (1901-1918), both of whom died here. The bee-hive is the state emblem signifying industry.

Extended Research:

The Beehive House was built in 1854 as the primary residence of Brigham Young as the first territorial governor of Utah and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City at the intersection of State Street and South Temple (during the time of the home’s construction it was called Brigham Street).[1]  It is a two-story building with cement coating, large wrap-around porches, and topped with a large gilded beehive which inspired its official name: the Beehive House.[2]  

Figure 1: Beehive House and Eagle Gate (“Courtesy of the Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.”
Figure 2: Truman Osborn Angell (Courtesy of Temple Square Hospitality, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.”)

The LDS architect of the Beehive House was Truman Osborn Angell. He was the LDS church’s resident architect and designed many of the prominent buildings in Utah Territory. His projects included but are not limited to the Salt Lake and St. George Temples; The Council House; the Social Hall; the Old Tabernacle; several meeting houses; the Utah Territorial Statehouse located in Fillmore; Brigham Young’s first grand residence, the White House; and the later addition to the Beehive house, the Lion House. Angell was a finish carpenter by trade and gained valuable experience working on various projects for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, including the Kirtland and Nauvoo temples. He was called on a European mission and in addition to preaching the LDS gospel, Angell was assigned to study architecture. While Angell had close relationships with many church leaders throughout his life, the most influential was Brigham Young who married his sister Mary Ann. He enjoyed a close relationship with Brigham Young and looked up to him as a father figure.[3]

Figure 3: Interior Room of Beehive House by Michael McConkie, (Courtesy of the Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints).

The primary function of the Beehive House was to serve as an official residence of Brigham Young in his role as both President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as the territorial governor.  It housed a small number of his family, out of town visitors, and provided a place to entertain visiting dignitaries and celebrities.  Notable visitors included President Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, Horace Greely, and Tom Thumb.[4]

Figure 4: Brigham Young’s homes, Salt Lake City (Courtesy of the Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.)

Brigham Young had several residences in the Salt Lake Valley as well as throughout the Utah Territory.  In 1856, two years after the Beehive House was complete, he constructed the Lion House that served as housing for several of his wives and children.[5] The Beehive House however, was home to second wife (nonplural at marriage), Mary Ann Angell.  She lived in the Beehive house on and off until 1860 when she moved into what was referred to as the White House (or Mansion House), a few blocks away.[6]  She tended to enjoy a more secluded life and the hustle and bustle of the Beehive House did not suit her. Upon Mary Ann’s relocation, Lucy Decker, Brigham’s third wife moved in with her seven children and assumed the role of managing the home.  Near this time, Brigham deeded the Beehive House to Decker.[7]  She lived there until she sold it to John W. Young, a son of Brigham and Mary Ann Young.[8]

Figure 5: Beehive House (Courtesy of the Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.)

Brigham Young wore many figurative hats.  He was a business man, provider and patriarch to twenty-seven wives (although sealed to fifty-six, only twenty-seven were a part of his households) and fifty-seven children, politician and religious leader.[9]  It was his style to be all of these at all times.  It was common for Brigham Young to bring up secular matters in religious sermons and vice versa.  He would preach to his children and discuss politics with various family members.  His finances were similarly difficult to separate.  Young trusted his bookkeeper to keep clear books, but his various accounts would borrow from one another.[10] This resulted in a level of uncertainty about who actually owned his various properties.  For example, who was the owner of the Beehive House? Was it Brigham Young’s family home, an official state home, or was it church property where the president resided? The answer was that it was all of these.  Since Brigham Young deeded it to Lucy Decker, it can be assumed he saw it as a personal family home. This issue however did cause some disagreements after Young’s death in 1877.

Figure 6: Beehive House and Eagle Gate with Cobblestone Wall (Courtesy of the Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.)

Living in the home was a communal experience.  Despite the fact that the Beehive House served as the official residence of only a single family, it was also considered a home of last resort for newly arriving young people from Europe that had no family or friends to stay with.  Young men were given jobs and young women, much to Lucy’s chagrin became students of the art of domesticity.[11]  Nearly every morning Brigham Young would eat breakfast at the Beehive House with Lucy and her children.  He would then go to the office located between the Lion and Beehive Houses.  He would eat dinner with nearly fifty family members at the Lion House in the evenings followed by a family prayer. This tradition was faithfully observed regardless of what was on his agenda.  He would frequently put meetings on hold and join his family.[12]

Figure 7: Deseret New Clipping January 20, 1893

During the time Brigham Young lived there, the Beehive House also served as a form of refuge and security from unfriendly forces.  Several times a flag was raised above the Beehive on top of the house, hundreds of men would come and surround the house to protect Brother Brigham.  To further protect the residential compound, a nine-foot cobblestone wall was built.  In addition to protecting his family, it provided work for the aforementioned young men arriving from abroad.[13]

In 1888, John W. Young purchased the property from Lucy Decker.  During the period of his ownership the home underwent major renovations and nearly doubled in size. In 1893, Young lost the home to pay off debts incurred in a lawsuit. The home was auctioned off and purchased by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It then served as the official residence of the President of the Church.[14] In 1900, LDS President Lorenzo Snow moved into the Beehive House and lived there until his death. His successor Joseph F. Smith lived there until is death in 1918.  Heber J. Grant, Smith’s successor, chose not to reside in the Beehive House.  The home remained vacant for a couple of years and underwent some minor renovations.

Figure 8: David A. Smith on porch of Beehive House (Courtesy of the Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.)
Figure 9: President Joseph F. Smith in automobile in front of Beehive House (Courtesy of the Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.)

In 1920, following trends set in other cities, the Church decided to transform the Beehive House into a boarding home of sorts for women working or attending school in the city. Most young women living in the Beehive House either worked at the Church Office Building or attended LDS University. This use continued into the late 1950s. 

In 1959, the Church decided to restore the Beehive House to what it was like in its original form. A group was created, mostly comprised of Brigham Young’s descendants, to discover the original structure, assemble original furniture and furnishing and design a layout using a variety of written descriptions. In 1970, The Beehive House became a part of the National Register of Historic Places.  Since that time, it has been open to the public for tours.[15]


[1] Leonard J. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses. (Chicago, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1985), 169.

[2] Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, 170.

[3] Paul L. Anderson, “Truman O. Angell” Architect and Saint,” Supporting Saints: Life Stories of Nineteenth-Century Mormons (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1985), 133–73.

[4] Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, 329; National Register of Historic Places, Beehive House, Salt Lake County, Utah, National Register #702439002.

[5] R. Scott Lloyd, “Lecture at Church History Symposium discusses the Beehive House, the Lion House and the young women of the Church”, Deseret News, 10 March 2016.

[6] John G. Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet. (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012), 236.

[7] Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, 329.

[8] Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, 329; John G. Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, 236.

[9] Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, 420-421; Jeffery Ogden Johnson, “Determining and Defining ‘Wife’: The Brigham Young Households,” Dialogue, A Journal of Mormon Thought 20 (Autumn 1987):57-70.

[10] Leonard J. Arrington and Ronald K. Esplin, “Building a Commonwealth: The Secular Leadership of Brigham Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly 45, no. 3 (1977): 216-232; Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, 178-182.

[11] Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, 330.

[12] Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, 329; John G. Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, 236.

[13] National Register of Historic Places, Beehive House, Salt Lake County, Utah, National Register #702439002; John G. Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, 298.

[14] National Register of Historic Places, Beehive House, Salt Lake County, Utah, National Register #702439002.; “The Beehive House Sold,” Deseret News, January 20, 1893.

[15] National Register of Historic Places, Beehive House, Salt Lake County, Utah, National Register #702439002; Lloyd, “Lecture at Church History Symposium”.

For Further Reference

Primary Sources

Photograph Citations:

Figure 1

F.I. Monsen and Company (Photography Studio). Beehive House and Eagle Gate.

Figure 2

Tammy Reque, “Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About the Salt Lake Temple,” Temple Square Blog, July 20, 2018.

Figure 3

Lion and Beehive houses, 1983.

Figure 4

Brigham Young’s homes, Salt Lake City.

Figure 5

Horrocks, Samuel 1873-1927. Photographs of historical buildings in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Figure 6

“The Beehive House Sold,” Deseret News, January 20, 1893.

Figure 7

Charles W. Carter glass negative collection, circa 1860-1900; Items 121-135; Salt Lake City, Beehive House and Eagle Gate; Church History Library.

Figure 8

Beehive House, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1918 January 17.

Figure 9

Beehive House family photographs, circa 1896-1917; Beehive House Family Photographs; One of the first automobiles in Salt Lake City; Church History Library.

National Register of Historic Places, Beehive House, Salt Lake County, Utah, National Register #702439002. 

Secondary Sources

Anderson, Paul L. “Truman O. Angell” Architect and Saint,” Supporting Saints: Life Stories of Nineteenth-Century Mormons. Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1985.

Arrington, Leonard J., Brigham Young: American Moses. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1985.

Arrington, Leonard J.  and Ronald K. Esplin, “Building a Commonwealth: The Secular Leadership of Brigham Young”, Utah Historical Quarterly 45, no. 3 (1977): 216-232.

Johnson, Jeffery Ogden. “Determining and Defining ‘Wife’: The Brigham Young Households,” Dialogue, A Journal of Mormon Thought 20 (Autumn 1987):57-70.

Lloyd, R. Scott. “Lecture at Church History Symposium discusses the Beehive House, the Lion House and the young women of the Church”, Deseret News, 10 March 2016.

Turner, John G. Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012.

Murray Smelting

Published / by Greg Murray / Leave a Comment

Write-up by Gregory Murray 

Placed by: Murray Chapter of the Utah Sons of the Pioneers 

GPS Coordinates: 40°39’25” N 111°52’36” W 

Historical Marker Text: 

Gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc were found at Alta, Park City and Tintic in the years 1834 to 1869. Since no smelting was done in the state or the surrounding area, smelters had to be built. Billy Moran built the first smelter at 5189 South State Street on American Hill in 1869. The Woodhall Brothers built the first furnace on State Street by Big Cottonwood Creek June 1870. In 1871 the Germania Refinery & Wasatch Smelter were erected west of State Street on opposite sides of Little Cottonwood Creek. The Hanauer Smelter was built in 1872. The Horn Silver Smelter at 200 West 4800 South and the Highland Boy Plant 800 West Bullion came on stream 1880-1886. American Smelting and Refining Company took over the Germania Plant operations and later built a plant at 5200 South State St. which began operations in 1902. 

Smelting and ore refining grew from 0 tons to thousands of tons of ore per day. The need for smelting eventually decreased and in November 1950, the great smelting operation at Murray faded into History. Smelting in Murray had directly employed 10,000 people and indirectly thousands more, many of these people were pioneers who settled in the Murray community prior to the coming of the railroad. 

Extended Research: 

    The smelting industry developed in Murray, Utah, to extract metals from the ores produced by the mines of the Utah Territory. The arrival of the railroad in Utah greatly facilitated the development of smelting in Murray, which enabled miners to ship ore from mines such as Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd to smelters in Murray. After the ore had been smelted into bars of metal, the smelters could ship the finished bars out on the Transcontinental Railroad. In the 1870’s and 1880’s, industrialists built several smelters in Murray, including the American Hill, Woodhull Brothers, Germania, Wasatch, Franklyn, and the Hanauer smelters.[1] Many of these smelters were very unprofitable in the early years. In a report to the federal government, Rossiter W. Raymond, commenting on the smelters in Murray, wrote, “fortunes were there lost in slags, dust, and matte.” However, technological improvements were soon able to increase the efficiency and profitability of the smelters.[2] American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) bought many of Murray’s smelters as part of its efforts to consolidate the smelting industry in Murray.[3] ASARCO built its own smelter in Murray in 1902, which became the largest and most modern lead smelter in the State of Utah and became a major landmark of the city of Murray.[4] The ASARCO Smelter could handle 1200 tons of ore per day through its eight blast furnaces and employed nearly one thousand five hundred people.[5]

    The ASARCO smelter attracted many immigrant workers from Southern and Eastern Europe to Murray. Many of these immigrant workers lived in slum-like dwellings near the railroads and around the smelter. Most of these homes lacked running water, and indoor toilets.[6] ASARCO tried to alleviate this housing problem in 1911 by building houses for some workers, and some Greek immigrants built boarding houses for the many workers employed at the smelters.[7] Smelter workers in Murray unionized in 1900 as part of the Western Federation of Miners and went on strike three times, in 1900, 1909 and 1912.[8] The 1912 strike in particular wracked the city with intense violence as some rogue strikers attempted to dynamite the smelter and assassinate one of their supervisors.[9] These strikes generally failed to win the workers’ demands, and after the 1912 strike, the Murray local of the Western Federation of Miners disbanded.[10]

    The smelters also made an environmental impact on the valley. In the early twentieth century, critics of the smelters, mainly farmers, complained that pollution from the smelters was damaging their crops. In October 1904, farmers met in Murray to decide whether to take legal action against the smelters. One local farmer named George Gardner stated, “If we do not fight the smelters, they will impoverish us and kill us off. This valley will be desolated if the smelter smoke is not stopped. I believe we should go into court and fight them to the last ditch.”[11] The farmers won several court cases against the smelters which resulted in the closure of the Bingham Consolidated Smelter in 1907 and the Highland Boy smelter in 1908, but the ASARCO smelter was able to continue operations after paying a $60,000 fine. [12]

    From 1902 to 1931 the ASARCO smelter in Murray operated at near peak capacity, but as the Bingham, Park City, and Tintic mines began to run out of ore, the smelter in Murray declined with them. In 1931 the smelter shut down for seven months as a result of a shortage of ore. During the Great Depression, the smelter experienced many more temporary shutdowns. Production picked up during World War Two, but in 1949, ASARCO announced the impending closure of the smelter, which was closed completely by November 1950.[13] The giant smokestacks of the smelter continued to stand in Murray for another half century. After voters rejected a $3.4 million bond to preserve the stacks in 1998, the city of Murray approved the demolition of the smokestacks of the smelter in August 2000.[14] The site of the old ASARCO smelter is now occupied by Intermountain Healthcare’s Intermountain Medical Center. 

[1] Brian P. Winterowd, “Murray Smelters,” in The History of Murray City, Utah, ed. Edna Mae Wilkinson (Murray, Utah: Murray City Corporation, 1976), 251-253.

[2] Thomas G. Alexander, “Generating Wealth from the Earth 1847-2000,” in From the Ground Up: The History of Mining in Utah, ed. Colleen Whitley (Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 2006), 41.

[3]  David L. Schirer, The Cultural Dynamics of Urbanization: Murray City, Utah, 1897-1919 (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah, 1991), 81-84.

[4] Brian P. Winterowd, “Murray Smelters,” 254.

[5] Brian P. Winterowd, “Murray Smelters,” 255, 257.

[6] Brian P. Winterowd, “Murray Smelters,” 255.

[7] Brian P. Winterowd, “Murray Smelters,” 255.

David L. Schirer, The Cultural Dynamics of Urbanization, 203.

[8] David L. Schirer, The Cultural Dynamics of Urbanization, 91.

[9] “Bullets and Dynamiting in Murray Strike,” Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), May 5, 1912.

[10] David L. Schirer, The Cultural Dynamics of Urbanization, 95.

[11]  “Farmers Will Fight Smelters,” Salt Lake Herald (Salt Lake City, UT), Oct. 21, 1904.

[12] David L. Schirer, The Cultural Dynamics of Urbanization, 67.

[13] Brian P. Winterowd, “Murray Smelters,” 257.

[14] Amy Joi Bryson, “Murray’s landmark smokestacks finally fall,” Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT), Aug. 6, 2000.

 For Further Reference: 

Primary Sources: 

“Bullets and Dynamiting in Murray Strike.” Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), May 5, 1912. 

Bryson, Amy Joi, “Murray’s landmark smokestacks finally fall.” Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT), Aug., 2000. 

“Farmers Will Fight Smelters.” Salt Lake Herald (Salt Lake City, UT), Oct. 21, 1904. 

Secondary Sources: 

Schirer, David L. The Cultural Dynamics of Urbanization: Murray City, Utah, 1897-1919. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah, 1991. 

Alexander, Thomas G. “Generating Wealth from the Earth 1847-2000.” In From the Ground Up: The History of Mining in Utah, edited by Colleen Whitley, 37-57. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 2006.

Winterowd, Brian P. “Murray Smelters.” in The History of Murray City, Utah, ed. Edna Mae Wilkinson. Murray, Utah: Murray City Corporation, 1976.