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Brigham Young's Homes

Brigham Young's Homes

Edited by Colleen Whitley
Sandra Dawn Brimhall
Marianne Harding Burgoyne
Mark D. Curtis
Randall Dixon
Judy Dykman
Elinor Hyde
Jeffery Ogden Johnson
Kari K. Robinson
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 275
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  • Book Info
    Brigham Young's Homes
    Book Description:

    This collection surveys the many houses, residences, farms, and properties of Brigham Young, leader of the Mormon pioneers, first territorial governor of Utah, and second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The authors discuss, in addition to the buildings themselves, what went on within their walls, looking especially at the lives of Young's plural wives and their children. Their emphasis is on Young's residences as homes, not just structures. The text is heavily illustrated with photos, drawings and maps.

    eISBN: 978-0-87421-487-1
    Subjects: History, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Chapter 1 Determining and Defining “Wife”: The Brigham Young Households
    (pp. 1-12)
    Jeffery Ogden Johnson

    Utah satirist Al Church, among other suggestions on how to survive as a gentile in Utah, offered this tip: “Ask guides at the Beehive House how many wives Brigham Young had. (Of my last four tours, the answer has averaged 21.)”¹

    The volunteer guides at the Beehive House have no corner on the confusion market. Ann Eliza Webb, a disgruntled wife suing Brigham Young for divorce and hefty alimony, defrayed her expenses by writing a mildly scandalous potboiler called Wife Number Nineteen in which she claimed (incorrectly) to be the last and (also incorrectly) the nineteenth.² She was actually number...

  2. Chapter 2 Brigham Young’s Birthplace and New York Residences
    (pp. 13-38)
    Marianne Harding Burgoyne

    A story reads better if a great man emerges from humble roots. The idea of the self-made man, whose accomplishments set him far above the reach of other men, rising from incapacitating circumstances, is the American dream. We like to think a man can be a Paul Bunyan, endowed with such strength, vision, and cunning to create Puget Sound, the Grand Canyon, and the Black Hills or with his ox to haul an entire forest at one time.² This myth allows us the possibility that a little of this life force resides in all of us.

    Brigham Young was such...

  3. Chapter 3 A Missionary’s Life: Ohio, Missouri, England, and Illinois
    (pp. 39-68)
    Marianne Harding Burgoyne

    Once Brigham Young read the Book of Mormon, investigated its worth, and was baptized into the Mormon faith, he embraced the new religion with gusto, dedicating his life to its missionary cause. And once he journeyed to Kirtland, Ohio, to meet its founder, Joseph Smith, he had a mind single in purpose with Smith’s. In September 1833, he records in his Manuscript History,

    . . . in conformity to the counsel of the Prophet, I made preparations to gather up to Kirtland, and engaged a passage for myself and two children with [B]rother [Heber C.] Kimball, and sent my effects...

  4. Chapter 4 Wives in Wagons: Winter Quarters and the Trek West
    (pp. 69-81)
    Judy Dykman and Colleen Whitley

    Although Brigham Young and other church leaders had planned an orderly evacuation for the spring of 1846, in February many of the traumatized Saints began streaming across the frozen Mississippi River. The original plan had been for some of the leaders to cross into Iowa Territory, where they would be immune to arrest on bogus warrants threatened by Illinois officials. Once there, they would establish orderly camps, ready to receive the bulk of the Saints later that spring. However, fears of further persecution from both government agencies and random mobs pushed many to rush toward the emotional security of their...

  5. Chapter 5 Settling in Salt Lake City
    (pp. 82-123)
    Judy Dykman and Colleen Whitley

    For Brigham Young, settlement in the Great Basin brought even more responsibilities than he had carried on the trail. He assumed the secular duties of territorial governor as well as the religious leadership of the church. His obligations now entailed supervising settlements and building structures such as the Salt Lake Temple. On a personal level, it also meant that he would actually provide homes for all of his wives, most of whom had simply stayed with their own families or traveled with others. His Salt Lake City properties are listed here in approximately chronological order of his family’s occupation, recognizing...

  6. Chapter 6 The Beehive and Lion Houses
    (pp. 124-146)
    W. Randall Dixon

    The Beehive House replaced the White House as Brigham Young’s principal residence, while the Lion House replaced the Log Row as the main home for his family. The plan to build what would become the Beehive House was first noted in February 1852 when Truman O. Angell mentioned that he was working on plans for what he called the Governor’s House.¹ A lot had been purchased from Lorenzo Dow Young, the president’s brother. Lorenzo had erected a log cabin on this lot in the fall of 1847, and the President’s Office had been built there in 1852.² Construction was delayed...

  7. Chapter 7 The Brigham Young Farm House
    (pp. 147-172)
    Elinor G. Hyde

    Within a few years after the Mormon settlers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, Cornelius Lott, who had established a church farm in Nauvoo, started a similar farm near the eastern foothills in part of what was originally known as the Big Field south of Salt Lake City. Listed in historical records as “the President’s Farm,” it became President Brigham Young’s farm and was later called the Forest Farm, or often simply “the Farm House.”¹ There food could be grown for the common good. It was located approximately four miles out of town, and was evidently large. Some sources say...

  8. Chapter 8 The Gardo House
    (pp. 173-201)
    Sandra Dawn Brimhall and Mark D. Curtis

    On 26 November 1921, a crowd gathered at 70 East South Temple Street in downtown Salt Lake City to watch the demolition of a Victorian mansion. One onlooker was ninety-year-old John Brown. In spite of the November chill and the fact it was his birthday, Brown had come to pay his last respects to the doomed building; he had been the construction foreman for the house when it was built almost fifty years earlier. But even for those Utahns without personal ties, the mansion was special. It was the Gardo House.¹

    The Gardo House, or Amelia’s Palace, has always been...

  9. Chapter 9 Beyond Salt Lake City
    (pp. 202-211)
    Judy Dykman, Colleen Whitley and Kari K. Robinson

    When Brigham Young moved the Latter-day Saints into Mexico’s Great Basin in 1847, he protected them from mob violence and corrupt politics but didn’t end their worries. Now isolated from major communities and sources of supply, cut off from affordable and dependable freight and mail service until 1869, the settlers tried to “make do.”¹ They imported and exported goods and mail through the Brigham Young Express and Carrying Company and made use of local materials. During the early years companies were formed to grow beets for sugar, to turn wood pulp and rags into paper, and to make pottery from...

  10. Epilogue Preserving the Past
    (pp. 212-214)

    Visiting a house in text and print can be enlightening, and seeing a piece of farm equipment or an item of furniture in a museum is likewise valuable. An adult in a museum or a child on a field trip can learn a great deal in a few minutes by walking through the material culture of the past. But visiting an original or restored building in person carries an impact unattainable in any other way. Observing equipment in the context of a barn or a room in which it could have been used increases our understanding of the past exponentially....

  11. Appendix A Brigham Young’s Houses
    (pp. 215-218)
  12. Appendix B Wives of Brigham Young
    (pp. 219-227)
  13. Appendix C Women Sometimes Named as Young’s Wives
    (pp. 228-230)