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Brigham Young's Homes

Colleen K. Whitley

Publication Year: 2002

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.

Published by: Utah State University Press


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pp. v

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pp. vii-ix

Once when Brigham Young was simultaneously president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, governor of Utah Territory, and head of the territorial militia, a visitor methodically addressed him by all of his assorted ecclesiastical, governmental, and military titles. Young replied, “Sir, you have omitted my most cherished titles—carpenter, painter, and glazier.”1 Brigham ...

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Chapter 1. Determining and Defining “Wife”: The Brigham Young Households

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pp. 1-12

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 ...

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Chapter 2. Brigham Young’s Birthplace and New York Residences

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pp. 13-38

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 ...

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Chapter 3. A Missionary’s Life: Ohio, Missouri, England, and Illinois

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pp. 39-68

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, ...

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Chapter 4. Wives in Wagons: Winter Quarters and the Trek West

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pp. 69-81

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, ...

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Chapter 5. Settling in Salt Lake City

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pp. 82-123

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 ...

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Chapter 6. The Beehive and Lion Houses

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pp. 124-146

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 ...

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Chapter 7. The Brigham Young Farm House

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pp. 147-172

Forest Farm holds a place in Utah’s history. Its clay soil was used for making adobe bricks. The farm became known for its experiments in the silk industry, the sugar beet industry, and the first alfalfa farming in the area. Several wives of Brigham Young lived at Forest Farm at different times, and the produce and dairy products provided for his family and needy people in the Salt Lake area. ...

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Chapter 8. The Gardo House

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pp. 173-201

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 ...

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Chapter 9. Beyond Salt Lake City

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pp. 202-211

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

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Epilogue: Preserving the Past

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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. ...

Appendix A: Brigham Young’s Houses

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pp. 215-218

Appendix B: Wives of Brigham Young

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pp. 219-227

Appendix C: Women Sometimes Named as Young’s Wives

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pp. 228-230


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pp. 231-248


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pp. 249-254

About the Authors

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pp. 255-256


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pp. 257-262

E-ISBN-13: 9780874214871
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874214413

Publication Year: 2002