Walking Tour of 25th Street:
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25th Street (or 5th Street as it was originally numbered) since the beginning of Ogden’s history has been one of the busiest and important streets in the city. At first it had some competition with 24th Street but after the construction of the clock-towered railroads station in 1889, 25th Street became the main street of business and traffic in town. The new station was located at the end of the street and its doors opened for the railroad travelers to make their way up the street to seek food, entertainment or some diversion while waiting to continue their trips on one of the major routes that made connections in Ogden. While railroads where the mode of travel, the rail lines brought hundreds of passengers to the street.
As a result of the prospect of business the street developed a variety of commercial houses, restaurants, eating places, shops, rooming houses and even gambling dens and houses of prostitution. Because of these less than legal kind of activities, the street gained the name of Ogden’s “Two-bit Street” and a reputation that was known through out the nation. Bernard DeVoto, a prominent American literary figure who lived in Ogden, wrote “the overland limited stops at Ogden for fifteen minutes. The tourist, a little dizzy from the altitude but grateful for trees after miles of desert, rushes out to change his watch and see a Mormon. He passes through a station that is deliberate triumph of hideousness and emerges at the foot of Twenty-fifth Street. Beyond him are only a double row of shacks far gone in the disintegration stretching upwards in the direction of the hills. The gutters, advertised as sparkling with mountain water, are choked with offal. The citizenry who move along the sidewalks are habituated to the shanties, but the newcomer, who whether from the east or west believes in a decent bluff of progress, is invariably appalled.”
Devoto’s account is severe and critical, but the street was not all bad or without beauty and accomplishment as shown in the buildings and establishments that existed and carried on activities there. 25th Street was at the hub of commercial and historical development in Ogden. One researcher in studying the city directories concluded that a great amount of certain businesses centered on 25th Street. The directory from 1908-1909 showed that 5 out of 11 barbers of the city were located on 25th Street; 1 of out of 2 billiard halls; 9 out of 11 cigar manufacturing establishments; 9 of out 13 clothiers and furnishers; 1 out of 9 confectioners; 4 out of 13 druggist; 7 out of 38 grocers; 16 out of 19 hotels and rooming houses; 2 of 6 jewelers; 2 out of 3 laundries; 15 of 30 liquor dealers; 4 of 4 pawn brokers; 2 of 3 post card and curio shops; 13 of 15 restaurants; 4 of 10 tailors. This recounting gives an idea of the nature and activity on the street.
If the street could relate its history it would have quite a story to tell, and event today a tour of the street captures an indication of some of the variety and activity of former days. The tour of 25th Street begins at Union Station at 25th Street and Wall Avenue.
1. Union Station – see the 24th Street tour
2. Cross to the 100 block of 25th Street (2A) and beginning on the south side of 25th Street there are some significant historical places. This corner has always been a prime business corner with its proximity to the depot. Originally there were individual business houses there, but 1887-1888 the Winsor Hotel and Café (101-109 25th Street) was built there by A.J. Heath. It remained as the Winsor Hotel until 1904 when it was converted into the Murphy Building housing George W. Murphy Groceries and Saloon; F.L. Smith Curio Shop and St. James Hotel. Located at 11-113 25th is the two-story commercial Victorian Style Senate Building built in 1888-1889; it housed the Senate Saloon and the W.A. Scudder Saloon. Its brick construction and facade with stamped metal pediments and cornices, segmented Queen Ann windows, original iron columns, paneled doors, transoms and storefront windows represent the commercial Victorian style of the late 1800 period.
At 115 25th is the Congress Building built in 1889 and had the Congress House Hotel and Saloon and the Arcade Hotel in it. Again, in the Commercial Victorian style with interesting designs of brick, stone and metal columns capped with Corinthian columns it makes an interesting structure.
At 127 25th is the Porters and Waiters Club Building which for many years supported the facilities and entertainment for the Black members of the community. Many of these people were workers on the railroad and the facilities at this Club represented one of the few places for public entertainment for that segment of the population.
Other establishments in different time periods in this area of 25th Street included R.S. Brooks and Sons Livestock Co., dealers in buying and selling livestock by “carload or trainload” at a time. They were located at 117 – 25th Street. At 119 was Fred Cusley and Isaac Trusty, barbers. At 121 W.H. Bennett had a restaurant and at 123 was the Sue Wah Laundry. As 135 and 137 was the J.F. McCarron Saloon and the Charles laundry in the 1890’s, later known as the Troy Steam Laundry. In the 1930’s it was the location of the Denver Hotel and one of the places identified as a place of prostitution. At 155 25th M. Biel and Son Wholesale and Retail Meats did business. The firm was established in 1874 and did business until after 1910 at the same location. At 157 and 161-163 were the Metropolitan Tailoring Company and MeCready’s Clothing, Millinery and Furnishings respectively.
On the north side of 25th Street at the northeast corner of Wall and 25th Street in 1878 stood George Ford Company, dealers in hides, and pelts, and in 1900 it was the site of the Healy Hotel (2B) which stood until 1946 when the name was changed to the Earle Hotel. The Earle Hotel remained until it was razed in the 1960’s. Moving east at 108 25th was the Depot Drug Store run by E. Cave in the early 1900’s. At 112 in a building constructed in 1893 were W.H. Watts, barber; Isaac Clark, Candy Shop; Henry Gavros, Grocer. At 134-136 in the building built in 1898 were the O.L. Luson Saloon; The Grand Saloon; L.D. Lockwood Restaurant and the Colorado Coffee House. At 146 25th was the Chung Tom Restaurant; Louis Avondit Rooms; Banquet Rooming House and Restaurant; and the U.S. Café.
At 148-150 25th was the Chapman House (2C) established in 1874 by William Chapman. It was a two-story building with 30 boarding rooms. Bernard Devoto made this description of the Chapman House in early Ogden. “One and all they made their way from bar to bar but ended at the Chapman House. French Pete, any other true name unknown, was the civilizing influence that turned many a man towards the arts. Here is a menu of French Pete’s preserved to the smaller age. Turtle soup, crackers, mountain trout, Columbia river salmon, oyster San Francisco, antelope steak, shoulder of venison, beef Chicago, quail, mourning doves, Canada goose, southern yams in candy, peas, celery, watercress, potatoes O'Brien, hot biscuits, cornpone, honey, watermelon, peaches and cream. The little slip indicates that one was expected not to make a choice from this ecstasy, but to down it all from the first to the last. The other side is an equally heroic list; cocktails named after railroad presidents, Indian chiefs, mining camps; punches, cordials, highballs, fizzes, rickies, Juleps; it ends, “Irish Whiskey fifteen centers a glass.” And one line reads “Champagne: California, $1.00. Imported, $2.00. A pint? No, a half-gallon.”
“To the Chapman House came the mining and railroad millionaires, the English cattle-barons, actors and singers making continental tours, and more than one princeling from Graustark or beyond. The register, if it could be recovered would be a miniature history of the frontier.”
Next-door to the Chapman House was reported to be the Brothel of Gentile Kate, a well-established “Madame” of the city. It is said she bought Brigham Young's old buggy after he died, and Kate rode around town in high style, flaunting the buggy before the public. She seemed to delight that the buggy of the President of the Mormon Church was now being used by a person as notorious as she. Farther up 25th Street in the early 1900’s were other establishments. At 152-162 were the Montana House, the Stein Mercantile Company, Prepares Brothers, E.D. Bello Saloon, and Hanson and Rapp Employment Office, all located in a three-story commercial Victorian building. The building was later destroyed by fire and only one story of the building remains. At 164-168, in a three-story brick building showing commercial and Prairie architectural influences, were located the Western Bar, Weber Hotel and the Franc Okamua Restaurant. Earlier the Union Depot Saloon and the G.L. McGregor Restaurant were on this location. At 170-174 were the major Drug Company, Benowitz Brothers, Ogden Beer Hall, and the Star Restaurant in a building built in 1910.
On the northwest corner of 25th and Lincoln (earlier Franklin Street) is the Marion Hotel, built in 1910. Around that time period it was the Milner Hotel, later the Marion Hotel, with the business of G.F. Vaught Jewelers; Ward Company Bakery; F.L. Bradley Pool Hall and the Union Cigar Stores Company also in the building.
It should be mentioned that beyond the buildings of the 100 and 200 blocks of 25th Street ran an alley which was known as “Electric Alley.” Along this alley were “cribs” or small rooms which allowed the girls to carry out their business of prostitution. “Electric Alley” was one of the most notorious and sordid parts of the town because of the immortality and crime that was associated with it.
3. The 200 block of 25th Street had a variety of businesses over the years. At 200 25th Street in 1895 was W.G. Kind, railroad ticket broker. In 1900 a two-story, pent cornered brick building was built (still standing). The Board of Trade and Zong Phu Brewing Company was located there. At 202-204 were the Watkin and Nicholas Grocers; Kahn and Brody Clothing; and Empire Rooming House in a three-story, brick with stone trim building have commercial Victorian style built in 1908. In 1978 the rooms over the Nicholas store were known as the Reed Hotel, and in that year, they burned and caused the deaths of five residents. It is the largest number of victims lost in the fire in Ogden's history. At 206-2010 in a two-story brick commercial Victorian style with leaded glass windows built in 1908 was the location of Close and Jenkins Cigar Manufacturing Company (later Victor Cigar Store and Factory); the Belmont Rooms; the Famous Clothing Store; and the New Process Dry Cleaning Company.
At 214-216 were the city Lunch room and Nels Sorenson Jeweler and Shooting Gallery. At 222 in 1890 was the Central Hotel and at 228-230 were the Sanders and Gysin Bakers and the C and S Migoka Company, retailers of Japanese goods. At 232-234 were the S.J. Alkee Confectionery, and the Owl Bar. Today this is Uke’s Café, where Nikisihisi, known as the “Angel of 25th Street” has served meals for over a decade to the needy regardless of what they can afford to pay. At 236-238 in a building built in 1885 was located in the early 1900s the C.F. Kranch Retail Clothing, the Anna Bolinger Furnished Rooms, The Carlye Hotel and the Central Hotel Annex. Today the A. Booth Building built in 1938 is there.
At 242 W.M. Clark pharmacy, but in 1910 it was the address of the New European Hotel, advertised as one of the time - honored hotel hotels in the city having been in business for over 20 years. It boasted of 64 rooms steam heated with electric lights, elegant bathrooms and sample rooms where salesman displayed their wares. It had local and long-distance telephones in each room. It was owned by S.A. Smith who also was invested in the J.P O'Neill Construction Company, the Union Portland Cement Co., the Commercial National Bank and the Intermountain Land and Livestock Company.
The hotel occupied 240-244 25th Street a three-story building with a stone façade built in the commercial Victorian style. It was reduced to one story by a fire. A brick veneer was added over the façade in 1936. In 1895 A Careswell and Son News store had been at the 244 25th address.
At 246-250 in a two-story brick with metal trim colonial revival building with an inscription “1901” was located Joseph Rogerson Restaurant and J.E. Davenport and Company saloon.
At 252-254 is the London Ice Cream Parlor Building. It is a two-story brick building constructed in 1885 with molded wooden cornice with paired brackets and on top of a triangular pediment with an inscription – “London Ice Cream Parlor”. On the lower level are molded trim and bracketed pediments over round arched second floor windows. This address was the location of London Ice Cream Parlor; Chicago Shoe Store; Bon Ton Restaurant; and Ashby Shoe Store in times past but now it has been restored by the Ogden Neighborhood Development Agency and the 25th Street Development Company. These agencies have been doing much in recent years to bring about redevelopment and restoration of this 25th Street area. They have done much to stimulate the restoring of the downtown part of the Ogden City.
At 256-260 is a two-story commercial building built in 1888 that has had their Territorial Cigar Factory (1890), the Union Restaurant; the Ting Kee Company; the Smith (Sample Company); European Lodgings; the Jones Sheriton Saloon (1895) and the Frazzini Brothers Saloon as occupants.
262-264 is the Porter Block built in 1898. It is a two-story brick building in Victorian Commercial style with stamped metal façade, projecting cornice with urns, brackets, swags, dentils and a “Porter Block” inscription. It has Corinthian columns with millions of square bays. The first-floor façade is covered with tile. The Willian Kent Barber Shop, The Louis Weinberger Tailor Shop and the Laurence Barsotti Candy Shop, were in the building. In 1890 the A.J. Chamberlain Stationery Shop was there. In 1890 the Association Ticket Office and the D.H. Stephens Ice Cream Company was listed at 266 25th Street.
Next door at 268-270 was originally a three-story building built in 1899 which was destroyed by fire. There is only story today. In the past it was the location of Michael Wechselberger Retail Store and Leander Moulding Meats. In 1890 A.J. Watts, barber was listed at 270 address. Later at this address was Lucky Tavern, which was owned by Eddie Doherty, one of the “big time” operators on 25th Street identified with gambling and prostitution.
At 272 is a commercial vernacular building two stories high of brick. It has fancy metal cornices and ornamental hoods over square window bays. This building was built in 1888 and has been the residence of the City Employment Office, the Palace Billiard Hall and the Yanari and Tomono Pool Hall. In 1890 the Walker Solomon and Company Cigar Factory and the G.W. Jones Ticket Office were listed there.
At 274 is a similar two-story building built in 1888 which was the address of J.W. Stephens Photographer in 1890 and later the William Giddings Photography. John W. Maddy Fruit Store and the John Davis Boarding House were also there.
At 276-278 in a two-story building built in 1891 was located Chris Gasbery Photography and Jacob Kerty, Pawnbroker. And at 280-290 as a two-story building with corbeled cornice, square bays and pent corner. Here were located Haffeke and Company; Grand Pacific Restaurant; George Nole Saloon and Caeston Hotel. Before the building was built in 1895 the J.E. Broberg Barbershop, the James H. Nelson Real Estate Office and the Walter Brand Confectionery were at this spot. One the northwest corner of Grant and 25th at 296-298 in the early days was a two-story school building holding classes in the 1870’s. At that time William W. Burton was master and Mrs. Frodsham the assistant.
On the south side of 25th Street and the 200 block are a number of significant buildings and sites. At 201 25th Street in 1890 was the Shamrock and Thistle Saloon and in 1899 a commercial building was built on the corner of polychrome brick, segmented arches, and a brick belt course. At this location the C.C. Keller Rooms and Restaurant did business and the Ogden to Salt Lake Railroad line had its terminal there. The Bamberger rail line which came later also used the building as a passenger terminal until it moved the terminal to 24th in 1916. The Bamberger Line was an electrified line which operated until 1946 when the company went out of business.
The address of 205 was the Rose Rooms (El Borracha) where Rosetta Duciunni Davis (Rosie) and Bill Davie ran a house of prostitution. They were convicted for violation of the moral laws and served time in the State Prison as a result of the anti-prostitution crusade of the 1940’s.
At 207-213 25th Street is the building constructed in 1910 showing the influences of the Prairie style and Renaissance Revival. It is three-stories of brick with bracketed cornices, horizontal brick bonding, classical cartouches and mosaic inlays. In this building were established the Helena Hotel and the Senate Café.
At 215-217 in 1895 a new commercial building was built which contained the F.R. Watkins Grocery Store, the A.L. Chapman and the Mrs. Vina Creamer Rooms. At 219-221 in a building built in 1905 was the Luke Crawshaw Photographer Shop and the Ohio House Hotel.
At the address 225-227 prior to 1912 was the Roman Catholic Church in Ogden. It was small, plain white wooden structure built in 1875 which stood back from the street some distance. This was the place of worship for the Catholic Citizens until a new church was completed at Adams and 24th Street. In 1912 the church was razed, and a two-story brick building was constructed on the site. It now is a one-story building. It was the place of the Revier Theater, the Rex Theater and the Trout House.
At 229 was the Lee Wang (Quiong) laundry in 1890 and at 233 the Elias Lowris Blacksmith Shop in 1895 and later the Albert Mager Blacksmith Shop. The address is 239 In early days was devoted to the livery business. In 1890 the A.S. Griffins Ogden Livery Stables; in 1892 the J.M. Graham Livery Stables; in 1895 the H.J. Chapple Livery; and in 1910 the Red Front Livery Stables owned by W.E. Williams, a young Ogden businessman. They not only provided livery services, but also bought and sold blooded horses throughout the West.
At 243-245 was the Salvation Army Store and Restaurant in a building built in 1899. The Salvation Army also occupied quarters at 253 25th. At this place was the Salvation Army Chapel and also the Tai Yuen Chinese Goods and Lodgings. The building was built in 1896. In 1890 the H.L. Griffin Fruits and Produce and the Linke and Griffin Real Estate did business at 255. At 257-259 in a building built in 1888 was the Carpenter’s Hall, the Wok Sing Lung Chinese Goods Shop and the Salvation Army Hotel.
263 25th was listed as the Novelty Theatre is 1895 and later used as the Labor Temple into the 1940’s. It was also identified as a gambling house up to that time. At 265 was the Sam Wah Laundry in 1895 and later the Chinese and Japanese Bazaar. At 269-271 in a building two and a half story brick with stucco in prairie style architecture with Wrightian decorative motifs was operating the Lyceum Theatre. This became a theatre which was visited by some of the popular and famous plays and actors that toured the United States. In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt came to the theatre to speak to Ogden Citizens during his attempt to regain the Presidency on the third party – Bull Moose ticket. In recent years the building was used as the Utah State Liquor Store.
4. At the corner of Grant and 25th Street is the Greyhound Bus Depot, which is not a building of historical significance, but south on Grant at 2527 from the bus depot is the present-day Elks lodge. Formerly the building was the Central School (4A). The building was erected in 1882 as the main school building of the community. The Seventies Hall of the Mormon Church was there before 1882. The Seventies Hall was a two-story building used as a meeting place for the male priesthood holders of the Seventies quorum. The Central School was described as being of the “modern style of architecture, constructed of brick and lumber and trimmed with white free stone, the whole thing being surmounted by a beautiful dome of the Roman Corinthian style.” The two-story building had four large rooms capable of seating about 90 pupils. It had “the best patent desks” and was “well supplied with school apparatus” including a fine piano and organ. Professor Lewis F. Moench, well known leader of the Weber County educators, was principal and teacher at the school. In 1883 the school had eleven teachers and approximately 800 pupils. The Central School was the high school level of schooling for the city. And received the students from the lower level public schools of the area. The Central High operated here until 1912, when the Elks acquired the building for the meetings of their society.
5. Continuing east on 25th Street from Grant on the north side of the street the main building on the corner is the Federal Building which was constructed in 1964. In earlier days this was the location of the Carr Pharmacy and later in 1888 the J.W. McNutt and Co., Drugs, Chemical and Parfumery (5A). The store was a two-story building with a corner entrance and the name and advertising of the tore on the Grant street side of the building.
At 302 was the Utah Knitting Company listed in 1910. The company was owned and operated by the Ogden Thorstensen family with C.H. Thorstensen, George Thorstensen and H. Thorstensen running the business in the early 1900’s. The company later moved to Washington Boulevard and Grant Avenue.
In the early 1900 the T.S. Hutchinson Sporting Goods Shop was at 306. They sold bicycles, fishing tackle, Victor talking machines and Kodak photo supplies. At 308 was the Mint Saloon that boasted of a handsome interior with bar and finishings done in oak with rich carvings. Harry Sapperstein ran the Model Clothing Company at 314 with Alfred Benjamin line of men’s clothing.
At 328 25th Street in early days was the Jones and Lewis Grocery Store established in 1889 by Edgar Jones and Robert B. Lewis. In 1897 John Smalley, watchmaker and jeweler, had his business there and in 1910 the Jogalong Transfer Van and Storage Company of C.R. Cole and R.H. Butts was there. Not only were they movers, but they also sold tobacco and smokers supplies. At 330 was Kennedy’s Coffee House which also ran a bakery at 2454 Washington Boulevard, and at 340 was the Great Importing Tea Company run by Miss A. White which carried spices, tea, coffee, baking crockery, glass and kitchen wares. At 346 in 1892 was the location of George Jones, Ticket broker and in 1910 J. Smalley had moved his jewelry business there. At 350 was Joseph Bingham Groceries that advertised one of their specialties as “Bingham’s Pride Tea”. In 1917 T.B. Evans grocery was listed at the address. The address 352 was the place of the Red Cross Dental Company with C.A. Mosman, dentist. Later it became R and O Quality Shop, a clothes store run by Rosenblatt and Oppman.
Willard Kay and Lamoni Grix ran a store at 368 25th Street in 1886. This was a clothier business. Earlier Lamoni Grix had learned the business profession working in the Joseph Stanford General Merchandise Store located at 394 25th. This store was established n 1870 and the building remained there until the Broom Hotel was built.
This same area in alter times was also the address of several hotels, rooming houses and clubs that were linked with prostitution practices. Some of those identified were the Parkway Hotel at 316 25th, Dick’s Club at 318 ½, Wilson Rooms at 320 ½, Wyoming Rooms at 328, and the Rooming House at 352 run by Fanny Dawson. Fanny Dawson was convicted of murder for having directed a “murder company” which operated out of her rooming house. Victims were found in bars and clubs, enticed to the rooming house where they were robbed and murdered by Fanny’s henchmen. Many of the victims were poisoned, but others were shot or killed by other means and the bodies were removed to other places in the city. Fanny was finally convicted in 1917.
At 372 25th Street was the Rodeo Club which was identified as a gambling place.
In the late 1940’s the prostitution and gambling business was driven off 25th Street and out of the city by the efforts of a crusading police chief and city fathers. The construction of the Federal Building on the 300 block of 25th Street did away with many of the old hotels and that changed the nature of that part of the street considerably. The Federal Building was completed in 1964.
The Broom Hotel (5B) was one of the highlights of 25th Street and Washington Boulevard. The hotel was built by John Broom in 1882. It was later owned by A.J. Heath and William Best after 1891. The building was a three-story brick with shaped bay windows which gave it the appearance of San Francisco Victorian Style.
The building had 62 “large nicely furnished and well-ventilated sleeping rooms,” that could accommodate 100 guests. The dining room was spacious; the parlors were furnished with the finest Brussels carpets, and “rich hardwood furniture heavily upholstered.” It advertised steam heat and that everyone room was lighted by electricity. There were baths, billiard rooms and a bar which made it a first-class hotel for that time period.
Many important businesses occupied the street floor of the hotel including Ross and Jack’s Café in more recent times and the Pingree National Bank that was there from early 1900’s to the 1920’s when the bank went broke. In 1957 the Broom Hotel was razed, and Commercial Security Bank was constructed on that corner.
6. On the south side of 25th St. is the city and county square - referred to as Union Square. One early citizen, Sam Banford, recalled the square when he arrived in Ogden in September 1857. He said his family camped on the spot where the Broom Hotel later stood, and they turned the cattle out to graze on what today is the municipal square. “It was then a pasture with a swamp on it and covered with willows and service-berry bushes”.
In early days the square had some business buildings located on the 25th Street side and on Washington Boulevard (first known as Main Street). On August 26, 1872 the city administration moved to the Seventies Hall, a meeting hall for the Seventies of the Mormon Church, which was located at 25th Street and on the west side of Grant Avenue. The city offices remained there until 1882 when they moved to a new city hall which was a two-story brick building with eight rooms and twelve jail cells for the confinement of prisoners that was located on the south east corner of the block where the Carnegie Library (6B) was later bill in 1902. The City Hall building was torn down in 1888-89 when a new Ogden City Hall (6C) was constructed. The building built in 1889 - dedicated February 9, 1889 was designed by William Fife, Ogden architect. The building had a foundation of rock with the walls constructed of Kyune stone quarried from Thistle in Spanish Fork Canyon, and a clock and bell tower. The building cost $52,000 and was one of the main buildings in Ogden for many years. A red sandstone fence was erected around the block and name was changed to “City Hall Square”.
The Ogden City Hall was torn down in 1942-43 and was replaced by the present City and County Municipal Building that was constructed in 1940 as a PWA project at a cost of $952,668.52 with funds from federal and local resources. Leslie S. Hodgson was the architect of this 12-story structure which contains city and county offices and jail facilities. The municipal grounds are well-kept and beautiful flowers and shrubbery liven the area during the summer months. There are two historical monuments located on the north side of the building. One is dedicated to James Brown, the founder of Ogden who purchased the Miles Goodyear stockade in 1848 and settled his family here at that time. There is also a monument to Lorin Farr, long time Mayor and LDS Church leader in early Ogden. Also, on the east side of the Municipal Building is a monument dedicated to Jedediah Strong Smith, mountain man of the 1820 and 1830s, who traveled through much of the Northern Utah area during that period.
7. The 25th Street tour can profitably make a diversion along the east side of Washington Boulevard from 25th Street to 27th to view some of the major sites and buildings in this area. On the southwest corner of 25th and Washington Boulevard is a plot that has always been dedicated to the hotel business. In 1868 at two-story adobe building was constructed on the corner by Robert Burch. It was painted white known as the “White House.” It served as a hotel. In 1891 E.A. Reed built the Reed Hotel (7A) on the site, and shortly after when Reed died the hotel was taken over A.P. Bigelow and his Ogden State Bank. The Reed Hotel was a six-story stone and brick structure in Richardsonian Romanesque style. There was a grand staircase from the rotunda to the upper levels. There was also a modern passenger elevator, offices and reception room finished with oak. There was a large dining room with double plate glass windows which allowed the guests to view the Great Salt Lake to the southwest and the Wasatch Mountains to the north – “the grandest panorama of nature one could wish to see.” All of the rooms were elaborately furnished with carpets “of velvet” and body Brussels and the furniture was open and cherry in 17th century and old English patterns. The rooms had steam heat, gas and incandescent electric lights, and electric call bells. The sixth floor was devoted to sample rooms for commercial travelers to display their products to prospective buyers. When the hotel was opened in 1891, they served a special menu of “roast young bear, venison, antelope, river trout, and champagne punch.” The Reed Hotel served for many years as a main stopping place for travelers to Ogden.
In June 1927, the Hotel Bigelow was built on the side of the Reed Hotel at a cost of $1.5 million. Hodgson and McClanahan were the architects of the new building. Some of the top floors of the Reed building were taken off and the remaining floors became the Ogden Bank. An L shaped thirteen-story brick structure was built around the bank as the Hotel Bigelow. The hotel had 350 rooms with private baths. On the ground floor were the lobby and the lounge. The lounge had “gracefully arched Caenstone walls terminating in a beamed walnut ceiling, covered and decorated in the Italian style. At the far end of the lounge was a big hooded mantle fireplace which radiated cheer during the long winter evenings. Five high arched and impressive windows overlook 25th Street.
The lobby which had entrances from 25th Street and Washington Boulevard was paved with marble. The area is done in an Italian Renaissance style and that motif is carried out throughout the building.
On the main floor where the dining room and a coffee shop done in Arabian style. On the mezzanine was the ballroom - 50 x 70' with a ceiling adapted from a Roman palace design. The modeled coffers of the ceiling had been adopted from fragments of a ceiling of a palace in Florence, Italy. Richly modeled cornices, pilasters, and panels were designed to harmonize so that the entire room gave a pleasing affect. A regular maple dance floor finished the main points of the room.
On the east side of the mezzanine was the “Spanish room”. This room had a high vaulted ceilings and walls in a “tiffany blend.” It created an atmosphere of old Spain. Adjoining the Spanish room were the English and Shakespeare rooms. Oak paneled walls and the paneled ceiling were similar to an old English mansion - The Bromley Palace. In the Shakespeare room were mural paintings done by LeConte Stewart, noted Utah artist. The Ladies Parlor on the mezzanine was finished as the Georgian Room paneled with Adam ornament models on the ceiling. The walls were finished in ivory color which gave a restful atmosphere to it. This room was used for bridge and other parties. The rest of the mezzanine was finished in Italian Renaissance style. It served as the promenade for the ballroom.
The Hotel Bigelow for some time was a major place for activity in the center of the city. For many years it kept the claim of being the tallest hotel in Utah and one of the four tallest buildings of the state, but it would later have to give up those claims. In the 1930’s the Bank and Hotel ran into other problems when the owner of the building A.P Bigelow had to declare bankruptcy during the Depression and lost control of the building. At that time on December 15, 1932 the name of the building was changed from Hotel Bigelow to Hotel Ben Lomond. Since that time the Hotel Ben Lomond has gone out of business as a hotel and the Weber County and Ogden City government has taken over the building to convert it to government offices.
Farther along Washington Boulevard at 2518 is the Orpheum Theatre (7B). It was built in 1890 opening on December 31st of that year. Originally on that site it is reported that Tom Thompson Company, guaranteed tailoring run by M.P Silva the Ogden Street Railway car barnes, and a laundry did business until torn down and replaced by the theatre.
The building was first named the Grand Opera House. The façade was as it is today except that over hanging rounded balconies were protruding from each level in the center of the building and an Oriental minaret topped the building. The money to construct the building was put up by Jonathan M. Browning, Matthew S. Browning and David Eccles. The interior furnishing cost $25,000 with the chandeliers costing $2,000 each. The building was designed by S.T. Whitaker. The oriental style was carried out in white pressed brick made in Ogden, with mosaic motifs in white metal, with each floor terraced with Turkish balconies, and the building was topped with minarets and a flagstaff.
The great actors came to place in this theatre including Maude Adams, Edwin Boots, Thomas Keene, Joseph Jefferson, Lionel Barrymore, Marie Dresler, Sarah Bernhardt, Al Jolson and John Phillip Sousa. They played in productions such as “Hamlet”, “Merchant of Venice”, “The Rivals”, “Charley’s Aunt”, “East Lynn”, “The County Fair”, “The Fast Mail Trail”, and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. The staging of these productions were demanding with great amounts of scenery and animas being part of the show.
In 1904 the theatre began showing moving pictures, and the movies began to phase out the plays and vaudeville productions. In 1909 the theatre was refurbished, and the name was changed to Orpheum Theater.
At 2544 was the Stevens Implement Co. which later became the Ogden Implement Company housed in a two-story brick building. The company advertised Mitchell farm and spring wagons, buggies, phaetons, surveys, carts, harnesses, whip ropes, mowers and sewing machines.
At 2550 Washington Boulevard is the State House which today contains various businesses and court room facilities for the Ogden City courts. In earlier days it was the Masonic Hall. The Masonic order built the building in the early 1900’s/
Other addresses along Washington to 26th Street had a variety of businesses. In 1910 the business directory recorded Glen Brothers Piano Company at 2560; Pioneer Fruit Company at 2562; Keister Ladies Tailoring College run by Ada Theurer, Ellen Wooley and Lucille Wallace. At 2566 was the Corey Livery Company which claimed to be the oldest and largest livery services in town for carriage rentals, boarding of horses and selling of horses.
At the corner of 26th and Washington on the southwest side where the Bank of Utah stands was the first location of the Sacred Heart Academy (7D) in Ogden. In 1870 William Saunders had a one-acre piece of property on this site. The property was sold by Saunders to the Catholic church for $1800 along with another half lot of William Bachelor. On September 15, 1878 the Sacred Heart Academy opened with 150 pupils and 60 resident students. The school grew rapidly. In 1882 the St. Joseph’s School, a two and one-half story frame school for boys under twelve was erected on the ground just west of the Sacred Heart Academy.
In 1892 a new and larger Sacred Heart Academy was built at 25th Street and Quincy Avenue (see description later) and in 1923 St. Joseph’s School was moved to the east side of Ogden City.
8. On 26th Street the tour goes east to 533 26th Street where the John Scowcroft home (8A) stood. Today a modern office building occupies the spot. In 1893 John Scowcroft built his residence there. In 1880 Scowcroft, a Mormon pioneer businessman with his sons established a business on Washington Boulevard in bakery goods and candies. Later he expanded into shoes, crockery and hardware. In 1893 the company became a wholesaler of groceries and dry goods and built a five-story brick building on Wall Avenue and 23rd Street. In 1911 the company expanded into the manufacturing of “Never Rip” overalls which became a famous product throughout the West.
John Scowcroft’s’ mansion was designed by Ogden architect, W.W. Fife. It was done in Romanesque style with carved sandstone exterior and the interior with plaster relief ceilings and mahogany woodwork. The building was named “Lancaster House” after the family house in England. It was later used as a mortuary and reception center before a fire destroyed it in 1974.
9. The tour now goes to 26th and Adams and turns along Adams Avenue to 27th Street where on the southeast corner of Adams and 27th Street is located the YWCA which was originally the home of John M. Browning (9A), the greatest gun inventor in the history of the United States.
The Browning family, of Jonathan Browning, had come to Utah in 1851 as pioneers and came to Ogden in 1854. John M. Browning was born in Ogden in 1855, and it was in Ogden he pursued the gun inventing and manufacturing trade. The business started in an old shop attached to father Jonathan’s house at Spring and 7th (now Adams and 27th). In 1882 J.M. Browning and Brother Company built a small shop and store between 25th and 26th Street on Washington Boulevard. As time went on the inventing genius developed many varieties of guns – pistols, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, and the company developed manufacturing plants in Belgium and in Utah. (The many varieties of models can be seen in the John M. Browning Gun Museum of the Union Depot).
Although traveling to Europe and throughout the world, John M. Browning kept his home in Ogden, and the family had added much to the growth and development of the community.
The Browning house represents important part of history. John M. Browning once said of the homesite, “You know the time and place for a gunmaker just got together on this corner. And I happened along.” (John M. Browning: American Gunmaker, p. 214). This was the site in the 1850s of the adobe house and rough lumber shop of Jonathan and Elizabeth Browning (John M. Browning’s mother). In 1880 the newly wed John M. Browning built a home for his wife Rachel next to his mother’s adobe house. It was a brick house with four rooms to which a new room was added from time to time. In 1897 a larger house was built on the corner and remains today as a service to the community as the YWCA building.
10. The tour now goes to 27th Street and Jefferson and turns north along Jefferson on the west side of the street. At 2671 Jefferson is the house that William Hope “Coin” Harvey lived in while he was in Ogden. Harvey was part of the “boom and bust” period of the late 1880’s and early 1890’s. Harvey was a national figure in the silver issue in that period and it is said he gave William Jennings Bryan his idea of the free coinage of silver. While in Ogden Harvey, promoted the “Order of Monte Cristo” a celebration which he thought would bring much publicity and economic gain to Ogden. It was patterned something like the Mardi Gras of New Orleans. Harvey brought a royal couple from Brazil to participate in the carnival. The undertaking failed financially, and Harvey left Ogden just prior to the panic of 1893, but he was a noted American figure on the silver issue for several years.
At 2649 and 2639 Jefferson are the Edmund O Wattis and Warren W. Corey houses, respectively. W.W. Corey was the brother-in-law of E.O. Wattis and both families were founders of the Utah Construction Company that later expanded into Utah International, one of the largest construction businesses. The company helped build the Western Pacific Railroad, the Boulder Dam, Oakland Bridge, Union Square Parking in San Francisco, Grand Coulee Dam and other major construction enterprises. The company later invested in mining activities and in 1976 merged with General Electric to become Utah International, one of the largest corporations in the United States. The yards behind the houses were used in early days for storage for the construction business.
Continuing northward at 2580 Jefferson, the visitor arrives at the Bertha Eccles House (10A). David Eccles born in 1849 in Scotland, came to Eden in Weber County in 1863 with his father's family. He helped market rolling pins made on a lathe and other kitchen wares produced by his blind father. In 1872 he made a contract to supply logs to a sawmill and later he established a lumberyard on 24 street where the Anderson lumber yard is located today. Eccles business interests spread into other enterprises including railroads, sugar refining industry, food processing, construction, coal, land, livestock, banks, and insurance. When David Eccles died, his estate was estimated at over $6 million. During his business career he had founded over 54 different companies and was recognized as Utah's greatest business personality.
In 1875 Eccles married Bertha Marie Jensen and lived in a house on the east side of Lincoln Avenue (then Franklin Street) across from the lumber yard. In 1899 David Eccles bought the house at 2580 Jefferson. The 16-room mansion was built in 1893 by J.C. Armstrong, President of Ogden’s Commercial National Bank. The house is of red sand stone and brick with a roof of metal shingles topped with turrets and finials. The vestibule with a wide hallway greets the visitor. The entrance had a marble floor and wainscoting and beveled glass windows. A large living room with comfortable furniture, grand piano, statuettes from Europe and rich carpeting made up the décor for the Eccles family.
The house had a large library with leather furniture and a sunlit conservatory with plants. On the north end of the house was the “Rose Room” with mirrored French doors. The wallpaper was a German rose satin, bordered with gilded molding with hand-painted cherubs. The room furniture was upholstered in rose brocaded satin. A mantle with arched mirror reaching to the ceiling and edged with gold leaf dominated one end of the room.
The 12 children of the Eccles family and the frequent visitors were well accommodated by large kitchen space and the large and adequate bedroom space.
When the Eccles owners died, the house was given to the Mormon Church. In 1948 the church allowed Weber College to use the building as a girl’s dormitory and in 1959 the deed was given to the Ogden Community Art Council. Today it serves as the Eccles Community Art Center.
Proceeding along Jefferson Avenue to 25th Street, the tourist comes to several large houses of the late 1890s era. Of special note are the Thomas Stevens house at 2595, the Hyrum Spencer home at 2555 and the house at 2520. A campaign to create a historic district out of this Jefferson Avenue area has been undertaken. Hyrum Spencer, former Mayor of Ogden – 1896-1897, built this Victorian home at 2555 in 1895. Spencer was in the lumber business with his establishment on 24th Street. He sold this home to William Eccles his business partner in 1905 who added a façade to give the building a Southern Colonial appearance.
11. At the corner of 25th and Jefferson the tour turns west down the south side of 25th Street. There are several notable buildings in this block. On the south side of 25th Street. On the south west corner stands the First Baptist Church built in 1926 which represents the New England architectural style. Several large houses are observed along the street to the corner of Adams and 25th. Notable is the duplex at 555-553 which was the residence of Melvin Dummar during the time that he was claiming inheritance to the Howard Hughes fortune in the Nevada courts.
At the corner of 25th and Adams is the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service building which has served as the Regional Office for the Forest Service. The building represents a modernistic style and is one of the best representations of the style in the city. This spot was originally the location of the Fred J Kiesel home (11A). The importance of Kiesel's business enterprises have already been mentioned. The Kiesel home was in a French architectural style. It was a two-story stone building with a mansard roof and with entrance ways. It was torn down when the Forest Service building was built in 1933 Leslie S. Hodgson and Mryl A. McClanahan as architects.
Across the street are on the northeast corner of 25th and Adams is a vacant lot where once was located the Ogden Academy (11B) of the Congregational Church (it was also called Gordon Academy). The Congregational Church stood to the north of the academy. The academy was built in 1887 as a missionary school by the Protestant movement to provide a good Christian education and to try to draw Mormon children from their religious practices. When this missionary effort for the most part failed, the academy became the property of the public schools and was used as Ogden Central High School and later part of Weber College campus on that block.
When the Congregational Church moved to its new location at 3350 Harrison Boulevard in 1961, the church was demolished, and when Weber College moved to its new location at 3850 Harrison Blvd. in the 1950s the academy was demolished.
The Weber College campus located on the 600 block of 25th Street was an important part of the city. The college remained there from 1889 to 1954 when it moved to the Harrison Boulevard location. Weber College had started as a Weber State Academy of the Mormon Church in 1889 and remained as such until 1908 when it changed to Weber College. In 1918 it became Weber Normal College to conform into the emphasis which was being given to the training of teachers. In 1923 the high school was discontinued, and It remained a church school until 1933 when it was turned over to the State of Utah. In 1957 it became a four-year college.
One of the significant buildings on the campus was the Louis F. Moench building (11C) located at 2445 Jefferson Ave. Moench was a German scholar and educator who came to Ogden in 1872. He served as a teacher and superintendent of schools until 1883 and after was a teacher and principal at Weber State Academy. The main part of the building was constructed in 1892 in a Corinthian classical style of rock and brick with pillared entry and Romanesque arched doorways. The building was divided into 13 rooms including a reading room, library, recitation rooms, principal’s office, laboratory, physical culture rooms and bookkeeping and shorthand classrooms are on the first floor. A second floor had a study hall, recitation and art room. In 1907 a wing was added to the building and later an auditorium was added which would seat 700 people. The building was razed in 1970 after 99 years of use.
12. Going east on 25th Street from Jefferson Avenue the tour comes to Lester Park on the north side of the street. The park is named after Lester Herrick, Mayor of Ogden 1871-1876-and 1872-1882. (See 24th Street tour for other details about Lester Park.)
On the south side of the street at 625 25th Street is located the Smyth House (12A) or the “Irish Castle” as it was sometimes called. The house was built in the late 1880’s by Ephraim Nye. The house represents the eclectic Victorian style and was designed by S.T. Whitaker, an Ogden architect. The design has been described non-classical and asymmetrical. The house is constructed without corners and the turrets, circular staircase and curved windows of graduated elevation add to the castle-like appearance of the structure. The original owner was Ephraim Nye but around 1900 the sold to D.A. Smyth who was an Ogden businessman. He owned the New European Hotel and Tavern on lower 25th Street and invested in the J.P. O’Neill Construction Company, the International Land and Livestock Company, the Commercial National Bank and the Union Portland Cement. Smyth, of Irish decent, named it the Irish Castle and entertained prominent Irish guest and others when they came to Ogden including President William Howard Taft, Eamon De Valera, the President of Ireland, and Chauncey Allcot, famous Irish singer and actor. Smyth was also noted for the Christmas lighting that he put up to decorate the house during the holiday times.
The house was later owned by the Catholic Church as housing for the Sister of the Sacred Heart Academy and by Fred Hunger as a picture framing business.
Farther along 25th Street at 726 is the Andrew J. Warner House. The structure now serves as the business office of Ronald Hales; Ogden architect, who is restoring the building back to its original beauty. The home is in a Queen Anne style which is highlighted with an onion-domed tower, curved porches, ball fringe and ginger-bread trimming and originally had a stained-glass window with a pink cut-glass jewel in the center. The house had a sun porch and back porch.
The house was originally owned by Andrew J. Warner, a local real estate agent and hotel clerk at Ogden’s Reed Hotel. There have been eleven owners of the building since it was built in 1890’s. There is an identical house in Salt Lake City at 1037 First Avenue.
13. At 25th and Monroe the tour turns south past Central Junior High School to 2561 Monroe Avenue. It is the location presently of the Seminary building of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but in former times it was the site of the duplex home of Bernard De Voto. De Voto is Ogden’s claim to literacy fame. He was born in Ogden in 1897 to Florian De Voto, a local real estate contractor and vagrant Catholic intellectual, who died early in his life. He was educated in Ogden Schools and graduated from Ogden High School, but he always felt “imprisoned” in Ogden because his Anti-Mormon bitterness and his somewhat eccentric character. He escaped to the University of Utah, Harvard University, and the East where he developed as a noted author producing such books as The Chariot of Fire, The Year of Decision, The House of Sam Goes-Down, and Beyond the Wide Missouri. He was editor of the Saturday Review of Literature for a period of time and for many years he wrote the “Easy Chair” editorial for Harper’s Magazine. He was one of America’s important literary figures, and Ogden has a part of the claim for him even though he was extremely critical of his Ogden beginnings.
14. The tour continues by returning to 25th Street and moving to the corner of Quincy and 25th where today stands a Medical Center. Formerly it was the location of the Sacred Heart Academy (14A). The building was completed in 189 as a school for young ladies. It was situated on a five-acre plot. The building was for stories high with 80 by 250-foot dimensions in a Romanesque style. It was built at a cost of $129,133. It was able to accommodate 500-600 boarding students and had a staff of teachers and administration of 21 sisters of the Holy Cross. The curriculum included a wide range of academic subjects and also art, music, shorthand and stenography. The building was torn down in the 1950’s.
15. At 25th Street and Jackson Avenue commences a group of houses which in former times were identified as the David Eccles Subdivision. Today it has been declared as the Eccles Avenue Historic District. The boundaries of the historic district are the area between 25th and 26th Street and the East side of Jackson Avenue to Van Buren Avenue. This area represents the new part of Ogden City after 1910 and was a place of residence of some of the prominent citizens of Ogden during that time period.
The area was developed by David Eccles, prominent Ogden business man for members of his family and some of the relatives and friends of the Eccles family. The Eccles subdivision was developed in a “Prairie Style” theme after the principles of Frank Lloyd Wright and carried out in the architectural designs of Leslie Hodgson and Eber Piers, two Ogden architects. The Wrightian themes are seen in the two story, brick structures with hipped roofs, deep coves, Wrightian windows, portes cochere, porches and 2/3 to 1/3 height relationships of the first to second floors. Some of the houses demonstrate a continuity of decorative motif in the color coordination of brick stucco, paint and shingles. The houses are set back 40 feet from the street on Eccles Avenue and the street itself in one-half the width (66 feet) of the regular streets (132 feet – two chains). This adds to the prevailing unity of the street.
Leslie Hodgson was an Ogden architect who had been exposed to the Wrightian style through his earlier training and work in San Diego under the architect Irving Gill – a student of Louis Sullivan. Hodgson’s other works in Ogden included Bigelow (Ben Lomond), Peery’s Egyptian Theatre, Union Stock Yards, Elk’s Lodge, Washington School, Lorin Farr School, Ogden City and County Building, Ogden High School, the Regional Forest Service Administration Building, LDS Deaf Branch Building and the Nye Building.
Eber Piers was just beginning his architectural career when he designed houses in the Eccles subdivision, but was later known for his design of the Berthana Building, First Security Building and the North Ogden Junior High School.
In 1910 David Eccles bought the property where the thirteen homes of the tour are located. Seven of the homes were built for his family and the other six were homes of the of the friends of the Eccles family. Even though there is a theme throughout the area each home has unique features.
The tour of the homes in this historic district starts at 2508 Jackson Avenue which was originally the home of Royal Eccles, prominent lawyer and business executive and a son of David Eccles. This home was built in 1920 and was designed by Eber Piers. The building is in the “Prairie Style” and features of large eves, an extended roof line and large bay windows. The low gabled roof, creating a dominant plain for the roof, and the main piers out front out in front supporting the roof over the portico add to the Wrightian effect. This style has been compared to Wright’s Robie house built in Chicago in 1907. Mr. Eccles was also known for the landscaping he did with evergreens and flowers - especially irises and peonies. The next house at 2509 Eccles Avenue was originally the home of Leroy Eccles. Leroy was the son of David and Bertha Eccles. He worked in the Eccles owned Sugar manufacturing business, the Amalgamated Sugar Company as superintendent, Vice President and General Manager of various plants, and in the 1930s worked in the oil industry in Texas where he died in 1936. He was involved in other Eccles properties and investments. The building was built in 1917 from the design of Leslie Hodgson. The building is an eclectic style with classic Greek and Wrightian themes. The heavy Doric columns supporting porticos on the two main street sides and the dentil below the soffits emphasize the classic Greek revival theme. The combination brown stucco over the brick pattern is Wrightian in concept. There is a stained-glass window on the south side of the building. To the south of the house there was formerly a sunken garden surrounded by a brick wall which was removed to make a parking lot. The house was originally the Eccles home, but in 1928 was sold to E.G Harness who came from South Carolina and after the home was owned by William C. Hedges, a former slave on the Harness Plantation in South Carolina. In recent years the home became the Weber Club.
The house at 2529 Eccles was built in 1914, it is believed by J.M. Canse, but it was owned for the most of its existence by the Otis Weeks family from 1919 to 1956. It is another house designed by Leslie Hodgson. Mr. Weeks was a Division Superintendent of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The building is a combination of siding, shingles and brick, and is it is the low line of the roof over the second-story and porch that gives the structure its “Prairie Style”. The arrangement of the windows two over to relates to the Colonial style of architecture.
The next home of interest is at 2533 Eccles. It is a large two-story house of yellow brick with a wooden front porch. The home is symmetrical in design except for a door on the right. It has a variety of wood columns in Doric Square and tapered design. The house was built in 1911 with the plans by Leslie Hodgson. The original owners were William and Bertha Eccles (daughter of David Eccles) Wright. The house was acquired by Dr. Joseph Morrell in 1918 who kept it until 1973. Roland Larkin and Brent Teeples have been owners also.
The home at 2545 Eccles Avenue was built in 1911 by Le Roy Eccles who lived there until his new home was finished at 2509 Eccles in 1917. This house was designed by Leslie Hodgson. It is Greek Revival style. It is a large house with prominent columns with Ionic caps under large pediments. The full porch is supported by large Doric columns and smaller Doric columns as main features. The corners of the house are squares made of sandstone which are capped with the Ionic design. The facia or soffit of the main roof is long and free of dentils which gives it Wrightian flavor.
While Leroy Eccles lived in the home, an incident took place which caused damage to the structure. In the early morning of November 2, 1913, a bomb exploded on the porch of the home which put a hole in the front wall of the building, damaging the pillars and breaking windows in the home and the neighboring houses and knocking some of the Eccles family out of their beds. The bomb was placed by an extortion game trying to get money from the Eccles family. This was a plot that had been used against several of the wealthy Ogden families to get money in this time period.
The home was sold in 1917 to Fred Taylar and Charlotte who was a friend and business partner to the Eccles family. In 1925 the home was sold to Elijah and Rosella Larkin, member of the Larkin Mortuary business. The home in recent years has been referred to as the Larkin home.
At 2555 Eccles is another home designed by Leslie Hodgson. It was built in 1911 by David Eccles as a gift to his married daughter Veda Eccles Savage who lived in it for only a short time before moving to Salt Lake City. After that the John Spargo family, prominent in the community, lived there briefly until Grace Spargo died at the home giving birth to a child. In the 1940s a “ghost” story developed about the house in which the ghost of a young woman was reported to have been seen – believed to be the ghost of Grace Spargo. In 1912 Hugh M. Rowe became the owner of the home.
Rowe was a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and also a business promoter in Ogden. He organized the Western Livestock Company, was President of the Ogden Chamber of Commerce, builder of the first golf course in Ogden in 1901, Director of the Ogden Golf and Country Club, Director of Ogden State Bank, President of Blackman and Griffin Co., and several other business undertakings. In 1942 Rowe sold the home to Lawrence P. Wright, of the W.H. Wright Co., on 24th Street. In 1956 Wright sold the home to Lee Rothey.
The home at 2565 Eccles Avenue was originally owned by Marriner A. Browning (15A). It was designed by Eber Piers and finished in 1914. The Wrightian influence is demonstrated in the structure with dark red brick on the lower part and a stucco upper part. The long soffits are notable. The red sandstone columns are also a Wrightian aspect of the building.
Marriner A. Browning was a prominent business figure in Ogden. He was a son of Matthew S. Browning (brother of John M. Browning). He took over the financial operation of the J.M. and M.S. Browning Company when his father died, and he was one of the organizers of the Browning Arms Company. He was also one of the founders of the First Security Bank Corporation in 1928 and served on the Board of Directors of several companies including Utah Power and Light, Utah Construction, Amalgamated Sugar Company and First Security Investment Company. Mr. Browning was always a generous person to community functions.
Marriner Browning married Dorthea Bigelow, a daughter of Archie P. Bigelow of the Ogden State Bank and he Bigelow Hotel. She was known as an avid hunter and involved in many community activities.
The home has passed through several owners since 1957 when the Brownings sold it. It was later owned by Leo J. Sullivan.
On the east side of the street at 2580 Eccles Avenue is the home which was originally built by Patrick Healy Jr. It now belongs to Real Estate Exchange Offices. Leslie Hodgson was the architect of this building which was constructed in 1920. The structure does not follow the Wrightian them of the Eccles circle houses but is the English country manor style. The stucco exterior, the massive chimney, the high-pitched roof and the cedar shingles are characteristic for that style.
The Healy’s owned the home until 1960 when it sold to H.Q. Holley and then later acquired by Albert and Orluff Opheikens who own the Real Estate Exchange Business.
At 2540 Eccles Avenue is a home designed by Eber Piers and built in1914 for Edmund Orson Wattis. The home is another in the Wrightian theme with lower red brick façade and upper stucco part. Also significant are the ribbons of brick intervals with a motif of green glazed tiles interspersed. The “Prairie Style” of roof, the extended soffit and leaded glass windows are typical of Wrightian design. The three-car garage built later detracts from the house.
This house was built for E.O. Wattis, who with his brother William H. and Warren L. organized and ran the Utah Construction Company. That company constructed the track for the Western Pacific from Salt Lake City to Oroville, California, the San Pedro Railroad from Salt Lake to the California line, and built many dams including the O’Shaughnessy Dam which provides water for San Francisco, the American Falls Dam in Idaho; the Deadwood Dam in Montana, the Guernsey Dam in Wyoming, and the Ogden River Project and the building of Pine View Dam.
In 1944, after the death of Mrs. Wattis, the home was sold to Henry A. Benning a prominent sugar industrialist, who was President of the Amalgamated Sugar Company.
The house at 2532 Eccles Avenue is a modest house compared to the others on the street. It was designed by Eber Piers for Dr. and Mrs. G.W. Green in 1914. The Greens lived there just a short time and it was rented for a long time to William Henry Shearman and his wife Wilhelmina Kiesel, daughter of Fred J. Kiesel, prominent Ogden businessman and Mayor. The Shearman’s finally purchased the home in 1949. The Shearman’s were prominent in Ogden business and community affairs, “Harry” Shearman was the Vice President of Pingree’s Bank and was manager of the Fred J. Kiesel estate and the Kiesel building on Kiesel Avenue. Mr. Shearman was noted outdoorsman. Mrs. Kiesel was a world traveler and art collector. Both were supporters of the local Boy Scout program. They donated the site on the headwaters of the Ogden River to the Ogden Boy Scout Council that was developed as Camp Kiesel. They also gave a piece of land to Taylor and Cahoon for a Training Center for Scouters.
The home was in the Wrightian theme with the stucco over brick combination, but the flat roof over the top of the dormer was a daring innovation and relief from Wright’s regular format, according to an assessment of Ron Hales, architect. The porch columns with decorative brick are Wrightian in character also.
The last house of significance on this circle is at 2522 Eccles. This house was built in 1910 by John Shannon Houtz from the design of architect Leslie Hodgson. Mr. Houtz was a pioneer Utah businessman. He had come to Utah in 1848 and remined in Salt Lake until 1870. At that time, he became engaged in the cattle and horse business in Curlew Valley in Box Elder County and later expanded into the sheep business. He had also participated in the early freighting business to Salt Lake and the railroad construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific. He came into Ogden in 1883 where he was a Vice President of the Commercial National Bank which later became Commercial Security Bank of Utah.
The building was eclectic with emphasis on the Greek Revival seen in the columns and capitals with some dentil work. There is also a Wrightian influence in the materials of red brick with medium mortar and a freeze of lighter brick in a two-bar motif characteristic of the period. The low roof line with shingled roof are also Wrightian school.
At 2504 Eccles Avenue is the house where Robert Walker, movie star of the 1940’s, lived with his parents Mr. and Mrs. Horace Walker. Robert was known for his role in pictures such as “Winter Carnival”, “See Here Private Hargrove,” “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo”, “Blue Skies, One Touch of Venue”, and other movies in the 1940’s. Walker died and was buried in Ogden in 1951.
The last sites on the tour are the two homes on Van Buren Avenue. The houses are at 2527 and at 2541 Van Buren were built as matching house with the plans reversed. At a later time, an addition was made on the house at 2541. E.O. Wattis hired Eber Piers to plan the matching houses on adjoining properties, and they were built in 1917. The house at 2527 was originally owned by Eziekiel Dumke who was a practicing physician in Ogden for many years.
The house at 2541 was given by E.O. Wattis to his daughter Ruth Wattis Gwilliam wo lived there only for a short time. The property was sold to her sister Ethel Wattis Kimball in 1920, and then sold to Marriner S. Eccles in 1923. The house was sold by the Eccles family in 1943. The current owner is Thomas Moore (15B).
The Eccles and Dumke homes demonstrate the Frank Lloyd Wright style. The homes are brick with a change of color and design of the brick two-thirds up the wall. The banded brick designs around the house at the window sill line and a recorded course of brick every fifth row plays up the horizontal plane, as does the low long rood with deep soffits. The symmetrical window patterns, and the columns supporting the porches are characteristics of Wright’s style.
The main historical significance of the site is that Marriner S. Eccles was the owner and occupant. Eccles was one of the great financial and business minds in America. In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, he had done much t formulate the program which financial experts have stated saved the American enterprise system. In Roosevelt’s Administration Eccles served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve and Under Secretary of Treasury. As son of David Eccles, Marriner also continued to direct and expand the Eccles empire in Utah where he served as President of the First Security Corporation, Vice President and Treasurer of the Amalgamated Sugar Company, President of the Sego Milk Products, President of the Utah Construction Company, President of Stoddard Lumber Company, Director of Anderson Lumber Company, Director of the Mountain States Implement Company and Chairman of the Utah Construction and Mining Company. An impressive list of financial accomplishments. It again demonstrates what has been evident throughout this tour that the Eccles family has had tremendous impact on the development and growth of the Ogden City and Weber County community.
This ends the walking tour of 25th Street in Ogden. It is hoped that the tour has been enjoyable and helpful in bringing a better understanding and appreciation of the visions, dreams and accomplishments in a setting of creative change of some of the citizens of Ogden City and Weber County.