Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chauncey West's Ogden Home

Chauncey West’s Ogden Home

Chauncey West was appointed presiding Bishop of Weber County in November, 1855, a position that he retained until his death. That fall, Chauncey moved his family from Salt Lake City to Ogden. His home there occupied “almost the entire block in the very center of what is now the business part of Ogden City, between Washington and Grant Avenue and between 23rd and 24th Street. He built his home and a large barn on Main Street and planted almost the entire block into an orchard and a vegetable garden.” [Genealogical Journal, Utah Genealogical Association, volume 22, page 16.]

Note: the street names in Ogden have changed from what they were when Chauncey lived there. The attached map (taken from the 1884 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map for Ogden) shows the earlier street names: Third (for 23rd), Fourth (for 24th), Main (for Washington) and Young (for Grant).

His estate on that block included numerous buildings, fields, and orchards. In Ogden, Chauncey “entered the lumber business on a rather large scale . . . . [He also] built and operated a tannery and used the leather in making boots, shoes, harnesses and saddles. Also on 24th Street, he built a wagon and blacksmith shop. . . and had a meat market on the same street. Near the center of the block on 24th Street, he established a very fine livery stable, and across the street on the corner of Main and 24th Street, he built and operated a hotel called the Ogden House.” [Genealogical Journal, Utah Genealogical Association, volume 22, page 17.]

“By 1861 plays were presented in Chauncey West’s barn located at 2375 Washington Boulevard.” [Roberts & Sadler, A History of Weber County, page 186.]

According to family stories, the main house had a suite for each of his wives, each one with a sitting room and bedroom. Each wife had a small house of her own on the block occupied by Chauncey’s estate. These “sitting rooms” in the main house were in addition to those separate homes. The wives shared in the household chores on a regular basis, two or three each week working together doing the cooking, cleaning, washing, and so forth, for the large family. The dining room was especially large and on at least one occasion young Heber was chastised for riding his horse around the dining room table!

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