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William D Kuhre House


The William D. Kuhre House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2011, The Gombach Group.

Description

The William D. Kuhre House, 8586 South Center Street (150 East), Sandy, Utah, was constructed in 1890 and substantially remodeled c.1910. The remodeling included the addition of the full-width porch on the front, stuccoing the second-story exterior walls, and probably the replacement of the original roof. All of these features are typical of early twentieth-century architecture and not of the 1890s Victorian period in which the house was originally constructed. The house has not been significantly altered since the time of that remodeling.

The main section of the William D. Kuhre House is an almost square two-story block with a hip roof. The roof has a wide overhang with exposed rafters which are rounded on the ends. The lower story is brick on a granite foundation. The upper story is stucco over brick. A single-story covered porch extends across the entire front portion of the house. It was originally constructed of wood with wood columns supporting the porch roof which was topped by an iron railing. In approximately 1910 the porch was remodeled to have a concrete floor, brick columns and railing wall, and frame arches overhead. The iron top rail was retained. Another change that probably was made at that time was the alteration of the facade. The original facade appears to have been symmetrically composed with a central door flanked by two windows. The door was bricked in and the window to the right was converted into the new doorway. The windows on the house have segmental relieving arches, and the openings are unaltered, though some of the windows may have been replaced.

On the interior the old kitchen was converted into a family room and the walk-in pantry has been made into a small kitchen. There is a formal dining room, a large entrance hall with an open stairway, a parlor with an elaborate fireplace, a library, and a half bath on the main floor. A rear stairway runs from the kitchen to the second story. On the second floor there were originally four bedrooms. One has been converted into a large bathroom. Much of the original woodwork appears to be intact. The mouldings over windows and doorways of the first floor rooms and the bannister of the front stairway are typical of the Victorian period and have been carefully restored. All of the walls and ceilings have been replastered and the hardwood floors along with the doors and other woodwork in the house have been refinished. Decorating techniques of the 1890s have been used throughout the house including wainscotting and wood graining. The wallpapers used are reproductions of early patterns. Period light fixtures have been installed although the wiring is new. The vast majority of furnishings, rugs, furniture and accessories are of the period or older.

There is a single-story frame addition built on the rear of the house (date unknown). Two frame porches are attached to this addition. The one-story rear section had a kitchen, bath, and pantry. The old kitchen has been converted to a family room and the walk-in pantry to a small kitchen.

The old summer kitchen and wash house are still on the grounds and in good condition. The grounds are kept in immaculate condition and are very similar to the original. The house is being used as a residence and will be for the foreseeable future.

Significance

Built in 1890 and remodeled c.1910, the William D. Kuhre House is historically significant for its association with William D. Kuhre, an influential leader in civic, educational, business, and religious activities in Sandy during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Kuhre, who lived in this house from 1890 until the 1930s, served as mayor of Sandy, was a member of the school board for many years, served as bishop of the Sandy Ward of the LDS church, and was a partner in one of the community's longest-lived businesses, Jensen & Kuhre Lumber and Hardware Company. The William D. Kuhre House is also architecturally significant, representing the upper range of residential architecture in a community of primarily frame hall-parlor houses and brick Victorian Eclectic cottages. In addition to being one of the earliest brick houses in the town, it is also the largest house and the only example of the Foursquare type in Sandy.

William Dobbie Kuhre was born January 21, 1863, at Ephraim, Sanpete County, Utah. His Danish immigrant parents had arrived the previous September. On the fateful day of October 17, 1865, the parents, a seventeen year old girl, and the two year old William were gathering potatoes in a field outside of the town. A band of Indians under Chief Blackhawk approached and killed the adults. Young William was picked up by an Indian and dropped unharmed. Four other adults were killed as the Indians travelled down the valley. William was adopted by John and Ellen Dobbie who gave him every advantage in their power. The Gobbles moved to Salt Lake City shortly thereafter, where William grew to adulthood. William moved to Sandy in 1881 and resided there the remainder of his life. He worked as bookkeeper at the Pioneer Ore Sampling Mill for many years.

The Sandy of 1881 when William D. Kuhre arrived was a boom town of wooden buildings, two operating smelters, the Mingo and Flagstaff, two sampling mills, of which the Pioneer was by far the largest and lasted the longest.

Two distinct types of people could be found. One, the boom towner who worked at the smelters, slept in the boarding houses, and for recreation drank in the saloons. The other was the Mormon immigrant who worked in the smelter or sampling mill, endeavored to attend church services and went home to his wife and children no matter how crude the domicile. These two types opposed each other, and their confrontations helped lead to the incorporation of Sandy on August 24, 1893. At least part of the reason for incorporation was to hire a marshal and enact laws to control the rowdy element.

Mr. Kuhre worked as bookkeeper at the Pioneer Sampling Mill. On April 14, 1886, he married Alice Drown of West Jordan. They apparently lived in Midvale until 1890 when they built this brick home by the railroad tracks and across from the Pioneer Sampling Mill. Kenneth, the third of nine children born of the marriage was the first to be born in this house in 1891. The nine children were Leon, Helen, Kenneth, Martin, Alice, Ella, Newell, Thelma and Udell. Martin became an early dentist of Sandy. Mrs. Kuhre died December 6, 1933.

Mr. Kuhre later married Christine Jensen Wilson (widow of W.W. Wilson) and moved into a brick Bungalow built in the early 1920s by Mr. Wilson. The house is located on 8680 South and 90 East, and is still in good condition and occupied. He remained in this location until his death at age 96.

William Kuhre became a partner with James Jensen in Jensen & Kuhre Lumber & Hardware Company. This company became one of the most prominent and long-lived businesses in Sandy. The partners also were involved in real estate, purchasing the land of the old Flagstaff Smelter and incorporating it into Sandy as the Flagstaff addition. William Kuhre sold his interest in the lumber company in his latter years, but continued to work as bookkeeper until he was 90 years old. He was a very religious man and held many positions in the LDS church. In 1892 he was chosen as second counselor to Bishop James Jensen of the Sandy Ward (congregation), and from 1900 to 1914 he served as bishop of the ward. He became a member of the Jordan Stake Presidency (a stake consists of several wards), and in 1919 was set apart as patriarch of the stake, a position he held until his death. He was also very active in civic affairs and was elected mayor in 1901. He served as a member of the school board for many years, first as a trustee and then as a board member after the consolidation. He was one of the most respected men of early Sandy. He died in 1960 at age 96.

The William D. Kuhre Home was in possession of the family for seventy years. It was then purchased by David Oman Grow in 1966. He divided the house into two apartments. In 1974, it was sold to Kendell W. Young. In 1975 he sold it to Mountain Empire Investment Corp. from whom the present [1987] owners are purchasing the property. They have restored the house throughout.

[2011 Note: The William D. Kuhre House is now known as the Hansen House Bed and Breakfast.]

References

Esshom, Frank E. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, Salt Lake City: Western Epics, 1966.

Jenson, Andrew. LDS Biographical Encyclopedia (vol.I) Salt Lake City: A. Jenson History Co., 1901.

Rich, Roxie N. The History and People of Early Sandy. Sandy, Utah: author, 1975.

Gottfredson, Peter. Indian Depredations in Utah. Salt Lake City; author, 1969 (2nd ed.).

†Alfred C. Gailey, Chairman, Sandy Historic Preservation Commission, Kuhre, William D., House, Sandy, Salt Lake County, Utah, nomination document, 1987, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

William D Kuhre House Map

Street Names
150 East • Center Street South

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