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Willard City

Box Elder County, Utah

Photo: John L. Edwards House, ca. 1868, 55 South 200 West, Willard, UT. John L. Edwards House, ca. 1868, 55 South 200 West, Willard, UT. This substantial, attractively situated home of stuccoed native stone and sun-dried brick is enhanced with decorative features of the Carpenter Gothic style. Photographed by Louise T. Taft, 1985, Historic American Buildings Survey [HABS UT-90-5], memory.loc.gov, accessed September, 2014.

Willard City Photo

Willard City Hall is located at 80 W 40 S, Willard, UT 84340.
Phone: 435‑734‑9881.


Beginnings [1]

Willard, in Box Elder County, Utah, was one of the early settlements founded by Mormon settlers upon a request from Brigham Young. It was originally known as "Willow Creek" in recognition of the steady stream flowing from a steep mountain canyon to the great Salt Lake. Later the town was renamed to honor Willard Richards, an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In plan the town resembles the plat of the "City of Zion" as designed by Mormon leaders before the settlement of the Utah territory. Instead of dispersed farmsteads, as encouraged by federal land acts of the nineteenth century, the Mormons maintained a closely knit village pattern. Important distinguishing characteristics of a Mormon village manifested in Willard are the presence of barns, granaries, corrals and fences in the village proper. The townsite rests on a wide alluvial fan whose fertile soil has supported farms and orchards since the days of the first pioneers in 1851.

An abundance of finely crafted pioneer stone architecture sets Willard apart from most other Mormon villages. This fact was recognized in July of 1974 when a large portion of the town was designated a National Historic District. The ingenuity of the settlers in making such harmonious use of natural stone, quarried from the mountain canyon just east of the townsite, is uniquely demonstrated in a majority of the more than forty historic structures found within the boundaries of the historic district.

John L. Edwards, a prominent cattleman in northern Utah, immigrated from Wales in 1855 and shortly thereafter settled in Willard. Active in both civic and church affairs, he served as acting Bishop of the Willard Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and two terms as the town's mayor.

  1. The State of Utah survey, conducted by the Historic American Buildings Survey, was cosponsored by the National Park Service and the Utah Heritage Foundation and supported by the Utah American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and the Utah State Institute of Fine Arts jointly with the National Endowment for the Arts. All work was recorded under the direction of John Poppeliers, Chief of HABS, during the summer of 1974 at the Historic American Buildings Survey Field Office at the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Utah. The survey team consisted of Burtch W. Beall, Jr., architect (University of Utah), project supervisor; Dr. Peter L. Goss, project historian; student architects Ronnie B. Cullen (Washington State University), Clayton B. Fraser (University of Tennessee), William B. Klein (University of Utah), and Eric V. Ramsing (University of Oregon). Photographs were taken by Louise T. Taft in 1985. The written data were edited by Alison K. Hoagland, HABS Historian, in 1985. HABS UT-90, memor.loc.gove, accessed September, 2014.

Nearby Towns: Brigham City •