Dwellings—North Tour


Willey/Gorringe/Sedgwick/Neath Cabin 100 W. 400 North


Jeremiah Willey was born November 6, 1804 in Northfield, New Hampshire, to Isaiah and Sarah Daniels Willey. He eventually joined the L.D.S. Church and moved to Nauvoo. He was preaching the gospel when he met Samantha Call and knew she would someday be his wife. Samantha was born November 15, 1814, to Cyril and Sally Tiffany Call. After Jeremiah's first wife died, he married Samantha. He served two missions after that. After the Prophet Joseph was killed, they came back to Nauvoo and bought a small house and lot. A year and a half later, when the saints were driven out, they sold their home for one pound of stocking yarn and took one cow and their clothing with them.

Jeremiah and Samantha Willey arrived in the valley and came to Sessions Settlement where Samantha's brother and sister were living. In 1854 he built the cabin at 495 E. 500 South and farmed the surrounding property. The land included the property where Lakeview Hospital, South Davis Community care Center and several homes now stand. This was during the period when land was allotted by the local L.D.S. bishop.

After a few years he built a larger rock home across town at 415 N. 200 West and moved his family there. He acquired enough land that several Willey homes were built on the property and are still standing. He died in 1868.

Legal documents show that in 1860 William O. Gorringe took possession of the Willey cabin on 500 South. County records indicate that he paid $100.00 for 80 acres. He proceeded to build a two-story rock house a block and a half east of the cabin to house his large family of nine children.

This was completed in 1862. When it became necessary for land in the Territory of Utah to be filed on, Mr. Gorringe went through the procedure in 1872.*

In 1880 Mr. Gorringe sold 11 ½ acres, including the Willey cabin and the rock home on 500 South, to Daniel Hall for $55.00.

On January 13, 1899, Daniel Hall deeded 7 ½ acres of the property, which included the two homes, to Richard Sedgwick and Mary Emma Hall Sedgwick for $2.00. Mary Emma was Daniel Hall's daughter.

At age 18, Richard Sedgwick had emigrated from England to Brooklyn, New York, where he worked as a painter. There he married Mary Emma Hall, who had also emigrated from England to Brooklyn with her parents. Six of their eight children were born before they moved by rail to Utah in 1882.

The property and cabin were next purchased in 1901 for $1.00 by Richard Hall Sedgwick, son of Richard and Mary Emma. His parents lived in the rock house until they died.

Richard H. and his wife, Dora Belle Garrett and their three sons, lived in the cabin. It is quite likely that Richard Hall built rooms onto the north and east of the cabin because Joel Sedgwick remembers they were there in 1907. Dora died that year and Richard H. married Emma Dibble in 1909. They lived there until moving to West Layton in 1917. Richard H. retained ownership until 1931 when he sold the Sedgwick place to his brother, George Sedgwick, for $400. George and his wife, Clara Burningham, lived diagonally across the street. George had been farming the land.

In 1939 Grant Neath, a descendant of Perrigrine Sessions, bought the home and 7 ½ acres of the land from the Sedgwick Estate. He built a modern addition onto the existing house, which included a spacious family room with flagstone floor and exposed beams in the ceiling, three of which came from Perrigrine Sessions' old home.

The old Willey cabin, enclosed on three sides, was still the heart of this home. The front of the cabin faced onto a porch so it had been protected through the years. The Neath family stained and treated the logs with preservative, and added new chinking when needed. Inside, the cabin walls were encased with wallboard, The cabin roof was covered over with a new roof, keeping the old one intact as much as possible, Neath and his wife beautified the grounds with flowers and their extensive collection of rocks, petrified wood and geodes. Their property was like a beautiful park, complete with a gazebo which Grant built.

In 1992, the South Davis Community Care Center purchased the house and property from the Neath estate for a parking lot for the extension of their building. The Neath family wished that the home, or at least the cabin, could be saved. Leslie T. Foy, bountiful historian and City Council member, brought it before the Council and asked them if they would appropriate the money to save the cabin. Alternative plans for saving it were investigated. After much discussion and consideration, the Bountiful City Council voted unanimously to appropriate the necessary money to move the cabin to the City Park and have it restored, with the help of civic groups. It was an appropriate gift to Bountiful in this Centennial year.

* A copy of this document from the National Archives is in possession of Joel Sedgwick.

Sources: Joel Sedgwick; Leslie Foy; Veda Sedgwick: East of Antelope Island, D.U.P.; The City Bountiful, by Leslie T. Foy, and Deseret News article, August 20-21, 1992.

Joel G. Sedgwick was born in this old home May 5, 1903. His brothers and one of his sisters were also born in this home.