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1892: When Layton struggled for an identity and boasted of its agriculture …

Article Published 02/20/2014

Some 122 years ago, Layton was struggling to gain its own identity in Northern Utah and yet boasting of its agricultural prowess.
From the Jan. 23, 1892 Ogden Standard-Examiner:
“There are some people in the large surrounding cities that do not know there is such a place as Layton, formerly known as Kays Creek, in Utah.”
“They do not know what a fine country we have here for agriculture and stock raising.”
“The town is situated about fifteen miles south of Ogden, with seven hundred inhabitants, also three mercantile stores, a post office, two blacksmith shops, one meat market, a large steam roller mill, a saloon, and two railroads running through the center. … Sleigh riding and dancing is the chief sport of the people.”
Layton was also struggling with vagabonds at the time. From the March 22, 1892 Standard:
“The tramps who pass through here should be called thieves instead. They have been fed good by the farmers and now they think they should live better than the men who work, so they go and visit hen roosts and cellars at night. It is necessary that something should be done to rid the town of the lazy vagabonds.”
The town’s namesake also came to visit 122 years ago.
From the April 10, 1892, Standard:
“Bishop C. (Christopher) Layton is up from Arizona visiting the town named after him, for a short time.”
From the same article, Layton’s first railroad depot was finally under construction. However, the description of poor lumber might explain why the city’s first train station didn’t last long (and was replaced 20 years later by the historic depot now residing at the south end of Main Street):
“The long-expected depot at last! We had nearly lost all hopes of seeing the promise which had been made in the past fulfilled, but now the material is on the ground and the men at work although the lumber they are using is in a very dilapidated condition. However, as the Union Pacific has some very good remodelers and painters we hope they will be an ornament to the town.”
Finally, a strange item about Layton from the April 5, 1892 Standard:
“The town has been infested with drummers during the past week.”