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Laytona : The town that lived and died for want of water

Article Published 12/04/2014

Layton City hasn’t always been “Layton City.”
Davis County’s largest city is actually the product to two major mergers, one with Laytona in 1957 and another with East Layton in 1981.
-Here’s a look at the Laytona merger: 
Laytona was a community incorporated on Dec. 30, 1937 in the quest for adequate water.
“Laytona is a town that lived and died for want of water,” Doneta M. Gatherum stated in the “Layton” history book, published by the Layton-Kaysville Historical Society.
This 2.6-square-mile city basically went from north of Gordon Avenue to Highway 193;  west of Fort Lane and included many jagged boundaries. (In comparison, Layton City was 3.2-square miles at the time.)
Today, about the only reminder of the community is a street called Laytona, near 1390 West, and north of Gordon Avenue and south of Marilyn Drive.
Surprisingly, a woman, Mable Sill Adams, was its main executive, as the town board president. (This was the first time in the North Davis area that a woman had been a city’s key leader.)
As its own community, Laytona was eligible for Works Progress Administration (WPA) financial assistance in getting a culinary water system established. Previously, most of the 37 families in the Laytona boundaries had to haul in water to their households.
With WPA financing, Laytona took water from the south fork of Kays Creek through a 2.5-mile long, 14-inch steel pipeline and a 30,000-gallon storage tank, located near 2100 North Valley View Drive. Total cost was about $24,000.
The city’s government only delved into water storage and delivery and in 20 years it never issued permits, built roads or even had any paid employees.
Its water system operated by volunteer labor and lacking equipment, relied on volunteer help from Layton City.
By the mid-1950s, the city’s water line had suffered at least 60 leaks, that had to be accessed by hand shovel and plugged with lead. Then, it was apparent that the water system was obsolete and with little tax base from any businesses in town – most of its 500 residents relied on farming and were eager to annex into Layton City.
“Layton, Laytona voters OK merger” was a Sept. 29, 1957 headline in the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
Laytona voted 114-15 to annex into Layton City, while Layton City residents voted 84-42 to approve the merger.
The annexation boosted Layton’s population to 5,752. Layton City had $1.1 million in assets at the time of the merger. Laytona’s assets were $100,503.
It was through this merger that Layton City legally became known as Layton City Corporation.