WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
WILLIAM & SARAH ANN STIRLING HOME
LOCATION15 S. Main Street
Leeds, UT 84746
HISTORYThe Stirling home was built in 1876 by Samuel Worthen and Sons at a cost of about $5,000. The house exemplifies well the "Dixie Dormer" upper floor windows, which were a popular architectural design of the day. Eldon Stirling, grandson of Sarah Ann and William Stirling, lived in the home during the latter part of the twentieth century. He updated the woodwork on the porch and balconies in the early 1980s, hand turning on a lathe all the balusters for the railings. The home is still occupied by descentdants of the original occupants.
The William Stirling home is nearly identical to the Charles Wilkinson home, also in Leeds.
BIOGRAPHYWilliam Stirling was a prominent and early settler of Leeds. He built a small house, the Stirling-Olsen Home, in 1868 and lived there until he brought his parents, Thomas & Elizabeth Stirling, from Salt Lake City.
He came into what seemed,for the times, a fortune. Stirling, a farmer and winemaker, was also the chief executive officer for the Leeds Water Company. In 1872, on a cold winter day while riding his horse through Silver Reef, he observed that the Christy Mill, a five-stamp silver ore processing mill, was overheating as a result of the routine water supply freezing solid. An explosion was inevitable. He moved swiftly into action, opening head gates which directed water from the Leeds ditch system to cool the overheating mill. A disaster was averted. The owners of the Christy Mill demonstrated their gratitude to Stirling by placing him on the payroll with a handsome salary for a year with no expectation that he work for the wage. Stirling used the wage to build this two-story brick home and gave his old house to his parents.
William Stirling played an important role in the history of early Leeds and the short existence of Silver Reef (1875 to 1889). After the silver boom declined, Stirling realized that many of the empty wooden buildings still standing in Silver Reef could be "mined." In 1895 he purchased and moved the vacant St. John's Catholic Church of Silver Reef to Leeds. He converted the building into the Leeds Social Hall or "Old Stirling Hall." Plays, variety shows, dances, and many festive activities took place in the building.
August 1968 photograph by P. Kent Fairbanks
WCHS-00701 2010 photo of the William & Sarah Ann Stirling home in Leeds
WCHS-03108 2016 photo of the William & Sarah Ann Stirling home in Leeds
WCHS-03109 2016 photo of the William & Sarah Ann Stirling home in Leeds
WCHS-03110 2016 photo of the William & Sarah Ann Stirling home in Leeds
REFERENCESLeeds Interpretive Sign: The Sarah Ann & William Stirling Home
Wilma Cox Beal, "Leeds Historical Event in Bits & Pieces", pp. 13-14, 61-63.
Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey, William and Sarah Stirling Home
Call Number: HABS UTAH,27-LEED,1-
Survey number HABS UT-77