WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
(formerly called Bennington)
LOCATIONIn the area around Interstate 15, Exits 22-23.
N 37.238, W -113.358
Elevation 3,481 feet.
HISTORYBy 1867 the Harrisburg pioneers realized that a place called "Road Valley," just to the north, was more suitable for diverting water and cultivating farmland. Amidst controversy, but with direction from Mormon leader Erastus Snow, many families moved from Harrisburg to Road Valley. An irrigation ditch was dug and water was brought to the site. The town was organized on December 1, 1867, and named Bennington, in honor of the town's bishop, Benjamin Stringham. Bishop Stringham later requested that the town be named after Leeds, England, where he had served as a Mormon missionary. In May of 1869, Bennington became Leeds.
Originally, raising grapes and selling wine was the main business in Leeds. Then they provided support services for Silver Reef. After Silver Reef faded away, a number of different crops were raised in Leeds. Cane sugar was raised for sorghum. There was also cattle ranching.
Electricity came to Leeds after the citizens got together to bring it in. It cost $75 to get it to each home. Telephone poles were run down the center of Main Street with wires then running out to each house. On August 21, 1916, a meeting of citizens was held where it was decided to move the poles out of the street to the west side of the street.
Leeds was incorporated in May of 1953.
In 1991, Leeds passed a Historical Preservation Ordinance.
Clair Stirling (1953 - 1954)
A. A. Eastman (1954 - 1960)
Willard G. McMullin (1960 - 1962)
Frank Eagar (1962 - 1966)
Glenn Beal (1966 - 1970)
Ross Savage (1970 - 1978)
Clin Davenport (1978 - 1982)
Carl Seierup (1982 - 1986)
Stanley Roberts (1986 - 1994)
Brent DeMille (1944 - ????)
Mike Empey (???? - ????)
Norma Gier (???? - 2006)
Trudy Law (2006 - 2009)
Hyrum D. Lefler (2010 - September 2011)
Alan Roberts (September 2011 - February 13, /2013)
Angela Rohr (February 13, 2013 - ????)
Bishops of the Leeds Ward:
Wyllis D. Fuller (1874 - 1876)
Goudy Hogan (1876 - December 1877)
George H. Crosby (December 1877 - 1886)
Brigham Young McMullin (Spring of 1886 - 1913)
David Stirling (1913-1929)
I. Edward McMullin (1929 - 1939)
L. Stanley Fuller (1939 - 1946)
Charles E. Allen (1946 - 1950)
Clair Stirling (1950 - November 25, 1956)
Ross C. Savage (November 25, 1956 - August 14, 1961)
Walter C. Eagar (August 14, 1961 - January 30, 1966)
L. Merlin Sullivan (January 30, 1966 - March 26, 1972)
Ray H. Gleave (March 26, 1972 - June 20, 1976)
H. Carlyle Stirling (June 20, 1976 - September 4, 1983)
Donald J. Fawson (September 4, 1983 - August 21, 1988)
Alan L. Howard (August 21, 1988 - January 16, 1994)
Russell G. Peine (January 16, 1994 - ????)
Bishops of the Leeds Second Ward:
G. Ray Beal (February 25, 1996 - ????)
Charles Albert Connelley (first Leeds postmaster)
Mary Jane Olsen (1904 - September 1, 1932)
Walter Clinton Eagar (1932 - 1962)
Alene Cuff (???? - November 18, 1995)
Mike & Tracy Rollins (November 18, 1995 - ????)
HISTORIC SITESLeeds Homes
Leeds Ranger Station
Leeds CCC Camp
Howard Shopping Center
Leeds Cannery (Southern Utah Packing Company)
Leeds Water Company
Log Cabin Inn
Leeds Rock Church and School
Leeds Tithing Office
Leeds Old Church
Leeds New Church
Leeds Social Hall (aka Old Stirling Hall)
Leeds Town Hall
WCHS-00490 Photo of a group of people in Leeds UT
Other photos on the internet:
Leeds and Silver Reef photo tour
Photo of a service station in a southern Utah town, maybe Leeds
1941 photo of Leeds Creek flowing towards Oak Grove Campground, 8 miles west of Leeds
1941 photo of a lady and yucca in bloom among live oak shrubs near Leeds Creek on road to Oak Grove Campground
1941 photo of water cascading down Leeds Creek
1941 photo of a lady and flowering cactus along Leeds Creek
Photo of a concrete dam and retaining wall near Leeds, likely built by CCC enrollees from the Leeds CCC Camp
Photo of the main gate of the Leeds Cemetery
Photo of the cemetery directory stand at the Leeds Cemetery
Photo of some plots in the Leeds Cemetery
REFERENCESLeeds Town official website
2006 Leeds street map
Leeds Interpretive Sign: A Tale of Three Towns
Leeds Interpretive Sign: From Native American Trail to Interstate Exit
Leeds Interpretive Sign: Water Is Life... The Shovel Is Divine - From Ditches to Pipes
Leeds Interpretive Sign: The Leeds Tithing Office
Leeds Interpretive Sign: From Schoolhouse to Town Hall: A Building on the Move
Leeds Interpretive Sign: The Sarah Ann and William Stirling Home
Leeds Interpretive Sign: "They were poor, hungry, and the built to last" The Civilian Conservation Corps
Leeds Interpretive Sign: Civilian Conservation Corps, Leeds, Utah
Wikipedia article about Leeds
A history of Leeds
A history of Leeds
A driving tour of Silver Reef, Leeds, and Harrisburg
Leeds City Cemetery
Leeds City Cemetery
List of burials in the Leeds Cemetery from 1852 to 1996
Blog: Leeds Historic Preservation Commission Leads the Way
Form Tomorrow's Historic Preservation Strategic Plan for Leeds
A pictorial history of Leeds, England
"Saga of Three Towns: Harrisburg - Leeds - Silver Reef"
by Marietta M. Mariger
Panguitch: Garfield County News, 1951
Also see http://www.ourlittlecircle.com/journals/saga_three_towns.html
Wilman Cox Beal, " Leed Historical Events in Bits & Pieces".
August 1996, Southwestern Printing & Publishing Co, Leeds UT.
Washington County Chapter, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, " Under Dixie Sun".
1950 with 1978 Supplement.
Pages 361-369, Supplement Page 19.
Paul Dean Proctor and Morris A. Shirts, "Silver, Saints, and Sinners - A History of Old Silver Reef Utah".
1991, Paulmar Publishers Inc, Provo UT.