THE OGDEN VALLEY NEWS Page 22 Volume IV, Issue V June 15, 2001 The Historic McKay Family Home Compiled by Shanna Francis Ogden Valley News Staff A historic landmark in Huntsville is the childhood home of the late David O. McKay, third child born to David and Jeannette Evans Mckay, who built the McKay home sometime between 1850 and 1853. The original structure consisted of the two front rooms of the current home that stands today, with a fireplace at each end of the home, one in each room, and built on the outer walls. Before 1881, the second story was added, comprising the three east bedrooms upstairs. stairway, two closets, and three wooden porches. It wasn’t until many years later that the out-house was replaced with running water, and modern bathroom facilities added. At one time, the home had four kitchens for use by different families enjoying the home during summer seasons. Much of the original furniture remains in the home today, providing a very pleasing and hospitable environment for visitors that come to tour the home. David O. McKay, the third child One of three of the earliest pianos that came to Utah by covered wagon. The piano graces the living room, one of the original rooms built by the McKays in the early 1850s. brought to Utah by Jeanette’s grandfather. In Huntsville, the McKay children, including David O., spent their summers close to cousins, aunts, and uncles, listening to old family stories, playing baseball, croquet, and Rook; reading, swimming, and helping on the farm. According to David O. McKay’s in from the east window, he repeated to us his experience about hearing a noise downstairs while his father was on his mission. There were no interior stairs; the two little boys had to climb up a stair on the outside of the house to get into their second-story bedroom. Father knew that Indians had threatened his mother once; and terribly frightened that something Sitting room where David's mother rocked her babies while doing her sewing. The wood on the underside of the cradle is worn where her toe would rhythmically move the cradle back and forth to soothe her little ones. Narrow stairs led outside the wall up through, what is now, the upstairs washroom. With a small family in tow, and expecting another child, Jeannette’s husband was called on a mission to Scotland. David stated, in effect, that of course he couldn’t leave, to which his stoic wife replied—that of course he would go! While on his mission, Jeannette constructed the rest of the house. She tore down a lean-to that was used as a kitchen, and put in a wide straight born to David and Jeannette, and the oldest son of the Scottish couple, became President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1951. A visit to the home today, reveals an old pump organ in the dining room, which David O. McKay played. In the living room, one of the two original rooms of the home, stands a beautiful Chickering grand piano. It was one of the first three pianos to come to Utah by covered wagon on the last leg of its long journey to the west. It was S&S EXCAVATING and Development *WE DO: Water, Sewer, Basements, Roads Subdivision, Development Dozer work, and all other excavating needs. *WE HAVE: Landscape rock - delivered or installed Top soil, Compost, Sand, Road Base Gravel all sizes, Fill Dirt and Pit Run. By the pickup load or dump truck load. You can pick it up in our yard or we’ll deliver. “WE DIG OUR VALLEY” Contact Thom Summers @ 745-2309 4786 East 2600 North Eden, Utah President David O. McKay with his wife Emma Ray Riggs McKay in front of the McKay home in Huntsville in an earlier day. children, Huntsville had a special place in his heart all of his life. “Often, even as president of the church, father would get up at 5:00 a.m. or earlier and go to the farm in Huntsville; but he would still be at his desk [in Salt Lake] by 8:00 a.m., and put in a full day’s work. For him, even an hour on the farm was worth the trouble of the drive, and contact with his land and his animals—even Huntsville’s air, he said—was deeply refreshing to him.” David O. Mckay’s son David Lawrence, in his book, “My Father David O. McKay,” relates the following story: In one of our last trips with Father to Huntsville, he stood in the smaller upstairs bedroom in the original part of the house that he had shared with Uncle Tommy. With light streaming would happen to her, he crept out of bed to kneel on the icy floor and pray that his mother and the family would be safe. “As I prayed, a voice answered me, just as if someone were standing there: ‘Don’t be afraid. Nothing will hurt you.’” I think all of us children knew on the basis of Father’s experience, until we had our own, that our prayers would be heard and answered. President David O. McKay passed away in 1970 at the age of ninety-six. During the summer months, tours of the historic homes are given by members of the McKay family. Tours are offered Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appointments are not necessary. The historic McKay home is located on the 100 South block, on 7600 East in Huntsville.