The other Brigham Young
May 17, 2016
We’ve all heard, of course, of Brigham Young. One of the founding members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he was his Church’s religious leader after the death of Joseph Smith. In 1847, he led Mormon pioneers west to Utah, famously remarking "this is the place" when the group finally reached the mouth of the canyon opening into the Salt Lake valley. One can hardly walk a mile in Utah without coming across some reference to him, from something as big as the university to as small as a street name. But Park City had its own Brigham Young: Brigham D. Young, born December 8, 1877.
"Brig," as he was known to many, was born and lived first in Heber City. He came from a farming family, and his father was also named Brigham. He married Sarah McMullin on July 26, 1900 in Heber, where the two continued to live for a couple more years. They moved to Park City around 1902 and their daughter Myrtle was born a year later. The couple had three other children, including two daughters, Luella and Laura. Their son was also named Brigham, continuing the family tradition, though he went by his middle name, Wesley. The Young family lived at 1063 Empire Ave.
In June 1926, The Park Record reported on a fire at the Young household on Empire. "The blaze amounted to but little," the paper said, to the relief of everyone no doubt. All were familiar with Park City’s dangerous history of destructive fires. Unfortunately for the Youngs, however, "water and chemicals raised havoc with the interior of the home," which had just been renovated and updated with new paint and wallpaper.
Brig was no stranger to fire in Park City. He served as a volunteer firefighter and was on hand to respond to situations like the one that arose at his own house. In addition to his firefighting service, he collected poll taxes for the City Council, was a member of the Congress of Industrial Organization union and, as his name might suggest, a member of the LDS church. If his involvement in the many civil and fraternal goings-on of Park City weren’t enough, he also worked as a blacksmith in Park City’s mines.
Wesley followed his father to the mines, working as a tool sharpener, according to the 1930 federal census. Myrtle Young, the eldest child, worked as a clerk at the Welsh, Driscoll, and Buck department store. It was there she met Fraser Buck, son of store owner William Buck. The two married in 1924. 1940, Myrtle, Fraser, and their children had moved back into the house at 1063 Empire Ave., where Myrtle cared for her aging father Brig, who continued to work as a blacksmith until his death in 1947.
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1880, 1900, 1930, 1940 census records Park Record, June 25, 1926; January 16, 1947 Hal Compton, "Way We Were," March 27, 2002