of Davis County




Links to Davis County from The Utah History Encyclopedia

Davis County
Hill Air Force Base
North Salt Lake
Woods Cross


Centerville, also known as Deuel Creek and Cherry Creek in the early days, was first settled in 1848 by Thomas Grover and Osmyn and William Deuel.  They, along with other early settlers of Centerville, were converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The first homes built in Centerville were made of logs dragged down from the steep mountains.  These home were held together by wooden pegs and rawhide thongs, because they did not have nails in those early days.  Later, some homes were made of adobe (clay and straw dried in the sun).  Other more substantial homes were constructed out of rocks washed down from the hills or found in the stream beds.

Water for the new community was diverted from four mountain streams.  These streams were named after some of the early settlers; Deuel, Parrish, Barnard and Ricks.  In 1854, a grist mill was built on Deuel Creek.

In 1853, the residents of Centerville began constructing a fort to protect themselves from the Indians.  The Indian threat lessened, so it was never completed.

In 1851, a log schoolhouse was built.  In 1852, Sanford Porter was called as the first bishop of the Centerville Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  In 1855, William R. Smith became the second bishop of the Centerville Ward.  Bishop Smith served in that position until he was called in 1877 as the first stake president of the Davis County area.

In 1866, William Reeves built a stage coach station in Centerville.  He later converted it into the Elkhorn Hall to be used as an amusement hall for dances and local dramatic performances.  The Elkhorn Hall is still standing and is used today as a residence.  The schoolhouse and hall were also used for religious gatherings until 1879 when a church building was constructed at 1st South and 2nd East.

Brigham H. Roberts, a pioneer and General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, made his home in Centerville.  Another Church leader, Charles C. Rich, an apostle, lived in Centerville for a short time.

The Bamberger Railroad line that ran between Ogden and Salt Lake City served the residents of Centerville from 1894 to 1952.  There was also a trolley line between Centerville and Salt Lake City from 1913 to 1926.

In 1915, a few local men of vision petitioned the county to incorporate the settlement into a town, so a culinary water system could be developed.  This first water system was constructed of wire-wrapped, wood stave pipes that frequently sprang leaks.  In 1936, the wood stave pipes were replaced by metal pipes.  Centerville became a city in 1956.

Centerville has survived two devastating floods - in 1923 and 1930 - that brought mud, rocks, and debris down the steep canyons.  These floods washed away homes and roads and inundated much of Centerville's valuable farmland.

- Vestil Harrison, Centerville Historical Society

Site No. 66    Sponsored by the Centerville Chapter, Sons of Utah Pioneers    Dedicated July 3, 1994

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Last updated  08/24/06
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