Early History

Hector Caleb HaightHector Caleb Haight b1804.jpg

Hector Caleb Haight is unique in that he is claimed by two towns, Farmington and Kaysville, as their first settler. Shortly after the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, Hector Haight was sent north to find grazing for the stock. On a beautiful stream in the Kaysville/Farmington area, Haight soon built a log cabin and brought his family to live there.

Samuel Oliver Holmes

In the fall of 1849 a spot not quite two miles north, where two streams joined, was chosen by settler number two, Samuel Oliver Holmes. Two of his friends, Edward Phillips and John Hyrum Green, who were living in Salt Lake, decided to travel north to Brown's Fort (Ogden) to find a permanent place to settle. When they reached the "sandridge" (later known as Hill Field) the snow was so deep and crusted that their horses were unable to carry them through. The men returned to the cabin of Samuel O. Holmes, spent the night and decided the next morning that this was where they wanted to locate. They spent the winter in Salt Lake and then brought their families here to settle. The next day, their friend William Kay and his family arrived.


Many more families must have arrived during the summer because, according to the 1850 census, there were over three hundred settlers in this part of the valley and it was time for the organization of a ward. On January 27, 1851 Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball came to the Phillips home for that purpose. Edward Phillips was asked to be Bishop, but feeling unworthy he suggested William Kay, who was appointed. It was not until September of 1852 that the ward formally began to function with William Kay as Bishop, Edward Phillips as first counselor, and John H. Green as second counselor. This little settlement became known as Kay's Ward. "Little" really isn't the word to use because the settlement covered a great deal of territory - from Haight's Creek on the south to the Weber River on the north, and from the mountains on the east to the lake on the west. In 1856 William Kay was called on a mission to Carson Valley in what is now Nevada. After Bishop Kay left there was a desire on the part of some of the people to have the name of the settlement changed from Kay's Ward to Freedom. The request was presented to President Brigham Young and when he bluntly asked, "When did Kay's Ward get its Freedom" his reply was taken as disapproval and the matter was dropped.

Fort Construction

There had been trouble with Indians in the south and central section of the territory, so an edict came out from Brigham Young that each town should build a fort for protection. Early in the spring of 1854 Jesse W. Fox, Church Surveyor, came to Kay's Ward for the purpose of laying out the fort, which was later to become the center section of the town, about midway between the two main roads. It encompassed approximately 15 square blocks, between what is now Main Street and 600 West and 200 North and 100 South. The Spanish adobe wall was to be built of clay (dug from the outside forming a ditch) which was shoveled by hand into lumber forms. The plan of the wall was five feet at the base, tapering to three feet at the top, with a height of six feet. Each able-bodied man would be assigned to build a certain section of the wall himself or hire it done. Only part of the project was ever finished and that was on the south and west sides. The entrance to the fort was located about where Barnes Bank now stands.

Gosiute Tribe

There was no trouble with Indians in this vicinity, so a fort was really not needed. They were of the Gosiute Tribe, commonly called "diggers" because they depended for their very existence on what they could dig from the ground in the form of roots and bulbs, or reap from the grasses and berry bushes. They were too busy trying to stay alive to make war. Then too, the settlers carried out Brigham Young's policy of "bread instead of bullets." There were times when this was a real trial, for often there was no bread in the humble home to which the Indians came begging, but what little there was, was shared. For a time, this settlement was called "Kay's Fort".

Fort Removed

On or around 1870, the fort was torn down. In the City Council minutes it states that on April 4, 1870 the Council passed a Resolution granting the use of lands where the old fort wall stood. The Resolution states, "Be it resolved by the City Council of Kaysville City that any person or persons who have thrown down the old fort wall can occupy the land where the said wall and ditch stood until the City Council shall deem that the public necessity requires them to remove to the line of the lots".


Kaysville was settled in 1850 and on March 15, 1868 it was incorporated, becoming the first city to be incorporated in Davis County and the 27th to be incorporated in the Utah territory. The boundaries at this time embraced an area approximately five miles square.