The Tithing House
HISTORY
The corner where the Leeds Tithing Office is located was originally owned by William Stirling who owned the entire block.  He sold it to Charles A. Connelly in 1877.  Connelly sold it to John H. Rice in 1878.  In 1881, it was sold to Thomas Judd of Judd Dry Goods.  Thomas & Mary Judd sold the property to the Leeds Ecclesiastical Ward in 1890.

Prior to the Tithing Office being built, the Wells Fargo Express Company operated an office, bank, and stage stop on this corner. When the Wells Fargo Bank was built in Silver Reef, the stage stop was moved to that location.

The Leeds Tithing Office and the rock wall around it was built in 1891 by the renowned stone masons of the era, Willard G. McMullin and Sons. Of the eight tithing offices built before or during the 1890s, only four were built of stone. The Leeds Tithing Office was one of those four. The stone wall in front of this tithing office is original, and although in need of repair, is unique in that no other tithing office in the state has the original wall still standing.

The settlers of Leeds were almost exclusively members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons.  Tithing, a pivotal expression of Mormon religious devotion, consists of donating 10 percent of a family's income to the church.  In pioneer times, a settler's wealth was not typically interpreted in terms of cash.  For tithing purposes, wealth was commonly measured in terms of produce, products, or even service.  Many families paid tithing "in kind" with peaches, corn, figs, apricots, bottled meat, etc.  In many communities a tithing office was established to collect, store, and redistribute the donated goods to those in need.  The Leeds Tithing Office had both office and storage space.  It was equipped with bins and barrels in the basement for storage and a big pair of scales for weighing produce.  The large 200 and 300 gallon oak barrels used for storing wine were too large to go through the doors to the wine cellar, so they had to be constructed in place.  Of the several early tithing offices built in the region, the Leeds building is the only remaining example of a stone tithing office that still stands with its original stone walls.

The in-kind tithing system was retired in the early 1920s.  After that, the ward had no further need for this building.  It was fixed up inside for living quarters and it has housed quite a few families at different times through the years.

During the 1950s, there was an attempt to fix this building up for a Relief Society house.  $1,650 had been collected toward that end when it was determined the project was not feasible.  It would be too expensive to heat.

The building was sold to Joseph Beasley in 1964 for $450 ($500?).  It is currently privately owned and not in use.

It was put on the National Register of Historic Places (#1985000291) on January 25, 1985.

Kenneth & Patricia Hadley of Utah purchased the house in 2012 and are looking to rehabilitate it. 

For references, additional photos and information, visit Utah's Washington County Historical Society.
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