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The John and Ella Morrill house in modern day.

Fun Facts about John Morrill’s Historic Brick Home in Junction

John Morrill’s brick home in Junction, Utah, is a monumental and historical spot.

The registration form for Historic Register says, “Built in 1895 by an early and fairly prominent citizen, the Morrill House links modern Junction and Piute County to its nineteenth century past.” The Victorian Gothic house has lots of history behind its walls. Provided below is a short rendition of Hattie Permelia Morrill Ipson’s (John and Esther Ellis “Ella” Morrill’s daughter) story about her parents’ home and some of the history behind it.

“The large, two story brick house, which is located on the north east lot, in the block where the original Piute County Court House stands, in Junction, Utah, was planned and built in the late eighteen nineties by my parents, John and Esther E. Morrill. They had been some of the early pioneers of Junction, having arrived there, from the northern part of the state, on the 11th of April, 1879. An adobe five room house had been built by them and moved into about the summer of 1882, and made into a very happy home. This house, in which six of their nine children were born, was torn down and the new, brick one built where it stood. The brick for the new house was made by Jorgen C. Peterson and his sons.”

A black and white picture of the old Morrill House when the Morrills were living in it.
John Morrill and his family outside of their home. Photo by Ashley Richmond.

After the family moved back into their home, they still had many projects left to do. Adding to the tough labor, John and Esther’s family experienced many heartbreaking deaths of their children and grandchildren. One son, Jack, who died in a blizzard at Panguitch Lake, had his funeral service inside the home. Hattie said, “After his body was prepared for burial, it was brought and placed in the parlor, in the home he had helped so much to build and make beautiful and happy. Here it lay until time for funeral services and burial.”

The house did serve for many other occasions.

“It was usually the gathering place for family get-togethers, visits, feasts, parties or special occasions. In spite of disappointments, sorrows, and heartaches, the dear home was still a sacred, hallowed place, where the memories of the happiness which had been enjoyed there left peace and joy.”

Hattie remembered her parents’ home as a place of love, where the family forgot their own troubles by bringing comfort to others.

Several wedding receptions and funeral services were held at the brick home. Along with that, the porch on the north end of the kitchen was used as a post office until John Morrill resigned as postmaster. 

Fun Facts

  1. The Morrill home was going to be a hotel; however, Esther Morrill was unable to run a hotel as she was away from the home so much, helping others who were sick.
  2. The whole house was lit by coal oil (kerosene) lamps and heated by wood burning stoves in the different rooms where there was no fireplace.
  3. John Morrill probably helped build other buildings in Junction, one being the courthouse in the plot south of his home. John donated the plot where the historic courthouse still stands today. It was built in 1903. 
  4. The bricks used for the remodeling were a buff color and as they were laid up in the walls, each one for the outside row was dipped in a red coloring solution.
  5. According to the home’s registration form for the National Register of Historic Places, “While there are over twenty-five houses that are potentially eligible for the National Register (out of a total of approximately one hundred buildings plus numerous outbuildings), only the John and Ella Morrill House exhibits the Victorian Gothic style.”

Not only did John Morrill build many significant buildings in Junction, he was a pillar and important staple of the town.

The old Morrill house still stands today in living condition. The house has been on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places since April 7, 1994. The brick house has been owned by 11 people from when it was first built to the current day. Owned by Morrills, Andersens, Piersons, Sorensons, Kaufmans, Windermans, Lotts, Blakemores and currently, the Holdsworth and Sorensen family.

by Ari Hurdsman

Feature image caption: John Morrill’s brick home as it stands in modern times (2021). Photo by Kristin Vinson.

Read more local legends around the John Morrill home in The Ghost on Main Junction Utah by Ari Hurdsman.

Ari Hurdsman – Junction

Ari Hurdsman is a junior journalist at the Byway. She just recently moved to Ephraim, Utah, where she is a freshman at Snow College. She enjoys writing about Piute sports, and she’s really good at it! In her free time, she enjoys singing, dancing, reading and hanging out with friends and family.