Houses of Wilford Woodruff
These pictures show some of the houses that Wilford Woodruff had lived in during his calling as an Apostle and LDS Church President. Some of the houses are restorations others are replications of the original dwellings. Wilford Woodruff had worked as a miller, a farmer, a horticulturist, operated a livestock ranch and established a college. He was called to be an Apostle on April 26, 1839 and was sustained as Church President on April 7, 1889.
Wilford Woodruff owned this home but had been in hiding in another county for years to evade federal arrest warrants for polygamy. He secretly returned to Salt Lake to assume Church President duties after the death of John Taylor in 1887. He was officially sustained and ordained as President of the LDS Church in 1889.
The Gardo House was originally commissioned by Brigham Young, but wasn't finished during his lifetime. It was intended to be the official home of the president of church, where he could administer over church business, hold counsels, host dignitaries and government officials, hold social events and other functions. When the Gardo House was completed, President John Taylor reluctantly moved into the home after a unanimous vote from the church members for its use at General Conference. Church members viewed the house as a symbol of the success and prosperity they built up from nothing in Salt Lake. However he only lived there for 2 months before he went into hiding. President Woodruff was the first to use it as a residence and for church offices for an extended period of time. However, the U.S. Government seized all church property and started charging punitive rent and taxes for the use of church buildings, temples and the Gardo House. After a while the church leadership determined the house wasn't worth the cost so they sold it to private owners. It remained in private ownership until the government purchased it to use as a federal reserve bank. The Gardo House was demolished in 1921.
Wilford Woodruff's presidency is noted for overseeing the establishment of The Genealogical Society of Utah, this would later evolve into one of the largest genealogical repositories in the country. He is also known for his contributions in recording church history, dedicating the Salt Lake Temple after 40 years of construction, for setting fast day to be the first Sunday of the month, keeping the church afloat while the US Government seized all the church's property, expounding on the doctrine of sealing families together and issuing the 1890 "manifesto" that ceased the practice of polygamy.