On 12 February
1857 ground was broken for Bountiful's landmark five-spire LDS tabernacle.
It was built at a cost of approximately $60,000 using local materials
and local labor . Augustus Farnham drew the plans for the 86-foot by
44-foot structure. The best artisans and craftsmen were employed in
executing the plaster casting, hand carving, and the winding stairways.
It was constructed on a rock foundation, and featured adobe walls with
a red pine roof attached with wooden pegs. Bountiful was evacuated and
its citizens sent to central Utah during the Utah War (1857-1858). As
Johnston's Army approached, construction on the tabernacle was halted
and grain was stored in its foundation. It took six years to complete
the structure. A two-day dedicatory service on 14 and 15 March 1863
brought more than 150 visitors, including many dignitaries. Brigham
Young presided while Heber C. Kimball offered the dedicatory prayer.
The Bountiful tabernacle remains the oldest chapel in continuous use
in the state of Utah.
On 14 December
1892 Bountiful was officially incorporated by the territorial legislature.
Joseph L. Holbrook served as its first mayor. Bountiful originally included
all of the south Davis region, but soon its area was reduced. In November
1895 the Woods Cross and West Bountiful areas voted to separate from
Bountiful. Later, Centerville was incorporated. Eventually Bountiful
was reduced to an area slightly less than 10.5 square miles.