ongoing discontent over being taxed by Kaysville without receiving any
benefits came to a head in 1889 when Kaysville began construction of
an imposing city hall. Led by Ephraim P. Ellison, Layton began an extended
legal battle to break away from Kaysville which led several times to
the Utah Supreme Court and eventually to the United States Supreme Court.
Suits and countersuits were finally resolved in 1902, and Layton became
an unincorporated area. A growing business district in Layton at the
time included two general stores, a meat market, saloon, coal dealer,
blacksmith shop, barber shop, hotel, and the Layton Milling and Elevator
Company, which in 1903 shipped more flour than did any other Utah mill.
The First National Bank of Layton, the oldest local business still in
operation, was established in 1905.
With a population
of 500, Layton was incorporated as a third-class town in 1920. Growth
remained stagnant until World War II. However, the expansion from 646
in 1940 to 3,456 ten years later enabled Layton to become a third-class
city in 1950. By 1985, with an estimated 36,000 citizens, Layton surpassed Bountiful as Davis County's largest city. The city's population in 1990
Layton's area also expanded from its original 1.7 square miles in 1920. Its largest
annexations were Laytona in 1957 with 3.5 square miles and East Layton with two square miles in 1981. The city today embraces 18.48 square