It was from the etchings in a log that the small town of Peoa received its name. Found in 1857, by some of the 1st white Mormon settlers, the letters peoha were believed to be the name of a previous trapper or a Native Indian name.
Peoa was once a fertile, thickly vegetated area that was full of wildlife and fresh-water springs. The lifeline of the Weber River still gushes through its core bringing abundant water for farming and livestock. The local Indians that are believed by some to be a tribe of the Ute Indians called the Timpanohoges relied heavily upon the area's wildlife and vegetation for their livelihood.
The original residents were rightfully more than a little upset when the new settlers began to deplete their food sources. The Black Hawk War was the culmination of the strife between the 2 sides. As with all the communities in Summit County, the new settlers prevailed while the surviving native residents moved away in search of new lives.
The Lyons Family
Oscar Fitzallen Lyons was 1 of the new settlers. He was born in
Ireland in 1838, and immigrated to America with his parents not long
after his birth. Lyon’s parents soon became converts to the Mormon
Church and eventually made the long trek to Utah in 1849.
around 1860, the Lyons family moved to the small niche in the hills of
Summit County. In 1869, Oscar married Maria L. Marchant, the daughter of
Abraham Marchant, who was 1 of the town’s founders and Mormon Bishop.
Oscar built his house between 1875 and 1880 in a plank-on-plank style that
was common in parts of the East Coast and Canada. The home was built
using 4 foot by 8 foot planks that were locally harvested and sawn.
The house is1 room deep, 2 rooms wide and 2 stories high with
projecting bay windows on the ground level and pointed arch wall dormers
over the windows on the 2nd floor. The vernacular, central passage
home sits on Woodenshoe Lane, a street that was named after all the
Scandinavians that lived on the street and wore their traditional wooden
Lyons was a farmer and rancher as well as the
postmaster for the growing community. For a while he used the home as
the main post office until a regulation building was later constructed.
It was in the new post office that Lyons witnessed the town’s 1st
telephone installed in 1896. Later, Lyons would travel to England for a
Mormon mission and when he returned he became an attorney for Summit
Lyons could also kick up a few heels and was a drummer
for the local band who played at many of the local dances in Summit
County. Lyons died in 1908 and the house became the long-time
home for Rueben Jenson who was a Federal Trapper for the area. While the
home was originally unpainted, it is currently the best and only
recorded example of its style in all of Utah and the best preserved
house in Peoa from the 1880–1890 time period.