The City of Layton began in 1850 as an agricultural extension to the settlement that later was incorporated as Kaysville, Utah. The original boundaries of what was called Kays Ward extended from Haight’s Creek on the south to the Weber County line and the Weber River in the north, and from the Wasatch Mountains on the east to the shores of the Great Salt Lake on the west. Although the settlers of Kays Ward eventually laid out streets and established a typical town plan and city center in 1854, the area that is now Layton remained rural, unorganized and unplanned during this early period.

The first three white settlers of what is now the City of Layton were Edward Phillips, John Hyrum Green, and William Kay. These Mormon pioneers first established farms in April of 1850 along the banks of a stream that later became know as Kays Creek. Edward Phillips and John Green arrived a day earlier than William Kay, but when an LDS Church ward was established in January of 1851, William Kays was called to be the LDS bishop. Consequently, the fledgling settlement was called Kays Ward after Bishop Kay. However, in 1856 William Kay left the area to colonize in Nevada Territory so the name of the settlement was changed to Freedom. The settlement was known as Freedom from about 1858 until 1863 when the name Kaysville came into widespread use.

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