First, it was the home of Mary Ann Angell Young and her children. Then, in 1860, Brigham’s wife Lucy Ann Decker Young was given charge of the home and moved in with her children while Mary Ann moved to the “White House.” Lucy Ann enjoyed the public role of entertaining the many visitors to the home, while Mary Ann lived east of the schoolhouse on the other side of the Eagle Gate and across the street east of the Beehive House.
Beehive House - courtesy Brigham Young University
During much of that time, other Young families lived in the newly added Lion House built in 1856 next door. President Young conducted business and received official visitors in the Beehive House from 1854 to 1858 while he was both President of the Church and governor of the Territory of Utah.
"Throughout my childhood and early girlhood I had the opportunity of being closely associated with my father. This was somewhat unusual, because in a family as large as ours, consisting as it did of nineteen wives and fifty-six children, it was not possible for each member to spend a great deal of time with him. It was my happy lot to do so because Father had his sleeping room and always ate his breakfast in the Beehive House, which was the home of my mother and her family exclusively.
Let me give you some idea of my father. No child ever loved, revered, and cherished a father more than I did mine, but how could I do otherwise, knowing him as I did?
"Each day of my childhood stands forth in my memory as one long round of happiness. The family used to eat an early breakfast, but I always waited until ten o’clock when Father had his, so that I might be served with him. In those days he wore quite a long beard, and it was my duty to tie a bib over it in order to protect it from stray crumbs.
"I suppose one of the principal reasons why I enjoyed having my breakfast with Father was because he always had the things I liked. To be sure, there was corn-meal mush and milk, which was no great treat, but there were also hot doughnuts and syrup, codfish gravy which Mother was very adept at making and which Father loved, squabs from the pigeon house, and some little delicacy from our own garden. Brother Staines the gardener was a genius at making things grow under glass, and the first and finest strawberries or other fruits of the season naturally found their way to Father’s table. His only hot drink was composition tea made from herbs and spices. We seldom enjoyed our breakfast in peace,
for there was invariably a stream of people calling to see Father about something or other, since he was not only their spiritual leader but their adviser in many temporal problems as well. I rather liked having them come in, however, for they certainly brought a variety of stories and problems."
Referring to the big porch that runs the length of the front of the house, Clarissa continued, “In later years, when I grew up to young womanhood, and the boys would come at midnight to serenade me, this porch was a most convenient place to step out onto, listen to the songs, and thank the serenaders. I would gather my ‘wrapper close’ around me and stand in the shadows of the veranda while the romantic ballads of the seventies floated up on the night air.”