The Peoa House Hotel was owned and operated by Stephen Walker and his wife, Lydia Elizabeth Marchant.

Stephen and Lydia Elizabeth Marchant, 1884

It is the only hotel in Peoa’s history. 

Stephen Walker was born in 1842 in Hampshire, England, the oldest son of Maria Antoinette Swallow and Edmund Walker. The family came to America in 1851 on the George W. Bourne and crossed the plains in the Abraham R. Wright company. They had insufficient funds to get all the way to Utah and were sent back from Iowa to Cincinnati, where they lived until in 1859, when they had saved enough to travel onwards. They lived in the 11th Ward of Salt Lake City until being sent to settle Peoa in 1862. 

Stephen had had two years of schooling in England and continued his studies in Cincinnati. His father served as the first teacher of the Peoa school, built in 1863. 

Edmund Walker

In 1866 Stephen married Lydia Elizabeth Marchant, youngest daughter of Lydia Johnson and Abraham Marchant. Lydia was born in 1846 in Bath, England, and came to Utah in 1854 with her parents and eleven siblings on the Windermere, crossing the plains in the Robert L. Campbell company. After settling initially in South Cottonwood, the Marchants were sent to settle Peoa in 1861. Lydia’s father, Abraham, served as Peoa’s first bishop.

The Marchant children with their mother, Lydia. Lydia Elizabeth is on the left.

Stephen and Lydia’s first home was a log cabin,

The Walker Cabin

but in time the Walkers converted a frame building next to it into a two-story home with five large bedrooms, living room, kitchen, pantry and restroom, which served as the Peoa House Hotel.

The Walker House and Peoa House Hotel
Salt Lake Republican, March 1893

The hotel hosted church authorities, teachers and travellers.

Coalville Times advert, August 1896

One room also served as a post office, and had one of the first telephones in Peoa, one of only six installed in 1889.

The couple had had eleven children, only four of whom survived to adulthood. 

Thanksgiving at the Peoa House circa 1891 with three generations of the Walker family – and guest

Lydia died in 1920 and Stephen in 1922. They are buried in Peoa.

The hotel was torn down in 1920.