The Establishment of Davis County Cooperative Society
January 1, 1935
January 1, 1935
DCCS founder Elden Kingston's and his father Charles W. Kingston were 3rd and 4th generation members of the LDS church and served as a very dedicated members throughout their early life. Several LDS towns established a type of economic cooperation termed as “United Order” under the direction of Brigham Young in the late 1800s, however the practice was eventually abandoned by the LDS Church.
Brother Charles as he is affectionately referred to by DCCS members, became convinced the church had erred in abandoning the practices of United Order, Consecration, and Plural marriage. He published many documents and traveled for a number of years teaching people his beliefs. Brother Charles was eventually excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1928 for teaching doctrines contrary to the beliefs of the church. His son Brother Elden was eventually converted to his father's beliefs.
In 1932, Brother Elden was working for the railroad and made the acquaintance of a Mr. Krous, who was a pattern maker. Krous told him about an 8 acre property with a house and orchard he owned East of Bountiful, Utah and he was interested in renting it out. Elden signed a lease with Mr. Krous and his family moved to the property just east of Bountiful in Davis County which is known to DCCS members now as the Home Place.
As a dedicated member of the LDS Church Brother Elden had a strong desire to live the covenant of consecration after promising to do so in the LDS temple in 1932. In the Law of Consecration, a person voluntarily dedicates all their time and property to God for the building up of His Kingdom on the Earth. Brother Elden attempted to do so by offering all he had to his LDS Bishop and then his Stake President. However, the LDS Church was not living consecration at the time and he was refused both times.
Elden then went to J. Leslie Broadbent, who was the head of the Council of Friends or Priesthood Council organized by John Woolley. Broadbent told Brother Elden the Council was unable to accept his offer to consecrate his belongings through them. After this final refusal, Brother Elden held onto his desire to live United Order but realized he could not truly live in this condition with just himself or his family. He would have to help create a condition where others could join and live it as well.
On the evening of January 1st, 1935, after returning home late from New Year's dinner with family and friends, Brother Elden and his family took an inventory of all their belongings within their home and property, great and small. Brother Elden, his wives Sister Ethel Gustafson and Sister Afton Brown along with one young son, took an inspired covenant to be consecrated to their Heavenly Father. They cleaned out an old granary building behind their home in Bountiful and designated it as the 1st storehouse of the Co-operative where early members could deposit their belongings and then draw them out according to their needs.
From these humble beginnings, C. Elden Kingston established the Davis County Cooperative Society that could accept consecrated time and properties from individuals who wished to live by the same principles of Consecration and United Order that he had promised to live by in his visit to the temple.
In 1940, the cooperative had grown through the many families that had joined in the first 5 years. Most came from humble beginnings, some from abject poverty. For some, the cooperative was a place they could make a living when work was scarce. Others came to escape persecution as their businesses had been boycotted, or their families had been scattered by new laws enacted in the 1930s to criminalize plural families.
With the growth in new members, Brother Elden organized a system where the contributions of each individual was recorded separately. He also organized a governing board of seven men and drafted Articles of Incorporation with the State of Utah making it an official cooperative in 1941. The Articles were approved by the State on September 16, 1941. Under the cooperative, members' accounts essentially began to function similar to a credit union. Money loaned to or deposited by any individual member was recorded in their account, paying interest on money owed, or receiving interest on the balance of savings. The system of individual accounts setup by founder Elden Kingston is the basis for member accounts as they function today.
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