Zipporah Layton Stewart


Zipporah Stewart is herself. There is no pretense, no affection about Zip. She has no desire, no ability to camouflage the real person, and for that everyone who knows her as exceedingly grateful, Mary Bowring, columnist for The Weekly Reflex, wrote in her March 13, 1952, ‘Personalities’ profile highlighting Mrs. Stewart’s life. “You know Stewart’s Gift Shop; you have probably drooled over the lovely things Mrs. Stewart has to sell, but have you ever heard her tell how she happened to start the shop? She says that as a little girl she remembered her grandmother telling her about a shop she operated in England. Since then, Zip had thought how much fun it would be to have a shop of her own where she could meet and talk to people.”

Zipporah Layton Stewart was one of Kaysville’s most beloved citizens. She was born in what is now Layton the daughter of David E. and Alice Watt Layton. She grew up in Layton and received her basic education in local schools. She attended the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City and started a school teaching career in Davis County. She taught at both the Layton and Kaysville elementary schools.

On September 17, 1917, she married LeConte Stewart in the Laie, Hawaii LDS Temple.

“Her husband, LeConte Stewart is a well-known artist,” Mrs. Bowring noted in her newspaper tribute. “With such an illustrious mate, many women would be inclined to put on airs of superiority and become high society. Zip says, ‘Good heavens, why?’ And she really doesn’t know why either. She has no time to learn to be different. She is true to the dictates of her own ‘soul’ and doesn’t do anything, not even the wearing of fancy shoes, that is contrary to who she is.”

“In conversation with her, you will find Mrs. Stewart often uses the word ‘soul.’ Lots of people seem ashamed to acknowledge the existence of the inner self that is good. However, Zip believes that it is in the soul where one can find peace, where good impulses find their beginning. Zip is unique in that she believes in the inherent goodness of mankind. She is consequently easy to talk to and exceedingly tolerant. She believes there is a yearning in the hearts of all people for beauty, and she thinks that yearning can be partially, though not completely, satisfied with the possession of beautiful objects.”

In 1948, Zip’s love of people and beautiful objects prompted her to open the Stewart’s Gift Shop. Her first location was in the Kaysville Theatre complex next to Frost’s Drug Store and this first shop carried paintings, sketches, lithographs, etchings, imported china, Duncan glassware, ceramics, stationery, children’s books, and Utah handicrafts. Selling her husband’s art work was one of the shop’s beginning features, but with time the shop became the city’s major source of gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and any other type of special celebration. In the 1950s, a new and expanded shop was built at 149 North Main Street, and this location became a popular shopping site for everyone in town.


  • “Kaysville Ladies of Note – ‘Zip’ ”, Our Kaysville Story Facebook post by Bill Sanders, May 13, 2022.
  • Photos courtesy of: Heritage Museum of Layton, USHS, FamilySearch.