2008-05-17 Salt Lake Cemetery

When we lived in Salt Lake we helped people document and maintain records of the deceased.  Some of the best kept records on tombstones.  They aren't always reliable records but they certainly last a long time.

One of the most noteworthy cemeteries in Salt Lake City is the Salt Lake Cemetery.  Many of our earliest church leaders like Brigham Young are buried in private cemeteries.  Some were buried elsewhere.  But many were buried here in the Salt Lake Cemetery, including our recently deceased president, Gordon B. Hinckley.

Here's the entrance marker to the Salt Lake Cemetery.

One of the first we saw was the marker of Truman O. Angell, the architech of the Salt Lake Temple and the Tabernacle.

There were a lot of unusual markers that you don't see elsewhere.  Many list the deceased and all his family members.  You can see how important it is to them to preserve the memory of their kin.  Who else is there to remember them except those of us who are still living?

Hard to read, I know, but this one gave the deceased's genealogy chiseled in stone.

Here's another, very similar marker (note the bible on top) that also lists his genealogy.

Some markers were like a journal of the person's life.

Interspersed among the graves, we found several leaders of the church.  Here lies an early apostle, George Q. Cannon.

There were also many very strange looking markers -- and I mean MANY.

For example, this one was made of iron.

See how thin it is when viewed from the top?  Out here in the desert, I guess they don't have the problem with rust like we would have with a marker like this back home.

Joseph Fielding had two presidents of our church named for him.  We'll see both their markers.

Here's another iron marker, just a different shape.

Here's a front view of the above marker.

Many don't realize George Romney was a member of our church.  His father was in our church presidency.

Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred and buried in Illinois but many of their families moved west with Brigham Young.

Friends tell me "relict" means the same thing as "widow" or, more properly, "the last survivor of a once large family."

Here's one of our church presidents who was named after Joseph Fielding.  I was in Salt Lake in 1970 when President Smith was sustained.

This marker commemorates Hyrum's family.

And here's the grave of the other church president who was named for Joseph Fielding.

The memorial to Hyrum and family is surrounded on all sides with family and other information.

Another of our early church presidents, Wilford Woodruff.  He was our president when the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated.  It's sad that Brigham Young never lived long enough to see it finished.

Here's one of the family markers of Wilford Woodruff's family.

This strange marker belonged to Anthony Ivans an apostle from the early part of the 1900s.

Yes, that's a real petrified tree trunk.  I was told by another person who happened to be visiting the cemetery the same day we were there that Anthony Ivans was from Arizona and wanted a petrified tree trunk from his native state to decorate his grave.  While traveling through the state, you can see these things on the ground in various places.  The Petrified Forest National Park is in northeastern Arizona along I-40.

This stone marks the grave of Erastus Snow, another early church leader.

If you know anything about the old west and gun slingers, you may have read a story about Porter Rockwell.  The following is included in Stories from the Life of Porter Rockwell by John W. Rockwell and Jerry Borrowman on page 145:
                       "Porter was confronted on State Street in Lehi [Utah] one day by a young outlaw
                    named Loren Dibble.  Porter was not impressed, so he just stood there while Dibble
                    emptied his gun shooting at him.  Mind you, Dibble was a very good marksman, but
                    every bullet missed.
                       When Dibble was out of ammunition, Porter took out two pistols and started firing
                    at Dibble's feet, making him dance.  When his pistols were empty, he put them back
                    in his waistband and strode over to the frigthened man and shook him like a rag doll
                    while shouting at him, 'If it wasn't for the fact that I know who your father really was,
                    I'd have killed you,' and then he threw him on the ground."

Here's another of those interesting stones with the man's history engraved.

Talk about interesting stones.  I told you there were some strange ones in this cemetery.

And this man apparently wanted his last words to bear testimony that the Book of Mormon was true.

Another strange marker.

Ooops!  I wonder who this is?  No one I know.

Melvin J. Ballard was another of our apostles whose writings are well known who lived during the early 1900s.

Yep, there are some strange markers in this cemetery.

John A. Widtsoe is yet another famous LDS author and apostle who lived in the early 1900s.

Jedediah M. Grant was one of Brigham Young's counselors and father to another of our church's presidents.

I thought before I went any further we ought to take a photo of the beautiful surroundings.  The cemetery is high on a hill overlooking the Salt Lake valley.  This view is toward the Wasatch Mountains..

After Brigham Young died, John Taylor became the next president of our church.  He was in the jail when Joseph Smith was shot.  He was almost killed himself.  The story that a pocket watch he was carrying stopped a fatal bullet was found questionable by some BYU researchers.  John Taylor was shot in the leg at the time Joseph and Hyrum were martyred and carried the ball the rest of his life.

This is the son of Jedediah and 7th president of our church Heber J. Grant.  Although named for his father, his middle name was actually Jeddy rather than Jedediah.  His father died when he was less than 2 weeks old and he grew up in poverty.  Born 12 years after the prophet Joseph died, he was the first president of the church who never knew Joseph Smith.

Mathew Cowley is famous in the church for being an apostle to New Zealand and the Maori people.  Their faith was so great that, during his stay with them, a blind child received his sight and an old man was raised from the dead .

Anthon H. Lund is another one of the apostles from the early 1900s.

Mark E. Peterson was one of the Quorum of the Twelve when I first joined the church in 1969.

I love this marker for his wife.  It's pretty much self-explanatory.

Talk about a weird headstone...

The intricate engraving of the Salt Lake Temple seemed to be a theme on several headstones.

Another of the strange headstone, this one appears to be taken from the granite quarry where the stones for the Salt Lake Temple were cut.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie is much beloved in our church.  Notice his middle name is 'Redd' after his mother's family.  This fact was pointed out to us by one of his relatives with whom we worked.

Richard L. Evans is best remembered for being the voice of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from 1930 until his death in 1971.  He was another of our church's apostles.

I thought this was one of the most unique markers we saw in the cemetery.

Hugh B. Brown was an apostle when I first joined the church.  He was an officer in the Canadian Army during WWI.

I don't think any marker in the cemetery could top this one!

No question where this guys heart was.  I wonder what course he's playing today?

Here's the marker of our beloved church president during the 1970s, Spencer W. Kimball.
Notice he also has a sample of petrified trees from his beloved Arizona.

Another strange looking marker.  That's a tiny bronze vase on the lower right of the stone for flowers.

Truly a most interesting marker...

President Hunter was one of our most recent church leaders.  He immediately preceded Pres. Hinckley who passed away while we were living in Utah.

Yet another strange stone.

And this marker shows where the Chinese section of the cemetery begins.

Here are some of the Chinese markers.  No, I don't read pictographs.

Couldn't resist this one because of the little guitar.  Gee, I wish I'd thought of that.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell is another of our recently deceased general authorities.  He finally succombed to leukemia a couple of years ago.

And this is the marker of our beloved President Gordon B. Hinckley who died the year we took these photos (2008).

President David O. McKay was president of the church when I joined the church in 1969.

I thought the graphics on this marker were very unique.

Many members of the Smith family have their graves marked by this family marker.  John Smith was Joseph Smith's uncle, the first president of the Salt Lake Stake where we were once members, and the patriarch to the church.  George A. Smith and John Henry Smith were children of John Smith and therefore were Joseph's first cousins.

George Albert Smith was son of George A. Smith and 8th president of our church.

Bathsheba Smith was one of the first presidents of our ladie's organization, the Relief Society.

Orson Pratt was one of the first apostles in the church and our church's first scientist.

Here's a marker for Dr. Stephen L. Richards, grandson of Dr. Willard Richards who was present in Carthage Jail when Joseph Smith was shot.  He was the anonymous donor of the Christus statue which graces the North Visitor's Center on temple square in Salt Lake.  Word leaked of the donation after his death.

LeGrand Richards, an apostle, was the gifted writer of the book "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder."  He was also the former Mission President of the Southern States Mission.  He was so loved by members in the south that many named their children after him.

Ok, is this stone weird enough?

Here's the last strange looking stone, shaped like an Indian arrowhead.  And that's the last one, I promise.

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