2008-05-17 Salt Lake
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
Joseph Fielding had two
presidents of our church named for him. We'll see both their
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Truly a most interesting
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
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
Here's the last strange
looking stone, shaped like an Indian arrowhead. And that's the
last one, I promise.
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