Mormon Trail AssociationMormon Trail AssociationBrigham Young Cemetery



This cemetery, located a block east on First Avenue on the south side of the street, is one of two private cemeteries in the city. Owned and maintained by the LDS Church, the ground is located on the east end of Brigham's original estate. Orchards were planted to the north and west.

Mary Van Cott Young was wife number 51. She married her first husband, James Cobb, three months before being married to Brigham. Her father, John Van Cott, was well known and respected.

Eliza Roxey Snow Smith Young was sealed to Joseph Smith. Following his death she was sealed to Brigham Young for time. I don't think she had a connubial relationship with either prophet.

Mary Ann Angell was the sister of Salt Lake Temple architect, Truman O. Angell. Brigham's first wife died before he joined the Church. Mary was his second wife. She bore him 6 children. Brigham's first wife, Miriam Works, bore him 2 children before she died in 1832.

Lucy Ann Decker was 20 when she became Brigham's first polygamous wife, 14 Jun 1842. She was previously married to and divorced from William Seeley, who was alcoholic and abusive. She always felt her polygamous relationship with Brigham was superior to her monogamous relationship with William. She was well organized and efficiently ran the Lion House. Her younger sister, Clarissa (Clara) Decker, became Brigham's 4th polygamous wife two years later, at age 16, and crossed the plains with him and her mother, Harriet Wheeler Decker Young, Lorenzo's wife, in the vanguard company. Her statue is part of the "This is the Place" monument.

Joseph Angell Young was the first son of Brigham and Mary Angell and most instrumental in the rescue of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies in 1856. He was returning from his European mission with Franklin D. Richards when they passed both companies along the trail. He reported their difficult circumstance in October Conference and returned the following day with the first relief company. He pushed beyond Devil's Gate, found the Martin Company starving and stalled in snow near Casper, Wyoming, and got them moving towards relief at Devil's Gate and Martin's Cove.

On account of the persecutions of the "Mormon" people, he was deprived of the advantage of an early education, but was a discriminating and passionate reader, and at the time of his death had, perhaps, the finest private library in the Territory.

Joseph was the first president of the Sevier Stake of Zion. His labors in the development of Sevier county were enormous, and among the enterprises which he carried to a successful fame was the road through Clear creek canyon. He was a representative of Salt Lake county in the 6th, 11th and 12th sessions of the Utah legislature, and was a member of the upper house representing Salt Lake, Tooele, and Summit counties in the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th sessions, and Sanpete and Sevier counties in the 19th session. Joseph died suddenly in Manti, Utah, August 5, 1875. At his death, the "Deseret News" published the following: "Elder Young was esteemed for his many estimable qualities of heart as well as head. He was a man of naturally keen intelligence, his mental qualities even reaching what might be termed brilliancy in some directions, while his generosity was proverbial, especially among the working classes, all who were ever in his employ holding him in esteem for his universally kind and fair treatment." The legislative council, in resolutions of respect, said of him: "He was a man of keen and even brilliant intellect and as an organizer was remarkable...His perceptive faculties often enabled him, in matters of great importance to comprehend the end from the beginning...His sympathy, consideration and kindness to the poor, under all circumstances, have formed [for him] a bright crown." He left eleven children when he passed away.

Emmeline Free Young was wife number 20. Her two sisters married Daniel H. Wells. Emmeline bore Brigham 10 children , the most of any of his wives. Brigham frequently namee his boys after men he respected. His 4 boys by Emmeline were named: Hyrum Smith, Lorenzo Dow, Alonzo, and Daniel Wells. Joseph, Hyrum, and Brigham show up multiple times as well as Jedediah Grant, Willard, Heber, and Edward Partridge. (He loved to name his houses, also, "White", "Lion", and "Guardo."

Alice Young Clawson was the 4th child of Brigham and Mary Ann Angell.

Brigham Young
When Joseph told him about Celestial Marriage, saw a funeral go by and remarked that he would rather trade places with the corpse than enter a polygamous marriage. He eventually had 55 wives, 32 of which had been previously married. Sixteen women produced his 56 children. Ten women previously sealed to Joseph Smith for eternity were sealed to Brigham for time. Nine women divorced Brigham. All were young and most were part of the rush to be involved in polygamy. Brigham married 4 women before Joseph was martyred, 15 more before the Nauvoo Temple was finished, 19 after the temple was completed, 9 while crossing the plains (the first, Jane Terry, died 4 days later). The last 6 were married in Utah and all but Amelia Folsom were previously married. Amelia was 24 (Brigham 61) when she married. She bore no children, but dressed fashionably and accompanied Brigham on his frequent trips throughout the state. Her father, architect Folsom, designed and built the "Guardo House" across the street from the Lion House. It was known as "Amelia's Palace." It was to be used for entertaining important guests. Brigham died before it was completed. It was lived in by John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff.

Brigham Young's Burial Instructions

At the funeral of Brigham Young, in 1877, George Q. Cannon read the following statement which President Young had prepared in 1873, more than four years previously.

"I, Brigham Young, wish my funeral services to be conducted in the following manner:

"When I breathe my last I wish my friends to put my body in as clean and wholesome state as can conveniently be done, and preserve the same for one, two, three or four days, or as long as my body can be preserved in a good condition. (In those days, bodies were preserved by putting ice in quart jars and placing them around the body as best they could to keep the body as cold as they could. The season of the year and availability of ice would largely determine the number of days a body could be kept.) I want my coffin made of plump one and one-quarter inch boards, not scrimped in length, but two inches longer than I would measure, and from two to three inches wider than is commonly made for a person of my breadth and size, and deep enough to place me on a little comfortable cotton bed, with a good suitable pillow for size and quality; my body dressed in my temple clothing, and laid nicely into my coffin, and the coffin to have the appearance that if I wanted to turn a little to the right or to the left, I should have plenty of room to do so. The lid can be made crowning (convex).

"At my interment I wish all of my family present that can be conveniently, and the male members wear no crepe on their hats or on their coats; the females to buy no black bonnets, nor black dresses, nor black veils; but if they have them they are at liberty to wear them. The services may be permitted, as singing and a prayer offered, and if any of my friends wish to say a few words, and really desire, do so; and when they have closed their services, take my remains on a bier, and repair to the little burying ground, which I have reserved on my lot east of the White House (his residence after the log cabin in the pioneer fort and the Beehive House. It was the first stuccoed adobe house in the Valley.) on a hill, and in the southeast corner of this lot, have a vault built of mason work large enough to receive my coffin, and that may be placed in a box, if they choose, made of the same material as the coffin - redwood. Then place flat rocks over the vault sufficiently large to cover it, that the earth may be placed over it - nice, fine, dry earth - to cover it until the walls of the little cemetery are reared, which will leave me in the southeast corner. This vault ought to be roofed over with some kind of temporary roof. There let my earthly house or tabernacle rest in peace, and have a good sleep, until the morning of the first resurrection; no crying or mourning with anyone as I have done my work faithfully and in good faith.

"I wish this to be read at the funeral, providing that if I should die anywhere in the mountains, I desire the above directions respecting my place of burial to be observed; but if I should live to go back with the Church to Jackson County, I wish to be buried there."

President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
Sunday, November 9th, 1873
Salt Lake City, Utah

Mark Twain once said of polygamy: "Mormon women were so ugly that any man that would marry one should be honored. And any man that could marry two should have a monument erected to him." (There is one on Main Street, next to Temple Square.

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