Mormon Trail AssociationMormon Trail AssociationMount Olivet Cemetery



Maps: Whole Cemetery (general) or North End (detailed)

Address: 1342 East 5th South, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Directions: East on 5th South to 1342 East across the street from U of U Football Stadium.
Phone: 582-2552
Owner: Public (managed by Congregational, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Baptist churches)
Burial Plots: 55,154
Burials: 26,097
Size: 80 acres
Established: 1874
First Burial: 1872


On September 3, 1867, President Andrew Johnson by Executive Order, withdrew 4 square miles including Camp Douglas, from the public domain for military purposes.

In 1874, Congress authorized the Secretary of War, J.D. Cameron, to set aside twenty acres of land at Camp Douglas in Salt Lake City, Utah, for use as a public cemetery, and directed the Secretary to establish rules and regulations "for the protection, care, and management of such cemetery." See Act of May 16, 1874, ch. 180, 18 Stat. 46-47 (1875), was signed by President Ulysses S. Grant.

On January 22, 1877, the Secretary designated and dedicated the cemetery land (a tract of twenty acres lying within the military reservation of Fifth and Sixth South streets) and promulgated regulations governing its use. Permanent control of this cemetery was vested in a board of directors composed of the commanding officer at Fort Douglas (as long as the fort shall exist, the pastor or acting pastor, and one lay member from "each denomination of churches assenting," Congregational, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Baptist churches, and a paid superintendent. The first board consisted of J. C. Royle (president), Bishop D. S. Tuttle (vice-president), George Y. Wallace (secretary), W. C. Hall (treasurer), General John E. Smith, Rev. W. M. Barrows, Rev. J. M. McEldowney, H. C. Goodspeed and John M. Moore. The board was authorized to adopt rules not inconsistent with the regulations. All revenues generated by the sale of burial plots were to be retained by the cemetery and no funds were to "be diverted or devoted to any other use or purpose whatever."

The board adopted "Mount Olivet" as the name of the cemetery, and in 1877 began the work of laying off the ground in lots 18 feet square, the minimum price of which they fixed at twenty-five dollars per lot. Being dependent upon the sale of the lots and the small annual tax upon them for an income, the Board was greatly cramped for means to carry on improvements, by 1882.

Congress did not act again with respect to the cemetery until 1909 when it directed the Secretary to convey the cemetery land to Mount Olivet Cemetery Association in exchange for land to be conveyed to the government.. The 1909 Act provided in part: The Secretary of War, for and on behalf of the United States, is hereby authorized and directed to grant and convey by deed to the Mount Olivet Cemetery Association, of Salt Lake City, Utah, the [cemetery] land . . . . Said land to be by the said Mount Olivet Cemetery Association permanently used as a cemetery for the burial of the dead: Provided, That when it shall cease to be used for such purpose it shall revert to the United States. [This is probably when the cemetery grew from the original 20 to its current 80 acres.] The grant admonished the board that Mount Olivet is a public burial place to provide for all people at reasonable cost. Half of the money from all lot sales is put in a fund for perpetual care.

In 1914, Congress granted the Emigration Canon Railroad Company a right-of-way over the cemetery land "so far as the United States is concerned." In 1952, Congress "authorized" the Association to grant and convey a small portion of the cemetery land to the City of Salt Lake for expansion of Sunnyside Avenue, which bordered the cemetery.

The Association incorporated as a non-profit corporation under Utah law in 1985. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, the Association incurred substantial operating deficits that affected its ability to properly maintain the cemetery. The Association urged Utah congressional leaders to introduce legislation allowing non-cemetery use of property not currently needed for burial purposes. In 1992, Congress authorized such use.

The Secretary of the Interior shall execute such instruments as may be necessary to allow the Mount Olivet Cemetery Association of Salt Lake City, Utah, to lease for use other than as a cemetery, for a period of not more than 70 years, any portion of the land described in the first section of that Act... so long as such additional use will not prevent future use for cemetery purposes.

In December 1993, the Association leased fifteen acres of the property to the Salt Lake City Board of Education for use as a football stadium. In February 1994, it leased a portion of the property to Careage, Inc., for construction of a skilled nursing facility. The City objected to this use, claiming "open space or recreation is the only allowable use with consideration of all the restrictions on the property." Careage declined to develop the property because of the opposition.

In April 1995, new City zoning restrictions became effective and the Association's property was designated as "open space."

In December 1995, the Association leased twenty acres to Johnson Land Enterprises for construction of a retirement living center and skilled nursing facility. The lease required Johnson to "restore the Leased Premises to a condition suitable for the use by the Lessor as a cemetery for burial of the dead" upon termination of the lease. Johnson was also obligated under the lease to reimburse the Association for any attorney fees incurred in challenging the zoning classification. The Association submitted the lease to the Secretary of the Interior for a determination of whether the proposed use would prevent future use of the property for cemetery purposes. The Bureau of Land Management approved the lease in early 1996, declaring the proposed use consistent with provisions of the 1992 Act.

Markers for government officials, businessmen and bankers reflect the development of Utah -- the Keiths, Kearns, Penneys, Clarks, Walkers and many more. George Dern, governor of Utah from 1925 to 1933, and Secretary of War under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as many other governors and mayors are at Mount Olivet. The discoverer of Lehman cave in Nevada was buried in a pauper's area. A troop of Boy Scouts who visited the cave placed a flat marker honoring him.

The entry gate on 500 South was designed by Ware; the English Tudor office residence by Ware and Treganza; the red building to the south by Kletting, the architect of the Utah capital.

About 30,000 of yesterday's citizens rest in the 50 developed acres of the cemetery. The Red Rock Area is exclusively for cremains though cremains can be interred in any plot. Trees of 88 varieties shade the paved roads which are strolling paths for nearby residents, and for family and friends who reminisce among the beauties of Nature. Since 1874, the cemetery has used, and continues to use, water from Red Butte Creek to irrigate the original 20-acre tract of cemetery grounds within the military reservation.

Some Names of Interest and Locations in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery

Bamberger, Simon (Not in data base; ) 1847 - 1926
Born in Germany, he became Utah's fourth (and first non-Mormon) governor, noted for his integrity. He was very thrifty and intelligent. His life meant work and achievement. He never used any tobacco or intoxicants and kept his body and mind alert. After his arrival in Salt Lake City he built a small railroad to a coal field in Southern Utah were he had mining claims. Later, he built the Bamberger Electric Railroad between Salt Lake City and Ogden.

Bransford, John Samuel (R_101_2F; lots 101 & 102, graves 2 & 11) buried 5/23/1941
He was born in Mississippi, a brother of Susanna, he came from California in 1899 to become her financial advisor. They constructed apartment complexes and one hotel. He was appointed mayor of Salt Lake City in 1907, when Ezra Thompson resigned. He lost his bid for election in 1911, when the city began its mayor-council form of government still in use, today.

Bransford, Susanna (O_231_12) buried 4/13/1905
Silver Queen, richest woman in the Territory, owning stock in a Park City mine. Lived in Guardo house for a number of years.

Brown, Arthur (M_212_8) buried 12/18/1906
He and Frank J. Cannon (both Republicans) were elected the first senators from the newly formed state of Utah. A drawing determined that Brown would get the short term. He was shot in a Washington, D.C. hotel by his ex-mistress, upset over failed promises.

Civil War section (Section A)
A platform exists where once stood a Civil War cannon, dedicated in 1916 as a "silent sentinel over the sleeping dead." It was loaned to a bronzesmith who wanted to make a copy. Unfortunately, the man died suddenly, and strange as it may seem, no one could bring himself to ask the bereaved widow for the cannon. It was never recovered.

Collins, (Same as Tracy)

Cunnington, John (MT.OL--CEMT-- ) 0/0/1833 - 11/28/1890
Bought Camp Floyd surplus and opened the Elephant Store on Main Street (shown in old photographs of Main Street).

Daft, Sara Ann (O_39_8) buried 9/26/1906
Pioneer of 1856. She donated the wealth from her real-estate holdings to build the Sara Daft Home (west of East High School football stadium)/

Dern, George Henry (R_90_6) buried 9/1/1936
Utah's 6th governor, 1925-9 (his slogan, "Utah needs a Dern-good governor and I don't mean Mabey" - referring to his opponent, Utah's 5th governor Charles R. Mabey), first Utahn appointed to a presidential Cabinet post (Secretary of War by Franklin D. Roosevelt). Because of Dern, Utah, which had the highest rate of unemployment during the depression received the largest percent infusion of federal dollars during his tenure. Hill Field, Geneava Steel, Tooele Army Depot, Defense Depot in Ogden, the military hospital in Brigham City and their necessary construction and supply had a profound effect on the economy.

Jackling, Jeane Beatrice (R_26_9; removed from Argenta vault) buried 3/18/1915.
Wife of mining magnate, Daniel Jackling. Nest to her is Lysbl Lydia (probably a daughter), who was removed from B lot 40 no. 846 and re-interred the same day.

Judge, Mary (O_197_7) buried 11/12/1909
Wife of John Judge, who died in 1892 at age 47. After death of her husband (mining partner of Keith and Kearns), she invested her profits in real-estate (Judge Building), a miner's hospital (became Judge Memorial High School, Saint Ann's Orphanage, and the Cathedral of the Madeline.

Keith, David (D_170_10 1/2 11) buried 8/29/1918
Previously buried in Argenta vault, 04-20-1918, 8' 6 deep. Another vault above, 2' 6 deep.
Partner with Thomas Kearns in the Silver King Mine, mansion on South Temple, building on Main Street.

Kostopulos, Dan S. (V_332_6) buried 12/15/1965
Provided money for Camp Kostopoulas (in Emigration Canyon), which helps handicapped children.

Lee, J(oseph) Bracken (East Masonic_221_2) buried 10/26/1996
Utah governor twice, mayor of Salt Lake City three times. Disliked living in the governor's mansion, so had new house built as the governor's residence. A controversial conservative, he fired the popular police chief, Cleon Skousen (similar to Truman's firing of General McArthur) and refused to pay his 1955 federal income tax.

Mays, Alice Newman (R_315_10F) Ashes buried 1/28/1987
Gardner par excellence, who gardened by the artistic aphorism, "Curved is the line of beauty. Keep the grass out of your borders."

McVickers, Emma (D_99_3F, look for large Celtic Cross) buried 6/15/1916, age 70
Only woman state superintendent of schools. Replaced John A. Park. She is beside her husband, who died in 1905. They had no children. She died in California.

Pearson, Emily (not in data base )
Episcopal missionary and first person buried here (1872), two years before the cemetery was officially created.

Penney, Alvina Berta (R_137_1) buried 12/29/1910
First wife of J.C. Penney. Died unexpectedly in her high avenues home, while her husband was way on a business trip. He refused to go back into the house and subsequently moved the headquarters for the J.C. Penney stores out of Salt Lake City.

Potter, Henry (N_44_6; So. Of N.h. Potter) buried 6/9/1912
Motorcycle on stone (look at death

Sanborn, Mabel Young (O_94_1) buried 9/23/1950
Born in the Lion house, Mabel was the youngest of 3 girls born to Brigham Young and Lucy Bigelow. All three were married twice. Rebellious oldest sister, Dora (Eudora), married two non-Mormons, both drunkards (the first dying from the problem). Brigham tried to control her by sending Lucy and her children to live in St. George, but did not achieve the intended results. Middle sister Susa (Susannah), married a cousin of Dora's husband, Alma Dunford (a dentist, but also a drunkard like his cousin). The marriage ended in divorce, but produced 2 lovely children. She married a neighbor's son, Jacob Gates and became well-known in the LDS Church as a writer, editor, and women's suffragette. Mabel married Dan MacAllister and later Joseph A. Sanborn, a non-Mormon.

Thompson, Ezra (P_180_4) buried 11/19/1945
Elected mayor of Salt Lake City in 1899 on the Republican ticket and was responsible for installing curbs and gutters on the city's streets. He resigned that office in 1907. He owned the first car in Salt Lake City (couldn't shift gears, so he abandoned it and got an electric car that could go 50 miles per charge).

Tracy, Theodore F.(Not included in data base; nw corner of section O or R, next to Collins)
Agent for Wells Fargo. Partnered with Collins in the bank business. Responsible for Tracy Aviary and Camp Tracy (cub and boy scout camp in Milcreek Canyon).

Walker, Joseph Robert (Not on data base; large marker, not far from Daft)
The brothers [Samuel Sharp ("Sharp"), Joseph Robert ("Rob"), David Fred ("Fred"), Matthew H. ("Matt")] had a Suttler store at Camp Floyd, merchandise stores, banking, freighting, mining and smelting interests. After settling in Salt Lake City's 3rd Ward, they soon moved to the 7th Ward and began buying up a whole block between 4th and 5th South and Main and West Temple Streets, where they erected mansions. They also had "country" property in Holladay (Walker Lane). The youngest of the four brothers, Matthew, eventually bought out Rob's interest in the bank and became president of Walker Brothers Bank. He built the Walker mansion on South Temple, west the Masonic Hall.

19th Century Black Soldiers at Mt. Olivet

Campbell, Andrew (B_24_3) buried 3/31/1922
The earliest Black soldier we have record of coming to Utah is Andrew Campbell, who was born in Missouri and came to Utah with Johnston's Army in 1857. He was the father of Belle, Sumner, Ulysses, and Mellie.

Jackson, Thornton (not in data base, kin? at U-349-10) 15 Dec 1852 - Ma7 1927
Sergeant Thornton Jackson was born December 15, 1862, in Columbus, Georgia. He joined the 10th U. S. Cavalry April 12, 1880, serving for 10 years in that branch of the service. The remainder of his time was spent in the 24th U. S. Infantry. Re-enlisting every 5 years, he saw service in several areas throughout the United States, as well as in Cuba and the Philippines. At one time he participated in the Indian wars in New Mexico and Arizona, and for another period was stationed at Missoula, Montana, then at Fort Douglas, Utah, where he finished his distinguished service of 29 years, 1 month and 10 days, His wife, Fanny M. Jackson, was born March 6, 1874, in Morris, Illinois. They were the parents of Orville Dewey, Clinton Theodore, Charles Thornton, Robert Nathaniel, Rhoda Elizabeth, and Carlos Pohatan.
Following his discharge at Fort Douglas in 1906, Mr. Jackson and his family made their home in Salt Lake City, where they lived on Garfield Ave. Their son Clinton reminisced that his mother sometimes spoke of the choice she faced at the time of her marriage. An ardent church worker, she had to choose between marriage and a family, or a position in her church which would have precluded marriage. "My mother's whole life, next to raising her family," he added, "was the church. Sunday School was her heart and soul." About his father, he said, "Father was a great reader; and very healthy—he exercised every night. He, as well as my mother, were Deacons in the Calvary Baptist Church." Sergeant Jackson died in Salt Lake City in May of 1927; his wife on Thanksgiving Day, 1956. Both are buried in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Lawson, Nelson (A_69_9) 3/4/1848 - 5/5/1920
Civil War Veteran, was born March 4, 1848, enlisted, and served in Co. K, 18th U. S. Colored Infantry. Mr. Lawson died May 1, 1920, and is buried in Mt. Olivet.

Porter, Calvin B. (not in data base ) - Aug 1902
Civil War Veteran, was born in 1837. He became a 2nd Lieutenant in the 45th Colored U. S. Troops. He died August 18, 1902, and is buried in Mt. Olivet.

Rucker [ruger], Alfred (S_77_7) 5/30/1867 - 12/24/1926
Alfred Rucker was born in Lumpkin County, Georgia, in 1846. He enlisted in the United States Army on May 30th, 1867, at Fort Quitman, Texas, when a young man. By some mistake when he enlisted, his name was signed Ruger instead of Rucker. He married a widow named Mary Foster who had three children: Maggie, Jeannette and Daniel Foster, whom he raised. Alfred and Mary became the parents of four children: Lawrence, twins, Moses and Solomon, and Lula. He was transferred to Fort Douglas in 1896 where his youngest child Viola was born in 1897. He established a home in Holladay. After thirty-three years of service in the army he retired in 1900. Mr. Rucker died in 1926

Thompson, James H. (A_65_9; 18 grave lot) 1/22/1846 - 3/14/1915
Civil War Veteran, was born January 22, 1846, in Kentucky. He enlisted, and served in Co. E, 100th U. S. [p.567] Colored Infantry. He died March 14, 1915, and is buried at Mt. Olivet.

Copyright 1999-2019 Mormon Trails Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Webmaster: Ron Andersen