Friday, October 30, 2009

Other items...

Do any of my readers know why blogspot is no longer hosting embedded videos?

And I am looking to tweak/improve the layout.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lilly E. Gray


Handily one of the most enigmatic of all burials in the Salt Lake City Cemetery is that of Lilly Gray.  Amid all of the burials reads one stone:

Lilly E. Gray
June 6, 1881-Nov. 14, 1958
Victim of the Beast 666

Naturally, this has made Lilly and her gravesite a favorite among any student of the cemetery as well as afficianados of the mysterious and paranormal.

Why does Mrs. Gray's stone read the way it does?  Was she a victim? or a prankster?  And what is the significance of the June 6th (6/6) date? Speculation has run rampant.  Typical of the discussion is

Those wishing to pay your respects to Lilly may do so in plot X-1 of the cemetery.

Those of you who want the most likely answer for the sinister inscription are wise to read Richelle Hawks research:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

William Spry

1864 - 1929

William Spry was a successful two-term Govenor of the State of Utah from 1908 through 1915. Of his major achievements, his authorization to build the State Capitol Building is the most lasting. His moderate views on Prohibition are quickly forgotten.

Before running on the Republican ticket for Govenor, Spry served in civic capicaties as a tax collector, State Senator and US Marshall. Spry also held callings in the LDS Church, serving as missionary and later Mission President of the Southern States mission.

Spry was born in Windsor, England and grew up there before moving with his family to Utah Territory in 1875 after his family converted to the LDS faith.

Spry died in Washington DC of a stroke while he was serving as a commissioner in the U.S. General Land Office.

Read more about the life and leadership of William Spry here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lester Farnsworth Wire

Lester Farnsworth Wire (September 3, 1887 – April 14, 1958)

One of the world's first electric traffic lights was developed in 1912 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, by Lester Wire, a detective on the city police force. A wooden box with a slanted roof, the lights were colored with red and green dye and shone through circular openings. The box was mounted on a pole and the wires were attached to the overhead trolley and light wires. It was manually operated. Cleveland, Ohio, adopted a more elaborate electric signal in 1914, which became the prototype of all modern systems. Its two colours (red and green) could be controlled both by hand or by an automatic timer. They were supplemented by warning buzzers. These could still easily be heard, as traffic then was not as deafening as it is nowadays. The number of buzzes — one or two — indicated the direction.

Taken from the Websters World Encyclopedia 1999

The traffic signal was placed at 200 South and Main Street in downtown Salt Lake.

Wire is buried in P-9 near the east end of the cemetery

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Maps

I am refilling the maps tomorrow. If you see that the maps are out at the cemetery map box, shoot me a note and I'll print out more.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Readers, I want a bit of input from you.

When I started this blog, I intended it to be wholly non-profit. And I still do. But fairly recently, these blogs now have the option to 'monetize', meaning that if I allow ads on this blog and if you readers click on the ads, then the blog makes a few cents or something.

But I started thinking. In my researches in the notables of the cemetery, I am often surprised and a bit saddened that many, many people are buried without headstones.

If I were to monetize the blog, it would be an opportunity to help put some new markers for those that are now forgotten.

I would appreciate any thoughts you have on this. Thanks!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Charles Savage


Wikipedia reports that "Charles Roscoe Savage (1832–1909) was a British-born landscape and portrait photographer who produced images of the American West. He is best known for his 1869 photographs of the linking of the first transcontinental railroad."

After joining the LDS Church in Britain at the age of 14, Savage served missions in Europe before emigrating to Utah in 1856. Once in Utah, Savage founded several photography studios and gained fame by having his photos published regularly in Harper's Weekly magazine. As mentioned, his most famous photographs were of the linking of the railroads at Promontory Point.

Readers of this blog and others with an eye for Utah and pioneer history will know doubt know Savage for his portraits of early LDS leaders and other Utah residents, including my great-great-great-great grandmother Pheobe Campbell Atkinson:

If you are not familiar with his work, please spend a little time examining his collection. Click here

Savage is buried just east of the cemetery offices.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spencer W. Kimball


Fact: Spencer W. Kimball was the Prophet and President of the Church when I was growing up.
Fact: President Kimball was a grandson of early Apostle Heber C. Kimball.
Fact: President Kimball was not the inspiration of Yoda. Sorry. Urban myth.

Spencer W. Kimball was born on March 28, 1895 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Before he was called to the Apostleship in 1943, he worked as an insurance salesman and banker. He served in church leadership for over forty years.

President Kimball was a diminutive man with a huge tenacity for the principles of discipleship. He was a powerful advocate of gospel doctrines and morality. He authored many faith-inspiring books and articles, including The Miracle of Forgiveness and Faith Precedes the Miracle.

Most notable of President Kimball's service as President of the Church was the revelation he and the leadership received to allow the blessings of the Priesthood to be extended to all worthy males of the Church.

For more information on the life and teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, please visit or Grandpa Bills G. A. Pages where you can download mp3's of President Kimball's devotionals.

President Kimball is buried at the northwest corner of the cemetery.

You can find the monument with this map.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Map

I have actually had a few requests for this, so this week, I will be finishing the map. Well, at least one of the maps. A comprehensive map of the gravesites of the Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not just the ones that are popular or easy to get to. I've got a very busy Memorial Day coming up, so this map is just the thing to get me in the mindset.

It is done. I have printed a bunch of copies and left them outside the cemetery office if you want a hardcopy. Just go to the east side of the building.

EDIT #2:
I will keep links to my maps in the links to the left so it will always be accessable.

Or click here for a digital copy. I have this map created for printing on legal-sized paper.

Note that this is version 1.1, so changes might be coming along at a later time. Happy hunting!

Orson F. Whitney


Elder Orson F. Whitney seemed destined to serve in LDS Church leadership as he was a grandson of early church leaders Heber C. Kimball and Newel K. Whitney. As a young man of 22 years, Elder Whitney was called on a mission to proclaim the tenets of the LDS Church among the population of Pennsylvania. During his missionary labors, he had a dream where he witnessed the suffering in Gethsemane and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This dream had a powerful effect on the young man. His discipleship was made sure at this time and he led a life of service to the Church and his fellow man.

As always, a wealth of information can be found at Grandpa Bill's G. A. Pages here.

You can find the monument with this map.

Thanks to my friend Mike S., for helping me originally locating his marker. Mike is a relative of Elder Whitney.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Anna Lundahl Johnson

Anna Hansdatter Lundahl Johnson
30 September 1816 - 14 March 1866

Today is Mother's Day and I have a lot of mothers. Aside from the usual Mother's Day activities with my family, I thought I'd remember one of my other mothers. This is a small glimpse of the life of my great-great-great-great-grandmother. I quote from an account of the events from one of her great-granddaughters.

"Twice the Little Swedish Mother and her three daughters had been at the pier ready to board the vessel for America, and twice they had been forced to return to their home by a despotic man who once was the head of the family.

Par Johnson could have been a well respected husband and father, had it not been for the weakness he had for drinking to excess; on those occasions, which were becoming more and more frequent, he was a harsh and cruel companion in the home, bringing only misery and sorrow to the family. Anna Lundahl Johnson, the mother of these three daughters, had put forth to help him to be a better man, but to no avail, until finally she was forced to leave him and sue for a divorce.

The Johnson family lived near Malmo, Sweden; in the latter part of 1849, two Mormon Elders came to the home and when Anna heard the Gospel Message that they brought, she knew in her heart beyond a doubt that she had found the true word of God and soon thereafter she became a members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She opened her doors to the Elders and Saints that they might hold meetings in her home. Par Johnson's anger knew no bounds because of these contacts with the Latter-day Saints; he had no use for the Mormon Elders nor the Church they represented. Par Johnson had no legal right to interfere in their lives; he had forfeited all claim to his family through his own conduct.

In 1855, Christena Johnson, the eldest daughter accepted the Gospel at the age of 13, having been converted by the teachers of Elder Nels Nelson (brother of the man she married a few years later).

Religious persecutions soon began; the Elders were banished or cast into prison, without even as much as a fair hearing; and those people who had befriended the Elders received a like punishment. Because of her kindness to the Mormon Missionaries, Anna Lundahl Johnson was cast into prison, where she was confined for 14 days on a diet of black bread and water. At the end of the 14 day period, her daughters--Christena, Hannah and Caroline (then aged 15, 9, and 5 years respectively) waited outside the prison gate for their mother, not knowing whether she would come to them alive or not, fearful lest her prison treatment might have caused her death. Anna's eyesight was partially impaired because of her long confinement in the dungeon cell; likewise her health was impaired because of her long lack of proper nourishment.

For the third time preparations were under way for a company of Saints to leave for America and Anna and her daughters again began to make their plans. This time they must be sure that Par Johnson did not discover their intentions. Friends helped them--first one of the daughters was taken to Denmark; a short time later, Anna and her youngest daughter, Caroline made their way to Denmark; Christena had been down to the board to see her mother and sister off. On her way back she met her father; of course she was asked what she was doing down there; Christena was employed at a clothing factory and made the excuse of an errand. Her father then asked where her mother was--she couldn't possibly tell him that her mother had gone to Denmark -- he would soon follow the family there, so she was obliged to tell him a falsehood, which troubled her conscience for a long time. She told him that her mother had gone to America--had left the week before. A few days later, Christena and this family of friends joined Anna and her daughters in Denmark. The united family came to America on the sailing vessel "Monarch of the Sea."

Two whole months on the sea, through fair and foul weather. At the end of that long and perilous journey--exhausted and bewildered, they reached the shores of America; their journey led them to Florence, Nebraska, on the Missouri River. Upon arrival at that point, the journey over land across the plains began. And here the Johnson family found themselves like others of the company, without accommodations over and across the long dreary miles to Salt Lake City. So it was that Christena and her mother and two daughters walked the entire distance across the plains, or most of it."

by Meltrude Hunsaker Stohl 1954

Grandmother Anna and her daughters Christena, Hannah and Caroline walked across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley. Anna married a man named Peterson and settled in Sanpete County. She died a few years later and was buried in a paupers lot in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

I am so grateful to my grandmother Annie and her daughters for suffering hardship and persecution and martyrdom for the faith that they knew was true.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Blog rolls on.

You read that right.

I have the internet up and running again, as well as some insomnia, so I completed my entry for Alexander Neibaur as well as posting an entry for Gordon B. Hinkley.

So you get more now and more to come.

And spring is here so the weather is ideal to get out there and see what you can discover.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Maps and Legends

I've hit a snag. Or two.

I have been toiling away at putting together a map of this whole project. And that is hard, as I want to use a map of my own creation. Cartography isn't as easy as it looks. The funny thing is, I have already made my own maps of other cemeteries, like Murray, Wasatch and even Clarkston, but the SLC cemetery just isn't coming out the way I want it.

Oh, well. Back to the drawing board. Literally.