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Salt Lake City Cemetery History
The Salt Lake City Cemetery is located between “N” and “U” streets and Fourth Avenue and Wasatch Boulevard and contains approximately 120 acres with 9 ½ miles of roads.
The Cemetery is laid out in Plats. A Plat is an area of land that was developed at the specific time. Plats are divided into lots. A Lot contains ten graves. On the Sexton’s records, each person is recorded in four different areas. There is a location on record for each person buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
The first known burial was September 27, 1847, and was a child named Mary B. Wallace. On February 17, 1849, a council was held and Brigham Young appointed George Wallace, Daniel Wells, and Joseph Heywood to select a place for a Burying Grounds. George Wallace led the group to where he had buried some of his family members. The other men in the group liked the area because it was away from the living area of the Valley but close enough for families to travel in order to pay their respects to their loved ones. These men made their report to Brigham Young. Brigham Young was in favor of their selection and asked them to survey twenty acres for a Burying Ground. George Wallace was asked to keep the records of the people that were buried.
In January of 1851, and ordinance was passed by the General Assembly of the State of Deseret for “Incorporating the Great Salt Lake City.” A City Council was organized and the Salt Lake City Cemetery was officially organized. Since George Wallace was keeping the records of the Cemetery, he was made the first official Sexton. A Sexton is the person that takes care of and oversees all the operations of the Cemetery.
In February 1856 Mayor Jedediah M. Grand instructed the Committee on Municipal Laws to create an Ordinance for all people to be buried in a Cemetery, not on private property, without the consent of the Mayor and Committee on Municipal Laws.
In 1900 an irrigation system was placed by piping water from City Creek. This allowed the City Cemetery to start perpetual care. In the beginning perpetual care was only allowed in Park Plat, the newest area of the Cemetery to be developed. In 2014 the entire cemetery was placed on an automatic sprinkler system.
In 1906, perpetual car was extended to the whole cemetery and by 1915 such a growth of trees and shrubs, many of them evergreens, had developed that the hillside was nearly a forest.
As of July 9, 2015 we have over 124,000 people buried here.
There are 130,000 burial sites in the Salt Lake City cemetery and at present we have buried just over 124,000. The cemetery covers 120 acres in the heart of the city. Read about the cemetery's rich history at enjoyutah.org.
Mission Statement of the SLC Cemetery
The mission of the Salt Lake City Cemetery is to serve the families who come to us in a time of need. To watch over and care for these families loved ones who have been interred within our great and historical cemetery. To be a steward for the open space and care for the flora and fauna that lives and grows within our boundaries. We strive to provide service to the family members, friends and strangers who come to find closure, solace and peace within and upon are hallowed grounds. We strive daily to remember” the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little extra you do.” We all try to “pick up the stick” making sure to think first of those who work with us side by side and our selves second.