Discover the unique burial site of Brigham Young and 10 facts from his life 141 years after his death

A portrait of Brigham Young, who served as the second president of the Church from 1847 to 1877. Painted by George Martin Ottinger. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
The marker for the “Grave of Brigham Young” in Salt Lake City. Credit: Robert Cole, Provided by, Provided by

A quiet spot just east of Temple Square on First Avenue in Salt Lake City marks the grave of the second prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The first prophet to live and die in the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young passed away at age 76 on Aug. 29, 1877. He was buried in a small plot at Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument, which honors the 6,000 pioneers who crossed the plains and is open to the public. Subsequent presidents of the Church — with the exceptions of Lorenzo Snow and Ezra Taft Benson — are buried in the historic Salt Lake Cemetery, which is the largest and oldest cemetery in the state.

In remembrance of Brigham Young’s death, here are ten facts from the prophet’s life:

1. Prior to his death, President Young suffered from peritonitis or inflammation of the abdominal organs. It is believed that his suffering was caused from a ruptured appendix.

2. The New York Times published an obituary on Brigham Young which included a history of his time as prophet of the Church.

3. Prior to joining the Church, he worked as a carpenter, painter and glazier.

4. Brigham Young preached at his first Church ceremony only a week after he was baptized on April 15, 1832.

5. He served as prophet for 29 years, making him the longest serving president of the Church.

6. His work in politics helped bring both the transcontinental telegraph and the railroad west, ensuring that they would pass through ‘Mormon’ territories and connect his communities to the rest of the country.

7. Brigham Young actually founded two universities — Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, which was previously known as the University of Deseret.

8. President Young was about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, according to his biography “Life Story of Brigham Young,” co-authored by his daughter Susa Young Gates. Currently in the United States, the average height for men is about 5 feet, 9 inches tall.

9. He established a system for land distribution in the West which was approved by Congress.

10. Brigham Young served as a missionary ten times throughout his Church membership. He served in both Canada and Great Britain.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that President Young was just over 5 feet tall. He was about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, according to his biography “Life Story of Brigham Young,” co-authored by his daughter Susa Young Gates.

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