What Is Unique About the Establishment of Mount Olivet Cemetery in Utah?


Quick Answer

Mount Olivet Cemetery, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the only cemetery that was established by a United States Act of Congress. After churches in Salt Lake City petitioned the federal government in 1874 for land to be used as a nondenominational cemetery, Congress authorized J.D. Cameron, the U.S. Secretary of War, to allocate 20 acres of land from Camp Douglas to be used as a public cemetery. The management of the cemetery was vested in a board of trustees comprised of members of various Salt Lake City denominations.

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Full Answer

In 1877, the board of trustees chose the name "Mount Olivet" for the new cemetery and began dividing the land into plots measuring 18 square feet. The plots sold for a minimum fee of $25.

Mount Olivet Cemetery has since been enlarged to 80 acres. As of 2015, there have been more than 26,000 recorded burials.

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