Ironically, on Monday I concurred with Amanda that too much work is focused on the history of polygamy and today I am posting about polygamy. Oh well…
In 1910, Hannah Adeline Hatch Savage recorded the details of the death of her father Lorenzo Hill Hatch in her journal:
My dear father departed this life April 20 1910 at Logan, Utah, had he lived four more day there would have been two months difference between my dear parents death….He is father of twenty four children, twelve sons and twelve daughters, one son having preseded(sic) him to the other side. He is the husband of four wives who all departed this life before he did. He is buried in the Logan Cemetary(sic) by the side of his second and third wives. His first wife died and was buried on the road between Nauvoo and Salt Lake City 
When I read this passage, I was immediately reminded of an article written by her lyrical great-nephew, Levi Peterson who described her isolated burial place. He wrote,”Hannah Adeline Hatch lies in the red, wind-stirred soil of the Woodruff cemetery…The wilderness was not a fit habitation for Hannah Adeline Hatch. I am desolated by her lonely, barren grave in the Woodruff cemetery.” 
Adeline is buried by herself in Arizona while her husband and sister, who was also married to Levi Mathers Savage, are buried together in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. I started wondering about polygamous burial practices, if there was such a thing. Scholars like Thomas Carter have written about the architecture of polygamy. He explores concepts such as spatial equality among polygamous wives as well as the gendering of space within multi-family dwellings. The housing design of those who practiced plural marriage reveals a great deal about how polygamous families lived as well as notions of gender among 19th century Mormons. Could the structuring of Mormon burial spaces be as equally instructive? Yes and no. Geographer Richard H. Jackson maintains that cemeteries provide a window into Mormon culture. Cemeteries need to be understood as more than a mere cluster of graves. Landscaping, fencing, paths and other features are all cultural indicators. Similarly, individual grave data such as epitaphs, religious symbols, decorations and spatial arrangements are good indicators of class structure, religious beliefs and familial dynamics. In his article, “ “Mormon Cemeteries: History in Stone” he notes that analysis of the platting, conditions and general location of burial places as well as the materiality of headstones allows scholars to better understand the “voice” of Mormon cemeteries. He notes:
Like the Mormon village, the Mormon cemetery reflects the Latter-day Saint belief that God is a god of order … and Mormon cemeteries, like their cities, are platted in regular gridiron pattern oriented to their cardinal directions. Literally “cities of the dead,” their morphology not only reminds us of the Mormon penchant for order, but also tells us something of Mormon eschatology. Cardinal orientation insures that the deceased can be laid to rest with their heads to the west … when the dead come forth from their graves, they will face the east, from whence the Savior will come.”
Going deeper, Samuel Brown describes early Mormon burial practices and underscores the importance of the necessity of community burial. He states that Joseph Smith, “appears to have taught his followers that their physical proximity in graves not only sweetened the resurrection, it made resurrection possible. Many early Latter-day Saints believed that at Christ’s Second Coming they would lay hands on each other and raise each other from the dead… Having loved ones interred nearby was critical to the timely efficacy of the ordinance of resurrection – mismanaged burials could impair the central miracle of Christ’s Second Coming.”
Adeline’s isolation in death is particularly poignant when one considers that most of her life was characterized by familial dislocation due to poor health as well as the exigencies of plural marriage.
From the time she was a child until her death, she was separated from first her mother, then her husband and children while she convalesced, sought healing rituals in distant temples, was hospitalized or sought refuge from chronic illness in a friendlier climate. Following Levi Savage’s legal prosecution for cohabitation in 1905, she endured another separation. She wrote:
The demands of the cort(sic)was that I live no more with my husband and also that I immediately leave the home. We was obliged to comply with the requirements of the cort(sic) at that time… So I left my home about the middle of December, also husband and children and stayed at the home of my dear friend Medora Gardner. They (her family) was very kind to me while there. And I felt to rejoice that I was counted worthy to be persecuted for Christs’ sake. My leaving my family at this time entailed a hard ship on us. 
Hannah Adeline Hatch Savage died on June 14, 1916.  Context is important and while the spatial burial arrangements of the Savage family might reveal something of the nature of plural marriage it also reveals the difficulties of Mormon life in small settlements during the late 19th century/early 20th century. Levi and Nora moved to Salt Lake City in 1919 following Savage’s release as bishop of the Woodruff ward after 27 years of service. Adeline died 19 years before her husband and 30 years before her older sister. Sometimes the stark realities of death and poverty simply dictated where individuals were buried.
The arrangements of the remains of polygamous families who are buried in more immediate circumstances can also be revealing. The headstone of two of the wives of Cyrus Sanford presents a distinctly Mormon epitah. Happylonia Sophronia Clark Sanford and Olive Pixley Sanford share a double arched white marble slab dating from the late 1870s or 1880s.
Although it is difficult to read in the picture it states at the bottom, “As wives devoted, as mothers affectionate, as friends ever true.” They are buried together, while Cyrus Sanford who died in 1900 and initially shared a large ornate obelisk with his first wife Sylvia Elmina Stockwell. When carefully contextualized the markers and spatial arrangements all might provide clues to the dynamics of individual polygamous marriages. In 1988, the Sanford Family Organization committee re-did the headstones and consolidated all of the names of husband and wives onto one memorial.
Both the original burial practices of the Sanford family including the nature of the headstones, the epitaphs and the funeral art as well as the revisions in the late 20th century are all indicators of how Mormons families lived, died and were buried. I don’t know that I’ve answered my original question about polygamous burial practices, but I think that an investigation of the materiality of Mormon graves and their spatial orientation is another way to broaden our understanding of gender and marriage. Looking at smaller family cemeteries like the Kimball-Whitney Cemetery or the Brigham Young Cemetery or contrasting the headstones of men and women in both urban and rural locations will undoubtedly provide new insights into the past. What I do know is that I’m headed to Salt Lake City on Sunday and there will definitely be some cemetery walks next week.
Hannah Adeline Savage, Record of Hannah Adeline Savage,Woodruff Arizona, and Journal (Pinedale, Ariz.: Petersen Publishing, 1976), 41.
Levi S. Peterson, “A Mormon and Wilderness: A Saga of the Savages,”Sunstone, December 1979, p.71.
 Jackson, Richard H., “Mormon Cemeteries: History in Stone” in Walker, Ronald W. and Doris R. Dant, eds. Nearly Everything Imaginable: The Everyday Life of Utah’s Mormon Pioneers. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1999, 406. Also see, Edison, Carol, Mormon Gravestones: A Folk Expression of Identity and Belief Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Volume 22, Winter 1989, p. 89-94
 Brown, Samuel Morris. In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death. New York: Oxford University Press. 2010, p.92. The relatively recent rehabilitation of the Smith Family Cemetery in Nauvoo in 2002 illustrates how these ideas still exist among Mormons. Russell M. Ballard invokes Joseph Smith by quoting “If tomorrow I shall be called to lie in yonder tomb, in the morning of the resurrection, let me strike hands with my father, and cry, `My father,’ and he will say, `My son, my son,’ as soon as the rock rends and before we come out of our graves. . . . And when the voice calls for the dead to arise, suppose I am laid by the side of my father, what would be the first joy of my heart? To meet my father, my mother, my brother, my sister; and when they are by my side, I embrace them and they me.” Ballard, the great-great-grandson of Hyrum Smith noted, “It’s a great privilege for family members to honor their forefathers and to prepare a garden spot for them to rise in the resurrection. That is the crowning accomplishment.” http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/20884/Cemetery-dedication-a-fulfillment-of-dreams.html In his article “Last Rites and the Dynamics of Mormon Liturgy”, Jonathan Stapley notes that the ritual of grave dedication addressed concerns that sprang from the idea of resurrection as a communal event. The ability to create sacred space for bodies outside the realm of the family burial place would be a powerful antidote to anxieties that arose from separation caused by migration, colonization and other familial dislocations that resulted from the prosecution of polygamous families.
 Hannah Adeline Savage, Record of Hannah Adeline Savage,Woodruff Arizona, and Journal (Pinedale, Ariz.: Petersen Publishing, 1976), 32.
 Levi Mathers Savage recorded, “9:15 a.m. June 14, 1916 my wife Hannah Adeline Hatch Savage passed from this mortal existence on to a more blessed life in Eternity, where her reward and exaltation is sure and certain. In the afternoon of the 15th. we laid her mortal body away in grave 2 lot 3 Block 14 Woodruff Cemetery. Stake President and many relatives were present at funeral” Levi Mathers Savage, Journal of Levi Mathers Savage (Provo, Utah: Mimeographed by the Brigham Young University Extension Division ca. 1955), 82.
Jackson, Richard H., “Mormon Cemeteries: History in Stone”, p. 418.