William the Unloved was the last surviving brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith, hanging on nearly five decades more than the rest. I always feel a little sorry for William, since nobody liked him and nobody remembers him at all fondly.
We went to visit William’s grave a couple months ago and he will mark the first entry in a feature I’m calling “Cemetourism.” I inherited the cemetery gene from my mother and her mother. My uncles say of my grandmother (with a groan!) that she can never pass by a cemetery without wanting to stop and hunt for ancestors. I share those inklings. As we travel around the country, we like to stop and look for graves, either of ancestors, Mormon history figures, or U.S. presidents and vice presidents, along with their defeated rival candidates for both offices. (Yes, I’ve been to the graves of Alben Barkley, Hannibal Hamlin, and Wendell Willkie!) [Read more…]