UTGenWeb — Salt Lake County

Bingham City Cemetery - Description / History

Sept. 2010 Update-This information was written by Tiffany and Stephanie Jencks. We are siblings of Brad Jencks. He is the CEO of Connecting Families Across The Globe. We are youth volunteers serving as President and Secretary of this non profit group while Brad is in Peru on a church mission.  We are answering global inquiries as part of an international research team. Here is some history about our ongoing project at Bingham City Cemetery-

 1. Summarize the involvement with the cemetery - It’s a story of an old historic ghost town cemetery that was inherited by our school district. This labor of love, a passion for service started more than 6 years ago when we spent our entire summer helping our brother photograph and map burials for his Eagle Scout service project. Brad accomplished the rank of Eagle Scout at 2,790 man hours. The efforts are ongoing. We have assisted him along the way. Brad is in Peru on a church mission at current. We are carrying on the torch. Anyways…Our school district inherited the cemetery by default of state law. They are in the business of education not cemeteries. So we took on a task that grew bigger and bigger. It is our passion for life. Alongside our brother, we organized more than 2,000 volunteers over 6 years who restored and preserved grave markers, proved 1,100 unknown burials, repaired vandalism, helped author a 1,500 page historical cemetery book, a military hero book, plus designed a wall of honor for 1,825 burials.  We’ve honored Veterans of 6 wars with a military monument and new headstones. In the process of doing all this research we discovered immigrant burials from 30 nations and 38 states in the United States. These people died young as result of illness or working in the nearby copper mine. They were not able to be sent home to their native land for proper burial. During Sept. 2010 we personally designed and installed an international monument honoring more than 1,000 unmarked graves from 30 nations.

 2. What did we do to accomplish our goals?  A summary: We cleaned up the 8 acre cemetery. Photographed and took GPS readings of all gravesites and headstones. Obtained an aerial photograph of the cemetery to make a map. Hand recorded information. Interviewed living relatives 5 Memorial Day weekends at the cemetery. Even slept in an RV one Memorial weekend to meet and greet every cemetery visitor. (That was scary, email for details). Placed 2,400 flyers on gravesites and involved news media requesting more info about the unknown burials. Conducted international interviews via email for 6+ years, helped work on a database, plus reconstructed records lost by flood/fire/deterioration. Searched old books, newspapers, 157 rolls/53,000 names on microfilm to find burials records. Repaired vandalism caused by devil worshippers. Replaced and installed many headstones with 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, church groups, Bingham High School Football team. Researched military records, immigration records and learned to decipher several languages about immigrant graves. The challenges have been many but were met by a community that has spent more than 7,000 hours to help us. We are grateful for support from The History Channel/Roots Television online, Ancestry.com, Rootsweb, USGenWeb,The Bingham Canyon Lions Club, The American Legion, The United Veterans Council, Jordan School District, The Utah State Historical Society, National Federation of Genealogical Societies, private businesses and many volunteers ages 7-94 years.

 3. What impact has this achievement had on us, our family, school, community and the world?  We have learned what it means to have complete respect for people of all nationalities. We esteem those who risked their lives for our country. We have a greater appreciation for those who crossed the land and sea to build a life for you and me. It has brought our family and community together in a cause greater than self. We have spoken at a number of events promoting service. Now a school district can use tax payers money on education not cemetery issues. We conduct educational tours of the cemetery. We lead youth/service groups at the diverse, historical cemetery, teaching lessons from the past to improve the future. We started a non profit group called Connecting Families Across The Globe and created a 5 member international research team that finds great joy connecting living relatives to each other, their common ancestor and their heritage. It is very rewarding when we receive an email and we can answer what happened to their loved one when letters to home stopped. Our research and books were donated to the State Historical Society, many libraries and to free genealogy websites. We have not sought for monetary gain from our service. We hope to leave a legacy of love for those that paved the way for us to enjoy life. We are a great team! Any questions, comments, suggestions, updates, or new information can be emailed to:

 binghamcemeteryinfo@jensgroup.com.

Connecting Families Across The Globe
PO Box 95309
South Jordan, Utah 84095 


For those looking to find their ancestor or heritage, here is some historical data and information to help you-

On the website you will find a color headstone photo, GPS burial location, all vital statistics, and any information that our team has found.  Please feel free to print any information about your relative or ancestor.  This material is copyrighted and made available free of charge for the personal use of people researching their ancestry.  No permission is granted for the use of this material for monetary gain.

A big thanks to USGenWeb, Rootsweb, and Ancestry.com for hosting this research on the Internet free of charge.  Now people from all over the world can find their heritage. 

The exact date when burials began at Bingham City Cemetery is not known.  According to town board minutes, the cemetery was created in 1913. One tombstone was found documenting a death date of 1873 and several others show death dates during 1879.  The earliest documented birth is in 1824. The city of Bingham was located just below the Utah Copper/Kennecott Copper Mines.  Bingham was incorporated in 1904, but it is clear that burials were taking place well before that. 

Bingham City Cemetery, also referred to by some locals as the “Kennecott Copper Cemetery” consists mainly of past residents of towns or camps that used to be known as Bingham Canyon, Carr Fork, Copperfield, Copperhill, Copperton, Dinkeyville, Freeman Gulch, Frogtown, Highland Boy, Lark, Leadmine, Lower Main, Phoenix, and Telegraph. 

People buried in the cemetery are from more than 30 countries and 38 states within the U.S.  These people braved crossing the ocean and then found their way across the United States in search of employment at Utah Copper and Kennecott Copper Mines.  

This cemetery has a diverse, multi-ethnic background.  Burials were found from various areas of the world including: Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Macedonia, Mexico, Montenegro, Norway, Nova Scotia, Puerto Rico, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Wales, Yugoslavia  and 38 states within the United States. 

Many headstones are in different languages.  Please note that some names were “Americanized.”  Do not get discouraged if you cannot locate your ancestor at first glance.  Some examples of “Americanized” names are Brkljacic to Blockovich, Busljeta to Bullet, Epop to Error, Jengich to Yengich etc.   Names were also spelled phonetically, which accounts for the many discrepancies in spelling.

Parents buried several babies and small children due to epidemics like Typhoid Fever, Diphtheria, and Whooping Cough.  Young men lost their lives from mining accidents and suffered violent deaths, such as murder. People died from many diseases that are 100% curable today.  The deceased were mostly laborers and many did not have money set aside to buy a headstone.  It is heartbreaking to see the hundreds of deaths of people under the age of 30. Families are buried together in unmarked gravesites with only one parent being noted with a headstone at best.  Times past were hard for these people as they suffered through several wars and The Great Depression. 

In addition, please note that Kennecott Copper Mines relocated the remains of those buried at Chandler Cemetery (Dry Fork area) to Bingham City Cemetery in 1999.  The Chandler cemetery was moved when Kennecott expanded mining operations in the canyon.  That cemetery consists mainly of burials that were from the Chandler family and snow slide victims from Finland.  

47 known War Veterans are buried at this cemetery, including those who fought in the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I and II, Korean, and Vietnam War. 

A fire and later a flood swept through the cemetery, which caused the metal markers to become unreadable.  It also caused damage to some gravesites. Vandalism has occurred at this cemetery.  Time and deterioration has resulted in the inability to decipher some headstones.

Bingham City was disincorporated in 1971.  By law, care and maintenance of the cemetery was legislated to the largest state agency operating within the city limits; that being Jordan School District.  The records they inherited were threadbare, incomplete, and highly inaccurate.

The information on this website is a compilation of work from the following sources-

  • Bingham Mortuary Records
  • Bingham City Cemetery Records and an old plat map
  • O’Donnell Funeral Home Records
  • Information from Fawn Price- (Past Daughters of Utah Pioneers member, now deceased)
  • Records from Gordon Bodily-Bingham Canyon Lions Club member
  • Bingham Bulletin newspapers on microfilm
  • A database compiled by the staff at Jordan School District’s Auxiliary Services 1971-2003  (From old, sparse records from the town of Bingham)
  • A tombstone transcription project, digital photograph survey of each burial/headstone and a GPS reading of each gravesite by Brad, Tiffany and Stephanie Jencks alongside Boy Scouts from 4 troops. 2004-Current
  • The research efforts and work of Brad, Tiffany and Stephanie Jencks plus Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, 4-H’ers, friends, students, family and community volunteers that have an interest in the cemetery. 2005-Current
  • State of Utah Death Certificates, scanned, recorded and copied by the Jencks team, family, friends and student volunteers that attend 4 schools within Jordan School District. 2005-2006
  • Ongoing local interviews and international correspondence by our group called Connecting Families Across The Globe. 2004-Current  

All of the above information has been verified to the best of our ability.  Advice has been sought from amateur and professional genealogists, computer professionals, engineers etc.  If you find discrepancies in the information, please email all corrections to our team.

History has been preserved from flood, fire, vandalism, and future deterioration.  The research and information was donated to the Utah State Historical Society who placed it on the State of Utah’s burial database web site.  It is text only.  This is one of the most utilized web sites in Utah State government.  One may visit the web site at- http://history.utah.gov/burials/execute/searchburials

Bingham City Cemetery book version 2, was printed in color and hardbound March 2006.  The books may be found at several locations including the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is the largest genealogy repository in the world.  We also donated copies of the book to Bingham Creek Library, The Bingham Canyon Lions Club, Jordan School District, USGenWeb, and RootsWeb. Bingham Cemetery Book 3 is soon to be released!

Jordan School District Auxiliary Services staff members generously donated a large amount of non paid time inputting the previously inherited records before we began the quest to find more information.  These good people spent many hours compiling a database that was the backbone of this project.  This was a huge task and a big thank you goes out to all those who helped provide this information. 

Jordan School District upholds the responsibility to properly care for the cemetery.  They are doing a wonderful job.  As stated they are in the business of education not cemetery work. We have made the agreement that we will answer worldwide inquiries. We are willing to search for additional information about your ancestor from this area. We live near the largest genealogy repository in the world.  Several books are available for us to research

What you see here started with the effort of our brother, Brad Jencks… an Eagle Scout. It has turned into a family, community and global project. 

People from many ethnic backgrounds, religions, and ages came together for this important historical preservation project.  Many people donated their time, talents, and resources to help preserve the history of Bingham and its people.  This was once a thriving community.  Mining operations have expanded and Bingham has been covered over.  The records of Bingham and it’s people, plus those of 30 nations, will live on forever thanks to the hard work of many who cared!!!

Every effort was made to be as accurate as possible in documenting the burials.  The living offspring will need to further verify the accuracy of their ancestors buried at Bingham and Chandler Cemeteries. This gives you a good start.  If you need help please to contact us. We have access to several books that are out of print and would be willing to research for you.

Bingham High School recently celebrated it’s 100 year centennial.  Mr. Scott Crump, a local historian, author, and school teacher at Bingham High School, published a book that you might be interested in purchasing.  If you have relatives who lived in Bingham or surrounding areas, or any that attended Bingham High School from 1908-2008, this book is for you.  It has a complete history, many pictures, and information that may prove useful in your research.  You may purchase the book for $25.00. Please contact Bingham High School to obtain a copy of the book-

Bingham High School
2160 West 10400 South
South Jordan, UT 84095

801-256-5100

Web Site: binghamminers.org

To clarify, we are not affiliated with publishing or sales of the Bingham High School book.  We receive no monetary gain from it.  We own a copy and know it will be useful to people who lived in that time era.  We are simply passing on information to help you in your quest to find your research. 

For corrections or additions to the web sites, please contact us. We will continue to update new information as it becomes available.  Best regards in your quest to find your heritage.  We hope you enjoy this Internet tour of times past.  “Connecting Families Across The Globe”…To be continued!

 By:  Tiffany and Stephanie Jencks…Brad too!

 

Headstone Photo Survey 

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