The Disneyland Hearse – Was it Brigham’s?

By Bill McKeever 

Disneyland HearseFor several years it has been rumored that the horse-drawn hearse that sits in front of the haunted mansion at Disneyland was the same hearse that carried Brigham Young, Mormonism’s second president. It is a popular myth, but a myth nonetheless.

Glen M. Leonard, director of the LDS Museum of Church History and Art (located west of Temple Square), noted that Young was very specific about his funeral. According to his will, his body was to be carried on a platform to the Salt Lake Tabernacle for his funeral and after the service the same pallbearers would hand carry the casket to the small cemetery on First Avenue where Young is buried to this day. Young died on August 29, 1877.

Historian Hubert Howe Bancroft, wrote,

“At eight o’clock on the morning of the 1st of September the remains of President Young, escorted by members of his own family, by members of the twelve, and by others of the priesthood, were conveyed to the tabernacle, the coffin being enclosed in a metallic case draped in white and wreathed with flowers. The funeral rites were appointed for noon on the following day, and during each hour of the interval a constant stream of visitors, numbering in all some twenty-five thousand, passed through the great aisle of the building, all being allowed to stop and gaze for a moment [p.670] on the features of him who had been to them for so many years as their God on earth, their faithful guide and counsellor” (History of Utah, 1540-1886, p.669).

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