Wife of Writer of “Come, Come, Ye Saints” Receives New Headstone

Contributed By Kara McMurray, Church News staff writer

  • 7 August 2014

Diantha Farr Clayton’s headstone at the Salt Lake City Cemetery was recently placed after one of her descendants discovered she had been buried in a pauper’s grave.  Photo by Kara McMurray.

Article Highlights

  • The unmarked grave of Diantha Clayton, wife of William Clayton, was discovered in a cemetery in Salt Lake City.
  • Diantha’s new headstone pays tribute to “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” written to commemorate the birth of her son.

Upon receiving word of the birth of his healthy baby boy while traveling with a Mormon pioneer caravan on April 15, 1846, William Clayton was filled with so much joy that he had to write about it. The well-known Mormon poet penned the words to what would become the popular LDS hymn “Come, Come, Ye Saints.”

Diantha Farr Clayton, Brother Clayton’s wife, was born in Vermont in 1828 and was married at the age of 16 in 1845. Just over a year later, she gave birth to Moroni Clayton and sent word to her husband, who received the joyous news 15 days later. Four years after her husband wrote “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” Sister Clayton passed away in Salt Lake City. More than 150 years later, some of her descendants discovered that she was buried in a cemetery in Salt Lake City, her grave unmarked.

“This is a great human interest story for this period,” said David Farr, a descendant of Diantha, “because of her significant role that she played in the song.”

Brother Farr, with his family, has done many monuments for their ancestors to honor their memories. He has worked over the last year to have a headstone put in place for Diantha to honor her memory.

“They need to be remembered,” said Brother Farr, “because of their righteous lives and examples to us.”

Diantha’s new headstone pays tribute to the hymn written to commemorate the birth of her son. The back of her headstone has an excerpt from the poem William Clayton wrote that later became the words to “Come, Come, Ye Saints.”

The Diantha Farr Clayton monument dedication will be held in conjunction with the Winslow Farr Sr. Family Organization open house, which is on August 11 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. at 373 15th Street in Ogden. The actual monument dedication will be on August 12 at 2:00 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Diantha Farr Clayton’s headstone has an excerpt from “All Is Well,” the poem her husband wrote after learning of the birth of their son. The poem would later become the hymn “Come, Come, Ye Saints.” Photo by Kara McMurray.

A headstone has been placed in the Salt Lake City Cemetery for Diantha Farr Clayton. Sister Clayton’s husband, William, wrote the words to the hymn “Come, Come, Ye Saints.” Photo by Kara McMurray.

An undated photo shows Diantha Farr Clayton, wife of William Clayton. Photo courtesy of David Farr.