Talitha Cuma Cheney Eggleston

My grandmother, Talitha Cuma Cheney Eggleston died at a young age. At least from my present perspective it seems a very young age. I never had the privilege of knowing her. When I was compiling histories for the Cheney Wilson Family History Book, I realized that she was the only member of that family no one had written about. So I set out, as one who had not known her personally, to write a history of her life. This is taken largely from that account, with some additional photographs.

Early Life in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Talitha Cuma Cheney was born May 3, 1893 in South Park, Wyoming. She grew up as on only daughter, with several brothers, all but one older than her. Her parents, Selar Cheney and Mary Alice Wilson, had another daughter Mary Ellen, but she had died as a child in Wilsonville, long before Cuma was born.

family of Selar and Mary Alice Wilson Cheney

Talitha Cuma is sitting on her father Selar’s lap. To the right of her is her grandmother Talitha Cuma Garlic Avery, whom she was named after. Other family members are Howard, David, Mother Mary Alice holding Fleming, and Selar Sylvester and Ralph standing in the back.

Talitha Cuma was named after her grandmother, Talitha Cumi Garlick Avery Cheney, though she went by the name “Cuma”. In some places it was written Cumi or Cumy, though her daughter Alice said she preferred Cuma to Cumy.

Fleming, Talitha Cuma and Howard Cheney

Cuma with her brothers Fleming and Howard

At the time Cuma was born, the South Park community consisted mostly of her extended family, so her childhood would have beenspent with her brothers and several cousins.

Education was very important to this family. The first school was organized in Jackson Hole in 1896. Cuma was too young to attend when the school first started, but was privileged to have this available from the time she was ready to start school. A 1899 souvenir card of School District No. 37 in Jackson lists 16 pupils with Cumy Cheney listed last, as she was probably the youngest.

 

Marriage to Joseph S. Eggleston

Cuma met Joseph Smith Eggleston, the son of Orson H. Eggleston and Annie Christine Johnson, who had been raised in Star Valley, Wyoming. Joe and his uncle Jacob Johnson homesteaded on a place called “Mormon Row” in Jackson Hole. This area is now within the boundaries of Teton National Park. The first land grant there was made in 1896. According to the Homestead Act, they were able to purchase 160 acres of land with the requirement that they build a dwelling, improve the land, and remain there for 5 years. After that time, a title to the land could be obtained.

By 1910, Joe and Jake had built a cabin and an irrigation ditch, known as the Johnson/Eggleston Ditch.  They later built a 100 foot well for drinking water and Joe built a two story home. Joseph Eggleston received a title to this land January 5, 1916.

Talitha Cuma Cheney and Joseph S. Eggleston

Wedding Picture of Cuma and Joseph Eggleston

Cuma was married to Joseph S. Eggleston, January 15, 1914 in the Salt Lake Temple. That would have been quite a journey to the Temple at that time, in a sleigh pulled by horses.

Life on Mormon Row

After their marriage, Cuma moved in with Joseph at Mormon Row. Joseph became Postmaster and for a time the Post Office was in their home. When the application was made for a Post Office, the name of Grovont was given to this community. The store was across the street from their home.

Grovont, Wyoming Post Office

Grovont Post Office. This may have been the Eggleston home

A branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized and the Church was also right across the street from their home. Cuma was called to be Relief Society President. Though the flock was small at that time, they were also quite isolated, so Cuma would have had a great deal of responsibility to care for the needs of these families through sicknesses and deaths as well as organizing activities. Cuma also played the piano and lead music at times. Joseph was the President of the Sunday School there.

Grovont Sunday School. Cuma Eggleston standing second from the left holding baby Aice. Joe Eggleston is standing 3rd from the left.

Four children were born to Cuma and Joe at Mormon Row: Alice Christine was born November 20, 1914; Joseph Wesley was born April 26, 1916; Lola was born December 15, 1917 and Selar Orland was born May 5, 1919. Alice remembers being in the Post Office (one room in their home) while her mother took care of the mail, and being outside with her while she hung out the clothes to dry.

Though Mormon Row is a beautiful place, life was not easy there. Irrigation was necessary for any farming and the growing season was very short. Winters were very severe. Alice remembers the snow reaching their second story windows. She recalls her father shoveling a trench out to the barn and one time when he hitched the team and they sank in the snow. They were almost buried and he had to dig them out. There was an Elk reservation just north of Jackson. Joseph worked feeding the Elk there. The elk did not stay confined to the reservation however, and during the winters they would often feed on the hay these settlers had grown for their livestock.

After Joseph’s father died in February 1917, he brought his younger brother Theron to Mormon Row to live with them. Theron was about eleven years old and stayed with them for a few years, before going back to Afton to live with his sister.

Move to Eden, Utah

Joseph and Cuma decided to move to Eden, Utah where he had been born. They moved in 1919, traveling on a train, and bought a farm on Middle Fork. Joe bought a herd of cows and feed, but the next year the bottom fell out of the market and the value of cattle dropped. It took a long time for them to get out of debt. They had 20-30 milk cows as well as chickens, pigs and rabbits.

Joe and Cuma in 1930 with what appears to be the barn in the background

They lived in a small one story house with outside plumbing. Joe eventually dug a basement, dug a septic tank and a well, and installed indoor plumbing. Transportation then was mostly by horse and wagon or sleigh. Joe later bought a car, which they rarely used, and a truck for use on the farm.

While living here Cuma had four more children: Laura was born November 20, 1920; Melvin was born April 7, 1922; Dale was born May 19, 1925; and DeLoss was born July 10, 1926. All of her children were born at home, except DeLoss, who was born at the Dee Hospital in Ogden.

Cuma continued to serve in the Church while living in Eden. She taught Primary. Alice said of her mother:

“Mother was always active in the church. She had a strong testimony and love for the gospel. I think she was as near to a lady as any woman could be. Her language was correct and she used no profanity. She was a good example for her children. She did not send us off to church, she took us and made sure we behaved.”

Eden Ward records show that July 24, 1925, the Relief Society work day was spent sewing clothes for Sister Cuma Eggleston’s children, as sister Eggleston was ill at the time and the children needed the clothing to start school. (History of Eden Ward p. 239) Dale would have been just two months old at this time.

Cuma had some difficulties in bearing children, resulting in scar tissue. She did go to the hospital to have some surgery after Dale was born and could have still been recovering at this time. She was advised not to have any more children, but 13 months later DeLoss, her last child, was born. There was a need for further surgery later, but because money was scarce, she put off having this surgery.

Grandmother

Cuma in 1937

Grandma did live long enough to become a Grandmother, but Alice lived in California with her children. Other grandchildren who lived closer in Utah were born not long before she died. She did not have much time or opportunity to enjoy her grandchildren.

Cuma with her grandson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuma and Joe with grandson Fred

Her Final Days

Alice recalls that her mother went without many things for her children. Cuma finally went to the hospital for surgery in the fall of 1940. There were complications, including pneumonia in both lungs. She died November 4, 1940 at the age of 49. The day Cuma died was election day and Alice recalled her being concerned about voting. Lola recalled that on Sunday her mother was sitting up in the bed crocheting and on Tuesday they got word that she had died.

Talitha Cuma Cheney Eggleston was buried in the Eden Valley View Cemetery.

Obituary and Will of Samuel Eggleston

I learned interesting things from the Obituary and Will of Samuel Eggleston.

Samuel Eggleston died May 26, 1884 in Ogden, Utah. A Notice of his death was printed in the Monday edition of the Ogden Daily Herald.

Newspaper Account of Samuel Eggleston’s Funeral:

Ogden Daily Herald
Obituary Saturday 31, 1884
Samuel Eggleston

A large concourse of relatives and friends assembled in the Second Ward meetinghouse, on the afternoon of May 27th, 1884, to participate in the funeral services over the remains of Elder Samuel Eggleston who departed this life, on the morning of the 26th inst. The services were Conducted by Bishop Robert McQuarrie. The services were opened by the choir singing: “We have met, dear friends and brethren, Our respects to pay to one Who has left this world of sorrow And to glory now has gone.”

Prayer was offered by President C. F. Middleton. The choir sang: “Thou doest not weep to weep alone,” etc. The Bishop then stated that previous to the death of the deceased he had requested that Elders Lorin Farr, and L.J. Herrick, and Apostle F. D. Richards act as speakers at his funeral. Those brethren are all present and would address the meeting.

Elder Lorin Farr was the first speaker. He said that we are reminded by the circumstances that have called us together that this earth and this state of existence are not our permanent condition and abiding-place, but that all must undergo a change. We have been called upon today, to pay our last respects to the mortal remains of our brother, but not our last respects to him, for he still lives and we shall meet him again in another sphere and better condition than we now experience. He then spoke of the object of man coming to the earth, namely to work out a more exceeding weight of glory and exaltation than we otherwise could and said this is the most important age of the world in which the Lord has ever spoken to man on the earth, as it is the dispensation of the fullness of times, when God will gather all things into one and the restitution of all things spoken by the Prophets. The speaker next contrasted the religion of the world with that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and showed that the latter was the only true order of the Kingdom of God which He has established upon the earth in the last days. This is the Gospel which our brother, whose remains lie before us, had embraced and to which he remained faithful while he lived in this state of existence, he spoke of the great events that are transpiring and of the opposition of mankind to this great work, but it will triumph and God will give the victory to all who maintain their integrity. Our brother was such an one, he held the high Melchisedek Priesthood and magnified it to the end of his life. He has kept his covenants that entitle him to go into the presence of God and to associate with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Hyrum, and others in the spirit world, and can also labor there and preach to the spirits in prison, for he carries with him the keys and the watchword authorizing him to do these things and entitle him to the blessings of associating with his former wife and friends who have gone before him. His mind, in this life, was always engaged in, and contemplating this great work of God. For these reasons his family and friends have little cause to mourn his departure from this life. He will, ere long, return again and if faithful will have the privilege to live and enjoy society here again.

Elder Lester J. Herrick was the next speaker. His failing health prevented him from speaking so loud, or as much as he otherwise could desire. He could endorse all that had been said by Elder Farr upon this subject. He, like many men, believed that if, when we depart, this is the end of man he would be in a miserable condition. But this is not true, for he looked forward to the time when he should again meet and hold converse with Father Eggleston in the future, as he has done in the past; for death is the passport to eternal life. Hence, when he can no longer enjoy life and be no longer useful to his fellow-man here, he does not desire to linger in pain and suffering, but he desires to have his lamp trimmed and burning and ready, when the time of his departure comes for he expects to meet his father, mother, and other friends, and enjoy a good and happy time with them. He had known the deceased from the time he first came here, and spoke of him in the highest term of commendation, both as a man, a citizen, and a servant of God. His place was made with him, he was reconciled to Him, and he died with a feeling of peace towards God and his brethren and sisters, for he has fought the good fight, kept the faith, and has overcome the world, death and the grave, and has entered into eternal life. Elder Herrick reminded the people that it was necessary to observe the things of the present life, to prepare for full enjoyment of the life to come.

Apostle F. D. Richards next addressed the meeting. He had visited the deceased, a short time before his death, and found that, although his voice was weak, his spirit was strong, bright and lively and he could converse on the things of God as freshly and intelligently as he ever did, and thus his faculties remained bright to the last. He then said to the friends of the deceased that there lies before us a rich man; for he is rich in the things of the Kingdom of God. He felt that it was possible that Brother Eggleston could have been kept alive a short time longer, yet his system was worn out and it seemed wisdom in the Lord to take him. He said that the deceased had fought the good fight and kept the faith, and had entered into life. He exhorted the widow and the children to observe the counsels of their husband and father, for this was his special desire before he died. He has gone to prepare a place for you, and if you are faithful you will inherit it with him. The speaker then read a part of the 20th Chapter of Luke, in relation to the question of the Sadducees concerning the woman who had seven husbands in this life but died without issue. “Whose wife shall she be?” The speaker then explained the nature of the resurrection in which it is said there is “neither marrying nor giving in marriage” etc. and showed that this referred to those who heard the Gospel, but refused to obey it here in the flesh, who persecuted the servants and Saints of God and put them to death, that it applied to those who attain to the Telestial glory. They are cut off from marrying or giving in marriage in their resurrection. But there is nothing said in the revelations of God that will debar the righteous from the enjoyment of all these blessings either here, in this life or in the resurrection of the just. Brother Eggleston is one of those who are entitled to the highest glories to which the righteous attain, for he has honored every law of God that has come to his knowledge, as far as he has been able to do so; and if his widow, sons, daughters and other posterity are faithful they will enjoy these blessings and honors with him at the coming of the Son of God and will still go forward, increasing in the knowledge of the things of the Celestial Kingdom of God. He referred to the abundance of heavenly blessings bestowed upon the Church in our day, the existence of two Temples in which the people may labor for their eternal interests of the living and of their dead, with another nearing completion. How lavishly the Lord bestows his favor upon his people in multiplying his great blessings upon us, in giving us as many of the ordinances which tend to our exaltation if rightly appreciated and to our increase of knowledge and understanding in all His statutes, ordinances and judgements. He closed by exhorting the Saints to be faithful in all things, that they may be partakers of these great blessings.

Bishop Robert McQuarrie said we had just parted with a good, kind and faithful man. He was blessed of the Lord, was spiritually-minded, and blessed with the visions of the Lord to a great degree. He was a good counselor, while united with the speaker and the other counselor. There were never any jars or discords between them, but they always labored together in harmony and in peace for the building up of the Kingdom of God in the Ward over which they had the watchcare.

The choir sang a funeral hymn: “Brother, thou art gone before us.”The services closed by benediction by President L. W. Shurtliff, after which the remains were conveyed to the cemetery and consigned to rest.

Obituary

The deceased, Samuel Eggleston, was the son of Samuel and Elizabeth H. Eggleston. He was born at Marcellus, New York, March 30th, 1801. [1804] In 1817, he moved with his father, and family to Springwater, in the same State. When 19 years old, he left home and went to Sempronius and took up his abode with Thomas Marsh, his brother-in-law, with whom he remained four years. On the 23rd of August, 1827, he was married to Miss Lurania P. Burgess by Mr. Gordon, a Baptist minister, to whose church he then belonged. He had previously belonged to the Close Communion Baptists. He subsequently joined the Freewill Baptists. He became dissatisfied with them and held himself aloof from Christian institutions for a long time. On the 6th of June,1841 he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder Pelatiah Brown. On the 18th day of July following, he was ordained a Teacher by Dr. Willard Richards. In July, 1842, he removed with his family to Nauvoo. In October, 1844, he was ordained a member of the 9th Quorum of Seventies. Brother Eggleston and family remained at Nauvoo till the year 1846, when he shared in the exodus from that city. He went to Winter Quarters and stayed there till 1848 when he moved back to the east side of the Missouri River. In the spring of 1851, he went to Council Bluffs, Iowa. While in the latter State he was Justice of the Peace for ten years, Notary Public for nine years, and Deputy Postmaster for five years. In 1862, he came to Utah, settling in Ogden. In 1863, he was ordained a high Priest by F. A. Hammond and others. On May 30, 1877, he was set apart as First Counselor to Robert McQuarrie, Bishop of the Second Ward of this city, which position he held until he died. On the 24th of October, 1882, he was ordained a Patriarch under the hands of President George Q. Cannon and others. The deceased Patriarch leaves four children, living (four having died); and twenty-seven grandchildren, (eleven more being dead) to build up his house and perpetuate his name in Israel. Peace to his ashes.

Will of Samuel Eggleston

Samuel left a will written April 27, 1884, just a month before his death (Transcribed below):

In the Name of God Amen
I Samuel Eggleston of Ogden City in the County of Weber and the Territory of Utah, of the age of eighty six years and being of sound and disposing mind and memory, and not acting under duress, [ ] fraudulent misrepresentation or undue influence of any person whatever, do make publish and declare this my Last Will and Testament, in manner following
That is to Say
First, I give and bequeath to my son, Edwin Eggleston who resides at Council Bluffs, in the State of Iowa the sum of ten (10) Dollars to be paid from the sale of any estate.
Secondly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Elizabeth Farr, wife of Enoch Farr, the feather bed now used by me, and which was used by her mother during her lifetime.
Thirdly, I give and bequeath to my wife Katherine Eggleston, absolutely, all the personal property of every kind and nature, owned by me at the time of my death.
Fourthly, wishing to provide for the support and maintenance of my beloved wife Katherine Eggleston as long as she may live, and in a suitable a manner as the condition of my estate will provide. I give and devise to my said wife for her separate sole use and benefit so long as she may live, the use occupancy and control of all of my real estate of every name and nature whatsoever, owned by me at the time of my death and all rents, issues and profits, which may arise therefrom during her lifetime.
Fiftly, At the death of my said wife, Katherine Eggleston, I give and devise to my sons Reuben B. Eggleston, Orson H. Eggleston and to my daughter Mary Elizabeth Farr, wife of Enoch Farr, all the real estate of every name and nature whatsoever, owned by me at the time of my death, to be divided equally between them, share and share alike.
Lastly, I hereby enumerate and appoint my wife, Katherine Eggleston, of Ogden City aforesaid, the Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament, and hereby revoke all former Wills by me made.
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this Twenty Seventh day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty four.
Samuel Eggleston

The foregoing instrument, consisting of one page, besides this, was at the date hereof by the said Samuel Eggleston signed and sealed and published as, and declared to be his last Will and Testament, in presence of us, who at his request, and in his presence, in the presence of each other, have subscribed and signed as witnesses thereto.
Robert McQuarrie
Residing at Ogden City, in Weber County, Utah Territory
John Harris
Residing at Ogden City in Weber County, Utah Territory

The Official Probate Packet is rather large, containing several documents. It lists heirs as Samuel’s widow, Katherine Eggleston, children Edwin Eggleston, age 50 of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Mary Farr, age 35, wife of Enoch Farr, of Ogden, Utah, Reuben B. Eggleston, age 52 of Ogden, Utah and Orson H. Eggleston, age 43 of Eden, Utah. Katherine was 49 years old and the petitioner.

Samuel’s Estate

The Probate Record describes Samuel’s property as:

A part of Lot 3 in Block 20 in Plat A of Ogden city Survey in said Weber County, bounded as bollows: Beginning at a point 40 feet West of the South East corner of said Lot, and running thence West 52 feet, thence North 20 rods, thence East 52 feet, thence South 20 rods to the place of beginning – the homestead of the deceased, with house and improvements hereon, valued at about $1000.00. Sundry household goods and effects valued at about $50.00.

The property was later appraised and valued at $800, plus the $50 personal property. A Notice to Creditors which was published after Samuel’s death placed this property on the north side of Sixth Street (now 26th St.), between Franklin and Wall Streets. Franklin is now Lincoln Ave., so his home would have been on the north side of 26th St. between Lincoln and Wall Ave.

Catherine was executrix of Samuel’s will and the provisions in the will were for her to remain in their home as long as she lived. Upon her death in 1888, Reuben petitioned the Court to administer the estate. The property was appraised again and  valued at $2000 on June 27, 1889.

The household goods which were given to Catherine after Samuel’s death became part of her estate. Edwin received his $10 and Mary Farr the feather bed. The real estate was divided equally between Reuben, Orson and Mary.

Trijntjie Catherine Kat Eggleston

Catherine Kat Eggleston has always been somewhat of a mystery to me. It was only recently that I found, through what others have posted to FamilySearch, that her full name was Trijntjie Catherine Kat Eggleston. I found other bits of very intersting information there. She is still somewhat of a mystery, but now a much more intriguing and fascinating mystery.

The Family Bible Record

The first I knew of Catherine was from Orson Hyde Eggleston’s Family Bible. The record there lists 3 wives for Orson’s father Samuel Eggleston. His first wife, and the mother of his children, was Lurania Powers Burgess. The record lists 2 other marriages which both occurred shortly after Lurania’s death in July 1870.

Samuel married Mary Elizabeth Mumford October 24, 1870. She is a total mystery. I have found no other information about her and she seems to have disappeared from Samuel’s life very shortly after this marriage.

Samuel was married to Catherine Kat March 6, 1871 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City by Daniel H. Wells. Catherine was born April 5th, 1836, making her 35 years old at the time. Samuel was 67.

Other Bits and Pieces

I learned that Catherine was born in Holland on April 5,1836. I assumed that she was a recent immigrant who had come to Utah as a single woman. In the 1880 Census she was 45 years old and living in Ogden, Utah with Samuel, who was 76.

Samuel and Katherine Eggleston in Ogden 2nd Ward Record

I learned her parents names early on in my research. The Ogden 2nd Ward Records list Samuel and Katherine as members. Katherine was baptized April 8, 1868.  (Another record has the date 29 June 1868 in Zaandam, Lammers, Netherlands) The record gave her parents names as Peter Kats and Elizabeth Blue. I also found that she had done Tempe work for them in the Logan Temple.

Learning from Catherine’s Death

I learned much more about Catherine from finding records of her death. Catherine Kat Eggleston died September 8, 1888. The Ogden Standard published the following on September 12, 1888:

Card of Thanks. EDITOR THE STANDARD: With your permission the undersigned would like to express their heartfelt thanks to the many friends of the late Catherine Eggleston for their kindness and assistance during her short and severe illness, and also especially thank the Second Ward choir for their beautiful singing during the funeral services. The kindness shown to her before and after her death will never be forgotten. R. B. EGGLESTON, MRS. MARY E. FARR

Reuben worked for the newspaper, so it is not surprising that he had this printed. It does seem to indicate that Samuel’s children had good feelings toward Catherine. Orson also included in a letter to his father from his Mission, “my respects to Catherine and all the rest.”

According to the terms of his Will, Samuel had left Katherine all of his personal property, with his land to go to his children Reuben, Orson and Mary, after Catherine’s death. Samuel wished to “provide for the support and maintenance of my beloved wife Katherine Eggleston as long as she may live, and in a suitable manner as the condition of my estate will provide.” She was allowed to occupy and control his real estate, including benefiting from rents and profits. She may have rented out rooms in the house.

Upon Catherine’s death, Thomas Doxey and Warren G. Child were made administrators of her estate. A Notice to Creditors was published in the newspaper in November and December 1888, by Thomas Doxey. The personal property was inventoried and sold at auction. Her estate was settled in the Probate Court of Weber County April 21, 1890. Final distribution to heirs-at-law was set for Saturday the 17th day of May, 1890.

Catherine’s Family

I learned the names of Catherine’s siblings from her probate record. Heirs listed in the probate record included brothers John [Jan] Kat of Velzen, Holland; Herman [Hermanus] Kat of Wormeveer, Holland; Henrika Kat Koelevaart, wife of John Koelevaart; and children of her deceased sister Angie Kat de Ruyter, including Semelia Jacoba, Elizbeth and Anna Catharine de Ruyter, all of Amsterdam, Holland. These heirs conveyed their rights and interest in the estate to Ida Zitzman, a widowed immigrant from Holland, who lived in Katherine’s ward with her six children.

Catherine’s Final Resting Place?

The Ogden City Cemetery Records show Lurania buried in Lot B-2-30 1E; Samuel in B 2-30 2E; and “Adult Mound” B 2-30-3E. There is nothing in the record to indicate who was buried in this third plot. Orson Eggleston bought a 10 plot Lot in the Cemetery, probably at the time his mother or first child died. It appears that they were not all used, and the rest later sold to others, as Orson moved to Afton, Wyoming and his family were buried elsewhere. It is likely that Catherine was buried next to Samuel in this other plot. Catherine had no children, so Samuel’s family may have buried her there, but never placed a marker. We may never know for sure, who is in this “Adult Mound”, but there have been no other records found to indicate that Catherine was buried anywhere else.

Recent Discoveries

This was all I knew of Catherine for some time, and I thought this was all I might ever know. But we now live in a digital age with many more people interested in genealogy. I recently found on FamilySearch, not only Catherine’s full name, but also her entire family and hints of her previous life in Holland.

Catherine was born Trintjie Catherine Kat, the daughter of Pieter Kat and Lijsbet Blaauw (The Dutch spellings of Peter Kat and Elizabeth Blue). Catherine married Peter Fontijin on November 3, 1861 in Zaandam, Netherlands. Peter had previously been married Geertjie Muntjewerff, who died July 7, 1861. They had six children, though one died as in infant and 3 others died in January 1862. So Catherine at 25 years of age, became instant Step-mother to five very young children and then buried 3 of them just months later.

Peter and Catherine were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April 1868. Peter, along with other members of his family, was excommunicated shortly after being baptized.

It would seem that Catherine and Peter divorced at some point, though I haven’t found a record of a divorce. It could have happened before Catherine came to America. Or possibly she came with the expectation that he would follow soon after and he changed his mind.

Catherine sailed for America August 25, 1869 on the ship Minnesota with Jantje, age 7 and Cornelia Fontijin, age 6, Peter’s surviving children from his first marriage. There were 443 Immigrating Saints on this ship. They arrived in New York September 6, 1969. They then traveled by train to Ogden, arriving there September 16, 1869. An obituary of Jantje – Jeanette F. Dartnell – indicated that this was the first passenger train to arrive in Ogden.

What Happened to Peter Fontijin

Peter married a third time to Henedricka von Elburg July 30, 1876 in Amsterdam. Peter was re-baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints June 17, 1876. Hendericka, who was then listed as a widow, was baptized on June 20, 1876, shortly before their marriage. Peter and his wife, known later as Harriet, came to Utah in 1877. They lived in Salt Lake City. Harriet was an ordained preacher of spiritualism, and apparently held seances. Peter died March 27, 1905 in Salt Lake City. It appears that even though he was re-baptized into the L. D. S. Church, he did not remain a faithful member, but joined his wife in spiritualism. Possibly his re-baptism was in part to be able to immigrate to America with L.D.S. Church immigration.

Questions

Catherine came to Utah with two young children. The ages given on the immigration record do not match with the birth records of the daughters of Peter and Geertjie. They should have been a little older – 10 and 12 years old, as indicated not only by their birth dates, but by the length of residence in Salt Lake City when they died. It is possible that preparations for immigration were begun years earlier and those ages for the children remained on the records. Catherine’s age of 36 at the time of immigration is also incorrect, though it is a few years older than she was.

I have not been able to find Catherine or these girls on the 1870 Census, so that early time in Utah is a mystery. Cornelia/Nellie was married in 1876 and Jantjie/Jeanette in 1882 in Salt Lake City.

Did Catherine care for these girls until her marriage to Samuel? Were they all living together after Catherine was married? We do not know for sure where Catherine was living before she married Samuel. It would seem more likely that they became acquainted in Ogden, rather than Salt Lake City.

If these girls were not with Catherine, as seems the case, then who were they with? Did Catherine bring the girls to live with someone else in Salt Lake City? They were too young to be on their own, so must have lived with someone for those first years. They could have joined their father when he immigrated in 1877.

Peter and his daughters all lived in Salt Lake City for the rest of their lives. Obituaries for Cornelia/Nellie Heystek’s says that she resided in Salt Lake City since she came to Utah. One says that she came to Utah with her sister at age 10. Jeanette’s death certificate indicates she lived in Salt Lake City for 77 years, which would date back to their 1869 immigration. Nellie’s says she was a resident for 61 years when she died in 1929.

These girls were very young when their father married Catherine, so she would have been the only mother they ever knew. Yet, they were not listed as heirs in Catherine’s probate record. Records of these girls show no connection at all to Catherine, as if she was just someone with the same surname who immigrated on the same ship or possibly someone hired to escort them to America. So though we have a little more history, Catherine remains somewhat of a mystery.

A Note on Name Spelling

I have seen her name spelled Catherine, Catherina, and Katherine on different records. The papers in Samuel Eggleston’s probate record have her name spelled Katherine. Samuel spelled it that way in his will. In the signature space on the probate papers however, it shows it was signed with X – her mark. So Catherine was likely illiterate herself and others spelled her name as they felt it should be.

Samuel Eggleston Utah Pioneer

Samuel Eggleston

Early Life of Samuel Eggleston in New York

Samuel Eggleston, son of Samuel & Elizabeth Hill Eggleston was born March 30, 1804 in Marcellus, Onondaga County, New York. He wrote a brief autobiography which states:

“I lived in the town of Marcellus until I was 13 years old, then my father, with his family, then moved into the town of Springwater, Livingston County, state of New York. My brothers and sisters numbered ten in family. I lived with my father until I was 19 years old, then I went to live with my brother-in-law to learn the tanner’s trade. I lived with them until I was 23 years old . . .”

Samuel’s father came to Marcellus in the early 1800’s with his parents and other family members. He bought a piece of land bordering Skaneateles Lake. He sold this land in 1817 which was the time that the family moved to Springwater.

Samuel’s mother, Elizabeth Hill Eggleston, also known as Betsy, died in 1823 in Springwater. Some of the children were still quite young at the time of her death. Samuel was about 19 years old. It was around this time that Samuel went back to the area where he had grown up. His older sister Lucy had married Thomas Marsh and they were living in Sempronius, across the lake from Marcellus. Samuel’s obituary indicates that it was Thomas Marsh with whom he lived for 4 years, from age 19 to 23. He learned the tanner’s trade from Thomas Marsh.

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Ephraim Johnson

Early Years in Eden

Ephraim Johnson and his twin brother Jacob were born March 20, 1876 in Eden, Weber, Utah to Peter Johnson (Jorgensen) and Ane Marie Madsen. Their father, Peter Johnson, an immigrant from Denmark, had a farm there. Peter died in December 1878 after he was caught in a snow storm and became ill. Thee twin boys were just over two years old when their father died. Their younger sister Agnes was just a baby.

Ane Marie Madsen Johnson, Agnes, Jacob, & Ephraim Johnson

Ane Marie Madsen Johnson with her younger children, twins Jacob and Ephraim and daughter Agnes

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Jacob Johnson

Early Years in Eden

Jacob Johnson and his twin brother Ephraim were born March 20, 1876 in Eden, Weber, Utah to Peter Johnson (Jorgensen and Ane Marie Madsen. Their father, Peter Johnson, an immigrant from Denmark, had a farm there. Peter died in December 1878 after he was caught in a snow storm and became ill. These twin boys were just over two years old when their father died. Their younger sister Agnes was just a baby.

Ane Marie Madsen Johnson with her younger children, twins Jacob and Ephraim and daughter Agnes

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David Henry Johnson

The Childhood of David Henry Johnson

David Henry Johnson was born March 6, 1874 in Eden, Weber County, Utah, the son of Peter Johnson and Ane Marie Madsen. His parents were both immigrants from Denmark, who met and married after coming to Utah. David’s father died in December 1878, probably from pneumonia after being caught in a terrible snow storm. David related: “I was only four and a half years old at the time of my father’s death so do not remember much about him. My mother and I were very close and companionable. She taught me all that she knew about horticulture and animal husbandry. She inspired me with ambition and the practice of thrift and industry.”

Education was important to this family. David related that all eight of the children were sent to school whenever it was in session. A great amount of learning was impossible but they had the opportunity to take advantage of whatever was available. I have inherited a number of text books that belonged to David and his siblings.

David Johnson signed inside this book Steeles Hygenic Physiology

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Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston McBride

Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston McBride

Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston

Early Life

Constant Ann Stephens was born February 17, 1849 at Council Bluffs, Potawattamie Co. Iowa, the daughter of John Stephens and Elizabeth Briggs. She was the ninth of twelve children.

Constant’s father had a farm at Council Bluffs. She crossed the plains at the age of two, arriving in Utah October 14, 1851. Her father was a Captain of ten in the Orson Pratt Company. The family resided in Weber County. Her father built the first reservoir in Weber County in 1856.

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The Life and Untimely Death of Harvey Burgess Eggleston

Little is known of the details of the life of Harvey Burgess Eggleston. He was just becoming an adult when his life was cut short. We can only imagine what his life would have been like if he had lived, and wonder about the circumstances of his death.

Birth of Harvey Burgess Eggleston

Harvey Burgess Eggleston, the 5th child of Samuel and Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston, was born February 8, 1836, In Sempronius, Cayuga County, New York. He was named for his grandfather Harvey Burgess. His parents lost their first 2 sons as infants, so when Harvey was born he had two older brothers.

 

Family Bible birth of Harvey Burgess Eggleston

The birth date of Harvey Burgess Eggleston was recorded in the Eggleston Family Bible – bottom on the left

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The Very Brief Life of Samuel Eggleston IV

January 16th marks the anniversary of the birth of Samuel Eggleston, son of Samuel and Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston. His birth, life and death occurred during a very dark time and place in the lives of his family and the larger community of Latter-day Saints. Early in 1846, the Saints were forced to leave their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois. The Eggleston family were not among the first to leave. They stayed until sometime in the spring of 1846 according to Samuel’s account. They may have stayed longer than others for financial reasons, or to help with the completion of the Temple which was dedicated May 1, 1846.

The Egglestons traveled to Winter Quarters in Nebraska, where the Saints had gathered to prepare to go further west. Small cabins were built where they spent a miserable winter. There was inadequate food for the many refugees camped there. There was also much disease which was easily spread. Many people died during that year, especially the very young and very old.

Birth of baby Samuel to Lurania and Samuel Eggleston

Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston

Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston

Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston, who was 38 years old at that time, gave birth to a son on the bleak winter day of January 16th. Patty Sessions was a prominent midwife during that time. Fortunately for us, she kept records in her diary and an account book. Her notation under the date of 16 January was “Put sister Eggleston to bed with a son Samuel E.” “Putting to bed” was her way of noting the confinement and delivery of a baby. Patty’s account book showed that Samuel Eggleston paid $2.00 for her services January 16.

The birth of this child must have brought great joy to the family at a time of great suffering. He was given the name of his father – Samuel. He may have also been named after Samuel H. Smith who along with Orson Hyde had introduced the family to the Restored Gospel. (They had named their last born son Orson Hyde Eggleston)

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