Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard book contained over 100 postcards when Donna purchased it. Some cards had already been removed and sold individually. It was quite a collection and gives us some idea of how popular and prevalent it was to send these cards to friends and family. It was very much like texts, tweets and Facebook posts we send today to keep in touch and share updates on our lives.
This card was sent from Edith in Afton to Veda who was in Malad. The postmark appears to be 1915.
My father has collected a lot of stuff during his life. He has also inherited a good deal of family history records and memorabilia. I have gone through boxes of stuff at his home a number of times. On one occasion, we found this little Autograph Album which had belonged to my grandfather, Joseph Smith Eggleston. His sister Mattie May apparently gave it to him in January 1901, though his mother’s entry was dated December 26, 1900. His parents and sister were the only ones who wrote in it, but their sentiments are precious. It is also a treasure to have something in their handwriting. It was probably May who added the decorative stickers.
Cover Page and inscription: Presented to Joseph S. Eggleston by his sister May Eggleston Afton, Jan 19th 1901
Joseph’s Father gave him an interesting warning.
Afton, Wyo. Jan 20th 1901 “My Son, forget not my counsel Enter not into the path of the wicked and go not in the way of evil men. For the ways of the wicked are darkness Your father O. H. Eggleston
Joseph’s Sister Mattie May with Friendship and Love
AFton Jan 19th 1901 Dear Brother Joseph Amongst those of most esteem be sure Your place forever is secure Your dear Sister May Eggleston
Simple thoughts from his Mother
Afton Dec 26th 1900 May happiness be forever thine Your Mother Christine Eggleston
Vedia Eggleston was born July 17, 1897 in Afton, Wyoming. She was the daughter of Orson Hyde Eggleston and Mariett Farley. Vedia received many postcards in her early life. She preserved these in a Postcard Book which was miraculously acquired by the family some years ago. These are Birthday postcards to Vedia.
Happy Birthday to Vedia!
As Spring began to bring new life back to the earth and people prepared to celebrate Easter, festive greetings were sent through postcards to friends and family who were away. These cards from Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard Book contain Easter Greetings.
Easter Cards from Sister Lettie
This card was sent to Vedia in Afton from her sister Lettie with wishes for a good time on Easter. The postmark is smeared, but appears to be 1914 from Deweyville.
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
In the early 20th Century Valentines were sent thought postcards to special people who were far away. Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard Book contained several Valentine postcards.
Vedia’s sister Lottie was good to remember her on Valentines Day. The written messages were not very newsworthy. They were probably continuations of other conversations sent through postcards and letters. The intent was to keep in touch. A a colorful card with a message was a special remembrance.
Vedia Eggleston’s postcards, like many of the time, were the way to keep in touch with family and friends who had moved away or were traveling. They were kind of an early 20th Century Social Media – only much slower than today. They also were a good way to let you know of places where friends were and you were not. From the commercial side, postcards were good marketing tools. Cards with photos of exciting or historic places were used to encourage tourism and pride in local sites.
Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard book contained a number of cards from various places in the United States. Sometimes the places that the cards were sent from was not the place indicated by the photograph on the card. Cards may have been purchased at one place and sent from another. Or possibly cards from some places could even be purchased at home. More postcards from places closer to home are shared in another post.
Friend Kathryn in Madison
Let’s start with Madison, Nebraska, since Vedia received several cards from there in 1912. Apparently Vedia had a friend Kathryn who had moved to Madison. Vedia was not as good at keeping in touch as this Kathryn was. She repeatedly asked why she had not heard from Vedia.
Postcards were an easy and inexpensive way to keep in touch with family and friends in a time when there were few telephones and no internet. In the early 20th Century they were like Social Media, sharing bits of news and often short messages in between longer letters. They were written on postcards showing familiar scenes or with simple greetings. Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard Book contained postcards from nearby places where friends and family lived. Other postcards from places further away are shared in another post.
Some from Home in Afton, Wyoming:
This is the Tabernacle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Afton, Wyoming, Vedia’s home town.
A handful of postcards from Jackson Hole give us a glimpse into life on Mormon Row a century ago.
Joseph S. Eggleston grew up in Afton, Wyoming. In about 1910 he went to Jackson Hole where he homesteaded in a place known as Mormon Row. He sent these postcards from Jackson Hole during that time. There are no addresses, stamps or postmarks indicating when and to whom or where they were sent. They may have been inserted into packages sent back home to his family in Afton. Or possibly, since Joe carried the mail on a postal route in Wyoming at that time, he did not need to address them. He could have carried them himself to Afton or included them with other mail.
Cousin Don shared these postcards with me. They had been with boxes of photographs he inherited from his mother, Evelyn Barbara Stock Lee. She got these from her mother Mattie Mae Eggleston Stock, who was Joseph Egglestons’s sister.
These cards were produced showing scenes from the area. Joe may have purchased a number of these. We had another one of this family skiing, but there was nothing written on it. The view from Joe’s homestead would have been very similar. He apparently knew this Sheffield family.
When I began serious Eggleston genealogical research, I learned to look to earlier research first. It is always a good idea to check what has been done, so as to not waste time and effort. Unfortunately, I found that some earlier work was not correct. Errors and false assumptions had been perpetuated by those who accepted earlier works without necessarily thinking things through or further checking.
My Great-grandfather Orson H. Eggleston gathered genealogical information while serving a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Michigan in 1876-77. Apparently while there he corresponded with someone in New York City about the Eggleston family. He included this copy of a response with a letter to his father, seeking his father’s advice on how to respond. He seemed hopeful that this Nicholas would have helpful information. I am not sure what happened with this, but it does indicate how early Orson tried to learn more about the larger Eggleston family.
In an earlier family letter Eliza Barron told her brother Samuel Eggleston about a letter she had received from Rev. A. Eggleston of Broome County, New York. He was requesting information about family members, including birth, death and marriage dates. Eliza seemed skeptical of his intentions and unsure of his address. It is not known what response Samuel gave her or if she ever sent any information to this person. This would have been the Ambrose mentioned in this letter from Melville, who apparently had been researching and collecting information on the Eggleston family.