The Life of Joseph Smith Eggleston

A life sketch of Joseph Smith Eggleston adapted from one written by his son DeLoss which was included in my book.

Joe’s Birth and Childhood

Joseph Smith Eggleston was born on the July 5, 1885, in Eden Weber Co. Utah, to Annie Christine Johnson and Orson Hyde Eggleston. There was some question as to the date, maybe because the 4th of July was often celebrated on his birthday. His father Orson’s journal and his death certificate place it on the 5th.

Birth of Joseph Smith Eggleston

Birth date of Joseph Smith Eggleston in the middle of the right page.

Joseph was the second son of Orson and his third wife Annie Christine Johnson. The first child, David Orson was born June 15, 1883 and died November 3, 1884. Annie’s father, Peter Johnson, was a counselor in the bishopric with Orson. He also was working on the bridge over the Ogden river at the head of Ogden Canyon. He got caught in a storm and came home cold and wet, caught pneumonia and died December 17. 1878. Orson lived in a home they bought from Richard Ballantyne.

Orson H. Eggleston’s home in Eden, where Joseph may have been born

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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.

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Joseph Eggleston’s Postcards from Jackson Hole

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.

Sheffield family Moran, Wyoming

 

skiing Jackson Lake

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Family Reunion 1952

I inherited photographs of an Eggleston Family Reunion which I did not attend. These are dated 1952 and are of a gathering of the family of Joseph S. Eggleston.  I assumed the occasion was Grandpa Joe’s Birthday and/or the Fourth of July – they were celebrated together. We have come a long way with photo-documenting such events, both with the number of pictures we take as well as the quality. These photos are poor quality and identifying people has not been easy. I have not been able to identify everyone and may not have the ones I have identified right. It does look like they all enjoyed a good meal.

Wesley and Margaret are sitting on the left then Lola. Grandpa Joe is sitting on the right back. It might be Phil standing with the child. Joan and DeLoss are standing in the back. Stella is standing on the right side of the table.

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Doc’s Memories of Melvin Eggleston

Melvin Eggleston was born April 7, 1922 in Eden, Utah, the son of Joseph S. and Talitha Cuma Cheney Eggleston.

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Melvin at age 6

Melvin Eggleston was born and raised in Eden and went to the same schools as the others. Melvin’s special talent was his personality, almost everyone liked him. He did have one fight, but that person became a friend. When he was going to Huntsville he tried to get Dale and me involved with his girlfriend’s sisters. He was active in sports.

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Doc’s Memories of Alice

babyAlice

Alice was born on Mormon Row and was still a child when they moved to Eden. She went to school in Eden and Huntsville and graduated from Weber High School in Ogden. She was a good student and made many lasting friends. As a young lady she babysat for several families. Because our mother was not in good health after I was born Alice did a lot of raising me and we were very close. A friend of hers moved to California and invited her to come down there and be a nanny for a family. She thought that would be interesting, so she went to California. While there she enjoyed many things including dancing. Continue reading

Doc’s Memories of Lola

Senior

Lola was born on Mormon Row and was just a baby when the family moved to Eden. My first recollection of her was that when I was born she wanted a little sister and treated me like I was. She curled my hair and treated me like I was Shirley Temple, who was my age. She went to the same schools as her brother and sister – Eden Elementary, Huntsville Junior High and Weber High School. She was friendly and was well liked in school. I don’t really remember how she got acquainted with Phil. But I do remember them getting together at the house. They were married and moved in to a house just to the west of his parents place. I was so busy with my own life that I do not remember a lot about them growing up. I do remember the joy she had when after three boys she got a girl(a beautiful girl)the prize of her life. Continue reading

Doc’s Memories of Orland

Selar Orland Eggleston was born May 5, 1919 in Grovont, Teton County, Wyoming, the fourth child of Joseph Smith Eggleston and Talitha Cuma Cheney. These are some memories of Orland by his brother.


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Orland was born on Mormon Row, but the family moved to Eden that same year. Orland went to school at Eden Elementary, Huntsville Junior High and Weber High School like his siblings and he was the first to go on to College. Weber was a two year College at that time so he got an associate degree. Orland was a good worker and was closer to Dad than the rest of us.

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