Cemetery Tour – South Park Cemetery, Jackson, Wyoming

A virtual Cemetery Tour of the South Park Cemetery, the resting place of many of our Wilson and Cheney ancestors.

My Introduction to this Cemetery

My first visit to the South Park Cemetery in Jackson, Wyoming was in August 2002. Our family had enjoyed vacationing in Jackson Hole for years before I learned enough of our family history to search out graves of our ancestors. For this particular trip, my father joined us. Because he is an early riser and my husband and children are not, nor were they interested in being drug through a cemetery at any hour, Dad and I went alone early one morning.

South Park Cemetery, Jackson, Wyoming

The cemetery sits on a hill, south of the town of Jackson, in the area known as South Park where Sylvester Wilson settled in 1889. There are spectacular views from this point. The cemetery itself is not large and most of it was rather overgrown. A fence enclosed many of the Wilson family graves.

The Beginning of the Cemetery

The Wilson and Cheney families had come to Jackson Hole in 1889. They had two years before there was a need for a cemetery. That need came because of a diphtheria epidemic. This started on the Idaho side of the Tetons. Sylvester’s son John had gone to meet his sister Rebecca who had not seen her family since her marriage in 1889. She wanted to come visit the family. The nearest railroad stop was Eagle Rock. For some reason Rebecca was not able to make the trip. John received this news when he arrived at Eagle Rock. He then decided to visit his Uncle Nick Wilson. Nick was away from home  doctoring victims of this epidemic, while three of his children died at his home.

John was exposed to this disease and carried it across the mountains. When he returned home he bathed and thoroughly washed his clothes before entering the house, but still the disease spread. It claimed two of the Wilson children, thirteen year old Sarah Ellen “Ella” on June 12, 1891, and ten year old Joseph on June 30, 1891.

There is a lone pine tree which stands out on the hill and can be seen for miles around. I recall being told a story about this tree being planted when these children died. I now can’t find any details of that story. The tree still stands, however, and is very large as can be seen by the contrast with the truck parked by it.

Marker Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Cemetery

1891       SOUTH PARK CEMETERY      1991

This, the first cemetery in Jackson Hole, was begun in 1891 during the diphtheria epidemic with the deaths of Sarah and Joseph Wilson. It is hereby dedicated in its centennial in honor of their parents:

1840 Sylvester Wilson 1895

1844 Mary Wood Wilson 1915

Sylvester led the first families to settle in Jackson’s Hole over Teton Pass in November 1889, in the first assembled wagons to come into the valley. He was a faithful member of the Mormon Church and organized its first branch here in 1893. The first school was held in his home in 1892, and he was instrumental in getting the first County School District in the valley. He brought the first hand operated sawmill and riding plow into Jackson Hole. He was a musician and played the fiddle at community affairs. He was a leader of men. Mary was a midwife and administered to the sick. They had 12 children and strove for the best possible education for pioneer families. They were hardy, public-spirited pioneers, prominent ranchers and stalwart pillars of Jackson’s Hole, contributing greatly to its progress, it’s productivity and its culture.

This old stone was probably one of the first placed in the cemetery

Sylvester and Mary Wood Wilson

There are two large Wilson markers within the fence. The one has Sylvester Wilson on one side, Mary Wood Wilson on another side as seen in the smaller photo, and Ellen and Joseph, the children who died in 1891 on the other side showing in this photo.

Sylvester Wilson A Minute Man in Every Sense of the Word

This other marker with a fancy top, also appears to be for Sylvester Wilson.

Mary Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are smaller markers for Sarah Ellen and Joseph, the children who died in 1891.

Wilson Family Members

The South Park Cemetery contains graves of many members of the Wilson family. I did not take photos of all of them. Most can be found on Find a Grave. Uncle Nick is my exception. His grave is here as well as markers commemorating his experience with the Pony Express.

The Pony Express Markers

 

 

 

THE PONY EXPRESS 1860-1861
A colorful chapter of American history was the Pony Express. For a year and a half prior to completion of the first transcontinental telegraph, young men riding fast horses carried the mail between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California via Salt Lake City, Utah.

Clad in red shirts, blue denim trousers and leather boots, these courageous youth rode at breakneck speed through darkness or night and blaze of day, in storms, wind and sun, across burning deserts of sand and alkali, over snow-covered mountains, through roaring swollen streams, and through hostile Indian country. Several of the 114 riders lost their lives to Indian attacks.

Among those severely wounded was Elijah Nicholas “Nick” Wilson (1842-1915), a young Mormon boy who had lived with the Shoshone Indians in Idaho. He later founded the town of Wilson, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. His autobiography, “The White Indian Boy” or “Uncle Nick among the Shoshones” is an American classic.

This Pony Express plaque was issued in his honor. It was presented to Utah State University in 1974 by his sons, Charles A. and George W. Wilson

Selar and Mary Alice Wilson Cheney

Selar Cheney took his family to Jackson Hole along with his wife Mary Alice’s family. They both died and were buried here along with most of their children. Mary Ellen died in Castledale, Emery County, Utah before the family came to Jackson Hole. Talitha Cuma Cheney Eggleston died in Ogden, Utah and is buried with her husband in the Eden Meadow View Cemetery.

Cheney, Ralph Wilson 1882-1919 May L. Sanborn 1877-1929 Ralph Sanborn 1914-1987 Irene Anderson Sullivan 1916-1974 Wyoma Rose Baley “Mrs. Gus” Lieutenant Army Nurse Corp. W. W. 2 Eto 66 Hospital Train 1919

 

David Henry Cheney Aug 5, 1888- Jan 3 1941 Lila Josephine Cheney Dec 14, 1887- July 2, 1984

 

Joseph H. Cheney Wyoming Pvt. 145 Field Artillery 40 Div W. W. 1 June 30, 1891 – July 3, 1949 Cheney, Pearl E. Mangum, wife of Joseph Howard Aug 2, 1905 – June 3, 1976 2nd marriage H.N. Hamilton

 

John F. Cheney Jan 4, 1885-Jan 31, 1937

I made another trip to this cemetery years later. On the drive up, I was surprised to see land being cleared in preparation for some kind of development. I wonder what our ancestors would think of their peaceful cemetery on a hill now surrounded by homes and I think a golf course. The view is still beautiful, if you look up.

Note:

Photos and information about these families is in my book Cheney Wilson Family History Book.

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.

2001 An Eggleston Genealogy Odyssey – Part 2 to Nauvoo, Illinois

On to Nauvoo, Illinois

The 2001 Eggleston Genealogy Odyssey continued after our visit to Winter Quarters and Council Bluffs, Iowa. After spending the night at a campground called “Sleepy Hollow”, Dad and I started early Monday August 5, and drove a few hours south from Iowa City. We crossed the Mississippi River on a Bridge by Fort Madison and drove into Nauvoo, Illinois from the east. What we saw was a small town on the bluff with some shops and houses and then right in front of us was the Nauvoo Temple under construction.

Nauvoo LDS Temple in 2001

Nauvoo Temple under construction in 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Land Office

One of our first stops was the land office where we looked up where our ancestors had lived. We spent more time there than I expected and got quite a lot of information.

Historic Nauvoo Map

The Eggleston home on Block 62 and the Garlick home on Block 34. The Temple Block is the larger dark square in the Wells area

The Garlick home would have been a few blocks further beyond the trees in the photo below where it goes down into a gully. The Cheney family lived outside of town.

The Eggleston home

Scaffolding on the Temple in the middle of this shot from the area of the Eggleston home.

Looking toward where the land slopes down to a gully.

 

We found the lot where the Samuel Eggleston family lived (approximately). The Eggleston home in Nauvoo was located on Lot 1 of Block 62 on the corner of Hibbard and Woodruff Streets, only a few blocks north of the Temple site. Where this lot now sits, the street dead ends and there is a group of trees.

In August 2001, we could easily see the scaffolding on the tower of the Temple, then under reconstruction, from the Eggleston land. Depending on how many large trees were between them and the temple, Samuel and Lurania could have had a good view of the Temple being built. They may have been able to hear the sounds of construction from their home. Certainly it was a very short walk for Samuel to go there to help with the building. Their lot would have been large enough for a garden, but Samuel did not have sufficient land to farm in or outside of the city.

Shoemaker Shop

We went to main street and started with the Boot and Shoe Shop. One of the missionaries there mentioned that he was from Castle Dale, Utah and Dad had to ask if he knew about Wilsonville. He said his brother owns it. We had a nice discussion about Wilsonville. At another place there was a missionary who knew Mormon Row and had stayed at the Moulton’s place and looked at Grandpa’s collapsed cabin. It is a small world.

My Dad talking to the docent in front of the Shoe Shop

The shoemaking demonstration was very interesting. I kept thinking about Samuel. He was a shoemaker so the things we saw demonstrated would have been his daily work. At that time, shoemaking was quite an involved process. Besides the tanning of the leather, it included woodworking in making wooden shoe lasts and small wooden pegs with which to fasten on the soles, as well as the cutting and sewing of the leather pieces into shoes.

There were about six shoemaker shops in Nauvoo. Six shoemakers worked in this particular shop. It is likely that Samuel worked worked in such a shop with others, rather than having one of his own, though he could have worked out of his home.

In 1845 the “Tanners and Shoemakers Association” was formed in Nauvoo. It later expanded to include harnessmakers. They operated a tannery on Hibbard and Rich Streets near Colton’s brick yard, and a Boot, Shoe, Saddle and Harness Shop on Mulholland Street. The Association advertised in April 1845 for business as well as for calf-skins. Samuel very likely was a member of this Association and may have worked in the tannery or Boot and Shoe Shop.

Around Town

 

The Browning home and Gun Shop

We went to the Browning House and gun shop. It was interesting because we know the Browning family. They settled in Ogden, Utah. We learned some family history as well as information about the making of guns. I am pretty dumb about guns, so it was a learning experience for me. We also ran in to people we knew from home there. Small world again.

We visited the brick yard where we saw the process of making bricks. The Log School, the Tin Shop and the Bakery were interesting places we stopped. The Lyon Drug store was quite a large store with not only drugs but other typical articles that would have been in a general store. Our ancestors probably shopped there. An herb garden was outside which would have supplied many of the “drugs” in the store. The Lyons who owned this store were in-laws of Patty Sessions, the midwife who delivered Samuel Jr. in Winter Quarters. The log cabin next to the store was her home.

I must mention that it was very hot and humid. It was quite miserable being outside there. I thought it very interesting that these “restored” and reconstructed building which we were told had been build as the originals with the kinds of tools they had then and furnished with period furnishings, etc., all had AIR CONDITIONING. It was heaven to go inside. I was so glad they didn’t want to be so authentic as to make us tourists sweat.

Post office and Printing Office

The Post Office was of interest to me because we seem to have a history of Postal Work in our family. My grandfather Joseph Eggleston carried mail in Jackson Hole and had the Post Office in his home on Mormon Row. Selar Cheney had the Post Office in South Park named after him. Orson Hyde Eggleston was the Postmaster in Eden, Utah, and Samuel Eggleston was Deputy Postmaster in Pottawatamie County, Iowa. Sylvester Wilson had a Post Office at Wilsonville, Utah along the Old Spanish Trail.

The Printing Office and the Post Office behind the wagon

At the Post office they had the pigeonhole cabinet where letters were. They showed how they wrote both ways and folded the page into an envelop to conserve valuable paper. Postage was based on how far it was sent and it was usually sent postage due. It was expensive for the time so they were conservative.

The Printing Office showed the cases of type and how type was set then the page printed. It was interesting to think of Reuben and Orson Eggleston working in such a place, doing the tedious work of setting type.

 

Seventies Hall

 Nauvoo Seventies Hall

Seventies Hall

After walking through town we drove over to the Seventies Hall. It was quite an impressive building and we learned about it’s construction as well as about the purpose of it—to train missionaries. Upstairs were displays of artifacts that had been found as the restoration projects were done – lots of broken pottery and bottles. They told us that there had been a root cellar at Brigham Young’s home, which was basically a garbage dump after they built a new one attached to the house. Some of the broken dishes found were later glued together and now are displayed at his home.

We were able to look up ancestors who were seventies in the indexes and found some information about them. Most of this information was also at the Land and Records Office.

Samuel Eggleston, who was a Member of the Ninth Quorum of the Seventy. In the fall of 1844 several new Quorums of the Seventy were organized. The Ninth Quorum of Seventy was organized October 8, 1844. Samuel was ordained in October 1844, which was probably at the time this Quorum was organized. He is toward the beginning of the list of members. The Ninth Quorum recorded its first meeting October 16, 1844 in the Seventies Hall. Meeting notes included mention in most meetings of the members “speaking their feelings”.

Blacksmith Shop

Next to the Seventies Hall was the Blacksmith and Wheelwright Shop. We learned how a wagon and especially the wheels were made. When the Saints were preparing to leave Nauvoo, this was a major business and they had to work very quickly. At the Blacksmith shop the missionary actually made a small horseshoe while we watched and he talked. The term “smith’ refers to the smiting of metal. The term blacksmith apparently came from the process of dunking the shaped metal into horse manure or today oil is used, which turns it black.

I couldn’t help but try to imagine the Garlick family living in an abandoned blacksmith shop their first winter in Nauvoo.

Memorial Gazebo

Samuel Eggleston in the middle column

From there we went down to the river. There were water lillies floating on the water which were just beautiful. It really was a lovely and peaceful place. There is a Gazebo there with the names of people who died on the way west. Samuel Eggleston Jr. is listed there, as he died in Winter Quarters.

 

Other Visits and Activities

Though family history was one purpose of our trip, we were also very interested in L. D. S. Church History. So we of course saw all that there was to see and did all that we could fit in during our short trip. We went through homes of Brigham Young and some of the other Church leaders. We spent some time at the Red Brick store where the Relief Society was organized. A collection of artifacts which had been found in the city was on display there. We then went to the Mansion House and the Homestead where Joseph Smith and his family had lived.

The Missionaries presented a musical about the old days of Nauvoo in the Cultural Hall, which was very entertaining. Later in the evening we enjoyed the “Sunset on the Mississippi” program. There was a actually a very beautiful sunset, but it came with bugs. This really is a beautiful place and must have been so sad for our ancestors to have to leave their homes here.

We spent the night in the Nauvoo State Park Campground. In the morning we drove out to the Old Nauvoo Burial Ground. It is very peaceful out there and we were alone except for one small group who joined us for part of the time. Very few of the graves are identified, and many of the existing stones are broken, but there is a Gazebo with all the names. David Garlick died in Nauvoo and his name is on the monument. We were surprised that this cemetery was out of town as far as it was. They would have had lengthy funeral processions.

We then drove to Carthage to visit the Jail and Visitor’s Center there, before heading further east.

The First Christmas in Jackson Hole

The First Christmas in Jackson Hole was celebrated with elk steaks, doughnuts fried in bear grease, music and dancing.

The Wilson & Cheney Families

Sylvester Wilson had settled in Emery County, Utah in 1877 at a place that became known as Wilsonville. After almost 12 years in this drought stricken area, Sylvester Wilson decided to move and start again somewhere else.

Sylvester Wilson

Sylvester Wilson

Mary Wood Wilson

Mary Wood Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sylvester and his family left Wilsonville at the end of May 1889. The group included Sylvester and his wife Mary, 9 unmarried children (the youngest being three) and two married children and their families. Mary Alice had married Selar Cheney August 10, 1879. They had four children, but one died before they left. Ervin had married Mary Jane Davis June 26, 1888 and she was expecting their first child as they left. Their son James was born September 12 in St. Anthony, Idaho.

The family left Wilsonville with 5 sturdy wagons and about 80 head of cattle. They also had at least 20 race horses, which Sylvester had taken as partial payment on their Wilsonville property. The trip to St. Anthony, Idaho was over 400 miles. They averaged about 10 miles per day, trailing their livestock.

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Doc’s Memories of Dad and Mom

Dad was born in Eden, but because his Father had three wives, to avoid problems, he moved to Grover in Star Valley Wyoming where Dad was raised. Besides farming Dad got several other jobs. One was taking the mail from Idaho over Teton Pass into Jackson. He also worked on the Hoback road into Jackson. There were several people Homesteading and creating a road that became Mormon Row. It was over a ridge by Moose Junction. In 1896 the Government granted homesteads on that road. I have Dad’s Homestead deed signed by President Wilson. Dad’s Uncle Jacob Johnson Homesteaded next door to him. His uncle’s twin brother Ephraim built a saw mill in Wilson Wyoming and provided lumber for them to build. Dad started to build before he got the Homestead papers. He built a barn and started a house. Mother’s family had settled in South Park in Jackson Hole and Dad and Mother got together there. They went either by buggy or horse back to get married in the Salt Lake Temple. That was quite a trip.

Wedding

Wedding Photo of Joseph and Cuma Eggleston

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