Stella May Cheney Robinson Eggleston

Stella May Cheney Robinson Eggleston

Stella’s Life in Her Own Words

I, Stella May Cheney, was born 13 Nov. 1905 at Wilson, Teton Co., Wyoming. (This was Uinta Co., then Lincoln and now Teton County.)

I was born in a log cabin on Fish Creek, near Uncle “Nick” (E. N.) Wilson’s home. I knew him and his son, George, was my childhood play mate.

My father was Selar Sylvester Cheney, a son of Selar Cheney who was a son of Elam, whose Father, Aaron Cheney, joined the L.D.S. [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] Church in New York in 1831.

My mother was Edith Vivian Nethercott; she was born 28 April 1885 in Corning, Tehema Co., California. Her father was Alfred Nethercott, born 20 March 1856 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Alfred Nethercott’s father, Alfred Alexander Nethercott, his mother Charlotte Pearce and his grandparents, James Nethercott and Rachel James, were from England. They lived in Utah and Calif., and later Alfred Alexander, his wife, Charlotte and Alfred Nethercott, his wife, Ida Ann Thompson and children went to Wyoming about 1900.

My mother’s mother was Ida Ann Thompson – born at Trenton, Grundy Co., Missouri. The family went to California when my grandmother was a child. John Alexander Campbell Thompson and his wife, Amanda Caroline Williams – parents of Ida Ann Thompson.

My father went to “the Jackson’s Hole” country with his parents and grandparents when he was 9 years old. Gr. grandmother, Mary Wood Wilson and Aunt “Tillie” Matilda, wife of uncle “Nick” Wilson, were the first white women to live up there in that new country. The Wilson’s and Cheney’s took up homesteads. My uncle, Howard Cheney, was the first white boy born in the “Jackson’s Hole” country. At the time, this was Indian country.

I attended school at Wilson, Wyoming, Jackson, Wyoming and a very short time “Cheney, Wyoming” and Rexburg, Idaho. My grandfather, Selar Cheney, had a Post Office in his home. It was known as the Cheney Post Office. This was about 7 miles south of Jackson known also as South Park – this section south of Jackson, Wyoming.

I married Orin LeGrand Robinson 20 October 1924 at Rexburg, Madison Co., Idaho. He was a widower, with a son, Milton, a daughter, Phyllis and a son Weldon. We lived at Rock Springs, Sweet Water County, Wyoming for 17 years. Mr. Robinson was employed by the U.S. Department of Interior as a trapper and field agent. We were the parents of 4 children, Lorin LeGrand, Lawrence Dell, Edith Estella and Lee Cheney Robinson.

We were divorced in May, 1941. Mr. Robinson re-married on May 27, 1941 at Manila, Utah. Our home in Rock Springs, Wyoming 333 “P” Street was destroyed by a gas explosion, Feb 1941. The children and I rented until school was out in May and then we moved to Logan, Cache County, Utah.

The home at 354 West 2nd South, Logan, Utah was a beautiful brick home. It had been previously purchased for us, but we had not seen it until the day we moved there from Rock Springs, Wyoming. The boys went to Wyoming to spend the summer on the ranch at Bondurant, and to visit with my parents at Wilson, Wyoming. (Their father had the ranch there). We spent our summers there but during most of the time we lived in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Edith, my daughter, and I came to Eden, Weber Co., Utah to work for Uncle Joseph Smith Eggleston. He was a widower. His wife, my Aunt Cuma, had died November 1941. She was my father’s sister. There were 5 of his children home and a grandson.

Mr. Eggleston and I decided we would make one home instead of two so we were married 20 August, 1941 at Eden, Weber Co., Utah by Bishop C. Alex Hogge. I sold my home in Logan and paid off his mortgage. We have spent 20 years of happy married life together, and hope that we will have many more.

While in Rock Springs, Wyoming, I worked in the Primary and Relief Society. Since I have been in Eden, I have been a Primary teacher and Primary Counselor. Fifteen years were spent as Counselor in the Relief Society under three Presidents. Also served twelve years as Ward Genealogy Secretary. At present I teach a Sunday School class, a Primary class and am a Relief Society Visiting teacher, the latter position I have done for many years.

Stella with Alice and Joseph

Stella and Grandpa Joe










Alice, Joe, Mel, Stella and Lola

My Memories of Grandma Stella

Stella was my Grandma – the only Grandma Eggleston that I knew. I remember as a child visiting her and Grandpa at the farm in Eden. The large kitchen was Stella’s domain. I remember the old coal stove which she still used, even though she had a more modern one. She made butter with the fresh milk from their cows. She had a nice garden and many bottles of canned food.

We had some Family Reunions and gatherings at the house and one I remember at a nearby park in 1962.

Grandpa Joe, Stella, Alice Lola Orland, Doc, Wesley and Mel at a Family Reunion in 1962

Stella was very good with her hands and made some beautiful things. We had a number of quilts that she made, including this one that I used on my bed for many years. I have some things she embroidered including this table runner in the photo with the quilt.

A quilt and embroidery made by Stella

After Grandpa died, Stella sold the farm and moved to another house in Eden. She lived there alone for many years. We continued to visit her occasionally. I especially remember the visits on Memorial Day. We would also stop at her house when we went up to the Eden Cemetery.

As Stella’s health declined in her later years, she eventually went to the Weber Memorial Care Center in Roy. I remember visiting her there, particularly one visit at Christmas time. She was always pleasant and glad to see us.


Stella at the Care Center where she passed away

Stella’s Death

Stella passed away on July 12, 1982 at the Weber Memorial Care Center in Roy. Her funeral was held in the Larkin Valley Chapel which used to be the Eden Ward building where she attended church for years. It was the same building where Grandpa’s funeral was held many years before. I particularly remember the Relief Society Sisters who served us a wonderful meal after the service and had many nice things to say about Stella.

Stella was buried in the Eden Meadow View Cemetery next to Grandpa.


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.

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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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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.

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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 Photo of Joseph and Cuma Eggleston

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