Eliza Eggleston Barron

I would really like to have known Aunt Eliza Eggleston Barron. The glimpses we have of her, especially from her letters, give me the impression she was quite spunky and would have been an entertaining storyteller. Her life was not necessarily easy and was not very long.

Eliza’s Early Life

Eliza Eggleston Barron was born March 25, 1810 in Marcellus, Onondaga, New York. Family records had estimated her birth as 1802, but there appeared to be confusion with her sister Electa. Eliza was the youngest daughter in the family. In genealogical information sent by Orson to his father in 1876, he gave this birth date for Eliza. Eliza died November 4, 1869.

Eliza married Carr D. Barron May 9, 1840 in Owasco, Cayuga, New York. He was born February 15, 1809 in Owasco, Cayuga, New York. Eliza and Carr Barron moved from Springwater, Livingston, New York to Michigan, apparently before her sister Electa and family came.

Glimpses of Eliza’s Life through Letters

Much of the sense I get of Eliza’s personality, I gain from a letter she wrote to her brother Samuel June 8, 1862 from Groveland, Michigan. She wrote:

Groveland, June 8, 1862

“It is a long time since I have written to you. You must excuse my neglect for it is quite a task for me to write a letter. My health is not very good but I work some and attend to my business. Carr’s health is poor but he works as hard as ever. Two years ago last fall he had a fit of the palsy, the second one. It was a long time before he could work much. It hurt his speech and memory but we are mortals subject to decay. I suppose you will want to know about the children. Almon will be 21 in August next. Mary was 19 in April and Sarah 17 in May. Barton is 10. They are healthy children and a great help to us.”

Letter from Eliza Eggleston Barron to Samuel Eggleston

After this general family news and health report, she told her brother Samuel about other family members. This is what she had to say about their younger brother Ansel:

“Five years ago this summer Ansel come her head up and pockets full of gold. He said he was on his way to Pennsylvania to get some money that was a comeing to him. He staid here a week and then left and in January after he came here again poorer than Job turkeys. He said he had come from Des Moines and he had left Mary there. She had a boy and he dident know whether it was his or not. He had started for California. He staid here four weeks and then wrote to Mary to come here in about two weeks she came and such a bundle of rags you never saw. She had on an old black calico dress narrow and nasty. It was all she had. Ne bed nor bedding. We found them house, stove, chairs, bed bedding, dishes, and a cow. Through that summer and the next winter he tot into a shop to shoemake and made a living. After that he took a notion to go on his own hooks and wanted Carr to sign with him but he refused and he has been mad at me ever since. I think he is kind of ticklish property. He is now at Holley a shoemaking. They now get a good living.”

Later in the later she mentions, as if she forgot and then just remembered, “”Ansel has 3 boys.” Eliza also shared with Samuel some information about a contact with another Eggleston regarding genealogy. She seemed to want direction from Samuel about how to respond to this person.

“I had a letter the other day from Rev. A. Eggleston, Broome Co., N.Y. He wants me to give him the births, marriages and deaths of my father, mother, brothers and sisters, all except you and their children and grandchildren, if they have any, and all their names and ages, who they married and their occupation. I think he must be crazy. He give his address Broome Co., N.Y. but not the Post Office where it was mailed was rubbed off. . . Write as soon as you get this and tell me if you know what postoffice to direct my letter to him. Your affectionate sister

Eliza Barron

Write soon and direct your letter to Goodrichville, Genesee Co., Mich.”

If this Rev. A. Eggleston was crazy, as Eliza says, then I must be too. I understand the mindset of a genealogist trying to gather family information. In fact Eliza’s nephew Orson asked for the same kind of information when he visited her family while on his mission.

Eliza’s Passing

In a letter to Samuel dated March 5, 1873, their brother Ambrose wrote that he did not know where Eliza was. “I have had no correspondence with her since I moved into Allegany.” Apparently they had not kept in touch, and he was not aware of her death. At the time Orson was on his mission in Michigan in 1876, Eliza was dead. He did spend some time there with his Uncle Carr and cousins.

Eliza Eggleston Barron died of cancer November 4, 1869 in Groveland, Oakland, Michigan. Unfortunately her death record does not give her parents names and has her birthplace as New Jersey, not New York.

Death Record of Eliza Eggleston Barron
Death Record for Eliza Barron, the last entry showing on this image.

Eliza was buried in the Ortonville Cemetery in Oakland County, Michigan. There is a large Barron marker there.

After Eliza’s death, Carr married Sarah M. Beach Thurston March 2, 1870. She was born July 6, 1812 in Gates, Monroe, New York. They had no children.

Cemetery Tour – Eggleston Cemetery, North Stonington, Connecticut

The Eggleston Cemetery in North Stonington, Connecticut

I have not yet visited the Eggleston/Eccleston Cemetery in North Stonington, Connecticut. It is the burial place for many members of the early Eggleston and related families in the Stonington area.

Years ago I was given a CD with photographs from someone else’s visit to the Cemetery. I started creating this post – realizing that there were many photographs on this disc – then almost stopped because I realized that Find a Grave and Billion Graves also have photographs of these same headstones. Theirs are indexed by person with other information. I almost deleted the post, but I didn’t. In scrolling through these photos I gained a sense of what it would be like actually “touring” the cemetery. Someday I hope to visit in person, but for now this is my – and yours as well – Cemetery Tour of the Eggleston Cemetery.

Many family members use the Eccleston spelling in reference to this Cemetery, probably because they belong to the families which used that spelling and that is what is on many of the stones. I am using my default – Eggleston – but it is also used by Find a Grave and Billion Graves.

Beginning the Tour

These shots show the entrance to the Cemetery and broad shots which show some of the surrounding area.

 

 

 

Eggleston Family Member Gravestones

 

Charles H. Main

Stiles Eggleston

Almira R. Main

Charles H. Main Jr.

Jesse Main

Abbie, Wife of Jesse Main

Benjamin Eccleston (died 1815)

Calista Eccleston, wife of Benjamin

Ida, daughter of Jesse Main

Mamie, daughter of Benjamin Eccleston

Lydia M. Main, wife of Elias R. Pierce

Elias Pierce

 

 

 

Irtis Eccleston, son of Benjamin and Calista

Jennie Eccleston, daughter of Irtis

 

Emily F. Eccleston, wife of Willard R. Blanchard and daughter of William and Fannie. Also Daughter Mabel A. Blanchard

Otis Blanchard, infant son of Emily and William

Noyes A. Eccleston

Ella Eccleston & Dora N. Eccleston

William N. Eccleston and his wife Fannie M. Miller

Henry Palmer Ecclestone

Lucinda, wife of William Eccleston

William Eccleston

Happy A. Eccleston, wife of Edwin F. Yerrington, and daughter of William and Lucinda

Thankful, wife of Ichabod Eccleston

Isabel, daughter of Edwin F. & Happy A. Yerrington

Latham M. Eccleston

Ichabod P. Eggleston & Claracy, his wife

Claracy, wife of Ichabofd Eccleston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claracy, wife of Ichabod Eccleston

Thankful, widow of Ichabod Eccleston

 

Maryann Eccleston, daughter of Tracy

Tracy Eccleston

Hannah Main

Hannah, wife of Lewis Main

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lewis Main

Cynthia Eccleston, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth

Ichabod Eccleston

Abigail, wife of Ichabod Eccleston

Emeline, daughter of William and Lucy Eccleston

Sally E. Ray and Avery N. Eccleston

Lucy Eccleston, wife of William

William Eccleston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard Book – The Rest of the Postcards

This should be the last of the postcards from Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard Book. They provide more glimpses into the past century.

Veda was in Malad, Idaho in 1914, apparently was staying with her sister Rae. This card is from a friend Charlotte with news of social events.

May 3, 1916, this card was sent from Afton, Wyoming to Aunt Veda in Malad, Idaho.

This is an earlier card sent in 1910 when Vedia was still in Afton, Wyoming.

Vedia’s sister, probably Lottie, sent this card to Vedia in 1914 when she was in Malad, Idaho.

Another card from Vedia’s sister Lottie and sent in 1911 to Afton, Wyoming.

This card was sent from Deweyville, Utah in July 1913, It is from Veda’s sister.

This card was from Veda’s sister Florence sent in April 1916 to Veda in Malad, Idaho.

Vedia’s sister Rae from Tremonton, Utah sent this card to Veda in Afton, Wyoming. The postmark is Mar 15 and this card being green with shamrocks, it appears to be for St. Patrick’s Day.

Virginia Dewey, daughter of Connie Dewey, sent this card to her Aunt Veda.

Addressed to Mrs. John B. Jones in Malad, Idaho, this card was sent to Vedia in 1916 after her marriage. It is from her sister Clara in Afton, Wyoming.

Sent from Deweyville, Utah on September 25, 1913, this card was from Vedia’s sister.

A card from a friend Vera in Deweyville, Utah. Veda was back in Afton, Wyoming. She had probably made friends with this Vera while visiting her sister Connie in Deweyville.

Another card from Vera in Deweyville, Utah.

This card was sent to Vedia while she was in Tremonton, Utah in 1910. She was probably with her sister Connie, since her sister Clara says to tell Connie hello.

Vedia’s sister Rae sent this card to her from Afton, Wyoming. Veda may have been in Sandy, Utah.

 

Lola Eggleston Gorder Allen

Lola Eggleston Gorder Allen – her story in her own words.

I was born December 15, 1917 to Joseph Smith and Talitha Cuma Cheney Eggleston, in Grovant, Wyoming. My family was Alice, Wesley, Me, Orland, Laura, Melvin, Dale, and DeLoss.

Birth Notice in the Jackson paper – Lola was the baby girl born December 15, 1917

Mama died when she was 49. She had an operation to remove some scar tissue. On Sunday she was sitting up in bed crocheting and on Tuesday we got the word she had died. Papa married Stella, who was Mama’s niece. Papa died at the age of 83.

Move to Utah

When I was two years old we moved to Utah by train. I was running in the isles of the train and a man thought I was such a pretty little girl he gave me a silver dollar. Mom bought me a pair of shoes with it.

When it was time to go to school I didn’t start because I wan’t 6 in time so I had to wait a year. My first grade teacher was a fat woman. I didn’t like her. She taught for the first three years. On the fourth of July I had a chance to fish in the fishpond. She was the one to give the prizes. She had a black heavy straw hat she said was for the first pretty little girl that came by. I hated it. I never wore it. It was an old woman’s hat with thick rims and was flat on the top. I wanted a purse like the other kids were getting. It was so ugly. She brought her daughter to school the day it started. She put her in the second grade and said, “keep her there.” She later skipped a year so she was two years ahead of me and younger than me.

I like to do the ironing when I was little and I had to do the dishes a lot. The iron was a coal stove iron. You had to have a real hot fire to heat the iron. You’d have to use two of them so you could trade off. This was before we had electricity.

School was 2 1/2 miles from where we lived. We had to walk to catch a bus to go to high school. In the winter it was so cold and the snow so deep. When I was about 16 and going in the 10th grade, I moved to Ogden to work for my room and board and go to school. The first place I lived was with friends, Ray and Olive Rudd.

Lola as a Senior in High School

I went to the Junior Prom with a boy that played in an orchestra they made up themselves. I went to the girls dance and we had to ask the boy. I went with the boy that took me to the Cadet hop at his school. I went to all the school dances with guys that were older. I loved to dance. When I graduated, Wesley gave me my class ring and Alice gave me a yearbook.

I was staying in Ogden with George and Kathrin Stouckland and Phil chased with Kathrin’s brother. That’s how I met Phil. I used to tend Selma’s baby and didn’t know she was Phil’s sister.

Alice, Joe, Melvin, Stella and Lola

Marriage to Phil Gorder

Phil and I got married in Norman and Nettie’s house. We didn’t have a honeymoon. We first lived at the old Nelson house. Winters were cold; the tea bottle would freeze and the linoleum would curl. I used to put the ashes in a board box and just put the box on a platform by the stove. We came home from the store one day and the hot ashes in the box had burned through the floor but the house didn’t catch fire. I never did figure out why it didn’t. We lived there for two years while Phil built us a new home. We stayed with the folks for a while. I had a miscarriage first, then I had Gail. I raised chickens and sold the eggs for extra money.

Being a Mother

The night Gail was born: I woke up – didn’t have any pain but was uncomfortable. Phil called his mother. We sat there talking and finally decided to go to the hospital. My water broke going down the stairs. I sat on the toilet while Phil went for the car. I still wasn’t having pains. Mother said I’d better get started. So we left. The pain started on the way really pressing going down the canyon. We made it to the hospital in a little over ten minutes. I told Phil to go get a cart. He came back and said the wanted me to walk in and I said I couldn’t move. So he went and got one. When I got to the delivery room and they were trying to undress me and I’d have a pain and couldn’t move. He was born 2:10 AM. That was before the canyon was changed. It had a horseshoe bend that was a really sharp turn. I never had long or hard labor with any of my kids.

Gary was the only one that would “take the breast.” Gail and Dee wouldn’t, they’d just cry. So, with Cuma I just said “get a damn bottle, I don’t want to fight anymore.”

My kids all turned out pretty good. I’m proud of all of them.

Family Reunion Photo. Back row Joe, Stella, Alice, Lola Front row Orland, Doc, Wesley, Melvin

Farm Life

Once we decided to fatten and eat an orphaned lamb. We bottle-fed it, and soon it became a pet. When it came time to butcher it, nobody would to it. So we ate beef.

In about 1998, Gail was in the hospital for high blood pressure. Ivan Rick was visiting and told of when he and some friends stole some of my chickens. He said there were so tough he couldn’t bite into the meat.

We had some good friends, Dave and Bell Clawson. We did everything together. One day when we were riding around, we went to the Stoddard slough and saw this old boat and decided to take a ride. We went up the stream and back and then Dave and I got out of the boat. When Phil and Bell were getting out, the boat tipped over. They went down in all the weeds and dirty slough. Bell had just gotten her a hair permanent and she came out of all the mud and said “there’s $10 gone to hell!” Phil had on a pair of white wool pants that shrunk to where he couldn’t wear them anymore. We all laughed. We still do when we think of it.

When Phil joined the church our troubles started. He didn’t like me to do what I liked to do and seemed to get upset if I got any attention. He started drinking and staying away from home. One time he was gone for over a week. I didn’t know where he was and couldn’t take care of the cows so I sold them. He never did come home so I filed for divorce. He didn’t talk to me after that.

Marriage to Vern Allen

I married Vern Allen on May 24, 1969. We went to Las Vegas and lived there for 16 years. He got sick with cancer so we moved back to Ogden to live until he died on November 23, 1983. I did Temple work doing sealings, then I did extraction work. I enjoyed it. That lasted for several years.

Dee’s Memories

Lola ended her story here, but her son Dee wrote some memories of her. He said:

I don’t know much about Mom’s growing up years. She never said a lot that I remember, past the usual “why, when I was little, we had to walk two miles to catch the bus, the snow so deep we walked over the fence tops” when any any of us kids complained about having to stand in the cold while waiting for the school bus. I suspect that in her case, it was probably very near the truth.

I don’t believe Mom’s growing up years, for the most part, held many pleasant memories for her. In my untrained view, Mom was punished a lot by her father and she was very afraid of him. Her Dad, Grandpa Eggleston, was held in check to some degree by Mom’s mother before she died. Mom felt singled out by her Dad. She tells of one time he “beat me with a singletree.” For all that, she loved him and took some pride in how well he maintained his farm and how well he cared for his cows and other animals.

Mom always seemed to me to be unhappy. By the time I was old enough to notice, Mom and Dad were having trouble, so maybe that was part of the reason.

Mom and Dad divorced, then Mom married Vern Allen. Vern was also from Morgan, an old neighbor in fact. He was a reformed alcoholic himself, but Mom seemed to like him and was happy during her time with him.

While Dad and us boys were out doing farm and animal stuff, Mom worked at maintaining a neat and comfortable home for us. She baked bread and I remember on occasion she made her own lye soap. In addition to maintaining the house, Mom was mostly in charge of caring for two chicken coops full of laying hens.

My Memories

Lola’s Obituary mentioned that she “enjoyed quilting and hand needle work, creating countless beautiful works of art over her lifetime. All are treasures to those fortunate enough to own one. I am one who was fortunate to own one – a tablecloth she gave me for a wedding gift.

Photo of the last four siblings – Alice, Mel, Lola and Doc

In 2001 we had an Eggleston Family Reunion. We had not had one for many, many years. This was the last time Lola was with many family members.

Doc, Alice and Lola at the 2001 Family Reunion

Lola’s Death

I remember that Lola fell and broke her hip some months before she died. I visited her in the Care Center. She passed away on February 8, 2003. She was buried in the Milton Cemetery.

’

Note: Lola wrote her story, which her son Dee and wife Karen included in a Gorder Family History book.

Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard Book – More Postcards

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.

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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.

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Annie Christine Johnson Eggleston

Annie Christine Johnson Eggleston

Annie Christine Johnson Eggleston

Christine’s Early Life

Annie Christine Johnson Eggleston was born November 7, 1864 in Salt Lake City, a daughter of Peter Johnson and Ane Maria Madsen. Her parents had immigrated from Denmark separately just a few years earlier. They married September 27, 1862 in Salt Lake City. Annie Christine was their second child and was born before they moved to Eden. She was known as Christine, probably because her mother was Ane Marie and her older sister Annie Marie. She grew up in Eden on the family farm. Her father died in 1878 when she was 14 years old. She probably helped to care for her seven younger siblings.

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Joseph S. Eggleston’s Autograph Book

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

 

 

Orson Hyde Eggleston

Orson Hyde Eggleston

Early Life of Orson Hyde Eggleston

Orson Hyde Eggleston was born October 3, 1841 in Niles, Cayuga Co. New York. He was born four months after his parents, Samuel and Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston, were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was named after Orson Hyde, whom his parents had apparently met in 1832 when he came to the area as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In July 1842, when Orson was less than a year old, his father Samuel moved the family to Nauvoo, Illinois. Orson would have spent his early childhood in the growing town of Nauvoo. In early 1846, the Saints were driven from Nauvoo and the Eggleston family left in the spring. They went to Winter Quarters where another son, Samuel was born and died in August 1847.

Orson indicated in a handwritten biography that “my father not having means to come west with the Pioneers moved back across the Missouri River to Iowa, lived for a time at Traders Point, then went to Council Bluffs and lived for a time, then went 7 miles north to Crescent City.” The family remained in this area until 1862. Orson would have received his schooling there. He apparently learned the printers trade in Pottawattamie County, along with his brother Reuben. The 1860 Census listed Orson H., age 18, as printer. Orson was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints December 30, 1860 at the age of 19. He indicated that in the winter of 1860-61 his parents renewed their covenants by baptism and he was also baptized at that time. He was also ordained an Elder that winter, as was his brother Reuben.

Migration to Utah

In the summer of 1861, Orson came to Utah with his brother Reuben and his family in the David H. Cannon Company. The rest of the family remained in Council Bluffs until 1862. Orson mentioned in a brief biography that “in the spring of 1862 I was called to go to the frontier as a teamster and in 1863 I was called and went the second time, went to the little town of Wyoming the outfitting point that season assisted Joe N. Young in forwarding the Saints and on the return trip was appointed commissary of the train.”

By this time, Church leaders in Utah had discontinued the handcart companies as an inexpensive means to transport the large numbers of Saints immigrating from Europe. There was then a good supply of wagons and teams in the Salt Lake Valley and the railroad had moved further west, making it possible for teamsters to leave Salt Lake in the early spring, travel to the outfitting point where the railroad ended and bring the Saints to the Salt Lake Valley before winter set in. Orson being a young, single and likely healthy man, was called to assist with this work. It appears that Orson returned to Utah with his family in the summer of 1862 and returned with them in the James Wareham Company. The Deseret News of September 16, 1862 included a Report on the immigration.

“The day was warm in G. S. L. City. Elder Amasa M. Lyman & Charles C. Rich & Co. arrived in Salt Lake City. Capt. James Wareham’s Independent Co. members—Samuel, Lurania, Orson H. & Mary E. Eggleston; Edwin, Eliza R. Charlotte & John F. Eggleston”.

Records indicate that Orson made a third trip in 1864 with the John R. Murdock Company.

Life in Ogden, Utah

Orson and his family settled in Ogden, Utah. Weber County land records show that Orson owned one acre of land, Lot six of Block 27 Plat A, Ogden City. Orson and Reuben were ordained Seventies in the 53rd Quorum the winter after they arrived in Ogden.

Orson apparently became an involved member of the community. The Deseret News of July 4, 1863 included a detailed account of the festivities in Ogden for the holiday. The day began with a flag ceremony at dawn, followed by the band parading through town. Then a breakfast was served at the home of Richard Ballantyne at 7 a.m. A large parade followed at 9:00. The 10th of 16 entries in this parade was described as “12 young men under the direction of Mr. Orson Eggleston.” Following the parade there were speeches and music.

On November 18, 1865 Orson was elected Captain in the Nauvoo Legion in the Weber Military District, Company C Infantry, 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment 1st Brigade. He received a commission from Gov. Charles Durkee. The Nauvoo Legion was the local Militia. It was named after the Militia of Nauvoo headed by Joseph Smith. Because the Saints were isolated in Utah without any military to defend them, in fact the U.S. military being in the position of enemy for some time, the Nauvoo Legion was established to provide protection and defense. A Deseret News article of August 13, 1869 included a report from Ogden including an account of the re-organization of the Weber County Militia, first Regiment, first Brigade. Listed as a Captain was Orson Eggleston.

In 1868 T. B. H. Stenhouse began publishing a newspaper in Ogden and Orson and his brother Reuben were hired as compositors. This paper only lasted until October 1869, but by December 1869, a number of enterprising townspeople had organized the Ogden Junction Publishing Co. The first semi-weekly Ogden Junction was published January 1, 1870. Orson and Reuben Eggleston were among the first compositors employed on the paper. The editor of this paper was Franklin D. Richards and Charles W. Penrose was associate editor.

First Marriage to Constant Ann Stephens

On December 4, 1864 Orson married Constant Ann Stephens, the daughter of John Stephens and Elizabeth Briggs. The family settled in Weber County where her father built the first reservoir in 1856. At the time of their marriage Orson was 24 and Constant was almost 16. They were the parents of 11 children.

Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Orson served a mission for the Church to Michigan in 1876-77, leaving his wife home with five children. Orson kept a journal of this mission, which is currently in the Archives of the History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He was called on the mission October 7, 1876 at General Conference. It was common for mission calls to be made from the pulpit at General Conference. He was one of 36 missionaries called on Missions to the United States at that Conference. Orson stated in his journal, “I was called by the General Conference to go on a mission to the United States.” Though the mission was to the United States, he served mainly in Michigan. Perhaps he had some choice in that. He had many relatives in Michigan with whom he was able to visit, teach and obtain genealogical information.

Orson was blessed and set apart for this mission by Elder Orson Pratt October 21, 1876 in the Historians office in Salt Lake City. He did not have a great deal of time to prepare for this mission. He left Ogden November 15, 1876 with an Elder Porter and headed toward Chicago, stopping first in Council Bluffs. Orson visited with his brother Edwin who was living there. He also visited “A host of friends all of whom seemed glad to see me.” Having grown up mostly in the Council Bluffs area, Orson would have had many friends and acquaintances still there.

After leaving Council Bluffs they stopped at Missouri Valley 24 miles north of Council Bluffs where they spent the night with some of his wife Constant’s cousins. They were members of the Church and he indicated they “had a good time taught them the Gospel and encouraged them in the latter-day work which they had already embraced.” From there they continued to Iowa, stopping at Marshall and then traveling north to Parkersburg, where Orson visited his Uncle Ambrose Eggleston. Ambrose was a Baptist minister, so they probably had some interesting conversations regarding religion.

Orson did not have much success as far as convert baptisms, however he did visit family members and gathered a great deal of genealogical information. He sent this information home in letters to his father.

July 3rd the Ogden Junction reported:

“Elder O. H. Eggleston returned on Sunday evening from a mission to the Western States, having left Ogden on the 15th of November last. He labored principally in Michigan and Iowa, and reports the people in some sections as being inclined towards anything rather than religion– mines being the principal item of interest. He had fair success, however. The latter part of his labors were at Council Bluffs Iowa; where he worked in conjunction with Elder James A. Little of Toquerville. Elder Eggleston has not had good health during the past two months.”

Another report was published in the Deseret News 10 November 1877:

“Missionary—Elder O. H. Eggleston, of Ogden, called upon us to-day. He recently returned from a mission to the State of Michigan, where he was busily and successfully engaged in the ministry about eight months. Since his return, he has suffered severely from the effects of a fall from a building in Ogden, on which he commenced work soon after his arrival home.”

Second Marriage to Mariett Orinda Farley

On July 11, 1879 Orson married a second wife, Mariett Orinda Farley, the daughter of Winthrop Farley and Angeline Calkin. Mariett was born August 17, 1855 after her family had migrated to Utah. At the time of this marriage, Orson was 37, Constant was 30 and Mariett was 24. Orson and Mariett had nine children.

Orson with Mariett and their children

Third Marriage to Annie Christine Johnson

February 10, 1881 Orson married a third wife, Annie Christine Johnson, the 17 year old daughter of Danish immigrants, Peter and Anna Maria Madsen Johnson who lived near his home in Eden. Annie Christine was born November 7, 1864 in Salt Lake City. Orson and Annie Christine had five children.

Move to Eden, Utah

In the fall of 1877, Orson moved to Eden in Ogden Valley. Orson’s handwritten biography stated “while living in Eden I married Mariett O. Farley and Anna Christine Johnson as plural wives.”

Upon moving to Eden, Orson purchased the home of Richard Ballantyne, who had been the first Presiding Elder in Eden. Elder Ballantyne moved to Ogden at that time. This house still stands in Eden across the street from the Eden Park. Though remodeled over the years, it was reported to still have a pioneer root cellar in 1977.

Home of Orson Hyde Eggleston

Orson’s home in Eden.

Eden was one of three small towns in Ogden Valley. This rather isolated valley was used as a pioneer herding ground in the 1850’s. A few cabins were built by the herders, but the first permanent settlers didn’t arrive until 1859. Travel into the Valley was very difficult until a road was built through Ogden Canyon. The valley had previously been a camping area for the Shoshone Indians and they continued to camp there in the early years.

The L.D.S. residents of Eden were originally a branch under the direction of Captain Jefferson Hunt of Huntsville. They were known as the North Fork District of the Hunstville Ward of the Weber Stake. Richard Ballantyne was the first Branch President from 1865-1874. Josiah Marsh Ferrin was the second Branch President from 1874-1877 with Henry Holmes and Peter Johnson as counselors. The Eden Ward was formed June 10, 1877, around the time that Orson moved there. Josiah Ferrin was first Bishop, with Peter Johnson and Enoch Burns as Counselors. Orson served as Sunday School Superintendent after moving to Eden. He was also listed as YMMIA Superintendent. Orson was ordained a High Priest March 3, 1878 by Bishop Josiah Ferrin and was called as second counselor in the Bishopric at that time, replacing Enoch Burns who had moved to southeastern Utah. Orson served in this Bishopric with first counselor Peter Johnson, whose daughter Annie Christine he later married. In January 1879, after the death of Peter Johnson, Orson was made first counselor. After this Bishopric was released November 1, 1883, Orson was made Ward Clerk. He served in that position for several years.

The Eden Ward records contain many interesting comments made by Orson, which were quoted in “History of the Eden Ward”. March 8, 1879 he reported: “We have had a first-class day school the past winter and it is yet in session, being taught by Brother Edward H. Anderson of Huntsville.”

In an entry dated January 6, 1881, as Counselor, Orson exhorted all to pay their tithing. He also requested Sunday store trading be discontinued and hoped the brethren from the north end of the valley would take note of this so Brother John Farrell and his family would be able to attend their meetings, and he hoped the ward teachers would notify their people to that effect. Another note dated March 8, 1879 stated:

“Our Sunday meetings have been unusually interesting and well attended the past winter. Our YMMIA meetings have been very interesting, our schoolhouse being filled every evening we hold meetings. There has been an inter-missionary labor kept up between this place and Huntsville by our young men of the two societies and a marked improvement is manifest.”

A Ward Teaching report dated October 29, 1884 indicated that Elder Orson Eggleston said he had heard some complain the spirit of infidelity was growing among some of the young people and said he was sorry to hear it. As conclusion to their book “History of the Eden Ward”, Ren and Melba Colvin quoted Orson as saying on March 8, 1879:

“We are not blessed here as the people are in many places with two or three grades of society; here we are all brethren and sisters, and have but one class of society and that is first class.”

Orson seems to have enjoyed living in Eden. In addition to church service, he was the postmaster for several years.

Orson’s wife Constance was made first Counselor in the Relief Society June 7, 1878. Orson, as Counselor in the Bishopric conducted the meeting when this took place. Constance served in this position until June 17, 1886 when she moved to Star Valley. Mariett Eggleston was called as treasurer of the Primary June 24, 1881.

Deaths and a New Cemetery

Orson lost two children, Samuel Lee and John Stephens in October 1878 during a Diphtheria epidemic. They were probably buried in the Ogden City Cemetery. Orson had bought a plot there, where there are two infants in unmarked graves. His parents Samuel and Lurania were also buried in this plot.

The people of Eden, feeling the need of a Cemetery there, assembled a committee in 1882 to pursue acquiring some property from Orson Eggleston for a Cemetery. This was part of his farm, sitting on a hill which now overlooks the north arm of the Pineview Reservoir. It is now known as the Eden Meadow View Cemetery.

A Ward Teachers report of September 30, 1882 stated:

“Bishop John Farrell stated that he wished to say something in regards to the burying ground for our dead, as the people were not satisfied with it at present. He wished Brother Eggleston to make a statement in regard to the land which has been purchased for that purpose located in his field. He (brother Eggleston) stated that he let the people have the land with the understanding that they pay him $25.00 for the same, which as yet he had never been paid. It was decided that the teachers, in visiting the people, inquire of them if they were willing to buy the land from brother Eggleston and have it fenced in and deed to the people, that they may be sure of a place to bury their dead, and report at the next priesthood meeting what the people are willing to do in regards to this matter.”

November 30, 1882 the committee appointed to see to the grave yard reported their success in purchasing the land for the same and what it would cost to fence it in by itself.” Orson and his family moved to Star Valley shortly after this was all settled, so the only member of his family buried there was his son Joseph who returned to Eden to live. Orson’s father-in-law, Peter Johnson and family were buried there.

Eden Meadow View Cemetery

Eden Meadow View Cemetery with view of Pineview Reservoir

 

Journey to Star Valley, Wyoming

After the Edmunds anti-Polygamy Act was passed in 1882, life became more difficult for families practicing polygamy. No specific incidents have been reported regarding Orson when he lived in Eden, but he may have felt less safe after this time. The government of Wyoming, in attempting to encourage settlers to that territory, did not seem as concerned about the practice of polygamy. They appeared to see Mormon settlers as hard working, stable citizens. Theywere not very cooperative with authorities attempting to enforce polygamy laws. These factors probably influenced Orson to move his family to Star Valley, Wyoming.

In November 1885, Orson went with J. C. Stephens to Star Valley. This was probably his wife Constant’s brother John Cornelius Stephens, as Orson also referred to him as Corniel. Orson left two of his wives with new babies and the other wife expecting and was separated from them for over six months. Orson kept a journal during this time which provides some interesting insights into this experience. It took a week to travel to Star Valley. They stopped in Montpelier to visit Jeff Stephens, a relative of his wife Constant. Jeff accompanied them into the valley. On this journey they got stuck in mud and were rescued by three men who came along. Orson related that they later administered to a sick horse, which did recover. They arrived in the valley November 10, 1885.

In his journal, Orson referred to their destination as the Salt River Valley. Star Valley actually consists of two small valleys, united by a narrow pass. Along the side of the valley is the Salt River mountain range. The Salt River, which is one of the Snake River’s largest tributaries, runs from the southeast end of the valley northward through both valleys. In the summer of 1880, Moses Thatcher, who had been sent by Brigham Young to find areas for settlement of Latter-day Saints in Wyoming, named the valley “Star Valley”.

Upon arriving in the Valley, Orson and his companions visited Bro. Charles C. Cazier, who had been made the Presiding Elder of the few Saints in the valley. When a Ward was organized in Afton in 1887, Brother Cazier was the first Bishop. Orson spent the winter of 1885-86 living in a tent. He was involved in surveying the town of Afton and making plans for a meetinghouse, as well as staking out a land claim for himself. Charles Cazier had been instructed to survey a townsite containing 30 blocks, each of 10 acres. This survey was done using a common carpenter’s square and rope. The townsite was later professionally re-surveyed, finding the original survey off only a few feet.

Life in Afton, Wyoming

Orson obtained a Homestead Land Grant from the Federal Government. It was issued April 29, 1893. It consisted of three pieces of land totaling 160 acres. One was the Southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 15 in Township 32 North Range 119 West North of the 6th Principal Meridian in the State of Wyoming, County of Lincoln. The second was the East half of the Northeast quarter of Section 22 in Township 32 North Range 119 West North of 6th Principal Meridian in Lincoln County, Wyoming. The third for the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 22 in Township 32 North Range 119 West North of 6th Principal meridian Lincoln County.

An early Map of the town of Afton in A History of Star Valley, showed that Orson lived on Sixth Avenue, east of Adams Street.

Postcard with a view of early Afton, Wyoming

Emil Vaterlaus started a newspaper in Afton in 1901 called The Star Valley Pioneer. In 1902 The Pioneer was published on Fridays and publishers were Emil Vaterlaus and his brother Conrad. December 12, 1902 Conrad S. Vaterlaus took over as editor and publisher. The name of the paper was changed to The Star Valley Independent on September 9, 1903. Conrad Vaterlaus continued as editor until sometime around September 1907. Henry H. Billings was listed as editor in a paper dated September 13, 1907. He operated the paper with O. H. Eggleston as typesetter until 1913. Apparently the Vaterlaus brothers recruited Orson to work with them on this paper because of his previous experience in the business.

This photograph shows the building with a sign “The Independent” and two men standing in front. On back of the photograph they are identified as Conrad Vaterlaus editor and Orson Eggleston, Compositor. Typesetting was still done by hand on this paper, which would have been a very tedious job. With Orson’s previous experience however, he was probably very proficient at it.

The Afton Ward was organized in 1887 with Charles Cazier as first Bishop. Orson served as Sunday School Superintendent and clerk of the High Priests Quorum. His wife Anne Christine served as the Secretary of the Relief Society. The Star Valley Stake was organized in August 1892. Orson served as a member of the High Council. A Tabernacle was begun in 1904 and dedicated August 15, 1909. This was a rather impressive structure built of sandstone, of middle English design with a large tower 140 feet tall. Almost everyone in the valley assisted in some way in the building of this Tabernacle, so most likely Orson and his family contributed financially, with labor on the actual building or in fund raising projects.

Afton Tabernacle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Orson practiced dentistry in Afton and his first wife Constant assisted the sick and delivered about 500 babies in the valley. Apparently by the early 1900’s electricity had come to Afton as shown by Orson’s 1911 electric bill.

Life in Polygamy

Orson did practice polygamy freely in Afton. Eventually he had separate houses for his wives. The 1900 Census of Afton listed the family in three households. Orson was head of one household, 58 years old with wife Merry E. [Mariett] age 44 and children. Annie C. Johnson was the head of the next household at age 35 with three children. The next household was Constant Eggleston as head age 51, with two adult and one teenage son.

There was a place in Star Valley called Signal Hill which served as a lookout. It was visible from all parts of the valley and the entire valley could be seen from it. From there smoke from a signal fire warned settlers of approaching strangers and especially federal authorities looking for polygamists. This would have given them time to hide. Another signal was given if the approaching people turned out to be harmless and it was again safe.

Orson was arrested at least one time for practicing polygamy, though he was not convicted. Records for the Fourth District Court, at Ogden July 30, 1892, indicated that the cases of several men charged with polygamy, adultery, and u.c., including Orson Eggleston, were dismissed . U.S. Marshall Eli H. Parsons, made the motion to dismiss because it was impossible to secure evidence sufficient to justify a conviction. This would have been during the time he lived in Afton.

Orson’s first wife Constance eventually divorced him and remarried. Third wife Christine died before Orson, so at his death he had only one wife, Mariett. Orson died February 9, 1917 in Afton, Wyoming and was buried in the Afton Cemetery.

Notes and Sources:

This biography was adapted from the chapter on Orson and his family in my book The Joseph Eggleston Family: Seven Generations from Joseph (d.1767) of Stonington, Connecticut to Joseph (1885-1965) of Utah and Wyoming (Including Maternal Lines: Hill, Burgess, Titus, Sammis & Johnson) and from histories submitted to Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. Sources listed in my book include:

History of Orson Hyde Eggleston by Virgie Eggleston Stoffers (Daughters of Utah Pioneers)

“A Short Autobiography of Samuel Eggleston” from records of Laura Eggleston Cutler (Daughters of Utah Pioneers)

Milton R. Hunter, Beneath Ben Lomond’s Peak, A History of Weber County 1824-1900, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, Publishers Press, 1966.

Hilda Faulkner Brown, The Michigan Mormons: Their History from 1831-1952 and a Little Beyond, Provo, Utah: H. F. Brown c 1985. (977.4 K2b)

Melba and Ren Colvin, History of the Eden Ward, Ogden Stake Utah 1877-1977 (1977)

Laverna Burnett Newey, Remember My Valleey, A History of Ogden Canyon, Huntsville, Liberty and Eden, Utah from 1825-1976 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Hawkes Publishing, Inc., 1977)

Forrest Weber Kennington & Kathaleen Kennington Hamblin, A History of Star Valley, Formerly Salt River Valley 1800-1900 (Salt Lake City, Utah:Valley Graphics, 1989)

Lee R. Call, Star Valley and Its Communities, Afton Wyoming, Star Valley Independent, 1970 (978,782 H2s, FHL film 1059486 item 8)

Thaya Eggleston Gilmore, Eggleston, Call, Baxter Family History Book, December 2002

Esshom, Frank, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah: comprising photographs, genealogies, biographies (Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Pioneers Book, 1913) (979.2 D3) p. 550, 856.

Tripp, Bartlett, 1839-1911, Journal 1861 David H. Canon Company (Church Emigration Book Vol. 3) Church History Department Archives, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Eden Ward Records (FHL film 0025921)

Biography of Orson Hyde Eggleston written for the Genealogical Society of Utah, p. 130-133. Photocopy in possession of the author.

Eggleston, Orson Hyde 1841–Reminiscences and Diary, 1876 Nov-1877 Jan., Church History Department Archives, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, photocopy in possession of the author. listed in Davis Bitton, Guide to Mormon Diaries and Autobiographies, Provo, Utah: BYU Press c. 1977, p. 98.