Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston McBride

Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston McBride

Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston

Early Life

Constant Ann Stephens was born February 17, 1849 at Council Bluffs, Potawattamie Co. Iowa, the daughter of John Stephens and Elizabeth Briggs. She was the ninth of twelve children.

Constant’s father had a farm at Council Bluffs. She crossed the plains at the age of two, arriving in Utah October 14, 1851. Her father was a Captain of ten in the Orson Pratt Company. The family resided in Weber County. Her father built the first reservoir in Weber County in 1856.

Marriage to Orson Hyde Eggleston

On December 4, 1864, in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the age of 15 years 9 months, 17 days, Constant married Orson Hyde Eggleston, son of Samuel Eggleston and Lurania Powers Burgess. They were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 18, 1867. After her marriage, she and her husband resided in Ogden, Utah. She was the mother of eleven children, only five of the children were alive at the time of her death.

Constant Stephens Eggleston and children

Mary Lurania, Constand holding John Stephens, Orson Burgess, Elizabeth Jane and Samuel Lee in front

In 1876-1877 her husband was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Michigan. In the fall of 1877 they moved to Eden, Utah, where her husband was postmaster for three years. He also served as Counselor in the Bishopric and Clerk of the Eden Ward. He also held the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain in the Utah Militia.

The family moved to Star Valley, Wyoming about 1886. They settled at a small town called Afton. Here her husband earned his living by practicing dentistry. Constant Ann soon endeared herself to all the people there by caring for the sick. While the family lived in Afton she delivered over 500 babies to the women of the community. Horse and buggy was her transportation as she spent her time among the sick. I remember my father (William Jesse Eggleston) telling of his mother, her horse and buggy, her coming and going at all hours of the day or night. Always the welfare of others was her first concern.

A note of interest from A History of Star Valley 1800-1900:

“Medical doctors were few and far between. The settlers had to be resourceful and depended heavily upon the skills of mid-wives and home nurses. Cynthia Hunt Miller, Constance Ann Stephens Eggleston, and Elsie Fluckiger Roberts are names which frequently surface in the early accounts as such women. The risks of long distance emergencies are illustrated in the story of little Alfred Kennington: ‘Alfred was a little boy running barefooted up and down the garden irrigation ditches when something stung him on the instep. Father at once sent for Connie Eggleston, who said she had to have some medicine from the drug store in Montpelier. Frank Bracken, half-brother to Alfred borrowed a little wild black mare from Egglestons and rode to Montpelier in five hours (45 miles), got the medicine and rode back in seven hours on the same mare. Alfred died before Frank was out of sight, but there was no way of stopping him. They never did find out what bit or stung him. He was the first person buried in Afton.”

She was the first of her husband’s three polygamous wives, the other two were Mariett Orantha Forley, married July 11,1879, and Anna Christine Johnson, married February 10, 1881.

My Personal Thoughts about Constant

The family story I knew and what is indicated in the following account is that Constant married Ether McBride after Orson died. It was some time later before I realized that she married Ether McBride in 1904, when Orson was still alive. (Orson died in 1917 in Afton, Wyoming) An obituary and a life sketch given at her funeral also said that she married McBride after Orson’s death. Other relatives told me that she divorced Orson in 1902.

I have not seen documentation for the divorce, though I was told it was for reasons of abandonment or non-support. Descendants of Orson and Constant don’t seem to have the best of feelings about him. Possibly they need to feel justification for her leaving him. The non-support allegation may have been simply legal grounds. Polygamy was illegal long before 1902, but in Wyoming polygamist families were somewhat left alone.

Orson had separate homes for each of his wives. Even if living with one of the other wives, Orson would have been next door and in frequent contact with Constant and her children. It must have been a financial burden to support three families. I have also noticed a pattern of sons of polygamist wives taking care of their mothers, so I wonder if Orson expected his adult sons to care for wives he was not living with. Maybe the fact that Orson did not physically live with Constant and left much of the physical and financial support to her sons was the basis of the non-support claim. Or possibly Constant was just tired of being a polygamist wife. She had known Ether McBride earlier, so I wonder if some contact with him occurred before and encouraged the divorce.

Marriage to Ether McBride

Constant married Ether McBride on September 22, 1904 in the Logan, Utah L. D. S. Temple and resided at American Fork, Utah. There she continued caring for the sick and won the love and respect of all who knew her.

Thaya Eggleston Gilmore included some information in her book, which she indicated was told to Virgie Stoffers by Mary Jane McBride Cunningham, daughter of Ether McBride, on September 7, 1958 at her home in American Fork, Utah:

“After grandmother Eggleston’s marriage, the family lived at Eden, Utah. They lived about a block from the Ether McBride family. The two families were very good friends and a great bond was formed between them. When grandfather took his third wife, Anne Christine Johnson, a young Norwegian [she was Danish] girl of 17, grandmother took her into her own home and shared all she had with her. Teaching her how to cook, sew, and care for a family. Sharing with her when her own belongings were very scant and small.

“Later after the family moved to Star Valley a man hurt his leg very bad while working in the logs. Grandmother realized the need for something to be done right away, and amputated the man’s leg and dressed it very carefully and continued caring for it, thus saving the man’s life. Later when a doctor finally saw the leg, he was amazed at the care that had been given it and declared that it had received professional care. Grandmother was a registered nurse. She continued her practice long after she left the valley and resided at American Fork.

“After her husband’s death and the death of Mrs. McBride, she married their neighbor of years gone by, 22 Sept. 1904, a respected citizen, Ether McBride of American Fork, Utah, and spent many happy years with him. His family received her as one of their own and she was loved dearly by all of them. She won the love of all who knew her.

“Grandmother treated a lot with different herbs and other natural means. Seeming to have an uncanny knowledge in the care of the sick. When she attended at the birth of a child, she not only took care of the mother but also took care of the family and seen that everything was taken care of, very often for very small wages, if any. She was very apt in the capacity of a nurse and was the means of bringing into this life some 500 babies.

“Regardless of what grandmother was doing or how old her dress, it was always spotless. She was very neat and clean and always loved order in everything she did. She was a good neighbor and a faithful Latter-day Saint all her life and remained so to the end.”

Death of Constant

Constant McBride died July 16, 1926 at American Fork, Utah.

Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston McBride Obituary

Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston McBride Obituary

Funeral summary Constant Stephens McBride

Newspaper article summarizing the funeral of Constant Stephens McBride. Text transcribed at left.


“Tributes Paid Pioneer at Final Rites”

Last respects were paid to Mrs. Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston McBride, Pioneer of this city, Sunday July 18, at the funeral services held in the First Ward Chapel. Bishop James T. Gardner was in charge. The opening song “When First the Glorious Light of Faith,” was rendered by the Chorus. Maurice Madsen pronounced the invocation, followed by a song “I Need Thee Every Hour”. The Biographical sketch of Mrs McBride was given by E. J. Seastrand who also told of the high esteem in which she was held by all who know her and or her untiring service for the sick and afflicted, her unselfish labors in his immediate family during their sickness. H.S. Rasmussen spoke telling of her worth as a true neighbor and friend. A vocal duet was sung by James Martin of Salt Lake, and Mary Hansen of Payson, entitled “Sometime, Somewhere.” William S. Robinson, the next speaker consoled the family and explained the resurrection and his assurance of Mrs. McBride’s salvation through her faithful life of unselfish service to her family and to all mankind. Bishop James T. Gardner in closing thanked all who had assisted during the death and at the funeral services in any way and confirmed the remarks of the former speaker and added his knowledge of Mrs. McBride’s worth in the Ward and in his immediate family. The benediction was pronounced by D. W. Jones.

Interment was made in the city cemetery where the grave was dedicated by Dan Stephens of Ogden. The profuse floral offerings and large attendance bespoke the sympathy of the townspeople and the high esteem in which Mrs. McBride and the McBride family is held.







This biography was originally written by Virgie Eggleston Stoffers; edited in 2003 by other descendants, with minor editing by the author of this blog. It is included in the book The Joseph Eggleston Family, by Karen Eggleston Stark, p. 418-420.

The Life and Untimely Death of Harvey Burgess Eggleston

Little is known of the details of the life of Harvey Burgess Eggleston. He was just becoming an adult when his life was cut short. We can only imagine what his life would have been like if he had lived, and wonder about the circumstances of his death.

Birth of Harvey Burgess Eggleston

Harvey Burgess Eggleston, the 5th child of Samuel and Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston, was born February 8, 1836, In Sempronius, Cayuga County, New York. He was named for his grandfather Harvey Burgess. His parents lost their first 2 sons as infants, so when Harvey was born he had two older brothers.


Family Bible birth of Harvey Burgess Eggleston

The birth date of Harvey Burgess Eggleston was recorded in the Eggleston Family Bible – bottom on the left

When Harvey was six years old, his family left their home in Sempronius and traveled overland to Nauvoo, Illinois. I  imagine it would have been hard for Harvey and his brothers to leave their friends and extended family. His parents had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1841. Maybe by the time they left relations had become strained because of the feelings of their Baptist family and friends toward the Mormons. The family traveled with Isaac Haight from nearby Moravia. This journey may have been an adventure for young Harvey, traveling by wagon through unfamiliar countryside and towns and camping at night.

In Nauvoo, Samuel eventually built a home on the bluff near where the Temple was being built. This was a growing community, with new families arriving and much building going on. We don’t have any specific information, but I would think that Harvey and his brothers would have received some schooling there.

Moving Again

In early 1846, when Harvey was just 10 years old, the Saints began leaving Nauvoo. The Eggleston family would have again said goodbye to many friends and neighbors as they left. The Egglestons remained in Nauvoo until later in the spring. Some stayed to complete the Temple. Many who remained were poor and lacking means to supply themselves for the trip. Things became very tense with others in the area. It appears that the Eggleston family left Nauvoo before things deteriorated toward the “battle of Nauvoo” and the last remaining Saints were removed by force.

For the second time in Harvey’s young life the family traveled an extended distance by wagon. They traveled during the summer, so didn’t have the winter weather that earlier groups had, but still it was not an easy journey. They spent the winter in Winter Quarters, Nebraska. It was here that Harvey’s brother Samuel was born January 16, and passed away August 23rd. This was probably the first death of a close family member that Harvey experienced. There was much disease in the community during that time. We do not know if Harvey or other members of his family became ill, but conditions would not have been good for their health.

Harvey’s Final Home

Later the Winter Quarters settlement was abandoned as many of the Saints left for the Salt Lake Valley. Harvey’s family did not leave then, but crossed back over the Missouri River and settled in Council Bluffs, Iowa. This was a temporary situation for most of the Saints as they were encouraged to go west as soon as they were able. The Egglestons however, stayed for many years and Harvey grew up there.

A sister finally joined the family on September 22, 1849 while they were living at Trader’s Point in Pottawattamie County. She was named Mary Elizabeth after both of her grandmothers. Harvey’s father Samuel had a Boot and Shoe Shop in the middle of Council Bluffs. In November 1853, there was a terrible fire that destroyed much of the business district in Council Bluffs.

Harvey passed away February 12, 1854, just days after his 18th birthday. We do not have any information about the circumstances of his death. We do not have a record of his burial place. But he is worth remembering.

2001 An Eggleston Genealogy Odyssey – Part 1 to Iowa

I learned a great deal about our family history during a 2001 road trip tracing our family’s migration route in reverse – An Eggleston Genealogy Odyssey.

The Eggleston Genealogy Odyssey Begins

Eggleston Genealogy transportation

This is the only photo I took of the motorhome on the trip. Skaneateles Lake is in the background

In August 2001, I invited myself on a journey with my Dad. Mom passed away in November 2000. She and Dad had traveled around much of the country in their motorhome. That summer, Dad wanted to drive to New Hampshire to visit my sister. It was a trip he had made several times with Mom, but I was concerned about him traveling that far by himself. (He later made many solitary trips – just not that far) I also was up for a visit with my sister. We learned that my other sister would be staying with them for a while in between moves, so it was a 2 for 1. After doing a good decade of genealogy research, I saw an opportunity to see some of the places our ancestors had lived. I eagerly offered to accompany Dad so he wouldn’t be lonely on this trip. Thus began a journey to a family reunion which traced our family’s migration route across the country – in reverse. A journey back to our beginnings, almost.

We started out on Saturday morning August 4, bright and early. Dad always started out “bright and early”. This became quite an adjustment for me. I also quickly learned that when Dad had his sights on a destination, he headed directly toward it. We drove all that day through Wyoming and Nebraska, stopping only for gas. During the drive, I heard lots of stories. Dad had a captive audience and he loved to tell stories. I heard some about his early life that I had not heard before. I realized that this would be a journey of discovery in more ways than one.

We stopped that first night at North Platte about 6:00 p.m. and had dinner at a Village Inn. There was a campground just down the road where we spent the night. The next morning Sunday August 5 we got on the road early, of course, and drove through the rest of Nebraska.

Winter Quarters, Nebraska

Winter Quarters Visitor Center

Winter Quarters Visitor Center

We got to Winter Quarters about noon. It was really hot and humid there. We had a quick look at the Visitor’s Center then ate lunch in the motorhome in the parking lot. Then we went back in to the Visitor’s Center and had a formal tour. It is a very nice Visitor’s Center. There was on display a real stuffed buffalo with a wagon and facades of the Nauvoo and Salt Lake Temples. We saw a very good original film. The Temple was closed and the gate locked because it was Sunday, but we were able to take a few pictures.

Winter Quarters LDS Temple

Winter Quarters Temple

Winter Quarters is a significant and sacred place in Mormon history. In early 1846, the Saints began to leave Nauvoo, Illinois where they had built a thriving city. Many left during the winter and struggled to cross Iowa through all kinds of weather on rough and muddy roads. By the time the first of them reached Council Bluffs, Iowa, it was obvious that it would not be possible for any to go across the plains before the next winter. The Eggleston family did not leave Nauvoo until later in the Spring, so were spared some of the weather related issues and probably made the journey across Iowa more quickly. They caught up with the gathered Saints near Council Bluffs, Iowa.

As winter approached, Church leaders sought a place where they could take refuge until the next spring. They were able to go across the Missouri River to the Nebraska side and formed a settlement there. This hastily assembled settlement of crudely build cabins was home to about 4000 Saints that winter. There was insufficient food so many suffered from malnutrition. Disease easily spread through the community. About 600 people died in Winter Quarters before the Saints moved on. Most of them were buried in the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery there.

Mormon Pioneer Cemetery

Mormon Pioneer Cemetery Winter Quarters, Nebraska

Mormon Pioneer Cemetery Winter Quarters, Nebraska

We walked over to the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery, an found the name “Samuel Eggleston and 7 Mos” inscribed on the marker. Samuel was the son of Samuel and Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston. He had been born January 16, 1847 during that bleak winter. He passed away on August 23rd of that year. By that time, the first of the Saints had started for the Salt Lake Valley, though many remained in Winter Quarters. Later the Winter Quarters settlement was abandoned and those who were not able to start west, crossed back over the river and remained for a time in Council Bluffs.

Samuel Eggleston 7 Mos

Samuel Eggleston 7 Mos – 6th name from the bottom

We located the approximate stone under which the baby Samuel would have been buried, using a handy map. There is a statue there which shows a child in a grave with parents standing together above it. In photographs, such as this one, you can’t clearly see the child. It seemed really significant that this was where Samuel and Lurania had buried there baby and this could have been them.

Statue in Mormon Pioneer Cemetery at Winter Quarters, Nebraska

Statue in Mormon Pioneer Cemetery at Winter Quarters, Nebraska. Samuel Eggleston was buried just a few feet away

Council Bluffs, Iowa

We drove across the Missouri River on the Mormon Bridge and went into Council Bluffs, Iowa. Samuel and Lurania Eggleston lived in Council Bluffs for several years. Samuel had a Boot & Shoe shop there and he owned a good deal of land. Their youngest child Mary Elizabeth was born there on September 22, 1849.  On February 12, 1854 their son Harvey Burgess Eggleston died in Council Bluffs. He was only 19 years old.

Our Cheney and Wilson ancestors also spent time in the Council Bluffs area. Elijah and Martha Wilson had four children born in Pottawattamie County, Iowa.

The Kanesville Tabernacle

In Council Bluffs, Dad and I found a replica of the Kanesville Tabernacle. The original tabernacle was constructed in December 1847 as a place where the Saints could meet for a conference. On December 27, 1847 the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was reorganized. Brigham Young was sustained as the President of the Church with Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards as counselors. The Eggleston and Wilson families would have been in the area at that time and may have attended this conference.

Kanesville Tabernacle Council Bluffs, Iowa

Kanesville Tabernacle Council Bluffs, Iowa

The reconstructed Tabernacle is an impressive building. It was built with the same kind of wood and same techniques as the original. The original was built in about 2 ½ weeks (20 days) out of green cottonwood, by a man named Miller. This new building had mushrooms growing out of the walls. The original building, being made of green wood, did a lot of shrinking, shifting and settling so it was dismantled about two years later. But it had served it’s purpose. The missionary there told of how Brigham Young and the rest of the Twelve were directed to reorganize the first presidency. They had been dragging their feet, but it was time. The building had to be built because it was getting late in the year and the weather would no longer allow outdoor meetings.

There is a Visitor’s Center next to the Kanesville Tabernacle (It was so wonderful that they were all air conditioned-it was so hot). We saw a nice film about the Mormon Battalion and saw lists of Battalion members. We did not have Eggleston ancestors in the Mormon Battalion, but Elijah Wilson’s son Alfred Gideon served in company A.

After seeing the film about the Battalion, I got thinking about my worries and fears about leaving my family for three weeks in a comfortable home with everything they needed. I realized that compared to those men leaving their families for who knew how long with poor shelter and little food, my fears were pretty silly.

The Very Brief Life of Samuel Eggleston IV

January 16th marks the anniversary of the birth of Samuel Eggleston, son of Samuel and Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston. His birth, life and death occurred during a very dark time and place in the lives of his family and the larger community of Latter-day Saints. Early in 1846, the Saints were forced to leave their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois. The Eggleston family were not among the first to leave. They stayed until sometime in the spring of 1846 according to Samuel’s account. They may have stayed longer than others for financial reasons, or to help with the completion of the Temple which was dedicated May 1, 1846.

The Egglestons traveled to Winter Quarters in Nebraska, where the Saints had gathered to prepare to go further west. Small cabins were built where they spent a miserable winter. There was inadequate food for the many refugees camped there. There was also much disease which was easily spread. Many people died during that year, especially the very young and very old.

Birth of baby Samuel to Lurania and Samuel Eggleston

Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston

Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston

Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston, who was 38 years old at that time, gave birth to a son on the bleak winter day of January 16th. Patty Sessions was a prominent midwife during that time. Fortunately for us, she kept records in her diary and an account book. Her notation under the date of 16 January was “Put sister Eggleston to bed with a son Samuel E.” “Putting to bed” was her way of noting the confinement and delivery of a baby. Patty’s account book showed that Samuel Eggleston paid $2.00 for her services January 16.

The birth of this child must have brought great joy to the family at a time of great suffering. He was given the name of his father – Samuel. He may have also been named after Samuel H. Smith who along with Orson Hyde had introduced the family to the Restored Gospel. (They had named their last born son Orson Hyde Eggleston)


Death of baby Samuel at 7 Months

Any joy brought to this family by this baby was turned to sorrow seven months later. We do not know the exact circumstances. Whether he was sickly his entire life, or whether struck with a sudden illness, we can’t be sure. We do know that a shortage of food probably meant inadequate nutrition for his mother Lurania. Also we know that in the close quarters of this makeshift community, diseases spread easily. Whatever the cause, this little baby of seven months departed this life on August 2, 1847. This was not the first baby this family lost. Their first child Dwight died at about one year old, and their second son Benjamin lived only a few weeks.

Little Samuel was buried in the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery in Winter Quarters. Most graves there are unmarked; however, records were kept. His grave has a number #208. There is now a marker in the cemetery with names inscribed for all of those who died during the time that the Saints lived in Winter Quarters.

Samuel Eggleston 7 Mos 6th from the bottom

Samuel Eggleston 7 Mos 6th from the bottom

The location of Samuel’s grave is under a stone walkway near the sculpture of a father and mother standing above the grave of their child. I find the location and that sculpture rather fitting. It helps form a picture of the grieving parents, Samuel and Lurania, saying goodbye to the child they had for such a short time.

Location of Samuel Eggleston's grave

Samuel Eggleston is buried beneath these stones, below the flowerpot and to the left of the shadows.

Monument in Winter Quarters Cemetery

Monument in Winter Quarters Cemetery


Notes & References:

Mormon Pioneer Cemetery, OmahaDouglas CountyNebraskaUSA Grave #208  35007063

Diary of Patty Bartlett Sessions (page 29 of microfilm) indicates birth January 16, 1846. This has been published as the Book, Mormon Midwife 1846-1888 Diaries of Patty Sessions, by Donna Toland Smith, Ed., University of Utah Press 1977, Library, Page number: 33, 70: birth: 16 January 1847; Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska, United States under date of 16 January (1847) “Put sister Eggleston to bed with a son Samuel E” Patty Sessions Diary was also published in Utah Historical Quarterly Vol X 1942, p. 94.

Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah has the wrong birth date for Samuel of 16 August, 1846, which has been used in other databases.

Eggleston Family bible

Samuel Eggleston Jr near top of 2nd page

Orson Hyde Eggleston’s Family Bible lists: Samuel Eggleston Jr. born Jan 16th 1847 at Winter Quarters Omaha Nation Nebraska. died in same place Aug 23rd 1847.

News and Insights from Old Family Letters

Old family letters give some great information and wonderful insights into the lives and relationships of our ancestors.

Some family letters written to Samuel Eggleston were included on typed sheets I found with records of Theron Eggleston at the home of his daughter Ruth. With these letters were others with genealogical information that Orson Hyde Eggleston gathered while on his mission and genealogical correspondence. These had all apparently been transcribed by Theron or his wife. I don’t know what happened to the original letters.

I found this correspondence to be quite interesting. The family letters give some insights into personalities and family relationships as well as provided some genealogical clues which were helpful in my research.

The Family Letters – First from Eliza Barron

This earliest letter, dated 1862, was to Samuel Eggleston from his sister Eliza Barron. Samuel had recently migrated from Iowa to Utah. Eliza passed away in 1869. Eliza mentioned their brother Ansel, who was somewhat of a mystery – to us, and possibly to them. This letter provided clues to help me find him in records in Michigan, where he died in 1871. We also get a glimpse of personalities from the things Eliza said about her brother as well as the colorful way she expressed herself. I would like to have known Aunt Eliza.

Eliza also mentioned a letter from Rev. A. Eggleston, who would be the Ambrose Eggleston mentioned in later genealogical correspondence. This letter to Eliza may have begun that correspondence.

1862 family letters from Eliza Barron to Samuel Eggleston

Family Letters from brother Ambrose and his Daughter

These letters from Ambrose H. Eggleston and Elvira E. Towsley were probably sent together. Samuel left Iowa in 1862 and migrated to Utah. Samuel might have written to inform his brother of this move and this may be why Ambrose thought it interesting that he had moved to Iowa after Samuel left that state (though they lived on opposite sides of the state).

I recently took another look at this letter from Ambrose’s daughter Elvira. She mentioned the loss of her children. I was able to find her oldest son Chester on the 1860 Census, but the little two-year old girl is not on any records. The 1870 Census includes Gertrude who would be the five year old she mentioned as well as 2 other children born after this letter was written. The five month old daughter she mentioned was not with them in 1870, so she may have died young also. I wish she had mentioned their names.

This letter was written in the midst of the Civil War, which apparently influenced her sentiments. Sadly Elvira passed away in 1872.

1863 family letters from Ambrose Eggleston & Elvira Towsley to Samuel Eggleston

Letter Home from Orson

Orson sent this letter to his father while serving his Mission in Michigan. He mentioned that his brother Edwin had a visit from Ansel’s son. More clues but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any more about these sons of Ansel.

1876 family letters Orson to Samuel

News From the Townsend Family

Olive Stewart, who was a daughter of Samuel’s sister Electa Townsend, sent this letter to her uncle. (My note questions the date of the letter. According to dates in the letter it should be 1873. It may be a typo) Olive’s youngest sister Mary, with whom she was living at the time she wrote, died in January 1874. Olive later married Mary’s widowed husband, Charles Jeffers. The (Jeffers) at the end was probably added by the transcriber.

1873 family letters Olive Stewart to Samuel Eggleston

Orson Eggleston visited many family members while serving his Mission in Michigan. Apparently he corresponded with some of them after his return home. This post card from cousin Sarah Townsend Cole was in response to one he sent.

1879 family letters S E Cole to Orson Eggleston

Sarah shared information about the Skeels family. Anna Eggleston Skeels died in October 1874 and her husband Isaac died in October 1877. James Skeels’ son with consumption was probably Dorr who died May 15, 1879.

More News and genealogy from Ambrose H. Eggleston

Ambrose sent this letter to his brother Samuel. He mentioned the death of his daughter Elvira Towsley, who wrote the letter above. The birth and death dates were probably in response to a request by Samuel who was gathering genealogical information.

In the middle of this letter is a mention of uncle Benjamin Eggleston. Interestingly Benjamin was not included in other records of Orson H. Eggleston, including records of Temple work he did in 1914. I first found Benjamin through Onondaga County Land Records and determined that he was a son of Samuel Eggleston Sr. He was a brother of Samuel Jr. who was the father of Samuel and Ambrose. They obviously knew Uncle Benjamin well, but somehow this information was not well known to later generations.

I find it interesting that Ambrose tells his brother that he and his sons were preachers of the Gospel. He even takes the opportunity to preach to Samuel. Samuel had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1841. In 1877, he was called to be First Counselor in the Bishopric of the Ogden 2nd Ward.

1873 family letters from Ambrose Eggleston to Samuel Eggleston

I have to wonder if there were more of these letters that have been lost. I also wonder if these particular letters might have been sent and kept in response to requests from Samuel for genealogical information, since they include many reports of deaths. We are fortunate that these family members made an effort to keep in touch as they moved away from each other and that someone made the effort to keep these letters.

Note: Highlights and pencil notes were made by me on my photocopy of these letters.

Our Mormon Pioneer Ancestors

July 24th is a significant day for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for the State of Utah. We commemorate the settling of Utah by the Mormon Pioneers, the first of whom arrived in July 1847. The Pioneer Era is generally considered to span from 1847 to 1869 when the Trans- continental Railroad was completed.

Eggleston Pioneers

Our family has a large and rich pioneer heritage. Our first Eggleston ancestors to come to Utah were Orson Hyde Eggleston and his brother Reuben, along with his wife Emeline and young son.

Orson H. Eggleston

Orson H. Eggleston


Reuben Eggleston







In the summer of 1861, Orson came to Utah with his brother Reuben and his family in the David H. Cannon Company.  Bartlett Tripp, who was Company Clerk for the David H. Cannon Pioneer Company in 1861, included a list of company members in his Camp Journal. Listed were Reub. B. Eggleston, wife and 1 child, Orson Eggleston, 4 oxen, 1 cow, 1 wagon. Continue reading

Doc’s Memories of Laura

Laura went to school at Eden Elementary, Huntsville Junior High and Weber High School. She had one real problem getting to school. She would get car sick. She tried to get the driver to save a seat right up front for her. If he did not then he would have to clean the bus. This was a real problem because she rode the bus down the canyon to Weber High. She was an average student and got along well with her fellow students.


Laura in 1937

Laura 1937 right

Laura on the right with school friends in 1937











After graduating from High School she was somewhat lost. Mother had died and she did not get along well with Dad, he had trouble communicating with us. When Mel got out of school, she did a lot with him. She got an apartment on the corner of Lincoln and 25th Street. She met and married Stevens and had a son Guy. He abused her so she divorced him.Then she married Lee Saunders. Continue reading