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.

Vedia Eggleston’s Postcards from Far Away Places

Vedia Eggleston’s postcards, like many of the time, were the way to keep in touch with family and friends who had moved away or were traveling. They were kind of an early 20th Century Social Media – only much slower than today. They also were a good way to let you know of places where friends were and you were not. From the commercial side, postcards were good marketing tools. Cards with photos of exciting or historic places were used to encourage tourism and pride in local sites.

Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard book contained a number of cards from various places in the United States. Sometimes the places that the cards were sent from was not the place indicated by the photograph on the card. Cards may have been purchased at one place and sent from another. Or possibly cards from some places could even be purchased at home. More postcards from places closer to home are shared in another post.

Friend Kathryn in Madison

Let’s start with Madison, Nebraska, since Vedia received several cards from there in 1912. Apparently Vedia had a friend Kathryn who had moved to Madison. Vedia was not as good at keeping in touch as this Kathryn was. She repeatedly asked why she had not heard from Vedia.



Postcards City Hall, Madison, NE

Madison Kathryn to Vedia


Madison auto Kathryn to Vedia


Kathryn sent this card showing a scene of Ogden Canyon in Utah from Madison, Nebraska to Vedia in Afton. Apparently Kathryn finally received a card from Vedia.

Kathryn from Madison

Ogden Canyon

Brother Asa Eggleston’s Travels

In 1916, Vedia’s brother Asa was traveling, probably on business. This card sent from Montana to Vedia in Malad, Idaho has a photograph of Idaho Falls. Asa mentions that he will be going to Belgrade this afternoon and later to Bozeman.

Asa from Manhattan, Montana


Idaho Falls Power Station

Asa sent this card from Helena, Montana to Vedia in Malad, Idaho. This was was sent after Vedia’s marriage and is addressed to Mrs. John Jones, Jr. Asa indicated that he would be leaving there soon, but did not know his next destination.


This other card was sent from Billings, Montana earlier in the year. Asa mentioned that he had just left Park City and did not know how long he would be in Billings or where he would be next. He instructed her to write to him in Great Falls, Montana.

Billings, Montana library

Asa from Billings, Montana

Asa sent this card from Spokane, Washington in June 1916. Apparently he was in Spokane in between trips to Montana.

Monroe Street Bridge Spokane, Washington

Asa from Spokane, Washinton

From Missouri

This card was sent from Macon, Missouri to Vedia in Afton, Wyoming

Cards from New York

J. C. Dewey sent this embossed postcard of the Hudson River Steamboat to Vedia. It was actually postmarked from Deweyville, Utah

Hudson River Steamboat postcard


This embossed card of Grant’s Tomb is addressed to Vedia in Afton, Wyoming, but there is no postmark or message.

Grant's Tomb postcard


This card was sent from Fulton, New York

Postcards Fulton, NY postcard from Fulton, NY

The Family Bible of Orson Hyde Eggleston

Family Bibles are wonderful sources of information. I found this Bible when I visited Cousin Ruth several years ago. She indicated that it had belonged to Orson Hyde Eggleston and had been given to her father Theron Eggleston, probably by his father Orson. It appears that it may have been in the possession of Joseph S. Eggleston at some point and he may have entered at least some of this information himself. Ruth let me take this Bible to make photocopies of the Family Record entries.

These pages lists births, beginning with Samuel Eggleston, Orson’s father:

Samuel Eggleston, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Hill Eggleston was born March 30th 1804 in the town of Marcellus Onondago State of New York

Lurania Powers Burgess ^Eggleston was born August 15th 1808 in the town of Sempronius Cayuga County State of New York

Dwight Eggleston son of Samuel and Lurania Eggleston was Born August 9 1828 in town of Se,[rpmois Co of Cayauga State of NY

Benjamin Born was Born April 6th 1830 in Sempronius Cayuga Co NY

Reuben Birgess Eggleston Born July 24th 1831 in Sempronius Cayuga Co NY

Edwin Eggleston Born Oct 25 1833 in town of Sempronius NY

Harvey B Eggleston Born Feb 8th 1836 in Sempronius County of Cayuga State of N York

Orson Hyde Eggleston Born Oct 3rd 1841 in Niles Cayuga Co NY

Samuel Eggleston Jr Born Jan 16th 1847 at winter quarters Omahaw Nation Nebraska. Died in same place Aug 23rd 1847

Mary E Eggleston Born Sept 22nd 1849 at Traders Point Pottawattamie County Iowa

David Orson Eggleston Born June 15th 1883 in Eden Weber Co Utah. Blest Aug 2nd 1883 in Eden by Armstead Moffatt. Died Nov 3rd 1884 in Eden.

Joseph Smith Eggleston Born July 5th 1885 in Eden Weber Co Utah. Blest Set 3rd 1885 by Henry J Fuller in Eden. Baptized in Afton Unitah Co Wyo July 5th 1893 by Barnard Parry. Confirmed by C. D. Cazier.

Mattie May Eggleston Born July 30th 1887 in Afton Unitah Co Wyo. Blest Nov 1st 1888 by O H Eggleston in Afton. Baptized July 30th 1895 by Clarance C Gardner in Afton. Confirmed Aug 1st 1895 by Clarance Gardner in Afton.

The births of this generation are only the children of Orson Hyde Eggleston and Annie Christine Johnson. Children of his other wives are not included.


Ordination information for Joseph S. Eggleston. These entries may have been added by Joseph – or all of the information may have been written by Joseph.

Joseph S. Eggleston ordained a deacon by Byron H. Allred Oct 1st 1900

Joseph S. Eggleston ordained a teacher Nov 2nd 1901 by Bishop Osborne Law

Joseph S. Eggleston ordained a priest Feb 28th 1903 by Elder Charles C. Leavitt


Samuel Eggleston son of Samuel and Elizabeth Eggleston was Born in the Town of Marcellus Onondaga County State of New York on the 30th day of March 1804

Lurania P Eggleston Daughter of Harvey and Polly Burgess was Born August 15th 1808 in the Town of Sempronius County of Cayuga State of New York

Samuel and Lurania was Married August 23rd 1827 in the town of Sempronius Cayuga County State of New York

Mary E Mountford was Born May 14th 1854 in Burstown Staffordshire England. Samuel and Elizabeth was married Oct 24th 1870 at Salt Lake City Utah

Catherine Kat was Born was Born April 5th 1836. Samuel and Catherine was married the 6th day of March 1871 in Salt Lake City Utah by Daniel H Wells



Dwight Eggleston died in Springwater Livingston Co NY Aug 2nd 1829

Benjamin Eggleston Died April 27 1830

These next are births of Orson and Annie Christine’s other children:

Florence Eggleston Born May 10th 1893 in Afton Unitah Co Wyoming. Blest July 6th by C D Cazier in Afton. Married to Norman D Moffatt June 3/13. Baptized May 10th 1901 by O H Eggleston. Confirmed same day by Edward Davis.

Theron Johnson son of Orson Hyde Eggleston and Annie Christine Johnson Born June 12th 1905. Blessed June 20th 1905 by O H Eggleston in Afton Unitah Co Wyoming. Baptized June 12th 1913 by O H Eggleston at Afton Wyo. Confirmed July 6th 1913 by Osborne Law.

Anna Christine Eggleston daughter of Peter Johnson and Anne Mariah Mattson Christensen and wife of Orson H. Eggleston. Born in Salt Lake City Utah November 7th 1864. Died at Afton Wyoming August 13th 1909 aged 44 years 11 months 6 days.


Ambrose Hill, Revolutionary War Soldier and Patriot

Ambrose Hill was born March 21, 1744 in Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut. He died February 26, 1816 in Cornwall, Addison, Vermont. He was buried in Cornwall. He was on a list of Revolutionary War Soldiers buried in Cornwall, Vermont. Ambrose married Lucy Beach October 10, 1764 in Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut. Lucy Beach was born January 27, 1746 in Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut. She died March 18, 1838, in Cornwall, Addison, Vermont.

Ambrose Hill served in the Revolutionary War. His widow Lucy received a Pension for his service. According to information in his Pension file ( Pension File No. W21338 ) Ambrose Hill was a resident of Richmond, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, when he enlisted in April 1775. He served 15 days as a Corporal under Colonel Patterson; six months as Orderly Sargent under Aaron Rowley, Colonel Jonathan Smith; one month and four days as Captain under Colonel Powell, and was in the battles of Bunker Hill, Benington, Stillwater, and at the surrender of Burgoyne and evacuation of Ticonderoga.

The Colonists in Berkshire County were very involved in the beginning events of the Revolution. When news from Lexington and Concord came in April 1775, two Berkshire regiments immediately started marching to Boston. One unit under Col. Patterson of Lenox was stationed at Cambridge, but did not get to Bunker Hill for that battle. Both regiments were involved in repelling a landing party at East Cambridge and many soldiers stayed at Boston until it was evacuated March 16, 1776. Under the leadership of Joseph Raymond and Aaron Rowley most of the volunteers continued to serve as a unit throughout the early part of the war.

Ambrose Hill would have been among those early Berkshire Volunteers under Col. Patterson. Ambrose was a Corporal with Capt. David Rosseter’s Company in Col. John Patterson’s regiment which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775. This was the same day that the first shots were fired at Lexington, Massachusetts. His service was from April 23, 1775 to May 8, 1775. He was listed as Sergeant with Capt. David Noble’s Company, Col. John Paterson’s Regiment, serving 7 days from April 22, 1775, which company marched in response to the alarm of April 19, 1775. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on June 17, 1775. These dates would indicate that Ambrose did not serve then, however the next entry showed that later that year Ambrose was again with John Paterson’s Regiment, muster roll dated Aug 1, 1775. This indicates that he enlisted April 19, 1775 and served 3 months 9 days with company return date October 6, 1775. He apparently served during that entire first summer. There was mention of an order for a bounty coat or its equivalent in money dated Fort No. 3, Charlestown, October 26, 1775.

Ambrose served as Sergeant in a company of Massachusetts militia in the vicinity of Boston until the British troops left Boston in the spring of the year 1776. Later, he served as Captain of a company of Massachusetts militia and he commanded a company that marched from Richmond to New Haven, Connecticut where he served as Captain sometime over two months. He received a Captains commission.

Later service in 1777 would have been in the battles in the Ticonderoga and Saratoga area. Ambrose was a Sergeant in Capt. Amos Rathbun’s Company, Maj. Caleb Hyde’s detachment of militia from July 8, 1777 to July 26, 1777 (19 days). His company marched to reinforce the northern army and was discharged 97 miles from home. At this point in the war, General Burgoyne had advanced down the Richeleau River to Lake Champlain with a massive army. Fort Ticonderoga was at that time badly in disrepair and the soldiers were lacking adequate supplies. When General St. Clair learned that the British had cannon on Mt. Defiance, it was felt that they would not be able to hold the fort and therefore he ordered an evacuation of Fort Ticonderoga. Many felt this was a cowardly act and he later faced a Court Martial, however his intent appeared to be to save his troops, rather than have them killed in a battle that could not have been won. The Evacuation of Ticonderoga took place July 5-6, 1777. Ambrose Hill probably was not at the fort, but was with troops sent there to assist them. After taking Fort Ticonderoga, the British advanced overland southward. This was a difficult march because of the tremendous amount of supplies they were carrying and the rugged nature of this wilderness they traveled through. The Colonial troops were able to slow their march even further by creating diversions and destroying the roads in their path.

Part of the Colonial Troops went east into Vermont, and Ambrose was probably with these. The next term of service listed for him was as Captain in Aaron Rowley’s Company, Col. David Rosseter’s detachment of Berkshire Co. militia, serving from August 13, 1777 to August 20, 1777, 7 days at Bennington. They would have joined troops from Ticonderoga and fought in the Battle of Bennington, Vermont August 16, 1777, where they defeated the Hessian forces. David Rossiter, Aaron Rowley and other officers of the Berkshire militia became quite famous.

The battles at Stillwater, where Burgoyne eventually surrendered, took place in late September and into October of 1777. A “Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution” reference would indicate Ambrose did not serve long enough to be involved at Stillwater, however a DAR letter indicated he served 6 months as orderly Sargent under Aaron Rowley, which would have extended through the entire time of the events at Stillwater. After the Surrender of Burgoine at Saratoga, the Berkshire units broke up and the soldiers joined various other regiments.

At some period during the War, Ambrose served in the army in the State of New Jersey and Lucy thought that was as Captain and that he was there in a battle.

As Captain 11th Co. 3d Berkshire Co. Regt. Of Mass. Militia, Ambrose was on a list of officers commissioned March 1778. Then as Captain in Lieut Col Miles Powell’s (Berkshire Co) Regit, he was engaged July 18, 1779 and discharged Aug 22, 1779, serving 1 month 10 days at New Haven, Connecticut, including 5 days (110 miles) travel home.

The Pension File indicated that Ambrose Hill was married at Goshen, Connecticut, October 10, 1764 to Lucia Beach. He died at Cornwall, Vermont in February 1816, and she was allowed a pension for his services on her application executed October 31, 1836, at which time she was a resident of Shoreham, Addison County, Vermont, aged “ninety years and upwards.”

While Ambrose was away serving in the war Lucy was at home with several small children. She stated in her deposition that “she was left at home in charge of her family consisting of six small children and that she underwent much fear and alarm in consequence of the Torris which were numerous in that part of Massachusetts where she resided.”

At the time of the Pension application, which was shortly after the Pension Act of July 4, 1836 was passed, Lucy was quite old and not able to remember the specific times of service. Apparently because of this, the application was delayed and other depositions taken to try to confirm the places and times of service. This all took considerable time and must have been quite an ordeal. A letter in the file dated January 26, 1837 stated, “I have made an unsuccessful search for the alleged service of Ambrose Hill as a sergeant in 1775, and as an adjutant in 1777. The name of his Captain in 1775 is not given, one thinks it was Porter.” They requested names of officers. He did serve 1 month 10 days as Captain in 1779 in Connecticut, July 1777 as sergeant in A. Rathbun’s Company 13 days and held a commission as Captain in March 1778. In June 1837, Lucy consented to receive a certificate for the amount which they said was allowed: 1 month 4 days as Captain, 15 days as Corporal, 6 months as sergeant. Apparently since no more specifics could be documented, she settled for a pension based on this time of service. It does appear from recollections of the family and others who made depositions that he would have served for much longer. The official certificate indicated service at Bunker Hill, Bennington and Saratoga.

(This information was taken from The Joseph Eggleston Family: Seven Generations from Joseph (d. 1767) of Stonington, Connecticut to Joseph (1885-1965) of Utah & Wyoming, Including Maternal Lines: Hill, Burgess, Titus, Sammis & Johnson, by Karen Eggleston Stark)

Sources of information:

History of Berkshire County, Massachusetts: with biographical sketches of its prominent men, Vol. 2 (Photo reproduction of original published: New York: J. B. Beers, 1885) (974.41 H 2hb) Rev. A. B. Whipple, Chapter XXV Town of Richmond, p. 481.

Katharine Huntington Annin, Richmond, Masachusetts: The story of a Berkshire town and its people, 1765-1965. (Richmond, Massachusetts: distributed by Richmond Civic Association, 1964) (974.411 RI H2a); History of Berkshire County

“Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution” Vol. 7, p. 865

Smith, H. P., History of Addison County, Vermont: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Company, 1886, p. 416-417. (974.35 H2s )

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Vol. 70 p. 54. Vol. 113 p. 134.

This was also published on the Golden Spike Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution website.

Seth Burgess, Revolutionary War Soldier & Patriot

Seth Burgess was born May 31, 1745 in Canterbury, Windham, Connecticut.  He died January 24, 1814 in Sempronius, Cayuga, New York. He was buried in the Kellogsville Cemetery in Sempronius in February 1814. He married Selinda Olive Cady about 1767. She was born November 16, 1748 in Windham County, Connecticut. She died August 20, 1837 in Sempronius, Cayuga, New York.

Seth Burgess served in the Revolutionary War from Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The early history of Berkshire County parallels the history of the Revolution. In its earliest days there were stirrings of rebellion and the residents of Berkshire were very involved. In 1777 it was voted that in order to encourage enlistment in the Continental Army, a bounty of $10 would be assessed to anyone refusing to serve. Later, in August 1777, it was voted that if any one drafted to serve should refuse to march or to get a substitute, he would be fined $40. This money was to help pay the soldiers. Seth Burgess apparently took the option to serve in the Army.

Continue reading

Cemetery Tour – Kinne Cemetery and the Open Vault

Ron Eggleston made a trip this summer to upstate New York where his branch of the Eggleston family lived, died and many are buried. He explored the Kinne Cemetery where he found family headstones.

Grave of Asa Eggleston (ll) in Old Kinne Cemetery, Antwerp NY

Grave of Asa Eggleston (ll) in Old Kinne Cemetery, Antwerp NY


Grave marker for John Mitchell Eggleston and his two wives, Old Kinne Cemetery, Antwerp

Grave marker for John Mitchell Eggleston and his two wives, Old Kinne Cemetery, Antwerp

Monument of Joel and Sophia Eggleston and three of their children, Old Kinne Cemetery

Monument of Joel and Sophia Eggleston and three of their children, Old Kinne Cemetery











Ron found an open vault there in the cemetery, which stirred his curiosity. His inquiry led to a family story, which had inspired some local folklore and creepy activities. Details of this story were found in a newspaper article in the Commercial Advertiser of Canton, N.Y. dated Tuesday, July 11, 1916. This article was titled: “Mystery of Open Vault: Gruesome Night in Northern New York Cemetery”

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Finding Leonard, son of Nathan and Laura

It never ceases to amaze me how a simple question can lead to the discovery of a whole family


In August 2014, I received an email from Jill in Cornwall, England asking about some Eggleston deeds that I had posted on the Cayuga County, New York Genweb page that she had not been able to access. I was going through a family crisis at the time, so neglected to respond to her for a few months. When I finally did, I asked her which Egglestons she was hoping to connect to these deeds. Her response sent me on a quest. The result of this collaborative effort with Jill resulted in what I believe is an expansion of the family tree and possible solution to a mystery.

Jill was trying to find information about Leonard Eggleston, who was the son of Nathan Eggleston and Laura. This family had lived in Auburn, Cayuga County for some time. These names jumped out at me. I had listed a Leonard Eggleston among the mystery Egglestons at the end of my book. (P. 649-650) I first found mention of a Leonard Eggleston in the records of the First Baptist Church of Marcellus, which was in neighboring Onondaga County. He was on lists of Church members, one dated 1849.

MBC 003 MBC 004









There was also a Laura Eggleston mentioned in those same church records. Laura had joined the church by letter in 1817. The records did not say from where or when she came to Marcellus. Oliver Eggleston joined the church about the same time. Oliver later had difficulties with the church because of foul language. Giving testimony about these allegations were his brothers Nathaniel and Edward and also Laura Eggleston. Edward and his wife Sybil lived in various towns in Cayuga County. Continue reading

Harvey Burgess – Disabled War of 1812 Veteran

What an unexpected surprise to learn that Harvey Burgess, father of Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston, not only served in the War of 1812, but was injured and left somewhat disabled for the rest of his life.

I recently joined the Daughters of the American Revolution, using Seth Burgess as my Patriot ancestor. His service in the Revolution was documented in the Joseph Eggleston book. In the process of documenting family relationships and birth and death places, the DAR registrar found in the newly digitized War of 1812 Pension Files this new information.

Harvey Burgess, the son of Seth Burgess, was living in Sempronius, New York at the time of the War of 1812. He apparently enlisted with some other men from Sempronius, including his brother-in-law Stephen Carroll. He served from August to October 1812. Continue reading