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.

 

Records of the Stillwater, New York Baptist Church

Somewhere along my genealogy journey, I acquired a microfilm of the records of the Stillwater, New York Baptist Church from the American Baptist Historical Society. I went through the microfilm and transcribed parts of the records. The following are excerpts from the records:

Organization of the Stillwater Baptist Church

The Stillwater Baptist Church was organized in 1781.

In the Course of Providence we was [in] this wilderness land destitute of a Preacher for the most part in livily unacquaintance with true religion or Gods love in the sou. And as God was Pleased in his Providence to direct the steps of his servant Beriah Keele into the part of the land to preach the Gospel of peace amongst us. And out of self moving motives God was pleased to bless his labours and as an instrument in his hand made him useful of opening the Eyes and understanding of some ( ) to hear a preached gospel. And by the pouring out of his spirit caused a number to become acquainted as we humbly hope and believe to the saving knowledge of the love of god in their souls. Then M. Keele thought it his duty for some or other to move away and leave us which he did for space of about fifteen months. Then it pleased God to move in his mind to visit again in Company with Elder Joseph Cornel of Man[chester] in August 1781 the Inhabitants of this place being disposed to M. Keele Did give him a call to come again and settle with us as a publick imporver of the [ ]
Then M. Keele attending on a meeting with us on Day the 19th of August 1781 Elder Cornel being present in mercy was pleased to summons up and bring [ ] following persons to own him and his cause and[ ]The world by following him in his Examples being [ ] ordinances of the gospel and being in fellowship with (each) other and with Elder Cornel went forward with and come under his and the care and watch of the [church] at Manchester.

Persons Names first went forward
Lemuel Taylor, Ephraim Woodworth, Exekiel Sayles, John [ ]

 

Conference met according to the former appointment. Elder attended with us opened meeting by Prayer 1ly Elder Enquiring for our fellowship found the same union as at first then come forwards the following persons told what god done for their souls being fellowshipt went forwards in the ordinances and joined with us. Persons names went forwards
Gabriel Strang
Sarah Sayles
Caty Strang
Mary Green
Kaziah Keele

On Nov 20, 1781 In the course of Providence Elder Cornell was directed over to visit us in Nov. following at a conference with us on Wednesday 28th Instant at the house of Ezekiel Sayales opened meeting by prayer. Elder Enquired how we [ ] in our minds and found the union to them then come forwards the following persons told the travail their minds being fellowshipt went forward in the ordinances of the gospel and joined with us

Persons Names went forwards
Rodah Titus
Hannah Bryan
Lois Richman

At a meeting the next day but one being 4-2 day of March [1782] at the house of James Fremans, Come forward the following persons gave declaration of there experience being fellowshipt went forwards and joined with us.—-Persons Names went forwards
Gideon Freeman
Stephen Freeman
Phebe Freeman
Mary Freeman

A Conference Meeting met at the Meethinghouse on Thursday 16 Day of May opened meeting by Prayer Enquired for the fellowship found it to remain good as at first to our Joy and Rejoicing—Then Procceded to enquire of the and sisters how their minds was concerning being set apart as a Church to which all that it was their mind and desire and thought it duty to be set apart as a Church. Then Proceeded to send to the Church at Manchester Desiring to have faithful Brethren for God and his Cause come over as a church. . .

Conference met according to appointment opened meeting by Prayer then come forwards the following persons declared what the Lord had Done for there souls being fellowshipt went forwards and joined with us. Persons Names went forwards
Peter Clements
William Robbins
George Edmonds
Elizabeth Collins
Caty Cool
Anne Clements
Freelove Chatfield

Now agreeable to the former appointment of the Baptist Church of Christ at Manchester being arrived at this place the Bro and sisters having appointed this Day as a Day of fasting & prayer to almightly God for his Presence and Directions in seting apart a Church of christ in this place.
The aforessaid Brethren and Sisters Proceeded by prayer and [sing]ing and by subscruibing to the following Articles and Covenant there were then by Elder Joseph Cornel by and with the advice and assistance of a number of Brethren then present disf as a Gospel Church of Jesus Christ.
To whom the said Elder gave a Solemn Charge to be faithful in loving one another and to watch of each other in the of God for good.
In Presence of
Elder Joseph Cornel
Benjamin Vaughan
Jacob Odle
Nathaniel Boon

(Note: Organization of the West Church about June 3rd 1782 meetings were already standing)

Church Articles of Faith

1st We believe the lord our God is but only one living true god whose substance is in and of himself infinite of being and perfection whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but by himself a most pure spirit invisible and we are to take heed to our selves that we draw no manner of (tom-tude) of the almighty who only hath immortality dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto who is immutable, Immense, Eternal Incomprehensible the almighty according to

2nd We believe in one Mediator between god and man the man Christ Jesus who tasted Death for every man and that all that believe in him shall be saved according to Jon 10.9, Heb [ ], firs epistle Jn 2 & 2

3rd We believe in the fall of man and of sin and the punishment then of according to gm 2:17, Ch 3:22 Mat 25.46, Luke 16.2

4th We believe in gods Covenant wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ according to Mat Mark [ ]

5th We believe in the Doctrine of Election of grace in Christ and in the perseverance of saints to the end acct to Rom 9:11, Jn 6.39:40

6th We believe in unfeigned Repentance from Dead works and faith towards god wrought by the Diving Spirit acct to

7th We believe such Persons ought to be Baptized confession acct to

8th We believe that such persons should be pray[ful] [ ] laying on of hands accord to Gens 40:14 Acts 2:17 ch 19 2 Tim 4 1:6

9th We believe such persons being in union ought to meet together to partake of the bread and wine in Remembrance of christs broken body and that they Examine themselves and eat of that bread and Drink of the Cup acct to

10th We believe in the Resurrection of the Dead both of the just and the unjust acct to

11th We believe that we shall all appear before the judgement seat of our lord Jesus Christ to give an account for the (deeds) done in the body and that the Righteous shall then enter into life Eternal and that the wicked shall go into E[—ing] punishment acct to

12th We believe that the old and New Testaments is the only [ ] given to the Church of God by the spirit for there faith and practice acct to

13th We believe that Every Person before they are Received into [the] church ought to Declare unto the church what God had [done] for their soul and when the church is satisfied that they [be] received. But notwithstanding if any one brother or [sister] is dissatisfied the Church shall not Receive the person until they Examin unto the matter and cause of the objection acct to

14th We believe that brother ought not to go to law with [ ] but that secular controversies as well as all doctrine [ ] Delivered in Publick or private ought to be settled by the Church acct to

15th We believe that it is the duty of Christians acco[ ] several abilities to communicate of their substance both for the support of the Gospel and the necessary use of the Church and the Relief of the Poor acct to

16th We believe that it is the Duty of Christians to observe the Sabbath Day and to avoid all Servile labour on said day and to assemble together to worship god according to the directions of the holy scriptures also to maintain and practice Prayer in their families acct to

The Covenant

We whose names are hereunto subscribed doth fully freely and absolutely agree to the above said articles and we do by these Presents covenant to give ourselves up to god and to each other in the [faith] of the lord to watch over each other for good as witness our hands

Lemuel Tayler                                        Sarah Sayles
John Carpenter                                     Caty Strang
Ephraim Woodworth                             Mary Green
Ezekiel Sayles                                        Kaziah Keele (dead)
Benjamin Collins                                   Rodah Titus
Beriah Keele                                          Hannah Bryan
Gabriel Strang                                       Lois Richman
Gideon Freeman                                   Mary Freeman
Stephen Freeman                                 Elizabeth Collins
Peter Clements                                     Caty Cool
William Robbins                                   Anne Clements
George Edmonds                                 Freelove Chatfield

The Church being set apart as a Politic body to as God and them selves Made choice of brother Ezekiel Sayles for Clerk of the Church.

Background on the Formation of this Church

It appears that this church, like others, started with a group of people joining together to worship and being led by lay leadership. Eventually, through the help of ministers of other Baptist Churches in the area, a formal church was then organized. At the time of organization, Articles of Faith were written which outlined the beliefs of the church. Though there were many similarities and the same general beliefs stated in the Articles of Faith of the various churches, each could express unique emphasis on particular doctrine or practices. Following the Articles of Faith was a stated “Covenant” which was then signed by the members of the church. This was an agreement by all signing that they accepted and would abide by these Articles of Faith and Practice. Those joining the church later by baptism, would then covenant to accept and abide by these Articles as well.

Beriah Kelle was the first lay leader of this Stillwater Church. After some time the church members wished to have him formally ordained to the ministry. A conference was scheduled with leaders of other area churches, but upon meeting it was learned that Br. Kelle was still a member of another Church and so could not be ordained at that time. He was later dismissed from Elder Drake’s church and ordained as Elder of the Stillwater church. In 1789, complaints were made against Elder Kelle by several members of the congregation.

There was a lengthy investigation, calling for assistance from leaders of area churches including some congregational churches as well as the Baptist churches. Some of the accusers later recanted their accusations, but others stood and eventually Brother Kelle was disfellowshiped. Instructions were given that any continuing to fellowship Brother Kelle would also be disfellowshipped. Some did continue with him and were later disfellowshiped.

The Two Stillwater Churches Merge

Brother Kelle’s disfellowship left this church without a leader. It was then decided that they would join with another Baptist church in Stillwater, known as the East Baptist Church or Elder Lemuel Power’s church. Apparently this original church of Elder Kelle’s was known to them as the West Baptist Church.

In September 1790 Samuel Rogers, Seth Burgess and Ezekiel Sayles were appointed to rewrite the Articles of Faith. Apparently Seth Burgess was a member of Elder Power’s church and Ezekiel Sayles had been with this Stillwater Church since it’s beginning, serving as clerk much of the time. Samuel Rogers is referred to as Elder and the meeting at which the churches were merged was held at his home.

In merging these two churches there would have been a merging of the Articles of Faith, which was what this committee, with representation of both churches, was appointed to do. We do not have access to Elder Power’s original Articles or the revised version. A meeting was held December 25, 1790, at which time the two churches were officially merged “receiving each other in gospel fellowship and do consider ourselves for the future but one church” and “every member that have formerly belonged to both church that are now in good standing by consideration in this union.” At that time, the revised Articles of Faith were accepted and Ezekiel Sayles was chosen Clerk of the Church with Elder Lemuel Powers continuing as its pastor. The Record Book has a new title page: “United Baptist Church Book in the town of Stillwater United Dec. 25, 1790.”

Lemuel Powers served for some time but eventually had his own scandal and was likewise disfellowshipped. Many of his family members migrated to Sempronius and joined with former members of the Stillwater Church there.

There was a Saratoga Baptist Association, which appears to have been organized around 1805. A list of churches belonging to this Association was included in the Stillwater Church records. Among them were the Bottskill Church which withdrew from the organization in 1830, the Stillwater Church which united with the organization in 1814, and Churches in Kingsbury, Saratoga, Halfmoon, Salem, Galway, Greenfield, Ft. Ann and others. The Stillwater Church records mention many of these churches and their leaders. There appears to have been a close association between the Stillwater Church and the Bottskill Church with mention in records of both of visits from the others ministers and conferences.

Notes:

The yellow highlights are my doing, indicating names I was familiar with and other things that seemed significant to me at the time. The explanatory information at the end of this post was taken from an appendix of 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)

Church lists and other information from the records will be shared in future posts.

Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston

Early Life of Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston

Lurania Powers Burgess, daughter of Mary (Polly) Titus and Harvey Burgess was born August 15, 1808 in Sempronius, Cayuga County, New York. Her father Harvey’s family can be traced back to Thomas Burges, an early resident of Plymouth, Massachusetts and the Hopkins family of the Mayflower. Her Mother Mary’s parents came from Long Island where their ancestors were early colonial residents.

The Burgess and Titus familles migrated from Stillwater, Saratoga, County New York to Sempronius, Cayuga County about the same time and quite possibly together. A History of Cayuga county mentions the Burgess family coming in 1796, and being one of the first families to settle Sempronius. Mary’s father Jonas Titus died in 1795 in Stillwater, and his widow and children probably came shortly after that. Both of these families were members of the Baptist church in Stillwater and are listed as original members of the First Baptist Church of Sempronius. The two families were neighbors in Sempronius and probably were very close as Harvey and Mary grew up together in both Stillwater and Sempronius. Harvey Burgess and Mary (Polly) Titus were married in Sempronius around 1802. Lurania was the third of their eleven children.

Skaneateles Lake

Sempronius, Cayuga County is in the finger lakes area of northern New York. It consists of hilly country nestled in between Oswaco and Skaneateles Lakes. The area was largely settled after the Revolutionary War. It was part of what was known as the Military Tract, which consisted of land given by the government to Veterans of the Revolutionary War, though the majority of Veterans given land never lived there. The Burgess and Titus families came as pioneers to this new settlement.

Lurania grew up in this small new frontier town where her extended family made up a large portion of the initial population. Her grandfather Seth Burgess had the first tavern in the area, which probably served as a community as well as family gathering place during Lurania’s early childhood. The first school was in a log building on the Titus farm, belonging to one of Lurania’s uncles. Later a school was built on her cousin Byron Burgess’ land. Lurania may have attended this school in her early years, but most likely attended a newer school built in 1815 at Sayles Corners near her home. The first Town Officers of Sempronius included Lurania’s grandfather and uncle.

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2001 An Eggleston Genealogy Odyssey Part 5 – Marcellus, New York

Our 2001 Eggleston Genealogy Odyssey continued in Marcellus, New York, which turned out to be a goldmine. Not only were we able to walk around the area where Samuel and Rebecca Eggleston migrated in the early 1800’s, but we found precious Church records mentioning many family members.

After leaving the Kellogsville Cemetery for the second time the morning of Friday August 10th, we drove back up and around Skaneateles Lake. On the east side of the lake are very large homes along the lakefront. Then we turned and went up the hill further east to find farms.

The Rosehill/Thornhill/Marcellus Baptist Church

Rosehill Baptist Church

We drove past some cornfields and found the Thornhill Church (It is now called Rosehill Baptist Church-that is what is on the sign) on the corner. It is an old white frame building with a tower and steeple in front. I learned from histories that it was built in 1849, with the tower added later. The windows are large and rectangular with a row of different colored stained glass panes around the large rectangles.

Inside the church smelled old and musty. The door was open but we found no one inside. The chapel is obviously the original part of the building but there are additions. These included a kitchen, an area where they had copy machines and a very recent addition of a large recreation hall. (The Pastor seemed quite proud of this new addition.)

I had contacted Pastor Olcott before our trip. He told us that there were early records of the church and we were welcome to visit and look at them. We saw a phone in the front entry of the church and I was going to call the Pastor, but it rang and was picked up at their home next door.

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2001 An Eggleston Genealogy Odyssey Part 4 – Sempronius, New York

A continuation of the 2001 Eggleston Genealogy trip with my Father to places where our ancestors had lived. Part 4 is our visit to Sempronius, New York.

Cayuga County

After our fruitless Cemetery searching in Springwater, New York, we visited some L.D.S. Church History sites in Western New York. Then we drove toward Cayuga County. As we came into the village of Skaneateles we saw the Lake View Cemetery right there by the lake. The village of Skaneateles is quite quaint with nice homes, especially those along the lake. There are boat docks and it appears to be quite a recreational or resort area. We drove down the west side of the lake, which is in Cayuga County. The lake is not very wide, but is long and we drove quite a while south. It was now cloudy and threatening rain, but was also cooling off.

New Hope

Map of Niles. The area marked New Hope is near where Thomas Marsh lived. Toward the bottom is “Kellogsville” which is just north of the Burgess land and the Kellogsville Cemetery, which are on the Sempronius map below.

I had some maps, so we went directly to the New Hope Cemetery. We looked around and saw lots of Cadys, but unfortunately we don’t know which Cadys are related to Selinda Olive Cady Burgess.

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2001 An Eggleston Genealogy Odyssey – Part 3 Western New York

A continuation of the account of my journey with my Dad in 2001 when we visited sites significant to Eggleston genealogy. This Part 3 was in the Western part of New York August 8-9, 2001.

After leaving Nauvoo, Illinois we spent some time in Kirtland, Ohio. The Egglestons did not live there, but the Cheneys did. Dad and I did not do anything specifically related to Eggleston genealogy, so for the purposes of the blog, I will move on to Western New York.

We left Kirtland about 3:30 in the afternoon on August 8th. In Erie, Pennsylvania there was an accident, then road construction slowed us. We got off the freeway to get gas then seeing how backed up it was decided to try an alternate route. Later we managed to get back to the freeway and it was a little better. We split from the expressway as it entered New York. Then we took the southern route through Chautuaqua county.

Drive Through Chautauqua County

I was excited to see this area. I had done a good deal of research into family members who went to Chautuaqua County, New York. We didn’t stop because we were detoured around construction, so we really didn’t know where to go. We just drove around Chuatuaqua Lake which is pretty. I tried to take a picture from the moving vehicle, but it didn’t really capture it.

Chautauqua Lake

The country here was rolling hills and it appeared to be good farming land. We then drove on the Southern route through the Allegheny mountains. I hadn’t realized that New York had such mountains.

It was getting late and I was looking for a campground as we drove. We found the Sun Valley Campground near Arkport, New York. It was getting dark as we pulled in and we couldn’t find anyone in the office, so we just found a spot, then registered later. There weren’t restaurants around, so we zapped some microwave dinners. We planned to visit Springwater in the morning.

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Samuel Eggleston Utah Pioneer

Samuel Eggleston

Early Life of Samuel Eggleston in New York

Samuel Eggleston, son of Samuel & Elizabeth Hill Eggleston was born March 30, 1804 in Marcellus, Onondaga County, New York. He wrote a brief autobiography which states:

“I lived in the town of Marcellus until I was 13 years old, then my father, with his family, then moved into the town of Springwater, Livingston County, state of New York. My brothers and sisters numbered ten in family. I lived with my father until I was 19 years old, then I went to live with my brother-in-law to learn the tanner’s trade. I lived with them until I was 23 years old . . .”

Samuel’s father came to Marcellus in the early 1800’s with his parents and other family members. He bought a piece of land bordering Skaneateles Lake. He sold this land in 1817 which was the time that the family moved to Springwater.

Samuel’s mother, Elizabeth Hill Eggleston, also known as Betsy, died in 1823 in Springwater. Some of the children were still quite young at the time of her death. Samuel was about 19 years old. It was around this time that Samuel went back to the area where he had grown up. His older sister Lucy had married Thomas Marsh and they were living in Sempronius, across the lake from Marcellus. Samuel’s obituary indicates that it was Thomas Marsh with whom he lived for 4 years, from age 19 to 23. He learned the tanner’s trade from Thomas Marsh.

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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

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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.

Madison

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