The First Christmas in Jackson Hole

The First Christmas in Jackson Hole was celebrated with elk steaks, doughnuts fried in bear grease, music and dancing.

The Wilson & Cheney Families

Sylvester Wilson had settled in Emery County, Utah in 1877 at a place that became known as Wilsonville. After almost 12 years in this drought stricken area, Sylvester Wilson decided to move and start again somewhere else.

Sylvester Wilson

Sylvester Wilson

Mary Wood Wilson

Mary Wood Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sylvester and his family left Wilsonville at the end of May 1889. The group included Sylvester and his wife Mary, 9 unmarried children (the youngest being three) and two married children and their families. Mary Alice had married Selar Cheney August 10, 1879. They had four children, but one died before they left. Ervin had married Mary Jane Davis June 26, 1888 and she was expecting their first child as they left. Their son James was born September 12 in St. Anthony, Idaho.

The family left Wilsonville with 5 sturdy wagons and about 80 head of cattle. They also had at least 20 race horses, which Sylvester had taken as partial payment on their Wilsonville property. The trip to St. Anthony, Idaho was over 400 miles. They averaged about 10 miles per day, trailing their livestock.

Stopping in Idaho

On July 23, 1889 they stopped at Salem, now Sugar City, Idaho, where Sylvester’s brothers, Elijah Nicholas and Henry were living. Nick had gone to Jackson Hole to help some bachelors put up hay.

After visiting a day or two, they moved on to what is now called St. Anthony, Idaho. There were not many settlers there at that time and only one building. They got logs for a house and had it up to the square. They had been looking around but could find no hay for their cattle that winter.

The Wilson boys went for a load of logs, which took two days. They made their camp that night and were getting supper over the camp fire when a man came along and asked if he could camp with them. They made him welcome and after they talked for a while, he asked them their names. He happened to be their Uncle Nick Wilson.

Elijah Nicholas Wilson "Uncle Nick"

Elijah Nicholas Wilson “Uncle Nick”

Nick had just came back from Jackson Hole, and not having seen them for several years did not know who they were until they told them. He stayed in camp and visited a day or so with them. He told them there was plenty of native hay in Jackson Hole and that they could go over and put it up, and then the boys could drive the cattle over and feed them that winter, and take them back out in the spring.

The Journey to Jackson Hole

Mary, Sylvester’s wife, had heard erroneous tales about outlaws coming to Jackson Hole to hide out. She was concerned about her boys being left to the mercy of the bad men. Therefore a few days later, Nick with Sylvester and his boys, John, George and Charlie started with the running gears of a wagon and their pack horses and saddle horses toward Jackson Hole. Sylvester’s daughter, Rebecca, and Uncle Nick’s daughter, Kate, went along to cook for the men.

They left their cattle grazing at a place near St. Anthony, then called Hog Hollow. Ervin, Elias and Selar Cheney stayed to tend the cattle until they were ready to be driven over.

When they brought the wagon as far as the mountain, they had to take it apart. They took two wheels over at a time and cut trees out of the way as they went.

Bringing all the Familes Over Teton Pass

In October, when the hay crop was up in Jackson Hole, the men, Rebecca and Kate all returned to Idaho to move their families to Jackson Hole Country.

Uncle Nick and family decided to move to Jackson Hole with Sylvester’s family. They came to St. Anthony, and with them they had their married daughter, Louise, and her two little boys. They had two covered wagons while Ervin had one and Selar Cheney one.

When they arrived near the mountain, they stacked their flour, grain and such things as would be excess weight, near the trail and built a crib around it and covered it to protect it from animals and the weather until they could return for them with pack horses.

They started their journey over the pass on October 18, 1889. They had to chop trees down along the trail until it was wide enough for the wagons to pass through. The western slope over these mountains was so steep that it required six horses to pull a wagon to the top of the pass. Blazing the road as they went along was very hard work and they did not get very far in one day. When they got to the top of the mountain, they cut large trees and tied one to the back of each wagon and put a roughlock on and let them down as carefully as possible. Theirs were the first covered wagons to come over the Teton Pass.

It took two weeks to make the journey over Teton Pass and they arrived in Jackson Hole on November 11, 1889. They returned to bring their food supply over the pass later on horseback.

The Jackson Hole Community in 1889

Jackson Hole was then a unsettled region to which they were almost the first comers. Billy Green owned the Slough Grass Ranch at that time and Martin Nelson helped him put his hay up. Martin Nelson and his wife, Betty, and four year old daughter, Cora, had come to the country in July.

Mrs. Nelson was the first white woman to come to that country to settle. Rebecca and Kate Wilson were the next white women in the country.

The Nelson family and the friendly bachelor population of 40 graciously welcomed the Wilson and Cheney families. Being so late in the season, there was no time before winter set in to cut logs and build homes. Mr. Karns, who had just completed his new house and moved in, offered Sylvester and his family his old two room cabin to live in. Will Crawford shared his home with Uncle Nick’s family and Louise and children. John Cherry graciously opened his home to Ervin Wilson and his family.

The following is a list of the people that were there in 1889 to 1900: John Holland, Joe Enfinger, Billy Green, Dick Turpin, Robert Miller, Jack Hicks, Adolph Miller, John Cherry, Mike Detwiler, Andy Madson, Mose Giltner, Brig and Hyrum Adams, Bill Crawford, Pierce and Fred Cunningham, Ed Hunter, Mr. Lefler Scotty, John Karns, and Indian wife, Martin Nelson and wife Betty and children Cora and William, Nick Wilson and wife, Matilda, and children Louise and two boys, Joseph and Earl, Nick Jr., Kate, Etta, Olive, Fanny, Henry, Nellie, and Ray. Sylvester Wilson and wife, Mary, and children John, George, Charles, Elias, Ella, Joseph and Melvina. Selar Cheney and wife, Alice, and children Sylvester, Ralph, and David. Ervin Wilson and wife Mary Jane and baby James. (Account in First Families Into Jackson Hole has typed in these additional names: Emil and Marie Wolff, Judge Falkner, Robert Tobe, Tom Deer, Hamilton Wort, Swede Jackson, John Scott, and Stephen N. Leek)

The First Christmas in Jackson Hole

The first winter was a pleasant one and yet a hard one. Their milk cows perished and they lived the most part on Elk meat and water gravy. During the long winter nights they burned a piece of twisted cloth soaked in Elk tallow. This light was called a “bitch” light.

On Christmas all the residents gathered at Will Crawford’s home for a feast and celebration. Each household contributed their share of the victuals of elk steaks, roast wild geese and ducks, vegetables, plum pudding, mince pies and delicious doughnuts fried in bear grease, which also makes delicious pie crust.

After a wonderful dinner, the dishes were washed and the floors cleared for dancing. The orchestra was composed of violins, a banjo and one guitar. The violins were played by Selar Cheney, Sylvester Wilson, Nick Wilson, John Karns, and John Holland. Brig Adams played his banjo and Andy played his guitar. They took their places in one corner of the room, partners were chosen and the dance was on. Since there was a scarcity of lady partners, the men would choose partners from their own sex and then everybody would dance.

Supper was served during a brief intermission at midnight, and in the morning they ate breakfast before departing for their homes. They never traveled after night in those days as the roads were not good. Everyone enjoyed themselves and had a wonderful time.

cabin similar to where the first Christmas in Jackson Hole was celebrated

Selar and Mary Alice Wilson Cheney by their home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The cabin where the first Christmas was celebrated would have been similar

Sources:

I combined several accounts which are all in my book: Cheney Wilson Family History Book. Those accounts and sources for them include:

“First Settlers of Jackson Hole” by Melvina Edna Wilson Robertson 1946

The First Families into Jackson Hole (compilation)

“The Early History of the Sylvester Wilson Family and the History of Wilsonville” by Byron J. Wilson, 1989.

Legacy of the Tetons: Homesteading in Jackson Hole by Candy Vyvey Moulton, Boise, Idaho: Tamarac Books 1994.

“Sylvester Wilson’s Life” by Melvina Edna Wilson Robertson & Brothers & Sisters “History of Sylvester Wilson-First Settler of Jackson Hole” (DUP)

“A Sketch of Sylvester Wilson’s Life” compiled by Melvina Edna Wilson Robertson (DUP)

“The Sylvester Wilson Family Roots in Jackson’s Hole”, by Joyce Imeson Lewis, Presented at “Researcher’s Rendezvous” sponsored by Teton County Library, August 15, 1990 by Judity Rosbrook Anderson.

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

 

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

Vedia Eggleston’s Postcards from Nearby Places

Postcards were an easy and inexpensive way to keep in touch with family and friends in a time when there were few telephones and no internet. In the early 20th Century they were like Social Media, sharing bits of news and often short messages in between longer letters. They were written on postcards showing familiar scenes or with simple greetings. Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard Book contained postcards from nearby places where friends and family lived. Other postcards from places further away are shared in another post.

Some from Home in Afton, Wyoming:

Taqbernacle, Afton, Wyoming

This is the Tabernacle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Afton, Wyoming, Vedia’s home town.

Postcards Afton, Wyoming

Vedia to sister Connie Dewey

Vedia sent this card to her sister Connie Dewey who was living in Tremonton, Utah. On the front of the card, which appears to be the same photograph as the card above, Vedia indicated that this “bird’s eye view of Afton” did not show their house. The message (above) includes news from home and her hopes that her sister would come home for the holidays.

Afton, Wyoming

Postcards to and from places in Utah:

Connie sent this card from Tremonton to Vedia when she was in Salt Lake City in April 1909.

Connie to Vedia in SLC

 

Tremonton

This card showing a photograph of the Wandemere Resort in Salt Lake City. It was mailed from Metropolis, Nevada to Vedia who was in Deweyville, Utah.

Wandemere Resort SLC

to Vedia in Deweyville from Nev

This card was sent to Vedia from a friend who had moved to Hooper, Utah. Hooper was and still is a rather small town. It appears from what is printed on the back that they had postcards printed by a company that did international cards.

Postcard greetings from Hooper

Greetings from Hooper

These cards show scenes from Ogden, Utah.

Vedia from Ogden

Postcards Washington Ave Ogden, Utah

 

Postcards Weber Academy Ogden, Utah

 

 Postcards from Idaho

This card was postmarked from Malad, Idaho and sent to Afton, Wyoming. It has a photograph of the Post Office in Ogden, Utah.

Ogden card from Malad

Ogden Post Office

These cards were sent to Vedia who was in Deweyville, Utah by her sister Rae who was in Malad, Idaho. It is interesting that one has a photograph from San Francisco.

Rae to Vedia

 

Rae to Vedia 2

 

Hotel Sutter, San Francisco

 

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.

Orson Hyde Eggleston’s Journal of the Settling of Afton Wyoming Part 3

Orson Hyde Eggleston journaled his experience of the settling of Afton Wyoming. Part three covers March to May 1886.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P. 18

Sunday March 21st 86

Attended meeting after the usual opening exercises and the Sacrament being past I occupied a portion of the time and spoke of the necessity of keeping the commandments of the Lord and the benefits derived therefrom. The snow is now about 2 feet deep.

Sunday 28th 1886

The past week has been more or less stormy. The fore part was nice and warm. Today we had a good meeting most of the time occupied by the young men bearing testimony. Weather warm.

Monday March 29th

Today Bro. Cazier and me went over to Grant Campbells on a visit and stayed over night we stopped on the road over and took dinner with Fred Brown and Jas Dinsdale we enjoyed ourselves first-rate and returned home next day. Weather warm and clear snow about 22 inches deep.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P. 19

Monday March 1st 86

This morning the sky was cloudy and continued so during the day. We spent the day reading the news from home and the papers.

Tuesday 2nd 1886

This morning there was a light fall of snow on the ground.

Wednesday 3rd 86

This morning we hitched up and drove over to John Phillip and made a visit till most evening when we drove back [?] miles to Hans Nelsons and stayed over night.

Thursday March 4th 86

This morning we hitched up and drove over to James Jensens and visited him. Stayed with him over night and next day came home.

Sunday 7th 86

Today attended meeting, time mostly occupied by the young brethren bearing testimony followed by Prest. Cazier.

Saturday March 13th 86

Today was windy and blustery but not cold. In the afternoon I hitched up my team and took Chas Cazier, Sant Cazier, Isaac Bigler and Ted Oa over to Bro Grant Campbells on their way to Bennington to take the mail. I stayed overnight with Merrick Welk. Returned home Sunday evening.

 

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P. 20

Wednesday Mar 31st 86

Sky clear and weather warm. Today I sent my horses over to Moroni Hunts today for a week to be fed.

Tuesday April 6th 86

This morning about 8 o’clock Bro. Wm Treasure, Arthur B. Clark Joe Hurd & myself started for the north end of the valled on snow shoes distance 9 miles to visit Ben Welch. We arrived about noon at Welches and took dinner having a splended appetite after dinner Bro. Clark came back to Money Welches about 3 miles, Bro Hurd left us on the way down and went to Money Welches, Bro. Treasure and me stayed with Ben till Friday morning. We had considerable sport in hunting and trapping geese. We killed 2 and catched 2 in traps on Thursday morning I killed a goose the first one I ever shot at. Friday morning we went to Money Welches where we stopped till Saturday afternoon when Bro. Treasure and me came on up to Bro. Semburgs where we stopped over night.

Sunday April 11th 86

This morning we come back home feeling well and attended meeting. I ocupied a portion of the time. The rest was occupied by Bro. J. C. Stephens, Treasure and Prest. Cazier. I wrote a letter home and in the afternoon Bro. Stephens started for Ogden going to Montpielier on snow shoes in company with Wm Cazier and John Hurd.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P. 21Tuesday April 13th 86

Today was the birthday of Lizzie Hurd and Hattie Cazier the former being 17 the other 16 years old. I invited them to come to the tent and cook a birthday dinner which they done and we invited in Bro. and Sister Cazier, Bro. Dixon, Wm Treasure Mary Clark and Ellen Cazier and we had a pleasant time and a good dinner.

Saturday April 17th 86

This afternoon Bro Hurd returned from Montpielier bring letters and a few papers for the people here. I received letters from home which informed me that my wife’s mother Elizabeth Stephens was dead. This evening we had quite a snow storm.

Sunday April 18th 86

This morning the storm came there being about 1 1/2 inches new snow.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P.22

April 27th 86

Today I moved my tent over on to the town site on my lot and spent the rest of the week in fixing up and hauling over the wood and done some plowing.

Saturday May 1st 86

Plowed some for A. B. Clark and he sowed some wheat the first sowed in the valley.

Sunday 2nd

Attended meeting and had a good time occupied a portion of the time myself.

Thursday May 6th 86

Today I commenced to build me a house. Bro. Henry Harmon having charge of the job. Chas Semberg assisting.

This week I done some plowing for myself about 2 1/4 acres.

Sunday May 9th 86

Attended meeting time occupied by Sincus Hale and his father and Prest. Cazier.

Tuesday May 11th

Today I planted some peas and next day some potatoes in a snow storm.

The journal ends at this point. Later Orson returned to Utah and brought his family to Star Valley. A summary of this journal account is included in The Joseph Eggleston Family: Seven Generations from Joseph (d.1767) of Stonington, Connecticut to Joseph (1885-1965) of Utah and Wyoming, pp. 416-417.

Orson Hyde Eggleston’s Journal of the Settling of Afton Wyoming Part 2

Orson Hyde Eggleston journaled his experience of the settling of Afton Wyoming. Part two covers January and February of 1886.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal p. 10

 Friday January 1st 1886

Spent the day at Bro.’s Fred Brown and James Dinsdale in company with Bro. Cazier and family. In the evening we attended a dance at Bro. Campbells which kept up till day light. Weather very cold.

Sunday Jan 3rd 86

Attended meeting spoke at some length on the gathering of Israel, was followed by Bro. Cazier.

Thursday Jan 7th 86

Attended Fast Meeting and testimony in connection with others had a very good meeting. Weather cold and clear about 8 inches of snow on the ground clouded up in the evening.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P. 11

Saturday Jan 9th 1886

Cloudy thermometer 6 o above zero. Cleared off during the day. Hauled two loads of wood.

Sunday 10th 86

Attended meeting time was ocupied by Bishop H. Dixon, Arthur Clark and Pres. Cazier. A good spirit preveiled. Prest. Cazier desired the young people to come round dancing to.

Monday Jan 11th 86

Weather quite frosty in the shade all day but pleasant in the sun. Abt 10:30 we started after wood and by 4 o’clock hauled 3 large loads of dry cottonwood from Swift Creek.

Tuesday 12th 86

Quite cold all day spent most of the day around home chopping wood.

Wednesday 13th 86

Not quite so cold 16 o above zero. weather fair.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal p. 12

 Sunday Jan 11th 86

Weather nice. Attended meeting. Wrote a letter home. Expecting it would go out in a day or 2.

Sunday Jan 22 86

Last Monday commenced snowing a little and continued to snow and rain alternately all the week. Snow about 9 inches deep on the 17th but increased to about 15 inches on Wednesday. The 20 it commenced blowing and we had a severe wind storm till about 2 o’clock next morning and on Friday evening the wind commenced blowing again and continued till about midnight in fact we had more or less wind all the week. In consequence of the storm and bad roads there was no meeting held today.

Tuesday 26th 86

Yesterday was a little stormy all day by spells. We hitched the team onto the sled and drove over to Bro. Dicksons. We saw about 50 deer on the side of the mountain north of Swift Creek. Spent most of the day cutting stove wood.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P. 13

Wednesday Jan 27th 1886

This forenoon was a little stormy till about noon then it cleared off. In the afternoon Bro. Arthur Clark came to our tent with his Dental instruments and took out [2 5?] roots and teeth from my mouth which took him about 45 minutes and charged me one dollar for it.

Thursday 28th 86

This morning the sky was nice and clear and quite warm the thermometer running up as high as [104?] in the sun.

Friday Jan 29th 1886

This morning the weather was warmer the sky cloudy. During the day it sprinkled snow a little till about dark, when it commenced snowing in good earnest and continued to snow and rain during the night.

Saturday 30th 86

This morning there was about an inch of new snow. The snow is now about 15 inches deep. Weather quite warm snow melting a bit cloudy. Commenced snowing a little about night, fell about one inch and quit.

Sunday Jan 31st 1886

Thermometer 28 o above zero clouds broken. Weather pleasant. Attended meeting which was addressed by A. B. Clark, Wm Treasure, Fred Brown, Prest. C. D. Cazier and myself. A good spirit prevailed.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal p. 14

Monday February 1st 1886

This morning there was about 2 1/2 inches of new snow and still snowing a little. About 10 a.m. it cleared off nice and warm the thermometer rose to [112?] in the sun. In the evening it clouded up and a little snow fell.

Tuesday Feb 2nd 1886

This morning the sky was cloudy and sprinkled most of the day. did not see the sun all day.

Wednesday Feb 3rd 86

Weather quite warm. Did not freeze any last night. Cloudy all day. Rained a little in the afternoon. In the evening it cleared off so much so the stars shone. We spent most of the day in cutting wood and baking bread.

Thursday 4th 86

This morning it cleared off the the sun shone out clear and bright a cool breeze from the north. Attended Fast meeting at 11:30 had a good meeting.

Saturday 6th 86

Weather has been pleasant for several days. Friday I wrote a letter home and one to Peter Johnson. Bro. Cazier started to the Lower Valley to administer to Sister Francis. Requested me to take charge of the meeting on Sunday.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal p. 15

Sunday Feb 7th 86

Weather rather pleasant. Had a good meeting time occupied by Elders Sant, Phillip, Nilson and Hurd. I spoke about 30 minutes in the class on our duties as Saints a good spirit prevailed.

Tuesday Feb 9th 86

Yesterday and today the weather was clear and nice. Today Corniel & me went over to his house & sawed out the windows and doors. Snow about 18 inches deep. Wednesday was mostly spent cutting wood at home. Sky cloudy but warm.

Thursday Feb 11th 86

Sky cloudy in the morning cleared off during the day and was very warm. Went over to Corniel’s house and brought over the logs we had sawed out and commenced to rip them out with a hand saw to make some window and door frames.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P. 16

Friday Feb 12th 86

Today was quite warm and rained a little and sun shone by spells all day. Snow settled about four inches. At night the wind raised and blowed quite hard during the night.

Saturday 13th 86

Weather colder a flurry of snow all day drifting winds quite cold at night.

Sunday Feb 14th 86

The weather quite cold in the morning got warmer during the day. Had a very interesting meeting. Time occupied by Bro’s. Clark and Stephens and Prest. Cazier.

Sunday Feb 21st 86

We spent the past week in getting out material and making window and door frames. Put the frames in Corniel house. Today we had a very interesting meeting. Bro. Cazier read a discourse by Prest. Taylor and I occupied the rest of the time in speaking upon the duties and responsibilities of the Saints.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P. 17

Monday Feb 22nd 1886

Today we went over to Moroni Hunts and bought 1 1/2 tons of hay and hauled two loads home. The Weather warm and pleasant.

Tuesday 23 86

Today we went after the remainder of the hay and spent the day visiting with Bro. Hunt and family and Fred Brown.

Wednesday 24th 86

Today went over to visit Fred Brown and Jas Dinsdale and had a very pleasant time till late in the evening.

Thursday 25th 86

This morning thermometer was quite cold the thermometer being at zero. Sky clear & warm during the day. Went to clear the snow off the ground to build the school house on.

Sunday 28th 86

Weather clear and warm in the day time and cold at night. Today we had a very interesting meeting. At the close of which we received mail and papers from home, one letter from Lizzie, 1 from Mariett and 1 from Peter Johnson.

Continued in Part 3. A summary of this journal account is included in The Joseph Eggleston Family: Seven Generations from Joseph (d.1767) of Stonington, Connecticut to Joseph (1885-1965) of Utah and Wyoming, pp. 416-417.

Orson Hyde Eggleston’s Journal of the Settling of Afton Wyoming Part 1

Orson Hyde Eggleston wrote a journal account of his journey in the fall of 1885 to Star Valley and recorded the early settling of Afton Wyoming. Part 1 covers November and December of 1885.

Some years ago Virgie Eggleston Stoffers gave a photocopy of Orson Hyde Eggleston’s journal to my father. I think it was some time after that, but in the late 1990’s, that I found this at my father’s home. A typed note indicated that Virgie had made a photocopy in 1982 from the original which was then in the possession of Theron Eggleston.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal page 1 with note

When I visited Theron’s daughter Ruth, I did not find the original notebook there. It may have been, but it was not something that I saw. It does appear that Virgie might have written over the writing on her copy in places to try to make it darker. It is not an easy read, and some places numbers don’t make sense as written. At some point I painstakingly transcribed the whole thing. Much of it consists of weather reports, but there are accounts of interesting events during this six month period from November 1885 to May 1886. Because of the length I have broken it into three parts. Part 1 covers November and December of 1885.

THE JOURNAL

Tuesday, November 3rd 1885

Started from Eden in company with J. C. Stephens for Salt River Valley for the purpose of finding a home. We stopped for noon near the mouth of Beaver and camped at night near the head of Beaver.

Nov 4th 85

Started on our journey went about 20 rods and got stuck in a mud hole. Elijah Allen, Chic Grow & Isaac McKay came along and helped us but we drove to Blacksmith Fork and stopped for noon. We drove on about 15 miles and made a dry camp with no wood, in a snow storm. One of my horses took very sick we administered to him and he got well.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal p. 2

Thursday Nov 5th 1885

Hitched up and pressed our journey and drove to Lake Town in Bear Lake Valley and stopped for dinner at Bro. Weston. After dinner we drove on to Swan Creek and stopped for night with Bro. Cook.

Friday Nov 6th

Continued our journey to Paris and stopped for noon. Fed our train and went on to Montpelier and stopped at Jeff Stephens.

Saturday Nov 7th 85

Wrote letters home, went to town, got a [fro] made and the lantern mended.

Sunday Nov 8th 85

Spent a part of today getting ready to proceed on our journey.

Monday 9th

Started about 8 o’clock a.m. for Salt River Valley. Jeff going with us to take part of our load. Traveled about 18 miles and camped for the night.

Tuesday 10th 85

Proceeded on our journey. Passed Salt Spring about 10 a.m. and got into Salt River Valley about 3:30 p.m. and camped on Crow Creek about the middle of the Valley on the [west] side. Commenced snowing about 10 o’clock at night.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal p. 3

Wednesday 11th 85

After breakfast we hitched up and went about 7 miles to Swift Creek and stopped at Bro. Cazier and took dinner with him about 3 o’clock p.m. We hitched up and drove about 8 miles south and camped for the night.

Thursday Nov 12th 85

After breakfast Corneil and Jeff started out to hunt for some deer, leaving me at camp to look after things.

Saturday Nov 21st 85

For the first ten days we have been busy getting ready for winter by putting up our tent, getting some hay for the horses, & staking out some land claims. Yesterday afternoon I went fishing with some young men. I got [102 ?] quite large fish. The weather for the past week has been more like spring than fall, some nights not freezing any. Last night we had a nice rain.

Sunday Nov 22, 85

About 1/2 an inch of snow fell last night and by noon it was all gone. I attended meeting at Bro. Cazier’s house about 65 persons present. I occupied most of the time upon the first principles of the Gospel and was followed by Bro. Chas D. Cazier who bore testimony to my remarks and took up a few items of business. Spoke of the necesity of building a meeting house. The people voted to build a meeting house & go next Wednesday to go & haul the timber. Spoke of petitioning for a post office and voted for M Cazier to be Postmaster. We partook of the Sacrament & the spirit of the Lord seemed to be with us.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P. 4

Monday Nov 23rd 85

This morning it was snowing and continued till about 10 a.m. fell about 2 inches deep. Chas Cazier started for Bennington. A number of us went to continue surveying out the town of Afton.

Tuesday 24th

Went & finished surveying out the town and surveyed out a county road two miles south. Weather pleasant snow all melted off.

Wednesday 25th

Finished hauling hay. Stormed in the afternoon weather quite warm.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal p. 5

Thursday 26th 1885

In the afternoon went with Arthur Clark. Took canyon north for logs, but found no dry timber and returned without any load. Corniel went hunting.

Friday 27th

Went with Bro. Clark to the canyon south and each got a load of logs. Snowed a little Weather nice and pleasant no frost in the ground.

Saturday 28th 85

Got another load of logs for stable.

Sunday Nov 29th 85

This morning there was about 2 inches of new snow but during the day almost all of it melted off. Went to meeting at 11:30. I made the opening prayer, Remarks were made by Elders Philips, Treasure, Nelson, Clark & Cazier & Hurd. Weather nice and warm, no frost in the ground.

Thursday Dec 3 85

Weather pleasant, little cloudy. Yesterday we went to the south end of the valley to see what the chance of was to get some nice house logs but did not succeed in getting any & brought home a nice load of quaking asp wood. Today we went to Fast Meeting. the house was full. Some being present who did not belong to the church. I was called upon to speak occupied about 20 minutes on the first principles and was followed by Br. Arthur Clark who bore a strong testimony. also President Cazier offered a few remarks for the encouragement of the Saints. In the evening we went to a social party and danced till about 12 o’clock and enjoyed ourselves very much 15 couples present. 2 baptized this morning August & Chas Semburg.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P. 6

Tuesday Dec 8th 1885

On Sunday last we had a good meeting. I assisted Bro. Cazier in administering the Sacrament after which I was called on the read a discourse delivered by Apostle F. D. Richards at the last Semi-Annual conference held at Logan. The last few days we spent in hauling wood for winter use. Yesterday it commenced snowing and this morning there was about 3 inches of loose snow on the ground. The weather is nice and mild no frost in the ground.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal p. 7

 Dec 9th & 10th 85

Yesterday and today weather quite pleasant, snowing most of the time on the 9th. Today the 10th weather clear at night quite cold 2 o above zero. Yesterday I received a letter from home written by Lizzie.

Friday Dec 11th 85

This morning weather clear and cold 2 o above zero. Spent most of the day cutting wood.

Saturday 12 85

Today we made some benches and [chored] around. Weather stormy in the evening about [?] inches snow fell.

Sunday Dec 13th 85

Attended meeting at Bro. Cazier’s house. Read a piece in the Deseret News entitled “Let us be Thankful”.

Sunday Dec 20th 85

Attended meeting and read a Discourse written by Pres. Geo. Q. Cannon.

Friday Dec 25th 85

I spent most of the time for the past week moving Corniel’s house on to his lot and laying it up. load of wood.

Today being Christmas we had a fine time. Most of the people of the valley met at Bro. Cazier’s house and had a picnic dinner, about 95 persons being present. Had a joyful time and lots of food left. In the afternoon the children had a dance and enjoyed themselves first-rate. In the evening the older folks indulged themselves in the dance till midnight. Had supper about 10 o’clock in the evening.

Orson Hyde Eggleston journal P. 8

Saturday Dec 26th

A light snow fell most of the day weather warm. Thermometer above freezing point all day and evening.

Sunday Dec 27th 1885

This morning [opened] for nice and warm, about 12 or 1 o’clock the thermometer stood at [?5o] above zero. We attended meeting at 11:30 a.m. at Bro. Cazier’s home. Remarks were made by Elder J. C. Stephens, George Sant, Prest. Cazier and myself. The spirit of the Lord was enjoyed by all the Saints present. We received an invitation with Bro. Cazier’s family to spend New Years Day at Bro. Jas Dinsdale and Fred Brown’s house.

Tuesday 29th 85

Sunday evening and yesterday there was a heavy fog lay over the valley. Today clear and warm.

Wednesday Dec 30th 85

This morning and last night a light snow fell. Weather moderate 31 o above zero. About the middle of the afternoon there was quite a wind blew from the west which drifted the snow a little. The snow being about 6 inches deep. The wind blew of spells all night.

Thursday Dec 31st 85

The wind continued blowing most of the day. Some of the time from the south, not very cold some of the time 21 o above zero. meat of chopping stove wood.

Orson’s experiences of 1886 are continued in Part 2 and Part 3. A summary of this journal account is included in The Joseph Eggleston Family: Seven Generations from Joseph (d.1767) of Stonington, Connecticut to Joseph (1885-1965) of Utah and Wyoming, pp. 416-417.

Family Reunion 1952

I inherited photographs of an Eggleston Family Reunion which I did not attend. These are dated 1952 and are of a gathering of the family of Joseph S. Eggleston.  I assumed the occasion was Grandpa Joe’s Birthday and/or the Fourth of July – they were celebrated together. We have come a long way with photo-documenting such events, both with the number of pictures we take as well as the quality. These photos are poor quality and identifying people has not been easy. I have not been able to identify everyone and may not have the ones I have identified right. It does look like they all enjoyed a good meal.

Wesley and Margaret are sitting on the left then Lola. Grandpa Joe is sitting on the right back. It might be Phil standing with the child. Joan and DeLoss are standing in the back. Stella is standing on the right side of the table.

 

Another shot with Stella busy preparing things on the table and others moved around.

 

These three are harder to identify individuals.

 

 

This photo is much better quality than the others, but appears to have been taken that same day. DeLoss and Joan

 

DeLoss, Grandpa Joseph S. Eggleston, Melvin and Wesley

 

 

The Missionary Journal of Orson Hyde Eggleston

Discovery of the Journal

Orson Hyde Eggleston served a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1876-1877. He was called at the General Conference of the Church on October 7, 1876. Years ago, after learning that Orson Hyde Eggleston had kept a journal of his Mission to Michigan, I went to the Church History Library to see this Journal. This was when the Church History Library was located in the Church Office Building, before the beautiful new building was built. The procedure to view items in the Archives required checking in with ID, leaving everything I had brought with me in a locker, except a pencil and paper. No electronic devices allowed, though a cell phone with a camera was not something I even had then. Items were requested and then brought to a viewing room. I painstakingly transcribed – by hand – the entire journal. It is not a very long journal, and in a very small notebook. I then went home and typed from my notes a two page transcription of the journal.

 

 

 

Early Mormon Missionaries Database

Then surprisingly the other day I received an email from FamilySearch:

“We’ve identified early missionaries in your family tree. Learn where and when they served and read their mission stories. Elder Orson Hyde Eggleston  Mission: Wisconsin Dis US” – with a link to a wonderful new Database on Early Mormon Missionaries through lds.org. This page includes links to the Missionary Registers and also a link to Orson’s Journal, which I saw years ago in the Church History Library. Now with a few clicks you can all see this journal.

The page of this Early Mormon Missionaries database includes some basic information about Orson and his mission, which apparently was taken from the Missionary Registers.

Orson was 35 years old when he was called to this mission. His call was to the Wisconsin District, though most of his service was in the State of Michigan. He was set apart on October 21, 1876 by Orson Pratt. He was a member of the 53rd Quorum of the 70 in Ogden, Utah at the time of the call. He served from October 1876 to July 1, 1877. Also included is information about his birth date, place and parents – though someone transcribed his mother’s name as Serana P Burgess. (It looks like an L to someone like me who has read the name many times)

I seem to have lost the computer file of my transcription, so I have posted images, which might be slightly less readable than the document copied and pasted here would be, but probably more easily readable than the handwritten journal. And since future generations might not even learn to read cursive script, this transcription will remain available here. For further discussion about this Mission and information about people mentioned in the journal, see 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) by Karen Eggleston Stark., pp. 412-414.

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

MARRIAGES

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

 

DEATHS

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.