Ephraim Johnson

Early Years in Eden

Ephraim Johnson and his twin brother Jacob were born March 20, 1876 in Eden, Weber, Utah to Peter Johnson (Jorgensen) and Ane Marie Madsen. Their father, Peter Johnson, an immigrant from Denmark, had a farm there. Peter died in December 1878 after he was caught in a snow storm and became ill. Thee twin boys were just over two years old when their father died. Their younger sister Agnes was just a baby.

Ane Marie Madsen Johnson, Agnes, Jacob, & Ephraim Johnson

Ane Marie Madsen Johnson with her younger children, twins Jacob and Ephraim and daughter Agnes

Ephraim and Jacob were involved in the Young Men Mutual Improvement Association in the Eden Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ephraim served as Secretary and Jacob as Counselor. Ephraim also served as Sunday School Chorister. Eden Ward records noted that on June 8, 1902, Brother Ephraim Johnson was given a temporary release as chorister of the Sunday School as his irrigation turn came on Sunday.

Education was important to this family. Older brother David related that all eight of the children were sent to school whenever it was in session. A great amount of learning was impossible but they had the opportunity to take advantage of whatever was available. I have inherited a number of text books that belonged to the Johnson siblings. This U. S. History book has Ephraim’s name written in very faded ink.

Textbook inscribed by Ephraim Johnson

Textbook inscribed by Ephraim Johnson

Ephraim Johnson textbook

Ephraim Johnson’s History textbook

Ephraim Johnson textbook
















Life in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Ephraim went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming with his brother Jacob, where they ran a sawmill. After some time there, Jacob then left to farm on Mormon Row with their nephew, Joseph S. Eggleston. Joseph also worked at the mill with them for a time. Ephraim was listed in 1912-1913, 1914, 1922, Wyoming State Directories as having a sawmill. This sawmill was located somewhere near Wilson, Wyoming. A 1931 report mentioned “lots of timber harvesting. Eph Johnson’s outfit has 50,000 board feet in their mill yard and were working getting out 900,000 more.”

Ephraim apparently became a Bishop in Wilson, Wyoming. “Another Mormon Church built in Wilson by Eph Johnson who was Bishop. The building still stands (1988) and is a private home. It is on the west side of Fish Creek & just south of the intersection where Fish Creek Road starts out toward the north.”

First Marriage

Ephraim married Ruby Clarissa Green on February 11, 1911 in Jackson, Wyoming. She was born January 1, 1892 in Vernal, Utah, a daughter of Benoni Green and Julia Ann Lark. Records on FamilySearch indicate she died May 23, 1931 in Jackson, Wyoming. Ruby Johnson, age 37, was listed as a patient in the Wyoming State Hospital for the Insane in the 1930 Census. Find a Grave shows a burial for a Ruby Johnson, age 39, in the Evanston City Cemetery May 25, 1932. This may be Ephraim’s wife with an error with the death date. Cause of death listed on Find a Grave is general paralysis.

On the 1930 Census, Ephraim was farming in Teton County, Wyoming. This census listed him as widowed. He was also living near Howard Cheney, the brother of Joseph Eggleston’s wife Talitha Cuma.

An Accident

Ephraim was seriously injured in an accident in 1933. An article in the Jackson Hole Courier, August 24, 1933 related:

“EPHRAIM JOHNSON SEVERELY HURT WHEN HORSE BOLTS. Brought to Local Hospital–Pneumonia Develops in Injured Lung–Condition Regarded Critical.

“Injuries sustained last Friday afternoon when thrown from a horse have developed to make the condition of Ephraim Johnson, prominent rancher of Wilson, be regarded as critical and at present he is in the local hospital suffering with a fractured shoulder, six broken ribs, and an injured lung. Pneumonia has developed in the lung and though he is improving as well as can be expected his condition remains very grave, physicians said tonight.

“Elder Johnson, well known worker in the local L.D.S. Church, was thrown from the horse as he rode into the pasture at his ranch about 2 miles below Wilson. The horse, which had a sorely wounded neck, bolted under the pain of his injury.

“Johnson later said he had forgotten the animal was injured and jumped on him to drive the other horses to the pasture. He was brought to the hospital Saturday afternoon.”

Second Marriage

Ephraim apparently recovered quickly enough to be married just weeks later. He married Effie Jean Curtis DeLoney Woods September 26, 1933. She had been married previously to Hyrum Wilford DeLoney, who died in 1918. They had two children. She apparently married someone named Wood or Woods after his death. In the 1930 Census she was living in Jackson as Jean D. Wood with her children Wilma and Hyrum DeLoney.

An announcement was made in the Jackson Hole Courier, October 19, 1933. It read:

“Mrs. Jean DeLoney Woods surprised her many friends by announcing her marriage to Eph Johnson of Jackson. They were married in Salt Lake Sept. 26th. Mrs. Johnson is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Curtis. After completing business transactions in Jackson the past week the bride and groom returned to Provo to spend the winter. Mrs. Johnson has two children who are attending school there, Miss Wilma DeLoney, who is majoring in music and Hyrum DeLoney, who is attending high school. Their many friends extend sincere congratulations to them.”

Ephraim died July 13, 1950 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was buried in the Eden Meadow View Cemetery in Eden, Utah by his parents.

Headstone of Ephraim Johnson

Note regarding sources:

This was adapted from the account in my book, The Joseph Eggleston Family, pages 532-533. Sources used there include Eden Ward Records; History of the Eden Ward, Ogden, Utah Stake 1877-1977, by Melba and Ren Colvin; The Pass: Historic Teton Pass & Wilson Wyoming by Doris B. Platts, 1988, which includes newspaper articles in the Jackson Hole Courier. I also gathered additional information from Census and other records and found interesting details attached as “memories” on FamilySearch.

Jacob Johnson

Early Years in Eden

Jacob Johnson and his twin brother Ephraim were born March 20, 1876 in Eden, Weber, Utah to Peter Johnson (Jorgensen and Ane Marie Madsen. Their father, Peter Johnson, an immigrant from Denmark, had a farm there. Peter died in December 1878 after he was caught in a snow storm and became ill. These twin boys were just over two years old when their father died. Their younger sister Agnes was just a baby.

Ane Marie Madsen Johnson with her younger children, twins Jacob and Ephraim and daughter Agnes

Jacob and his brother Ephraim were involved in the Young Men Mutual Improvement Association of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Eden Ward. Jacob served as Counselor and Ephraim as Secretary.

Education was important to this family. Older brother David related that all eight of the children were sent to school whenever it was in session. A great amount of learning was impossible but they had the opportunity to take advantage of whatever was available. I have inherited a number of text books that belonged to the Johnson siblings. This one has Jacob’s name inside.

Text book "Our Government" inscribed by Jacob Johnson

Text book “Our Government” book inscribed by Jacob Johnson

textbook owned by Jacob Johnson

Cover of the textbook “Our Government’










Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jacob went with his brother Ephraim to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where they ran a sawmill. This sawmill was located somewhere near Wilson, Wyoming.

After working at the sawmill with Ephraim for a time, Jacob left to homesteaded on Mormon Row or Grovont, Wyoming with his nephew Joseph S. Eggleston. Joseph had worked at the sawmill with his uncles for a time. Jacob and Joseph dug a rather large ditch known as the Johnson/Eggleston ditch. Joseph left Mormon Row and returned to Eden, Utah, selling his land to Jacob.

Map of Mormon Row

Map of Mormon Row, showing Jacob’s property and the Johnson Eggleston Ditch in the center between their homesteads

Marriage and Family

Jacob Johnson & Christabelle Eccles

Jacob married Christabelle Eccles January 13, 1898 in Salt Lake City. She was born March 8, 1879 in Huntsville, Weber, Utah. She was a daughter of Stewart Eccles and Marintha Eltharia Bingham.

They had seven children: Jacob Lloyd born February 4, 1899 in Eden, Utah who went on an LDS Mission to Samoa in 1917; Steward Eccles who was born July 22, 1901 and died at 7 months old, February 28, 1902; Marintha Ortell who was born October 16, 1903 and died at 8 years old January 6, 1912; Susan Marie born June 22, 1907, who later married Lyman Holt Richmond; David Eccles born January 7, 1912, just a day after his sister Marintha died. He was born in Eden, though his birth certificate gives his parents residence as Jackson, Wyoming; a stillborn boy March 4, 1915 in the Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah; and Karl Marvin who was born June 26, 1918 in Grovont, Wyoming (Mormon Row).

Jacob had some financial difficulties, possibly in conjunction with his divorce from Christabelle, which apparently occurred between 1920 and 1924. A Notice of Foreclosure Sale was printed in the Jackson Hole Courier, November 20, 1924. It listed Jacob Johnson and Belle Johnson as Mortgagers and J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company as the mortgagee. The Mortgage was for $200.00 principal and $39.55 interest with $23.95 attorney’s fees. A sale of mortgaged farm equipment was to be made at the Jacob Johnson Ranch in Teton County December 6, 1924 to satisfy the costs. He apparently lost a Threshing Machine, Case Separator with trucks, a Stacker, Self Feed and Band Cutter and Fordson Traction Engine, Wither and Endless Canvas Belt.

Christabelle married Karl Matthews Kent in 1924. He died in 1945 in Los Angeles. Christabelle died April 15, 1965 in Idaho Falls, Idaho and was buried in the Jackson City Cemetery, Jackson, Wyoming.

L. D. S. Missions

Jacob served two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after his divorce from Christabelle. On November 17, 1925 he was set apart to serve in the Northern States Mission. He departed November 18th and returned March 26, 1926. He was 49 years old and living in Wilson, Teton, Wyoming when he was called. Jacob served again at age 58 in California. He Served from November 15, 1934 to April 25, 1935. Theses were brief missions served during the winter months when there was not as much farm work to do.

Death of Jacob

Jacob apparently returned to California after serving a mission there and remained there for the rest of his life. In the 1940 Census he was living with his daughter Marie and her husband Lyman Richmond in Los Angeles. Jacob died March 7, 1944 in California. He was buried in Rose Hills Cemetery, Whittier, California.

Notes regarding Sources:

This was adapted from the account in my book, The Joseph Eggleston Family, page 533. Sources used there include Eden Ward Records; History of the Eden Ward, Ogden, Utah Stake 1877-1977, by Melba and Ren Colvin; The Pass: Historic Teton Pass & Wilson Wyoming by Doris B. Platts, 1988, which includes newspaper articles in the Jackson Hole Courier. I also gathered additional information from Census and other records and found interesting details attached as “memories” on FamilySearch.

Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston McBride

Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston McBride

Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston

Early Life

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

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

Marriage to Orson Hyde Eggleston

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

Constant Stephens Eggleston and children

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Personal Thoughts about Constant

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

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

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

Marriage to Ether McBride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Death of Constant

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

Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston McBride Obituary

Constant Ann Stephens Eggleston McBride Obituary

Funeral summary Constant Stephens McBride

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


“Tributes Paid Pioneer at Final Rites”

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

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







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

Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard Book – Early 20th Century Valentines

In the early 20th Century Valentines were sent thought postcards to special people who were far away. Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard Book contained several Valentine postcards.

To My Valentine


to my Valentine


Vedia’s sister Lottie was good to remember her on Valentines Day. The written messages were not very newsworthy. They were probably continuations of other conversations sent through postcards and letters. The intent was to keep in touch. A a colorful card with a message was a special remembrance.

Veda from Lottie Valentine greeting








My poor heart To Veda from Lottie

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


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.



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



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


Joseph Eggleston’s Postcards from Jackson Hole

A handful of postcards from Jackson Hole give us a glimpse into life on Mormon Row a century ago.

Joseph S. Eggleston grew up in Afton, Wyoming. In about 1910 he went to Jackson Hole where he homesteaded in a place known as Mormon Row. He sent these postcards from Jackson Hole during that time. There are no addresses, stamps or postmarks indicating when and to whom or where they were sent. They may have been inserted into packages sent back home to his family in Afton. Or possibly, since Joe carried the mail on a postal route in Wyoming at that time, he did not need to address them. He could have carried them himself to Afton or included them with other mail.

Cousin Don shared these postcards with me. They had been with boxes of photographs he inherited from his mother, Evelyn Barbara Stock Lee. She got these from her mother Mattie Mae Eggleston Stock, who was Joseph Egglestons’s sister.

These cards were produced showing scenes from the area. Joe may have purchased a number of these. We had another one of this family skiing, but there was nothing written on it. The view from Joe’s homestead would have been very similar. He apparently knew this Sheffield family.

Sheffield family Moran, Wyoming


skiing Jackson Lake

Weather in Jackson Hole ranged from harsh and cold but beautiful winters to hot and dry summers. From this postcard we gain some idea of what Joe’s daily life was like on isolated Mormon Row.

J E postcard


Jackson Hole











J E postcard Tetons

Apparently by the time this postcard was sent, Joe was settled on Mormon Row. Jacob and Bell would have been his Uncle Jacob Johnson and his wife. Jacob homesteaded on Mormon Row next to Joe. Bro & sister Eccles would have been Bell’s parents who had come from Jackson to visit them.

J Eggleston postcard

Yours with wild geese

J. Eggleston


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.