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

 

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

 

Tetons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

New Years Greetings from Years Past – via Postcards to Vedia

Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard Book contained a few cards with New Year’s Greetings.

002a

 

002

This card was sent December 28, 1914 to Vedia who was in Malad. It is from Esther, a friend.

012

012a

This card was sent to Vedia in Malad in January 1916 from her sister Connie who was in Deweyville, Utah

045

 

045a

 

020

020a

This card was sent from Asa in West Jordan to Vedia in Malad December 30, 1915.

Christmas Greetings from Vedia’s Postcards

Vedia Eggleston Jones’ Postcard Book contains several cards with Christmas Greetings, some sent exactly 100 years ago. It appears that Vedia was in Malad, Idaho for the holidays, probably attending school there.

026a

 

026

Greeting from a friend Beatrice to Vedia who was in Malad for Christmas in 1915

040a

040

Christmas Greetings from brother Asa who was in Garland, UT to Vedia in Afton in 1913. I’m sure the Sugar Factory was nothing like Willie Wonka or the Sugar Plum Fairy.

064a

Card from sister Clara to Vedia Jones in 1916

Card from sister Clara to Vedia Jones in 1916

062a

062

This card from younger sister Lottie to Vedia who was in Malad for Christmas in 1915

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

065a

Card from Lottie to Mr. John Jones, Vedia's husband in 1916

Card from Lottie to Mr. John Jones, Vedia’s husband in 1916. Vedia was now married and her sister was very formal in addressing this to her husband.

048a

048

A Christmas message to Veda from her brother Wilford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

071

Merry Christmas from a Century ago!

Vedia’s Postcard Book

One Saturday afternoon in January 2011, after having lunch in downtown Ogden with my daughters, I and my youngest decided to go across the street to our favorite Antique Store (which was new then but sadly is not there anymore) before heading home. We were wandering around different areas when I heard her calling to me from upstairs, saying something about Egglestons. I hurried to her to see what she was talking about. She had picked up an old Postcard Book filled with postcards with the names of Egglestons and asked if these were our family. I did recognize many of the names and started getting really excited. This store sold things on consignment and this album was priced rather high, intended to be sold intact. There were other old postcards being sold individually and I guess they thought that this was worth the cost of all of the individual cards. Anyway, it was more than I was ready to pay for it. I did talk to the store owner and left my name and a message for the owner of this album.

album-cover

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