Gallery of Mom’s Art: Other Media

Throughout her life, my Mother, Joan Eggleston, created a great deal of art work. She left us many beautiful paintings, but that is not all she did. She was a continual art student. I recall her taking many community education art classes, mostly at Ben Lomond High School where my Dad worked. She even taught some of those classes herself. Through the years, she at least tried most kinds of art, creating more with some than with others. Here are some of her lesser known artistic works.

Pottery and Ceramics

Many people are aware that my Dad bought a kiln and molds for porcelain figurines and other objects. They gave many of these for wedding and other gifts. Much earlier, however, Mom took community art classes and made pottery. I don’t know what has happened to all of the pots she made. When we cleaned out the house, I only saw a few things. I took one pot home because I remember the specific process involved. She was very excited about it. It is called Raku and involves taking the pot quickly out of the kiln and while still hot putting it into a bucket with something like wood chips (I don’t recall exactly what was in there, possibly water as well). The effect was different for every piece and not known until it was finished. Usually there was a metallic look with the glaze that she used.

Mom used a variety of glazes and made different kinds of objects. At one time she made many small clay tiles that she was going to put together, but I don’t recall it ever being finished.

Dried Flowers

Mom was very skilled at arranging flowers. She made beautiful arrangements of fresh flowers, silk flowers and dried flowers. I don’t think she could stand to have an empty basket, pot or vase – she always put some kind of flowers in them. Her home had floral displays everywhere.

She learned to dry flowers using sand. Not any old sand. This required sand from the Great Salt Lake. Fortunately, the lake wasn’t too far away. I left a rather large pile of sand in the yard when the house was sold. I dumped several containers and then kept finding more cardboard boxes and plastic ice cream buckets full of sand. Mom had been gone for over 20 years when Dad sold the house, but there were still flowers in boxes of sand. She arranged these dried flowers in vases and baskets and encased them in frames and glass cases. Dried flowers last much longer than fresh ones, but still over time they can get looking pretty shabby, especially if displayed in baskets or vases. They break easily and get very dusty. Not many of those arrangements have survived, and I confess I tossed a few when we cleaned.

I remember making some of these framed dried flower pictures with Mom. I took this one home, partly because I really like the wood that the frame is made of. My Dad and Grandfather made these shadow box frames.

Painting on Wood

Tole Painting was very popular in years past. It is the kind of painting I did – I got kind of addicted for a while. Mom was much better at it than I was. She painted on many everyday items, and some more artistic ones. Her father worked in wood and carved many ducks. Like the empty baskets and pots that needed flowers to be complete, Mom painted ducks so they wouldn’t be naked.

Jewelry

Mom made jewelry. She used a process using wax molds, which were filled with silver. Silver was her metal of choice and the silver sometimes came from coins that were melted down. She loved turquoise, but she also used other stones. I found rocks when we cleaned out the house – gemstones, actually. Some polished and ready to use. Others still rough. Mom really liked jewelry and often bought pieces when the traveled. She also gathered and bought stones in rock shops. In cleaning out the house, I found her jewelry making tools and brought them home. Though I did learn to make jewelry in art classes, I doubt I will be using them.

Turquoise rings

Cake Decorating

Mom was a skilled cake decorator. She made all kinds of cakes, including all of our wedding cakes. My wedding cake also made use of her floral decorating skills.

Porcelain Dolls

Her artistic skills were combined with her porcelain dolls – ceramic finishing, painting and sewing intricate clothing and accessories. She named all the dolls and designated certain ones for each of her granddaughters. Some granddaughters left their dolls at my house where the next generation has played with them.

I do remember the name of this doll – Bunny – partly because of the stuffed bunny, but also because Mom did write the name on a sticker on the base.
Mom gave me this baby doll.

Other Artistic Expressions

I remember Mom making collages and other things when she took art classes. She did calligraphy, which in the old days meant hand lettering posters, cards and things. I found her calligraphy pen tips at the house, too. Mom was an expert seamstress and quilter. She made most of our clothes and also made drapery, pillows and all kinds decorative items. Her needle arts will have to be covered in another post.

Mom left a legacy of art to her children and grandchildren, as well as passing on degrees of her talent. (I got much less talent than others did). Some have carried on with art forms she used, while others have expressed their artistic talents in other media.

I probably have missed some types of Mom’s art as I have written about these. Feel free to share anything I may have missed in the comments. I can always edit the post.

Steps at the End of the Line

Remnants of Lives Lived

When my mother-in-law passed away, we had the unpleasant task of the dispersal of all her stuff (and she kept everything). There were of course, items like her journal, letters and photographs which chronicle her life. The decision there was how to preserve and share them. This experience, however, also included a totally unanticipated dilemma. For it to make sense, I might need to share some complicated family history.

Step-Relationships

My mother-in-law was married four times. The first very brief marriage produced my husband. The second marriage produced two other children. Both of these marriages ended in divorce and both husbands married others. The third marriage was to the love of her life. He also had been married previously and had a daughter. He passed away rather young and then my Mother-in-law married number four.

Husband number four had been married twice before. The first marriage produced two sons, the second no children. His second wife had one son from her previous marriage. They passed away in this order: First, the 2nd wife of husband #4 (before his marriage to my Mother-in-law); second, the only son of husband #4’s 2nd wife ; third the 4th husband; and then lastly my mother-in-law. The only daughter of husband number three passed away a few years before my mother-in-law. (Husband #1 passed away earlier but that is another complicated story)

There was stuff left behind by both husband number three and four, as well as additional stuff of the wife and son of husband number four. All this remained at the house which had been the home of husband #4 and his second wife, which my mother-in-law moved into after their marriage. Now that I have you totally confused, we will move on to the stuff.

Remnants and Traces

There was no issue with the stuff left behind that had monetary but no sentimental value, other than maybe bringing out the greed in people. Selling their things was unemotional. Some items were taken just because someone liked them – no feeling attached there either.

It is the stuff that chronicles lives that had me in a quandary. It has no personal significance to me. But to toss it seems too much like dismissing their lives as disposable and forgotten.

The personal stuff of husband number four was given to his sons. A few things belonging to husband number three were meaningful to those of us who had known him as step-father and grandfather. The stuff belonging to the deceased wife of husband number four and her only son left us with no one to give them to – no living descendants or other family members that we knew.

The son was a playwright and among the stuff left at the house were copies of plays he had written, sheet music, cassette tapes, and 45 records of songs from the plays. Attempts to find a local playhouse to take them were not successful. I did post some pictures as memories on FamilySearch, but the son’s journal seemed way to personal for that. I read it and felt somewhat like a voyeur. The journal was from his College days. We had both attended the same College at the same time and I knew him, though not as well as I knew some of the people he mentioned in the journal. I remembered some of the events he wrote about. I also remember attending a play that he had written which had been performed on campus. There were programs and memorabilia from that play, including a scrapbook. A name in the scrapbook indicated who had created it, and I learned that she was the sister of a friend. So, I passed that scrapbook on to him to send back to his sister in another state. I am not sure how she felt about having her gift returned, but I felt relief having something so personal off my hands.

Sadness of Traces Unsaved

“You can’t take it with you” people say of all the stuff we accumulate throughout our lives. For the stuff that is just stuff, temporarily used and disposable, that seems no great loss to the deceased or any great gain to anyone else. Perhaps it will be sold or given to someone to be useful for another lifetime.

But you also can’t take the meaningful stuff with you. You might hope that by its remaining here, it might leave some trace of you to perpetuate your memory to those who knew you. But that may depend upon leaving behind significant others to whom your significant stuff would seem meaningful enough for them to save. Without anyone to keep the stuff or at least to hold on to some memories, what does that leave of a life?

Dairy Farmer Joseph Eggleston

My grandfather, Joseph Eggleston, was a dairy farmer. After finding some interesting records, I thought it would be good to document his dairy farming history. He had a ranch on Mormon Row in Jackson Hole, then sold it and returned to Eden, Utah where he had been born and where he farmed for the rest of his life.

The Eden Dairy Farm

This Eden farm was the only home I remember of his. I remember the barn, though I personally didn’t spend much time there. Most of my memories include the smell of the barnyard, drinking warm fresh milk and the butter Grandma Stella made.

Joseph Eggleston was a card carrying member of the Utah State Farm Bureau Federation.

Grandpa’s Brand

This was Grandpa’s brand when in Jackson Hole. He used the same brand later in Eden, it appears with the I disconnected.
This is the official recording of Grandpa’s brand in 1960. The brand is shown on the left shoulder.

Herd-Record Books

Being a city girl, I had no idea that Herd Books were even a thing. Then when I was going through documents from Dad’s house I came across two booklets titled “Herd-Record Book”. One was dated 1938-1939 and the other 1946-1947. These were prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Administration, Bureau of Dairy Industry, for the Dairy Herd Improvement Association. Sounds like a lot of bureaucratic layers – with an additional layer in the later book. It appears that these were used to research and record the productivity of dairy herds. There were “testers” involved in filling out these records. The purpose for this study was to “identify the low-producing cows so that they may be discarded.”

These booklets are full of meticulously recorded information. It appears that grandpa participated in this testing at least two different times, but it probably wasn’t a regular thing. These records do give an idea of what was involved with dairy farming and help us become acquainted with grandpa’s herd.

The 1938-1939 Herd Record Book

Cover of the Herd-Record Book dated July 1, 1938-June 30, 1939
The Book was designed to record 20 Cows. These are the names of the cows listed on the inside cover of the book. There are a few added after the 20.
This Yearly Summary at the end of the book lists all of the cows again with data.

Ir looks like 10-year-old Strip produced the most pounds of milk at 10,538, but 7-year-old Pet had the highest value of skim milk $156.94 and the most pounds of butter-fat.

The milk production of each Cow was recorded on separate pages in the Herd Book. Some with additional information.

Midget had a female calf born on March 28, 1939. There is no milk production recorded for February and March.
Poor Pansy, at 12 years old was going dry.

These Monthly Summary pages show how much milk and butter fat was produced each month, as well as how much feed the cows consumed during the same period of time. It really was a science.

The 1946-47 Herd-Record Book

This Herd-Record Book covers the year from March 1946 to February 1947. This booklet is not as complete as the earlier one. The inside cover which should include a list of the cows was not filled out. Though the book has space for 20 Cows, there are only pages recording 16 cows, with the last page being another titled Judy but only covering the month of February, and the next to last page for Lill includes only the month of February.

The Monthly Summary shows 14 cows in March through May, then 13, and later down to 11.

Most of the names of the cows in this later book are different than in the first one. The five that are the same are Judie/Judy, Patty, Spot, Lady and Beauty. They were some of the younger ones on the Yearly summary list of the earlier book – ages 2-5. It appears that the “low producing” cows were “discarded” by being sold for beef.

Rose was one of the cows sold for beef that year.
Judy was also sold for beef. If she was the same Judie as listed in the earlier book she would have been almost 14 years old, which was older than any of the cows in 1939.

This later book does not have the Yearly Summary pages filled out, which suggests that either the study was not completed or just not done as thoroughly.

The Milk Route

Grandpa was not only a dairy farmer, but he delivered milk to the dairy. In 1938, he contracted with the Weber Central Dairy to collect milk from dairy farms in Eden and drive it down Ogden Canyon to the dairy in Ogden City. He later added the town of Liberty to his route. It was said that Grandpa was very punctual with this job. It required that he milk his own cows very early in the morning before picking up milk from the other farmers. He had acquired a milking machine, but with 20 cows it still would have taken considerable time.

Grandpa recruited his sons to join him in this work. The older sons, Orland, Mel and Dale would pick up milk from Eden farmers, while Grandpa picked up milk in neighboring Liberty. They would meet and load all the cans into the truck which Grandpa would drive down the canyon to the dairy. Later, after Orland left home and Doc got older, he would accompany his father through Liberty while Mel and Dale would gather the Eden milk. During the school year, all of the milk gathering had to be completed before the boys would need to catch the bus to school. During the summer months they could accompany their father to the dairy in town.

This is one of Grandpa’s Milk cans. He would have gathered many of these from his own barn and from the neighbors to take to the dairy.

This label is on the milk can. (Someone spelled his name wrong) I am not sure if all the cans had these labels or if some just had a painted mark like the red one or some other way to identify whose can it was. Grandpa would have had to return the empty cans to the right farms.

Cream O Weber Dairy in Ogden Utah.
This is a photo of the Cream-O-Weber Dairy on Ogden Avenue in Ogden with all the milk trucks – those like Grandpa’s filled with cans being brought in and the white ones that delivered milk to customers.

Note: I did scan all of the filled in pages in the two Herd-Record books, so they are available if anyone is interested. The photo of the brand is from Candy Vivey Moulton’s book Legacy of the Tetons: Homesteading in Jackson Hole.

Gallery of Mom’s Art: Drawings and Etchings

Though my Mom, Joan Eggleston, was a prolific painter, she did work with a variety of mediums during her lifetime. Drawing is an essential element of any art, yet it was not something Mom usually did as a finished project. Drawing is also basic to any art education. I can relate somewhat, because that is about as far as my own art developed. Mom’s art education of course included drawing and most of what she did there has not survived.

Drawings

We found only a couple of drawings in the house when we cleaned it out. These first two were folded and in a box with other papers. These were probably done when she was studying at Weber College.

This one is signed Joan Wheelwright
This drawing may have been done in High School

Etchings

For those not familiar with the process, etchings are created by scratching a design into a metal plate which is then covered with ink and the image pressed onto paper. This process makes it possible to produce multiple copies of the same design, even using different colors of ink. Usually artists will number the prints.

I eventually found the actual etching plates for these etchings. So, we could print more.

These are the etching plates. It was hard to get a good photo because they reflect light like mirrors

Framed Etchings

These three etchings were framed. There were some unframed prints of the same ones.

Unframed Etchings

I found copies of this one printed in different colors.

Gallery of Mom’s Art: Paintings

I don’t know when my mother’s interest in art began, though I suspect it was pretty early in her life. I just remember it filling her life from the time I can first remember. Twenty years after her death, we cleaned out the house and moved my father in with my brother. In that process we distributed much of her art work. This post will focus on paintings, with others to follow for other mediums.

This is by no means a complete gallery of Mom’s art. During her life she gave many paintings away. I hope they are still being enjoyed as much as we enjoy these.

Childhood Paintings

In the drawer of the cedar chest we found some small canvases with what appear to be very early, even childhood paintings.

College Art Student

My mother, Joan Wheelwright, attended Weber College in Ogden, Utah as an Art Major. At that time Weber was a Two Year Junior College. Her education refined her natural talent. She created a number of works at Weber College and had some exhibited.

This painting hung in my Grandparents’ house from my earliest memories until after Grandpa’s death. It is signed Joan Wheelwright. It was probably painted when she was in College.

This painting is also signed Joan Wheelwright, so is an early work. It had been given to a neighbor when Mom was still living at home. This neighbor’s grandson found it when he moved into the house and felt it should be returned to family. He gave it to my cousin who had bought our Grandparents’ home after Grandpa died. She then gave it to me. It It was not in very good shape – some warping and water damage. I had it reframed and now it hangs in my home.

Though no signature is visible, this also appears to be an early painting.
This is one of several unframed water colors we found in the drawer of the cedar chest. This one is signed Joan Wheelwright, so likely done in College.
This one also appears to be signed John Wheelwright

Early Paintings

These other unsigned and unframed water colors appear to be early paintings. They were found in the cedar chest and other places around the house.

Portraits were something that Mom didn’t really paint, so finding this was kind of a surprise. Possibly it was done as an assignment in College?
This one has a smudge in the corner which may be a signature, though it doesn’t resemble hers. It might be someone else’s work, but I have no idea why she would have kept it if it wasn’t hers.

Other Early Paintings

Mom and Dad married in 1951, just before Mom turned 20 years old. These paintings are signed Joan W. Eggleston, so done after their marriage, but probably when she was still young.

I remember this painting hanging in the house forever. My siblings and I still wonder what the dark thing on the right is supposed to be.

Landscapes in Oil and Acrylic

Through the years, Mom painted many landscapes. I remember camping trips where we kids would be running around exploring while Mom sat and painted the scenery. At some point she started using a pallet knife to get more texture. Earlier landscapes were desert scenes or ones with fall colors.

This one was given to my sister. It has been newly reframed after the frame fell apart.

This is a really small painting in a frame that Mom covered with gold leaf.
This one is also small.

These were probably the last acrylic paintings Mom did. In her later years she went back to water colors. The three small paintings hung over Mom and Dad’s King size bed.

Seascapes

Mom gave this painting to her brother Bob for his birthday in 1967.
This large seascape was painted to hang over the fireplace.

Flower Paintings

Mom painted many flowers – some oil or acrylic, and in her later years all water colors, including the one at the beginning of this post.

This one hung in my room when I lived at home.
This is an unframed one that we found in the house.
This was the first painting that I specifically asked for. The photograph doesn’t do it justice. It is in an amazing antique frame that appears to need some repair.
This is the one that there was almost a fight over. The colors look better in person.

Water Color Landscapes

Besides flowers, Mom did several water color landscapes. After she redecorated with blue, she painted and matted most of these to match the color scheme.

A Few Small Still Life Paintings

This small simple still life is unframed

To Be Continued

We found this unfinished painting and wondered what to do with it. Fortunately, there are several artists among Mom’s posterity. One grandson stepped up and offered to take and finish it. We will have to see how it turns out.

Note: Most of these photographs were taken to send to family members so they could choose which painting they wanted. Unfortunately, I didn’t think ahead to doing something like this, so the quality of the photos is not great.

Shift to Blue – The Story of Mom’s Art Journey

My Mom was an artist. She had a gift, one which some of her posterity have inherited to some degree or another – I much less than others. Part of her gift was an eye for color. Where I might see merely brown, she could distinguish the subtle variations and hues, and blend to make new shades. Her art went through many phases and multiple mediums through the years. She liked to take art classes through community education and even taught some herself. I remember her painting, making pottery and jewelry, drying and arranging flowers, and making porcelain dolls with intricate clothing. She was also an expert seamstress and quilter, her eye for matching and combining colors evident there as well.

My early childhood memories seem to be in black and white, perhaps because all the photos were. I do have early memories of turquoise, popular in appliances of the day which were in our kitchen, but also used in glazes and the real turquoise jewelry Mom created.

New House

When I was 12, we moved to a new house which gave Mom the opportunity to decorate from scratch. The “quality industrial grade” carpet picked out for the whole house, which remained in two upstairs bedrooms until the house was sold because it never wore out, was a blend of browns and orange. Those are the colors I remember for years filling our home and Mom’s art. Mom’s earliest paintings were with oils and then acrylic, some of those being fall or desert scenes typical of southern Utah. Her paintings, along with some from other artists, covered our walls like a gallery.

I remember this painting hanging in our house for years, then Mom donated it to be hung in the new Church. After many years it was found in a closet at the Church and returned to Dad. It has now made its way to my home.

The first painting to break the color mold, was a large seascape that was placed over the fireplace. Even it had a good deal of brown in the rocks on the shore, but the look was the first of the blue.

The Shift from Orange to Blue

Because it happened after I was married and immersed in my own life and family, I do not recall exactly when or how came the shift from orange to blue. With more money for remodeling and redecorating, Mom and Dad replaced the tan wood siding on the exterior with blue vinyl. With new off-white carpeting in the living room, Mom stenciled a blue design as a border on the walls. They put blue carpet in the master bedroom and Mom made curtains and a beautiful blue quilt to cover the bed. Blue wallpaper replaced the orange in the kitchen and bathrooms. When the younger children moved out, the largest bedroom downstairs became Mom’s Blue Room. It was intended to be a TV room, but after Mom passed away, Dad didn’t spend much time there. It was always Mom’s room, and always blue. A curio cabinet housed her dolls, those she had collected for years and the many porcelain dolls she had made. A collage of prints she acquired on trips covered the wall.

The shift to blue was accompanied by a change of medium as well. Mom turned to water colors, painting delicate flowers and winter scenes to replace the autumn ones. One of the now empty upstairs bedrooms became her studio. As her health worsened and became an excuse for not doing many things, she still found energy to paint.

Blue painting sitting on the old orange and brown carpet in the bedroom that became her studio.

Blue to the End

When we met with funeral directors after Mom’s death, they offered to get a nice casket spray of red roses. No! Though red roses are beautiful and this was a nice gesture, that was not right. We went to a florist and ordered one of delicate blue and white flowers. The shift to blue complete.

Stories about the Stuff

Almost five years ago I wrote a blog post about stuff – stuff with meaning, specifically family heirlooms, along with stuff without meaning, and decisions about what to do with it all. In the years since, I have had the task of going through the stuff of three individuals, deciding with others who should take what, what to toss, and what to give away. Now that the stuff has been disbursed or disposed of, I am feeling a need to record and share the stories about the stuff. But first the stories about distributing the stuff. . .

My Three Adventures in Distributing Stuff

The decisions about what to toss and what to take are complicated by the closeness of the relationships with the previous owners of the stuff, as well as by the relationships with the other people who are involved with deciding. My first experience was going through my brother’s storage unit after he was placed in a care center. Not being too attached to his stuff, I looked more at usefulness with most of it. We had a garage sale, which I vowed would be my last. I took some useful items that didn’t sell and a few I just liked. Other family members took some things. We donated most of the rest to thrift shops. I ended up with a bin of personal items and a file box of his records that I felt responsible to hold on to, just in case he might need them.

Dispersing my mother-in-law’s stuff was a little contentious in the beginning, with some eyes on the monetary value of things. Eventually however, we all just wanted to get it gone. I took less of useful things, and more of the things that I just liked. One surprise with this endeavor was the question of what to do with the stuff from the deceased steps – her husbands’ (my husband’s step fathers – yes, two of them), the last husband’s previous wife (who actually had some lovely things I took, but also other family history type stuff no one wanted) and that husband’s wife’s deceased only son. Look forward to more on this complicated stuff in another post.

The last adventure was with my Father’s stuff, which included my family’s heirlooms and stuff. At age 94, we finally convinced Dad to move in with my brother and sell the house – the house he had built and lived in for almost 55 years. Yes, there was lots of stuff. Because we moved him first and had him pack up what he wanted and thought he would need, we didn’t feel much urgency with this. The problem was that it drug on for weeks, even months, of Saturday visits to the house, with him included. Dad kept finding more stuff to take to my brothers, and unfortunately for me, I managed to take another box or two of random stuff back to my house after each trip.

Tossing Stuff

I always thought tossing stuff would be easy for my kids and their cousins, but we found it otherwise with their Grandma’s stuff. We got a big dumpster and some of us started tossing stuff in. There was really a lot of plain garbage in the house, or so we had determined. What ended up happening was some serious dumpster diving. Family members were pulling treasures out of the dumpster almost as fast as others were tossing in, validating the saying “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”

With my Dad’s disbursement taking so long and I being the one living closest to his home, I had the weekly task of filling up the garbage cans and putting them out to be picked up. It seemed rather never-ending at some points, with the cans being filled up right after being dumped and more bags full and waiting for the next week. Even the recycle bin filled up quickly with all the small boxes Dad had saved (not really big enough to haul stuff away in, but saved for wrapping gifts), plastic containers (that had been reused) and bottles that served as water storage. After weeks of this, we started filling up truck beds and making weekly trips to the dump. Those included the 50 year old wheat and food storage no one dared to take, along with building materials and spare parts for everything.

Dividing up Family Heirlooms

My Dad tried to give away some of family heirlooms earlier, but somehow no one wanted to take anything out from under him leaving gaping holes on his walls and in the rooms he lived in. Some things had names put on them from when he had told his grandkids to do this at his 90th Birthday. There were other things that one or another of us had put dibs on or he had promised to us. I will have to share the stories of this meaningful stuff in separate posts.

I have a really hard time with meaningful stuff like family heirlooms being given away or sold to strangers. My tendency is to take what others don’t just so it stays in the family. I took more of that stuff than I intended because somebody had to keep them in the family, right?

As the designated Family Historian, I was tasked with going through the boxes of certificates, old letters, journals, unidentified photographs, and Mom’s youthful scrapbook full of ticket stubs, old programs and commemorative paper napkins. I did some tossing as I went through, with lots of scanning to digitize the memories, without having to keep all the stuff.

family heirloom books
Just a few of the many shelves of books in Dad’s house

Dad had a library that seemed to go on and on, with many old, rare books. I ended up with more that I had space for so I ended up taking home a small bookcase which I immediately filled up. Mom was an artist, so the house was filled with her art work. Dad wanted every one of his children and grandchildren to have a painting. I think we eventually fulfilled that.

I attempted to keep with my hoarding-resistant pattern of getting rid of something when I acquire something new. This worked well with some pieces of heirloom furniture which replaced some things I donated to charity. I was amazed though at how a box full of random small stuff could so easily fit into my drawers and closets and on shelves – kind of like sand filling in the spaces between rocks in a jar.

To Sell and Not Really Make Money

We went through Dad’s house in winter, so rather than one big estate sale, we posted things online and ended up with several min-estate sales. At least we were able to keep going through cupboards and closets while waiting for the people who said they were interested in furniture, but never came. We had a few productive sale days. What was satisfying to me was sending items off with someone who I felt would give them a good home, either because they really needed something or because they loved those things.

One day someone who was interested in a family heirloom that no one in the family had a place for, showed up with two other women. They ended up going through the whole house and bought many things, including that heirloom cupboard which was quite a feat to get up the stairs and into their truck. This woman loved this cupboard and I shared the story of it with her. It had been in my Grandparent’s house in Jackson Hole where Grandpa homesteaded. In talking we found out that she knows a cousin well, one whose own father was born at that house in Jackson. She later sent me a picture of the cupboard in her house, all decorated for Christmas.

family heirloom cupboard
Family heirloom cupboard that ended up looking so much better here in its new home than it did in Dad’s basement.

Giving Away Stuff and Memories

I felt good about other items finding good homes. There was a soup tureen from Mom’s stoneware set that was left in the house when she had given my brother the set. I sold the set to a friend when going through his stuff. She was excited to get the whole set. Then I gave her the tureen just in time to use for Thanksgiving dinner. We were able to find a good home for my brother’s large aquarium with a local non-profit. I took a whole carload of my mother-in-laws suits to the local women’s shelter.

Mom and Dad had made porcelain figurines for years and often gave them for gifts. They made good Christmas gifts, as did the books, movies and CD’s that went to a Veteran’s home. Blankets were given to those in need. I took a case of soap to a homeless shelter. Some things we just offered to whoever would haul them away. Because we were doing my Dad’s house during COVID, it was a challenge donating to thrift stores. We had to make appointmentsm, so tried to maximize with as much as we could take at a time.

Finally Dad’s house was empty, but there was still stuff in sheds in the yard when we put it up for sale. The people who quickly bought the house are now the new owners of some of that stuff. Sometimes leaving stuff behind is all you can do.

1870 Smallpox Epidemic in Ogden, Utah

The Death of Lurania Eggleston

Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston

I had known from family records that Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston, the wife of Samuel Eggleston and my great great grandmother, had died July 6, 1870. This date is on her headstone in the Ogden City Cemetery. The circumstances of her death took some time for me to unravel and understand.

A notice in The Ogden Semi-Weekly Junction of Wednesday Morning July 6, 1870, stated:

“Died. In this city, of scarlet fever, at 3 o’clock this morning, LURANIA P., wife of Mr. SAMUEL EGGLESTON, aged 61 years and 11 months. The funeral will take place a 5 o’clock this evening, when the friends of the deceased are invited to attend. Mrs. Eggleston was born in Cayuga County, New York. She was baptized in June 1841, moved to Nauvoo in 1842. In 1847, she went with her family to Winter Quarters and in 1862 she came to Utah.”


The Ogden Semi-Weekly Junction 6 July 1870

This seemed pretty straight forward, that Lurania had gotten sick and passed away. It was not unusual at the time to bury someone quickly after their death. This newspaper was a semi-weekly paper, being published on Wednesdays and Saturdays. At that time, Lurania’s sons Reuben and Orson would have been working for the paper. I assume they rushed word soon after her death and had the notice written shortly before the paper was printed that day. Perhaps they actually went in and typeset it themselves.

At some point, I visited the Ogden City Cemetery and stopped in the office to see the Sexton Records. The sexton record indicated the cause of Lurania’s death as smallpox. This was different from the “scarlet fever” stated in the paper. Of course, the family may have been unsure of exactly what disease she had and reported what they thought. The other option might have been that they and/or doctors realized it was smallpox but intentionally did not want to alarm the public.

More Deaths in the Family

I remember learning that Orson had purchased cemetery plots at that time. Also listed in the sexton records were the death of two of Reuben’s children during that same summer. Four year old Cora Gladys died July 26 and seven year old May Julia on August 6, 1870. The cause of death was given as smallpox for one and the other was blank on the record.

I found a biography of Emeline Eggleston, wife of Reuben, written by Disey Eggleston Richardson in the DUP files. This mentioned that two of Reuben and Emeline’s children, Cora Gladys and May Julia were stricken with black small pox in 1870. It added that they were quarantined at Farr’s grove, as were others who were exposed. These two girls could have been easily infected by their grandmother.

In a Biography of William Nicol Fife, I found information about the Smallpox epidemic in 1870. According to his account the disease was brought into Ogden by an Indian Squaw in May 1870. He indicated that “the first person taken down with it, a Mrs. Eggleston died.” Later a few others became sick and were sent to Brick Creek [Burch Creek].

Mr. Fife indicated that he personally built a lumber room for the afflicted and furnished them with food and necessities. He also “followed up the disease with disinfectants” and personally placed yellow flags in front of every affected house. By July, forty cases were quarantined at Farr’s Grove. He indicated that the Mayor assisted him with this and later became sick himself. His case was mild, yet he was also moved to the grove. By the end of July there were 89 cases.

Quarantine Sites

There were two quarantine sites set up during 1870, both of which have connections to the Eggleston Family. Farr’s Grove was land owned by the Farr family near the mouth of Ogden Canyon and not far from where I grew up. Samuel and Lurania’s daughter, Mary Elizabeth, had married Enoch Farr, a son of Lorin Farr. This was his family’s land. I remember the orchards that were still there during my childhood. Created on this land was Lorin Farr Park, which is very familiar to me and everyone around. The swimming pool there was even made famous through the movie “The Sandlot.”

The other quarantine site was Burch Creek, which is actually the neighborhood where I have lived for the past 40 years. Before our marriage, my husband lived in the basement of his Aunt and Uncle’s home which has Burch Creek running through their back yard. Our home is a couple of blocks away. This area was originally settled by John Stephens, the father of Constance Stephens who was Orson Eggleston’s first wife.

Care of the Sick

Though Mr. Fife mentioned building a lumber room at Farr’s Grove, this quarantine may have consisted mostly of tents being set up with some medical people there to care for the sick. The locations suggest that the main idea was to get these people away from the general population and public places where people might gather. At that time, these places were outside of “town.” Mr. Fife stated:


“[I] got good kind nurses for the sick, and by strict regulations in the camp and the city the contagion was prevented from spreading any further. About half the people in camp I furnished with supplies from Z.C.M.I. at the expense of the city. A great portion of the time I was on the move day and night, and though handling most of the sick people in taking them to the grove, I was not attacked by the disease.”

Autobiography of Wiliam Nicole Fife cited in Orson F. Whitney, History of Utah, Vol 4, p. 163, Utah , Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah 1998 (Geo. Q. Cannon & Sons, 1904)

I learned by scanning through microfilm of the 1870 Ogden Junction, that this epidemic afflicted Ogden and the surrounding area for much of the year. Having the quarantine site on their land was not good for the Stephen’s family, having afflicted sixteen of them, according to Mr. Fife. John Stephens died Dec 3, 1870 at his residence near Burch Creek of smallpox.


The Ogden Semi-Weekly Junction,
3 December 1870

End of the Smallpox Epidemic?

An article in The Ogden Semi-Weekly Junction of December 14, 1870 stated:

Burch Creek–

The small pox at Burch Creek has, up to date, attacked sixteen persons, all members of the Stephens family. “Doctor” Ryle who has them in charge, pronounces them all, with the exception of Father Stephens whose death was announced last wee, in a state of convalescence, and expects that in a few days they will have entirely recovered.


The Ogden Semi-Weekly Junction, 14 December 1870

These accounts have some conflicts about the timing of this epidemic. Mr. Fife indicated the beginning of this epidemic as May, suggesting that Mrs. Eggleston would have died earlier than her July 6 death date. People would have been people quarantined by the time of her death, according to Fife’s account, so it would seem they would have known what Lurania died of, and she should have been quarantined as well.

Mr. Fife indicated that “ Only seven of the 89 cases were fatal and the epidemic was over by the end of October,” which doesn’t fit with the newspaper accounts that John Stephens died in December and his family members were still recovering. Of course, these accounts are based on the recollections of individuals.

If the numbers reported are correct – 89 people became sick, 16 of those were members of the Stephens family; and 7 died, including Lurania, Cora Gladys, May Julia and John Stephens. With four of the seven deaths being connected to the family, I wonder how many other family members got sick but recovered.

Uncle Howard Cheney Was a Doughboy

Joseph Howard Cheney
Joseph Howard Cheney in his World War I Uniform

I have always thought this a great photo. It is only after doing some research into the military service of Howard Cheney, that I can appreciate the proud, though somewhat terrified look as he stands at attention in his uniform.

Joseph Howard Cheney

Joseph Howard Cheney, was my grandmother’s brother, making him my Great Uncle. I have come to see him as Great in another way. He was born in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on June 20, 1891, the fifth child and fourth son of Selar Cheney and Mary Alice Wilson. His childhood in Jackson Hole was probably adventurous, but could it possibly have prepared him for what was to come?

Howard, as he was called, was a young man as World War I raged across the ocean. The United States was slow to join her allies in this War, waiting and watching until officially declaring War on April 6, 1917. Howard likely read available newspapers accounts and maybe thought about this War as he worked on his ranch.

The first U.S. Draft began in June 1917 and Howard was one of the first to register on June 5, 1917. He was 25 years old. On his registration card he indicated that he had no disability or exception to service.

Private Joseph Howard Cheney

Howard enlisted on May 24, 1918. He was sent to Camp Lewis in American Lake, Washington for training. Having been to this very place earlier this year, I can picture that. Camp Lewis has now morphed into Joint Base Lewis McChord, where my son-in-law was stationed.

Howard served as a Private in Battery A 145th Field Artillery 40 Division. On August 5, 1918, he sailed on the ship Scotian from New York City to France. Unfortunately, there are few available details about his service other than that he served in France until the end of the War. Just knowing about the horrors of this war and the devastation caused to France, we can assume that it was a frightening and horrible experience. Howard was not wounded, though one must wonder if he carried home unseen wounds.

The Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, ending this Great War. Howard left Bordeaux, France on December 23rd and arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey on January 5, 1919. He was discharged January 24, 1919 at Logan, Utah.

Article in Jackson’s Hole Courier
30 January 1919

Return to the Ranch in Jackson Hole

Howard returned to Jackson Hole January 26, 1919 and resumed ranching. He married Pearl Estella Mangum November 7, 1923. They had five children and raised four to adulthood. Howard farmed and fed his family through the Great Depression.

Howard with his children

With the entry of the United States into another World War, Howard again dutifully registered for the Draft. He was then 50 years old.

Howard died on the eve of Independence Day, July 3, 1949 in Brigham City, Utah at the relatively young age of 58.

Joseph Howard Cheney
Howard and Pearl in Brigham City

After his death, Howard’s wife Pearl applied for a Military Headstone for his grave. She was living in Brigham City, Utah at the time of the application, July 3, 1951. She had the stone marker shipped to her son-in-law Keith Shinkle of Victor, Idaho to the Wilson, Wyoming Post Office, which was on the other side of Teton Pass. This granite marker was placed on Howard’s grave in the South Park Cemetery, in Jackson, Wyoming.

Joseph Howard Cheney
Joseph H Cheney Headstone
South Park Cemetery, Jackson, Wyoming

Eggleston Family Members in Marcellus Baptist Church Records Part 4 1825 and later

The old church records that my father and I found at the Rose Hill/Thorn Hill Baptist Church on our visit in 2001, proved to be a wealth of information about our Eggleston family. The Articles of Faith and Covenant, along with church membership lists are in a previous post. The first excerpts of entries pertaining to Eggleston family members from the beginnings of the church in 1807 until 1811 are in Part 1. Part 2 covers entries from 1812 to 1816. Part 3 continues with 1816 to 1819. This post, Part 4 includes entries from 1825 and later.

1825

Nathan Eggleston began to have difficulties with the church in 1825.

Aug 13 1825
Voted that Dea Nathan Thompson and Br. Ebenezer Edwards be a committee to visit Brother Nathan Eagleston learn the state of his mind and report his case at our next church meeting. .

Nathan Eggleston’s case was resolved rather quickly, or at least the church did not spend much time in labor with him. Fellowship was withdrawn by vote on September 10, 1825.

Monthly Church meeting Sept 10th 1825
Dea N. Thompson and Br. E. Edwards reported that they had visited Br. Nathan Eagleston and that they found him in a very cold (dead) state of mind and that he had no desire to travail with the church and that he refused to attend this church meeting when requested so to do and further that he believed it the duty of the Church to exclude him from the fellowship. After sundry inquries made by the Brethren
Voted that we are at the end of labor with Br. Nathan Eagleston

1826

In 1826 Abraham Eggleston began to have difficulties with the church.

Feb 1826
Br. Abraham Eggleston came forward and manifested that his mind had been laboring under difficulties for a long time and thought that he could not walk with the church any longer and thought it the duty of the Church to exclude him from the Church It was suggested by some of the Brethren that we appoint a committee to visit Br. Eagleston a try to help his mind.
Voted that Brethren Amasa Sessions John B. Hoxey and Lemuel Smith be a committee to visit Br. Eagleston and report his case at our next monthly Church meeting.
The committee appointed to visit Br. Abraham Eagleston not all being present . Br. Sesions however made a favorable statement on the subject and requested another committee to visit Br. Eagleston and report his case at our next Ch mtg.

By August 1826, the church had come to the end of laboring with Abraham and fellowship was withdrawn from him.

24 (12) Aug 1826
After considerable time spent in conversation on Br. Eggleston’s case it was Voted that we are at the end of labor with Br. Abraham Eggleston. Voted to withdraw the hand of fellowship from Abraham Eggleston

1828

Benjamin Eggleston, son of Samuel and Rebecca Eggleston, along with his wife Elizabeth were baptized in May 1828. Unlike his brothers Samuel and Nathan, Benjamin was a faithful member and later served as a Deacon.

May 21, 1828
Came for the following persons:
Benjamin Eggleston
Elizabeth Eggleston

1832

By 1832, Benjamin Eggleston was a Deacon. There were many mentions of him through these later Church books, though we did not copy all of them.

1837

In 1837, Benjamin Eggleston was chosen Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the First Baptist Religious Society of Marcellus.

May 1837
At a meeting of the board of trustees of the first Baptist religious society of Marcellus held at the house of I. Mills Benjamin Eggleston was chosen chairman Charl. A. Calkins secretary & treasurer, Aaron Allen collector & S. C. Baker Sexton
Voted that 8 cords of wood be bought at 7/per cord of Charl A. Calkins & a collection taken on the 4th Sunday in May to pay Eld. B. W. Capron $3.00 for his service the past year in cleaning the house & building fires. E. Sesions B. Eggleston & A. Kneeland be requested to keep order below & J. Smith R. Hoxie & C. Calkins in the gallery. Eld B. W. Capron be requested to keep the key build fires, & sweep the house.

1841

In 1841 Benjamin Eggleston was chosen Trustee, along with his son-in-law Stepehn Vandenburgh. Stephen was also chosen as Clerk.

Theodore Eggleston, son of Benjamin, was Trustee years later, probably 1861 or 1867.

This concludes the transcriptions of pages that my father and I photocopied in 2001. We only copied pages that we noticed information about Eggleston family members, though we made some notes from other pages that were not copied. There likely were other mentions that we missed.

By the time of these later records, Benjamin and his family were the only Egglestons remaining in Marcellus and being associated with this church.

Note:

In my book, The Joseph Eggleston Family: Seven Generations from Joseph (d.1767) of Stonington, Connecticut to Joseph (1885-1965) of Utah and Wyoming (Including Maternal Lines: Hill, Burgess, Titus, Sammis & Johnson)  church record entries for specific people are discussed there under the heading CHURCH RECORDS. Background information about this church is included in Appendix B THE BAPTIST CHURCHES.