On to Nauvoo, Illinois
The 2001 Eggleston Genealogy Odyssey continued after our visit to Winter Quarters and Council Bluffs, Iowa. After spending the night at a campground called “Sleepy Hollow”, Dad and I started early Monday August 5, and drove a few hours south from Iowa City. We crossed the Mississippi River on a Bridge by Fort Madison and drove into Nauvoo, Illinois from the east. What we saw was a small town on the bluff with some shops and houses and then right in front of us was the Nauvoo Temple under construction.
Nauvoo Temple under construction in 2001
The Land Office
One of our first stops was the land office where we looked up where our ancestors had lived. We spent more time there than I expected and got quite a lot of information.
The Eggleston home on Block 62 and the Garlick home on Block 34. The Temple Block is the larger dark square in the Wells area
The Garlick home would have been a few blocks further beyond the trees in the photo below where it goes down into a gully. The Cheney family lived outside of town.
Little is known of the details of the life of Harvey Burgess Eggleston. He was just becoming an adult when his life was cut short. We can only imagine what his life would have been like if he had lived, and wonder about the circumstances of his death.
Birth of Harvey Burgess Eggleston
Harvey Burgess Eggleston, the 5th child of Samuel and Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston, was born February 8, 1836, In Sempronius, Cayuga County, New York. He was named for his grandfather Harvey Burgess. His parents lost their first 2 sons as infants, so when Harvey was born he had two older brothers.
The birth date of Harvey Burgess Eggleston was recorded in the Eggleston Family Bible – bottom on the left
January 16th marks the anniversary of the birth of Samuel Eggleston, son of Samuel and Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston. His birth, life and death occurred during a very dark time and place in the lives of his family and the larger community of Latter-day Saints. Early in 1846, the Saints were forced to leave their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois. The Eggleston family were not among the first to leave. They stayed until sometime in the spring of 1846 according to Samuel’s account. They may have stayed longer than others for financial reasons, or to help with the completion of the Temple which was dedicated May 1, 1846.
The Egglestons traveled to Winter Quarters in Nebraska, where the Saints had gathered to prepare to go further west. Small cabins were built where they spent a miserable winter. There was inadequate food for the many refugees camped there. There was also much disease which was easily spread. Many people died during that year, especially the very young and very old.
Birth of baby Samuel to Lurania and Samuel Eggleston
Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston
Lurania Powers Burgess Eggleston, who was 38 years old at that time, gave birth to a son on the bleak winter day of January 16th. Patty Sessions was a prominent midwife during that time. Fortunately for us, she kept records in her diary and an account book. Her notation under the date of 16 January was “Put sister Eggleston to bed with a son Samuel E.” “Putting to bed” was her way of noting the confinement and delivery of a baby. Patty’s account book showed that Samuel Eggleston paid $2.00 for her services January 16.
The birth of this child must have brought great joy to the family at a time of great suffering. He was given the name of his father – Samuel. He may have also been named after Samuel H. Smith who along with Orson Hyde had introduced the family to the Restored Gospel. (They had named their last born son Orson Hyde Eggleston)
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.
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.
When I began serious Eggleston genealogical research, I learned to look to earlier research first. It is always a good idea to check what has been done, so as to not waste time and effort. Unfortunately, I found that some earlier work was not correct. Errors and false assumptions had been perpetuated by those who accepted earlier works without necessarily thinking things through or further checking.
My Great-grandfather Orson H. Eggleston gathered genealogical information while serving a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Michigan in 1876-77. Apparently while there he corresponded with someone in New York City about the Eggleston family. He included this copy of a response with a letter to his father, seeking his father’s advice on how to respond. He seemed hopeful that this Nicholas would have helpful information. I am not sure what happened with this, but it does indicate how early Orson tried to learn more about the larger Eggleston family.
In an earlier family letter Eliza Barron told her brother Samuel Eggleston about a letter she had received from Rev. A. Eggleston of Broome County, New York. He was requesting information about family members, including birth, death and marriage dates. Eliza seemed skeptical of his intentions and unsure of his address. It is not known what response Samuel gave her or if she ever sent any information to this person. This would have been the Ambrose mentioned in this letter from Melville, who apparently had been researching and collecting information on the Eggleston family.
Orson Hyde Eggleston journaled his experience of the settling of Afton Wyoming. Part three covers March to May 1886.
Orson Hyde Eggleston journaled his experience of the settling of Afton Wyoming. Part two covers January and February of 1886.
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.
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.
Ambrose Hill was born March 21, 1744 in Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut. He died February 26, 1816 in Cornwall, Addison, Vermont. He was buried in Cornwall. He was on a list of Revolutionary War Soldiers buried in Cornwall, Vermont. Ambrose married Lucy Beach October 10, 1764 in Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut. Lucy Beach was born January 27, 1746 in Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut. She died March 18, 1838, in Cornwall, Addison, Vermont.
Ambrose Hill served in the Revolutionary War. His widow Lucy received a Pension for his service. According to information in his Pension file ( Pension File No. W21338 ) Ambrose Hill was a resident of Richmond, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, when he enlisted in April 1775. He served 15 days as a Corporal under Colonel Patterson; six months as Orderly Sargent under Aaron Rowley, Colonel Jonathan Smith; one month and four days as Captain under Colonel Powell, and was in the battles of Bunker Hill, Benington, Stillwater, and at the surrender of Burgoyne and evacuation of Ticonderoga.
Seth Burgess was born May 31, 1745 in Canterbury, Windham, Connecticut. He died January 24, 1814 in Sempronius, Cayuga, New York. He was buried in the Kellogsville Cemetery in Sempronius in February 1814. He married Selinda Olive Cady about 1767. She was born November 16, 1748 in Windham County, Connecticut. She died August 20, 1837 in Sempronius, Cayuga, New York.
Seth Burgess served in the Revolutionary War from Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The early history of Berkshire County parallels the history of the Revolution. In its earliest days there were stirrings of rebellion and the residents of Berkshire were very involved. In 1777 it was voted that in order to encourage enlistment in the Continental Army, a bounty of $10 would be assessed to anyone refusing to serve. Later, in August 1777, it was voted that if any one drafted to serve should refuse to march or to get a substitute, he would be fined $40. This money was to help pay the soldiers. Seth Burgess apparently took the option to serve in the Army.