Friday, September 27, 2013

Clara Elsie Epperson, Young Aunt

I can just imagine young mom, Mrs. Lizzie Redding, telling her little sister Clara -- 12 years her junior, "Pose with my little Elizabeth the way your posed with baby Keith when he visited. I just adore that photograph of you too!" Orders were potentially being given by a photographer, an older sister, and a mother who had transformed in the last few years into a beaming, proud grandmother. So, young Clara might be forgiven her scowl. Later on in life, she was known to dislike her photo being taken.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thomas Worley Epperson Obituary; Odebolt, Iowa

Thomas Worley Epperson
The Chronicle
Odebolt, Iowa
23 September, 1937

Aged Pioneer Died Saturday

Funeral Services for T. W. Epperson Held Tuesday

Thomas W. Epperson, for 55 years a resident of this community, was buried in the Odebolt cemetery Tuesday, Sept. 21. Memorial services conducted by the Rev. Lloyd Scheerer were held at the home on Hanson boulevard at 2:30 p.m. Minnie Kessler and Mrs. Marvin Friday sang "Face to Face" and "Abide with Me."

His two sons and four sons-in-law, Earl and Charles Epperson, Edwin A. Johnson, Otto Christensen, Errol Muckey, and W. G. Redding, carried Mr. Epperson to his final resting place.

Thomas W. Epperson, son of William and Frances Epperson, was born May 21, 1859, in Wythville, Withe [Wythe] county, Virginia, and passed away, after three weeks' illness, at his home in Odebolt Sept. 18, 1937, at the age of 78 years, four months, and 17 days.

In the spring of 1882 he came to Iowa [the 1925 Iowa census indicates he may have come to Iowa as early as 1880] and was married to Susannah Crozier [on December 14, 1882]. To this union 11 children were born. After living on the farm for two years, they moved to town where Mr. Epperson followed the carpenter trade until his health failed him. In 1932 Mr. and Mrs. Epperson celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in the presence of their children, marking a half century of living side by side here in the Odebolt community. Mr. Epperson was indeed an esteemed pioneer resident of Odebolt and literally did his part in building up the community. He enjoyed his home, where he spent many happy hours, and devoted much time to raising flowers.

Eight Children Survive
He was preceded in death by three children, Ruth, who died as a child; Ralph, who died in California; and John, who died in Virginia. Two years ago his wife answered the summons to that world beyond. Those left to mourn his loss are one sister, Mrs. Ida Shufflebarger of Yards, Va. [West Virginia]; eight children, Mrs. P. L. Chandler, Thurston, Neb.; Mrs. Edwin A. Johnson, Kiron; Charles Epperson, Craig, Neb.; Mrs. W. G. Redding, Lyons, Neb.; Earl Epperson, Ashland, Neb.; Mrs. Otto Christensen, Ida Grove; Mrs. Errol Muckey, Sioux City; and Ora Epperson, who made a home for her father in recent years. Also surviving are 30 grandchildren and four great grandchildren besides a large circle of neighbors and friends who knew him best.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Epperson, Craig, Neb.; Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Redding and Earl Martin, Lyons, Neb.; Earl Epperson, Ashland, Neb.; Mr. and Mrs. Otto Christiansen and family, Ida Grove; Mr. and Mrs. Errol Muckey and family, Sioux City; Mrs. P. L. Chandler, Thurston, Neb.; and Mr. and Mrs. Edwin A. Johnson and Nellie, Kiron were among those from a distance at the funeral.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Susannah Crozier Epperson Obituary; Odebolt, Iowa

The Chronicle
Odebolt, Iowa
15 August, 1935

Death Comes Suddenly to Mrs. Epperson

Settled here in 1882; Enjoyed Golden Wedding Two Years Ago

The sudden passing of Mrs. Thomas W. Epperson at her home here in Odebolt came as a surprise to the community Saturday evening. With only a few moments warning, death came about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, while she was sitting on the front porch with her husband. She was 75 years old.

Mrs. Epperson had been left rather feeble as a result of a stroke about a year and a half ago, and although she seemed to be quite strong physically, it left her heart in a weakened condition, which was the immediate cause of her sudden death.

Golden Anniversary
It was on Dec. 14, 1932, that Mr. and Mrs. Epperson had the joy of celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in the presence of their children, marking a half century of living side by side through hardships and happiness right here in the Odebolt community.

Since 1888, when Mrs. Epperson transferred her membership from her former church at Oak Park, Pa., to the Methodist church at Odebolt, she has been a faithful and loyal member of the local church. She was always ready to do her part in every activity of the church work. As a member of the Bible class, Circles and Missionary groups, she evidenced her faith in her Master by her works through all these years.

Susannah Epperson surrounded by several of her children. Back: Ora and Bess. Front: Clara, Jack (John), Susannah, and Floss (Flora).
Service at M. E. Church
Her pastor, the Rev. J. A. Farnham, was in charge of the memorial service at the Methodist church Tuesday afternoon. Mrs. J. B. Hatch and Eleanor Kessler sang "Home of the Soul" and "I Will Meet You at the Eastern Gate." Minnie Kessler was the accompanist. Burial was at the Odebolt cemetery beside a daughter, Ruth, who died in childhood.

Pall bearers were: J. L. Bruce, F. J. Gilbert, F. A. Frevert, Al Hanson, Thomas Raftery, and B. B. Strieby.

Before marriage Mrs. Epperson was Susannah Crozier, born Feb. 17, 1860, at Landisburg, Pa. Early in life she was converted, baptised and united in fellowship with the Church of God at Oak Park, Pa., from where she later transferred her membership to Odebolt.

Came to Iowa in 1882
In the spring of 1882 she came to Iowa and united in marriage with Thomas W. Epperson on Dec. 14, 1882. After living two years in the country, they moved to Odebolt, where they have lived for the last 50 years.

She was the mother of 11 children, three of whom preceded her in death, namely -- Ruth, who died as a little girl; Ralph, who died in California in 1927; and John, who died in Virginia a few years ago.

Surving her, in addition to her aged and feeble husband, are the following children: Mrs. P. L. Chandler, Thurston, Neb; Mrs. Edwin Johnson, Kiron; Mrs. W. G. Redding, Lyons, Neb.; Mrs. Otto Christiansen, Schaller; Mrs. Errol Muckey, Odebolt; Ora, at home; Charles, Craig, Neb.; and Earl, Ashland, Neb.

There are 30 grandchildren, three great grandchildren and two nephews.

Susannh Epperson holding two of her grandchildren, Kendall Muckey and one of the Johnson children.
Those from a distance who came for the funeral were: Mrs. P. S. Chandler, Thurston, Neb.; Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Redding, Fae Garth and Betty Sue, of Lyone, Neb.; Charles Epperson, Craig, Neb.; Earl Epperson, Ashland, Neb.; Mrs. and Mrs. Otto Christiansen and children, Schaller; Mr. and Mrs. Edwin A. Johnson and children, Kiron; Mr. and Mrs. George Miller and Mrs. Jennie Graff, Early; Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Christiansen, Olaf Olson and children, Schaller; Alta; Mrs. D. J. Edgar and daughter, Arthur; and Mrs. Crichton and daughter of Wall Lake. Lillian Engberg and Mrs. W. A. Johnson of Kiron.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thomas and Susannah Epperson Part One (work in progress)

Updated 4 December 2013

Thomas Worley Epperson was born on 1 May 1859 in Wytheville, Wythe, Virginia, one of 11 children of William D. Epperson and Frances Ann Brown.  William was a day laborer, and I am sure it was quite a feat to feed all those young ones.  Thomas was one of the middle children and only a toddler when his father served the Confederacy during the War for Southern Independence. A family story persists that William was a circuit rider during the Civil War. I don't know if he was or not (I would love to know more), but I do know he was a private in the 51st Regiment, Virginia Infantry, Company C. In 1870, William owned no real estate and his personal estate was worth $350. 350 dollars in 1870 had the same buying power as 6244.76 current dollars. As a young man, Thomas became a carpenter and traveled to Iowa to build a barn in 1880.  He chose to stay and was 23 years old in 1882 when he married Susannah Crozier, a newly arrived 22 year old from Pennsylvania.

Susannah was the daughter of Armstrong and Mary Jane Updegraff. She was born on 17 Feb 1860 in Landisburg, Perry County, Pennsylvania and was the youngest of three children.  Her older siblings were Alfred James Crozier and Sarah Elizabeth "Lizzie" Crozier.

Her father, Armstrong, was a constable in Spring City, Perry, Pennsylvania when the census was taken in 1860; her maternal grandmother and aunt, Sarah and Henrietta Updegraff, also lived with the family.

Mary Jane, age 27, died when Susannah was two years old, and Armstrong married his sister-in-law Henrietta.  So, Susannah's aunt became her stepmother.   Armstrong served in the U.S. Army for a year and six months in 1864 and 1865 as a sergeant in Company K of the 210th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry. This very likely meant he was stationed at Appomattox Court House during the surrender of Lee and his army and participated in the victory parades in Washington, D.C. before returning home to his wife and children. Armstrong survived the war but died three years later on 28 March 1868. His daughter Susannah was only eight years old.

As a result of Armstrong's untimely death at age 36, the family was broken up. The Crozier name proved difficult to find in 1870 (it was misspelled "Kossier") but I did eventually find Susannah, or "Susan" (as she was called in her youth) still living with her aunt/stepmother Henrietta and maternal grandmother Sarah Updegraff in Spring township, Perry county, Pennsylvania. Her 13 year old year sister Sarah was with the David and Eliza White family in Pine, Mercer, Pennsylvania. I have been unable to locate Alfred. It is possible that Alfred died young, but we have no idea what truly happened to him. 

Susannah became a follower of Christ early in life.  She was converted, baptized, and united in fellowship with the Church of God at Oak Park, Pennsylvania where she remained a member until she transferred her membership to her Iowa church several years after her move there.

Susannah's grandmother, Sarah Updegraff, died 5 Aug 1875 and was buried in the Saint Peters United Church of Christ Cemetery in Bridgeport, Perry, Pennsylvania. By 1880, Susan was now 20 years old and a servant in the Charles and Catherine Kutz family in Middlesex, Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Her stepmother/aunt lived just next door.

Two years later, in the spring of 1882, Susannah Crozier moved to Iowa. I would love to find out how she decided to come to the midwest. Did she come alone? Did she come with family or as a servant?

Susannah Crozier married Thomas Worley Epperson on 14 Dec 1882 in Sac City, Sac, Iowa.  Their first of 11 children, Etta, was born nine months later in September of 1883.

This is just some of the beginning of the story of Thomas Worley Epperson and his wife Susannah Crozier.  It is a work in progress for sure, but writing some of the details found in records and indexes makes my family's history come alive for me. It is my hope to include little stories told by the grandchildren who loved Grandma and Grandpa Epperson so much.  More to come!