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EPPERSON William Perry

Male 1859 - 1930  (71 years)


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  • Name EPPERSON William Perry 
    Born 23 Sep 1859  Galesburg, Knox, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Newspaper report of death list Abingdon, IL which is about 25 miles south of Galesburg, Illinois. Death certificate list place of birth as Galesburg. Death certificate list parents as Hiram Perry Epperson and Suzanna Richardson, wife Leanora Ash. Informant on death certificate was son Clyde Epperson. However, William made a Son's of the American Revolution application in November of 1929 and he list Marguerite Perkins as mother with Susanna Richardson as grandmother.
    Gender Male 
    Occupation
    • Salt Lake Tribune

      History: A country newsman bleeds printer's ink


      Published November 9, 2012 3:04 pm

      In the early spring of 1912, newspaperman William Perry Epperson and his son, Clyde, boarded the Bamberger Electric Railroad train — heralded for its "every hour, on the hour, in an hour" service — and traveled to Kaysville, Utah.
      According to J.M. Cornwell's Utah Press Association: A Century Later, the two men had leased a plate-littered, "broken down" paper called The Weekly Reflex. Little did anyone know within weeks they would stimulate readership by crafting country journalism with a swell of national news.
      William Epperson was born in 1859 in Abingdon, Ill. He graduated from high school at 17 and trained as a "printer's devil" on the Abingdon Express. When the 19-year-old tried but failed to publish his own newspaper he, like so many other youths, headed west.
      During the late 19th century, Colorado's silver mining industry was booming. Epperson picked up odd jobs in Denver and then traveled south to Colorado City (later known as Colorado Springs).
      He married his sweetheart, Leonora Ash, and the couple had two children, Clyde and Estella. William became active in Colorado City community affairs. In 1888, he purchased a weekly newspaper, The Colorado Iris. For the next 20 years, he worked with Clyde — who cut his teeth on metal type — to make it a success.
      "The last decade wasn't easy," researcher and director of Layton's Heritage Museum, Bill Sanders, told me. "By 1893, the silver market was collapsing, Colorado was in a mining depression and without jobs people were forced to leave."
      Sanders, whose manuscript, "The Gentiles: Their Life and Legacy," includes a history of The Weekly Reflex, said the Eppersons struggled to keep the Iris alive. Increasing print costs, waning subscriptions and dwindling profits proved too much.
      In 1909, news of land speculation and fruit booms in Green River, Utah, persuaded the family to pull up stakes and move even farther west.
      William returned to farming and community life. He helped lead the drive to build a bridge over the Green River and in 1910 worked for the Green River Dispatch. Three years of early frosts and crop losses convinced him that printer's ink was his true calling and sole proprietorship his aim. "If you see a weekly around in Utah that's selling cheap, let me know," he encouraged friends.
      The Reflex was named to reflect reality. When William took over as editor and managing director on April 4, 1912, the paper was saddled with a $2,000 deficit. His first two issues resembled most weeklies: local news and "boilerplates" of ready-to-print copy and revenue-driven advertisements, such as "Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound and various catarrh [runny nose] remedies," the UPA reported.
      But Epperson understood the impact and value of news. On April 15, 1912, his publishing acumen was unparalleled.
      The day before, the British passenger liner RMS Titanic was on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City when she hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean and sank. An estimated 705 people were rescued but more than 1,500 perished.
      Without delay, syndicated news services offered weeklies their reports. Epperson grasped the opportunity to give his readers first-hand accounts about a maritime disaster that shocked the world.
      The Reflex captured readers' imagination with images, investigative inquiries, tales of courage and stories by those who survived the Titanic and of those who died.
      The paper's circulation soared and advertising copy increased. For nearly two decades, Epperson modernized the paper, expanded its home print and highlighted school sports and activities. Gleaning numerous journalism awards, he was progressive with content and fearless in his editorials.
      A city councilman and long-time UPA president, Epperson ran the paper until his death in January 1931. In tribute, The Salt Lake Tribune reported, "The country press lost a sterling character — a stalwart champion on the public welfare."
    Died 31 Dec 1930  Ogden, Weber, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Address:
    Died at a party of heart failure 
    • From The Jonesboro Gazette, 16 Jan 1931

      W. P. Epperson died 31 Dec 1930, of a heart attack while attending a party.

      He was born 23 Sep 1859, at Abingdon, Ill., and went west in 1878.

      He was editor of the Kaysville, Utah, "Reflex".

      He was a cousin of Bertha Campbell of Jonesboro.
    Buried 4 Jan 1931  Kaysville, Davis, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3
    Address:
    Kaysville City Cemetery 
    Person ID I97  Ash
    Last Modified 10 Jun 2017 

    Family ASH Leonora Ann,   b. 19 Jul 1861, Raymond, Montgomery, Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Aug 1937, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years) 
    Married 10 May 1888  Colorado City, El Paso, Colorado, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Children 
     1. EPPERSON Clyde A. Epperson,   b. 23 Dec 1889, Colorado Springs (Old Colorado City), El Paso, Colorado, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Sep 1940, New York City, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 50 years)
     2. EPPERSON Estella E.,   b. 1 Jul 1897, Colorado Springs (Old Colorado City), El Paso, Colorado, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Jan 1983, Monterey, Monterey, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
    Last Modified 13 May 2018 
    Family ID F32  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S402] Death Certificate-Utah, William Perry Epperson; Ogden, Weber County, Utah; #591; 1930.

    2. [S402] Death Certificate-Utah, William Perry Epperson; Ogden, Weber county, Utah; #591; 1930.

    3. [S401] Find A Grave, Internet; 2017; William P Epperson, Kaysville, Weber county, Utah.

    4. [S15] Ancestral File-Coffey/Behen/Ash (Reliability: 2).

    5. [S399] Obituary-Leonora Ash Epperson, Obituary; 25 August 1937; Leonora Ash Epperson.