James Troy EPPERSON Opal Laura EPPERSON Sarah Elizabeth DOUGLAS Finis Jerome EPPERSON Emma Victoria HOLLOMAN Mini tree diagram

Matthew Bradley EPPERSON8,6,2,3,7,4,9

5th Nov 18621,2,3,4 - 31st May 19349,4,4

Life History

5th Nov 1862

Born in Zama, Nevada, Arkansas.1,2,3,4

between 1880 and 1900

Resident in Union, Nevada, Arkansas.2,3

30th Mar 1881

Married Sarah Elizabeth DOUGLAS in Bluff City, Nevada, Arkansas.1,19,4

17th Jul 1889

Birth of son James Troy EPPERSON in Nevada County, Arkansas.14,15,16

21st Oct 1898

Birth of daughter Opal Laura EPPERSON in Chidester, Ouachita, Arkansas.17,18

28th Oct 1900

Death of Sarah Elizabeth DOUGLAS in Chidester, Nevada, Arkansas.4

1st Jan 1906

Birth of son Finis Jerome EPPERSON in Nashville, Howard, Arkansas.6,10,11,7,8,12


Residence2 in Bandera County, Texas.6


Residence3 in Gonzales County, Texas.7

8th Aug 1929

Death of Emma Victoria HOLLOMAN in Brown County, Texas.13,4


Residence4: Grand Avenue in Justice Precinct 1, Johnson, Texas.8

31st May 1934

Died in Chidester, Nevada, Arkansas.9,4,4

Uremic Poisoning

after 31st May 1954

Buried in Cleburne Memorial Cemetery, Cleburne, Johnson County, Texas.5,4

Other facts


Married Emma Victoria HOLLOMAN


  • In the 1880 census, Matthew is in his parents' household in Union Township of Nevada County, Arkansas.  He is 17 years old.

    1880 Federal Census, Nevada County, Arkansas, 16 June, Union Township, District 216, page 29A, Hse #238, Fam #242
    Epperson, Leander M  W M  53   Miller TN TN AL
    Epperson, Nancy M  W F  49  Wife   AL SC SC
    Epperson, Mathew B  W M  17  Son AR TN AL

    Matthew Bradley Epperson
    Born November 05, 1862 at Ouachita Co. Ark
    Died May 31, 1934 at Chidester Ark
    Father Leander Melinton Epperson
    Mother Nancy Matilda Black
    Married Emma Victoria Reeves
    Born March 04, 1866
    Died August 02, 1929 at Cleburne, TX
    Additional Spouses: Sarah Elizabeth (Lizzie) Douglas
    Father James McEwing Douglas
    Mother Martha Jane Grayson
    Born February 14, 1864 at Liberty, Ouachita Co. Ark
    Died October 28, 1900 at Chidester, Nevada Co. Ark
    --  Epperson Genealogy, http://epperson.eppygen.org/FamilyTree/F212.htm

    Richard B Jones records the family of Leander and Nancy:
    Leander Melinton EPPERSON
    Birth: 8 FEB 1827 in Tennessee
    Death 31 DEC 1893 in Ouachita County, AR
    Burial Gulley Cemetery
    Married 20 DEC 1849 in Ouachita County, AR
    Nancy Matilda BLACK
    Birth 28 JAN 1831 in Alabama
    Death 17 FEB 1902 in Ouachita County, AR
    Burial Gulley Cemetery
    William Augustus EPPERSON b: 29 AUG 1851 in Ouachita County, AR
    Thomas James EPPERSON b: 21 JUN 1853 in Ouachita County, AR
    Casandra Hepsybeth EPPERSON b: 6 OCT 1855 in Ouachita County, AR
    Leander Alver EPPERSON b: 24 JUN 1857 in Ouachita County, AR
    Robert Kellog EPPERSON b: 10 AUG 1859 in Ouachita County, AR
    John Columbus EPPERSON b: 30 APR 1861 in Ouachita County, AR
    Matthew Bradley EPPERSON b: 5 NOV 1862 in Ouachita County, AR
    Joe Francis EPPERSON b: 6 SEP 1864 in Ouachita County, AR
    Rueben Gully EPPERSON b: 3 JUN 1866 in Ouachita County, AR
    Edgar Eugene EPPERSON b: 2 JAN 1869 in Ouachita County, AR
    Mary Jane Thelder EPPERSON b: 2 MAR 1870 in Ouachita County, AR
    Henry Jackson EPPERSON b: 7 AUG 1872 in Ouachita County, AR
    Finis Rooks EPPERSON b: 27 APR 1874 in Ouachita County, AR
    --  John Moore, http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=johnmoone&id=I9463

    In 1900 we find Matthew married to his first wife Sarah Elizabeth (Lizzie) Douglas, still living in Nevada County, Arkansas, where he was with his parents in 1880.

    1900 Federal Census, Nevada County, Arkansas, 15 June, Union Township, District 81, page 11A, Hse/Fam #183
    Epperson, Mathew B  Head  W M  Nov 1862  37  Married 20 years  AR TN AL Farmer  Owns
    Epperson, Mathew [Lizzie]  Wife  W F  Feb 1864  36  Married 20 years  Borne 8 children, 5 living  AR TN TN
    Epperson, Willie B Dau W F  Jan 1883  17  AR AR AR
    Epperson, Lula Dau W F  Jan 1886  14  AR AR AR
    Epperson, Mitchel S  Son  W M  Sept 1894  5  AR AR AR
    Epperson, Opal Dau W F  Oct 1898  1  AR AR AR
    Epperson, Nancy M  Mother W F  Jun 1831  69  TN SC NC

    Note that the enumerator absent-mindedly wrote Mathew's name again for the wife's name!  He has the husband as Mathew B and the wife as Mathew!  We know from family sources that this wife is Sarah Elizabeth (Lizzie) Douglas.  The number of years married tells us that Matthew and Lizzie got married in about 1880.  Steve Mathis, in his genealogy of the Eppersons, reports the exact date as 30 March 1881.  He does not give a location for the marriage ceremony.  This date means they had actually been married only 19 years at the time of the 1900 census, though they reported 20 years.  This is another reminder of the more relaxed concept of time people had in that era.

    1910 Federal Census, Bandera County, Texas, 20 April, Justice Precinct 6, District 13, page ?, Hse #43, Fam #45
    Epperson, M B  Head  M W 42  2nd Marriage  (# of years not stated) AR TN AL Farm[er]  Rents
    Epperson, Emma V  Wife  F W 44  2nd Marriage, married 25 years  Borne 8 children, 6 living  AR GA GA
    Epperson, Troy  Son M W 20  AR AR AR Farm Laborer
    Epperson, Mitchel  Son M W 14  AR AR AR Farm Laborer
    Epperson, Opal  Son M W 11  AR AR AR
    Epperson, Finis  Son M W 4  AR AR AR
    Reeves, Walter  [Step]son M W 21  AR AR AR Farm[er]
    Reeves, Grover  [Step]son M W 17  AR AR AR Farm Laborer
    Reeves, Myrtle [Step]daughter F W 11 AR AR AR

    The marriage information tells us that Matthew and Emma were both married before, and that they have been married for 25 years.  This would mean they were married about 1885.  This period of time for the marriage does not seem right, though.  All the children except the oldest, Walter Reeves, are less than 25 years old, yet three have the last name Reeves.  Though the last three children are reported here as Matthew's children, they are reported with the surname of Reeves.  This tells us that Emma's first husband was named Reeves.  I have not discovered his first name.

    The father of the Reeves children is reported in the 1900 census as born in Connecticut.  Notice that now in the 1910 census, the state reported is Arkansas.  It appears that the enumerator considered Matthew Epperson as the Reeves children's father also, and wrote his state of birth for their father's.  The 1920 census reports Ruth (Myrtle) as a step-daughter of Matthew, so this seems to confirm that she and the other Reeves children are children of Emma Victoria's first husband.

    With the information on the Reeves children I was able to find the Emma and her children in the 1900 census.  I found that she was a widowed head of household with these children in the household.  In the 1920 census, Finis is only 4 years old, and if he is Emma's son, she would have been 49 when she bore him.  This is old for childbearing.  So I thought it possible his mother was the first wife, and Matthew married Emma after 1906 when Finis was born.  But all the Epperson family genealogies I have found report that Finis Jerome is the son of Emma Victoria Reeves and Matthew Bradley Epperson.

    None of the genealogies I have found report a previous spouse for Emma.  Reeves is reported as though it was Emma's maiden name.  In the 1910 census the Reeves children's father is reported as born in Arkansas, whereas in 1920 Ruth and Grover's father was said to have been born in New York.  It looks like in 1910 the enumerator reported the children all as children of Matthew, thus they gave his birth state for the father, instead of Mr Reeves' birth state.

    1920 Federal Census, Gonzales County, Texas, 2 January, Justice Precinct 5, District 94, page 1A, Wrightsboro St, Hse/Fam #1
    Epperson, Matthew B  Head  Rents  M W 57  AR TN AL Minister, Group of Churches
    Epperson, Emma V  Wife  F W 53  AR GA GA
    Epperson, Finis J  Son M W 14  AR AR AR
    Reeves, Ruth Stepdaughter F W 21 AR NY AR Teacher

    The Eppersons are the first family enumerated in their District.  The census page also indicates that Matthew is the enumerator for this census.  Since Ruth Reeves is 21 here, she matches the child Myrtle Reeves, who was 11 in the 1910 census.  So I would guess her name was Myrtle Ruth (or less euphoniously possibly Ruth Myrtle).  Notice the state of birth of her father is now reported as New York, which is at least a neighboring state of Connecticut, reported in 1900.

    The age of Matthew here is 15 years greater than the age reported in 1910!  However, this age of 57 fits the family's reported date of birth for Matthew of 5 November 1862.  Here Ruth corresponds to Myrtle in the 1910 census.  I suspect her full name was Myrtle Ruth.  Ruth is now reported as stepdaughter, rather than as daughter.  Ruth's brother Grover, who was in the Epperson family household in 1910, is living 5 farms away, in the household of Bennett and Ira Henry, for whom he works as a Hired Man on their farm.

    While in 1910 Matthew is reported as a farmer, in 1920, while still living on a farm, he is reported as a Minister to a "group of churches."  In March 2008, I found Matthew and other Eppersons referred to in a book about Presbyterians.  In the 1930 census a widower living with his son Finis J and family.  Emma Victoria died in 1929.  Matthew is listed in 1930 as Mathew W Epperson.  Note spelling of Matthew with one T in this census.

    1930 Federal Census, Johnson County, Texas, 24 April, Justice Precinct 1, District 4, page 15B, Hse #232, Fam #244
    Epperson, Finis J  Head M W 24  married at age 18 [abt 1926] AR AR AR Clerk, Steam Railway
    Epperson, Jessie E  Wife  F W 22 married at age 17 [abt 1925] TX TX TX
    Epperson, Finis A  Son M W 3yrs 10mos  TX AR TX
    Epperson, Mathew W  Father M W 67 Widower  TX AR TX

    The occupation entered for Matthew is interesting  here.  First the enumerator wrote what appears to be Clergyman, Retired (and another word that might be Pension).  This, then, is marked through, and the word None is written. Matthew's age here again matches the known birthday reported by Jimmy Epperson in his genealogy.  Steve Mathis give more complete names for the children in some cases.  I do not list all the children in my database.

    Here is Steve's list to supplement the census information above:
    Corrie no date or place of birth (died in 1900 before the census)
    Lulie no date or place of birth (Lula in 1900, b Jan 1886)
    Willie Blanche b 6 Jan 1884 (Willie B in 1900 census, birth given there as Jan 1883)
    Dwight b 1887 (not in any census, have died before age 3)
    James Troy 16 Jul 1889 Arkansas (not in the 1900 census, Troy age 20 in the 1910 census) I have James Troy in the database
    Mitchell Stokes b 9 Sep 1896 (1900 census Mitchel S birth date there is Sept 1894, 2 years earlier!)
    Milton no date or place of birth (no match in censuses, died same year of birth 1887)
    Opal Laura b 21 Oct 1898 in Chidester, Nevada, Arkansas (Opal in 1900 census, birth date there Oct 1898, Opal age 11 in 1910)

    Jimmy Epperson clarifies the situation for Dwight, indicating that Dwight Laughlin was born in 7 February 1892 and died on August 1899.  His brother James Troy later named one of his sons Dwight Laughlin.  Jimmy fills out some more details on this family also.  He adds full names for some:
    Corrie b 30 January 1882, d 1900
    Willie Blanch b 16 January 1883, d 18 December 1967
    Lula Matilda b 14 January 1886, d 1902
    Milton Ewing b 6 September 1887, d 1887
    James Troy (Big Pop) 17 July 1889, d 28 December 1967
    Mitchell Stokes b 9 September 1895, d 19 March 1960
    Opal Laura b 21 October 1898, d 5 October 1990

    The date of birth for James Troy in Steve Mathis' information as 16 July 1889 and in Jimmy Epperson's genealogy as 17 July 1889.  This child for some reason is not listed in the 1900 census, when he should be 10 years old.  His age in the 1910 as age 20.  Here is the burial information from the Cleburne, Texas, Memorial Cemetery register:
    Epperson, Matthew Bradley, b Nov. 05, 1862, d May 31, 1954; Block 54, Lot 4 CLEBURNE MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Johnson County, Texas
    --  RootsWeb Cemetery Registers, Cleburne, http://www.rootsweb.com/~txjohnsocemeteries/cleburnemem54.html

    Jimmy Epperson reports:
    Matthew was in Chidester on a vacation when he fell ill from uremic poisoning and died.  He was returned to Cleburne, TX for his funeral service.  He is buried in the Cleburne Cemetery next to his second wife, Emma Reeves.
    --  RootsWeb, Epperson,  http://www.rootsweb.com/~gaclarke/Families/GrpSheets/EppersonLeander.htm

    Arkansas Death Index, 1914-1950
    Mathew B Epperson
    Death 31 May 1934 Ouachita County
    Roll #19341940, Page 1038


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