William Copeland 1818-1906
Posted By: Kathy Weaver (email)
Date: 4/12/2019 at 13:14:04
Thursday, January 3, 1907
DEATH OF A FIRST SETTLER
Wm. Copeland, who came to Iowa and settled in this vicinity before the first plat of the town of Villisca was laid out and who had made his home here almost continuously ever since, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. E.G. Day, in Clarinda last Friday evening about five o’clock, aged 88 years, 8 months and 11 days. His death, which was due to the advanced age to which he had attained, is the source of much regret and sorrow among the people of this vicinity, especially the old pioneers, and recalls much of the early history of Southwestern Iowa.
Coming to this country when the Moores and the Dunns and a few others were the only inhabitants, Mr. Copeland had seen the fruition of the plans to establish a town where Villisca is now located and had watched the railroad weed its way through the unsettled wilderness of Montgomery and surrounding counties. He knew Hawleyville when it was a town larger than either Villisca or Clarinda, or rather, he knew Villisca and Clarinda when they were towns smaller than Hawleyville. His first land was obtained from the government before the homestead law went into effect. It lies just a few miles southeast of town and is today worth at least $75 per acre. When the war broke out he enlisted with a cavalry company under Dr. E.H. Rumbaugh afterward company K of the old Missouri 25th Regiment, a body of men composed of both Iowa and Missouri volunteers who had their rendezvous at St. Joseph and were retained for emergency’s sake mostly in Missouri. He saw active service at Lexington and when his company was disbanded returned to Iowa and resumed his occupation of farming.
He was the father of six children, three of whom, Mrs. E.G. Day of Clarinda, C.H. Copeland of Lenox and Wm. Copeland of Dowdell, Oklahoma, are still living. His birth place was in Indiana, where he was first married, but in 1857 when the western fever had taken hold of many Indiana and Ohio people he came to Iowa and settled in the vicinity of “The Forks.” He was married twice but had no children by his second wife.
Funeral services over the body were held in the Advent Christian church Monday afternoon at two o’clock by Elder S.H. Coleman, the body having been shipped to this place for interment, where other deceased members of the family are buried.
Mr. Copeland was a member of the Advent Christian church and also of the G.A.R. in whose charge the obsequies were held. He was a good citizen and an honorable upright man and his life was well lived as it was long. A large number of mourning friends and bereaved relatives were present as the last sad rites were performed over his body.
Among those from out of town were: Mr. and Mrs. E.G. Day and Chas. Oats of Clarinda, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Copeland and Ed Copeland of Lenox, Mr. and Mrs. Stevens of near Chillicothe, Missouri, Mr. and Mrs. Hull of Elliott, W.E. Jackson of Sheridan, Wyoming, A.C. Jackson of New Market, and E.J. Orr and Mrs. J.W. Wise of Nodaway. Mr. Copeland was an uncle of J.S. and Dr. D.W. Jackson of this city.
Montgomery Obituaries maintained by Karon S. Velau.
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