Tillapaugh, Walter and Sarah (Feltis)

(Evelyn Zingula)

Walter G. Tillapaugh was born 24 Nov 1853 in Ypsilanti, Ml to George and Julia M. (Tuttle) Tillapaugh. The oldest of 6 sons, he moved with his family to Winneshiek Co. about 1856 where they settled on a 40 acre farm in Section 28 of Hesper Twp. Walter grew up there, married and became one of the influential farmers of Winneshiek Co. Walter’s ancestors were part of the Palatine emigration and came from Germany to America in 1710 settling in New York State.

On 20 Mar 1878 Walter married Sarah Gordon Feltis daughter of William and Mary Ann (McCarl) Feltis, former residents of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Sarah was born 13 May 1860. Her family moved to Winneshiek Co. in 1865. They stayed all night in west Decorah moving on to Burr Oak the next day and settled on a farm west of the Halver Ramlo farm. Later they moved into Burr Oak where they bought a little house west of the Burr Oak school. Sarah and Walter were married at the home of her father William in the forenoon and returned immediately to farm work. Walter had a log cabin on the farm 1 mile south, 2 miles east of Burr Oak. Fie purchased adjoining land and built a house. Fie inherited the home farm when his parents died. In 1915 he owned the E 1/2 NE 1/4 Section 32 Hesper Twp. where the North Winneshiek School is now located.

Bio Photo

Walter and Sarah Tillapaugh 50th wedding anniversary taken in Decorah, IA.

Walter never complained and rarely argued with anyone. He enjoyed hard work or at least accepted it with toleration. He played the accordian and sang and whistled while at work. He kept about 30 beehives and sold honey. He was also an avid fisherman.

In the spring of 1923 Walter and Sarah retired from the farm and purchased a home on Center and North Streets in West Decorah. In Dec 1930 Walter’s health began to fail. He spent 3 1/2 months in LaCrosse hospital where all possible was done but to no avail. He was brought home 3 Apr 1931 and died 8 Apr 1931. Burial was in the Burr Oak Cemetery. After his death Sarah made her home with her son Emmons in Cedar Rapids, IA where she died suddenly the evening of 24 Jan 1938. She was buried in the Burr Oak Cemetery.

Following are the children and grandchildren of Walter and Sarah: Robert Walter (b. 21 Dec 1878) Hesper Twp. married 6 Jun 1906 at Decorah to Karen O. E. Peterson. He was employed as a farmer, Decorah Street Commissioner and county road worker. He died 6 Jan 1961 and was buried in Decorah Lutheran Cemetery. Robert and Karen had one daughter Idella Hope (b. 2 Feb 1907) Hesper Twp. She married Lester M. Gordon 27 Apr 1938. She was a nurse. Idella and Lester had 2 children: Helen Genevieve and Leo David. Helen married Peter Eui Kyung Chang 21 Dec 1968 and has one son Daniel Y Chang; Leo married Paula Jean Haugen 31 Dec 1967. They had 3 children: Matthew Wade, David Jon and Molly Katherine. Archibald G. (b. 22 Mar 1883) Hesper Twp. married Bessie Karoline Johnson 9 Dec 1908: Employment—Farming, employee of Penick & Ford, Cedar Rapids. He died 2 Jul 1955 and is buried in Cedar Rapids. Archibald and Bessie had 2 children: lolaand Myrtle, lola Wilhelmenawas born 16 Jan 1910 in Winneshiek Co. She was a science teacher in the Cedar Rapids schools. She died 18 Jan 1989 and is buried at Cedar Memorial Cemetery, Cedar Rapids. Myrtle Alice married Warren H. Meeker 20 Jun 1948. Myrtle and Warren had 3 children: Karen, Howard and James. Karen Lee was born and died 19 Oct 1949. Howard George married Martha Jane McNeeley 26 May 1973. Howard and Martha had 4 children: Elizabeth Ann; Jennifer Lynne; Johnathan Warren and Benjamin Wayne. James Alan married JoAnn Cheever 31 Jan 1987. James and JoAnn had 3 children: Susan Hayleigh; Jacob Warren and Abbey Rose, twins. Emmons LeRov (b. 23 Apr 1895) Hesper Twp. was deliverd by and named after Dr. William H. Emmons. He attended rural VanVIiet School, Hesper Twp. District No. 4. He was a member of the Looking Glass Prairie Dramatic Club, Hesper Twp. Emmons did some farming, road construction and grain processing at Penick & Ford, Cedar Rapids. He died 9 Oct 1968 in Cedar Rapids of diabetes and heart failure. Emmons married 1) Elizabeth Coy 15 Aug 1923 at Decorah. They had one daughter Orlie Ada who was born in Canoe Twp. Orlie married Alden Grindeland 9 Dec 1944 and they had one daughter Sharon Grindeland. Emmons married 2) Alma Odella Traaserud 25 Apr 1929 at Cedar Rapids. Emmons and Alma had one daughter Evelyn Arlene at Cedar Rapids. She married Robert Vern Zingula 19 Nov 1949. Evelyn and Robert had 3 children: Robert, Chris and Kristi. Robert Curtis married Gayle N. Martinson Broxey 25 Aug 1984. Robert and Gayle had 4 children: Bradley Steven,  Elizabeth Marie,  Brian Andrew and Jennifer Kristen. Chris An


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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021