Wepler, Joseph Elmer and Inga (Skogstad)

(Dorothy VJ. Anderson)

Bio Photo  

J. Elmer and Inga Wepler family
Top row, left to right: Luella Dale, Inga and Elmer, Jesse and Dorothy Anderson.
Bottom row, left to right: Percy, Gail Ode, Walter and Viola Hedges.

Joseph Elmer Wepler was born in Winneshiek Co. 16 Dec 1888. He died 21 Oct 1960. His parents were Adam (7 Jan 1852-3 Jun 1923) and Emma (Andrus) Wepler (10 Dec 1864-9 Sep 1937). Emma’s parents were among Decorah’s first English settlers, Erastus and Abigail (Trask) Andrus. Adam was born in Wooster (Holmes Co.), OH. Adam and Emma’s family lived on a farm near Clay Hill and later moved to Decorah near Luther College. After their boys were grown, they moved to Mason City, IA and built the Wepler Apartment Building. Before Elmer's marriage, his interests included basketball, baseball, Valders Business College and organized dances. He enjoyed volunteer work in the fire department, the Odd Fellows, Elks, and all sports — being one of the charter members of Silvercrest Golf Club. He was the president of Wepler’s Meat and Locker Plant, Inc. and did butchering at the Wepler Farm. Elmer had three brothers and one sister: Jessie, John, Lewis and Percy. His infant sister, Jessie, is buried in the Decorah Catholic Cemetery.

On 19 Mar 1913, Elmer married Inga Marie (Skogstad) Anderson (6 Sep 1890-22 Dec 1956). Inga was the daughter of Trond Skogstad Anderson (d. 9 Dec 1917) and Guri Olson Rudi (22 Jul 1856-9 Jan 1919) who were born in Vestre Slidre, Norway. Inga was a dressmaker before her marriage to Elmer Welper. They made their home in Decorah and their business was Wepler’s Market and Locker Plant, Inc. Inga enjoyed working with the public, sewing, remodeling her home, being a member of the Rebecca Lodge, Women’s Fellowship, Silvercrest Golf Club, and the Mayflower Circle at the Congregational Church. They enjoyed taking their family on trips throughout the United States and Canada and especially to California. Although Joseph Elmer was confirmed a Catholic and Inga was confirmed in the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church, they later joined the Congregational Church where their children attended and joined. They had seven children: Jesse Willard (5 Apr 1915-14 Dec 1987); Dorothy Anita (b. 3 Apr 1917); Gail Thelma (b. 11 Jun 1918); Walter Wilbur (27 Oct 1919-10 Nov 1979), Viola Emma (b. 2 Jun 1921); Luella Maud (b. 27 Apr 1923); and Percy Aldo (28 Jun 1928-24 Jan 1986). Percy was buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Waterloo, IA.

Jesse was vice-president of Wepler Market and Locker Plant, Inc., a lifetime member of the Shriners, Consistory, Masons, Odd Fellows, the Congregational Church, and Disabled Veterans. He was very active in the Republican Party and helped organize Decorah’s Airport. He did much volunteer work at the Decorah Senior Citizen's Meal Site. Jesse, his brother Percy, and their dad died of heart failure. Jesse had several pacemakers from St. Marys Hospital. He chose to be cremated with the interment of his ashes in Phelps Cemetery, Dorothy graduated from Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) two-year kindergarten-primary course and received her B.A. at Luther College in 1969. She taught over 30 years and was a 50-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Dorothy was with the American Red Cross in India during World War II. She married Andrew Carieton Anderson on 14 Feb 1947. They had three daughters: Carla Jean, Dee Ann Esther and Mary Jo Carol. Gail graduated from the LaJames Cosmetology College in Mason City and was owner of Gail’s Beauty Shop. She married Rudolph Ode. Their 125-year-old farm was located in Springfield Twp. where they are active members of the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church and also of the VFW. Their family includes: Joyce Elaine, La Due Wayne (Butch), Judith Carol Boiler and Karen Beth McClintock. Walter joined the Navy and served on the aircraft carried Bunker Hill in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He received the Bronze Star while he was a gunner’s mate. He helped save the Bunker Hill from one of the Kamikaze suicide planes. These young Japanese airmen attacked more than 300 U.S. ships. On 8 Aug 1943 he married Gladys Rickert (b. 13 Jun 1923). After World War II, he was the manager of the Wepler Locker Plant, Inc. He was a member of the Congregational Church and active in the VFW and Odd Fellows. Their four sons are: Dennis, David, Roger and Wesley. Viola graduated from the LaJames Cosmetology College in Mason City and married Leonard Hertges. They are very much interested in dairy farming and are members of St. Benedict's Catholic Church. Viola and Leonard have four children: Anne Marie Schmidt, Richard, Cheryl Elshoff and James. Luella also graduated from the LaJames Cosmetology College in Mason City and purchased Gail's Beauty Shop. She was the secretary of Wepler’s, Inc., a fifty-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, a member of the Congregational Church, and the VFW Auxiliary. Luella married Rolf Sigurd Dale. Their children are: Kristie, Julie, Rolf Jr. and Dianne Godfrey. After Percy graduated from Decorah High School, he was drafted and did his service in the Korean Conflict. Percy married Patricia Tepesch at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Waukon. He learned his father’s trade and continued meat cutting and raised his family in Waterloo. They had two sons and one daughter: Ronnie, Teresa Shader and Michael.

(See histories of A. Carieton and Dorothy Anderson, Rudolph and Gail Ode, Rolf and Luella Dale, Leonard and Viola Hertges, Trond (Skogstad) and Guri Anderson, and other Wepler histories.)


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this page was last updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2021