William Leeper

William Leeper Immigrant Ancestor


Copyright by Jean Leeper 1998

No Reproduction without Permission

When we were in Scotland in September and October 1997 we visited the tomb of Johne Lepar who died 1646 at St. Andrews. We were told that there were a lot of Leipers still living in the Aberdeen to Dundee areas of Scotland. They are fishermen and farmers along the east coast. We looked in the Dundee phone book and found over twenty-five Leipers in the area. We were told that the name changed from Lepar to Leiper. Also, that the name Lepar might be French. From The Surnames of Scotland Black 1933, 1946 ....Johnannes Leper was a burgess of Edinburgh in 1189....Walter Lippre witnessed a charter of Turniff in 1272....Patrick Leper was a burgess of Edinburgh in 1368...and Andrew Lepar witnessed an instrument of concord between the bishop of Aberdeen and John de Forbes.....in 1391....Alexander Lepar was admitted burgess of Aberdeen in 1408 and William Lepar in 1487.... and Alan Leppar and Adam Leppayr were burgesses of Pretwick in 1507..." I have a strong feeling we go back to one of these Lepar's. In the Forfar area, north of Dundee, you find the nose like William Leeper. the emigrant. This nose is different from the typical long narrow nose of the Scots. We were waiting for a train at Dundee a young couple with twin girls got on. I noted that the coupe had the type of nose that Richard had and asked where they were from. They were from Forfar. Richard's nose is a lot like the emigrant ancestor William Leeper. (see picture below)

Note: If you find "They had one child". These words are generated by my genealogical program. There may be more children , but I only entered one.



First Generation



1. William Leeper Born 11 Aug 1791 in Castlefinn, County Donegal, Ireland

Or County Tyrone. Died 22 May 1861 in Lucas Co., While Crossing The Swollen

Chariton River. Buried in New York Cemetery, Union Twp. Wayne Co., IA.

Occupation Lee Co. Poor House Manager 1854-56 And Farmer. Education Can

Read And Write.


William and Elizabeth (Robinson) Leeper came from Ireland to America in

1836/37 to Fincastle, Botetourt County, VA and in 1842 soon after the death

of Elizabeth's father, Oswell Robinson, the Leeper family moved to

Highland and Adams Counties OH. Andrew, their son, also lived in Pike County

before he came to Decatur County, IA in 1870. His parents came to Village

township, Jefferson County, IA in 1850. They also ran the Poor Farm in Lee

County, Ia before moving to Wayne County, IA in the late 1850s.

Written from New York, Wayne County, Iowa, by William Leeper

William Leeper Letter Nov 25, 1858

 William Leeper Letter Jan 11, 1859 To son Andrew after the death of John Leeper at New York, Wayne County, Iowa

Willian Leeper

Elizabeth Leeper

He married Elizabeth ROBINSON, daughter of Oswell ROBINSON & Margaret

WILSON. Born ? 1802/1803 in Ireland. Died 9 Jan 1888 in Pella, Iowa. Buried

in Oakwood Cemetery, Pella, IA. Occupation Housewife. Education Can Not Read

Or Write. Religion Attended New York Christian Church In 1863. They had the

following children:


2 i. Andrew LEEPER

3 ii. Robert LEEPER

4 iii. John M. LEEPER

5 iv. Sarah LEEPER

6 v. Oswell LEEPER

7 vi. Mary Elizabeth LEEPER

8 vii. William Jefferson LEEPER

9 viii. Elizabeth LEEPER

10 ix. Thomas Wesley LEEPER

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Second Generation


2. Andrew LEEPER Born 11 Dec 1822 probably Belfast Or County Tyrone,

Ireland. Died 21 Aug 1888 near Pleasanton, Iowa. Buried in Old Davis City

Cemetery, Davis City, Iowa. Occupation Farmer.


He married Rachel Lovett TAYLOR, daughter of John TAYLOR & Christiane

CARRUTHERS, 1844 in Ohio. Born 17 Aug 1824 near Leesburg, Loudon County,

Virginia. Died 21 May 1882 near Davis City, Iowa. Buried in Old Davis City

Cemetery, Davis City, Iowa. stone says 57y 9m and 4d. Occupation Housewife. Religion Shouting

Methodist ?M.E. They had the following children:

Andrew Leeper

Rachel Leeper

11 i. Thomas William LEEPER

12 ii. John Wesley LEEPER

13 iii. Mary E. LEEPER

14 iv. James L. LEEPER

15 v. Joseph Emmett LEEPER

16 vi. Florence E. (Ella) LEEPER

17 vii. Anna Eliza LEEPER

18 viii. Robert Newton LEEPER


3. Robert LEEPER. Born 22 Jun 1826 in Castlefinn, County Donegal, Ireland.

Died 10 Jan 1902 in Near Latham, Pike County, Ohio. Buried in Gardner

Cemetery, Pike County, Ohio.


He married Judith Francis ANDERSON, daughter of Jonas M ANDERSON & Sallie C.

GUTHRY, 3 Apr 1850 in Pike County, Ohio. Born 2 Mar 1830 near Idaho, Pike

County, OH. Died 19 Dec 1908 in Latham, OH. Buried in Gardner Cemetery, Pike

County, Ohio. They had the following children:


19 i. Sarah Elizabeth LEEPER

20 ii. Mary Elizabeth Ann LEEPER

21 iii. William Jonas LEEPER

22 iv. Robert Latham LEEPER

23 v. John Wesley (Oswell) LEEPER

24 vi. Clara Mariah LEEPER


4. John M. LEEPER. Born Circa 1828 in Ireland. Died 6 Jan 1859 in Wayne

Co., IA. Buried in New York Cemetery, Wayne Co., IA. Occupation ? Doctor.


There was a John Leeper in New York, IA listed as a Dr.


He married Lucy M. BALL, ? in Ca 1851 Or 1852/Probably Lee County, IA. Born

2 Oct 1835. Died 10 Dec 1895. Buried in Charlestown Cemetery, Charlestown,

Lee County, IA. They had the following children:


25 i. William Oswell LEEPER

26 ii. John Wesley LEEPER


5. Sarah LEEPER. Born 30 Oct 1828 in Ireland (Maybe Born 4-30-1829). Died 24

Jan 1911 in Home Of Sister Mrs. Wm. W. Brown. Buried in Oakwood Cemetery,

Pella, Iowa.


82y 2m 24d, another source says 81y 8m and 24 d


She married Timothy BOTSFORD, Between 27 Dec 1864 &7 Jun 1870. Born in

New York (45 In 1870 Census). Died Before 1880 Lived Grand Junction,

Greene Co. Ia in 1870. They had the following children:


27 i. name unknown BOTSFORD


6. Oswell LEEPER. Born 22 Jun 1831 in Ireland. Died 15 Sep 1906 in Keokuk,

Lee County, Iowa. Buried in Hickory Grove Cemetery, Lee County, Iowa.

Occupation Tanner In OH & Hotel Owner In Keokuk, Ia.


He married Martha WOOD, 1949. Born 1 Jan 1829 in L. Clifton, Greene Co.,

Ohio. Died 9 May 1913. Buried in Hickory Grove Cemetery, Lee Co., IA. They

had the following children:


28 i. William O. LEEPER Born July 1878


7. Mary Elizabeth LEEPER. Born 1 Feb 1835 in Ireland. Died 24 Feb 1915 in

Pella, IA. Buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Pella, IA. Occupation Housewife.


She married William W. BROWN, 1850/1851 in Lee County, Iowa. Born 26 Aug

1829 in Pennsylvania. Died 26 Nov 1903 in Pella, Iowa. Buried in Oakwood

Cemetery, Pella, Iowa. Occupation Farmer And Lumber Dealer In Pella.

He was the son of William Brown.


Went to California during the gold rush. also was a farmer and a lumber

dealer in Pella, Ia and sold wooden shoes.

 William W. Brown Letter Oct 8, 1854 written from California during the gold rush to Andrew Leeper his brother-in-law.

They had the following children:


29 i. Emmett Robert BROWN

30 ii. William Alva Kerr BROWN

31 iii. Charles L. BROWN

32 iv. Ed L. BROWN

33 v. Kate BROWN


8. William Jefferson LEEPER. Born Dec 1836 in Either Ireland Or On The Way

Over. Died 28 Oct 1894 in Blunt, South Dakota. Buried in .


Owned a River boat, Hotel Business in Yankton, Dakota Terr., City Marshall

and Deputy Sheriff in Yankton. William J. and his wife decided to move to

Deadwood. Francis was pregnant. It rained, hailed and stormed, one day from

Deadwood. She gave birth to a daughter in a tent. The baby was called

Tempest. The mother died in 1878 after the birth of the second child.

 William J Leeper letter Nov 3, 1854 written from the gold mines in California to his brother Andrew.

He first married Frances WILLIAMSON, ? in late 1860's. Born 1850 in From St,

Louis, Mo. And Souix City, Ia. Died 1878 in Deadwood, S. D.


They had the following children:


34 i. Katherine (Kittie) LEEPER

35 ii. Tempest LEEPER


He second married Rachel Katherine Hoblit CONGDON, 1 Mar 1886 in Blunt, S.

D. Born 1856 in Lincoln, Logan County, Illinois. Died 1920 in Blunt, S. D.


She was postmaster of Blunt from Dec 12 1894 until Jan 12 1897. She also

took in sewing and ran a Hotel.


They had the following children:


36 i. Warren Seward LEEPER

37 ii. Robert Emmett LEEPER

38 iii. Alice LEEPER


9. Elizabeth LEEPER. Born 9 Aug 1842 in Fincastle, Botetourt County, VA.

Died 28 Feb 1897 in Laurel, Cedar County, Nebraska. Buried in Ridge

Cemetery, Dodge County, Nebraska. Occupation Housewife. Religion Methodist

Episcopal Church.


died of consumption (TB) after having it eight years. During the five years

that Dr. Williams lived in Laurel, NEB (1892-1987) five members of the

family died


She married Dr. E. M. WILLIAMS, 6 Feb 1862 in Wayne County, IA. Occupation

Physician. They had the following children:


39 i. Charles Leslie WILLIAMS

40 ii. Fred C. ? WILLIAMS

41 iii. Will WILLIAMS

42 iv. Frank B. WILLIAMS

43 v. Mrs. S. D. Williams MYRICK

44 vi. Son Died Infant WILLIAMS

45 vii. Jennie WILLIAMS


10. Thomas Wesley LEEPER. Born 18 Aug 1847 in Highland County, Ohio. Died 22

Oct 1906 in Oakland, Burt County, Nebraska. Occupation Dr., Deputy

Postmaster, Editor & Correspondent. Education Reportedly Attended School In

Pella, IA.


He was said to be a Dr., was Deputy Postmaster, editor of Oakland

Independent and Correspondent of the World Herald.


He married ?, ? in Married. They were divorced.

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Third Generation


11. Thomas William LEEPER. Born 29 Sep 1846 in Adams Co., OH. Died 18 Jun

1932 in Columbus?, O. Buried in Sinking Springs, Ohio. Occupation Either A

Policeman Or A Weighmaster In Columbus, OH.


In 1900 Thomas was an engineer in the flaming mill in Brush Creek Township

(likely Sinking Springs), Highland County, Ohio. Sold his property 27 Feb

1903 in Highland County and moved to Columbus, Ohio.


He first married Indiana SUITER, 23 Sep 1869 in Highland County, Ohio. Born

19 Dec 1841. Died 16 Mar 1880 in Brush Creek Twp, Highland Co. O. Buried

1880 in Cedar Chapel.

38y 2m 27d

They had the following children:

46 i. Amy R. (Rosy M.) LEEPER

47 ii. Infant Son LEEPER


He second married Sarah E. NEWLON, ? in 21 Dec 1887 Or 15 Jan 1888/Highland

County, Ohio. Born 16 Apr 1846. Died 5 Jul 1902 in Brush Creek Twp, Highland

County, O. Buried in Cedar Chapel.


12. John Wesley LEEPER. Born 14 Oct 1848 in Highland County, Ohio. Died 20

Jul 1913 in Home Of Son In St. Louis, MO. Buried in Leon Cemetery, Leon,

Iowa. Occupation Purchasing Agent CB&Q Railroad And A Bookkeeper.


He taught school in Burrell and Eden twp, Decatur Co, IA and later was clerk

in Warnick and Bowman's store in Davis City, IA. After that he became a

clerk in the Bechtold & Company store, and then "conducted" the Decatur

County Grange store. Was County Recorder of Decatur County from 1876 - 1880.


He married Lucinda E. GIBLER, 30 Aug 1874 in Decatur County, IA. Born 12 Apr

1851 in Highland County, Ohio. Died 15 Jan 1901 in Burlington, IA. Buried in

Leon Cemetery, Leon, IA. They had the following children:


48 i. Frank H. LEEPER

49 ii. Died Infant LEEPER


13. Mary E. LEEPER. Born 21 Apr 1850 in Highland County, Ohio. Died 13 Jan

1851 in At Home. Buried in Cemetery At Louden, Adams County, Ohio.


14. James L. LEEPER. Born 23 May 1855 in Highland County, Ohio. Died 23 Dec

1931 in Kettle Falls, Stevens County, Washington. Buried in Kettle Falls,

Washington. Occupation Farmer And Then Woodsman In Wisconsin.


He married Alvira HARVEY, 21 Apr 1876 in Decatur County, Iowa. Born ? Apr



Alive In 1947 In Spokane, Wash.


They had the following children:


50 i. Della Beatrice LEEPER

51 ii. Viniara Pearl LEEPER

51a iii. James L. LEEPER

52 iv. Chester Raymond (Ray-Raymond) LEEPER


15. Joseph Emmett LEEPER. Born 31 Mar 1857 near Loudon, Adams County,

Ohio. Died 26 Mar 1948 in Leon, Iowa. Buried in Hamilton Cemetery, Hamilton

Twp. Decatur County, IA. Occupation Farmer And Bridge Builder.


He was a farmer and a bridge builder. He owned an lumber yard for a few

years in Pleasanton.


He married Hellen Marium KEOWN, 17 May 1882 in Pleasanton, Decatur County,

IA. Died 7 Aug 1914 in Decatur County, IA. Buried in Hamilton Cemetery,

Pleasanton, Decatur County, IA. They had the following children:


53 i. Bessie Ethel LEEPER

54 ii. Robert Lathum LEEPER

55 iii. Joseph Emmett LEEPER Jr.

56 iv. Rachael Malinda LEEPER (Twin)

57 v. Mary Lucinda LEEPER (Twin)

58 vi. John Leon LEEPER

59 vii. Offie Lovett LEEPER


16. Florence E. (Ella) LEEPER. Born 29 Mar 1859 in Adams County, Ohio. Died

20 May 1914 in Spokane, Washington. Buried in Greenwood Cemetery,

Spokane Washington. Occupation Maid For Dr. Macy Of Pleasanton.


17. Anna Eliza LEEPER. Born 24 Nov 1860 in Pike County, Ohio. Died 16 Feb

1918 in Spokane, Washington. Buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Spokane,

Washington. Occupation Housewife.


She first married John A. WILSON. Died Before 1906 in Clarinda, Iowa.


John A. Wilson reportedly had a bad temper and he was committed to an Iowa

state mental institution at Clarinda, IA where he died, probably before 1906

when Anna went to Spokane, Washington.


She second married Tom B. McKENNA. Died Circa 1920 in Spokane, Washington.

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18. Robert Newton LEEPER. Born 8 Dec 1864 in Jasper, Pike Co., Ohio. Died 15

Jan 1932 in Mercer Co., Mo. Buried in Hamilton Cemetery, Near Pleasanton,

Iowa. Occupation Farmer And Bridge Builder.


He was six years old when his family moved to Decatur County, Iowa in early

1870. They settled in New Buda Township (Davis City area). Robert was both a

farmer and a bridge builder. He worked with his brother building bridges. He

was 67 years old when he died of Hodgkin's disease.


He first married (Susanah) Susan Ann (Susie) ACTON, daughter of George

(?John) ACTON & Sarah (Sallie) HAMILTON, 31 Dec 1882 in Pleasanton-Davis

City area of Decatur County, Iowa. Born 1863/1864 in New Buda Twp. Decatur

Co. IA. Died 3 Jan 1890 in Pleasanton-Davis City area. Decatur Co. IA.

Buried in Hamilton Cemetery, Decatur Co. IA. Occupation Housewife.


Obituary received from State Historical Society of Iowa: January 9, 1890

Decatur County Journal - Pleasanton "we regret to chronicle the death this

week of Mrs. Susie Leeper, wife of Robert Leeper. After an illness of ten

days she died, January 3d, 1890. She leaves a husband and two small children

to mourn her loss. A large concourse of friends followed her remains to the

last restion place in the Hamilton cemetery." Susan was twenty six years old

and had been ill for ten days when she died leaving two small children. Her

father Geroge Acton's will lists two living brothers: George Macy Acton and

William H. Acton. William H. was twelve in the 1860 census and George Macy

was four in the 1860 census.


They had the following children:


60 i. Blanche Demoras LEEPER 1884-1959

61 ii. Earl Andrew LEEPER 1887-1947

Robert Newton LEEPER

He second married Sarah Elizabeth HALL, daughter of Thomas HALL & Sarah Jane

HIGGOTT, 10 Oct 1891 in Pleasanton, Iowa. Born 9 Apr 1871 in Hamilton Twp.

Decatur Co., Ia. Died 12 May 1944 in Hamilton Twp. Decatur Co., Ia. Buried

in Hamilton Cemetery, Near Pleasanton, Iowa. Occupation Housewife.


She was the first child in her family to be born in America. Her parents

left Leamonsley (now part of Lichfield), Staffordshire, England and arrived

in America on January 8, 1869. They came with their two small children Annie

age two and Emma an infant. Sarah Elizabeth first cared for the two small

children of Robert Newton Leeper, who was a widower. She later married their



They had the following children:


62 i. Florence Vivian LEEPER Jan 16, 1895 - Apr 12, 1895

63 ii. William Robert (Bill) LEEPER who married Una ARGO

64 iii. Ruby Bennett LEEPER

65 iv. Ralph Wheeler LEEPER

66 v. Alice Lenora "Lenore" LEEPER

67 vi. Zelma Ann LEEPER

68 vii. Laurence Manferd LEEPER

69 viii. Ferna Elizabeth LEEPER

70 ix. Set Of Twins LEEPER

71 x. Mary Lucille LEEPER

72 xi. Julia Ella LEEPER

73 xii. Emma Lois LEEPER


19. Sarah Elizabeth LEEPER. Born 23 Aug 1951 in Pike Co., O. Died 11 Sep

1852 in Pike Co., O.


20. Mary Elizabeth Ann LEEPER. Born 25 Nov 1853 in Pike Co., O. Died 4 Sep

1900 in Near Latham, O.


21. William Jonas LEEPER. Born 7 Oct 1856 in Pike Co., O. Died 16 Nov 1857

in Near Latham, O.


22. Robert Latham LEEPER. Born 7 Oct 1858 in Pike Co., O. Died 31 May 1942

in Columbus, O.


23. John Wesley (Oswell) LEEPER. Born 21 Apr 1863 in Pike Co., O. Died 28

Sep 1895 in Near Latham, O.


24. Clara Mariah LEEPER. Born 27 May 1868 in Pike Co., O. Died 19 Oct 1949

in Columbus, O.


25. William Oswell LEEPER. Born 1 Jan 1854 in Lee? Co., IA. Died 14 May 1931

in Lee Co., IA.


26. John Wesley LEEPER. Born 19 Oct 1855 in Wayne Co., IA. Died 9 Feb 1929

in Keokuk, IA.


27. name unknown BOTSFORD.


28. William O. LEEPER. Born Circa 1878 in Adopted.


29. Emmett Robert BROWN. Born 1851 in Lee Co., Ia. Died 28 Aug 1883/1884 in

Pella, Ia. Buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Pella, Iowa.


30. William Alva Kerr BROWN. Born 1853 in Lee Co., Ia.


31. Charles L. BROWN. Born 1858 in IA.


32. Ed L. BROWN. Born 3 Jan 1864 in IA?. Died 21 May 1921 in St. Paul, MN

Buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Pella, Iowa.


33. Kate BROWN. Born 3 Jan 1864 in IA. Died 5 Jun 1924 in Pasadena, CA


34. Katherine (Kittie) LEEPER. Born 2 Oct 1868 in Yankton, S.D. Died 1 Feb

1962 in Vandalia, Ill.


35. Tempest LEEPER. Born 1878 in Near Deadwood, S. D. Died 23 May 1903 in

St. Louis, Mo.


36. Warren Seward LEEPER. Born 16 Dec 1886 in Blunt, S. D. Died 11 Dec 1963

in Blunt, S. D.


37. Robert Emmett LEEPER. Born 27 Mar 1893 in Blunt, S. D. Died 19 Sep 1960

in Minneapolis, Minn.


38. Alice LEEPER. Born ? in ? Blunt, S. D. Died As Infant. Died ? in ?

Blunt, S. D.


39. Charles Leslie WILLIAMS. Born 8 Nov 1864 in New York, Ia. Died 13 Aug

1892 in Fremont, Neb.


40. Fred C. ? WILLIAMS. Died after June 1900.


41. Will WILLIAMS. Born ? . Died ? 1897.


42. Frank B. WILLIAMS. Born 18 May 1874. Died 23 Mar 1894 in Fremont, Neb.


43. Mrs. S. D. Williams MYRICK. Born ? . Died after Feb 1897 .


She married S. D. MYRICK.


44. Son Died Infant WILLIAMS. Born ? . Died in ?.


45. Jennie WILLIAMS. Born 7 Dec 1881. Died 13 Nov 1895 in Fremont, Neb.




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