Missouri Pioneers: Jonathan Eppright and Henry Welty

by Marjorie Slavens

Official Logo of the Missouri 2021 Bicentennial, Missouri2021.org

2021 marks the 200th anniversary of the admission of Missouri to the Union. Check out the Missouri2021.org site for information about the celebration.

“August 10, 2021, will mark the two hundredth anniversary of Missouri’s entry as the 24th state to enter the United States. A state with many different regional cultures, geographies, and industries, each Missouri community, county, and region has a story to tell about its people, their history, their commerce, and their culture. By celebrating the accomplishments and diversity of all these regions, we help create a better understanding of our one Missouri and the ties that bind us together.

Missouri2021.org

Many of my ancestors were early pioneers in this state, although I have only lived here about half of my
life.

My great great grandfather, Jonathan Eppright, and his family came to Missouri around 1840. “ Jonathan Eppright, son of Jacob Eppright and Catherine Wolf, was born October 12, 1812 in Washington County, Maryland. He was baptized November 3, 1812 at Zion Reformed Church, Hagerstown, Maryland, and his sponsors were Samuel Herr and Susanna. He married Edy Meadows on May 24, 1838 in Montgomery County, Indiana. Permission for her to marry Jonathan Eppright was given by her brother, John Meadows and her sister-in-law, Mary Meadows. She was born in Indiana in 1823. Her father was born in North Carolina, and her mother was born in Virginia. Following their marriage, they moved to Jasper County, (then part of Crawford
County) Missouri. Their first child, Marion, was born in Crawford County, Missouri in 1840.

“Jonathan Eppright was the earliest male settler in Duval Township, Jasper County, Missouri. He arrived in March, 1840 and settled on section 1, lot 10, township 29, range 33. This land was entered from the government. Jonathan Eppright–W1/2 lot 6 N 1/2 and lot 5 NW1/2 Section 2 township 29, range 33 120 acres $1.25 an acre $150. paid Date: July 20, 1853, Rec # 13493. Jonathan Eppright appears in the United States Census Report for Missouri in 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. He served as a Justice of the Peace in 1866 and was a patron of the Atlas in 1876. Jonathan Eppright died in May 1883 in Jasper County Missouri. Edy Eppright married William Burns in 1885. She died around 1890.” [1]

Jonathan’s brother, Napoleon, joined his family in Jasper County shortly after he moved there. Part of Napoleon’s reconstructed house is still located on the Spring River. Jacob Eppright, father of Jonathan and Napoleon, lived in Maryland, where his first two sons were born. He and his family first moved to Tennessee and then to Johnson County, Missouri. (We are still looking for our Eppright immigrant ancestor.)

“Jacob Eppright may have been the son of John Paul Eppright or John Eppright. He was born in Maryland
in 1783. He married Catherina Anamaria (Catherine) Wolf, who was born in 1786. They lived in Washington County, Maryland, and they later moved to Jefferson County, Tennessee. In 1840, they were in Johnson County, Missouri. Jacob Eppright was a farmer and miller, and he and his family were members of the Lutheran Church.

“Jacob Eppright died in 1852, and was buried in a grape arbor on the farm. Catherine died September 20, 1866 in Johnson County, Missouri. She is buried in Pisgah Cemetery in Chilhowee Township, Johnson County, Missouri. Many of the Epprights in Johnson County, Missouri are buried in Pisgah Cemetery in Chilhowee Township, which is located one and a half miles north of the village of Chilhowee Township, Johnson County, Missouri, which is located one and a half miles north of the village of Chilhowee in Section 36 Township 45,
Range 27.

“Jacob Eppright died intestate. His executor was his son, George Eppright, who was appointed January 24, Security bond–N. M. Smith and William Burk. The heirs were his wife Catharine, and his children, George, Benjamin and Joseph Eppright of Johnson County, Missouri; Susan McSpadden and Anny (Sic) Combs of Johnson County, Missouri; Napoleon and Jonathan Eppright of Jasper County, Missouri; Isaac and David Eppright of Travis County, Texas; Jacob Eppright, Jr now in state of California, Polly Harris, now residing in Cass County, Missouri; his wife Catharine, and his children, George, Benjamin and Joseph Eppright of Johnson County, Missouri; Susan McSpadden and Anny (Sic) Combs of Johnson County, Missouri; Napoleon and Jonathan Eppright of Jasper County, Missouri; Isaac and David Eppright of Travis County, Texas; Jacob Eppright, Jr now in state of California, Polly Harris, now residing in Cass County, Missouri.”

Three of Jacob’s children, Susannah, David, and Isaac moved to Texas in the 1840s. His younger children continued to live in Johnson County, and some of their descendants continue to live there.

My great grandmother, Catharine Mary Eppright (1848-1928) married her teacher, Henry Welty, (1837- 1911) in 1870.

“Henry Welty son of John Welty 1800-1875) and MaryMagdalene (Polly) Miller (1801-1844) , was born April 4, 1837 in Rush Creek Township, Fairfield County, Ohio. He was a farmer on his father’s farm until 1866. He served in the Civil War as a private in Company F, Regiment 159 of Ohio. He enlisted May 2, 1864 and was mustered out with his regiment on August 22, 1864.

He taught for a year in Illinois near the home of his brother, Solomon. In 1868, he went to Jasper County,
Missouri, where he was a teacher. He married one of his students, Catharine Mary Eppright, daughter of
Jonathan and Edy Meadows Eppright, on March 10, 1870 at the home of her parents.

. . . (Her older brother) George, was the first white child born in Duval Township, Jasper County, Missouri. He was born March 29, 1842. The first school was opened there in 1848.

Catherine Eppright was born December 31, 1848.

Henry Welty bought his first land April 4, 1870 from Leonidas Cunningham. He bought 40 acres in section
2, township 29, range 33. They sold this land in 1884 to the Dick family and bought 80 acres in another
location in section 16, township 30, range 32. This purchase was signed by the governor of Missouri,
Alexander M. Docker.

Henry Welty died June 14, 1911 at the Soldiers’ Home at Leavenworth, Kansas. At the time his brother, John,
made his will in May of 1910, he said Henry lived in Leavenworth. Following Henry’s death, his wife, Catherine, received a pension from the United States government because she was the widow of a veteran of the Civil War. She died at her home in Jasper County near Nashville, Missouri on November 22, 1928. Henry and Catherine Welty were buried in the cemetery at Nashville, Missouri.” [2]

Sources:

[1] Mildred Welty Slavens, Jacob Eppright Family History, Blue Springs, MO, 1995.

[2] Mildred Welty Slavens, Peter Welty Family History, Third Edition, Blue Springs, MO, March, 2000,

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