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  Clearfield Enterprise
Clearfield, Iowa
August 20, 1923

OBITUARY ~ HARLAN J. HEPPERLY

News came late Saturday of the death at Burlington that afternoon of Harlan Hepperly, oldest son of John Hepperly of Platte Twp. Mr. Hepperly received the message at about 10 o'clock, started as soon as possible to Burlington, and brought back the body Sunday night, arriving at Lenox on Monday's early run. The story is as follows:

Harlan had been working for some time on a sand boat or dredge, and at the time of his death was on the boat, a few miles below Burlington on the Mississippi. But two men were aboard, Harlan and another who was forward at the engine and Harlan was at the stern, where the lifting apparatus was located. There was about ten feet of water where they were drawing up the sand, but for a man who was passing in a motor boat, there would not be a witness of the accident. That man saw Harlan throw up both hands and immediately fall overboard. He quickly rounded to, notified the other man on the boat, which was anchored. Harlan had never appeared again, and a little run to and from the city brought life savors with hooks and tackle. The body was caught almost immediately, but perhaps fifty minutes had passed, and of course life was gone. Examination showed no evidence of external injury, nor was there any water in his lungs, almost certain evidence that he was dead before immersed in the river.

A heart attack may have come suddenly, and his position led to the fall overboard. As our readers know, his mother died in 1921 from a sudden heart attack, so the explanation seems the most plausible. Harlan had spent about all his life here, was a pupil in rural and town schools of Lenox and Clearfield. He was 25 years of age, and universally esteemed for many manly traits, and for his geniality. The obituary is elsewhere given. His sister Verna was here, but really on her way to California, and Harlan was expecting to come to see her this week.

Harlan J. Hepperly was the son of John and Anna Hepperly, born near Clearfield May 15, 1898. He died at Burlington, Iowa, on Saturday, Sept. 15, 1923, aged 25 years, 4 months, and 12 days.

Harlan was the third of five children in the family to pass on before. He is survived by his father, his sister, Mrs. Verna Muir, and brother Jodey Hepperly.

The suddenness of his taking away was a great shock to the immediate family, as well as to all the community which had known him well, and respected him for his many sterling qualities.

Harlan was a graduate of Lenox high school, but had before been a student in Clearfield High. His membership in the Methodist Church dated from 1912, he having been converted under the ministry of Rev. Menoher. He was an interested worker in Sunday School and League activities.

The body was brought home, and the funeral conducted on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 17, at the Methodist Church. The house was filled by the people gathered to pay their last respects. The floral offerings were profuse and beautiful. Rev. Calkins spoke from a part of Isaiah xxv, being assisted in the service by Pastor Purdy of the Christian Church. Interment was in Clearfield Cemetery.

Transcription by Lorelei Rusco, December of 2011

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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