FRED C. HEPP.
The following is a sketch of a plain, honest man of affairs who, by correct methods and a strict regard for the
interests of his patrons, has made his influence felt in the town of Gray, this county, having won for himself
distinctive prestige in the business circles of that pleasant village. He would be the last man to pose as a subject
for romance or to court fanciful encomium; nevertheless, his life presents much that is interesting and valuable
and which may be studied with profit by the young men whose careers are yet to be made. Mr. Hepp is one of those
men whose integrity and strength of character inevitably force them into an admirable notoriety which their modesty
never would seek; who command the respect of their contemporaries and their posterity and leave the impress of
their individuality deeply stamped on the community where their labors have been performed.
Fred C. Hepp was born on February 21, 1860, in Bureau county, Illinois, the son of John C. and Margaretta (Sopf)
Repp, the former of whom was born in 1828 and died in the fall of 1893, and the latter in June, 1833, and died
in June, 1882, at the age of forty nine years and nine months. John C. Hepp was a native of Germany, who immigrated
to Bureau county, Illinois, when a young man, and was married there. In 1865 he came to Iowa, settling in Poweshiek
county, where he bought a farm. In 1872 he moved to Jasper county, Iowa, where he farmed until 1881, in which year
he came to Audubon county, settling in Lincoln township, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, on
which he spent the rest of his life. To John C. and Margaretta (Sopf) Hepp were born eight children, namely: Fred
C., the subject of this sketch; John E., a contractor in Audubon, Iowa; Amelia, who died in 1886; Carl, who died
in Illinois; Delia, Charles and Ida, all of whom live on the home farm in Lincoln township; and Ida, who died while
the family was living in Jasper county. John C. Hepp served in the German army during the rebellion of 1848 and
came to America afterward. He enlisted in the Union army in the fall of 1863, serving until the close of the Civil
War. He then moved to Foweshiek county and purchased land at two dollars and fifty cents an acre.
Fred C. Hepp remained on the home farm with his parents until he had reached manhood's estate and then came to
this county, opening a blacksmith shop in the town of Gray in the spring of 1887. He established a hardware store
in the same town in 1909 and has built up a large and lucrative business. From the point of years of service, he
is the oldest blacksmith in Audubon county, having served at this trade for more than twenty seven years. He began
as a blacksmith on the farm when a boy, doing work for the neighbors. He has a large and complete stock of hardware
and is considered one of the successful men of that section of the county.
On March 23, 1883, Fred C. Hepp was married to Elizabeth Staumbaugh, and to this union three sons and four daughters
have been born, as follow: Mahlon, a graduate of Iowa State University, who is now principal of the manual training
department of the Minneapolis schools; Stella, who is the wife of William Thompson, a bank cashier of Correctionville,
Iowa; Florence, a student in the Chicago Musical Conservatory, who has been a teacher in the schools of Audubon
county for several years; Esther, who is a teacher in the Ross schools; George, who is attending manual training
school in Minneapolis, and Zola and Virgin, who are pupils in the schools of Gray.
Fred C. Hepp is identified with the Democratic party and was postmaster of Gray during Cleveland's last administration
and served as mayor of Gray for two terms. Mr. and Mrs. Hepp and family attend the United Brethren church, although
they are not members. Fraternally, Mr. Hepp is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Modern
Woodmen of America. Mr. Hepp is widely known and deservedly popular in that part of the county. He is generous
in his, dealings with his neighbors and friends, genial in his manner and upright and honorable in all of the relations
History of Audubon County, Iowa
Its People, Industries and Instutions
H. F. Andrews, Editor
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis - 1915
Also see [ Railway Officials in America 1906
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