Jackson County, Illinois
Taken from Portrait and Biographical
Randolph, Jackson and Monroe Counties
Donated by Connie Edgar
FRED LEPERE, who resides on section 16, Ora Township, Jackson County, has the honor of being a native of St. Clair County, Ill., his birth having occurred October 24, 1853. The family is of German origin. His father, George J. LePere, was born in Germany in 1818, and when a young man of eighteen, emigrated to America. He was reared on a farm and followed agricultural pursuits through life. He remained with his parents until he had attained his majority. Soon afterward he was married in St. Clair County to Miss Wagner, who died leaving a stepdaughter, Sophia, now the wife of George Weigand, of Georgetown, St Clair County, Ill. In 1847 Mr. LePere married Marie E. Bertner, and of their children we note the following: Margaret, who was born August 26, 1848, married William Schuchardt, by whom she had a daughter, Catherine; after the death of her first husband she married Fred Zoller, and with their three children, Lizzie, Michael and William, they reside on Four Mile Prairie, in Perry County; Louisa, born November 26, 1850, is the wife of Andrew Rosenberger, by whom she had seven children: Andrew, John, Louisa, Lena, August, Lizzie and Jacob; Fred is the subject of this sketch; Catherine, born October 23, 1856, is the wife of Henry Heisner, of Pulaski County, Ill.; Mary, born April 11, 1858, is the wife of Charles Heisner, of Perry County, by whom she has four children; Lizzie, born November 12, 1861, is the wife of Howard Weatherford, of Perry County, by whom she has five children; Caroline, born July 23, 1863, is the wife of John Schwartzcope, and with their two children they reside in Perry County; George, born March 11, 1865, married Caroline Throop, and with his wife and son, Edgar, resides in Jackson County; Peter, born February 27, 1867, is living in Denver, Colo.
The father of this family was a member of the Lutheran Church, and died in St Clair County August 10, 1866. His wife was born in Germany, and when six years of age emigrated with her parents to St Clair County, where she received a good education in the English and German languages. She united with church at an early age and continued a consistent member throughout life. At her husband's death she was left with a large family of small children and with only limited means, but in a true Christian spirit she took up her life work and nobly and successfully accomplished her purpose. She removed to the farm now occupied by our subject and there reared her children. She also gave a home to two children of her deceased sister and to her aged mother and brother, making their last days happy and comfortable. The poor and needy ever found in her a friend, and a life of unselfish devotion to others won her the love of all who knew her. She passed away February 6, 1876, and her loss was deeply mourned. Mr. LePere of this sketch remained with his mother and aided her in all possible ways until she was called to the home beyond. He then purchased the interest of the other heirs in the farm he now owns. Here he has made a pleasant and comfortable home, well improved in every respect. His early years were passed in hard work, but he is now surrounded by a comfortable competence as the results of his own efforts.
On the 28th of October, 1877, Mr. LePere wedded Mary E. Williamson, daughter of Henry E. and Ann E. Williamson. Her father was born in Perry County, Ill, October 9, 1832, and was married November 9, 1854 to Ann Barlett, who was born in New York, October 3, 1838, and was a daughter of John Barlett who is still living in Levan Township, Jackson County, at the advanced age of ninety-four. When young, his father removed with wife to where he now lives, and Mr. and Mrs. Williamson spent their married lives upon a farm adjoining that of our subject. They had three children: John B., born September 8, 1855; Mary E., born September 23, 1858; and one who died in infancy. Henry E. Williamson was for three years and fifteen days a soldier in the Union army of the War of the Rebellion, enlisting in the Eighteenth Illinois Infantry. He saw severe service, and his health was permanently impaired during that time. Unto Mr. and Mrs. LePere was born four children: Laura A., born August 17, 1878; Willie E., March 24, 1880; John F., January 29, 1884; and Bertha E., November 16, 1886. Mr. LePere seems to have inherited his mother's energy and industry and emulates her generosity and kindness. He is a prominent member of the Odd Fellow's Society of Ava. His father was an old line Whig, a warm admirer of Henry Clay, and on the organization of the Republican party he joined its ranks. Our subject is also an earnest supporter of his principles, having been an active member of the party since attaining his majority. He has labored constantly for its success and has long served on the Central Committee. For some years he has held the office of School Director in his district, proving a warm friend to the cause of education.
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