Thursday, October 30, 2008
John Clepper 1816-1885
JOHN KLEPPER/CLEPPER (P.James, Phillip, Jacob Sr.), was born 30 July 1816 (bible), 12 June 1812 (cemetery), 1814/15 (according to the 1850-80 census); son of P.James and Christiana (Collier) Klepper/Clepper; died 19 Jan. 1885 at his home, Brad, Palo Pinto, Tx.; buried Brad Cemetery, Palo Pinto Co., Tx.
Married 26 Apr. 1838 (according to entry in the bible of her nephew John Brown Birdwell in Ark., as copied by Jessie M. Parker) to Amanda M(enerva) Birdwell; born ca 1823, Franklin Co., Tn.; daughter of Moses and Sarah (Duncan) Birdwell; died after Feb. 1886 in Grimes Co., Tx.; burial place unknown.
Probate records of Palo Pinto Co., Tx. dated 19 Nov. 1885 state he left a wife, Amanda, and the following children: L. D. Clepper, age 47 years, resident of Coryell Co., Tx.; C. D. Clepper age 45 years, resident of Grimes Co., Tx.; Lem Clepper age 41 years resident of Palo Pinto Co., Tx.; Mrs. S. E. Evarett age 38 years, resident of Coryell Co., Tx.; Wm. Clepper age 33 years, resident of Palo Pinto Co., Tx. and two grandchildren, Miss Amanda Ketchler (sic) age 15 years resident of Washington Co., Tx. and Josy Clepper age 3 months, resident of Palo Pinto Co., Tx., infant daughter of a son, Joseph Clepper, decd.
His father was in White Co., Tn. in 1811 and Franklin Co., Tn. by 1812. Marion County was taken from Indian lands in 1817 and his father P. James and uncle (V). John Clepper (234) purchased 106 acres for $700.00 (B-297) from Isaac H. Roberts and John Mc Murray on Battle Creek 15 July 1826. Flossie Hines found three folders in the National Archives on John Klepper. (1) Card #24612889, Cherokee War, John Klepper, Mounted Tn. Mil, 1st Corp. Capt. Champion's Co. 1 Reg't. Tn. Mounted Mil. Enrolled 22 June 1836 at Marion City for 6 months. Traveling to place of rendezvous 90 miles from place of discharge to home. (2) John Klepper, Robert's Co. Muster Blues Tn. Pvt. Roll for May 17 to June 16, 1836, 1 month. Called out for the protection of the Sabine Frontier under authority of General Gaines, approved by War Department R&P 330401. (3) John Klepper, 2 Mounted Vols. Al., 1st Corpl. Capt. Norwood's Co. 2 Regt. Al. Jackson Co. Mounted Gunmen (Creek War). Mustered in Montgomery, June 1, 1836 for 3 months. Valuation of horse $140. Company muster out roll Huntsville, Aug. 17, 1836. The first two are the service records of John Klepper (333) and the 3rd is V. John Klepper (234).
Bounty Land Claim dated 6 Apr. 1855 from National Archives for John Klepper, age 39, shows he was a private soldier in the company commanded by Captain Isaac Roberts in the Tennessee Volunteers. Volunteered at Coffee County, Tn. 16 May 1836 for six months, and was honorably discharged at Nashville, Tn. on June 1836. He further states that he is the same John Klepper that was 2Lt. in the company commanded by Capt. Willis Champion in the 2 Brigade Tennessee Mounted and Infantry Volunteers commanded by Brig. Gen. R. G. Dunlap and musted into the service of the United States 8th of July 1836. Application signed by J. H. Conatser and Sarah Birdwell. On 3 Mch. 1855 J. Minot, Commissioner of Pension Office, Washington, DC wrote "that the Bounty Land claim of John Klepper filed under the act of 3rd Mch. 1855 for service rendered under Capt. Roberts has been examined. As it is shown by documents in possession of the government,that the forces of which Capt. Roberts company furnished a part were not raised by any State or Territory; and as the benefits of the above, and all other Bounty Land acts, extend only to those who were called into service by the authorities of a State or Territory, and have been paid for the same by the United States, or who have served in some one of the several wars in which this country has been engaged since 1790, said claim CANNOT be allowed". John Klepper wrote back to Commissioner of Pension, Washington City on Feb 20, 1856 "I see from the decision of the Secretary of the Interior of date the 18th Dec. last, and from your circular of the same date, that the claims of those Soldiers who have been rejected because their service was not performed at the act of war, will now be taken up and allowed, under the provision of the act of Mch. 1855; I therefore returned the report and your letter rejecting my claim with the request that the same be taken up and allowed. You are hereby requested to address all letters on the subject, and warrant when issued, if I am entitled, to R. B. Roberts of Altamount, Tennessee, who I have constituted my attorney for that purpose."
In Marion Co., Tn. Deed Book G pg 285 dated 29 May 1856 Samuel A. Anderson, Jr. issued Deed to John Klepper "for the love and affection I entertain for John Klepper do hereby give transfer and convey to him six negroes named Milly 32, Houston 10, Elizabeth 8, Alexander 6, Hannah 2 years and 6 months, and, Elle 15." Deed Book G dated 18th Sept. 1856 from Sarah Birdwell to Amanda Klepper, "for the love and affection I entertain for my daughter, Amanda M. Klepper, I do hereby give transfer and convey to her and her bodily heirs the following negro slaves, Will, Louisa 22 and her three children Kiscoh 4, Reuben 2 and Allen nine months." John is still in Tn. on 27 Oct. 1856 as he gave a statement to the county clerk on some land he had sold to John Smith 30th day of May 1852. In the "Old Cahaba Land Office Records and Military Warrants 1817-1853" by Hahn page 187, Military Warrants Book 320, "Monthly abstract of locations on unclaimed, unsettled lands 'subject to private entry' made for the month at date of return at the Land Office at Cahaba, Al. on military land warrant certificates, issued pursuant to the 9th Section of the Act of Congress, approved 28 Sept. 1854", I find a John Clipper applied for land in Pike Co., Al. Oct. 23rd, 1852. (V.John Klepper (234) was already in Ar. and had received a land grant for his service in the Creek Indian War, and stated that he had not received a previous grant). Is this our John???
It is believed that John and Amanda (Birdwell) Klepper left Marion Co., Tn. shortly after Oct. 1856 with their family, her mother Sarah (Duncan) Birdwell and nephew John Brown Birdwell and his sister Mary Jane Birdwell for Arkansas, probably going thrugh Boone Co., Ar. to visit with John's uncle V.John Klepper (234), and his sister, Lucinda (Klepper) Turney (334).
John Birdwell and his sister stayed in Franklin Co., Ar., and John Klepper with his mother-in-law set out for Texas where his brothers Lemuel Gilliam (331) and Joseph C(ollier) (337) Clepper had moved ca 1837/8 and Amanda's grandfather John Birdwell had moved from Al. to Rusk Co., Tx. about 1847/8. Arriving in Montgomery Co. by 12 Sept. 1857, he purchased two tracts of land from N. B. Thomas, 177 acres in headright of Jas. Gibson and 179 acres in W. Johnson Survey.
His father P.James Clepper left Tn. ca 1863 and after staying in Al. for a time moved to Montgoemry Co., Tx. ca 1865/6. John and his father sold out in Montgomery Co. in Jan. 1867 and moved on into Washington Co., Tx.
John's father, P.James Clepper moved to Whitney, Hill Co., Tx. were he died in 1880. John lived in Coryell Co., Tx. from 1872-7. He purchased land 23 miles west of Gatesville on the waters of House Creek. According to a letter dated 23 Oct. 1979 from Bettie Rexroat, "I wrote to my mother before she died and ask her to tell me what she knew about the Cleppers, she wrote me that when the Cleppers were in Coryell County located on the Cow House Creek, a big flood came and destroyed all their houses and everything. They got out alive, but no food, cattle or anything and they were about to starve so they tried to buy a yearling to kill and eat and no one would sell them any, so as cattle were running at large they killed a yearling and skinned it and hung the hide on a bush and wrote on a sign, if anyone would claim the hide that they would pay for it but no one ever claimed it". My first cousin said she has my great grandpa John Clepper's Bible that our grandmother Amanda (Hamilton) Clepper had given to her in 1926. The bible is water damaged and on the flyleaf is written "In the overflow of the Lampasas River in 1872". My cousin said Amanda lived with her grandfather Wm. Marshall and Amanda (Hamilton) Clepper after John's death and she remembers her grandmother telling her how unhappy she was. She went to visit her son, Charles in Grimes Co. and died"; John and his sons, Wm. (500) and Lemuel C. Clepper (497), purchased land from the State of Texas in Palo Pinto Co. in 1879.
1. Lorenzo Dow Clepper b. 30 Jan. 1839 Tn; CW.
2. Charles Duncan Clepper b. 5 Nov. 1840 Tn; CW.
3. James (R/L) Clepper b. 23 Nov. 1842 Tn. (In 1850 Marion Co., Tn. and 1860 Mo. Co., Tx. Censuses. Mar. to M. E. Clepper in Hill Co., Tx. on 24 Nov. 1882. Unable to find in 1870 census are the Probate records of Palo Pinto Co., Tx).
4. Lemuel C(ollier) Clepper b. 18 Sept. 1844 Tn; CW.
5. Sarah Eliz. Clepper n. ca 1847 Tn.
6. Emily J. Clepper b. ca 1849 Tn.
7. Wm. B. Marshall Clepper b. 26 Jan. 1852 Tn.
8. A(ugustus) E(dward) Clepper b. 1854 Tn.
9. John Clepper b. Dec. 1855/6 TX. (In 1860 Mo. Co., Tx. his age is listed as 5 born TX and 1870 Wa. Co. census as 14 born in Tx. Not found 1880 Texas census are his father's probate records of Palo Pinto
10. Thomas Clepper b. ca 1858 Mo. Co., TX. Not found 1880 census and not listed in father's probate records.
11. Joseph F. Clepper b. 3 June 1861 Mo. Co., Tx.
James Klepper bible; John Brown Birdwell bible (copied by Jessie M. Parker (1980), 19 French St., East Wenatchee, Wash. 98801)
Land record Marion Co., Tn.
Bounty Land Records of Tn. and the Cherokee War of 1836 records
Land records of Montgomery Co.; Washington Co.; Coryell Co.; and Palo Pinto Co., TX
Probate Records of Palo Pinto Co., TX
Land records as filed Austin Co., TX
Tax records of Montgomery and Washington Co., TX; " Texas Land Titles 1885" by Giles; General Land Map of Palo Pinto 1898
Letter from Bettie Rexroat, Gordon,Tx. 76453
"Abst. of all Original Texas Land Titles, Vol. 2" 1941. T33.1T
"Grays Cemetery Records" 976.G781
"Settlers of Stephens Co." by Adelle Olney
"The Palo Pinto Story" by Mary W. Clarke
Indian Wars, on filed National Archives as copied by Flossie Hines.
* Mrs Lucille Clepper Mehrkam
* 1981 "Montgomery County (TX) History" by the History Book Committee of Montgomery Co. Gen. Society (from Lucille Mehrkam 5/1984; FHL book 976.4153 H2mo) - Page 226
* 'Fugitives from Justice; The notebook of Texas Ranger Sergeant James B. Gillett' ISBN 1-880510-37-5 State House Press of Austin, Texas 1997