EPHLIN, Billy - Fountain County INGenWeb Project

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EPHLIN, Billy

65th Anniversary -- Billy & Semira Lindley Ephlin

Source: Unknown newspaper - found in an old scrapbook

There should be only one ground for divorce, he claims and that should be adultery. That is one thing that would wreck his home but not his life, for "Billy" declares that if he ever found that his wife loved someone else, he would tell her to go. The model marriage, he says, depends as much on the wife as the husband and he points out that in his 65 years of married life, his wife has never scolded him once or found fault with him, and he admits that there have been many times in their married life when he has been late at night or has done things his wife might not have approved of. "It is the nagging wife, the one who is always finding fault and picking flaws, that wrecks the average marriage of today," he declares. In all those viewpoints on successful and happy marriages, Mrs. Ephlin agrees with her husband. She is a quiet, motherly sort of woman but under the surface there is visible the force of character and mind that has evenly divided the load of matrimoney with her husband through the years that have passed since the momentous day, Sept 22, 1858, when they took each other "for better or worse." Mr. and Mrs. Ephlin are native born Illiandianians. "Billy" was born Dec 2, 1838, six miles south of Harveysburg, in Parke County. Harveysburg is a little hamlet, once flourishing one and one-half miles north of Kingman (sic). The marriage ceremony was performed by Rev. John P. Ephlin, father of the groom, who was one who was also a shoemaker, who worked diligently at his trade through the week and on Sunday preached the gospel to the pioneers in the little United Brethren Church. Mrs. Ephlin whose maiden name was Miss Semira Lindley, was born Dec 31, 1841, one mile south of her present home, her parents being Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Lindley, also Indiana pioneers, and in whose home the marriage was solemnized. The Lindleys were devout Quakers, but Mrs. Ephlin is now with her husband, a faithful member of the UB Church in Kingman.

Mr. Ephlin's early life was a boyhood friend of Uncle Joe Cannon, and the Harveysburg man recalls with interest the fact that when Uncle Joe, at age 17, was clerking for Samuel T. Ensey in Annapolis' general store, the embryo statesman often declared: "I never expect to stop outside the halls of congress in Washington." Billy says Uncle Joe was a serious minded youth, who constantly dreamed of a brilliant future, a boyish dream that came true when the ex-grocer clerk completed 50 years in congress something over a year ago and, who had been speaker of the house for years and the director of Republican policies in national affairs. The Ephlins after being married seven months, moved to Harveysburg wher ehis father worked at his trade of shoemaker and preached on Sundays, the Ephlin family having removed from Annapolis' to Harveysburg, while Billy was still a boy. Mr. and Mrs. Ephlin have lived in their present home for 38 years, the house being the old home of his father and mother. It was built by the father in 1860, yellow poplar lumber hauled by wagon from Annapolis having been used in its construction.

Billy served as a fifer in Company H, 63rd Indiana Volunteers, during the last 3 years of the Civil War. He enlisted at Harveysburg, signing up in the old meeting house on the corner under ington (sic - assume Covington?). The famous 63rd regiment was part of the Third Brigade of the Third Division of the 23rd Army Corps commanded by General Litchfield (Johnfield - can't read) and "billy" was stationed at Raleigh, NC when the war ended. He was with Sherman's army at Atlanta, when that famous general was about to start on his march to the sea but Billy and the other Fountain County boys were shifted to the force which started north for Alexandria, VA from where they traveled down the Potomac to Ft. Fisher. Capt. William Conover, Covington, was the first commanding officer of Co. H. He was succeeded by Capt. Schuyler LaTourrette, who now lives four miles south of Covington, who in turn was succeeded by Capt. Prior Cates, who lives in retirement now in the village of Cates, which he founded. Capt. Cates is a brother-in-law of Mr. Ephlin and was in command of the company when the war ended. Harveysburg is one of Fountain County's oldest settlements, named after Harlan Harvey who built the first saw mill in that section. It was was a flourishing trading post in the days before the Civil War, and Billy's father was postmaster there for 18 years. The railroad passing through Kingman killed the chances of Harveysburg becoming any larger and the old trading hamlet settled down to a quiet "four corners settlement."

Mr. Ephlin's father was a fifer in the army of the early part of the 19th Century and came from a family that furnished plenty of fighting material for the Revolutionary Army. The father came to Indiana from Maury County, Tenn and played the fife in Nashville, Tenn when Marquis LaFayette paid a visit to that city on his return to the US from France. The other Ephlin was a personal friend of President Andrew Jackson and during the Lafayette reception in Nashville walked arm in arm with Jackson down the street. He, however, was politically opposed to Jackson and did not vote for him. He was also a person friend of President Polk, who also came from Tennessee.

Mr. and Mrs. Ephlin have five children living, two having died in infancy. The two who died were Edson Ephlin and Maude Ephlin. The five children living are: Mrs. Ella Ratcliff of Matthews, Mo; Willard Ephlin of Sullivan, Ind; Horace Ephlin Kingman; Mrs. Myrtle Ratcliff of Lafayette, Ind and Mrs. Mary Sanders who resides about a half mile south of the family home. There are 14 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ephlin enjoy good health. They are great readers and thoroughly conversant with the affairs of today. They are happy and contented in their little home and although on the downhill side of life's journey look forward to many more anniversaries of that happy marriage of 65 years ago.

-- kbz
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