Bio: Pepper, John W. (1914)
Surnames: Pepper, Wiley, Sprague, Brown, LaMerr, Town, Fowler, Hamilton
----Source: History of Eau Claire County, Wisconsin (1914) pages 815-816
John W. Pepper, proprietor of the Eau Claire Dray, Express and Bus line, which he established in 1876, was born in Charleston, Illinois, March 20, 1847, the son of Samuel S. and Dorcas (Wiley) Pepper, both natives of Kentucky, and pioneers of Coles county, Illinois, where they followed farming and milling and made their home during the remainder of their lives.
John W. was reared in his home county and attended the common schools. At the age of 21, in 1868, he went to Rochester, Minnesota, and for five years was employed in a livery stable. He came to Eau Claire in 1873 and secured a position as foreman in Samuel Ellis' livery stable, remaining thus employed for three years. In 1876 he embarked in business for himself on a small scale, which has since grown into one of the largest and leading transfer lines in the city, working ten horses and two autos and employs seven men and one stenographer in the office.
On February 17, 1875, Mr. Pepper married Miss Eliza Sprague, daughter of Orrin and Cynthia (Brown) Sprague, of Rochester, Minnesota, and they are the parents of the following children: Gertie, deceased; Jessie, wife of Fred LaMerr; Grace, wife of George W. Town; John; Valeria, wife of Ray Fowler, and Guy Hamilton. Mr. Pepper is a stockholder in the Egg-O Baking Powder Company, of Eau Claire, and served as alderman from the First Ward for two years. His three brothers, William, Alexander and Samuel, as well as himself, were soldiers in the Civil War. Mr. Pepper enlisted as a private in Company I, 135th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, May 10, 1864, and was honorably discharged from the service September 28, of the same year. He is now a member of Eagle Post, No. 52, G. A. R., of Eau Claire.
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