Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

GEORGE LEEPER. The honored subject of this sketch is a representative of one of the pioneer families of Greene county and is personally identified with the industrial interests of this section of the state where he has spent his life, being the owner of a fine farming property in Walnut Grove township. Mr. Leeper believes in adopting new and modern methods of agriculture in so far as they are applicable to local conditions and because of his progressiveness, industry and close application he is regarded as one of the substantial farmers and stock men in this locality, the interests of which he has ever had at heart and where he has been contented to spend his life.

George Leeper was born on January 6, 1866, in Walnut Grove township, Greene county, and he is a son of Francis and Elmina (Burney) Leeper. The father was born in Hawkins county, Tennessee, March 20, 1820, and there he spent his boyhood days, being fourteen years of age when, in 1834, he removed with his father, Hugh Leeper (also a native of east Tennessee) to Greene county, Missouri. They made the long overland journey direct to Walnut Grove township, and settled about two miles south of our subject's present farm, and were thus among the early pioneers here. They cleared and developed a farm from the wilderness and became well established and well known. The parents of our subject were married here in 1843 and soon thereafter moved to Dade county where they lived on a farm until 1847, in which year they returned to Green county and purchased a farm of two hundred and eighty-five acres, near which our subject's farm is now located, and here Francis Leeper engaged in general farming in a most highly satisfactory manner until his death, which occurred on December 28, 1909, when nearly ninety years of age. Politically, he was a Democrat, and religiously was a member of the Christian church at Walnut Grove. He was a man of fine character, neighborly, hospitable, public-spirited and was highly esteemed by all with whom he came in contact. His wife, Elmina Burney, was a native of North Carolina, where her birth occurred on December 21, 1824, and she spent her early girlhood in her native state, removing with her parents to Greene county, Missouri, in the spring of 1835, the family locating on a farm near Ash Grove and her father was one of the prominent pioneers of this locality. She is still living, being now nearly ninety years of age, and makes her home with her son, the subject of this sketch. She is a grand old lady of the true Southern type--gentle, kind and of fine Christian character. She is afflicted with blindness in her old age, but bears her lot patiently. She is a daughter of Joshua and Jane (Stafford) Burney. She often recalls that long, rough journey overland from the old Tar state more than three-quarters of a century ago.

To Francis Leeper and wife seven children were born, three of whom died in infancy, those who grew up being Mrs. Elizabeth Gilliland, who died in November, 1909; Hugh, who is a resident of the town of Mary, North Dakota; Mrs. Ebanida Martin, who lives in Walnut Grove; and George, of this sketch.

George Leeper spent his boyhood days on the home farm, in fact, has remained on the same nearly all his life, and has always followed general farming and raising live stock. He received his education in the district schools, of his township. He now owns one hundred and twenty-nine acres which he farms efficiently, and on which is to be seen an excellent group of buildings.

Mr. Leeper was married on September 10, 1891, to Flora Edmonson, who was born near Walnut Grove, Greene county, where she was reared to womanhood and was educated. She is a daughter of Fide and Martha (Potter) Edmonson. The father was born in this vicinity also, in 1840. He is a son of Allen and Polly Edmonson, who were very early settlers of Walnut Grove township, clearing and developing a farm here when the country was sparsely settled, and here Fide Edmonson grew to manhoood and early in life began farming which has been his life work. He continued to reside in his native locality until several years ago when he removed to Polk county in different parts of which he has lived, being now practically retired owing to his advanced age and is residing near Red Top, Missouri. His wife was born and reared in Kentucky. They became the parents of the following children: Flora, Alonzo, Walton E. (deceased); Dudley, Edward, Dollie, Bettie and Rufus.

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Leeper has been without issue. Politically, Mr. Leeper is a Democrat. Fraternally, he belongs to the Masonic Order at Walnut Grove, the old Sullivan Lodge No 7. He and his wife are members of the Baptist church at Walnut Grove, in which she takes an active part, especially in Sunday school work.

Mr. Leeper is a home man, a hard worker and a good citizen.


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