from the Winfield Beacon - July 23, 1925
KNOWN IN MANY STATES AS
Perhaps The Foremost Household
Department Writer Of The Day.
Great Loss To Her Publishers
Perhaps no other death in this community has caused so widespread sorrow as that of Mrs. George Kepper, which occurred at the Burlington Hospital last Friday morning. Not only was she loved and respected by her Winfield neighbors and friends, but her writings under the non de plume of "Faith Felgar," in the Corn Belt Dailies, gained for her thousands of unseen friends who feel the loss just as much as we. Mrs. Kepper was great. The response to her pen demonstrated that to her publishers long ago. Her quaint way of saying things, her apt philosophy and sound business judgment, helped many a woman over the rough rocks of despair, and on to happier days. Blessed with a steady flow of beautiful rhetoric, Mrs. Kepper's newspaper articles were literary gems. And she knew from whence she wrote. Busy from early morn until late at night with all the tasks of the farm housewife her sympathetic nature prompted her to help others and give them the advantage of her experiences. She was a devoted helpmate. Her sound judgment and reasoning were far above the ordinary, all of which made her life a well rounded and successful one.
Mrs. Kepper lived a quiet, unassuming life with her family on the farm one mile north of Winfield. While she would have been a welcome guest at many of the social functions about town, she seldom attended. She was content to remain in her home, busy with her housework or writing, or to devour the contents of a good book and the newspapers. She will be greatly missed from the home, where she was ever to be found.
Her funeral was held from the spacious country home Sunday afternoon. A very simple, yet impressive service. Hundreds gathered upon the lawn about the house to pay their last respects. The services were in the charge of Rev. W. C. Allen, of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Wyman. He read a Scripture lesson and the following obituary:
The whole community was startled when the death of Mrs. Kepper was announced. She passed peacefully away on Friday morning, July 17th, in the Burlington Hospital, where she had been for about a week, and was thought to be responding favorably to treatment for her disease - diabetes. As there seemed to be no immediate danger none of her family were with her when she died, and the peaceful expression on her face indicated that she had without waking from sleep passed into her last, long rest.
Lucretia Alberta Mullin was born in Winfield, Iowa, December 23rd, 1865, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Washington Mullin, well known pioneers and early settlers. She graduated from the Winfield Schools in her early young womanhood and took Normal Training at Mt. Pleasant, and taught school for several years. In 1887 she was united in marriage to Mr. George Kepper, and they made their first home about four miles southeast of Winfield, afterwards buying their pleasant homestead one mile north of town, where they have since resided, and where were born their three surviving children: Mrs. Gladys Hibbet, Lawrence Kepper and Samuel Kepper. She made her home the center of a wide spread and generous hospitality.
But the charm of her genial personality took a wider sweep when she began to write for the public press under the pen name "Faith Felgar." when she chose the name "Felgar" she paid a high tribute to her mother for that was her mother's maiden name. The circle of her readers kept growing , her editorials being published not only in The Drovers Journal, a Chicago daily, but also in daily papers in Omaha, Kansas City, and St. Louis. Twenty-three years ago her name was added to the editorial staff of the Drover's Journal, and during these years she has daily discussed in her "Household Department" not only home economics, but a vast range of subjects. Her editorial published July 3rd, glows and throbs with her intense patriotism - it is well worth re-reading. Today July 21st, appears an editorial she had prepared before her death on "How to Grow Old," in which she quotes Karl Wilson Baker's lines entitled, "Old Lace":
Let me grow lovely growing old,
So many fine things do;
Lace, and ivory and gold,
And silks need not be new.
And there is healing in old trees,
Old streets a glamour hold;
Why may not I, as well as these
Grow lovely growing old.
A most beautiful tribute prepared by Miss Cora Smiley, eulogizing her life long friend, is herewith reproduced:
This community was greatly shocked Friday noon as the sad news came announcing the sudden death of Mrs. Kepper. Many of her friends had not even heard of her illness. Those who knew of it had read in the papers of Thursday that her condition was apparently improving and that she was able to continue her daily writing, and they, of course, were not expecting any such news. Her sudden passing is another instance of the truth of the saying that we do not know what a day may bring forth.
Her maiden name was Lucretia Alberta Mullin, daughter of the late Honorable Washington Mullin and Elizabeth Felgar pioneers of Henry County. Her father was a member of the Iowa Legislature at the time that the Iowa Code of 1897 was brought out. She was born at Winfield, December 23rd, 1865, and died July 17th, 1925, at the Burlington Hospital, at the age of 59 years, 6 months and 24 days.
After completing the course of study at the Winfield school, she attended the teacher's Normals at Mt. Pleasant, and taught school four years in the neighboring districts very successfully.
On November 6, 1887, occurred her marriage with Geo. H. Kepper, a companionship that has been marked for its loyalty, faithfulness, and strength. She is survived by her husband and their three children, E. Lawrence Kepper, Mrs. Gladys Hibbet, and Samuel W. Kepper, and by several grand-children. She is also survived by three sisters, Mrs. J. W. James of Hastings, Nebraska, Mrs. J. A. Baxter of Huntington Beach, Calif. and Mrs. F. C. Gilyeart, of Mr. Pleasant.
As Faith Felgar, Mrs. Kepper was one of the best known farm newspaper women of the middle West. In adopting her pen name she paid a very fine tribute to her mother , whose maiden name was Felgar. She began to contribute to various publications about thirty years ago, among which may be mention The Ladies Home Companion, The Minnesota Farmer, The Chicago Drovers Journal. The work gradually became so heavy on the Journal that she gave up the others and became a member of the regular staff of The Chicago Drovers Journal. For the past twenty-two years, she has been Household Editor of the Chicago Drovers Journal, having charge of the Household Department. In fact, she has had charge of the Household Departments of the four publications known as the Corn Belt Farm Dailies, which include The Chicago Daily Drovers Telegram of Kansas City, The Daily Journal-Stockman of Omaha, and the Daily Live Stock Reporter of East St. Louis, her articles appearing daily in all four of these papers and read by hundreds of thousands of women throughout the land, far and near. It is probable that no other woman in Iowa at the present time has had so many readers
She took an active part in the Woman's Congress, having attended several annual meetings. She attended the Woman's Congress at Colorado Springs, Tulsa, Lethbridge near Calgary, Canada, and at other places, her last attendance being at St. Louis about two years ago.
Her correspondence was voluminous and included every state in the union. The amount of work she accomplished seems incredible, her mail carrier telling us that he has delivered at her door as many as seventy letters at one time.
Besides the regular articles she would send for daily publication, there were the numerous answers to private requests.
Her memory will live long as a woman, who, endowed with talent used that talent through writing for the benefit of her fellow creatures and enjoyed doing so. Through these twenty-two years of service what a help she has been to the great number of readers of these various papers. Those of you who have read some of the correspondence that has taken place through these years realize what a closeness had grown up between Faith Felgar and her readers, a closeness that evidently had been a comfort and joy to both sides. Faith Felgar looked upon life from a happy angle and this she passed on.
Her memory will live long as women in every state in the union from time to time lift up the corner of a dresser scarf or open a book and find there carefully tucked away a clipping that has been of interest and value to them.
These were larger interests, but she had her interest for her home people also. Friends of her younger days she clung to to the last. She was an active member of the Presbyterian Guild, the Presbyterian Missionary Society and, patriotic through and through, a life member of the Red Cross and a member of the Womens Relief Corps and despite her busy life was always ready to take her part when her turn came.
No one goes from us but afterward in the quiet atmosphere of memory we feel ourselves in some way their debtors. We remember well the old school when there were just two rooms and when not ready to go we were crowded out of the first room into the second into a history class that was very hard for us. We remember how we were privileged to go and sit with her to whom we are today paying our respects, how she would gather us up close to her and show us how to get the difficult lesson. History to her was play.
We remember, too, how later in life when we had serious illness in our own home the great luscious buckets of apples that found their way there.
We are all debtors, too, for that cup of cheer that she always brought with her that made her along with her other gifts such pleasant company.
For some little time we have felt that Mrs. Kepper's health was slipping. There were some places where we always expected to find her and have a little visit with her. One was the annual Missionary luncheon but she was not there this year. Another was the Alumni Banquet of our school but we missed her there this year - not quite well enough we felt. Her failing health was gradually forcing her to give up some of the things that were precious to her.
We were just preparing her mail to send to the Burlington Hospital to her when the word came that this resourceful, efficient, joyous woman had lain down her pen and gone to sleep.
"But Lord," she said, "my shoulders
still are strong -
I have been used to bear the load so long;
And see, the hill is passed and
smooth the road."
"Yet," said the stranger, "yield me
now thy load."
Straight-limbed and lithe, in new-
Amid long sun-lit fields, around
A tender breeze, and birds and rivers
"My Lord," she said, "the land is
Smiling he answered, "Was it not so
"There?" In her voice a wandering
"Was I not always here then, as
He turned to her with strange, deep
"Knowest thou not this kingdom, nor
"Nay," she replied, "but this I under-
That thou art lord of life in this
"Yes, child," he murmured, scarce
above his breath,
"Lord of the Land, but men have
named me Death."
Chas. E. Snyder, Editor of Daily Drovers Journal, Chicago, was present at the funeral, and his sympathetic remarks were timely and good. He praised the works of the one whom he and his organization had learned to love during the twenty-four years of association, and in passing made the statement that people of this community could not realize the importance of the deceased with the readers of their Journal, or appreciate how much good she has done toward helping the farm women throughout the corn belt. Grief was in his face, sorrow in his voice. The loss of Faith Felgar from their editorial staff is immeasurable, and came with such an unexpected blow. It will take some time for them to recover and fill her place.
The Omaha Daily Journal-Stockman under date of July 20th, contained several columns concerning the life of Faith Felgar. In part it says:
Her writings met with instant appeal and she was encouraged to continue in the work. For some years she has contributed to the Corn Belt Dailies, which include the Journal-Stockman, her last one bearing the number 5,267.
The fame of her writings spread all over the Middle West and even into Canada and she was besieged with requests from farm and other organizations, such as women's clubs, to address meetings and conventions. These she almost steadfastly refused, as she felt that in her writings she could serve best. And so almost her last effort was the writing of cheerful, hopeful words to her co-workers.
When the thousands of readers and admiring friends of the departed woman read these lines Faith's mortal remains will be resting peacefully in the Winfield cemetery, next to those of her beloved parents.