John Prouty Hamilton/Pepper (1908-2008)

Updated/Edited: 25 May 2015

This is what I know about my Grandfather John Prouty Pepper (1908-2008) and his ancestors:

Grandpa's Ancestors

Grandpa’s Ancestors

PLEASE NOTE: As of 25 May 2015 Judy and I have not determined which of our Male “Pepper” ancestors was actually a “Hamilton.”  We have a Family Finder DNA connection confirmed back through John Prouty Pepper (1833-1904) and his wife Janette Strickland. The Non-Parental Event (NPE) happened before John with either his father, grandfather or great-grandfather. It is through Grandpa’s y-DNA (paternal DNA) that we know that he is not biologically related to the PEPPER family through his paternal PEPPER name. He is instead a direct descendant of the Scottish immigrant, John Hamilton! He may still be a son of a PEPPER daughter, and thus still related to the Pepper’s of Hampshire and Hampden Counties in Massachusetts.

7. PORTER7 PEPPER (Thomas6), was born in Palmer, Hampshire County, Massachusetts on or about 15 Nov 1811 (date of birth based on age at death) and died in Brimfield, Hampden, Massachusetts on 27 Jan 1864, of congestion of the lungs. He married in Brimfield, Hampden, Massachusetts on 21 Jul 1833, PERSIS ELVIRA DEARTH, daughter of Thomas Dearth and Mehitable Bliss. She was born in Templeton, Hampshire, Massachusetts on 29 Jan 1807 and died in Kendall, Illinois on 29 Jun 1870.

Birth Notes for Porter:
Porter’s birth date is calculated from his age at death on 27 Jan 1864. According to his death record he was 52 years 2 months and 12 days old. That puts the birth date at 15 Nov 1811. We have yet to discover a birth record for him, and that is one of the reasons we suspect he was an illegitimate child and the birth may have been hidden or just kept off the records.

Marriage Notes:
“Publishments” (Marriage Intentions) entered by town clerk, F. B. Stebbins 1833: June 30th – Porter PEPPER of Spencer and Persis DEARTH. This is the date of the INTENTION but not the date of the actual marriage, which was 21 Jul 1833.

Death Notes for Persis:
The last record we have for Persis is in the 1870 US Census in Little Rock, Kendall County, Illinois, where she is living in the household of William Wallace and Persis (Pepper) BARTLETT, at the age of 63. Persis (Pepper) Bartlett is her daughter.

Children of Porter and Persis Elvira (Dearth) Pepper:
i.     JOHN PROUTY8 PEPPER b. in Brimfield on 12 Dec 1833
ii.    GEORGE EDWARD PEPPER b. Brimfield 19 May 1835 d. Warren 15 Feb 1892
iii.   MEHITABLE E. PEPPER b. in Brimfield on 20 Jan 1838 and d. in Brimfield on 28 May 1859.
iv.   HENRY H. PEPPER b. in Brimfield on 31 Jul 1840 and died in St. Louis, MO on 18 Mar 1888.
v.    PERSIS MARIA PEPPER b. in Brimfield on 26 Feb 1842
vi.  THOMAS DEARTH PEPPER, b. in Palmer, Mass. on 25 Mar 1843

George Edward Pepper, Corporal (1835-1892)

Corporal George Edward Pepper (1835-1892)

Eighth Generation

8. JOHN PROUTY8 PEPPER, (Porter7, Thomas6, Unknown Hamilton5, Unknown Hamilton4, etc.) was born in Brimfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts on 12 Dec 1833. He died on 27 Sep 1904 in Rydal, Republic, Kansas, of “tumor of the stomach”. He married JANETTE STRICKLAND, daughter of JOHN STRICKLAND and BETSEY BROOKS on 29 May 1860 in Brimfield, Hampden, Massachusetts. The ceremony was conducted by the Reverend Jason MORSE. She was born on 17 Mar 1839 in Palmer, Hampden, Massachusetts. She died on 3 Apr 1917 in Sidney, Fremont, Iowa.

John Prouty PEPPER was the firstborn child of Porter and Persis Elvira (DEARTH) PEPPER. There is speculation that John’s middle name was in honor of Porter and Persis’ soon-to-be-brother-in-law, John PROUTY, of Providence, Rhode Island.

The marriage “Intention” record, dated 19 May 1860, indicates that John Prouty PEPPER was of Brimfield, Massachusetts, while Janette STICKLAND was of Palmer, Massachusetts.

Children of John Prouty and Janette (Strickland) Pepper:
i.      WILLIAM HENRY PEPPER, was born in Brimfield, Hampden, Massachusetts on 14 Apr 1861 and died in Beaver Township, Lincoln, Kansas on 20 Oct 1925 . He married in, Oconto, Wisconsin on 3 Nov 1866, ELLA RIFENBURGH, daughter of Lewis RIFENBURGH and Sarah Jane LUBDELL. She died in 1901 in California.

ii.     GEORGIA PEPPER, was born in Brimfield, Hampden, Massachusetts on 22 Oct 1864.

iii.    ELIZABETH MARIE PEPPER, was born in Brimfield, Hampden, Massachusetts on 22 Oct 1865 and died in Nebraska City, Otoe, Nebraska on 27 Aug 1937. She married in Phillipsburg, Phillips, Kansas on 12 Dec 1881, Isaac James Buchanan Adams, son of Samuel Adams and Diadama Moore. He was born 5 Dec 1859 in Albia, Monroe, Iowa. He died on 23 May 1938 in Nebraska City, Otoe, Nebraska.



vi.    GEORGE WARRINER9 PEPPER was born in Steward, Lee County, Illinois on 11 Apr 1872.




Ninth Generation

9. GEORGE WARRINER9 PEPPER (John Prouty8, Porter7, unknown Hamilton 6) was born 11 Apr 1872 in Steward, Lee County, Illinois, the second son and sixth child of John Prouty PEPPER and Janette STRICKLAND. It is a bit of a mystery as to  why George Warriner was born in STEWARD, Lee County, Illinois, as the family were not living there and never did reside there as far as we know. It makes me wonder if there was a special doctor or midwife there to assist great-great-grandma with the birth. We know that John and Jannette moved from Hampden County, Massachusetts in spring of 1870 and were in the 1870 US Census on August 17th in Delhi, Delaware County, Iowa. There were three daughters born after George, all in Iowa. George is the ONLY one born in Illinois. Steward was a very small brand new community in 1872.

He married 22 Aug 1896, in Belleville, Republic County, Kansas, Delia Bridget JACKSON, daughter of Hezekiah Karr JACKSON and Sarah COLLINS. Hezekiah is a descendant of the Fuqua family written about in Fuqua – A Fight For Freedom by Alya Dean Smith Irwin.

Children of George Warriner and Delia Bridget (Jackson) Pepper:

i.   FRED CLARKSON PEPPER was born in Cuba, Republic, Kansas on 21 Jan 1889. He died in Salina, Saline County, Kansas on 22 Nov 1945 of a “bleeding ulcer“. He married Mable Ethel PECKHAM in 1919. She was born in Kansas on 10 Nov 1898. She died in Barnard, Lincoln, Kansas on 3 Jul 1972 .

ii.  ELSIE NORA PEPPER was born in Cuba, Republic, Kansas on 21 Jan 1899. She died in Beloit, Mitchell, Kansas on 25 Nov 2004. She married John Alfred WALLACE. He was born in Barnard, Lincoln, Kansas on 18 May 1896. He died in Barnard, Lincoln, Kansas on 3 Jul 1963.

iii.  ALVEY PEPPER was born in Beaver Township, Lincoln, Kansas in May 1900.

iv. HARRIETT PEPPER was born in Kansas on 19 Jul 1903.

v.  HARRY PEPPER was born in Barnard, Lincoln, Kansas on 19 Jul 1903. He died in Cawker City, Mitchell County, Kansas on 1 Apr 1980. He married Irma SNAPP in Lincoln County, Kansas in 1923 . She was born in Kansas in 1904 . She died in Missouri.

vi. KATHERINE GOLDENA PEPPER was born in Lincoln County, Kansas on 21 Jun 1904. She died in Concordia, Cloud, Kansas on 9 Aug 1972. She married Eugene Matheas McClintock in Lincoln, Lincoln, Kansas on 6 Dec 1922. He was born 3 Jul 1904. He died in Beloit, Mitchell, Kansas on 14 Dec 1987.

vii. KATIE PEPPER, was born in 1905 in Kansas.

viii. John Prouty PEPPER was born on 24 Jan 1908 in Barnard, Lincoln, Kansas. He died on 13 May 2008 in Beloit, Mitchell, Kansas. He married (1) Reita Geraldine BISHOP, daughter of William Franklin BISHOP and Hattie May BOYER on 5 Mar 1930 in Ellsworth, Ellsworth, Kansas. She was born on 3 Jan 1912 in Lincoln, Lincoln, Kansas. She died on 8 Nov 1998 in Princeton, Mercer, West Virginia. He married (2) Leona Marie REECE on 16 Sep 1956 in Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas. She was born on 7 Mar 1916 in Shannon City, Union, Iowa. She died on 10 Nov 2004 in Minneapolis, Ottawa, Kansas.

ix.  George Washington PEPPER was born on 22 Feb 1910 in Barnard, Lincoln, Kansas.

Tenth Generation

10. JOHN PROUTY10 PEPPER, (George Warriner9, John Prouty8, Porter7, unknown Hamilton6), born near Barnard (Sunnyside Neighborhood), Lincoln County, Kansas on 24 January 1908, son of George Warriner PEPPER and Delia Bridget JACKSON. He was their fifth child and third son. He was named after his grandfather, John Prouty PEPPER. He married, first, at the courthouse in Ellsworth, Ellsworth County, Kansas on 5 Mar 1930, REITA GERALDINE BISHOP, daughter of William Franklin BISHOP and HATTIE MAY BOYER. [R. Bishop]

John Prouty Pepper, Early 1920's, Grandpa told me this was of him in his first pair of long pants. He must have worn knickers before this photo!

John Prouty Pepper, Early 1920’s, Grandpa told me this was of him in his first pair of long pants. He must have worn knickers before this photo!

Grandpa loved to play baseball with the local teams:
Barnard Bee – Barnard, Kansas – Thursday, April 28, 1932
By a score of 9 to 5 the Logan Team Got “Sweet Revenge” for the Shut-out Handed Them in Game a Week Ago

The Barnard ball team played the return game with the Logan nine Sunday afternoon, journeying to their diamond, and returning home with the small end of the 9 to 5 score. And thus did the Logan boys get “revenge” for the shut out handed them in the game played here a week ago.

It was a good game, however, and the battery on each team did good work. The fielders, too, came in for their share of chances well handled.

The line up of teams:
P. Rollett,c; E. Clark,p; T. Rollett, 3b; B. Piercy, 1b; H. James, 2b; D. Piercy, ss; C. King, 1f; l. Jones, cf; W. Marshall, rf; H. Troutman, (sub) 2b.

L. Oetting, ss; J. PEPPER, 3b; E. Oetting, 2b; A. Woody, c; G. Oetting, 1f; L. Shroeder, cf; Nick Claus, rf; L. McFall, 1b; G. PEPPER, p [his brother]; A. Oetting, (sub) p; H. Harshbarger, (sub) rf; D. Oetting, (sub) rf. [Newspapers found at the Kansas State Historical Society]

They had six children between 1932 and 1947, four sons and two daughters:
1. John Wesley Keith Pepper born in Lincoln, Kansas
2. Duane Francis Pepper born in Lincoln, Kansas.
3. Frank Raymond Pepper born in Torrington, Wyoming.
4. Judy Margaret Pepper born in Lingle, Wyoming. Born on Sunday. Weighed 7 1/4 lbs. [J. Clark]
5. Eugene Richard Pepper born in Lincoln, Kansas.
6. Cheryl Anne Pepper born in Barnard, Kansas. [R. Bishop]

He married, SECOND, in Wichita, Kansas, 16 September 1956, Leona Coverdell of Wichita, Kansas. No children were born of this union.

John lived in Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado, California and in Baja California, Mexico. In Mexico he lived with his grandson, John Wesley Pepper. [R. Bishop and T. Rust]

He enjoyed fishing and hunting, especially bird hunting in Kansas. On May 11, 1963 he bought a State of Kansas resident fishing license for $3.00. Attached to it was a an Upland Game Bird Stamp for $1.00. His address and description was: 11105 Terrace Drive, Wichita, Kansas; age 55, weight 185, height 5′ 10″ with gray eyes and brown hair. I hope he got his bird!

In 1980, on his Kansas “Class C” Driver’s License is was 5′ 10″, 165 pounds, with gray eyes. His residence was at 905 Elm Street in Cawker City, Kansas.

He did all sorts of jobs throughout his life. He farmed, worked as a shepherd, and drove a school bus.

In about 1993 John took a trip northwest:
Here is a clipping from probably a Cawker City or Beloit newspaper: “John Pepper was a guest at the Roberts Ranch in Lake Stevens, Washington for two weeks visiting nephew George W. Pepper of Lynnwood and niece Laura Pepper Ellingson of Whidbey Island. He accompanied his grandnephew Lon Taylor to British Columbia to attend the Canadian Retriever Field Trials at Lake Logan. Nephew Hal Roberts and his grandson Joshua Taylor accompanied John to Kamiah, Idaho to spend the fourth of July with his son Wesley, granddaughters Teresa and Terri and seven of his twenty-one great grandchildren. They arrived back in Cawker City on Wednesday. Joshua will spend the summer with his Aunt Vicki and Uncle Fausto Aramendi and grandparents, Hal and Dottie Roberts.”

John died on 13 May 2008 in Beloit, Mitchell County, Kansas. He was buried in the family plot in Barnard, Lincoln County, Kansas, near his mother and father.

John Prouty Pepper Jan 24, 1908 - May 13, 2008

John Prouty Pepper
Jan 24, 1908 – May 13, 2008

[J. Clark] – Judy (Pepper) Clark

[R. Bishop] – Reita Geraldine (Bishop) Pepper supplied these facts.

For More Information, see:

John Hamilton of Concord Family Tree 2 at

Genealogy of The Hamilton Family In America by Charles William Hamilton (I own a hard copy)

John Hamilton – Yeoman of Concord, Sketches of Ten Generations of One Branch of the Hamilton Family In America, (1658-1958) by Charles Walter Hamilton (I own a hard copy)

A Pioneering People, 500 Years of Adventuresome Westward Bound Kinfolks, A Genealogy and Narrative by [Oscar] Myron Hamilton (This was privately published and I own a hard copy)

Hamilton, Carter, Goodrich, Reed and Related Families of New England compiled by Martha Hamilton Hauber (Privately published and I own a hard copy)

Yahoo Groups: John Hamilton, Scotsman, American Immigrant in 1651, please join our group!


4 Responses to John Prouty Hamilton/Pepper (1908-2008)

  1. Dottie Pepper Roberts says:

    I believe Unk is buried in Milo Cemetary beside his parents. Thanks for your efforts and what a beautiful baby! Blessings, Dottie

  2. Adam Christopher Pepper says:

    Amazing work! If i read correctly, the family is of Scottish descent? It would be great to see a family tree with all the branches, etc as all the names listed, etc was taxing to remember, put together in my head…. I guess I’m just a visual person.

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