In the development of Marion county the subject of this biography has
borne an important part, for he has long been identified with the farming
and business life of the locality, and while advancing his own interests he
has not been neglectful of his duty to his fellow citizens, therefore he is
accorded a full measure of esteem by all who know him.
Elmer E. Copple was born January 9, 1862, on the old Copple homestead in Centralia township, this county, the son of Eli Copple, a complete sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. However, it is not amiss here to state that the father of the subject was born January 8, 1820, in Clark county, Illinois, the son of David Copple, a native of Germany, who married Lavina Huckleberry first and later Permelia King. They came to Marion county, Illinois, in 1832 and settled in section 32, Centralia township, where they entered wild land and set about improving it like the rest of the pioneers of that time, and they lived and died at this place. He had only a limited opportunity to attend school in the old log school-houses. Although self-learned he became an excellent speller and scholar. He was a large farmer, stock dealer and breeder. In 1874 he went to Europe and imported some French Norman horses. He never aspired to office although an active Republican. He started in life in a small way, but worked hard and was very successful. He was a member of the Methodist church.
He first married Martha Flannagan, of Jefferson county, Illinois, who died in 1850, and his second wife was Sarah Dolson. The following five children were born to Eli Copple and his first wife: Arminda, who married W. A. Dolson, of Fullerton. Nebraska; Loretta, who married A. J. Hardley, of Irvington, Illinois; three children died in infancy. Seven children were born to Eli Copple and his second wife, namely: Charles, a farmer in Nebraska; Mary married Joseph Baldridge, and she died in 1899; Julia married H. S. Baldridge, who lives in Seattle, Washington; Willis, a farmer in Centralia township, Marion county, who married a Miss Patton; Elmer E., our subject; Robert, a farmer in Centralia township, who married Lillian Ethel Leonard; Ada is the wife of T. S. Kell, who now lives on the old Copple homestead with Mrs. Copple.
The subject of this sketch lived at home and attended the neighboring schools. He married September 9, 1883, to Ida A. Baldridge, of Jefferson county, Illinois, who was born in Grand Prairie township, the daughter of Thomas and Mary (Williams) Baldridge, the former a native of Jefferson county, Illinois, and the latter of Virginia. She died in 1870, and Mr. Baldridge was again married, his second wife being Miss M. E. Allen, of Jefferson county, this state. It was in that county that he spent his life on a farm, dying there in 1904. His second wife died in February, 1908.
Four children have been born to the subject and wife, as follows: M. Allen, who married Nellie Root Carpenter, of Centralia, and who are the parents of two children, Lola and Vera; Ralph Roy, who is living at home, is a graduate of the Centralia high school; Dwight and Ruth are the youngest children.
In 1883 our subject located on his present place in Centralia township. It was then a new place and Mr. Copple has made all the improvements on it, bringing it up to any place in the township. He is regarded as a good farmer and an excellent judge of stock and his farm is carefully managed, yielding excellent harvests of all kinds from year to year. His home place consists of two hundred and forty acres, thirty acres of which are in peaches, apples and pears. This is a most valuable orchard, consisting of a fine variety of excellent fruit, and since Mr. Copple is something of an expert horticulturist, no small part of his income is derived from this source. He carries on a general farming. His dwelling is a most convenient and substantial one, and his barns and out buildings are of the best.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 568-569.