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Buttons & Bootstraps: Where the Epler Family Letters Came From

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

Carlyle Milford Epler was born to Morris and Eva Sarah Epler (nee Sanders) on March 27th, 1919. Carlyle, or Carl, was the fifth of eleven children. This record reflects his Baptism in a Lutheran Church in November of 1920.

A census from 1900 reflects that 13 year old Eva, daughter of Walter H. Sanders and Sallie Sanders, was born approximately 1887. Eva at 13 was working as a Topper in the Hosiery Mill where twenty years later her own daughter would work.

Morris and Eva married in 1907. In the 1920 United States Census, an "Elsie Wesner" (15) is listed as living with the family. She is called the "Step Daughter" in the notes, recorded as working as a "Broker" for a "Chewing Gum Factory". In the 1910 U.S. Census, Elsie is listed as the 5 year old daughter of Monie and Eva Epler ("Monie" here being a nickname for Morris). This indicates that Morris and Eva had their daughter Elise, two years prior to their marriage date. So in fact, Carl has another sibling.

Additionally in the 1910 census we see Eva and Morris taking on two Boarders, a George (21) and Howard (18) Sanders. George was listed as working for the Railroad Store while Howard was a laborer at a Steel Mill. These are more than likely Eva's brothers.

According to the 1930 United States Census, Carl's father Morris (44) was a "Laborer" on "Steam Railway Line". Eva (43) was unemployed. Only age 11, Carl was not one of the Epler children who were employed. That would have been his older brother's Walter (19) and Nelson (15), and sister Edna (17). Records indicate that all three worked in some capacity at the Hosiey Mills. This was likely a spelling error on the behalf of the Census taker; and should read "Hosiery Mills".

Unfortunately, this death certificate from 1934 is for Eva Sarah Elper, nee Sanders.

Six years later, in 1940, Carl enlisted in the U.S. Military for the World War Two effort. He is recorded as having brown hair, brown eyes and being of 5'11 height. He was 21 years old. This Application for World War II Compensation was issued by Carl in 1950. It tells us many things about his time in the service.

Carl marries his wife Jennie Newheimer, in approximately 1940 or 1941. Jennie Lena Newheimer (sometimes spelt "Neuheimes" in census keeping) was born in 1921 to Austrian immigrants Victor and Anna Newheimer, in Pennsylvania. She was one of seven children. In this copy of the 1930 U.S. census, we can see that Victor is recorded as a farmer. A decade later, he would be recorded as a laborer in a factory.

In this copy of the 1940 U.S. Census for the Newheimer family we can see that Jennie was gainfully employed as a "Collar Printer" in a textiles factory. Her next youngest sister, Helen, also works in the factory.

The first daughter of Carl and Jennie was born in October of 1941. Their second daughter, Jacqueline, follows in 1948. Janet would live until 2004, whereas her sister would live until 2000. Carl would live to 85 years of age, passing away in 2004 as well. Jennie would live the longest, dying in 2007.

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