The industrious and enterprising gentleman of whom we now have the pleasure of speaking is one of the men who came to this County with but little of this world’s goods, but by his wise management of the resources of the place has put himself in a first class financial position, being one of the prosperous and substantial farmers of the place. He remarks that when he came here he was enabled to carry all his goods on his back and had but a few dollars in his pocket. True grit, pluck and sagacity have been displayed and now the fruit of this effort is in abundant evidence in his holdings.

Clarence E. Leeper was born in Greene County, Missouri, on September 5, 1872, being the son of James and Mary C. (West) Leeper, natives of Missouri, and born in 1846 and 1856, respectively. The father was a pioneer in Missouri and served four years in the Confederate army. The mother died in 1888. When Clarence was two years old the family migrated to Oregon and settled in Douglas County and later went to Josephine County. There they farmed and raised stock.

Our subject grew up on a farm and was educated in the public schools. He remained with his father until twenty-four. In 1896 he came to his present place, two and one half miles north from Melrose, and secured a quarter section by homestead right. This has been the home since that time and is one of the valuable places in this vicinity.

On November 29, 1899, Mr. Leeper married Miss Mary I., daughter of William P. and Mary (Harness) Garner, the wedding occurring in Nez Perces County. Mr. Garner and his wife were born in Missouri and their daughter was born in Doniphan County. Kansas, on April 18, 1876. She has two brothers and two sisters. Vinal, Naomi, May, and Neri. Mr. Leeper has one sister and two brothers, Albert E., Ava M. and Hugh, all in Nez Perces County. One child, Villa M., has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Leeper.

Mrs. Leeper is a member of the Christian church. Mr. Leeper is a staunch Republican and labors for practical results and is dominated by wisdom and sound principles. He has always been a zealous advocate of first class educational facilities and believes in paying the price to obtain them. Mr. Leeper is not content with handling his land, but leases considerable in addition, which he cultivates.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903