from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
PastAndPresentOfMahaskaCo.,IA by Manoah Hedge(Rev. William Pearson Sopher) - REV. WILLIAM PEARSON SOPHER, b. 24 Mar 1852 Rev. William Pearson Sopher, living on section 28, Spring Creek township, is one of the substantial farmers and stock-raisers, his property embracing one hundred and eighteen acres of rich and productive land. He is one of Mahaska county's native sons, his birth having occurred in Spring Creek township, March 24, 1852. The Sopher family is of Scotch-Irish lineage and was established in Virginia at an early period in the colonization of the new World. The paternal great-grandfather, Joseph Sopher, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war. The grandfather, who also bore the name of Joseph, was born in Loudoun county, Virginia. His son, William Kenworthy Sopher, father of our subject, was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, April 8, 1817, and was reared in that state. In 1834 he removed westward, locating in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, where he was married in 1837 to Miss Agnes Hackett. He followed farming in Tippecanoe and Jefferson counties for a few years, and in 1844 he removed to Iowa, making a permanent location in Spring Creek township, Mahaska county, in 1847. Here he opened up a new farm of one hundred and forty-seven acres of timber land, which he cleared of trees, brush and stumps, placing the soil under a high state of cultivation and making a good home in the midst of what was then the wilderness of Iowa. He eventually sold his first farm and located in 1882 upon the farm where Rev. Sopher now resides. There he built a good residence and spent his last years, his death occurring in December, 1892. His wife had passed away two years previous. In their family were five children: Abijah, a resident farmer of Spring Creek township; Phebe, who died at the age of twenty-six years; Moses H., who was married and reared a large family but is now deceased; Rev. William Pearson Sopher, of this review; and Rev. Joseph Sopher, of Oskaloosa. Born in Spring Creek township, Rev. William P. Sopher was educated in the common schools and in the old Penn Academy. Through the summer months he worked at farm labor, remaining with his father until after he had attained his majority. He was married in this township October 10, 1870, to Miss Anna M. Coulson, a daughter of Dr. David Coulson, a dentist of Oskaloosa, where he practiced for ten or twelve years, after which he removed to Oregon, where he died in December, 1897. Mrs. Sopher was born in Salem, Henry county, Iowa, but was reared and educated in Mahaska county. Following their marriage the young couple began their domestic life upon the farm which he yet owns, but at first he had but sixty acres of land. He possesses natural mechanical ability and erected a residence there. He helped to break the sod with three yoke of oxen and later he built a barn and other modem improvements. After the death of his mother he bought his fathers place and located upon the tract adjoining, his present home. He has since fenced the place, has made many repairs and improvements and has set out a large orchard containing fifteen hundred trees which are just coming into bearing and include a great variety of fruit. For some years his son has carried on the active work of the farm although Mr. Sopher gives to it his personal supervision. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Sopher have been born six children: Mamie, now the wife of Charles Hoover, a farmer of Spring Creek township; Jesse L., a farmer who is married and resides in Audrain county. Missouri; Elma Emma, a student in the home schools; and Hattie, Bertha and Nettie Pearl, all of whom are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Sopher were reared in the Friends church, and Rev. Sopher was ordained a minister of that denomination about 1878 and for fifteen years has devoted his time to the church work. He has three times visited Kansas, has also visited various churches of Iowa and has held regular services at Bloomfield Friends church for the past fifteen years. He has been a supporter of the prohibition party since 1888, and has served as a delegate to thc state and national conventions, taking a very active and interested part in its work: He and his daughter were both delegates to the last convention at Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1894, with his wife and daughter, he went to Oregon, visiting a number of the churches of the Society of Friends of that state, and Mrs. Sopher and the daughter visited the Lewis and Clark Exposition, at Portland, in 1905, also places of scenic interest in the Rocky Mountains and along the Pacific coast. Mr. Sopher and his family have traveled extensively both east and west, visiting a number of the leading cities of the country. He is well known in Oskaloosa and throughout the state of Iowa because of his active, influential and effective work in behalf of the church of his choice. He is likewise recognized as one of its strong ministers in other states and he and his family are much esteemed in the community where they reside.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy