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W. D. Roper family

Source:  Gayle Clemons Newkirk, <Gaylenewk @>, Sept. 2005

Note in Roper Bible-
W.D. ran the ferry and grist mill on the South bank of the Colorado River.

William D and Elizabeth Roper died early in life and left six small children.  The children were raised by their Grandmother, Nancie Wallace Roper and their old maid aunts, Sally, Ella, & Emma and their batchelor uncle, Oliver George C. Roper.


The following obituary appeared in the Marble Falls Paper following his death [in 1902].

A Sad Death
     A gloom was cast over the entire town last Sunday morning when the sad news came that W. D. Roper had breathed his last at 6 o'clock that morning.  He had been confined to his room several weeks, but was thought to be improving only a short time before his death angel knocked at his door. 

     Mr. Roper was one of our most noble men in many respects.  He was honest, was a devoted Christian and gentleman in every sense of the work, and his death will be mourned by a large concourse of friends. 

    He was born in Forcyth County, Georgia, and came to Texas with his parents in 1859, was married September  26,1872.  He had been a consistent member of the Baptist Church since 1884, and of late years, deacon in the church at this place.

    He passed over the river of death to reap his reward for the good done on this earth last Sunday morning at six o'clock and his remains were laid to rest in the Roper Cemetery in Pleasant Valley the same day at six o'clock p.m.  No better man has ever lived among us than was Mr. Roper and it is with a sad heart that we record his death in this issue.

     Our sympathy is extended to the bereaved ones.
June 10, 1937 Marble Falls Messenger Reads:

1884- M. F. Postoffice- 1937
     As a part toward the perpetuation of the history and traditions of the Marble Falls post office, while the aid of a few remaining pioneers is available, among whom are Robert A. Burnam, whose memory spans these fifty-three years as vividly as if only a fortnight.  George C. Roper who was personally connected with the postal service at Marble Falls soon after it was established.

    Miss Emma Roper, whose father was the real "Father of Marble Falls" purchased the land and thru his own enterprise, courage, and hard-work provided necessities for a thriving settlement.  He first built a flour and corn mill where flour and meal was ground for all this part of the country, a saw mill was added, which furnished lumber for his own and other houses he built and operated a ferry boat, furnished land for settlement while others deserve credit for building and putting Marble Falls on a permanent footing to William Harvey Roper, belongs the title given.  Recollections of these early settlers and a few printed records is the material used in this writing.

     The following item was published in the Burnet Bulletin in 1884: “ We are glad a post office has been established at Marble Falls with our friend, W. L. Gaston, the merchant, as master.  It will be a great convenience to the people of that thickly settled future Lowell and Carara of America.

     Issuance of a commission by the postmaster general dated July 25, 1884 to William W. Gaston marks the establishment of the Marble Falls Post Office.

     Among it’s patrons and instrumental in its establishment were a
W. M. Crownover, Joe Hardin, A. C. Kilgore, Mrs. Rufina Hardin, L. W. Lowe, Frank Harrison, Professor J. R Brown, W. H. Roper, J. M. Roper, O. H. P. Culberson, Jack Smith, James Lannaham, and Frank Lee.

     The post office was located in a box house used also as a ____ on a large flat rock a little south of the end of the dam on the south side of the river.  A mail route came out of Austin to Round Mountain, Shovel Mountain, and Double Horn, then back to Austin.  From Shovel Mountain it was carried by A. Struve to Marble Falls to Burnet.  Marble Falls was the supply office for Tiger Mills, it was carried by George C. Roper, sometimes on foot, usually on horseback using a saddle bag pouch.  Saddle bag pouches are made of leather and shaped so that half of the mail can be carried on each side of the horse.  The last one I remember used out of the Marble Falls office was used by Ike Birmingham on the route to Tiger Mill Blow Out and Poe.

     Besides being merchant and Postmaster, Mr. Gaston was a preacher and a writer.  As a writer, a poem written by him and published in the Burnet Bulletin, fifty-three years ago living in memory of its readers to the present day proves his literary ability.

     As a preacher he was of the Methodist denomination; he is remembered conducting funeral services, performing wedding ceremonies, and going without pay after working all week to some neighborhood anxious to hear the gospel.  Truly a labor of love.

     As a merchant and postmaster, Mr. Gaston was a man of daring leadership and clear vision.  He served as postmaster about two years and two months after which he was connected with the postal service at Granite Mountain while the convicts were quarrying the granite for the State Capitol building.  Mr. Gaston’s name and service will always be associated with the Marble Falls postoffice and his memory honored.

     To succeed Mr. Gaston on September 21, 1886, John A. Roper was appointed postmaster.  Upon taking charge of the office, Mr. Roper moved the office from the store building to the residence of W. H. Roper.  Early in the year 1887 an association known as the Texas Mining and Improvement Company purchased land and laid out the town on the north side of the river.  The town was advertised and lots were offered for sale.  Hundreds came and many houses were erected, both residential and merchantile buildings.  The Roper Hotel was one of these buildings.  Postmaster Roper’s most noteworthy act while postmaster was changing the site of the office to the north of the river, locating it in the hotel building.  Mr. Roper served as postmaster about two years and seven months.  He was always a worthy and useful citizen.  His last public work was with the Rural Telephone Co.  I here repeat a tribute by G. F. Hunter to the Roper Family.  “A better family, a more honest and neighborly family never lived anywhere at any time within my knowledge.  True as steel needle to magnet in all the rugged principles of manhood and womanhood, that they in common with all other true pioneers held as sacred.  Oh! Those good old time real men and women.  Sacred be the memory of the entire family of Harvey Roper. ( To be Continued).

Transcribed by Gayle Clemons Newkirk- December 2003



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