Joseph Anton Euper
Week ending July 18, 1874 : "A meeting was held at Gnase's reading room Thursday for the purpose of organizing a brass band. There was a good attendance, and resulted in the election of the following officers : John G. Gnase, president; John L. Simpson, secretary; Emil Jacobs, treasure. The following members were enrolled : E.L. Stevens, J.A. Euper, John L. Simpson, John G. Gnase. W.J. Cook, Emil Jacobs, A.M. Hanlane, Mr. Moody, P. Hubschmann, L. Hubschmann."
["Early Days in Denison", Sunday Gazetteer, August 3, 1902]
Denison Daily News
June 1880 U.S. Census of 1880 taken. Census schedule lists Joseph A. Euper, confectioner, age 29 and his wife Carrie B., age 24, living on Gandy Street. History credits Euper as the inventor of the ice cream soda; later he was to serve many years as fire chief of the City of Denison.
- 1892 "J.A. Euper, Dealer in Plain and Fancy Candies, Toys,
Fireworks and Smoker's Articles. Domestic and Foreign Fruit.
228 West Main Street."
- 1900 Joseph A. Euper, chief of Denison Fire Department,
headquartered under City Hall at 320 West Chestnut Street.
Married. Lives at 506 West Gandy Street. Also living
there are W.J. Euper, machinist for the MKT Railway shops; and Carl F.
Sunday, May 31, 1903
Before the family left for Mexico, members of the local Lilly Temple hosted a farewell reception for Mrs. Euper.
The Sunday Gazetter
Sunday, May 31, 1903
Just two short months later the Denison Gazetter prints the substance of a letter from Mr. Euper to Dr. Booth, in which he describes their situation in Mexico.The Sunday Gazetteer
Sunday, August 2, 1903
However, it appears from the return of the Euper family to Denison within 6 months of their adventurous enterprise to Mexico, that life in Mexico wasn't quite as pleasant as at first expressed in his August 1903 letter.
Euper, J. [Joseph] A., Treasurer, Wartburg Lodge, Sons of Hermann, 1893 - 1894
"Ice Cream Sodas Tasty Creation of Denisonian"
4 July 1976
The ice cream soda was first concocted by Joseph A. Euper in the late 1870s. Euper operated a confectionary here in
Denison's frontier days....He came to Denison in the city's earliest days, first opening a stand in the citys 100 block of Main Street. He married the former Carrie R. Arey in 1876 here, according to the Denison Daily News.
Euper later had a confectionery at 228 West Main. He went to California in 1906, where he entered the real estate business.
The father of the ice cream soda died in 1937 at the age of 87.
First ice cream soda
2 April 2011
by Donna Hunt
Today's Denison "first" is the ice cream soda. That delicious treat was first concocted by Joseph Anton Euper in the town's earliest of days. Euper had a confectionary on the north side of the 300 block West Main, near where the Security Building
once stood across the street at the location of present-day Heritage Park.
Denisonians know that Euper's soda was the first, but a few other towns have also claimed the distinction. Don't ask me
how I know he was the first, those of us who have been around for a while just know it. Besides, we've seen stories in the
local newspapers giving him credit.
Euper must have been a very brave man because during the age of saloons and rough and rowdy frontier towns, he dared to make a success of a business with nothing hardier than ice cream and soda water in combination. He was in stiff competition with the much stronger drinks available in town's saloons.
The Complete Book of American Trivia says that the ice cream soda was invented by a Robert Green at the Franklin institute Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1873. He ran out of cream to mix with syrup and carbonated water, so he used ice cream instead. But Euper was making sodas before then.
The Tomlinson's Texas Records, Fourth Edition, 1980, said that Haarnisch and Baer Ice Cream Parlor in San Antonio made the world's first ice cream soda in 1868. He named it for a famous opera star of the era, Dolly Vaden. That soda might be hard to dispute, but there is no doubt that Euper's was better. A town in Michigan actually celebrated a J.A. Euper Day in honor of his creation, but that town never claimed it was a first there.
Euper made the discovery more or less accidentally as a result of experiments, or just "playing around" with his ice cream products in Denison. Early local newspaper articles document the claim. He tried many different combinations, making ice cream with soda water, fresh fruit, juices and whatever he could think of. Finally he hit upon a concoction that tasted really good.
Merchants near his confectionary and other friends were his taste testers and many brushed handlebar mustaches to the side to sample the mixture, smacking their lips in approval. He later moved his ice cream business down the street from the Security building.
Euper came to Denison in 1872 to help establish the town. He married Miss Carrie R. Arey here in May 1876. The marriage was recorded in an issue of the Denison Herald. While he loved ice cream and continued with his confectioner, Euper also joined in building the first street railway system and was connected with industrial and other developments of the city. He died in 1937 at the age of 87.
Even before his invention, Euper marketed ice cream throughout this area and across the river in the Indian Nation, according to early day articles. He used his own special recipe, according to a 1946 article in the Denison Herald in which his son, Karl F. Euper, was interviewed.
At one time he began to charge his own soda water, using a roomful of tanks and pipes that must have looked like something from outer space.
Euper's son, Karl, was born in Denison in 1885, then the family moved to Los Angeles in 1906, taking his dad's recipe. There Euper pursued a career in the real estate business.
Karl was a member of the Denison, Texas, Reunion that met annually for many years in California. He visited the real Denisons in 1946 and while here donated the final $200 to the Eisenhower Birthplace Fund to renovate the house. That was the year that General Eisenhower made his first visit to Denison since he was a toddler to see the house where he was born.
While Euper's ice cream was the talk of the town in its early days, I feel sure it was nothing to compare with Ashburn's Ice Cream that opened first at 116 South Rusk Avenue after Euper moved to California.
Every time we bring up the subject of that ice cream parlor, we get replies telling us favorite flavors. It seems that once a cone of Ashburn's Ice Cream was sampled, it was never forgotten. Adults and children alike flocked to the creamery.
For the day that W.L. Ashburn, Sr., cranked out his first ice cream in a 10-gallon freezer using ice and salt, Ashburn's ice cream became a tradition. There was no mechanical refrigeration at that time, so the shop used ice and salt to store the vanilla, strawberry and chocolate cream in wooden tubs. Wooden tubs also were used to deliver the ice cream that was pocked in
cans and kept cold by the ice and salt. The small plant prospered and by 1918 it moved to 615 West Main.
Ice cream and summertime seem to go together and with summer just around the corner, it sure would be a treat to have a good old double dipped cone of vanilla, chocolate, or fresh peach, or strawberry or...on and on and on, ice cream.
Elaine Nall Bay
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