George L Epperson was honored with a Texas Ranger Memorial Cross, Saturday, April 10, 2010. The Dedication Ceremony took place at his gravesite in the Valley Spring Cemetery.
George L. Epperson was born in Arkansas, September 15, 1851. He came to Texas with his family in 1855. They settled on Johnson Creek near Valley Spring. The Civil War called his brother, Franklin and this called for George at 13 years of age to take care of the cattle. Franklin was wounded in the war and died shortly after arriving home.
George L. registerred the Figure 5 brand which was one of the earliest in the area. He married Mary Ann Lively in 1874 and moved south to San Fernando Creek where he ranched with his son, James E. (Jim), until his death in 1936. He brought the first polled Herefords to this area from Iowa in 1911. He was the first "veterinarian" in the area and the first man in Llano County to vaccinate against blackleg in cattle. George used Pasteur's vaccine which was made in Germany. It was in powdered form and mixed with water. Epperson spent about two months each fall for several years going from ranch to ranch, vaccinating the neighbor's calves. He traveled in a two wheel cart drawn by one of his fine stallions.
The Eppersons were noted for their fine horses as well as their veterinary knowledge. About 1906, they bought a two year old registered Standardbred stallion from Missouri, Kallamus, by name, paying $1000 for him. This was an unheard of price at the time. His sire was Kremelin, the world champion trotting horse in 1892. George also bought another registered Standardbred stallion, Kentucky Boy, in 1906, and they kept a Jack or two, as mules were selling good in the early 1900's.
J.E. Epperson said that during the horse and buggy days, more than half of the good buggy horses in Llano and surrounding counties were sired by their stallions. They kept the two stallions about ten years. The colts he got from them, were good cow horses as well as harness horses. They bred 180 mares in one season and were looking forward to a needed and profitable business... until their hopes came to an abrupt end... Henry Ford invented the automobile!
G.L. Epperson passed away in 1936, on the ranch he had purchased in 1876 on San Fernando Creek.
James E. Epperson, son of G.L. Epperson, had built a house close to his home to help care for his parents until their deaths in 1935 and 1936.
In 1940, he purchased the Hillman ranch on Cherokee Creek and moved to San Saba county. James E. and Elizabeth Smith Epperson's children are Catherine Hiilsmier (deceased), James D. Epperson, George D. Epperson (deceased), and Maude Ann Kuykendall.