|Birth: ||Oct. 23, 1832|
|Death: ||Dec. 3, 1918|
Martha Ann Potts was born in Jackson County, Missouri, in 1832, the fourth of ten children born to John and ___ Potts, both of Kentucky. Her paternal grandfather, Thomas Potts, was a Virginian.
She married William Lemmon Jepson in 1856. The following year Martha and William set out to California with a train of three ox wagons and some livestock. The journey was perilous, as Martha described in her own words:
"There was always fear of Indians. Every once in a while we passed a little grave on the trail marked, 'Killed by Indians.' Yet I don't know how it was - I was never really afraid. In the willows on the other side of the Humboldt River a wagon train was attacked at noon and the entire party killed save one woman who was scalped but afterwards regained consciousness. All this happened a few hours before we came along. We hurried forward that night in order to join a long train ahead. The men had no supper as we could not stop and feared to make a fire. By order of William, my husband, the men made no noise but drove the train silently ahead. They did not even crack the whips as usual over the laggard oxen, although we were anxious to get on. Each driver punched his oxen with the butt end of the whip. In many directions we could see Indian fires. About midnight we reached the big train. Its people were hospitable, gave our men food and allowed our cattle to be turned in with theirs, which was against the law of the Overland Trail. The wagon trains never did this because of the great difficulty in separating the cattle, but the big train was glad to receive the little train as an aid against a possible Indian attack, and the sense of common danger was so great that the cattle were quietly separated next morning without the usual disorder and bad language. Oh, but I liked the Overland Trail. I loved it. It was a fine journey. I hoped it would never come to an end."
Martha and William settled on a farm in Vacaville, Solano County, California. They had six children:
• Eliza Josephine "Josie" Jepson - married Moses Hendricks, originally of Solano County, CA (and later Oakland, CA) in 1888.
• Lucy Frances Jepson a talented writer who died in 1885 at the age of 25.
• Mary Elizabeth Jepson - married Frank Pellet of St. Helena, CA in 1892
• An infant who died in 1864
• Willis Linn Jepson - of Berkeley, CA, one of the founders of the Sierra Club and the country's most eminent early botanist
• Amos Carl Jepson - died at the age of nine in 1880 after falling from his horse
Martha's strength of character and devotion to stable principles won her many friends throughout her life.
**Above information from History of Solano and Napa Counties**
At the time of the 1910 Federal Census, Martha was 75 and living on Main Street in Vacaville, CA. Census data states that she had had six children with only two still living in 1910. Martha's 16 year old granddaughter, Helen Hendricks, was living with her.
William Lemmon Jepson (1826 - 1903)*
Eliza Josephine Jepson Hendricks (1858 - 1923)*
Lucy Frances Jepson (1860 - 1885)*
Infant Jepson (1864 - 1864)*
Willis Linn Jepson (1867 - 1946)*
Amos Carl Jepson (1871 - 1880)*
MARTHA ANN JEPSON
Born in MO, Oct. 23, 1832
Died Dec. 3, 1918
Pioneers of 1850 and 1857
High Minded, Steadfast, God Fearing
They Loved this Land of Vaca Valley
For its Quiet Peace and Home Tradition
Plot: Old section I18
Created by: Rosemary
Record added: Aug 20, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15439777