One of the most influential and supportive members of
the Penn Colony’s original brain trust and financial donors is Lloyd Epley and
his wife Donna. (Donna is the daughter of Dr. Harlan and Golda Heim,
whose farm hosts the museum and is located just north and west of Dawson,
Nebraska.) Donna and Lloyd forgave
a large part of the loan that the Colony had taken to purchase the 4 acres from
that farm. This area is being
developed as the Pennsylvania Colony of Nebraska’s museum. The Colony will be
forever thankful for this donation.
The following story is taken from an autobiography
written by Lloyd Epley. Because
schools have recently began their fall semester
I thought it interesting to read a firsthand account of
Lloyd’s early childhood education.
“One of the things significant about rural youth of
my generation that many of us are inclined to talk about is the one room country
school. I am no exception.
How is it possible to get a descent education if you were part of 37
students who trudged on the average over a mile to get to school and the same
distance home? Many of us did little or no homework. There were 9 children in my grade school class, some of whom
including me, would have not been allowed to enter the class because we were not
yet five years old. The school had
no running water, but had outdoor toilet for each sex, but no place to wash our
hands after going to the toilet. We
drank water from a common dipper. All
of the children in my class were from a four square mile area.
Many of the young men of my age group served in the Second World War.
I am not certain but I believe that more than 50% of the young men who
were in the military service became officers in various branches of the armed
forces. I have never figured out
why the system worked, and not all of the country schools were successful.
I am sure one of the deciding factors was the capability of the
Lloyd Epley is a successful attorney and Donna Heim
Epley is a nurse. They are retired
now living in Coralville, Iowa. They
spend the majority of their time with their three children and their
grandchildren and their church activities. The Penn Colony of Nebraska is
grateful for their support and contribution.
by Bob Williamson, Museum Director, and Public Relations for the Colony.