| “I Remember”
|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 teacher.”
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.
Written by Bob Williamson, Museum Director, and Public Relations for the Colony.