Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Fred William Klapper

From A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985 
edited by Judia and Ralph Terry, and Vena Bob Gates - used by permission

The Klapper family came to Texas because of John Moffatt, who knew the Klappers in London, England.  John Moffatt married Georgiana (Annie) Woods, April 6, 1867, and they were the parents of two children, James Ebenezar and Esther Georginia.  Shortly after Esther was born, her mother died.  He decided to leave his children with his family in England while he came to the U.S.A.  His brother, Jim, came with him.  When they arrived, they headed to Texas to try buffalo hunting and trading with the Indians, around 1872.  Jim was killed by Indians near Eagle Pass.  John then decided to open a trading post in the V shaped gap of Santa Anna Mountain.  When civilization finally grew up in this area, he returned to England to get his family.  While there, he found that Ernest William Klapper I, wanted to return to Texas with him and his daughter, Esther.  Since Ernest was a good family friend, he agreed to take him along.  They returned to Texas and remained in the Coleman area.  On March 17, 1891, Ernest William Klapper I married Johns daughter, Esther Georginia, in Coleman.  John Moffatt married (2nd) February 3, 1884 at Thrifty, Mary Martha Frances Allen and had seven more children.  The Moffatt family moved on to Lamesa, Hobbs, and Lovington, New Mexico, where they still have living descendants.  John Moffatt died December 15, 1934 in Lovington.

Ernest William Klapper I, and Esther Georginia had four children: Ernest William (Will), born December 26, 1891; Charles James, November 7, 1893; Frederick Albert, October 31, 1896; and Herman Ebenezer, November 23, 1899, died at the age of one, buried at Coleman.  Ernest William Klapper Is sister, Elizabeth Esther (Lizzie), came to Coleman from England to be with her brother, landed in New York August 10, 1906, and arrived in Coleman shortly thereafter.  She met Victor Hugo Schirmacher in Coleman and married him March 27, 1907.  They did not have any children, both are buried in Coleman.  The Klapper family worked as contractors, painters and paper hangers.  Ernest William (Will) Klapper II, married Brunetta Mae Belle (Mae) Varner in Coleman, March 21, 1917 and had two children: William Richard (Dick) Klapper, August 13, 1920 and Mary Ellen Klapper, April 5, 1922 (see Varner Family).  William Richard (Dick) married Helen Wrighton Bull, May 10, 1946, settled in Borger, as a Chemical Engineer for Phillips Petroleum.  They had two children: (1) Richard James, September 20, 1948, married Linda Ruth Ursell and presently lives in Houston, working as a Nuclear Engineer with Houston Lighting and Power; (2) Fred William, February 3, 1951, is single and lives in Borger and is a Vice-President of Panhandle Bank and Trust Company.  William Richard (Dick) died December 30, 1975, buried in Coleman.  Mary Ellen married May 17, 1947 in Coleman, William Daniel Lessing and settled in Abilene.  They had three children: (1) William Daniel (Dan) II, August 17, 1949, married Victoria Co Gottis in Abilene.  Dan is now attending college and his wife is a registered nurse in Abilene; (2) Reginald David (Reg), January 20, 1952, is single and is a railroad engineer out of Abilene, (3) Marilyn Kay, January 31, 1953, married John Stephen Wickham in Abilene, lives in Brownwood with her two children: Paige Mackenzie, July 25, 1978 and Andrea Brice, February 12, 1980.

Charles James Klapper, married Amelia Crump, January 24, 1923, in Brownwood, where he started work for the telephone company and helped develop their telephone system.  He died July 30, 1953, and buried in Brownwood with his wife.  They had no children.

Frederick Albert Klapper, married Amelia Lee Harding in Coleman on June 8, 1927.  They had a daughter, Virginia Lee, July 15, 1929, in Coleman, then moved to Hearne where they settled.  Frederick Albert died August 9, 1968, buried in Hearne.  Virginia Lee married Robert Charles Duke in Hearne, August 19, 1950.  They had three children: Robert Charles II, December 23, 1952 - August 28, 1970 from an accident; Barbara Harding Duke, June 10, 1955; and James Frederick, November 15, 1956, all born in Austin and live there.  Robert Charles I, is a lawyer in Austin.

(Images to be added)

Ernest William I, with sister, Elizabeth Esther (Schirmacher)

John Moffatt

Klapper home 300 block of E. Walnut Street

Ernest William (Will) II, Brunetta Mae Belle (Varner), William Richard (Dick) and Mary Ellen Klapper.

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This page last updated February 23, 2006
© 1982 - 2006 Ralph Terry.  All rights reserved.