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JIM: Epperson-Jeffries-Collins hack service to/from Columbia

In today's money, their $2 fare, each way from Columbia - Campbellsville or Campbellsville to Columbia - was the equivalent of $25 in today's money. Herein JIM provides biographies of three enterprising partners: Stanley Epperson, before Epp's Place; John D. Jeffries, before his marriage to the widow Flora Hutchison Royse; and Virgil "Fatty" Collins, before his days with son Bobby Collins' Buick dealerships in Columbia and later Hopkinsville, KY. The ad linked here appeared in several editions of the News over a period of nine weeks during April. May, and June, 1920.
Click on headline for story with ad


Stanley Epperson, a grandson of Eld. Z.T. Williams and the youngest of the trio named, was just short of 20. Later that year he married Cary L. Feese and for a number of years in the '20s and '30s, he operated the Corner Grocery in the Creel building at Campbellsville Street and the Public Square. After that, he was the proprietor of Epp's Place, a restaurant and pool hall where beer was served; it was in the east corner of the square. After Adair County voted itself dry again in 1937, he and Cary moved to Louisville, where he died in 1945.

John D. Jeffries, a younger brother of well-known Columbian C.G. "Gus" Jeffries, was about 28 and had served in the Army in the World War I era. The 1920 Adair County census, taken in January, gave his occupation as "chauffeur, auto line." On Christmas Eve 1924, he and Flora Royse, nee Hutchison, the widow of Bryan Royse, were quietly married in Columbia by Eld. Williams. John passed in 1950 after a lingering illness.

Virgil "Fatty" Collins, about 25 and another World War I era veteran, was a native of Russell County who by 1920 had been a resident of Adair County for a dozen years or so. After his return home from military service in the spring of 1919, he tried his hand at a number of things over the next several years, including clerking at the Jeffries Hotel, a stint as Columbia's Chief of Police, managing the Campbellsville Bottling Works, and working at Fischer Packing in Louisville. Toward the end of 1931 the Collinses moved back to Columbia (from Campbellsville) and by the summer of 1934, he was a salesman with Columbia Motor Company. He was long associated in the automobile business with his friend David Heskamp and later with (Bobby) Collins Buick Co. Virgil passed in 1958.

And the two dollars for the one-way hack service? That's twenty-five bucks in January 2018 money. What a deal!

This story was posted on 2018-01-20 07:02:43
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JIM: Epperson, Jeffries & Collins Auto Dealership, 1920

2018-01-20 - Columbia, KY - Photo from the collection of JIM.
The ad imaged here appeared in several editions of the News over a period of nine weeks during April. May, and June, 1920. - JIM

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