Biography of Merit V. Cuppernell

Merit V. Cuppernell and his wife, Mary M., were both born near Sackett’s Harbor in New York State, were married there and in 1870 came to Champaign County, Illinois, where they spent the rest of their years, performing the duties of their home and private business and also extending their influence widely throughout the community.

On coming to Champaign County Mr. Cuppernell located in Rantoul, where he engaged in the milling business. He was at first employed by Peter Myers. As the years went by strict attention to business and economy enabled him to buy a mill of his own, and he operated that until the end of his life. For his permanent home he purchased eighty acres of land a half mile southeast of Rantoul, and gave his children an environment of the wholesome country atmosphere. He and his wife had nine children, four daughters and three sons growing up and two dying in infancy. These children were named Addie, Horace, Allie, Delia, Mayme, Bert and Arthur. All of them attended district school and also the high school at Rantoul. Addie and Allie both completed their studies at Rantoul.

Addie Cuppernell was married in 1882 to Mr. J. B. Martin, a printer by trade. In 1889 they moved to Homer, where Mr. Martin for twenty-two years owned and published the Homer Enterprise. He was a thorough newspaper man and was also public spirited in relation to everything that went on in his community. He served in the town council and was one of the most devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Homer. He liberally supported that church and served it as trustee and member of the official board. In 1911 the death angel claimed this worthy man, death coming suddenly. He went to his office in the morning and was soon afterwards stricken by death. His death marked the passing of one of Homer’s most capable citizens and his memory is still green in that community. Only a day or so before, at the Sunday evening church service, he had spoken cordially with most of the members of the congregation, and none felt that death was so soon impending. Mr. and Mrs. Martin were congenial people and she enjoyed the work of her church as much as her husband. For six years she was president of the Ladies’ Aid Society. Mr. Martin was a fine type of the true American, was affiliated with Homer Lodge of Masons, and also with Lodge No. 199, Knights of Pythias, and the Tribe of Ben Hur. He died at his post with his armor on, and the place of this good man has not yet been filled. A beautiful memorial service to his memory was held at his old church, and the edifice was unable to accommodate the great crowd that gathered to pay their respect to his good work. A testimony meeting was also held in the school and each child, one by one, arose and told of some kind deed or word by which Mr. Martin had benefited them.

Horace Cuppernell has his home in Urbana. He is a member of the Woodmen of the World and the Knights of Pythias. He married Addie Carpenter, and their seven children are Abbie, Clarence, Lena, Merit, Horace, Thomas and Frank.

Allie Cuppernell is the wife of Mr. W. E. Trees of Mulberry. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and with his wife worships in the Christian Church.

Bert Cuppernell had an interesting career in which his energy and ambition took him far. For a number of years he held a Government position in the agricultural department at Washington, and by attending night school graduated in pharmacy. He died there at the age of thirty-three years. He possessed much ability and left many friends to mourn his loss.

Arthur Cuppernell, who is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, lives with his two sisters, Delia and Mayme, at the old homestead.

Merit and Mary Cuppernell were devout members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Rantoul. Fraternally he was a Mason and both he and his wife were active in the Eastern Star, as is their daughter Mayme. In politics he was a Republican. He reared his sons to honor the same political party. The parents gave the best of themselves to their children and the latter do credit to their rearing. The Cuppernell home has always been noted for its hospitality and has been a center for the radiating kindness of worthy and tender-hearted people. In the last days of the parents the presence of their children at home, Arthur, Delia and Mayme, was a source of continual comfort and by their devotion these children were able to repay in some measure the care bestowed upon them during their childhood. They relieved their parents of many responsibilities in the conduct of business matters, and it is a grateful matter of record that some reference to these worthy people, both parents and children, can be included in this publication.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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