Monday, June 18, 2007

Eppie Lou Fariss Marchant

Eppie Lou Fariss Marchant (inset-- Hampton Sidney Marchant)

Eppie Lou Fariss Marchant was the wife of Hampton Sidney Marchant, son of Henry Clay Marchant who owned the Charlottesville Woolen Mills from 1864-1910. "Eppie Lou" was born on June 22, 1880, in Alabama, and died on Sept. 19, 1918, in Charlottesville, Virginia during the flu epidemic. She is buried in the family plot at Riverview Cemetery.

Eppie (nee Eppe) Lou was the daughter of F. Ariadne Edwards and Lafayette Fariss of Sylacauga (Talladega County), Alabama. She married Hampton Sidney Marchant of Charlottesville, Virginia, at high noon on June 10, 1903. Why Hampton was so far from home over a hundred years ago -- and how he met his wife-to-be -- is a mystery to his descendents. Family lore, however, records that Lafayette Fariss was apparently very fond of Hampton, but he did not want to see his daughter move "north." Not so much that it was "the North", but that it was so far away. He was going to miss her.

Hampton and Eppie Lou had three children:
Mildred Elizabeth Marchant (1/18/1907 - 3/3/1907)
Henry Fariss Marchant (3/26/1908 - 10/12/1981)
Joseph Churchill Marchant (9/3/1911 - 2/--/1981)

Our father was Henry Fariss Marchant, who was 10 years old when his mother died. His recollections were few, but those he had were vivid. He recalled his mother as high spirited in temperament but frail in overall health. She had a low resistance to infections and viruses, which, no doubt, contributed to her passing at the age of 38. She was very involved in the church, and often took food to millworkers when they or their families were sick.

Daddy's favorite story about his mother: Eppie went into town once a week. She drove the buggy herself and often took her son Henry with her. The horse they owned was very spirited -- like Eppie Lou -- and loved to run. They would hook him up; get in; and take off. According to Daddy, they would fly down the hill, which is now Marchant Street, at top speed and run at full gallop all the way into town. Daddy would literally be hanging off the back of the buggy -- holding on for dear life! At the edge of town, Eppie Lou would stop...straighten her clothes, her hair, and her hat, and slowly and gracefully enter town.

So ends the story in the memory of a youngster.

P.S. Hampton Sidney Marchant lived until 1958 (outliving Eppie Lou by 40 years and never remarrying) and confirmed the part of the story about the spirited horse and stopping at the edge of town. Holding on for dear life was never confirmed, only experienced by a young boy named Henry.

Submitted by Henry Marchant's girls on June 8, 2007:
Carolyn Marchant Walker, Locust Grove, Virginia
Bobbie Marchant Anker, Charlottesville, Virginia
Kathy Marchant Hedick, Tallahassee, Florida



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