Jeptha David Lacy was born July 15, 1823 in Christian County, Kentucky, son of George W. Lacy and Polly Briant Lacy. He was named for his grandfather, Jeptha D. Lacy who was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey in 1769. He also had an uncle, Jeptha D. Lacy, Jr. who was married in McLeansboro, Illinois in 1825. This plethora of Jeptha Lacys has led me into some interesting twists and turns in trying to pin down the ancestors. (Not to mention I've found other apparently unrelated Jeptha Lacys. No kidding.)
Sarah Stone, parents unknown to me, was born October 15, 1831 in Ohio. Her family moved to the Quincy, Illinois area, as had young Jeptha Lacy. This is where they met, and they were married there in 1849. They had three children, Theodore M., Emma J., and Mary E. Lacy. Shortly after the eldest, Theodore, was born in 1850 the family relocated to Fremont County, Iowa. There they established a farm four miles northwest of the soon-to-be town of Sidney which was platted in 1853.
Jeptha was much involved in the development of the city, became the town marshall, and was a leading merchant and landholder. Among other enterprises, he operated a lumber mill and a mercantile store.
The Lacys were charter members of Sidney Methodist Church and Jeptha envisioned a seminary to be located in Sidney. Under the aegis of the Sidney Methodist Church, Fremont County Collegiate Institute was established sometime in the 1860s. It was still in operation as late as the spring of 1868. The school, however, closed its doors, as the Methodist Conference refused to back it, and Sidney never became the "college town" the Lacys had envisioned.
In a 1902 interview with the Fremont County Herald, "Uncle Jep" as he was known throughout the community stated that when he had started improving his land fifty years earlier he could not then realize that "within a half-century this wild, unsettled country which belonged mostly to the Indians and infested with wolves could be brought into such a state of cultivation as now exists, and the same land selling for $80 to $100 per acre."
Mr. Lacy further stated that he had cast his first vote for Clay in 1844. He voted for Taylor in '48, for Scott in '52, and for Fremont in '56. (My record of "picking winners" pretty much mirrors his.) Since Lincoln's election in1860, he said, he's been affiliated with the republican party. "Remarkably he claimed to have never missed an election, national, state, nor county, for fifty years." (FCH)
Jeptha David Lacy, July 15, 1823 - December 19, 1904
Sarah Stone Lacy, October 15, 1831 - September 21, 1911
Both are interred in Sidney Cemetery, Sidney, Iowa