Born: April 1850 in Germany
Died: May 24, 1925
Married: Mary Eppe in 1887
Children: Anne Eppe Shea (Mrs. John "Jack" Shea), one child had died by 1900
The 1900 U.S. Census shows Valentine & Mary in Harrietstown. Valentine a Stone Cutter born in Germany having immigrated in 1880. Mary having 2 children, 1 living.
The 1910 U.S. Census shows Valentine & Mary living on Algonquin Avenue in Harrietstown. Valentine was a Liquor Retailer, Mary having had 2 children, 1 living.
The 1920 U.S. Census shows Valentine (70 year old widowed Stone Cutter born in Baden, Germany and immigrated in 1880) living on West 67th Street in Manhattan with son-in-law John J. Shea.
Malone Palladium, December 14, 1905
Micheal Meagher and Valentine Eppe, both of Saranac Lake, and under separate indictments for violation of the liquor tax law, [selling liquor on Sunday] pleaded guilty, and were fined $100 each. The fines were paid.
Lake Placid News, May 27, 1925
EPPE- In Malone May 24th, Valentine Eppe, for many years a resident of Saranac Lake, aged 80 years. Mr. Eppe had resided in Malone about a year. While a resident of Saranac Lake he built the Elks' Inn on Algonquin Ave. and conducted it for a number of years. His remains were taken to Saranac Lake for interment funeral services being held from Fortune's undertaking parlors, Tuesday. One daughter, Mrs. Jack Shea, of New York, and a grand-daughter, Mrs. Thompson, of Saranac Lake, survive.
Lake Placid News, September 22, 1916
The body of the woman killed in the railway yards at Utica was identified as that of Mrs. Valentine Eppe of Saranac Lake, who was lost from her husband while the two were en-route to New York; and Mrs. Eppe's daughter, Mrs. John Shea of New York and her husband, who came to Saranac Lake for the funeral, were of the opinion that the woman was deliberately deserted by her husband, his claim being that she was insane and wandered off.
Ogdensburg Republican Journal, September 18, 1916
DAUGHTER DENOUNCES FATHER
Says Latter "Lost" His Wife, Whose Body Was Found on the Railway.
Saranac Lake, Sept. 17.—The body of the woman killed in the railway yards at Utica on Friday night has been identified as that Mrs. Valentine Eppe of Saranac Lake, who was lost from her husband while the two were enroute to New York; and Mrs. Eppe's daughter, Mrs. John Shea of New York, and her husband, who came to Saranac Lake for the funeral, are expressing some strong opinions of the occurrence.
The identification was made by the husband, who, with Chief of Police Weir went to Utica on Tuesday. Eppe easily recognized the remains of his wife as the face had not been disfigured though the body had been severed. The remains were brought to Saranac Lake on Wednesday and Thursday morning Mass was said in St. Bernard's church after which burial took place in the Roman Catholic cemetery. 1
Both Mrs. Shea and her husband are firm in the condemnation of Eppe. Mrs. Shea says that he had some $4,100 that cannot be accounted for. She did not know if he had it when he started on the fatal trip and she had no idea of what might have become of it.
She left here only the day before Eppe did and he [sic: she?] believes that Eppe just waited until Thursday. Mr. Shea declared that Eppe had on several occasions tried to have Mrs. Eppe placed in an institution for the insane and that it was his constant desire to get her share of the property. He had induced his wife to sell the Elk Inn property, she said, and Mrs. Eppe had supplied most of the capital that had been invested in that property.
Mrs. Shea did not know whether her father was insane, but she believed he was more diabolical than demented. "He was drunk nearly all the time," she said.
She did not believe that her mother had been insane, but rather that she had been driven to a nervous breakdown by the annoyance, abuse and dissolute life of her husband. They were preparing to take her to their home in New York when they got news of her death. Mrs. Shea had left here two weeks ago after spending the summer with her parents and had stopped in Philadelphia on her way home.
Had Tried Before.
Mrs. Shea told of how her father had tried on another occasion to lose his wife. "It was just after he had sold his property here two years ago," she said, "that he started out with her. We found them in New York, both lost, and he was so dead drunk that we had to put him in a cab and take him away. His actions were so shameful that we were afraid the police would come for him."
The two were embittered because Eppe had not consulted the police at Utica when his wife was first missed and because he had not come to the local police with his story upon his arrival here instead of waiting for three days.
"How do you suppose he got her to go down the tracks or how do you think he lost her?" Mrs. Shea was asked.
"I don't know," she answered, "but it is likely that he was blind drunk. The chances are that he is lying drunk somewhere right now, too."
They were not aware of the old people coming to visit them and they feel certain that Eppe was trying to get away without their knowledge. He had also tried to keep them in the dark as to the fate of his wife. They felt sure that he knew their address in New York and if he could not tell the police their address they could not understand how he expected to reach their house in New York. Anyway they said he had a niece, Grace Dunn, living here on Front street, who could have told him.
"Why, he nearly fell over on the floor when he saw us at the funeral this morning," said Mrs. Shea, "but he began crying right away then."
Could Not Remember.
Eppe was examined by Coroner Malady at Utica, to whom he told a story somewhat similar to that he told the local police. He was unable to account for his separation from his wife.
Engineer Edward Bryant, who was operating the locomotive that killed Mrs. Eppe, testified before the coroner that the woman had jumped in front of the engine when it was about six feet from her and moving at a rate of ten miles per hour. He said that she had been walking on an adjacent track not near any crossing until she looked around and saw the engine coming up.
Eppe's Mind Not Clear.
Eppe, when approached by a reporter, was apparently unable to give an intelligent account of what had happened. The uppermost thought that occupied his mind seemed to be that he had been in Utica and that he had lost his wife there. He had got off the train, he said, and while he was looking after the suit cases he lost her.
"Where did you go to look for her when she disappeared?" he was asked.
"All around there—they brought her back this morning," replied Mr. Eppe, who appeared to be very much bewildered.
"Did you ask the police to look for her in Utica?"
"Yes, in Utica, I lost my wife," he said.
"Why didn't you tell the local police right away when you came back that you had lost your wife?" asked the reporter.
"I lost my wife in Utica," came the dull reply.
Eppe said that he had a daughter whose name was Annie. She was married to a man named Shea, an Irishman. When asked where she was he said she was here.
"Right around here," and he waved his hand towards Berkeley Square. At that particular time the police were endeavoring to locate the daughter in New York.
"Some people say that you and your wife didn't get along well. Did you?" he was asked.
"Yes, we got along well," replied Eppe. "Sometime she was sick and I had to keep house. I do that good."
"But you never quarrelled?"
"No." "Where were you going on that trip?"
"Utica. I lost my wife there."
"Where were you going from there?"
"What were you going to do there?"
"You weren't going to Germany to live then as you have previously said?"
"Now see here, my fellow," said Mr. Eppe with a laugh, "that is nobody's business but my own."
Eppe told of how he had come here from Germany and had in 1889 built the Elks Inn, which he had operated up to six years ago. He then sold out he said, and rented the cottage he now occupies on Algonquin avenue.
1. Mary Eppe is buried in Pine Ridge Cemetery; the article may be referring to the Catholic section of the Pine Ridge Cemetery.