Edward Lee Popham Obituary
E. L. POPHAM DIED MONDAY PIONEER OF BITTER ROOT
Western News 8-3-1950
Compiled by: Nolan Grenfell
Funeral services were conducted this afternoon at the Dowling Chapel in Hamilton in attribute to Edward Lee Popham, Bitter Root valley pioneer, who passed away at Daly Memorial Hospital Monday morning. Rev. John Macdonald conducted the services following which the funeral cortege traveled to Corvallis Cemetery where interment was made in the family plot. A group of younger farmer friends of the deceased Montana pioneer served as pallbearers at the rites. They were Ralph Erickson, Donald Holloron, Lewis Hall, Hugh Simpson, Dan Sutherland, and Homer Bailey.
Mr. Popham passed away following an extended period as semi-invalid, which resulted from a fall while a patient in a Spokane hospital in which he suffered a broken hip. This injury confined him to his bed and wheel-chair for the remainder of his life. Despite this handicap which was difficult for a man who had been very active throughout his long life, he maintained a lively interest in family, neighborhood and public affairs, until recent weeks when his fatal illness developed.
Edward Lee Popham was a pioneer of Montana in the real sense of word, having come to Montana with his parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. John W. Popham via emigrant train across the planes and through the mountains from Missouri, where Edward Popham had been born in Paris in Monroe county, Aug. 20, 1864. The covered wagon bringing the family to the Bitter root arrived in 1882.
Mr. Popham filed upon a homestead located north of Corvallis in 1883. He was married to Miss Naomi Romney. Daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thos. H. G. Romney home north of Corvallis. (now the ranch of Mr. and Mrs. Otis Talbot) on March 3, 1896. Thereafterthe couple made their home on the Popham homestead, which has been their ever since. Mr. and Mrs. Popham became parents of five children. These children and Mrs. Popham survive Mr. Popham. The surviving children are Edward Wilder Popham, Glendive, William Lee Popham, Arlington Va., Kenneth Popham, Buffalo, N.Y., Clarence Popham, Corvallis, and Mrs. Oliver F. Ziebarth, Santa Barbara, Calif. There are also seven grandsons and seven granddaughters, two great, two great grandchildren, and a number of nieces and nephews surviving, Mrs. Jane Murray of Pasco, Wash, sister Of Mrs. Popham, is at the family home with her sister. Mrs. E. W. Popham also is here for the funeral. All of the children came home to attend their father’s last rites. Mrs. Ziebarth was accompanied by her daughter, Janice.
Mr. Popham was a member of the Presbyterian Church since his youth, continued a long membership in the 100F lodge at Corvallis as long as that lodge was active, was a staunch Democrat an Politics, an active citizen in all public affairs in his Corvallis community, of which he was most proud. But after his family interest, where he was a devoted husband and father, came first was his interest in soil. He was one of the most capable of the early farmers in the Bitter Root and was always eager to better his ranch, increase its productivity and both production of agricultural crops and cattle and hogs. He continued to maintain this interest even after turning over the direction of the ranch to his son Clarence, by growing one of the finest gardens in the district.
Ed Popham was one of the kindliest of men. He was considerate of everyone, courteous and gentle; yet he never wavered when the time came to support any convictions he held. He leaves this world better from his having dwelt upon it. His memory will ever be graven in the hearts of those who knew and loved him, be they family members or friends.
Honorary pallbearers named for the funeral were Gus Kuster, Henry St John, Dan Geiman, Warren Pollinger, Verne Black, Ray Murphy and Charles Swanson.