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The Heptner Sisters

by

Lorna J. Whisler


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The Heptner Sisters - Sisters Leona and Jeanette Heptner were two extraordinary ordinary people who taught grade school in Wyoming for a combined length of eighty years. This book is their history and the history of their families prepared by a devoted niece over a period of nearly forty years. Their legacy is the mark left on the hundreds of youngsters they taught over those years, and it continues to this day with the Leona S. and Jeanette L. Heptner Scholarship Fund at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming; the Jeanette L. Heptner Scholarship Fund at the Northern Wyoming Community College in Sheridan, Wyoming; and the Yellowstone Academy Heptner Education Center at the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch in Billings, Montana. .

Leona began teaching school in 1931 at the Cottonwood Valley School along Adon Road. She taught primary grades at Rozet Consolidated School for seven years before transferring in 1946 to Gillette Grade School. She retired at the Westside Elementary School in Gillette in 1975 after teaching first grade for 29 years in the Gillette elementary schools.

Jeanette began teaching in 1941 at the Upper Cabin Creek School, Oshoto, Crook County, Wyoming. She taught three years at Cowley Elementary School in Cowley, Big Horn County, Wyoming, prior to transferring in 1954 to the Gertrude Burns Elementary School, Newcastle, Weston County, Wyoming, where she taught second grade for 23 years before retiring in 1977.

The book includes historical material collected over a period of more than thirty years of their immigrant ancestors and their parents, Frank and Laura Heptner, who in 1913 homesteaded in the Little Iowa community, nine miles northeast of Rozet, Wyoming.

With more than 400 photographs included in the volume, family historians will appreciate the comprehensive 21-page Name Index, especially when researching Big Horn, Campbell, Crook, and Weston Counties in Wyoming; Mills County in Iowa; and Tulare County in California.