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1922-Autumn College Humor
1939-12 Air Adventures
1923-03 Detective Tales
1945-02 Mammoth Detective
1923-03 Weird Tales
1945-04 Fantastic Adv.
1924-11 College Humor
1945-11 Mammoth Detective
1929-09 Paris Painting
1946-01 Mammoth Mystery
1939-12 Air Adventures
1952-02-10 Chicago Tribune


























Richard Ruh Epperly was born March 21, 1890 in Tallula, Illinois. His father, Charles Epperly was born in 1867 in Virginia. His mother, May Ruh Epperly, was born in 1870 in Illinois. They married in 1890 and had two children, Richard (b.1890) and Clare (b.1894). Richard was named after his mother's brother, Richard Ruh. The father's occupation was listed as a grocer and a "Meat Merchant."

In 1909 Richard's younger brother Clare was interested in art training and enrolled in a correspondence art school, but after losing interest, the assignments appealed to Richard, so he completed the coursework, which required more than one year of technical training.

In 1911 he attended the Art Institute of Chicago, and after three years graduated with honors in 1914.

In 1916 he worked as a staff artist at Lammers Shilling Company, an advertising and engraving business located at 360 East Grand Avenue in Chicago.

On May 27, 1918 R. R. Epperly registered with his draft board for service in the Great War. He was recorded at that time to have been tall, medium build, with blue eyes and light colored hair. He listed a potential exemption as having weak eyesight. Regardless of this condition, he served in the Army overseas in England and France, and was honorably discharged at the rank of Corporal in 1919.

On June 2, 1920 he married Cosona Edith Kleckner.

In 1921 his namesake, Uncle Richard Ruh, died at the age of fifty six.

On July 10, 1923 Richard and Cosona had a baby daughter, Elizabeth "Betty" Jeanne Epperly.

March 1923 was the premiere issue of Weird Tales the magazine of uncanny stories. That same month another magazine from the same publisher, Detective Tales,also featured a cover by R. R. Epperly.

On October 1, 1924 the artist's mother, May Ruh Epperly, died at the age of fifty-five in Tallula, IL.

On February 2, 1929 his wife died from complications following surgery on her tonsils. This left the artist as the sole parent of a five year old daughter. He and his daughter moved into the Evanston, IL, home of his wife's widowed mother, Mary Louise Kleckner (age sixty-one), whose two unmarried daughters, Lea (age forty) and Marguerite (age thirty-six) helped to raise little "Betty."

In 1929 the artist traveled to Paris to study art for one year at the Academie Moderne with André LaHote (1885-1962). He returned to Chicago in 1930.

On April 9, 1936 Richard R. Epperly married his second wife, Rose M. Verniere in Chicago. She was born in Illinois in 1903 of Italian ancestry. In 1939 they had a son, Eugene Vito Epperly.

On October 17, 1937 the artist's father, Charles Epperly, died at the age of seventy in Tallula, IL.

Through out the 1940s Chicago newspapers published reports on the artist's travels to Mexico, France, California, Colorado and New Mexico where he would make the paintings that would later be shown to the Chicago public.

During the war years of WWII, when most of the established illustrators were drafted for military service, magazine publishers began to hire any freelance artists who were exempt from the draft, including older artists, like J. Allen St. John and Richard R. Epperly, who painted several magazine covers for Ziff-Davis publications, Mammoth Detective, Mammoth Mystery and Fantastic Adventures.

In the Spring of 1946 the artist had an exhibition of his paintings at the Springfield Illinois Art Association.

In 1947 The Chicago Tribune reviewed his latest exhibition, "Mr. Epperly paints what he sees, simply, forcefully, honestly. He uses clear, clean color and his treatment of light is good"

His wife, Rose, was also am active member of the Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs, where in 1952 she was a guest lecturer on "Art Appreciation."

On December 30, 1952 the artist's first child, Elizabeth "Betty" Jeanne Epperly married Charles E. Gass in Chicago.

The artist remained active in exhibiting his paintings with the Austin, Oak Park and River Forest Art League. He also painted portraits of civic leaders, businessmen, politicians and religious leaders. His portrait work is preserved in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

On December 3, 1973, Richard Ruh Epperly died at the age of eighty-two at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Oak Park, IL.

                                  © David Saunders 2023

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