John Euper was one of the pioneers of the city. He was born June 13, 1814 and died May 27, 1903, at the age of 89. Euper came to Fort Smith from Germany, first reaching American soil in New Orleans in 1840 then meeting up with his brother, Paul, in Fort Smith. Paul was coming from New York and had arrived in the United States four years earlier. In Fort Smith, he took up his trade as a shoemaker.
Gen. Zachary Taylor arrived here after Euper and Euper made boots for "Old Rough and Ready" and other officers of the garrison.
"Years afterward, when Gen. Taylor was president of the United States, he used to order his boots of Mr. Euper who would make them from original lasts and forward them to the chief executive at Washington," the Fort Smith News Record states.
His first home in Fort Smith "has long gone into the Arkansas River." His second house was at North Second and B streets. Later, he went to live with William Euper, the son of Paul Euper, in whose house he died.
His wife and children did not survived him. Because the Euper family was so numerous in the city, he was known simply as "Shoemaker Euper."
The News Record describes him as an enthusiastic gardener. "There was no surer indication of the old man's high regard for any one than for him to be a recipient of a 'mess' of radishes or lettuce from his garden," the News Record said.
He was very fond of George T. Sparks and "City Clerk Sparks" both having spent time in his shop as boys when he first came to the city.
The above was condensed from a news obituary published in the Fort Smith News Record, p.1, May 28, 1903.