John Oscar Lipps was born 28 June 1863 in Cuero, Texas. He was born into the family of William Ernst Lipps and Mary Harriet Cringle as the fifth child.1 All the children were born in Texas. The 1870 census shows his father as being born in Hess Cassel, Germany and his mother born in New York.2
Nothing is known about his youth. He is not in the 1880 census. It is believed that he and his brother, Charles, may have been Mexico.
But in 1882 John and Charles are in living in Rio Grande City, Texas.3 Rio Grande borders Mexico and was a great trade area between Texas and Mexico. There John and Charles had a saloon or store. It is not actually known if they really owned it. It was here that both brothers got into trouble. It seems that a man was killed in the saloon.4 The family story is that Charles killed young Brewerton, nephew of J. C. Evitt but John Oscar took the blame because Charles was married. No information has been found out about s marriage for Charles Lipps. Perhaps Charles was married in Mexico. Subsequently John was sentenced to eight years at Huntsville Prison in Texas and Charles was given two years.5 While in prison on 25 April 1888, John was locked in his cell for 12 hours for refusing to obey orders and again on 31 May 1888 for talking in the dining room. While in prison John learned blacksmithing which became his occupation for many years after he got out of prison. He was discharged 15 August 1890. More can be found about Charles and the murder and how young Otto Brewerton finally died.
Huntsville Prison Ledger for Charles and John Lipps
After John was released from prison, he seemed to straighten out his life or perhaps he had been influenced by his brother, Charles, who seemed to have a bad reputation. John was around 10 years younger than Charles. John did have a temper though and this was shown many times throughout his life.
|Bessie and Price Lipps
Two years after John was released from prison, he married Elizabeth Rheuhama Barry. They were married 5 July 1892 in Bexar County, Texas probably San Antonio.6
John and Eliza who was later called "Tidy" had their first child, John Price Lipps, while living in Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Over the years the Lipps brothers had gone to Mexico to work and John being familiar with this part of Mexico took his young bride there where their first child was born 15 May 1893.7 When John Price was about 6 months old, they came back to the United States. Their second child, Bessie May Lipps was born 10 October 18958 in Gonzales,Texas where John Oscar's parents lived.9 John's mother had already passed away about 1891.
By 1902 John is working as a blacksmith in El Paso, Texas10 but then in 1903 he buys the Mclivine place in Anthony, New Mexico and opens his own blacksmith shop.11 The Alden McIlivine property that John Oscar bought was orginally 160 acres. Twenty acres were bought by a Robert Murphy and the remaining 140 acres were bought by John Oscar. After John Oscar died in 1940, his beneficiaries which were his children and grandchildren fast deeded the property to Elizabeth so she would have money and/or a place to live.
|Tidy with Lottie and Bessie
Not too long after he opened his shop there was a flood. A newspaper article says, "All the arroyas from the Franklin mountains were running water like a river. The one (arroya) directly opposite this place overflowed and covered the town with from one to three feet of water washing out the Santa Fe's new track in many places and covering the rails with sand in other places.....JO Lipps shop was in two feet of water for a couple of days, sustaining considerable damage."12
Anthony, New Mexico borders El Paso, Texas which is only 21 miles away.
A third child, Charlotte Bee Lipps was born on 12 July 1900.13 John was always trying to make better for his family and an article in the El Paso Herald, 20 July 1904, says he took a trip through Arizona where he went in search of a good town to open a blacksmith shop but found conditions in other places much worse on account of the drouth then at home.14
It was in the year 1904 that another son, David William Lipps, was born on 30 November.15 Three more children are added to the family, Dorthy Lillian Lipps born 19 July 1908, Fred Wilson Lipps 1 June 1911,16 Fred Wilson born 1 June 191117> and Robert Otis born 6 May 1915.18
|1907 John Oscar in Naco, Az
Tidy's brother, GC Barry, was very close to the Lipps family and visited them often. GC Barry who had lived in Safford, Arizona and then when his saloon and resturant burned down moved to Naco, Arizona near the Mexican border. In 1907, John with his family are living in Naco19 and eventually moved back to Anthony, New Mexico. GC Barry had moved to Caifornia. You can read about GC Barry here.
|1938 John and Elizabeth at Fred's grave
The family becomes very ill with Scarlett Fever in the summer of 1912.20 In fact Fred Lipps seemed to have lingering effects of the fever. It affected his heart and he missed
about 2 years of school.21 He died from heart problems in 1938.22 It was a sad time for the family. They also lost their daughter, Bessie, in 1933 from phlebitis.2323>
John Oscar continues with his blacksmith shop in Anthony and also works to improve their home. In 1911 they move into a new residence in Anthony and John installs a windmill that
is said to have a strong flow of water at a depth of 40 feet. Tidy also has set up a small broading home with a few boarders.25 A newspaper article says that on 13 July 1913 that Price Lipps left to visit his parents who were living Tempe, Arizona. They had left about three months prior.26
John with sons Price and David farming
John Oscar continues with his blacksmith shop in Anthony and also works to improve their home. In 1911 they move into a new residence in Anthony and John installs a windmill that is said to have a strong flow of water at a depth of 40 feet. Tidy also has set up a small broading home with a few boarders.25
A newspaper article says that on 13 July 1913 that Price Lipps left to visit his parents who were living Tempe, Arizona. They had left about three months prior.26
By 1920 the children at home are David, Dorothy, Fred and Bob. John Oscar is still doing some blacksmithing but is also farming.27 Bessie had married Edgar James Hall in 1912 28 and Charlotte had married Haske David Robinson in 1919.29 It is said that John Oscar was upset when Bessie got married and rode on his horse to El Paso to see if there was a marriage certificat. Also, Tidy snuck things out of the Hope Chest and gave to Bessie with out John knowing.30 This is one examaple of his temper.
|John and Tidy in 1938
John loved Anthony and was always willing to help the community. In 1922 John along with others helped plant several thousand fruit trees in the vicinity of Anthony.31
Anthony was flooded many times before the Elephant Butte dam was built and John Oscar recalled in a newspaper article on 18 November 1927 how he helped others and and even chickens trapped on roof tops escape from the rising waters. He told the newspaper, "In some places I suppose the water was five miles across and deep enough to float a steamoat. I had rowed in a skif all over this country when it was flooded."32
|Back row: John Oscar, Fred, Bob, David Lipps Middle row: Tidy, J.P Robinson (Lottie/'s boy) Bill Stradley, Era Lipps Bottom row: Nell Syrus, Wanda Syrus (Dorothy's girls), Catherine Lipps
John continues his farming and it seems he is not doing blacksmithing any more.33 By 1930 only the three boys are home, John Price, Fred and Otis. All the other children are married. John and Tidy always had one or more grandchildren with them.
The Lipps family was very musical and each of the children could play a musical instument. John Oscar played the fiddle and even signed up for a fiddle contest in 1929.34
An interesting article was found about the Lipps family. "A number of the oldest residents recall that a very favorite evening pastime for the citizery of Anthony was to gather around the home of the Lipps family and listen to them play a variety of instuments and sing the favorite songs of that that. The Lipps family had just moved to Anthony and lived in a tent under a large cottonwood tree on the banks of the large arroya which runs through the town. The site was approximately where the Electric Shop now stands. There was no highway there because the highway was west of the tracks."34
The violin or fiddle is still in the family. It is now in the possession Tami Lipps Cole, daughter of David William Lipps.35
|1917 Charlotte Lipps and fiddle
|JP Robinson (Lottie's son) and John Oscar Lipps' fiddle
The 1940 census finds John Oscar and Tidy at home.36 There is no occupation listed for John Oscar so he is probably retired. Living with them or perhaps visiting are JP Robinson and his wife Maude. JP is the son of Charlotte or Lottie as she is called from Lottie's first marriage. Also with them is Robert Otis Lipps who is called Bob and his wife and baby, Maxine and Bobbie Jean.
It was this year that John catches the flu and does not recover from it. He dies 16 November 1940 at the age of 77 years.37 A few years later some of the family members who visited the cemetery were his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
|John Price, Tidy, Era, Lurline Hall, Montel, David, Catherine, Janice and Ron Hall, and Margie