Eppers, Howard William "Bud"
Bud has been a lobbyist for the livestock industry for the state for twenty-five years. The Eppers Ranch is forty-five miles northwest of Roswell.
Tape 1, Side A
Eppers was born February 22, 1934 in Roswell, N.M. His mother was Eunice Kolfonder. His mother came to New Mexico the day New Mexico became a state (in 1912) and passed away in 1995 at the age of eighty-eight.
Stepfather was Will Johnson who was born in 1881. He owned a ranch. Bud was four years old when his mother married Will Johnson and he was raised on the Johnson Ranch. The ranch is still "in the family today."
Bud feels he "grew up around them historical times." The area where they lived was called Jack City. Many people had homesteaded there. At one time they had three schoolhouses within about a mile and a half of each other. The homesteaders left their machinery and other belongings when they left their homesteads. There is no record of families that lived there.
Will Johnson came from Missouri in a wagon when he was eighteen months old, and lived to see a man fly around the earth in a space capsule. He had many stories to tell. Storytelling was an important thing in Bud's family. Many stories he heard over and over again. Will Johnson was the most influential person in his life in creating an appreciation of history.
Will Johnson kept up with politics. Bud feels that's where he got his interest in politics. Also Bud's mother said their family in Bohemia was active in politics, so she thought it was in Bud's blood.
Bud's mother's family was from Bohemia. They had ancestors that came over on the Mayflower. His mother was born in Wisconsin.
Bud had to move into town to go to school. When he got married he and his wife worked to get a school bus to come out to the ranch to pick up their children so they could be home together at night.
The Eppers ranch is forty-five miles northwest of Roswell. Bud and his wife, Alice Long Eppers, have three sons and one daughter. Two boys live in Lubbock. One son lives in Dexter and his daughter is in Roswell. They have seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Alice has worked for Joe Skeen's office in Roswell for twenty years.
Tape 1, Side B
Bud has been a lobbyist for the livestock industry for the state for twenty-five years. Dr. Stephens started "bouncing the idea of a Farm and Ranch Museum off of all of us up there.... He was a master politician too, and a lobbyist.... He knew how to get the job done, and he did it very well.... I was glad to have the privilege of being able to work with him ... learn a lot of things I didn't know."