Copples in the News — Benjamin G Copple accused of attempted murder

In October 1924, a teen-aged Benjamin Garl Copple (c 1906-1986) was accused of attempted murder of a young woman and man, while he was under the influence of liquor. Ben was married at the time, to a Bernice Amott his “child bride”, who was only 15 at the time of the article in February 1925.  Ben had reportedly been working for the sheriff until the day before, under an assumed name (not given in the article) and an assumed age (22).  His father, A. M. Copple [Alpheus Marvin] testified on his behalf.

Ben Garl Copple was born sometime between 1903 and 1907 probably in Colorado to Alpheus Marvin Copple (1881 – 1944) and Lucinda Mary Whitlock (1884 – 1978), both natives of North Carolina.  The family was living in Las Animas County, Colorado in 1910, and in Salt Lake City in 1920.  

After the shooting incident in October 1924, Ben married Bernice Amott (who was with him on the day of the shooting, per the article below) on 26 January 1925.  The article states Bernice was filing for an annulment of the marriage and that must have gone through, as Ben married Edith Olga Shafer on 27 June 1925.

The 1930 census found Ben and Edith, with their daughter Joyce, in Salt Lake City, and Ben worked as a laborer.  In 1940, they were in the Los Angeles area, where Ben worked as a truck driver.

Benjamin Garl’s paternal grandfather shared the same name as my 3rd great grandfather: Benjamin Franklin Copple, but that Ben Copple lived his entire life in North Carolina.  Ben Franklin Copple’s parents were Henry and Frances “Franky” (Miller) Copple.  Henry’s parents are unknown; however Frances Miller’s father Isaac Miller lived in the vicinity with 3 Copple households in Davidson County, NC, which I’ve traced as my kin.  It is possible — but not certain — that Henry’s parents were Jacob Copple and Delilah Plummer.

If so, these Salt Lake City Copples are distant cousins to me.

Benjamin Garl Copple attempted murder

“Got Liquor as Undercover Man,” Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, Utah), 18 Feb 1925, pg 2, col 8; Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 13 January 2020).