by Roy Marshall
Peter Hopley was indentured and spent his youth working the farm rather than going to school. Edna Everly’s early years were in a dirt-floor cabin near the tiny settlement of Iranistan. He fought Indians and hauled freight for the Union Pacific Railroad. She was still a child when her drunken father was found beaten to death on the road near Turkey Creek. Peter and Edna married, and together built the largest crop and livestock operation in Cass County. That was only the beginning. Peter acquired a ranch in Nebraska, a farm and vineyards in California. The choice lots he owned in Phoenix were said to have been won in a poker game. She made their mansion the social hub of Lewis, entertained lavishly and traveled extensively. He took regular business trips to Europe and sold horses to Buffalo Bill. Peter and Edna Hopley had a system, amassed a fortune, and enjoyed wealth on a grand style. Their heirs lost it all.