Apperson Connections

The Apperson Brothers Automobile Company

The 1904 Haynes-Apperson Touring Car (left) was one of several built in Kokomo, IN, 1902-1926 by Elmer and Edgar Apperson. The earliest cars that they built, however, were of the type of the historic "Pioneer" now housed in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Pioneer was the brain child of Elwood Haynes and was one of the first successful automobiles. Hayes, a graduate of Worcester (Mass) Polytechnic Institute and Johns Hopkins University and school teacher for several years, experimented with early engines in his kitchen and then put the engine on a frame and during a trial run on July 4, 1894 got the vehicle successfully up to a speed of 7 miles per hour.

"The success of that early test led to the formation of the Haynes-Apperson Automobile Company. The Apperson brothers were the mechanics who did the actual building of the cars. In 1905, the partners separated their ventures and the Haynes Automobile Company was established...In the best year 8,000 cars were built. It also cost about 5 times ($1500-3000) what a Ford Model A cost ($300)." (info from above linked web site, from Kokomo Magazine)

The Apperson Brothers, meanwhile, continued to build automobiles in their Kokomo, IN plant until about 1926. Among the cars built were the Apperson Eight touring car, which Walter Wendell Arnett remembers seeing around Magoffin Co; other touring cars; and the Apperson "Jackrabbit" which was named in honor of their first cousin, Jessie Apperson.

Elaine Stermer Grumbine in recalling her childhood days near Flagstaff, Arizona, vividly recalls a summer day in 1924 when Sadie Apperson and her sister Jessie (Apperson) Stafford came by for a visit driving "a sport car unlike any that I had seen before." "One evening Daddy [George Stermer] came home and said, 'Elaine, you're going to ride a Jack Rabbit tonight.' I said, 'Daddy, I can't ride a Jack Rabbit!' He said, "Oh, yes, you will.' After dinner he walked downtown [Flagstaff] (four or five blocks away). Soon he drove up in a kind of car that I had never seen before. Sadie and Jessie were with him in Jessie's APPERSON JACKRABBIT. Daddy was so proud to have a chance to drive it. Jessie sat up front and Mother, Cousin Sadie and I sat in back. It had big wheels with (perhaps wooden) spokes and I think it had some red trim. It was a flashy looking automobile."

"I asked why it was named 'Apperson Jackrabbit,' and Jessie said, 'Trustin [her husband] named it after me. Jessie drove it around town, but Daddy drove when we went on little sightseeing trips such as to see The Sunset Crater Volcano...or the Grand Canyon." [letter from Elaine Grumbine to JWA, June 1998]

Apperson Genealogy


Dr. John Apperson was born 4 December, 1763, in New Kent Co, VA and m. Alcey Favor.
They had twelve children including William (oldest) and Randolph (youngest) listed below:

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