Charles Herschel Culpepper1

Male, #40305, (4 Oct 1926 - 5 Sep 2000)
Father*Ira Thomas Culpepper1 (18 Jul 1896 - Jul 1968)
Mother*Minnie G. Rushing (20 Jan 1903 - 27 Dec 1987)
Birth*4 Oct 1926 Charles was born at Alabama on 4 Oct 1926.1,2,3,4 
1930 Census1 Apr 1930 Charles was listed as a son in Ira Thomas Culpepper's household on the 1930 Census at Troy, Pike Co., Alabama.3 
SSN*between 1936 and 1950 His Social Security Number was issued between 1936 and 1950 in Alabama.2 
Residence*Mar 1945 Charles resided at Macon Co., Alabama, in Mar 1945.4 
World War II*between 1945 and 1946 He enlisted in Camp Shelby, Forrest Co., Mississippi, and served in World War II between 1945 and 1946
(Army Air Corps.)4 
Death of FatherJul 1968 His father Ira Thomas Culpepper died in Jul 1968 at Notasulga, Macon Co., Alabama
Death of Mother27 Dec 1987 His mother Minnie G. Rushing died on 27 Dec 1987 at Notasulga, Macon Co., Alabama.2 
Biography*13 Aug 1995 Charles Culpepper Creates Art from Wood Chunks.
Legally Blind, He Sees Purpose for Each Piece

When large limbs fall or trees topple in their entirety, folks call on Charles Culpepper.

Actually, they're doing him a favor. The wood provides a starting place for Culpepper's hobby.
In his metal-roofed studio, the 68-year-old Culpepper takes to his lathe and creates works of art from chunks of wood.

The East Alabama native concedes his creative kinship with wood probably comes from his father, who was a master carpenter. The son, however, did not receive paternal encouragement to take up his father's profession.

"He wouldn't even let me help him," Culpepper said. "He told me long ago if he ever saw me pick up a hammer to make a living, he'd take it and knock me in the head. I guess he figured there were easier ways to make a living."

Retired from the insurance business, Culpepper claims wood turning as a hobby. It's a hobby for which he has gained no small amount of admiration.

A lifetime woodworker, Culpepper became serious about wood turning in 1987. Since that time he's become a member of the Craftmen's Guild of Mississippi, the Mississippi Woodworkers Association and the American Association of Woodturners. He has shown his finished wood pieces at various art shows and has presented pieces in fine art galleries in San Antonio, Texas, and at The Attic Gallery in Vicksburg.

Culpepper migrated to Mississippi in the mid-'50s. His family's lived in Rolling Fork since 1967.

"This town's been good to us," said Culpepper, who served on the town's board of aldermen for 19 years. "Our two daughters married local boys. One lives next door; the other, five houses down the street."

Now legally blind, Culpepper continues to see the possibilities in each scrap of wood.

"I had to get away from dimensional-type woodwork," he said. "I can turn without seeing very well."

Before entering his studio to begin a new work, Culpepper's goal is always the same -- "to produce a gallery-quality piece of wood."

After the wood is turned into the desired shape -- primarily vase-shaped hollow forms, the process is relatively simple, Culpepper said.

"Sand it smooth. Apply a coat of oil for a sealer. Buff it smooth on a wheel. Wax and polish. That's it."

He uses various types of wood for his projects, but admits he makes most of his natural treasures from what most folks would call waste wood. The artist doesn't need 20/20 vision to envision the endless possibilities in the wood.

"I have some mental image of the end project," he said. "Then I start turning away waste to get down to it. When you open up a piece of wood, you always find something wonderful, beautiful on the inside."5 
Biography Charles was an amateur radio operator (ham) with the call sign of KC5JHT. 
Death*5 Sep 2000 He died at Rolling Fork, Sharkey Co., Mississippi, on 5 Sep 2000 at age 73.2 
Burial*circa 7 Sep 2000 His body was interred circa 7 Sep 2000 at Mound Cemetery, Rolling Fork, Sharkey Co., Mississippi.6 


Anne Elizabeth Bailey
ChartsOrphan / Joel Culpepper of Harris Co., GA: Descendant Chart
Last Edited28 Mar 2010


  1. E-mail written Aug 2004 to Warren L. Culpepper from Celeste Culpepper Hankins, e-mail address.
  2. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at
  3. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 6, Page 66A, Lines 41-45, Troy, Pike Co., AL
    Rent=$14, Radio=N, Farm=Y
    Ira Culpepper, Head, M, Wh, 33, md@26, AL/GA/AL, House Carpenter, Vet=N
    Minnie Culpepper, Wife, F, Wh, 27, md@20, AL/GA/AL
    Thomas Culpepper, Son, M, Wh, 5, sng, AL/AL/AL
    Herschel Culpepper, Son, M, Wh, 3, sng, AL/AL/AL
    Mildred Culpepper, Dau, F, Wh, 1 1/12, sng, AL/AL/AL.
  4. National Archives and Records Administration, compiler, U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, Online database at, 2005.
    Charles H. Culpepper, born 1926, White, Native of Alabama; Resided in Macon Co., Alabama; Enlisted on 10 Mar 1945 in Mississippi at Camp Shelby in the US Army Air Corps as a Private for the duration of the War plus six months; Education: 4 years of high school; Civil Occupation: Student; Marital Status: Single, without dependents.
  5. Sun Herald, Biloxi, MS.
    Leslie Cross, published Sunday, August 13, 1995, Section: Arts and Leisure, Page: G8.
  6. Tombstone.
    Mound Cemetery, Rolling Fork, Sharkey Co., MS
    + Charles Herschel Culpepper, PFC US ARMY, 4 Oct 1926 - 5 Sep 2000.