Paul Zimmerli pointed out some history about John Epps, husband to Charlotte Temple Evans Carter Epps who was James R. Carter's mother. John Epps ran a barbershop and occasionally referred to himself as Dr. Epps. He then became involved in a sordid series of events that culminated in his murder at the hands of F. W. George. Yes, it was the wild, wild west...even in Des Moines, Iowa. We sometimes forget.
For the background on this, see my May blog post and Paul's comments:
Paul refers to The Northwestern Reporter: Volume 18 which is available through Google Books for free. Google Books has been a great resource for me but I had not looked for court reports. Here is a synopsis of the crime that is described in the report of State v George: