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Ralph Carson Appleby


Beryl Kathleen Moss



      First published by the Appleby Heritage Association, Appleby Newsletter,

October 1987


      The distance from the small town of Eldon, Iowa, along the Des Moines River, to the 

 University of Iowa in Iowa City is not far in actual miles, but the  route followed to make 

 it possible for Ralph Carson Appleby to become one of  the University's out-standing 

 faculty members began far away into England's  history.

      In the mid-eighteen-hundreds, coal miners from England came to work in  the coal

 fields of America.  Among these, Robert Appleby arrived with his wife and family, 

 between late 1868 and mid-1869.  First to the mining area of  Westmoreland County, 

 Pennsylvania, and then about 1895 the family moved to  Mystic, Appanoose County, 


      Robert Appleby, the eldest son of Thomas and Mary (Ramshaw) Appleby, was

 born  June 8, 1841,in Durham County, England.  He had brothers and sisters, namely,

 George, Mary Jain, Elizabeth, Hannah, Isabella, Thomas,  jr., Hannah (?) and 

 Margaret Ann.

      Robert Appleby married Jane Ramshaw (probably related to Mary) on the 12th of 

 December 1863, in St. Giles Parish, Durham, Durham County, England.   

     Three children were born to them in England, Ralph, Robert, jr. and Elener, she living 

 only nine months.  The first child born to them in America was William, on the 6th of 

 October 1869 in Irwin Station, Pennsylvania, then a daughter, named Elener, followed 

 by Elizabeth, Mary, Jane, John and Thomas.

      Through the marriage of their son, William, to Margaret McIntosh on Christmas Eve 

 1890, a son was born to them on 7th October 1892, and he was named Clarence Earl 



      Ralph Carson Appleby was born on the 16th November 1919, in Eldon, Wapello 

 County, Iowa.  His parents, Clarence Earl Appleby and Doris Vivian Carson, were 

 married in Eldon on February 26th, 1914.  Doris was the daughter  of Andrew Leo and 

 Florence Luella (Welch) Carson.  She was born 5 October 1893; died in Eldon, Iowa,

 November 1982.

      When Ralph graduated from the University of Iowa in 1941, with a Bachelor  of 

 Science Degree, Ralph Appleby placed his decision to enter the field of  Dentistry on 

 hold and entered, instead, the United States Army.

      In 1943, Infantry Captain Ralph Appleby, American soldier, and a great- grandson of 

 Robert, the one born in England over a hundred years earlier, was  assigned to the 

 European Theater of Operation during World War Two.  He served exceedingly well, 

 receiving the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and three major battle 


      By 1945, Captain Appleby, representing the United States Army, was the  Area 

 Administrative Officer in Displaced Persons' Camp.  He was working  with Allied 

 military authorities in the repatriation of Allied civilian personnel,  in Germany.  

      In 1946, Major Appleby served as Military Attache with the  Harriman Mission for 

 Economic Affairs at the United States Embassy in London.

      Amid the wartime turmoil, Ralph Carson Appleby met British Air Force Officer 

 Beryl Kathleen Moss of London, daughter of Eric and Blodwen (Meridith) Moss. They 

 were married on the 10th of July 1945 in Sketty, South Wales.

      The War over, the world returned to 'normal', and Ralph Appleby, with his wife and 

 son, Drew Carson,  returned to the United States and to the University of Iowa.  Once 

 again, a part of England had come to the heartland of America.

      The intermission caused by a world war ended and Ralph Appleby resumed his 

 education with the goal being a Doctor of Dentistry.  He reached this status in 1951, 

 continuing in specialized fields fo learning at the University of Iowa, having already  

 completed an R.O.T.C. Internship at Letterman General Hospital (a U.S. Military  

 Hospital) in San Francisco, California.  

      Dr. Appleby accepted a teaching position at  the University of Iowa in 1951 as an 

 instructor in the Department of Denture Prosthesis in the College of Dentistry.  By 

 1959, he had acquired full Professorship and had been appointed Head of Department 

 of  Denture Prosthesis.

     Drew Carson Appleby, the son of Dr. and Mrs. Appleby had been born on April 11th,  

 1946, in Farnboro, Kent, England, before their return to America.  Their second son,  

 Gary Meredith Appleby, was born in Iowa City on the 28th of April 1951.

      Through the years of his teaching and research and as the author of eighty-five 

 professional papers presented to Dental Societies throughout the United States, a list of 

 Dr. Appleby' professional achievements creates a most impressive career history.   To 

 select one or two is difficult as each seems to surpass the other in importance.  In  the 

 area of dental education he helped construct the first Dental Teachers Training Program 

 at the University of Iowa.  He produced the first sound, colored, motion  pictures on the

 subject of Denture Prosthesis for the College of Dentistry.  

      He has since produced over thirty-six such films for instructional purposes at the 

 University  of Iowa, for other Dental Colleges and for the Veteran's Administration 

 Teaching  Hospitals.

      Dr. Ralph Appleby received the Hancher-Finkbine Medallion, an Award  presented 

 by the University of Iowa, to an outstanding faculty member for Learning, Leadership 

 and Loyalty.  When a person's name is preceded by several titles, followed by a line of 

 initials denoting scholastic and professional qualifications, add to this several pages of 

 only a partial listing in several "Who's Who of Science",  it may seem rather  

 intimidating to approach Dr. Ralph Carson Appleby for an interview.  

      However, encouraged by the comment of a former University of Iowa student 

 regarding Dr. Appleby, "for not only helping us learn dentistry, but for being just a plain 

 good guy," enthusiasm replaced hesitation, therefore, this article.

      Adding to all of the above, Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Carson Appleby are friendly, kind, 

 considerate and caring.  Dr. Appleby's ancestors, coming to America, for  fulfillment 

 of dreams for themselves and their descendants, would be very proud...mission 


      Update:  Dr. Appleby died 20 March 1997, West Branch, Cedar County, Iowa.





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 Last Revised:  09 October 2003

reviewed: 05 March 2005