Page 617-619, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


John Sheppard, now deceased, was an early settler of Fairmont township, Butler county, and bore the unusual distinction of having been a pioneer in four States. He was born in Maryland January 27, 1809, a son of Peter and Mary Sheppard, natives of Maryland. In 1818, when John Sheppard was nine years old, the family removed from their Maryland home to Muskingum county, Ohio, settling near Taylorsville. They were among the very first settlers of that section and here the father cleared land and built a cabin in the heart of the wilderness. Later he became a well to do farmer; and he and his wife died in Muskingum county.

John Sheppard grew to manhood in Muskingum county, and in 1853 removed with his wife and children to McLean county, Illinois, where he followed farming until 1857, when he loaded his family and personal effects into wagons and started west again, this time with Benton county, Missouri as his destination. He was disappointed in his Missouri venture, as that section of the State looked poor and unfavorable. However, he remained there until 1860, when he returned to Mc-


Lean county, Illinois, considerably worse off financially than when he left there. About the time he returned to Illinois the Civil war broke out. He was loyal to the cause of the Union throughout that conflict, but he was past the age limit for military service. His eldest son, O. S., however, enlisted at President Lincoln's second call for volunteers, and became a member of Company C, Ninety-fourth regiment Illinois infantry. He served under General Grant and also under Sherman, participating in thirteen important battles. He was with Sherman on his memorable march to Atlanta and from Atlanta to the sea, serving three years and six months.

John Sheppard remained in McLean county, Illinois, until 1875. He met with success in his undertakings and prospered; and although then a man past sixty-five years of age, he was still possessed with a pioneer spirit, and in 1875 turned his face to the west again and came to Butler county, Kansas. Reaching here November 11, of that year, he bought a homestead relinquishment in Fairmount township from a man named Mansfield, and engaged in farming and stock raising and proved up on his claim and remained here until his death July 7, 1880. He was a man of strong personality and an interesting and entertaining conversationalist. He was an extensive reader, and well posted on general lines of information. He was a stanch Republican and a great admirer of President Lincoln. He was one of the widely known men of Butler county, during his time here, and commanded the profound respect of all who knew him. His wife died in Illinois in 1868. They were the parents of the following children: Obadiah, born August 5, 1832, served in the Civil war as above stated and died in Chautauqua county, June 26, 1910, having settled there in 1870; Mary, born September 28, 1833, died in September, 1880; Rebecca, born February 19, 1835, died in June, 1915; Peter H., born October 26, 1836, died in 1878; Maria M., born in 1838, married Adam Lambert, Miami county, Kansas; Amy L., born September 23, 1840, and died August 22, 1907; Hannah E., born January 30, 1844, married John Starkey of Osage county, Kansas, and died in 1912; Margaret A., born September 28, 1846, is now deceased; John W., born November 7, 1848; Sophia, born December 27, 1850, now the widow of Thomas Barrett; David, born November 17, 1853, lives at Alien, Okla.; Charles E., born January 27, 1857; Ida L., born June 19, 1861. John W. and Ida L. are unmarried and reside on the old home place, which is one of the best farms in Fairmount township.

Mr. Sheppard is one of the progressive farmers and stockmen of that section. He relates many interesting events of early conditions in Fairmount township when he came here. He has a distinct recollection of a number of thrilling incidents of pioneer life, in the days when blizzards, prairie fires and grasshoppers varied the monotony of dull life on the plains, and developed the resourcefulness of the early pioneers in coping with the ever changing conditions. He is one of the substantial


citizens of Fairmount township, and well and favorably known throughout that section of the county.

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