Ancestor of Nel Hatcher
CHARLES M. SHEPHERD - Charles M. Shepherd, living on section 26, Woodside township, Sangamon county, is classed among its progressive agriculturists. His farming and stockraising interests are extensive and through the exercise of good business ability and unfaltering energy he has gained merited success. His possessions aggregate seven hundred acres and his farm is located within seven miles of Springfield. He was born on the old homestead property of the Shepherd family in Woodside township, November 18, 1841, and is the youngest son of Thomas C. Shepherd, and a brother of William B. Shepherd, whose history is given on another page of this work. On the home farm he was reared and his early education was acquired in the district school near by. He afterward supplemented the knowledge there gained by study in the Illinois University at Springfield, and when the Civil war broke out he put aside all business and personal considerations in order that he might aid his country in preserving the Union. He enlisted on the 16th of July, 1861, for three years service, joining the Eleventh Missouri Infantry, for nine companies of Illinois troops became connected with the Missouri regiment as the Illinois quota was full. Mr. Shepherd was under command of Captain A. J. Weber, of Company B, and with the regiment went South, joining the Army of the Tennessee. The first battle in which be participated was that of Fredericktown and he was afterward in the engagements at Island No.10, New Madrid, Farmington, Corinth, Iuka and the siege of Vicksburg. Later he was on detached duty until the expiration of his three years' term, and was honorably discharged on the 5th of August, 1864. He was never ill in the hospital, and during his long service was only once home on a furlough of twenty days during the first year.
After the close of his military service Mr. Shepherd was connected with his father and brother in the work of the home farm until 1869. He was then married in Sangamon county on the 11th of November, of that year, to Sarah E. Ford, who was born and educated in this county and is a daughter of W. R. Ford, an early settler who came from Kentucky in 1838. Her father was born in the Blue Grass state, July 3, 1824, and when a lad of twelve years came to Illinois with his father, Daniel Ford, who settled in Ball township, near Glenarm, in 1838. There he reared his family. William R. Ford became a prominent agriculturist of Ball township, where he continued to engage in agricultural pursuits until 1893, when he lost his wife, since which time be has made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Shepherd. After his marriage Mr. Shepherd carried on general farming on the old home place for several years, but in 1893 purchased and located upon the farm where he now resides. He began here with three hundred and twenty eight acres, but laudable ambition prompted him to add to his place from time to time, as his financial resources increased, and he now has seven hundred and thirty-two acres, constituting one of the best farms of central Illinois. Upon it he has erected an elegant home and modern equipment indicating his progressive spirit, careful supervision and practical methods of work. He has planted fruit and shade trees and has developed a property which has become one of the most pleasing features of the landscape. In addition to the cultivation of the cereals best adapted to soil and climate, he is also extensively and successfully engaged in the raising, feeding and shipping of stock and he fattens annually from six to eight carloads of cattle and hogs. His business is well managed and carefully conducted and his influence and diligence have brought to him a high degree of prosperity.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd have been born three sons, Charles Raymond, Alva Ford and Louis Pitner, all of whom are at home. In his political views Mr. Shepherd is a staunch and earnest Republican, giving his support to the party continuously since casting his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He was elected and served as supervisor and for three years was a member of the county board, during which time, he was chairman of the committee on roads and bridges and also a member of the claims committee. He has been a school director for about fifteen years, has been district clerk and has done much to advance the cause of education through the employment of good teachers. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and his life is in harmony with its teachings. His has been a most honorable and upright career and no trust reposed in him has ever been betrayed in the slightest degree. Success has come to him as the result of strong purpose, unfaltering energy and earnest and honorable endavor and his life is indeed exemplary in many respects.