Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Ancestor of  Nel Hatcher

WILLIAM B. SHEPHERD - William B. Shepherd is one of the substantial farmers and business men of Sangamon county now practically living retired on his farm on section 33, Woodside township. He owns there a valuable and well improved tract of land of five hundred acres known as the old Shepherd homestead. A native son of Sangamon county, he was born upon this farm January 6, 1840. His father, Thomas C. Shepherd, was born at Shepberdstown, Virginia, in 1806, and the grandfather, who also bore the name of Thomas Shepherd, was likewise a native of the Old Dominion. The family is of Welsh lineage and was established in Virginia at an early period in the colonization of the new world. Thomas C. Shepherd was reared to manhood in his native state and was married there to Ellen Miller. also a native of Virginia. She was born in Shepherdstown and was a daughter of John Miller, likewise a native of Virginia. In the fall of I836 Thomas C. Shepherd removed to Illinois, settling in Sangamon county upon the land now owned and operated by his son William. It was a raw tract when it came into his possession, but he at once cleared and cultivated it and as time passed he added to his property until he had nine hundred acres. His remaining days were spent here upon the old homestead and he died in 1892 at the ripe old age of eighty-five years, having survived his wife, for about a year. He was very active and energetic and he won success in his farming operations. He was also quite prominent in public affairs and served as a member of the first board of supervisors of Sangamon county. In his family were four sons, of whom Thomas B., a resident farmer of this county, is the eldest. John H., the second, died April 8, 1903, in Pawnee, Illinois, where he was then living retired after many years active connection with farm work. William B. is the third of the family and the youngest is C. M. Shepherd, now a resident of Woodside township.

William B. Shepherd was reared upon the old home farm and began his early education in the district schools while later he attended Springfield College. He remained with his father until he attained his majority, and then was married in the fall of 1867, to Miss Lizzie K. Brown, who was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, a daughter of William H. Brown, of that place. Mrs. Shepherd was reared and educated in her native city. The young couple after their marriage located on a farm near Woodside station, where they lived for eight or nine years. About that time Mrs. Shepherd died, and our subject afterward came to the old homestead in order to care for his parents during their declining days. He afterward purchased the interest of the other heirs in the property and succeeded to the ownership of the old home place. He has since improved this and has purchased more land so that he now owns five hundred and sixty acres. For a number of years in connection with farming he has carried on stock-raising and ha s also fed and fattened cattle for the market. He continued actively in business until 1901, since which time he has practically lived retired, although he gives his supervision to his farm.

Mr. Shepherd lost his wife in 1877, at which time she was laid to rest in Oak Ridge cemetery in Springfield. There is one living, daughter of this marriage, Alice S., now the wife of A. J. Mitchell, who was born in Cass county, Illinois, and was reared and educated there. He also attended school in Jacksonville and Havana, Illinols, and for one year engaged in teaching. His father, W. A. Mitchell, was a farmer and business man of Ashland, Kentucky, and came to Illinois at an early day, settling in Cass county. A. J. Mitchell wa born on his father's old homestead and remained there until he started out in life on his own acconnt. He was married in Sangamon county, January 15, 1900, to Miss Alice S. Shepherd. They have one child, Albert Shepherd Mitchell.

Politically Mr. Shepherd is a stanch Republican where national questions are involved, and he cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864, He has never faltered in his allegiance to the party, and is a stanch advocate of its principles, yet the honors and emoluments of office have had no attraction for him. He has been one of the active and successful farmers and business men of his county for many years, but is now enjoying a well earned rest. His life has been characterized by exemplary habits and integrity in every walk of life and over the record of his career there falls no shadow of wrong.

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