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William & Anna (Marfilius) Sheppard


Posted By: Yvonne Ellwood (email)
Date: 12/28/2005 at 05:38:30

Biographies of my great grandparents, by Yvonne Ellwood

Anna Otillie was born 8 Nov. 1868 and died 18 Jan. 1952. She was born at Gran Grey, Wisc, near Bridgeport. Daughter of Wilhemina Horn and Peter Anton Marfilius was born on a farm near Wauzeka, Wi., Crawford County. She was baptized in the Evangelical faith in a schoolhouse where services were also held.

Anna roamed the hills as a child. In berry picking times, she picked and carried berries to Prairie du Chien, Wi for sale(many many many miles). She visited her Aunt and Uncle (Charles & Mary Marfilius who were Emma Kamerer's parents), in her marriageable years and met William Sheppard.

Anna and William farmed near what was once Bismark, Iowa. and later in 1893 they bought the farm now owned by Arlis White 7 mi. S. & a bit East of Luana, Iowa. Ben, Alva, and Cora were born on the Bismark farm; the other children were born on the Sheppard/Morch/White farm.

When she was a little girl, Indians would sometimes stop at their house and ask for food (they’d rub their tummies and point to their mouths to indicate hunger). Anna’s mom would always feed them.

Anna Ottilie, called Tilda or O’tillie was a mid-wife helping with any births. She was a great Sunday School teacher at the Gooding Church; she walked many times to this church, walking across the fields barefoot carrying her Sunday Shoes. She was called Greatma by her greatgrandchildren (the Whites).

Vada said she trimmed Greatma’s toe nails, and they were hard and brittle. She’d go barefoot except for Sundays. Vada helped her put on with her shoes. She crocheted doilies, washed clothes, and tried to teach her, Vada how to crochet dishcloths. She loved to pick raspberries and gooseberries.

Great-ma was a very religious person; and wore long ankle length dresses. Vada said that when she herself was a little girl and put on a pair of shorts........Great-ma chased her with her cane........telling her to "go get dressed"as she was indecent! (This is how I, Yvonne have felt for some time, and still feel today in these last years, people need to go and get dressed !). She had a plaque hanging that read: "One life twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last," which is in the Bible. We all remember her reading her Bible every day, and her daughter Cora did the same.

Anna Otillie came to help at the John Sheppard home, met their son William, and later she and Bill were married. She loved her garden and flowers. She knitted mittens and socks for her family, being very skillfull at combining colors in her quilt making also.

Hattie, who is William Sheppard's sister went to the field as was her turn. The horses got scared and cut Hatties’ legs off with the binder when they bolted. She eventually had to have a leg amputated of which gangrene set in. Just before she died she wanted to see her new shoes; as she would have been confirmed the next Suday. She had a radiant smile, and said ‘It’s So BEautiful here, " and then she died.

In 1941 this farm was purchased by her daughter and husband, Oscar & Cora Morch. He was a very
thrifty orderly person who loved his work and family and kept his farm work done up. He was also very handy at Carpenter work. He had a forge and bellows in his shop for repair work.

Her memorial service held at E.U.B. Church in Monona, Iowa. Both William & Otillie along with sons Roy, and Ben are buried in the Gooding Cemetery, Wagner Twp., Clayton Co., Iowa South and a tad bit West of Monona, Iowa.


William Sheppard was born 27 June 1860 on farm Wagner twp., Clayton Co., Iowa where Landry
Kishman lived in 1979. Then later moved with his folkes to what was the Gary Kurth farm in 1979.

His parents were Elizabeth Henkes and John Sheppard who always signed anything legal with the a @ the end in his surname SHEPPARD. He had a twin sister, Sophia born 27 June 1860 who died as an infant. His brothers and sisters were: Harriet, Justus, John, Lizzie, Sophia, George, Addie, Levi, and Eli. William and Sophia were twins and so were Levi and Eli.

William married Anna Otilli Minnie Marfilius at Wauzeka, Wisconsin, 7 April 1887. In 1893 he bought what is now the Sheppard/Morch/Arlis White farm, living there till his death, 14 March 1921.

To this union 9 children were born; 5 boys, and 4 girls: Benjamin David, Alva Oscar, Cora
Elizabeth, Clara Minnie, Hattie Welcome, Roy John, Esther Florence, Elmer Marvin, and Myron

Roy John in later years lived with his Uncle George Sheppard near Nerstrand, Minnesota.

Author's note: Ben, Roy, and Myron go the the Surname spelling Sheppard, but Alva and Elmer went by Shepperd. Some of Alva’s children that live in Montana changed theirs to Shefferd.


Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen


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