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James Sherman Shepherd


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/6/2001 at 10:59:04

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
James Sherman Shepherd was born in Sangamon County, Illinois, December 4, 1834. His parents, James and Jane Sherman Shepherd, were natives of Maryland and North Carolina respectively. In October of 1844, the family removed from Springfield Illinois to Keosauqua, then Van Buren County, then Territory of Iowa. Here for the next six years the father published the Iowa Democrat, and also kept hotel until 1877. His mother died September 22, 1870, aged sixty five years, and his father September 14, 1880, aged eighty years and six months. Of their twelve children, five sons, the oldest sixty-eight, and the youngest forty years old, are living. The subject of this sketch is next to the oldest living. He was first employed in his father’s printing office when only ten years old, the work at that time, however not being steady, as he attended school regularly until sixteen years old. He then served a regular apprenticeship for four years and jour work one year. In April 1856, he was appointed Postmaster of Keosauqua, holding that office until the fall of 1860, when he resigned, he and his father having purchased the Des Moines News, at Keosauqua, to which he devoted his whole attention until the fall of 1865, when they sold the office. For the next fifteen years he was variously employed—at his trade, insurance, real estate, running a hotel, selling patent rights, and for two seasons cutting stone. The 1st of January, 1880, he removed from Keosauqua to Corydon, Wayne County Iowa, where he published the Corydon Democrat for two and a half years, and in the fall of 1883 was elected County Superintendent of Schools. He held this office during the years 1884 and 1885, and in November of the latter year he bought the Journal newspaper at Mt. Ayr, Ringgold County Iowa, of which he is the present proprietor, and has made it the leading official paper, as well as the fearless organ of the Democratic Party in the county. He moved to Mr. Ayr from Corydon January 6, 1886.
Mr. Shepherd was married to Miss Mary Moore, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Moore, January 9, 1862, and to them four children were born, two daughters and two sons, of whom three are living: Minnie mow Mrs. Hartshorn, Little J, and George S. The other son Alvah C. died in Corydon, November 7, 1881. Mrs. Mary Shepherd died in Mt. Ayr, May 28, 1890, aged fifty-one years and nine months. Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church since 1858.
Mr. Shepherd was made a Master Mason in Keosauqua Lodge, No. 10, in January of 1856, a Royal Arch Mason in 1858, and Knight Templar in 1878. He has filled the office of Master in three different lodges, and is present Master of Faith Lodge, No. 179, at Mt. Ayr. He is a zealous Mason, a conservative Democrat in politics, and endeavors to live a consistent Christian life.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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