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Biography of Robert C. Shepherd
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ROBERT C. SHEPHERD. When the late Robert C. Shepherd died on November 5, 1904, he was the possess0r of one of the finest farm homes in Madison County, Indiana, where he had lived for many years and reared his family. Probably no man in Madison County betrayed a deeper interest in farms and farming than did he, and it is certain that few if any, reached the pinnacle of success as an agriculturist that be attained. The study of that subject was long one of the most engrossing interest to him, and he possessed a deeper insight into it and was more thoroughly familiar with the secrets of Mother Earth than is often given to any who are not scientific students of the soil. His splendid farm of 260 acres near Anderson was long regarded as one of the finest in Madison c0unty, and his home corresponded to it in all its detail of comfort and capacity.
Robert C. Shepherd was born in Kent County, Maryland, on August 24. 1852, and his death occurred at his home place on November 5, 1904. He was the son of James and Jane (Clendenning) Shepherd, natives both of Maryland, and there they passed their days. The son received his education in Kent County, and in his youth was thoroughly trained in the carpentering business, in which he was for some years occupied as a contractor, and in which he was fairly successful. It was not the work, however, in which his heart was centered, and when he came to Indiana in early life and beheld about him the splendid opportunities for securing land engaging independently in the business of farming, he relinquished all activity in building circles, and confined himself to the acquiring and working of a farm of his own.
Success was never a stranger to Mr. Shepherd. His first three years in Indiana were spent in Selina and Chesterfield, and it was then that he took up farming. His first place was one of forty acres, but he early began to add to his holdings and when he died a few years ago he had 360 acres of the finest Indiana land represented on his tax list. He was a man of the most th0roughgoing methods, and one who believed that whatever was worth doing at all was worth doing well. Consequently, he did not farm in a half hearted or indifferent manner. He did not make the mistake of attempting to successfully conduct a farm with0ut acquainting himself with first principles in the art of farming. Rather did he delve deep into the subject, learning the comparative values and qualities of the different types of soil, and applying his knowledge in a manner that was conducive to the best results. His fine home was planned and built by himself, and is a distinct credit to him as a builder, despite the fact that he abandoned the contracting business to take up one that was of deeper interest to him, and more suited to his natural inclinations. A man of considerable education, he was a citizen of the highest type and ever evinced a proper interest in matters affecting the public weal in his community.
Mr. Shepherd was married on April 10, 1870, to Miss Leona Treadway Nelson, the only child of Moses and Martha Nelson. Seven children were born to them. Warren, the eldest, married Anna Dean. Th0mas C. is married to Mattie Gobin, and they have two children,-Dorothea and Beulah. Charles W. married Ira Abbott. Alzora is the wife of Homer Lawler, and they have one son, William, Mae is the wife of Daniel Boner, and the mother of two sons,-Robert and Theodore. Jessie married Francis Scott, and their two children are Helen Mae and Lavona. Bertha, the last born, is the wife of Henry Hawlor, and has one daughter, Margaret. All have reached places of usefulness and merit and are acquitting themselves honorably in the work to which Life has called them variously.
Mr. Shepherd was an exceptionally public-spirited and enterprising man, and was known widely throughout his County. He was well read on topics of the day, an interesting conversationalist, but a thinker and doer, rather than a talker. He was long a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was fraternally identified by his membership in the Red Men. He died comparatively young in years, being but little past his fifty-second birth anniversary, but he had accomplished more in that brief span than many who are longer spared to this world and its work, and will long be remembered as one of the most capable and successful men who ever identified themselves with the business of agriculture in Madison County.
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