Biography of Hon. George Washington Shedd
HON. GEORGE WASHINGTON SHEDD. He whose name heads this sketch has been successful in the various occupations to which his attention has been directed throughout life, and at the present time he is not only successfully engaged in tilling the soil and raising stock, but he also practices law, in which profession he has attained prominence. He was born in the county in which he now lives April 17, 1847, a son of William C. and Mary A. (Sinclair) Shedd, who were born in Reading, Vt., in 1800 and Washington County, Missouri, respectively.
The father spent the early part of his life in a store in his native town, but until he was seventeen years of age he was an attendant of the best schools of his native State. He left home at the age of sixteen years, and soon after finishing his education he spent a few years in New York, then came to Missouri and was married in Washington County. He soon after located in Shannon County, and began selling goods at Blue Springs, but a few years later opened a store at the mouth of Jack’s Fork, later four miles below Blue Springs and then in Spring Valley. He also improved a good farm at this place, but when the war came up, he dropped all former occupations in 1862, went to Rolla and was in the provost marshal’s office a short time. He died in Phelps County in 1863, and his death was much regretted, for he was a useful public-spirited citizen and an accommodating and cordial friend and neighbor. He was quite an active politician and was circuit clerk of Shannon County for many years, and no better man could have been found for the position, for he was talented, well educated, and at all times faithful to his duties. He was a stanch Union man during the war. He had one brother and two sisters: Norman Fisk, who is a railroad man of Massachusetts; Mary Ann and Francis Marion (deceased). The maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Samuel Sinclair, was one of the pioneers of Washington County, Missouri, but he eventually died in Shannon County in 1861, where he had lived a good many years. He spent a number of years among the Indians in the early days of Missouri, and was one of the most noted bear hunters in the country, his death resulting from exposure while out hunting. He was of English descent and a farmer by occupation. His wife died before the war, after she had borne him a large family. The mother of the subject of this sketch died June 10, 1894, in Shannon County, a worthy member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and the mother of six sons and one daughter: Alfred F., who was a soldier in Company L, Third Missouri Cavalry Volunteers, U. S. A., and served from August, 1862, until the war closed, died in Phelps County in 1879, a farmer; George Washington; Francis Marion, of this county; William Parker, who died in Phelps County in 1862; Sylvester, who died about 1859; and Mary Ann, wife of Alfred Deatherage.
George W. Shedd was reared in the wilds of Shannon County, and the most of his education was obtained from his father. In 1862 he went to Phelps County, where he made his home for eleven years and labored in the iron works there, although he at various times followed other occupations. On the 4th of March, 1874, he led to the altar Miss Lovina, daughter of James Allison, who was a Virginian by birth, but who at an early day came to Missouri, and resided in various counties, where his attention was given to tilling the soil. He died in Phelps County about February 12, l888, his wife also passing from life there May 3, 1874. Mrs. Shedd was born in Texas County, Missouri, May 3, 1854, and was there reared and educated. Her union with Mr. Shedd has resulted in the birth of the following children: Anna Frances; William A., Mary (deceased) and James A., Effie, Etta, Paralee, Charley, Sylvester and Sadie.
Immediately after his marriage Mr. Shedd returned to Shannon County and has since lived on the old homestead in Spring Valley, where he has a fine and well-improved farm of 256 acres. He is a strictly self made man and has been a great reader all his life and is therefore an exceptionally well-informed man. He always had a liking for law and read many of the best authors on this subject and in 1882 was licensed to practice in the Circuit Court by Judge J. R. Woodside and has since built up a large practice. He is true to his clients’ interests and handles his cases in a skillful and able manner. He has been a Republican all his life, but voted for Tilden in 1876, and the same year was elected associate justice of the Shannon County Court from the Western District, and ably filled the office for one term of two years. He is a member of Summerville Lodge No. 555 of the A. F. & A. M., and as a citizen is active, public spirited and substantial. He commands the respect of all and has numerous friends.