George E. Shepard, of Franklin village, who is a prominent lumberman of Merrimack County, was born March 28, 1840, son of George and Abigail (Hill) Shepard. The grandfather was Ebenezer Shepard, a farmer and a lifelong resident of New London, N.H., where his son George was born. George Shepard became a farmer, and lived in Wilmot during forty years of his life. He made his home at one time in New London, N.H., and later moved to East Andover. His wife, Abigail, was the widow of Edmund Chadwick and a daughter of Edward Hill, a carpenter of West Newbury, Mass. She died leaving three children. These were: Emery B. Chadwick, now deceased, born of her first marriage; Mary A. Shepard, born of her second marriage, April 18, 1834; and George E., the subject of this sketch. Mary became the wife of D. M. Hazen, a confectioner of Cambridgeport, Mass., and has six children-Frank, Katie A., Mary E. (deceased), George E., Willie W., and Abbie.
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George E. Shepard was well educated in the academies at Andover and New London. At the age of twenty he commenced to learn the spinner’s trade in the woollen factory of Johnson & Colby at Wilmot, N.H., and remained four years there. Then he bought an interest in the mill, when the firm name became Colby, Shepard & Co., who were manufacturers of hosiery and full cloth. Six years Richard Messer a sixth-interest in the scythe manufactory at Scytheville, New London. He was stock buyer and salesman for about three years, when, again selling his interest, he returned to the woollen industry, removing with Mr. R. O. Messer to East Andover, with whom he manufactured hosiery for three years. Then he was engaged in the lumber business with his cousin, J. Eli Shepard, at New London for three years, after which he became the wood and tie agent of the Northern Railroad, later receiving the appointment of purchasing agent for the Boston & Lowell Railroad, with which company he continued for four years. After returning to East Andover, he was engaged in the lumber business with several different parties until in 1892, when he went into partnership with Walter S. Carr and Mr. Neal. This firm has an office at Franklin. Mr. Shepard bought his present home, known as United States Senator Austin F. Pike Homestead, where he has lived since November 25, 1893. He is the President and a Director of the Beecher Falls Furniture Company at Beecher Falls, Vt. In January, 1896, when the Mayo Knitting Machine and Needle Company was organized, Mr. Shepard became a member. He is a Director of this company, also of the First National Bank; and he is a Trustee of the Franklin Falls Savings Bank.
Mr. Shepard has been twice married, on the first occasion to Miss Mary A. Johnson, of North Weare, N.H. She died in October, 1885, leaving no children. On January 11, 1887, he contracted his second marriage with Carrie S. Seamans, of New London, daughter of Daniel S. and Frances Mary (Dodge) Seamans. Her mother died March 19, 1892; and her father now resides in New London. Their four children were: Frances Abbie, who died at the age of nineteen; Carrie S., now Mrs. Shepard; Etta Pearson, who married Bradford J. Dunbar, a salesman residing in Malden, Mass.; and John A., who married Kate McDonald, lives in New London, and has four children-Daniel D., George L., Agnes, and Frances Mary. Mr. Shepard is a stanch Republican. He is connected with the King Solomon Lodge, No. 14, F. & A. M. He is a Director of the Concord Axle Company in Concord, N.H. His many business interests have placed him among the leading men of Franklin and Franklin Falls.