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TAYLOR COUNTY LETTERS
Shepherd Family History

		[Labeled 'A' by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments.]
_______________________
Author:  William Franklin Shepherd, Sr.
Transcribed by:  Lucretia Ann Goodson Harrison 	 livinlife2000@prodigy.net
Transcribed as it was hand written by William F. Shepherd, Sr,. & 
dated  December 20, 1871 to Jordan & Loo Lavender. 
_______________________

Butter Ga  December the 20th 1871

Dear Children I will rite you a few lines this 
blessed Sabbath morning to let you know that I rec'd 
your very kind and welcom letter which came 
to hand yesterday and was glad to hear that you    [Labeled ' I ' by  Richardson]
got home Safe and was well but sorow to hear 
of the old mans feeble health but he may be 
destond to good health an to the comfort of his family 
I have no news that would interest you at this 
time we are all gust like you left us nethe dead 
nor a live  Well I would like to See you to day but 
I cant and while I am riting I am thinking of 
all my absent children and their is none that 
I can pay a visit to day well loo you have often 
left home to return agan but now to come no more 
well I hope you will be Satisfied well Jordan 
I suppose the move is made to allabamma I hope for 
the best I would like to go with you but my wife 
has rather declined for presant and I think it 
best for I could not Sel for the money at this time 
money is Scerse and the most of peopil in det but 
I want to go Some where but I cant this year 

[page 2]
well I am heales ove head as the masons do 
Saley garet & Billy wilson is married certinty 
well I rote all the new and I must close for 
presant hoping to hear from you often tel 
jimey I did not forgit him that Rainey day
for I no he suffered I would bin glad that he 
had bin with me well I will tel you what good 
luck I had with my ties I got one hundred and 
eleven and all receivd well loo you said that 
one of your dress was mising it is not hear 
Some one Slept it out of the pack on the 
top of the trunk So I will close 
the family all send love & respects 
and they all wants to See you  
no more this time but 
remaining your father as ever
			W. F. Shepherd
		       to Jorden lavender &
			luises Lavender
------------------------------------------------

Family Information about Shepherds

THE SHEPHERD LETTERS

	Written from TAYLOR & BURKE COUNTIES, GEORGIA, the SHEPHERD Letters, 
are a treasure trove for researchers.  WILLIAM FRANKLIN SHEPHERD SR, his son 
& other SHEPHERDS  pen a picture of  two families struggling to make their 
way in the emerging post Civil War South. 

	Names of  neighbors & acquaintances, GARRETT, OGLETREE, WATERS, PEACOCK 
& BUGLE & others appear in the letters. They give us a glimpse into the 
quality of life & the economy in the towns where they lived & worked. 
Management on the railroad & rightaways, farming conditions, births, deaths & 
even local scandals are among the topics they write about,

	Since I have access to background information that is not contained in 
the letters below I offer below a brief  background on the writers & 
recipients of  these often meandering thoughts, never intended for 
publication. The background date is derived from available records & oral 
tradition. Perhaps, these insights will help the reader better understand the 
times & lives of  these families & as well as, the communities & times in 
which they lived. 

	It is particularly fortuitous that the bulk of the letters were written 
by a father & his son. Through their silence on the subject of each for the 
other, we have insight into the complexity of  their father-son relationship 
as well as the difference between their parenting styles. The SHEPHERD men & 
their families could well be a modern clan so, we learn that the more things 
change, the more human nature stays the same. 

	I am humbled by the experience of  having come to know these 
interesting & resourceful ancestors through their letters. As well, I am in 
awe of  all our ancestors who survived those turbulent times. It is worth 
remembering that 'warts & all' these people are the stock from which we come. 
For the greater part, their lives are a heroic saga.

	Because I am deeply indebted to so many helpful people in the 
genealogical community for the generosity & patience they have shown me, I am 
delighted to share these letters written by my great great grandfather, my 
great grandfather & others in my SHEPHERD Line. Please feel free to copy the 
letters & other information here. The only requirement to copy or otherwise 
use the contents here is that it will not be reproduced or otherwise used  
for commercial purposes.. Additionally, I will gladly share other data on 
these & other ancestors.
Sincerely, 
Lu Harrison
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
File Name:  WFSSr 72-02-18 orig.doc
  Labeled 'B' by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments.]
_______________________
    Transcribed as it was hand written by William F. Shepherd, Sr,. &
dated February 18, 1872 to Jordan & Loo Lavender. Siby's letter is on
[pg 2]

________________________

Butter Ga   February the 18th 72
                                                              My Dear
Children
after some delay I will answer your very kind letter which
came to hand in dieu time and was glad to hear that you was well
but Sorow to hear of  the old mans feeble health wll loo I have no
chering news to rite that would interest you times are about the
Same Siby is not well to day will loo I wish I could  See you to day
you cant tel how glad I would be I got a letter from Puss last weeke
[Labeled  II  by Richardson]
they was well & Satisfied with their new home well I rote you
that my hogs was dying with colery I have but 14 out of 35
Some of them are naked and I fear will dy it is a very hard
winter hear & it raines most all the time it is raining now and quite
cold well loo tol danel Stole margele and is gone Ilan Danel went with
them I cant tell you where they are gon but it dont matter they can be
Spared
Mr Dervies is nearly franatic about his child they take it with them
I have not Seen Billy garet Since I received your letter and I cant
give you any satisfaction at this time but will in my next Some
one told it to him out their I dont think that he made it that is the
way he has told it hear or it is the way I have learned it Mis
Sizer medder is out hear but I have not Seen her but She has been bin
ast about it but She Sees She has never heard of  it there loo So I
close for
it is cold & rainey Rite Soon & often your father in love
of  his absent children loo & Jourdan lavinder
   W. F. Shepherd

(pg 2)
Well Jordan I have do no field work yet but will
if it ever gits warm enough that I can get to the field
my land is all gon  and I cant find it I think that I will
look after it this fall it gone Some where or else it turned to
mud and water my feete is So frost bit that I cant hardley
walk I hant had a  shoo on one foot in four days I prit it on this
morning because it is Sunday I thaut that would git to go a broad
but it hurts to bad and I think I will have to take it off  I Recon
that you are nearly redy to plant well make all that you can
and I will come down their  next fall and look Round if I can
get six dollars or a free ticket I Shal plant me a cotton crop this
year well loo I wish you could See John  the worst boy you ever
Saw  Siby is on a palet before the fire and John is _ug in to
til he can talk very plain he tries to go with me every
where I go give my love to aunt Rachel & uncle gim & garet
freeman & martha and all inqiring friends. well I can say that
times is quite dul at this time theire is no money hear
but I am out of det a gan but nothing left but git in det
a gan I am going  to quit the ties for it will cill me I was
halling some this weeke and it like to get my liver out
of my boddy I have rote all and I will quit for I have
done a hard Sabbath dys work and it is now evening
& I close fair well     ----[his initials ar illegible]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

File Name:  WFSSr 72-03-31 unedited.doc
  [Labeled 'C' by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments.]
   Williams Shepherd  & dated March 31, 1872 to
Jordan & Loo Lavender. Siby's letter starts line #24.
__________________________

Butter March the 31st 72
Dear children once more I am permited to Rite
you a few lines in answer to your very kind
letter which came to hand in time and was glad
to hear that you was well and I trust doing
well this leavs the family in good health I have
no news of interest to Rite we have had the coldest
winter and a plenty of rain farm work is nearly
gon up hear but I lill done yet I have a littl planted
but cant tel when I will git any more but hope
 the wether may open fine for the next month
times is hard hear with many peapel as well as
my Self well I got out of det agan & nothing left
but 13 dollars I got me a fine over coat with
a cape to it but it is too warm to war it well
loo I have lost all my hogs but ten 23 is ded
you must not think hard of my not riting sooner
I cant Rite much my hand trimbles and Shal
have to close for this time dont wait for me to answer
every letter that you Rite let them comes as often
as you pleas for I would like to hear from you every day
your father as ever W F Shepherd to his absent
children loo & Jordan Lavender

(pg 2)

Siby Rites  Dear loo
I will rite you a few lines
which leavs me
well and hope this may reach you in dieu
time and find you well as for news I have none
I would like to See you I could tel you a heap
that I cant rite This Settlement is coming out
finely the elet family has located in our
midst Some at the Bugles place & some at the
marth peacock house well loo I have made
me two counterpins of plain divinety they
are nice loo me & faney has made over one
hundred yards of cloth Since you was
maried well loo I must tell you what
dd has done She has made the other gal
it is near 3 weeks old loo I hear that their is
a bad tale on pen & mary can you Send me
a x mark I close for lack of  Something
to Rite your mother as ever Rite soon
often S E Shepherd give my respects Jordan
the children all Sends love & respect
cant you come & See the new neighbors

File Name: WFSSr 72-10-11 unedited.doc
  [Labeled 'D' by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments.]

Author:  William Franklin Shepherd, Sr.
& dated     October  11, 1872 to Jordan & Loo Lavender.
------------------------------
Butter Oct the 11th 72
  Mr. Jordan & loo lavinder
Dear Children I drop you a few lines to let
you no that I received letter in dieu time
was glad to hear from you and that you was all
well I cant Say that for I don't think their is any
of us well but all keeps up  Siby & the children
are very ill  I hope they will git better Soon I have a
pain in my Side for two weeks it is gitting better
their is no news worth riting at this time well
Jourdan I don't no what to Say nor what do you
Said for me to Sell my land & help by frank waters
land I can't Sell my land for money their is Six
hundred dollars redy for franks plce any day I Supose
that you can't rais that much I have not Seen him
EB Waters is waiting on you a few days their is
other land hear for Sale for the money I have a
hundred acers in Soak if you would like it is joining
me well loo it is the aunt Betsy place it is as good land
as you can git hear & you can git more if you want
joining it I can git it for 100 & 50 it last you tell you
can do better it is as good as any that I have their is
a hous on it & perhaps a thousand railes Split but no
    cleared land

(*pg2)

their other lands for Sail with improvements
& hard cases for the money I don't want to by land
unless you could See for your Self. I don't want you
to be dissatisfide  So I will close as Mr Bynum is
going out their I will git him to tell you all the plces
he will be their the 3rd Sunday go down  &  See him
& Rite me Soon well I won't to no what faney      [Labeled III by
Richardson]
is doing She neve rites a word well I recon She has
forgot us you can send her home with Mr. Bynum
if she wants to come I want to no Soon as you git
this what you can doo in the way of money if you could
like this 100 acres it woul Suit me for I have Some
bad neighbors living their & it is my Stock Range
well loo I forgot that Marth ogletree is ded
Dr Smiths ded Sone is ded no more news at this time
     your father as ever
     W F Shepherd
     to Jordan & loo lavinder

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
File Name:  WFSSr 73-12-14 unedited.doc
  [Labeled 'E' by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments.]
__________________________
William F.
Shepherd, Sr & dated      December 14, 1873  & December 20, 1873 to
Jordan & Loo Lavender. _______________________

Butter ga December the 14th 73

Mr Jordan & Loo lavender
Dear children I will rite you this mornin
to let you no that I have not forgot you
all tho I have nothing of interest to rite time
is dull hear we are all in common helth
at this time my helth is good I have
Some cold well loo I received your letter
in dieu time you rote the babys name was
eli hansford & how would I like it you could
not please me better I want you to come
& fetch it So I can See it I want to See
you all well loo I would of went with
Bynum but I could not leave home
Satisfied Siby keeps up yet but Some
of these times She will bring me in
a basket of boys So I will hush
my nonsense well jord cant you come
& help me git Some ties I nead help I
git five a day & eat potater & beef & bear
well fanny I kild Star She was a fine beef
I had no money to by bacon come all of you
& fetch your dinner So I will quit

[pg 2]

December the 20th
as I have to mail this in time
& will rite Some more but I have
no news to rite I have bin quite
bisey this week gitting in my ties
I am going to town this evening
we are all up at this time but
cant tell how Soon Some may
fall well loo granma Sends her
love & wants you to come & fetch
that boy well fanny I wish
you was hear for I need you
but I hope you have got a better
home & I will git a long the best
I can if I had the money I would
send for you so close
your father W F Shepherd
to Jordan & loo
well jimys gal is _san (or son) Scraps
of the children dre?s.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
File Name:  WFSSr 74-01-18 unedited.doc
  [Labeled 'F' by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments.]
_____________________________
               Transcribed as it was hand written by William F.
Shepherd, Sr & dated     January 18, 1874 to Jordan & Loo Lavender.
________________________
Butter  Jan the 18th 74

Mr Jordan & Loo Lavander
Dear children I will rite you a few
to day which will inform you that your
letter was delayed & never came to hand
tel last thursday I was glad to hear from
you but sorow to hear of the afflicton of the
family I have no news of interest to rite
we are all in comon helth I cant well
John had a bad Spell of croup this week but
is better I am Suffering Some with my Side
but keepe up my helth has bin very good
well we have another boy Bornd the 4th    [Labeled IV by  Richardson]
we call his James Batman he is 2 weeks
old to nite Siby is getting a long fine you cant
how bad I want to See you I fear that you
wont come times is very hard hear in the
way of money if  I git some money I want to go
out their the last of febuary but I have to git
ties for meat & every thing else but I have
got Bread plenty I had no hogs to kill I have
14 yung pigs So I have rote all the news
excus my short letter for it is very cold wether
well I will Say that Bill layfield is
gon to Some unnone parts he caried
his family with him well Jordan I
want you to git well & come & See me you are
yung & may git well I no what pleurisey
is for I suffer all the time I want you
to Rite me the county in alabam
that your people is living for I have
fogot their is gitting Some excitement
up their is Some going their well loo
jo apperson is gon to north ala lime Stone
county So I close faney I want you to
Rite where you are going to locate & what
is the prospect for a home you Said that
you could git a good home well I am not
displeassd at you living with loo if they
are willing & if not you can come home
as I told you when you left I dont want you
to come but I dont want you to be sholing [or stroling]
So I close your father WF Shpherd
To Jordan & loo lavender
tup is maried to Mr hartsfield
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
File Name:  WFSSr 74-05-03 unedited.doc
  [Labeled 'G' by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments.]
_______________________________
Author:   William Franklin Shepherd, Sr.
Transcribed by:  Lucretia Ann Goodson Harrison
               Transcribed as it was hand written by William F.
Shepherd, Sr & dated May 03, 1874 to Jordan & Loo Lavender.
_______________________

Butter May the 3rd 1874

Mr Jordan & loo lavender I will drop
you a few lines which will inform you
that all is not well Siby is quite feeble
yet She dont improov but little She is
confind to the house has not bin out in ten
days the doctor has bin 2 times & will
come again to day my helth is better than
when I rote before but I have a cough
yet I have a bad time in gitting my crop
Started I finished planting the 22nd & my
cotton is cild by the frost corn is bit we
have a heap of rain the land is very wet
well I have no news times is hard
hear & I Supos you no for you are aquainde
with him wll loo mis wilson is ded
She died Sudden the old man lock
was found ded in the road So I have
give you all the news I want to See
you the worst i ever did I am hear
as one a lone wihout any relations
no relative to comfort me in distress

[pg 2]

well loo you Brag on your
boy come & See mine he is a fine
chap well loo Siby Ses She is Sorow
that you did not come for She is all
most diolate their is no one hear
that cares for me Bynum & oley is
gone & Susey is gone & hear we are alone
gran moh Sends love to you all
John Ses tell you he has got a chunk
of breead & butter So I will close rite
often I got a letter from bud yesterday
they was well jim & Saley is gon to
guinet county to the ure line Road
come dont forgit to come well loo
Siby is nearly in the fix that
mis miller [or milles] was so I close
      your father as ever WF Shepherd
      to Jordan & loo lavender

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
File Name:  WFSSr 74-06-21 unedited.doc
  [Labeled 'G' by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments.]

Author:   William Franklin Shepherd, Sr.
Transcribed by:  Lucretia Ann Goodson Harrison
               Transcribed as it was hand written by William F.
Shepherd, Sr & dated June 21, 1874  to Jordan & Loo Lavender.
_______________________

[written upside down at top of pg. 1:
loo Siby ses She would be so glad
if you would come & see her

Butter June the 21st       74

Mr Jordan & loo lavender  Dear
children I will write a few lines
to let you no that all is not well yet
cant tell how long this affliction will
last Siby is yet confined Sometimes
better then worse a gan has not bin out
to the Kitchen Since the 4th Sunday in
april She had the new ralgy pain in
hed & face last week it lasted four days
She is not Suffering any pain at this time
She is got very low with weekness She
can Set up Some you must think I
have a hard time & so I have I hurt my
nee & I have bin a criple for too weeks
dragin one foot be hind my ne is Stiff
& my Rite arm is nearly give out with
pain in my elbo joint my helth is good
I can eat any thing but I havnt got but
little it is a hard time I cant work
to get money I want to See you So
bad come & fetch your dinner
Mary zeke loyd was hear to day

[pg 2]
 well Jordan a few lines for
you & I close my nee is hurting me
So bad I cant Set Still you was
So bad in the grass that you did
not rite me a word in loos letter
well mine is not the bunch grass
it is the Strait Stem I can brag
on it as being a thrifty kind
we have good Seasons for too weeks
corn is growing fine abut the
Smallest I ever Saw for the time
of year I am bad in the grass
& behind with the plow So I close
well loo mealy Sends you a peace
her dre?s & jimes (or gimes) this is the 23 rd June
gjmie is got the Sick beley runing
off charley hays is ded biley
Streatman is ded Robert gee &
Sary Brooks is to mary to morow nite
no more  your father
                                   W F Shepherd
                 to Jord & loo laavender


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
File Name:  WFSSr 74-09-01 unedited.doc
  [Numbered (I) by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments]
_______________________
Author:   William Franklin Shepherd, Sr.
Transcribed by:  Lucretia Ann Goodson Harrison
               Transcribed as it was hand written by William F.
Shepherd, Sr & dated     September 01, 1874 to Jordan & Loo Lavender.
__________________________
Butler Sep the 1st 1874
Mr Jourdan & loo lavender
Dear children I drop you a few
but I have no news worth riting
that constant visiter is here every
day he will ruin me I Supos you
have him too well less kill him
this leavs us all well Siby is better
than when I rote last She has
got one bed in the kitchen She
Stais in their all day She has not
had her foot on the ground Since the
fourth Sunday in april dear children
how glad I would be to See you but their
hant bin one of you that has visited
me in my distress well gurd I have
just finisht my fodder the next is
picking pees without a basket to hold
them my crop is not So good as last year
I lost my hass the first of august
I want you to come & fetch
Some flower & Some bacon Syrup &
come or stay where you are

[pg 2]
well I have give all the news
but I will doo like you I will
brag a little on my baby I wish
you could See Jimey he has too teeth
will Soon be walking well we
a good rain last Saturday & I sowd
turnips we had five weeks drouth
cotton ruined I will maill this to
you & you must send James to her
& you must rite & you See that
my hand trimbles I have got a bucket
of taters for Supper & I will try & git
up Steam & go off this all Stup_____
I thaut I would git to your hous this
winter but I think it dutful for I cant
leave my family well loo I hant bin
visiting this year I hant eat but
three times from home & that I workt
for So I close remaining your father
                              WF Shepherd
to Jordan & loo
Lavender Toombsboro
                               Ga



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
File Name:  WFSJr 83-04-01 unedited.doc
 [Labeled 'K' by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments.]

Author:   William Franklin Shepherd, Jr.
Transcribed by:  Lucretia Ann Goodson Harrison
               Transcribed as it was hand written by William F.
Shepherd, Jr &  dated April 1, 1883  to Jordan & Loo Lavender.
_______________________
Greens Cut Burk Co Ga
 April the 1st 1883
Mr Mrs J & Lou Lavender
         Dear Relatives I will
writ you a few lines in ancer to your
card recivd the 28 was glad to here from
you and that you was all well & glad that
you have succeded in geting away from
where you was so dissatisfied I no it is no
place for a maril man that wants to live
rite iam sorry for nan She has no chanc
no more than a negro in Slavory times I want   [Labeled V by Lois
Richardson]
to see nan but as for the rest I don't care
but little about dave caused me truble in
his permisios ways I hope god will for give him
and change him to a newness of Life I have neve
had the pleasure of going to church an being
with Brethrin Sense I left graham
as I did when I was there but iam not
trubled with a set of bothers as I was there
but at the same time I have as little use

pg 2
for the people at this place as I had at      [Labeled VI by Lois
Richardson]
graham they car nothin for one if he is not
rich they do not visit us nether dos we visit
them you no my nature is not put my
self in way of any one or run after no one
we are all frendly when we meat each othe
my whole family was down sick when I cam
here and non of them came near as my wife
lay 3 weaks with tyfoid feavor that she did not no
day light from dark bot none them came near
us but two and then I sint for them and they came
nomore now they sent to us for favors but they
can go I have no use for them they send
to me to get my children to to Sabbath
School but I dont want any of there
training I dont let them go I will keepe them
at home and teach them my self  I think
I can teach them as well as they can the
men of this place cares for nothing but to
drink whisky and frolick with negros
they are not alloed to sell it here but they
send off after it this leavs us all well
at this time hope it will find you and family

pg 3

well give my love to Sister Brown
and inquiring frend Jorden you said
you had wrot me severil letters but
have not recivd them I have recivd one
letter from you since I came here anancer to one I
wrot you and the card I recive two days
ago you said in your letter you was going
to hunt and other place and I did not
no where to direct to tell I recivd your
card well you can have the pleasur of hiring
Brother siks freach Jerden I have oftan thought
nights what we have sat upe to gether and talke
how is your feallings now you had lurned
som what when I left there I have on one
to talk two now at this place you could get abut as
much since out of  a parcel of billy goats as you can
the people here Jerdan if you can get
me a nice buck skin that will make good
Shoe Strings send me one and I will
pay you for it rit me how dave and the        [Labeled VII  by Lois
Richardson]
boys is geting along if dave has changed
his way of living or not it no use for
me to writ to nan she would not ancer

pg 4
it nether would any of the rest of them
Loo bab says tell you she is not don sheding
teethe yeit and Lular is thinking about                  [Labeled V by
Lois Richardson]
marying she is as larg as her mother in size
and her sweet hart redheaded and as
speceld as a guinne egg in the face
and so lazy he has to hang his head on
something breath or talk he is realy a good
looking man from the tope of  head & upe
Loo you can go & see tiny Bruce She is
aloving woman and agood nighbor I would
to meat with her forit bruce and fanly
you have good negbors the children all
send love you rite me all the news
so will close for this time I remain
 Yours as ever
  WF Shepherd
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
File Name:  WFSJr 83-05-06 unedited.doc
 [Labeled 'J' by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments.]

Author:   William Franklin Shepherd, Jr.
Transcribed by:  Lucretia Ann Goodson Harrison
               Transcribed as it was hand written by William F.
Shepherd, Jr & Mamie     Shepherd (pg 4) & dated May 6, 1883 to Jordan &
Loo Lavender.
_______________________

  Greens Cut
   May the 6 1883 (?)
Mr & Mrs ___ Lavender dear Brother and
sister  I will tri to writ you afew lines
In reply to yours  recivd som time ago
was glad to hear from you and that you
was all well & more than all so well satisfid
we are all well at presant we can __ more
than any one family ____ __ out of ____ we have
afine garden we have got about 18 hundred
cabbig from 4 inches to 20 inches_____ we
sow irish potatoes union beets radishs our beans
and peas has just commen baring we have
had aheape of  (?)rain this spring iam behind with
my work som I have got 3 miles track raised
Jordan my shanty is 6 miles from (this or the) rhd end
of section and down graid all the way to the
end & 2 1/2 frar shanty to lower end and down
graid all the way excepe 1/2 mile and nearly
all cures there is one curve 1 1/2 mile long
through chiefe cut and mcbeas swamp that E (or F)l__ co

pg 2
I cant _____ ______ in more than 5 car lenths
I have come near getin run in to by tran
there severil times & one cut 1 1/2 miles long
apart of it is sharpe curve the other part strait
I would it upe withe timber 1 1/4 mile both sides
from one foot  upe to 4 feet hy I have but little strait
track it is all curve through deepe cuts from 1
foot to 50 feet deep and some bank 50 feet
deep &hi curvs the entire right away Jerdan iam
under different sort of officers here to what
i was on the M&B they are men that knows  [Labeled IX by Lois
Richardson]
there buiness and they no what a man is
they have never said across word to me yet
I have worked for them on the section and
in the yard near 12 months I have don a heape
of work sense I have bin at work for the CRR
as you no evry thing had to git around when I was
on the M&B Jerdan if I Stay here an other year
iam going to tri a garden farm there is money
in it if it is properly mancedg and I have
got the promis of mill that that pay 50 to
$100 per month but it is sickly there
this is good farming land here but people

pg 3
dont pay attention they ought two to farms
I shal fail to interest you well babe went to Augusta
last friday was aweek and boughe Som good and
sold 20 dollars worth last weak she gets about all the
sewing she can doo her and the children
Jerdan what was it so grevous between you and
dave I want to come down in that country
next fall to the assosation if  I can give my love
to sister brown & family tell her I simpathise withe
her in her distres I will writ her in afew days
give my love to all inquiring frend you said
your letter that you wanted talk withe me two days and nights doo you
think you would be satisfid then I hardly think I would
I dont have any one to convers withe at all I want
to see all my frend around chammly Lular is  [Labeled X by Lois
Richarson]
playing the organ & singing She plays well
can play amost any pice Loo what are you
dooing choping coton mind how you pick upe
chips in the dark dont get of another
viper I will close my love to all the family
yours as ever WF Shepherd

pg 4
For Rilatives i Seat my Self to write
Some as papa is working mama
(?eac) Auntie and papa is Silling on the porch And the
kittens keeps so much racket & a Squaling
till I am all mose a fraid in here well Auntie
has had a child to day & Aunt loo I got so
frighten & howled till I could not be
Still with the dogs & they are all ways
frightening  u lillie (or billie) u me well my hand is
tiard tell Hansford & the rest of them
howdy for me tell penny that I wish I
could see her & the rest of  them is penny as
sweet as she use to be tell Judge howdy
too well I will close lula wants to write   [Labled XI by Lois
Richardson]
some it is night your, neice untill Death
   Mamie Shepherd

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
File Name:  WFSJr 83-09-16 unedited.doc
 [Labeled 'L' by Lois Richardson for reference in her comments.]

Author:   William Franklin Shepherd, Jr.
Transcribed by:  Lucretia Ann Goodson Harrison
               Transcribed as it was hand written by William F.
Shepherd, Jr & dated     September 16, 1883 to Jordan & Loo Lavender.
_______________________

[Written upside down at top of page 1]
Posteg will be cheape after this
montth 2 cts for aletter you can
rit little oftaner well I soldd
my thing and it bed time enough
no where to Sleepe bad nite

Greens Cut Ga
Sunday Sept 16  1883
mr Jerdan Lavender
& family dear Brother
& sister & children I recivd
your very kind letter yesterday
was glad to here from you all
agane loo I was sorry to her you
had the head ache & pain in your
eye but if that is all you can
make out with that much
I am well & all alone by
my Self & evry thing packed
upe to mov agane will have
to load my thing to night
as I will leave here to morro
morning at 4.30. iam going
to tak charg of the augusta
yard babe & the children

pg 2
W.I. Shepherd
is gon to her fathers has
bin gon 3 week last friday
but will return this weak
some times. Jerdan iam glad
to here you are getting along
so well you are dooing better
than iam an you can go to
churche & be your own master
it pleases me to here you
ar so well though of  by your
land lady there is never no
truble in getting along together
when bothe partys is willing
to doo what is right I hope
by all mean that you will
continue to hold out so
Jerdan I was to have bin at
#12 to day but I recivd
let fron Silas that was
Discouregin to me I promess
him to com & take asection

pg 3
under him but he rot me
that would not hold his
place long than the 15 of sept
& that CRR Co wouldn't
let me leave them they
give me augusta yard
whir I can school my
children to church
well I must go out to meat
the train well it is gon by &
fany was on the train goin
up in wickdom they was all
sick I dont want go back on
the old M&B any more I dont
no what I may do yet but
dont think I ever will to work
I have enough of Ohio yankee
or any othe Yankee I would
lik to go down ther & see
you all but the probbility
is at this time will not go

pg 4
Soon & Probly never
Jerdan I will say to you as long
as you can stay in ahelthy
place & mak enough to live
on you doo it & keepe of
RR for we have to take such
places as we can get & often
verry Sickly places or non
at (?)anyayit it takes all we can
mak to liv on any way
Son you are in abet con-
dition than a RR man
if I was not a cripple I would
not stay on RR
_______ & will close hope to
here from you soon
  Respt yors
      WF Shepher
Direct     W.F. Shepherd
   Section master Augta Ga   [Labeled XII by Lois Richardson]
 in care CRR office
tell sister Brown I will ancer her in
a short time give my love to inquring frind
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
File Name: Raulerson Comments
Author:  Beulah Lois Richardson Raulerson
Collected by:  Lucretia Ann Goodson Harrison
Subject: Lois Raulerson's comments on letters written by:
WILLIAM FRANKLIN SHEPHERD, SR & JR, SIBY WILLIAMS & MAMIE SHEPHERD.

Notes about the author:
 Lois was the great granddaughter of  WILLIAM FRANKLIN SR. through
WILLIAM JR's daughter MAMIE 'SHEPHERD' RICHARDSON & the stepdaughter of
SIBY WILLIAMS. The child MAMIE who was about 11 years old when she wrote
is her mother.

At sometime during the late 1960's or early 1970's Lois sent copies of
the letters to several cousins & included with them, her typewritten
comments on the contents. It is worth mentioning that in some cases
dates on the letters as they are posted do not agree with dates in her
comments.

With exception of capitalizing names, her comments are copied just as
she typed them. Any clarifications are noted with *. Moreover, no
comments are attached unless the failure to do so would mislead the
reader/researcher.

Lighted magnification was used while transcribing the letters she
comments on so, it is believed that those dates are correct. Also, it
seems clear that Lois believed all of the letters were written by SR.
The last three where written by  JR.
________________________________________________

Here are some comments on the letters that I have read.

 First part of  letter a, dated 12-26-71.  I wonder if
 mail camexx on Christmas?  He said the letter came
 yesterday. He was cutting crossties at age 64:  (*Transcription dated
12-20-71)

II     Letter B,  dated 2-18-72.  PUSS is AUNT   MISSOURI
HERRICKS-WELCH. Back of this letter  is C, dated 3-31-72 is one from
SIBBY. In his letter  he mentions that his son JOHN can talk.

III     Letter D, dated 10-11-72.  Is this word NANCY?  There was a
daughter, NANCY C.* (Transcriber  reads the name as FANNY}

IV     Letter F, Dated 1-18-74. A boy, JAMES BATMAN,  born 1-4-74 . He
was 67 years old.

 Letter K, dated 4-1-83 should be before letter J dated 1-4-83.

V     Letter K, dated 4-18-83. NAN must be his daughter.
She must have displeased him for marrying whom  she did. It must be she
that he has mentioned several  times. *{All evidence indicates this is
incorrect.  Lois seems to think this letter was written by WM. SR. when
in fact, it was written by his son. WM. Jr's  daughter NANCY died young
& without  marrying.  It's more likely JR writes about his, sister
NANCY  C.}

VI     The family must have lived at Graham at one time.
It seems that UNCLE RALPH, my mother's brother,  remembered living
there. *{MATTHEW RALPH  SHEPHERD}

VII     This name must be DAVE, whom NANCY married.

VII     LULAR must be a daughter but which one?  My  mother had a sister
LULA (LUCRETIA).  Such a  description of her swain: It could not have
been my  mother's sister for she died with typhoid fever as a  young
teenager. *{This is likely a member of  the  family of  his wife, MARTHA
ANN LUCRETIA  BRUCE.}

IX     What railroad could the TB have been? I read the  letters as TB.
*{The letters are 'M&B', Macon &  Brunswick.}

X     What place is this?

XI     Who is MAMIE SHEPHERD? He had a daughter,  MARY. My mother's name
was MARY and she was  called MAMIE. She was born in 1872 and would  have
been 11 years old. *{Again she confuses the  authors. WM. JR writes &
this is indeed her mother,  MAMIE.}

XII     Letter L, dated 9-16-83. This gives his address when  he went to
Augusta yard as a section foreman.  He  was 77 years old then. Our Bible
gives his birth  date as 1907. I wonder if he died in Augusta.
  *{1907 is obviously a typo. She refers to WM. Sr.  who was born in
1807 but, he isn't the author of this  letter. It was WM. JR. who wrote
this letter.}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ABOUT THE SHEPHERDS & THEIR LETTERS

THE SHEPHERD LETTERS:	

	The SHEPHERD  LETTERS are a collection of 12 separate mailings to 
FRANCES LOUISA SHEPHERD, aka LOO & her husband JORDAN LAVENDER, aka JORD 
(JOURD). They were transcribed from copies provided by the late, BEULAH LOIS 
RAULERSON, daughter of MAMIE SHEPHERD & EARL RICHARDSON formerly of  High 
Springs, Florida (Gilchrist County) & Alachua County, Florida.  I have no 
idea how she came by the originals.

	Nine letters in the collection were written by LOO'S  father,WILLIAM 
FRANKLIN SHEPHERD, SR. between the years of 1871-1874.  Also included is a 
page written by SIBY WILLIAMS, LOO's stepmother & WILLIAM SR's second wife. 

	WILLIAM & SIBY were living in BUTLER, (TAYLOR COUNTY) when they wrote 
but, there is no indication where the newly weds lived. He was a farmer who 
supplements his income by cutting & selling railroad ties. Since the letters 
cover an extended period, we are given valuable insight in the lives & 
struggles in the community of  BUTLER during the post Civil War era.

	WILLIAM JR's letters written in 1883 from GREENS CUT,  Burke County are 
of particular interest because he describes in some detail the typography of 
a railroad right away & comments on the mismanagement of  farms in the area. 
Unfortunately, he wasn't  happy there & he wasn't happy working on the 
railroads.  

	Still, he gives rather detailed reasons for his discontent; thus, we 
are given insights into the community of GREENS CUT. He gives an account of  
the hardships suffered by railroad families who in pursuit of minimal 
sustenance are forced to live somewhat as vagabonds. We learn about the 
management of  the CRR & Co (possibly Central Railroad Co), as well as the 
"Ohio Yankees" who supervised him on the M & B, (Macon & Brunswick Railroad). 



FRANCES LOUISA SHEPHERD

 	Aka LOO, she is the youngest daughter of  WILLIAM SR. & NANCY & is the 
wife of JORDAN LAVENDER. There is no indication of where she & her husband 
were living from the time of their marriage in 1871 until 1884 when her 
brother wrote the last of the letters to her in Toombsboro, Georgia.

	Since there are no replies from her among the Letters we only know LOO 
through the letters written by her father & brother. It is believed that she 
may have had a son named JIMMY. In late1873 her father wrote that she 
couldn't have pleased him more with the name ELI HANSFORD. From the letter we 
conclude that she must have just given birth to a son & that she named the 
child after a relative.

	Given the estrangement between her father & his older children, it is 
reasonable to conclude that she was probably the diplomat in the family. She 
seemed to have a warm relationship with her father, stepmother & older 
brother.



JORDAN LAVENDER

	JORDAN LAVENDER  was born in Georgia & at least for a time during the 
1870's he was a farmer. It is believed that his family was the Wilkinson 
County LAVENDERS so, it is likely that LOO's line, the SHEPHERD, DAVIS & 
POTTS clans would have had contact with them while living in that country. In 
both the tone & content of their letters one concludes that both Williams 
were fond of  Jordan & considered him a friend as well as an in law. 



SIBY E. WILLIAMS

	Very little is known about SIBY. We do know she was much younger than 
her husband WILLIAM Sr & she bore him two sons JOHN & JAMES BATMAN. In her 
letter SIBY tells us about her chores, ie. making cloth & divinity. 

	As well she mentions the 'elites' who have moved into the community. It 
is believed that her reference to the 'elites' may be to one of  WILLIAM & 
NANCY'S children, possibly even WILLIAM JR. who was estranged from his father 
from the time he married SIBY until shortly before WILLIAM SR died.



MARY ELIZABETH BEULAH SHEPHERD

	Aka MAMIE, the daughter of  WILLIAM, JR. & MARTHA ANN LUCRETIA BRUCE, 
included a note in her father's letter to her AUNT LOO. MAMIE wasn't as 
attentive to details about the participants in the event as researches would 
like; nevertheless, this 11 years old girl gives us a hilarious account of  
her behavior while an aunt was giving birth in their home. 

 

WILLIAM FRANKLIN SHEPHERD, SR.

	As of now, his parents names are unknown as is their whereabouts after 
they immigrated from Scotland, possibly Dundee & prior to their settling in 
Wilkinson County. It is known that in 1807, WILLIAM SR. was born the son of 
this wealthy Wilkinson County planter & plantation owner & that they were 
slave holders. 

	WILLIAM SR's siblings were BEARNY, ELIZABETH, JOHN & WILEY. It is also 
believed that Laban [Sheperd/Shepherd] may be his older brother & as well, 
there may have been a sister known as Fannie, possibly a nickname for 
Frances. 

	While living in Wilkinson County, WILLIAM, SR. married NANCY DAVIS, 
also of that county & of a similar background. Her parents, HENRY DAVIS & 
NANCY POTTS were from England, possibly of  Welch origin. They too owned a 
plantation, were wealthy & were slave holders.

	WM. SR & NANCY lived on his fathers plantation where no doubt they were 
near to or part of  the aristocracy of  the Old South. Their children were 
WILEY JUDSON, MARY, NANCY  C.,  WILLIAM FRANKLIN, Jr., MISSOURI E., LOUISA 
ELIZABETH,  & FRANCES LOUISA. aka LOO to whom these letters are written.

	We don't know why or when WILLIAM. left Wilkinson County but it is 
possible that it had something to do with settling his father's estate. The 
family is first found in Taylor County in the 1860 Census. NANCY DAVIS died 
between 1855 & 1860 & on March 15, 1860 he married SIBY E WILLIAMS. According 
to oral tradition he "married too quickly for decency" & this lead to 
considerable strife  between he & his older children. It also appears that 
when the family left Wilkinson County their fortunes changed considerably.

	Given land values at the time of the 1860 Census, it is estimated that 
he purchased about 140 to 200 acres of farm land. Taylor County did not exist 
until 1852 so, if he moved directly to that land which became known as 
Butler, Taylor County, GMD #757,  it is probable that prior to that date he 
will be found in one of  the counties that ceded land to TAYLOR.

	Unfortunately at this time nothing more is known about WILLIAM SR, his 
wife SIBY or their sons. It is believed that both he & his wife died in 
Taylor County. 

	In any era, but more especially in his era, WILLIAM, SR was a 
remarkable man. At 64 years of age he farmed & cut railroad ties without 
benefit of help. He began a second family & then, when his wife was 
bedridden, he cared for her, their children & the farm. Additionally, he 
worked as a day laborer.

	His letters give us a picture of a loving family, involved father & 
mischievous children. There is evidence of declining health & financial 
hardship, troublesome weather & loneliness for 'absent children'. We come to 
know a man who was immersed in hardship but wasn't at all given to 
bitterness. 

	It is indeed a boon to know that I descend from a man of such 
indomitable spirit. I wish that I knew more about him. Through his letters, I 
know that Grandpa was the kind of man would have taken me on his lap where I 
would have rested comfortable & secure while he joked away our troubles 
lurking just beyond our door.



WILLIAM FRANKLIN SHEPHERD, JR.	

	The remaining three letters were written by WILLIAM FRANKLIN SHEPHERD, 
JR. From the time of  his birth in 1842 in Wilkinson County we have no record 
of  him until he is recorded living in his father's household in Butler 
County is 1860.

	His letters leave no doubt that he is far more complex than his father. 
If we have knowledge of  his experiences we can better understand him & his 
times. Additionally, much can be learned about him from the subtle 
contradictions evident in his letters

	From the time his father married SIBY in 1860, WM.& his father were 
estranged. That situation prevailed when he left for war & would last for 
decades. From all accounts this was his choice & was not his father's or step 
mother's choice.	

	By the time each of the Williams wrote  life in the South had been 
turned upside down. In the over all of  life,  more so than was true of his 
father, WM. Jr's experiences were those of tumultuous changes filled with 
loss, adversity, uncertainty, probably feelings of abandonment & a fair 
amount of plain old fashioned fear.

	Given the tone & content of letters, one senses that WILLIM Sr. is 
uncomplicated, straightforward & entirely lovable; whereas, on first reading 
compared to his father, WM. Jr. is far more complicated & may seem 
unapproachable. Additionally, there are signs that the younger WILLIAM was 
exceedingly implacable & possibly even capable of  pettiness.

	WILLIAM JR. seems lacking in spontaneity, warmth & good humor. In his 
public persona he seems every inch the proper Victorian male, distant & 
stern, always holding others at arms length. Yet, with as little as one 
sentence he gives indication that this isn't at all the case. Additionally, 
where SR. is outgoing & prone to levity, JR. seems much more reserved & 
disinclined to 'look on the bright side.'  

	His father referred to his TAYLOR County neighbors by name & from that 
others, not in the SHEPHERD Line, are blessed with insight into their 
ancestor. Conversely, it is a mixed blessing that WILLIAM, Jr. isn't prone to 
aid researchers by naming names. Otherwise, I fear that publication of these 
letters could cause the modern equivalent of a 'Hatfield's & McCoys' rumble 
with the sides being the SHEPHERD's vs at least half of  those who descend 
from his neighbors in Burke County.

	With more careful reading & giving attention to what isn't said but 
rather is revealed, subtleties are grasp which present another side of 
WILLIAM JR. We discover that he was capable deep loyalty & affection for his 
family & neighbors. He was a deeply religious, responsible family man 
concerned for the welfare of  his family including their formal & religious 
education. As well, he is occupied with thoughts of  their learning right 
from wrong & that they develop a sense of justice.

	One must consider the events that took place in his life from aged 18 
until his time in Greens Cut when he was 42. 	

	The 27th GA. VOL. INF was organized at Camp Stephens near Griffin GA in 
Sep 1861. On September 9, 1961 he enlisted as a Private in the CO. "F". 
"Taylor Guards". We know he was one of the first into the Army & one of the 
last out. No doubt, staying alive was foremost in his mind as he served with 
& saw his neighbors, cousins & boyhood friends die.

	The 27th GA. VOL. INF, a part of Colquitt's Brigade after their 
engagement at Cold Harbor, were also at the battles of  Clark's Mountain, 
Seven Days, South Mountain, Antietam & Chancellorsville. After the battle of 
Bentonsville & the South's defeat, he & his unit surrendered in Greensboro, 
North Carolina in April 1865. 

	It is sobering to realize that for four years, WM. was in peril & that 
all who came after him were just one Yankee musket ball away from 
nonexistence. It saddens one to know that devastation & Reconstruction under 
his former foe was all he had to look forward to as he made his way back to 
the rubble that was Georgia in 1865.

	In September 1865, in TAYLOR COUNTY, he swore allegiance to the 
Constitution of the US & thus to the Union. At that time he gave his home 
county as Macon. In one letter WILLIAM. referred to himself as "a cripple". 
From letters written by WILLIS HERRICKS, his brother in law, also in the 27th 
GA, we believe that WILLIAM. JR. was wounded while serving around Danville, 
Virginia.	

	After the WAR in MACON COUNTY, he married MARTHA ANN LUCRETIA BRUCE. 
While working as a section foreman for the railroad, he & his family moved 
often. It is known that the family was in Jasper for a time. He also mentions 
living in Chambley.

	Also, they were in GRAHAM where it appears he stayed some amount of 
time. His daughter MAMIE was born there as was my grandfather, MATTHEW RALPH. 
It seems that despite his dissatisfaction with the "Yankee" boss on the Macon 
& Brunswick, he was happiest there. 

	By 1884 when he wrote to his sister, LOO, he was in GREENS CUT, BURKE 
COUNTY & a lot had happened in his personal life. He had buried his young 
daughter who died with typhoid & within a three day period his son was born & 
buried. 

	Here he was happy with management on CRR & Co (possibly an acronym for 
the Central Railroad Co.). Yet, he makes clear that he wasn't happy working 
on the railroads or living in the places he was assigned to, especially 
Greens Cut where he felt isolated from his neighbors. 

	He was concerned that his children couldn't go to school as they had 
done in Graham. He had only one son living the rest of the children were 
girls. It seems he was lacking in the usual chauvinism so prevalent in the 
era. He was a man ahead of his time, a real liberal for the day for he wanted 
all the children to receive an education.

	He worried that the family could not go to church. He had been reared 
in a strong religious background, Primitive Baptist. Despite the hardships he 
never lost his faith; yet, it was pettiness that induced him to keep the 
children out of the local 'Sabath School.' He shows other signs of 
unrelenting stubbornness.

	Obviously he was a man attentive to detail, for he describes at length 
the typography of  the section where he was responsible for laying track. 
Likewise, he is prone to being critical. He makes note that the local folk 
are not as attentive to their farms as they should be; therefore, the farms 
are not as profitable as is possible with good management.

	Unlike his father, he didn't speak often about his children & never by 
name. Still, without comment he did allow MAMIE demonstrate her abilities as 
she wrote her entertaining note. He speaks with obvious, if reserved, pride 
about MARTHA, whom he calls BABE & the children going to town & earning 
$20.00.

	From Greens Cut in September 1883 he writes the last of the letters. 
Still working with the CRR & CO, he is pack & ready to move to AUGUSTA the 
next morning. The family is visiting with BABE's father.

	By 1887 WM. was in Florida where his daughter, SUSAN ELDORA LILLIAN, 
aka LILLIE was married. When she died in childbirth or shortly after in 1890 
he buried the third of his five children & his only grandchild. BABE died in 
1902. In 1907 he applied for CSA pension of $5.00 per month. In 1908 he died 
& was buried in Obrien, Florida.

	Like many other Southerners who lived in his time & fought to live 
through the Civil War & survive Reconstruction, WM's life is a litany of 
rapid change, personal loss & frustration. Despite that scenario he was 
deeply religious & was a self sacrificing, dependable family man. I have the 
utmost respect for him & deeply admire his perseverance. 

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