JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
BIOGRAPHIES

GALE D. SHELTON



Gale D. Shelton, born September 9, 1897, in Elk Prairie Township, was the great 
grandson of the early pioneer settlers, Stinson B., 1816-1844, and Euphremia (Effie) 
Bodine Shelton, 1816-1866. They were the parents of Samuel Pinkney, James Lafayette, 
and Sarah E. Samuel Pinkney, 1839-1923, lived in Elk Prairie and married in 1862, 
Martha Jane Henderson, 1841-1866. They had one son David. Following Martha's death, 
Samuel P. married Elizabeth Jane Peterson, and they had James Henry, Peter Cooper, 
Coleista and Frank. David, 1865-1941, married on April 25, 1866, Emma E. Hutton, 1867­1942, 
the daughter of James W. 1827-1864, and Mary E. Hut­ton, 1835-1908. In addition to Emma, 
their other children were Clark, Mary, Margaret, Anna, Sarah, and James Henry. David was 
an active farmer up to the time of his death. He had resided on his farm, south of Dareville, 
in Elk Prairie, for 55 years. He was a member of the Elk Prairie Christian Church, and his 
wife Emma, a member of the Antioch Baptist Church. 

Dave and Emma Shelton family 
Both were buried at south Hickory Hill Cemetery. David was a Republican. They had six children: 
Earl, Nellie (Krekel) Martin, Floyd, Gale, Neal. and Harry. Two are still living, Neal in Elkhart, 
Indiana, and Harry in Decatur. Illinois. 

Gale attended Dareville School. and grew up in that area. On October 21, 1923, he married at 
Peoria, Illinois, Mary Ruth Claspell, born September 23, 1893, in Geneseo, Illinois, the daughter 
of William Ivan, 1876-1937, and Fannie Mae Boice Claspell, 1876-1951. William Ivan was a barber. 
Mary had two brothers, Perry and John, both deceased, and two sisters Maureen and Floe, living.    

Gale and Mary raised two foster sons in their home, Wilham and David, who are brothers. The boys 
attended Cross Roads School, east of Dareville. William Shelton, born November 14, 1923, 
married August 22, 1953, Sylvia Faye Bean, born June 21, 1936, the daughter of Adam A. and Mary 
Osborn Bean. They have three children: Michael William, Stephen Blake, and Kristina Diane, and 
live west of Dareville. William is employed by Freeman Coal Co. at Orient #6 mine, near Waltonville. 
His brother, David, born August 29, 1928, married October 5, 1947, Elwanda Nelles Hogue, born 
June 20, 1929, daughter of Elmer and Ora Winfree Hogue. Dave and Elwanda have five children: 
William David, has a son, Christopher ; Dwight Eugene, 
born , who married Judy Pfis??, has a son Timothy, Deborah Elaine, Roberta Lynn, and 
Elizabeth Ann, David and family also live in Elk Prairie Township, southwest 
of Dareville, on a portion of his grandfather David Shelton's farm. He is employed by Freeman 
Coal Co. at Orient # 3 mine south of Waltonville. 

At times, Gale's employment required him to live outside the county, but most of the time he 
resided in Elk Prairie Township. He was a route salesman for various coffee and tea companies 
such as: A&P, Grand Union, Great American and was assistant route manager for the Jewel Tea Co. 
here in Jef­ferson County. Gale engaged in part time farming. He worked at Nason coal mine, and 
then as a special agent for Farm Bureau's Country Mutual Insurance Company. In 1953 he was promoted 
to General Agent, at which time he and Mary moved to Vienna, Illinois, from the farm which had 
belonged to his father, David. In due time, they returned to Jefferson County, first to Mt. Vernon, 
then back to the farm where he spent the remainder of his life. Following cancer surgery in 1959, 
he learned to communicate with the assistance of an artificial larynx and became self employed, 
doing furnace mainte­nance and continued working as long as his health permitted. 

Gale was a Republican, and served as Town Clerk for Elk Prairie Township in 1933, to 1937. Gale 
and Mary were mem­bers of St. Mary's Catholic Church and he was a member of Knights of Columbus. 
Following Gale's death, May 23, 1964, Mary moved to Mt. Vernon, and sold the farm to Floyd and 
Imogene Phelps. She died November 15, 1974, and they are both buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in 
Mt. Vernon. 
 


Facts & Folks

Submitted by Sandy Whalen Bauer

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