Benjamin F. Sheppard, the owner and successful operator of a fine, well improved farm of 120 acres, situated in section 20, Gillespie township, Macoupin County, was born December 8, 1835, in Cumberland County, New Jersey, and is one of eight children born to Nathan and Sarah (Rose) Sheppard.
Nathan Sheppard and wife were both natives of New Jersey and passed their lives on a large and profitable farm. Their children were: Mrs. Hannah Sheppard, deceased, whose husband had the same name, but was of no blood kindred; Mrs. Sarah Thompson, deceased; Mrs. Harriet Dare, deceased; Nathan L., connected with railroad affairs at Camden, New Jersey; William, deceased; Mrs. Cornelia Lore, of Philadelphia; Benjamin F., of this sketch; and Martha, who died in infancy. In politics Nathan Sheppard affiliated with the Democratic party. Both he and his wife were valued members of the Presbyterian Church.
Benjamin F. Sheppard was reared in New Jersey and remained in his native locality until 1857, when he came to Macoupin County, Illinois. What is now his farm was then the property of Silas Harlan, for whom he worked as a farm hand by the month for three years. After the death of Mr. Harlan, he rented the farm and some 10 years later purchased it. It is a well located piece of property and is splendidly adapted to general farming and stock raising. Under Mr. Sheppard's capable management it gives large crops of wheat, corn and clover.
In 1865 Mr. Sheppard married Susan Harlan, who was born in Macoupin County, Illinois, and is a daughter of Silas and Sarah (Wilson) Harlan, both of whom were born in Kentucky and came as pioneers to Illinois. Mrs. Sheppard's maternal grandfather, Isaac Wilson, was one of the first settlers in Brushy Mound township, Macoupin County. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Sheppard, viz: Mrs. Margaret Le May, of Laveta, Colorado, who has one child, - Mary; Silas Harlan, his father's assistant on the farm; Franklin, also at home; Daisy; Charles, deceased; Susan and Harrison.
In politics Mr. Sheppard is a Republican, but takes no very active interest in politics. He is one of the substantial, reliable men of his community and commands the esteem of all who know him.