CLEMENT W. SHIPLEY figures prominently in business circles in Menard county, being an extensive stock dealer and also the promoter of many enterprises which have had direct bearing upon the material upbuilding and commercial progress of this part of the state. He was born May 6, 1864, in this county, his parents being Henry B. and Minerva E. (King) Shipley, both of whom were natives of Kentucky. The father, however, was only six months old when brought by his parents to Illinois and the mother was a little maiden of nine summers when she came with her father to Illinois, her mother having previously died. Henry B. Shipley lived with his parents until he had attained man's estate and during that period he was trained to the work of field and meadow, becoming familiar with every duty that falls to the lot of the agriculturist. On leaving home he went to California with William B. Williams and others, making the trip overland with ox teams. It was a long and arduous journey across the plains, taking six months, but he at length reached his destination in safety and spent five years on the Pacific coast. He then returned to Menard county, but in the meantime both of his parents had died. He was called home to settle up the estate and when this was accomplished he began farming and stock-raising on his own account. He farmed about eight hundred acres of land and also conducted an extensive business as a stock-dealer. He traded largely in both land and live stock and was one of the representative business men of his locality, possessing keen foresight, executive ability and indefatigable energy. Later he removed to Petersburg, where he conducted a flour mill and also gave his attention to the supervision of his property, which he rented. His time was thus occupied until his death, which occurred on the 30th of May, 1892, Rev. W. T. Ferguson conducting the funeral services. His wife died at the home of Rev. J. M. Johnston, October 9, 1899, and again Rev. Ferguson had charge of the funeral services. Both Mr. and Mrs. Shipley had a wide acquaintance in Menard county, where they had lived from early childhood and their excellent traits of heart and mind had endeared them to many friends. They became the parents of four children, three sons and a daughter: William, who died in infancy; Zennetta F., who is the wife of Rev. James N. Johnston and is now living in Petersburg; Clement W. of this review; and Dillard H., who died at the age of thirteen years.
In the usual manner of farmer lads Clement W. S Shipley spent the days of his boyhood performing the duties of the schoolroom, enjoying the pleasures of the playground and when not occupied by his lessons assisting in the work of the fields. After attending the public schools he continued his studies in the old Presbyterian College at Lincoln, Illinois, and afterward entered the business college at Jacksonville. The occupation to which he was reared he has always made his life work and since the age of twenty-two years he has carried on farming for himself. In addition to the cultivation of the fields he has engaged extensively in buying, feeding and shipping stock, purchasing live stock in Missouri and Iowa and after fattening them making shipments to the city markets. About 1892 he rented his farm for four years, thereafter residing in Petersburg, where he was engaged in the manufacture of flour as proprietor of the City mills. He then sold his milling business in 1896, after which he returned to the farm, where he has resided continuously since. His landed possessions are extensive, comprising seven hundred and sixty-nine and a half acres of fine farming land. He has at the present time one hundred and twenty-three head of fat cattle and about one hundred and seventy-five head of hogs and seventy head of horses and mules. His farm is splendidly equipped with modern improvements and in both the raising of grain and stock he is meeting with gratifying success. In addition to the home property he is half owner in four hundred acres of land in Cass county, Illinois, and he owns a brick residence in Petersburg.
Mr. Shipley is a man of resourceful business ability, alert and enterprising and has extended his efforts to many other fields of business activity. He is financially interested as a stockholder in the First National Bank of Petersburg, is a stockholder in the Virginia Canning Company at Petersburg and also in the Petersburg Marble Works and is a stockholder and treasurer of the Sand Ridge Telephone Pole & Line Company, having nearly one hundred subscribers. It will thus be seen that his activity has been called forth along many lines contributing to industrial and commercial prosperity and his name is regarded as a reliable one in trade circles and of much value on commercial paper.
On the 23rd of June, 1885, Mr. Shipley was united in marriage to Miss Evelyn Nance, who is a daughter of Franklin C. and Eliza (Houghton) Nance. Her father, who was born in Kentucky in 1828, died in May, 1898, while her mother passed away in April, 1868. Later in that year Mr. Nance was again married, his second union being with Miss Jane Stitch. By his first marriage he had four children: Sevignia, Hardin W., Laura A. and Mrs. Shipley. By the second marriage there were eleven children: Caroline H., J. Frank W., Fannie E., Edna J., Mary, Effie L., Harry W., Florence S., Glenn C., Geneva and Louise J.
Mr. and Mrs. Shipley had nine children: Alta I., who is a member of a sorority and is a junior in music in the University of Illinois; Henry E., Pearl E., Earnest R., Clement O., who died at the age of eleven months and twenty-seven days; Caleb Glenn, Hall Donald, Evelyn Ivol, who died at the age of two years and five months; and Claremont Wayne, who died at the age of eighteen months.
In his political views Mr. Shipley is a stanch and earnest Democrat, but though he has been solicited to accept public office he has always refused to become a holder of any position of public preferment save in connection with the schools of his locality. He is now a member of the school board of his district and has been its president for many years. He is prominent in Masonry, belonging to Clinton lodge No. 19, A.F. & A.M., of Petersburg and DeWitt chapter, No. 119, R.A.M., and St. Aldemar Commandery, No. 47, K.T. Keen and clear-headed, always busy, careful and conservative in financial matters, moving slowly but surely in every transaction, he has few superiors in the steady progress which invariably reaches the objective point. The story of his achievement should inspire all young men who read it with a truer estimate of the value and surer rewards of character.