The subject of this sketch was born in Kentucky, Jan. 7, 1803, and early in life removed to Ohio, where he lived until emigrating to Illinois. In this State he located first in LaSalle County and two years later, as before mentioned, took up his residence in Morgan, and after many years spent in the labor incident to pioneer life gradually retired from its more active duties and departed this life in July, 1879. The maiden name of his wife was Jane L. Blair, a native of Tennessee. The parents of Mrs. Shepherd left the Blue Grass State when she was very young, removing to Ohio, in which State she lived until her marriage which occurred July 13, 1826. She, with her husband, endured the hardships and privations incident to life in a new country and departed hence three years prior to his decease, her death occurring July 12, 1876, when she was seventy-one years old. The united with the Presbyterian Church in her youth, and maintained her membership throughout the remainder of a long and worthy life.
To William and Jane L. (Blair) Shepherd, there was born a family of eight children of whom the record is as follows: William W., was born May 5, 1827, and has already been mentioned; James A., was born June 17, 1828, married Miss Alvira Drury of Morgan County, and is now living at Newton, Iowa; they have four children - Charles J., Frederick, Frank and a babe unnamed. Martha J., was born Jan. 30, 1832 and died May 10, 1885; she married J. H. Hill, of Jacksonville, and became the mother of four children - Mary J., Ella F., Eva J., and Grace C. George was born Feb. 14, 1834, married Mary Stephenson, of Sangamon County and lives near Sidney, Neb., where he is engaged in farming; during the late Civil War he served in the Union Army as Wagonmaster. Richard M. was born April 14, 1837, enlisted as a Union soldier in the 101st Illinois Infantry and went with Sherman on his famous march to the sea; he is now engaged in the nursery business near Bloomington. Joseph W. was born March 28, 1840 and during the Civil War enlisted in the 101st Illinois Infantry and was Superintendent of Fortifications at Memphis, Tenn., until his death, which occurred in 1862. Emily A. was born Aug. 10, 1842 and was married to Mr. George Johnson; John B., was born May 26, 1856 and died that same day.
The Shepherds form a part and parcel of the worth and respectability of Morgan County, being honest, upright, intelligent citizens, lovers of law and order, and who have exercised no unimportant part in bringing this section to its present condition, socially, morally and financially. Every man who has lived honestly, built up a homestead and reared his children to become worthy citizens, has performed a goodly share in the great drama of life and is worthy of being held in remembrance.