SHEPPARD, John Simpson, owner and manager of a fine farm in the vicinity of Jacksonville, Ill., and resident of that city, where he holds an official position, was born on a farm six miles south of Jacksonville, on November 3, 1857, the son of Joseph J. and Mary E. (Coffman) Sheppard. His grandfather, Thornton Sheppard, who was the first of his family to come to Illinois, was born in 1795 on the family estate in South Carolina. After living some time in Adair County, Ky., in 1830 he settled in Morgan County, Ill., where he took up forty acres of Government land, which now is in the possession of the Sheppard family, still later becoming the owner of other lands. He carried on farming throughout his life, was also a Baptist minister for forty-nine years, and died on the old homestead in 1871, at the age of eighty years. His mother was a cousin of Gen. Johnson, of Revolutionary fame. Joseph Johnson Sheppard was born September 10, 1827, in Adair County, Ky., and at the age of four years came to Morgan County, Ill., with his father. He received his mental training in the district schools of the county, and has also been engaged in farming all his life. He lives on the old homestead, six miles south of Jacksonville, and is the owner of 1,000 acres of valuable land. He was married June 20, 1854, to Mary E. Coffman, who is a native of Rockingham County, Va., and a daughter of Abraham and Rachel (Howidishell) Coffman. Both of her grandfathers served in the Revolutionary War. Joseph J. Sheppard and his wife became the parents of the following children, namely: Emily Jane, who died at an early age; George W.; John S.; Irvin D.; Alice R., and Ulysses Grant (both deceased); Sylvester S.; McClellan; Clara; Luther and Lucy.
John S. Sheppard received his elementary education in the district schools, after which he was a student in Illinois College, and finally graduated from Brown's Business College in Jacksonville. He then worked on the homestead with his father until 1888, when he bought a fine farm in Section 23, Township 13, Range 10, West of the Third P.M., and, although holding public office in Jacksonville, still attends to the management of his extensive agricultural interests. He established his home in Jacksonville, on October 24, 1898.
On November 13, 1888, Mr. Sheppard was united in marriage with Mattie L. Parker, of Brown County, Ill., a daughter of James M. and Jane (Clark) Parker. Three children have been born of this union, namely: Edna Lillian, born August 2, 1892; Russell and Randall (twins), born February 20, 1896. The two last named died when about six months old.
In politics Mr. Sheppard is an unswerving Democrat. While living in the country he served as Township Trustee. He was appointed Deputy Assessor of Jacksonville by H. J. Rodgers, during the last year of the gentleman's term of office, and J. W. Clary, the present County Treasurer, on assuming his office, immediately appointed him to the same position. Fraternally, Mr. Sheppard is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He is an enterprising, systematic and progressive farmer, and in his public relations is regarded as a capable and faithful official.