Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.
The proprietor of the leading harness shop in Chatham is Thomas SHEPPARD, who is a native of New York city, where he was born on the 26th of April, 1845, a son of John and Margaret (WAGNER) SHEPPARD, both of whom were born in Bavaria, Germany, whence they came to the United States when young, becoming representatives of that sturdy and progressive type of German-Americans which has had so potent an influence upon the material prosperity of the republic. The father landed in New York in 1839, and shortly afterward was married to Miss WAGNER. He was an engineer by occupation and for a number of years ran the engine in the old Newark tannery. John SHEPPARD died in 1886, after a long and useful life, and he is survived by his wife and two sons, Valentine and Thomas. The grandfather of our subject was Nicholas SHEPPARD, who retained his residence in the Fatherland until his death.
Thomas SHEPPARD was less than one year of age when his parents removed to Newark, New Jersey, in the public schools of which city he received his educational discipline. He was eventually bound out to learn the harness-maker's trade, but before the completion of his term of service a higher duty devolved upon him and he enlisted for service in the war of the Rebellion, becoming a member of Company I, Thirty-third New Jersey Infantry, which at once went forward to Virginia, being assigned to the Eleventh Army Corps, under General Howard. Later, by consolidation, the regiment became a part of the Twentieth Army Corps, serving under General Hooker and finally being sent west with General Sherman. Mr. SHEPPARD participated with his regiment in the battles of Knoxville and Atlanta, besides doing skirmish duty. After serving for more than two years Mr. SHEPPARD was mustered out, in 1865, at Newark, and thereafter went to Connecticut, where he engaged in business for a brief interval and then returned to Newark. In this city he worked as a journeyman harness-maker until 1873, when he removed to Spread Eagle, Chester county, Pennsylvania, where he remained until 1876, when he went to Philadelphia and took charge of the harness department of the stables of the Centennial hotel. He eventually returned to Newark, whence he came to Chatham, where he opened a shop and where he has built up a large and lucrative business. He carries a complete line of horse-furnishing goods and also has a general repair department. His success is the logical result of his energy, industry, integrity and honorable business methods.
Mr. SHEPPARD is of an inventive turn of mind, and he has devised a chest-protector for men, the same being in the form of a shirt-front, to which is attached collar, necktie and cuffs. He is now introducing this article on the market and there is every indication that it will meet with a ready demand.
Socially Mr. SHEPPARD is a member of U. S. Grant Post, No. 117, Grand Army of the Republic. He is a genial gentleman and enjoys a distinctive popularity in the community.
This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.
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