Berkeley County, West Virginia Biography of Lydia BOGGS


         Lydia BOGGS was born in Back Creek Valley on February 26, 1766, the daughter of Captain John Boggs. Her father and grandfather, William Boggs Jr. and Sr., respectively, came to America in 1750 and obtained a grant of land, situated on the State Road leading from Hedgesville to Berkeley Springs on the west border of Back Creek, from Lord Fairfax. Lydia Boggs' father was a captain in "Lord Dunmore's War" and was stationed at Cat Fish Camp, 25 miles from Wheeling, West Virginia (now Little Washington, Pennsylvania).

         In 1871, Captain Boggs and his family were living on Buffalo Creek in what is now Ohio County, West Virginia, when father and daughter were captured by the Indians; they did escape. Because of the unprotected situation, her family moved to Wheeling. At the second siege of Fort Henry, when she was 16 years old, Lydia was in the fort with her father and assisted in molding bullets. She continued making ammunition until her arms and hands were blistered. While there, she made an acquaintance with Moses Shepherd, a man she later married.

         Moses Shepherd was born at Shepherdstown, Berkeley County, and moved with his father to a plantation between Big and Little Creeks, near Wheeling. Colonel David Shepherd, his father, later built Fort Shepherd, near that place. When Moses was 14, the Dunmore War was in progress and the fort was destroyed except for the mill. David Shepherd took command of Fort Henry and successfully defended it against the Indian and British attack.

         Lydia (Boggs) Shepherd, on the death of Moses, later married General David Cruger of New York. She inherited considerable wealth from her first husband, including “Shepherd Hall,” which stood on the old site of Fort Shepherd, and where she spent her later years “in the stone mansion, managing her extensive plantation and large business interests.” Some of those visiting her at that home were Major S.A. Duke of Arkansas, who wrote an extensive article of her home and her dress, Senator Benton and family, and Mrs. Rebecca Harding Davis, who wrote a magazine article about her. She spent her winters in Washington D.C. and entertained many, including Lafayette, Henry Clay, Calhoun, Andrew Jackson, and James K. Polk. She lived to be 102 years old.


    Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from History of Berkeley County, West Virginia, 1928.

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