Benjamin Shepard



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Benning (Ben) Shepard
Ben Shepard

Ben and Eliza Shepard
Born: Abt. 29 Oct 1808
Breckinridge Co. KY

Old Shepard Home
Grace may be standing on balcony
(click to enlarge)

Another View of Old Shepard Home
Married: 28 Jul 1835
Vermillion Co. IN
Marriage Record
Died: 11 Apr 1897
Newport, Vermillion Co., IN

Obituary from The Hoosier State  Wednesday, April 14, 1897
"Obituary: Death of an old and respected citizen
Uncle Ben Shepard, who had recently been making his home with his son, Dr. Lewis Shepard, near Quaker, this township, died a few minutes after 9 o'clock on last Saturday night.  He had been in poor health for several years, and of late his mind had been failing him.  Since the death of his wife a few years ago he had made his home most of his time with his son-in-law, Rev. J. E. Wright, who resides just south of Dana.  The deceased was born in Kentucky in 1808, and moved to this county in 1828, being one among the early settlers of this county. Only a very few, who came here as early as he did are still living.  Probably they all could be counted on one's fingers.  In the early days of this county Mr. Shepard and Abel Sexton formed a partnership and and kept a general store on the corner south of Nixon's bank, in the building now owned by attorney M. G. Rhodes.  By economy and good business judgment he accumulated enough to buy a large farm in the western part of the township, which he divided up a few years ago among the seven children who survive him.  Mr. Shepard lived an honorable and upright life, and was very highly respected by every one.  He was a member of the Missionary Baptist church, and always tried to live a consistent and Christian life.  His faults, if he had any, were few. He lived an exemplary life, and in his death a noble citizen has passed from among us to his reward in a brighter and better world than this.  His funeral occurred at his old home ay 10 o'clock yesterday morning, which was very largely attended, after which his remains were followed to the Vermillion Chapel cemetery, four miles southwest of town and quietly laid away to rest."
Buried: Memorial Chapel
Newport, Vermillion Co. IN
Memorial Chapel
Tombstone reads "Ben died April 11, 1897 aged 88 yr 5 m 13 days."


Shepard Family Plot at Memorial Chapel
Left to right: Ben and Eliza, Lizzie, Callie, Ellen V, Susie
Ellen V and Susie (repeated), Lewis Shepard and Susan Hannahs Shepard (two large stones), infant Shepard (small stone) and Elizabeth Johnson
Shepard Album
      Shepard Album


John Shepherd


Lucretia Patterson


Eliza Johnson


1,.  Hiran Shepard
      b. 1 Jan 1836 Newport, Vermillion, IN
      m. 9 Jul 1889 to Susan Hutson
      d. 16 Dec 1898 Newport, Vermillion, IN

Dr. Hiram Shepard
2.   Mary Elizabeth (Lizzie) Shepard
      b. 10 Dec 1837 Newport, Vermillion, IN
      d. 22 Dec 1862 Newport, Vermillion, IN
      age 25
3.   Lewis Shepard
      b. 15 Nov 1839 Newport, Vermillion, IN
      m. 17 Jun 1874 to Susan R. Hannahs
      d. 22 Feb 1913 Dana, Vermillion, IN

Dr. Lewis Shepard
4.   Mary Elma Shepard
      b. 18 Jan 1842 Newport, Vermillion, IN
      m. 3 Nov 1869 to John Ellis Wright
      d. 26 Mar 1930 Indianapolis, Marion, IN
Mary Elam Shepard
Mary Elma Shepard Wright
5.   Harriet Ann (Hattie) Shepard
       b. 15 Mar 1844 Newport, Vermillion, IN
       m. 17 Oct 1871 to John Harlan
       d. 21 Mar 1919 Helt Twp, Vermillion, IN
Harriet Shepard
Harriet Shepard Harlan
6.  Caroline (Callie) Shepard
       b. 8 Jul 1846 Newport, Vermillion, IN
       d. 10 Jan 1869 Newport, Vermillion, IN
       age 22
Caroline (Callie) Shepard
Caroline Shepard
7.   Selina Wyatt (Leria). Shepard
      b. 11 Nov 1848 Newport, Vermillion, IN
      m. 20 Sep 1871 to David Handley
      d. 2 Feb 1915 Indianapolis, Marion, IN
Selina Shepard
Selina Shepard Handley
8.   Ellen Virlinda Shepard
       b. Abt. 1850 Newport, Vermillion, IN
       d. 03 May 1876 Newport, Vermillion, IN
       age 25
Ellen Shepard
Ella Shepard

9.   Judson Porter Shepard
       b. 28 Dec 1853 Newport, Vermillion, IN
       m. 28 Jan 1875 to Laura Ellen Manwaring
       d. 12 Mar 1929 Dana, Vermillion, IN

Judson Shepard
Judson Shepard
10. Florence Shepard
       b. 25 Nat 1858 Newport, Vermillion, IN
       m. 26 Jun 1890 to Benjamin Sewell Bothwell
       d. 26 Aug 1923 Harter, Clay, IL
Florence Shepard
Florence Shepard Bothwell
11. Susan M Shepard
       b. 6 Aug 1860 Newport, Vermillion, IN
       d. 25 Aug 1880 Newport, Vermillion, IN
       age 20

Susan Shepard


Benjamin Shepard was born in Breckinridge Co., KY in 1808.  His father died when he and his sister Sophia were very young  In June 1812, his mother was paid $39 for boarding "One year & three months old (Benning) for one year & six months at 50 cents per week. $39.00"  
Inventories & Sales Bills for estate of John Shepherd  Box 1 Folder 5

His mother, Lucretia Shepherd, was listed as a widow in the 1810 Ky census with five children under sixteen living with her.  Sometime after 1811 she moved to Perry Co., IN taking at least Ben and Sophia with her.  She remarried to a James G. Jones in 1815 in Perry Co., IN.  Her daughter, Sophia, also married there to a William Blanchard in 1824. 

According to the obituary of his daughter, Elma Shepard Wright, "Benjamin Shepard, her father, was one of the pioneers of Vermillion county, coming to Newport from Hawesville, Ky., in 1827."

By 1824 Ben had purchased 700 acres of land in Vermillion Co., IN.  Siblings Sophia and Hiram came to Vermillion Co about the same time.  When his sister Sophia's husband, William Blanchard, died she and her three children moved in with Ben.  They are all living together in the 1830 census for Vermillion Co., IN.  Sophia remarried to a William Doss in 1832 in Vermillion Co., IN.  Ben married Eliza Johnson in 1835.  (In the 1830 census for Vermillion Co., IN the Jon Johnson farm is only two listings away.)

Ben was a county commissioner in 1843. He was listed as a tanner in 1856. About 1852 Ben entered into a partnership with Abel Sexton on Lot 72 in Newport.  In 1861 he and Abel Sexton won a law suit in civil court and won $224.00 from George W. Filson.  


In 1826 Ben's brother, Hiram Shepherd, purchased land in Newport, Vermillion Co., IN.  John Shepard was the witness.

One of Sophia's daughters, Lucretia Blanchard, married Abel Sexton in Vermillion Co., IN.  Photos of Lucretia and Abel were found in the photograph album of Grace Shepard.

According to the obit of Harriet Shepard Harlan, Ben was an "honored and faithful member of long standing" in the Baptist church. The obituary on Ben Shepard says, "he was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church."   He and Eliza had 11 children. Hiram remained a Baptist. Lewis, Mary Elma, Salina, Ellen became Methodists. Harriet became a Methodist "in her girlhood" but later "went to the Baptist denomination." Caroline died in 1869 apparently having not joined any church. Susan died in 1880 also not having joined any church. The religion of the other three children is not known.  The obituary for Eliza, his wife, says the funeral was preached by the Rev. John W. Parrett.  Rev. Parrett was the Methodist minister who officiated at the funeral of Enoch White in 1878.

Ben and his wife must have believed in education for their children.  According to the obituary of his daughter, Elma Shepard Wright, "Mrs. Wright's girlhood was prior to the establishment of our present efficient public school system, much less were there high schools available to the young people.  During this period several heads of families in Newport, among which was Mr. Shepard, formed an association and established an 'academy' to give their children preparation for college.  Teachers were brought from New England and as a result a number of the young people of Newport in the fifties were enabled to enter the institutions of higher learning."