Mary Elma Shepard


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Mary Elma Shepard

Born: 1842  Newport, Vermillion Co., IN
Married: 03/Nov/1869 Vermillion Co., IN    
Died: March 26, 1930 Indianapolis, Marion Co., IN
Indianapolis News  Thursday March 27, 1930
Buried: Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis, Marion Co., IN    

 1920  census living in Indianapolis, Marion Co., IN - her daughter Bertha and grandson Frederick are living with her.



Ben Shepard


Eliza Johnson


John E. Wright


1.John Shepard Wright b. 1871

2. Bertha Wright  b. 1873

  m unknown Mitchell

  child: Frederick Mitchell

            (whose only child, Betsey, had downs syndrome)

3. Harry E. Wright  b. 1876

Obit from Dana News  Thursday  April 3, 1930

"Obituary of Elma S. Wright

Mrs. Wright was a native of Newport, Vermillion county, Indiana, and spent much of her life in the county.  For two years in the eighties her family residence was at Clinton.  From 1886 to about 1904 she resided in Dana.  Her husband, the Rev. John Ellis Wright, of the Methodist Episcopal church, held pastorates in Newport and in Clinton.  The last few years of his life he resided in Martinsville, where he died in 1911.  Mr. Wright was well well known as a minister in Vermillion, Parke, Putnam, Montgomery and Carroll counties.
Mrs. Wright was the daughter of Benjamin and Eliza Johnson Shepard.  She was born at Newport, Indiana, January 18, 1842, the fourth of a family of eleven children.  The late Hiram Shepard was the eldest of the family.  The late Dr. Louis Shepard of Newport was the second son.  The late Judson P. Shepard of Dana was her youngest brother and the late Mrs. John Harlan of Dana was a sister.  Benjamin Shepard, her father, was one of the pioneers of Vermillion county, coming to Newport from Hawesville, Ky., in 1827.  Her mother, Eliza Johnson, was born in Cincinnati of English descent and came to Indiana with her family as a child about 1820.
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.
After finishing the academy, Mrs. Wright, at the age of seventeen, entered the Terre Haute Female College, now extinct, remaining there two years as a student.  Professor Alphonso Wood, the distinguished botanist and contemporary of Asa Gray, was then president of the college and taught natural sciences.  Mrs. Wright studied botany under Professor Wood and had interesting recollections of the teaching of this eminent pioneer American scientist.
An edition of Wood's Botany of 1856 studied by Mrs. Wright, dated June 22, 1859, contains a list of the names of twenty-two young ladies who were members of Professor Wood's botany class.  This list includes the names of Mrs. Wright (Elma Shepard,) and her sister Elizabeth.  After leaving college Mrs. Wright taught school for two years.
November 3, 1869, she married John Ellis Wright, a Methodist minister of the Northwest Indiana Conference, with whom she became acquainted while he was pastor at Newport.  Three children were born, John S. Wright of Indianapolis, Mrs. Bertha W. Mitchell of Indianapolis and Harry Wright, of Kokomo, Ind.
As the wife of an itinerant Methodist minister, she lived in a number of towns in western central Indiana and formed a wide acquaintance in that part of the state.  In the fall of 1886 her husband's health failed and the family located on a farm near Dana, Ind., where they remained until 1904 when they moved to Martinsville, Ind.  The family resided in Martinsville until after the death of Mr.. Wright in 1911.  Later Mrs. Wright removed to Indianapolis, making her home with her daughter at 25 East 36th street.
Besides three children which survive her she leaves three grandchildren- Frederick W. Mitchell of Indianapolis, Judson and Rosemary Wright of Kokomo.
Until her strength failed, due to advancing age, Mrs. Wright was an active worker in the church.  For many years she devoted much time to the Sunday school both as a teacher and as superintendent.  She was a woman of profound religious conviction, unmarked industry, poise and serene disposition.  She was a devoted wife and mother and a steadfast friend."

Dana News Thursday April 3, 1930