Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
DR. EDWARD MARTIN SHEPARD. Edward Martin Shepard was born in West Winsted, Connecticut, May 15, 1854, the son of Samuel Shepard and Mary Isabella (Dennis) Shepard. In 1860, his family moved to Norfolk, Connecticut, where his father entered into the mercantile business with his brother, James H. Shepard. The early childhood of the subject of this sketch was profoundry impressed by the events of the Civil war, two striking incidents of which were the reception of Major Anderson in New York, after his return from Ft. Sumter, and the funeral obsequies of the martyred President, Abraham Lincoln, as his body lay in state in Independence Hall, Philadelphia.
In 1867 and '68, he attended the private school of Emory F. Strong, at Bridgeport, Connecticut, and in 1869, '70 and '71 he prepared for college at the General Russell Collegiate and Military Institute, at New Haven, Connecticut, where he attained the rank of first lieutenant and acting captain. The Christmas holidays of 1870-71, he went to Charleston, South Carolina, to visit his parents, who were spending the winter in the South, and though but a lad, the vivid impression left by the sad condition of the Southland during the days of reconstruction was a powerful factor in broadening his sympathies and political understanding in after life. A severe attack of scarlet fever at the end of his New Haven school days, as well as the critical illness of his father, compelled the temporary abandonment of his college course; and after the death of his father, which occurred January 14, 1872, he sought the outdoor employment which his own health seemed to demand. In the spring of 1872, he secured a position as rodman under Engineer Frank K. Pingree, on a branch of the Chicago and Northwestern railroad, in the upper peninsula of Michigan--then a wilderness, where, thirty miles from Menominee, the nearest settlement, he spent the summer, and fall in the engineering work of the construction of this railroad. Here the pure air, out-of-door life and vigorous exercise laid the foundation of a more robust young manhood. In 1873, again associated with Mr. Pingree, whose business ability, coupled with a fine Christian character made him an admirable employer for the young. He was engaged in the construction work of the New York, Boston & Montreal railroad, and located in Dutchess county, New York, where he remained until, as an after-effect of the financial panic of 1873, all railroad construction temporarily ceased. During his enforced idleness, he took up the study of botany and mineralogy, subjects which renewed his desire for a college course, and which changed the whole trend of his life. He was particularly fortunate in the intimate associates of his boyhood and young manhood, many of whom were ambitious and eager for useful careers, and some of whom have occupied honorable places among the world's most distinguished men. Of these were Dr. William H. Welch, now of Johns Hopkins University, the most famous physician and bacteriologist in America; Charles Battell Loomis, widely known by his writings; Frederick E. Ives, the noted inventor; Dr. Charles Gross, late professor of History in Harvard University; Dr. J. S. Kingsley, zoologist, of Tufts College, Massachusetts; Professor John Robinson, of Salem, Massachusetts; Rev. Dr. John P. Peters, of New York City, Episcopal clergyman and archaeologist; Dr. Waldo S. Pratt, of Hartford Theological Seminary; Dr. Frederick S. Dennis, of Bellevue Medical School, one of the foremost surgeons of his day; and the Rev. Dr. James S. Dennis, of New York, noted missionary and author, the last two being his double cousins.
In 1875, he was employed by, Dr. Spencer F. Baird to collect minerals for the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, and later was engaged to collect material for the Smithsonian Institution from prehistoric mounds which had just been opened in southeast Missouri. Interest in biology and geology had so increased that he planned to resume his studies, and went to Williams College to pursue these subjects under Professor Sanborn Tenney. He was appointed mineralogist and cryptogamic botanist for the Williams College Rocky Mountain scientific expedition. A vacation course of study under Dr. A. S. Packard, at the Peabody Academy of Science, at Salem, Massachusetts, still further advanced his scientific work, and brought him in contact with eminent scientific men who became lifelong friends. One never-to-be-forgotten experience of that summer was the invitation to witness the first public exhibition of the telephone, by Dr. Graham Bell, the cities of Boston and Salem being connected for that purpose. His course at Williams College was interrupted during the junior year, and later, the institution made him an honorary graduate, with his class of 1878. In 1877 he went to Roanoke College, at Salem, Virginia, for the purpose of classifying and arranging their fine museum, which had been hurriedly placed in storage during the Civil war. Later, he was called to the chair of Natural History in Waynesburg College, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, from which institution he went to Drury College as Professor of Biology and Geology, where he began his work in the fall of 1878, continuing the same until June, 1908, when ill-health compelled his permanent retirement from the teaching profession, and he was placed upon the Carnegie Foundation. In 1880, he, in connection with Prof. Charles H. Ford, a graduate of Williams College, conducted the first summer school of biology west of the Alleghenies. He was married, June 28, 1881, to Miss Harriett Elma Ohlen, at Madison, New Jersey. He was acting president of Drury College in 1893 and '94, a service for which he sacrificed a most attractive engagement to superintend the Missouri mining exhibit at the Chicago World's Fair, and in the summer of 1907 he again resigned special engagements with the Illinois Geological Survey to resume the acting presidency of the college. In 1881 he received the degree of Master of Arts from Williams College, and in 1881 he received the degree of Doctor of Science was conferred upon him by Waynesburg College, his thesis upon that occasion being his book on "The Geology of Greene and Adjacent Counties," published by the Missouri Geological Survey.
Enthusiasm for his work in geology led him to travel extensively throughout the United States and other countries; twice through the region of the Great Lakes and Canada; twice through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; several times to California and the North Pacific region; the Gulf coast and Cuba; and Colorado and the Yellowstone National Park. In 1889, on leave of absence from the college, he traveled and studied geology in the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji Islands, Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. At various times he made trips through Mexico, and in 1898, on his retirement from active college work, he took an extended trip around the world, sailing from New York through the West Indies to Panama, thence along the north coast of South America, visiting the coast region, thence north to England, where, after a stay of six weeks, he traveled through the Mediterranean region, visiting Algiers, Genoa, Naples, Egypt, Ceylon, Singapore, China, and spending several weeks in Japan.
On retiring from Drury College, he presented to the institution the large collections of antiquities and specimens representing all departments of natural history, these having been collected mostly at his own expense and in accepting the gift, the trustees of the college voted to name the college museum "The Edward M. Shepard Museum" of natural science. Mr. Shepard is the owner of one of the largest geological libraries in the state, and has published the following works: "Systematic Mineral Record," A. S. Barnes & Co., New York; "Tables for Plant Analysis," Springfield, Missouri; "Qualitative Analysis Blanks," Springfield, Missouri; "Report on Geology of Greene County and Portions of Polk, Webster, Christian and Dallas Counties," VoL.XII, Missouri Geological Survey, Jefferson City, Missouri, 1898; papers in Bulletins of the United States Geological Survey on "Wells, Springs and General Water Resources of Missouri," in Bulletin 102, Water Supply and Irrigation Papers; "Underground Waters of Eastern United States: Missouri," in Bulletin 114, ibid; "Spring System of the Decaturville Dome, Camden County, Missouri," in Bulletin 110, ibid; Bulletin 195, "Underground Waters of Missouri: Their Geology and Utilization;" introduction to volume of sermons by the Rev. N. M. Long, of Memphis, Tennessee; "The New Madrid Earthquake," Journal of Geology,
January, 1905, "Table of Geological Formations of Missouri and Arkansas," Bulletin Bradley Geological Field Station, Vol. 1, Pt. 1; "Historical Sketch of Bradley Geological Field Station," ibid, Vol. 1, Pt. 1; "Key to Rocks and Geological Horizons of Greene County, Missouri," ibid, Vol. 1, Pt. 2. Other papers on the following subjects have been published in various journals: "Historical Sketch of Lead and Zinc Mining in Missouri," Springfield, Missouri; "Geology of the Lead and Zinc Region of Missouri;" "Comparative Study of the Lead and Zinc Deposits;" "Structural Geology of Southwest Missouri;" "Clay Deposits of Missouri;" and "Historical 'Sketch of the Lime Industry of Missouri."
He is a member of the following societies: Fellow of the Geological Society of America, fellow of American Association for the Advancement Of Science; member of the Seismological Society, American Institute of Mining Engineers, American Mining Congress, National Geographic Society, member and, delegate Tenth International Geological Congress, Mexico, 1896; Authors' Club, London, England; member and counsellor for Missouri of National Economic League; Society of Mayflower Descendants; lieutenant-governor, Missouri Society of Colonial Wars; historian Missouri Society of the Sons of the Revolution; president Springfield chapter, 'Sons of the Revolution; member board of managers Missouri Geological Survey under the past six governors; acting state geologist, Missouri, 1901; assistant Missouri Geological Survey in charge of Greene, Polk, Dallas, Webster and Christian counties, 1890-93; consulting geologist, Sphalerite -Mining Company, Aurora, Missouri, 1894; consulting geologist, Missouri Land and Improvement Company, 1901-1904; field assistant, United States Geological Survey, department of hydrology, in charge of Missouri, 1903- 1907; honorary member Missouri Historical Society; gold medal for best collection of mineral waters, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis; assistant, department of geology and mining, ibid; honorary member of the Luther Burbank Society, of California; member of the Springfield University Club; vice-president of the Springfield Country Club, 1907; President of Winoka Club, 1912.
He is a descendant of some of the oldest Pilgrim stock in America, tracing his ancestry back, in most cases, three and four hundred years. He is a lineal descendant of Governor William Bradford, of Plymouth Colony, and of Governor John Webster, of Connecticut. He had six ancestors in the Revolutionary war, and twenty-one in the French and Indian wars.
He has two children, Isabel Violet Shepard, born August 23, 1888, and Edward Martin Shepard, Jr., born August 27, 1889. His residence is 1403 Benton avenue, Springfield, Missouri.
Springfield-Greene County Library