Monday, February 24, 2014

52 Ancestors Week 8: John McGovern - My First Brick Wall

John McGovern, my 2x Great Grandfather, was my introduction to the concept of a brick wall.  And I have not made much progress at all......

Once I started researching my family, I thought:  Oh, this will be easy!     All those shaky leaf matches - weeeeee, just bring everything into my growing tree.   I quickly learned 2 things:

#1 Trust nothing those shaky leaves lead you to until you have analyzed the information carefully yourself.
#2 When you get stuck on a person - that is a Brick Wall

Meet my 2x Great Grandfather, John McGovern.   Birth date - who knows.   Based on the information in the census, I can get close - sometime in 1847.   Possibly December 1847.

He was born in Canada/English - I'm not positive what that means.   Speculation is that it means English speaking Canada rather than French speaking Canada.

John McGovern - age 47, married Lola Ann Palmer, age 21 on March 10, 1895.   I note that the son listed on the 1900 Census was born in 1893 - 2 years before the couple was married.    Not unheard of that there is a baby before marriage, but it did pique my interest.   I was able to find that Lola Ann Palmer was involved with a Mr. Elliot Hudson.   In 1894, in Utah, Elliot Hudson was convicted of, and spent 30 days in jail for fornication with Miss Lola Ann Palmer.

So.... who are Owen's parents?

  • Is he the son of Elliot and Lola, the result of the "fornication" poor 21 yr old Elliot was convicted of?
  • Is Owen the son of John McGovern and Lola Palmer?  If so - why can't I find any mention of John McGovern in Utah around that time?  
  • Is Owen the son of John McGovern and a previous wife?

Ouray, Colorado is, and was, a very small town.   I found several McGovern's there, more than I would have suspected.   I followed every McGovern I could find, to no avail.  I did learn that there are a LOT of McGoverns.   There are a LOT of John McGoverns, and there are a LOT of McGoverns that came to Canada from Ireland.

I have spent hours hunting through newspapers from the 1800's and early 1900's in Colorado trying to find some hints about John McGovern.     There were McGovern;s involved in mining, in politics, in wrestling.   I did find a couple of articles about the how John McGovern died.

The end of John's life was documented in startling detail.   I thought that newspapers today were graphic.  I learned that the early 1900's had some pretty graphic reporting.

At the end of his life, John McGovern was working for his father-in-law at the Billy Creek Sawmill.    On December 12, 1903 there was an accident.  The boiler exploded and killed 3 men, one of which was John McGovern.

I found 2 newspaper articles - one reports that "McGovern had a leg blown off and was thrown through the building" (Plaindealer, 18 December 1903, Front Page), another article titled "Blown to Atoms" states that "McGovern's head was blown off and his brains were scattered in all directions and his body was found literally wrapped around a post in the mill several feet from wherehe was standing, reduced to a pulp and so badly mutilated that identification would have been impossible had it not been known it was him." (Ouray Herald, 18 December 1903, Front Page.)

John McGovern left behind a Lola Palmer, and 6 children.  They had been living at housing at the mill.  The young family fell on hard times.    There was a mention in the newspaper of a fundraiser that the town put together, later Lola moved in with her father.   In 1910 Census shows no sign of Owen, and Claude, Clifford and Rodney living as "inmates" at the State Industrial School in Jefferson Colorado.    

Lola married Luther Bevell in 1905 and the 1910 census shows the 2 youngest of John McGovern's children, Luther and Maude living with their mother and their stepfather and several children of that marriage.

Monday, February 17, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 7: Lyman Howe

A few weeks ago - I learned that my Howe ancestors owned a very famous Inn - for over 150 years - before it was sold to someone outside the family.   I want to do a post following the history of this tavern - but today I'm going to focus on the final member of the family to be the inn keeper - Lyman Howe.

The Wayside Inn

The Wayside Inn 1935

First - a brief introduction to this inn I have been speaking had 3 different names, but the last name, and the name it is most famous for is:  The Wayside Inn.   Yes - it's THAT inn.  The one that Longfellow wrote about his book - Tales of a Wayside Inn, published in 1862.

The inn, located in Sudbury, Massachusetts,  started out as the Howe Inn, then was changed to the Red Horse Inn to distinguish it from the other Howe inn a few towns away, and then was changed to The Wayside Inn.    The inn started as a Samuel Howe's house - and he deeded it to his son, David in 1702.  David converted the house to an inn.  It then passed from father to son until Lyman Howe took over as inn keeper in 1830.  

Red Horse Inn Sign

Besides Longfellow, the inn has had quite the history:

  • George Washington in 1775 and again in 1789
  • The Marquis de Lafayette in 1784 and again in 1824
  • Henry David Thoreau in 1853
  • Rumor has it that the Wayside Inn was the inspiration for the childrens song:  Mary Had a Little Lamb - though other information is that the schoolhouse associated with the song was not originally there, but moved to the grounds when Henry Ford owned it.
  • The mill on the grounds is used as the Pepperidge Farms logo
  • It was owned by Henry Ford - yes THAT Henry Ford, the car maker.
  • The inn is haunted - the most prominent ghost being that of Jerusha Howe, Lyman's sister.
  • Lyman Howe is the inspiration for Longfellow's poem - The Landlords Tale
  • The owners of the inn consider it the 1st living museum in America

Pepperidge Farm Logo

Wayside Inn Mill

Lyman Howe was born November 6, 1801 in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Lyman is described as being imposing, dignified and grave in appearance.    He was gentleman type farmer - overseeing his land, but doing little work.    He liked material things - often seen in his chaise around town as he visited the schools, went to the post office or errands.   He was proud of the family silver - brought from England, and was called Squire Howe.    He never married.  One report is that he considered the country girls beneath him.

Lyman Howe

Lyman Howe became inn keeper of The Red Horse Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts in 1830.

Lyman was an educated man, particularly in astronomy.   He was active in civic affairs, serving as a Justice of the Peace and a member of the school committee, leader of the Congregational Church choir.  He was well known and respected in town, and known for his stories.   He was scared of lightening.  He would sit on a high stool in the bar room and count flashes and calculate how far the storm was.

With the arrival of the railroad, coaches were not used as much, and business at the inn waned as Lyman got older.  In March 1861 died.  "He was found dead in his bed by his faithful negro servant, Pete."  (This quote appears in almost all the sources listed below).   He had  no wife and no children.  There was an auction held in November of 1861 to settle Lymans debts totalling $6,600.

The inn was passed to distant family members who did not with to continue running it.   For a time they rented it out for special events, and ultimately sold it to Edward Rivers Lemon.

The dirge for Lyman How was sung by Dr. T. W. Parsons, one of the many authors and poets who spent time at the inn.

"Thunder clouds may roll above him,
And the bolt may rend his oak;
Lyman lieth where no longer
He shall dread the lightening stroke."

Never to his father's hostel
Comes a kinsman or a guest;
Midnight calls for no more candles;
House and landlord both have rest.

Fetch my steed!  I cannot linger.
Buckley, quick!  I must away.
Good old groom, take thou this nothing;
Millions not not make me stay."

Howe Coat of Arms hung in The Howe Inn


  • The History of Sudbury Massachusetts 1638-1889, by Alfred Sereno Hudson, Published by The Town of Sudbury, 1889.  Link
  • The New England Magazine, March-August 1894, New Series Volume 10, Old Series Volume 16 Warren F. Kellog, Publisher.   Link
  • Daughters of the American Revoluation Magazine Volume 8, January-June 1896.  Link
  • The Wayside Inn, Its History and Literature.  An address delivered by Samuel Arthur Bent at the Wayside Inn on June 17, 1897.   Link  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

52 Ancestors Week 6: Ruby/Gayle Rasmussen

My grandparents wrote histories of their lives, and both mentioned my grandfathers sister a couple of times.    I never knew my grand aunt.   In his history, my grandfather, mentioned that she had served in WWII, in my grandmothers history, she mentioned something about Ruby flying in WWII.   Flying?   A woman in WWII?

First I checked the internet to see if women flew in WWII.  There were a very few.    I started looking at lists, I could not find her name anywhere on those lists.      This unsolved mystery BUGGED me.   Seriously BUGGED me.   I wanted to know more about this woman!

I knew from what my grandparents wrote that she had been married more than once, I knew that at one point she was married to a Herbert Adkins, and that he was not her first husband, I knew that she had another husband named Joe, and I knew she had 2 children.  I knew that she did not like the name Ruby and that she made her family call her Gayle.    

So - I began to try to hunt down information, each new bit leading to more questions - it was driving me nutty!   Then, one day, I ran into a real estate listing that mentioned a woman that - based on the VERY little information I knew about Ruby's daughters - just may be one of them!!

It was near Christmas, and I got a card and sent it to this person - with 2 hopes:  First that she would respond to my inquiry, and secondly that she was Ruby's daughter.    A few days later - a Christmas Card appeared in my mail - IT WAS HER!!!!!!!         She gave me contact info and suggested we speak after the holidays.  

I can be a little, lets say, impatient and I counted down the days until I dared call.  I didn't want this woman to think I was a crazy person!   She had also given me contact information for her niece.   So - in January - I started calling them both.    Again, trying not to act like a crazy person, I tried not to call every 5 minutes!   After a week or so - no calls back, I sent an email.   And the exchanges began.   I have since spoken to her niece as well and we have plans to touch base again in March. 

I started getting information and pictures during RootsTech 2014 - hard to know which was more exciting, the conference or getting the information.     I did learn that Ruby was not a pilot, she worked in an office and her then suitor, later husband, Joe was the pilot.

So......... this is Ruby's story - at least the parts I know so far...........

Ruby was born in Kaysville Utah on February 24, 1915.  She was the oldest of 4 children - my grandfather, Cecil Rasmussen, the youngest.    Ruby's father, James, worked for the railroad.  The family moved around a bit as James duties required - Kaysville, Roy, Ogden.    The family lived mostly in section homes, but their mother, Sarah Jackman wanted a house of her own.    A couple of years before she died - when the children were all in their teens, James bought an acre of land in Sunset and built a home.   The 2 boys, Cecil and Ivo helped, as did family friends, their way of repaying James for his help in building many of their homes.  The house was completed a couple of years before Sarah died in 1935.

Ivo, Ruby, Cecil (Baby), Grace Rasmussen

My family is full of people with strong personalities.    Ruby's granddaughter mentioned that she believed that her grandmother was a bit of a rebel.  The information I have put together seems to support that.

My grandfather wrote a story about Ruby and an unfortunate encounter with a old pistol - shortly after the family moved into the new house. These are his words:

"Not long after we moved into the new house, I was outside playing with an old 22 pistol and it was worn out and you had to revolve the cylinder with your fingers.  Anyway, it accidentally fired and the bullet went through my right side between the hip and ribcage, it was a lucky shot.  It scared me and I didn't want to go in the house and tell what had happened.  I was afraid mother might have a heart attack.  I waited awhile and finally went in and got my sister to notice me.   I told her what happened adn she caled everybody down and took me to the hospital.  The doctors laughed about it.  They ran a swab through the hole and disinfected it, they fastened each end shut with a stapler.  Then they gave me a lockjaw shot and we left for home.
By the time we got there I was starting to get hives and had a terrible itching, my joints were swelling and I was trying to cough my insides out.  It was a serious condition, but no one realized it.  Anyway, through the night the itching and coughing stopped but all my joints were swollen and I could hardly move.  They tried to get me up but I would only crawl.
They called my older sister.  She came out to the house with a gallon of rubbing alcohol, and after taking a drink or two, she gave a evil hiss, grabbed me and started breaking every joint in my poor pitiful body.
I gave a scream of agony and started to cry, but she was HEARTLESS.  She punished me like that for about 15 minutes and from then on I didn't feel any pain (at least not when she was within calling distance).  That one treatment cured me for good.  All the rest of my life, I started smiling whenever I saw her.   This was my older sister Ruby (she insisted we call her Gayle, this we did for fear of harsh and unusual punishment.)"

I suspect some parts of that story were embellished a bit - but its a great read!!!!

Ruby married her first husband, Wilson J. Coppes in 1933 when she was 18.   Mr. Wilson was having a busy couple of years.  Besides getting married, he was busy getting arrested and facing charges for possessing and distributing alcohol (Prohibition ended in 1933).     In 1932 - Mr. Coppes was arrested, along with his sister after finding 60 gallons of whiskey in a car on the farm, another 30 gallons buried in manure piles around the farm, and 5 gallons of wine (Ogden Standard Examiner, 25 June 1932).

I'm not sure when Ruby and Wilson Coppes divorced - sometime before March 1940 when Ruby married her second husband, Herbert Orlando Adkins.      Mr. Adkins worked for the D&RGW Railroad as a master carpenter.   My grandfather credits Ruby for helping him get a job with the railroad while she was married to Mr. Adkins.

In August of 1940, my grandparents were married.  Ruby was the only member of my grandfathers family that attended the wedding.

I haven't found any indication that Ruby/Gayle had any children yet.   The 1940 Census shows Herbert and Gayle living in Colorado with a 16 yr old listed as "daughter" - I'm assuming she was Herbert's daughter and that she lived with Herbert and Gayle.  

Again - I'm not sure at what point Herbert and Gayle divorced.   I see them in city directories listed as a couple as late as 1943.  I have requested a copy of Herbert's obituary in hopes it may have more information, but I won't have it for another few weeks.

Ruby enlisted in the Women Army Corps on 8 August 1944.   Her enlistment record lists her as married, 4 years of high school and her occupation as a sales clerk.  (Enlistment Record information available at

At some point she was divorced from Herbert and married Joseph Edward Galloway.   The only hint as to the date is that it was sometime after the war, though Joe was courting Ruby/Gayle during the war.  

Gayle stayed in touch with my grandparents - at least for awhile.   In their histories, I have a couple pictures of Gayle and Joe and their children, and several school pictures as their kids grew.

I'm hoping to learn more about Gayle and Joe's story after WWII, now that I have contacts from her family.   I look forward to getting to know these newly found family members better!!!

Gayle died in.......well there is some confusion here - somewhere between 1977 (my grandmother records the date as Oct/Nov 1977) and  February 10, 1981 - recorded several places including the Social Security Death index.   At first I thought my grandmother mis-remembered the date.  But when I was speaking with Gayle's granddaughter - apparently there is more confusion that I have not heard yet............

Ogden Standard Examiner
Personal Histories written by Cecil Rasmussen and Norma Shepherd Rasmussen
Discussions and correspondence with Gayle's daughter and granddaughter

Saturday, February 8, 2014

RootsTech Day 3 - The LAST Day!

I'm sorry to see #RootsTech end....... my posterior, however, is VERY glad to see it end!   That is a lot of sitting on hard chairs in 3 days!!!

Keynotes today were both fantastic!  

First - Todd Hansen of Genealogy Roadshow.   I have not been watching this show - I will be!   

Next -Stephanie Nielson.    What an amazing story!    I think everybody in the entire room was crying!   I know me, and everybody around me - including the rowdy teenage boys behind me were!   Plus - they shut up and paid attention - finally! 

Breakouts today:
  • Putting Your Ancestors in Historical Perspective:  Extracting Stories from Military Records on Fold3 and   Longest title ever!!!!  This breakout gave some great ideas and hints about how its not just about the specific people - but those around them and the events around them.    I will use many things I learned!
  • Lunch with AncestryDNA.   Great food (I was surprised!!!) and really interesting panel discussion including people from on the technological and scientific side of the DNA process.   Many questions!   One little snafu at the end - each table had a winner of a DNA kit - but they put the random indicator under the dessert plates.......which had already been cleared!   Ooooops!
  • Information Overload:  Managing Online Searches and Their Results.   This was interesting to me - probably not in the way it was intended to be.   The method he described was right out of the Agile Method handbook used by software developers.    A LOT like it.     I wonder which came first, and I wonder if he realizes it?  I was kind of chuckling!!!    I did learn about a new search engine I plan to try -   
  • Getting the most out of    I already use and this was a pretty basic.  
  • Finding Stories on Google Books.   I LOVED this breakout.  I learned a bunch, and the presenter was fantastic.  VERY informative and funny at the same time!

Sorry - no pictures - I got tired of taking pictures of screens - and . . . . . . . I'm tired!..

OK - I'll throw in an obligatory dog shot. . . . . . (Once again - this is for you Ree Dummond!!!)

This is the "proof of life" shot my sister sent me yesterday - confirming that she was taking care of the beasts at home!

Friday, February 7, 2014

RootsTech Day 2

Another fantastic day at #RootsTech!!!!

Another early start at Starbucks, and then the keynote speakers at RootsTech.

This Starbucks advertises Camel Flan Lattes - - - I'm scared!

First Judy Russell, aka The Legal Genealogist, the author of a very popular genealogy blog - click here for a link to her blog.  The theme of her presentation is the necessity of "purposely" passing down stories.   The catch phrase - stories can be lost in just 3 generations.  

Next came Dr. Spencer Wells from National Geographic.   He heads up The Genographic Project, and was introduced as the Indiana Jones of gathering DNA.     Though he was talking about very technical science, he did a great job of making it understandable

Next up for me:  Using AncestryDNA to Further Your Family History Research.   This was informative and continued the "sciency" theme started by Dr. Wells.    Lot's of questions in this one from the audience.    I've already had my DNA analysed by AncestryDNA and it is fascinating.  I'm in the process of getting samples from my aunt and uncle, since I am not able to get any samples from my parents.     I keep hoping that DNA will help me solve the Shepherd Brick Wall!!!!!

The next stop - Blog hiSTORY  (that isn't a typo - the presenter wanted the STORY to be the focus!)  This was a fascinating presentation by Julie McDonald of Leelou Blogs - link here.  I already use Blogger - which is what she recommends.  A lot of the information about how to use Blogger I knew - but I enjoyed her stories, and she had the best video ever of her daughter.  The audience questions were interesting.

Next - Getting the Most out of - presented by The Barefoot Genealogist herself - Crista Cowan.   I love watching her videos on youtube and I was thrilled to find I had an actual, bonafied relationship to - thanks to AncestryDNA.    It was even more thrilling to actually see her present.   I learned lots of things I can do in to help with searches!

Last - Basic Online Resources for the Beginning Genealogist with Lisa Alzo.   I thought since I started doing family history with no actual direction - I may learn some tricks here.   Not so much.   The tone of the presenter came off to me as rather condescending, this was not my favorite breakout.

Tomorrow is the last day!!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

RootsTech Day 1 and The Blue Lady!!!

Today was the first day of #RootsTech!    I got up early - and arrived just after 7am with a venti latte from Starbucks in tow!     Already people were lining up to get into the general session.

Once the doors FINALLY opened - we were greeted with a very dark and very large room.   It created quite a dramatic setting, as well as blinding everybody in the middle section.    Finally they turned the big spot lights pointed to the audience off.  Thank heavens!!

The room filled up - I took this picture while it was still early!         Then - the key notes - 3 of them.   First the CEO of Family Search International - Dennis Brimhall with a recap of the goings on at Family Search, and a top 10 list and a pirate!      Next - Annelies van den Belt of DC Thompson Family History.   She has a very interesting resume and has recently joined DC Thompson Family History - her background is in digital media, not genealogy and she has a different view because of it.     She was introduced by Josh Taylor - who hosts Genealogy Roadshow - I love that show!!

Next - The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.   She is hilarious!  She kept saying she was a nervous public speaker, but you could not tell!     Best part of her presentation - she is a crazy dog lover - it's nice to know I'm not the ONLY one who takes an excessive amount of pictures of their dogs!

Random picture of Peanut and Moose honor of Ree Drummond!!!

Next - off to an interview with in the Marriott Hotel across the street.    I found it a little weird that the interview was in a hotel room - but when I got there, it was in a hospitality suite, reducing the weirdness factor to almost non-existent.  I enjoyed having an opportunity to give feedback from a user experience side of the computer.   Since I work for a software company, I'm not usually on that side of the experience.

Time for a quick lunch - another venti latte (Starbucks is right there across the street from the Salt Palace - there will be more visits to that establishment in the next 2 days!) and a bagel.     Mental note to self - get a real lunch tomorrow!!!!

My original plan was to go to the What is Next for presentation, but I changed my mind.   I have recently started experimenting with Evernote, and there was a presentation about Mobile Genealogy using Evernote.    Well, at least that is what it was called...........    It ACTUALLY ended up being a very basic (and I mean VERY basic) introduction to Evernote, using only the PC Based version with a very small amount of the web based application and absolutely nothing at all about their mobile applications.   The presenter was overly quiet, making it hard to hear, and not a confident presenter at all.     This is by far my least favorite presentation so far - I should have skipped it!  I learned more watching a couple of videos on   The versions of the tools demonstrated were not even the most recent available!

Next - Are On Line Trees the Root of All Evil?    Turns out the answer is no.   This session was a panel discussion with the host presenting interesting and timely questions to a panel of experts.   I LOVED this presentation.     It didn't hurt that Josh Taylor was one of the panelists!       There was a lot of really good information, audience participation and a healthy dose of humor.   Topics ranged from on-line security, baby genealogists, should training be forced on consumers, should trees be public and more.  I could have had another couple hours of this discussion - time passed too quickly!

The last break out of the day - Mergers and Acquisitions, the Business of Expanding Your Family Tree.    This session confused me at first - no obvious point.  But after I followed the presenter through the stories - which were hysterical - I realized that the point was - when it comes to doing research, think outside the box.  Don't just search for names and dates and locations, but things like hobbies, avocations, and anything else you can think of.  Take the time to wander through some records vs. giving up when you don't have an exact match - you never know what you may find.    Oh, and "conv" next to a name in a census means the person is a convict!!!!

Now....  The Blue Lady.    That would be me.  I wore a new shirt.   The dye got on anything that touched it.   I also am one of those people that touch their face alot.   So dye from the shirt got on my hands, then on my face.   I didn't realize this because the room where the keynote was - was dark.   When I got out of there and saw blue hands.  I was afraid that I had a blue face.  And sure enough - after some strange looks on the way to the restroom - I discovered that I had turned into a smurf.    I managed to get my face and hands cleaned off before I talked to the people from   And I managed to keep my hands off my face for the rest of the day.   But my neck (thank you collar) arms and hands were quite blue by the end of the day.    I'll spare you being forced to look at overly embarrassing pictures - and just show you my hand......

More tomorrow!!!!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

RootsTech 2014 is here!!!

I picked up my registration materials tonight.

Tomorrow starts early with a full day of all things family history!   My agenda tomorrow - assuming no last minute changes . . . . . . .

  • Keynote Speakers:  Annelies Van Den Belt and Ree Drummond.
  • Meeting with
  • What's next for Family Tree
  • Online Trees:  The Root of All Evil?
  • Mergers and Aquisitions: The Business of Expanding Your Family Tree
Yay #RootsTech!!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

52 Ancestors Week 5: Marcus de Lafayette Shepherd

I usually post stories on the anniversary of a significant date in the life of the person.   I'm 2 days early this time.    I'm going to Rootstech this week and I know I'm going to be busy busy - so I wanted this done early!

Today - meet Marcus de Lafayette Shepherd, who is my 2nd great grand uncle.    He died on February 5, 1904.

Marcus was a Mormon Pioneer who came across the plains with his family, was a member of the Mormon Battalion, helped settle San Bernadino, was present at the beginning of The Gold Rush, served time in jail for polygamy, and influential in the early days of Beaver, Utah.    

Marcus de Lafayette Shepherd was born October 10, 1824 in Cuayhoga, Ohio.  His father, Samuel Shepherd, joined the Mormon church shortly after it formed.    The family moved from Vermont to Ohio to Missouri to Illinois and finally to Utah.   Marcus' mother, Roxlana Ray, caught cholera during an outbreak that hit the steamboat the family was travelling on, and died somewhere on the Mississippi river in 1832.  The youngest child of the family, baby William Ray, also died shortly after the family left the ship.

Samuel married Charity Bates while living in Missouri, she was a widow with 7 children, and Samuel and Charity also had a child, Lydia.   The family were in the second wagon train to enter what was to become Utah, in 1847.

Marcus joined The Mormon Battalion in 1846 and was discharged on July 16, 1847.   He was discharged in Los Angeles, and he stayed there for a time to earn enough money to head to Utah and was working at the mill at Sutters Mill when gold was discovered.   For his service, he received a pension of $8.00 per month.   Raised to $12.00 per month in 1904.

Marcus de Lafayette Shepherd and Hariett Editha Parrish were married on on March 9, 1851 by an Apostle of the Mormon Church, Amasa M. Lyon.  5 days after they were married, Macus and Harriet set out for California - to what would later be San Bernadino.   The Mormon church had purchased land there and a call was made for people to go and settle what was planned to be a staging area for Mormons arriving in California, headed to Utah.  

Later, in 1858, Brigham Young called the Mormon settlers in San Bernadino back to Utah.   Marcus and his family moved to Utah and settled in Beaver.  There, Marcus ran a sawmill and was a "sheep man".  Later he helped set up a woolen mill.

Marcus married his 2nd wife - Cedaressa Catherina Cartwright on December 13, 1869.   Reports are that the wives did not get along and maintained separate households.     Marcus had a total of 17 children.   10 with his first wife  Harriet, and 7 with Cedaressa.

He was involved in both the community and the Mormon Church and was devoted to improving the education system in Beaver and public improvements.

Some highlights:
  • Made the first Brick in Beaver
  • Built the first 2 story brick house in Beaver (The house is a on the National Historic Registry)
  • In 1863 he was appointed a Major in the militia.
  • In 1886 he was fined and jailed for unlawful cohabitation after refusing to "discard" one of his wives.
  • In 1889 he was called as Bishop of the First Ward of Beaver
  • Between October 1881 and June 1882 he served a Mormon mission in Iowa and Kansas
  • In 1893 he was elected Mayor of Beaver.
The Shepherd House in Beaver, Utah
Marcus de Lafayette Shepherd died on February 4, 1904.   According to the history written by his daughter, he was lifting wood out of a wagon and just dropped dead and was carried into the house where he had enjoyed breakfast 10 minutes earlier.

Despite the many interesting things Marcus did in his life - I think the best tribute is paid to him by his daughter, Sarah Caroline Shepherd Maeser, in the history of his life, found on

"What a dear, happy, jolly home that was! Both the comfortable long house where I was born July 5, 1860, with its adobe kitchen and buttery, and the boarded-in "between the rooms", and also the big brick house that was built later with three stories and a basement, fill my life with happy memories."

History of Utah, by Orson Ferguson Whitney, 1904.  link
Latter Day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia Volume 3, Andrew Jenson, 1920, link,_Utah