May 11, 1943 Lois Shepard to in-laws

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May 11 [1943]

Dear Dick, Dad & all –

Well – you can cease corresponding with Bill at Moses Lake – He arrived here last nite at 2:00 A.M. and is probably on his way now to Orlando, Florida – Yes, I said Florida – lovely, isn’t it? But he will be back here in one month. We know this as he was told to take only what he’d need with him for the month. It is another school. Some sort of school of tactics.

And I shall stay here – patiently awaiting his return. It will be one hell of a month but if he is coming back it would be silly for me to come back & miss seeing him again.

Now Dick – I’d still like for yo uto come out. You may not want to now tho –  with Bill being in Florida – The thing is – tho we don’t know anything about it – is that when he gets

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back here he may soon be sent overseas. So your best bet to see him would still be to come out here. – Gee how I wish I could go to Florida with him tho I don’t imagine Orlando would be any place to stay – anyway it won’t compare with Miami Beach.

I went to a show with my neighbor last nite! Saw “Star Spangled Rythym” [released in 1942] – Very good. Also bought myself a dress yesterday – pink cotton for $7.95 I could make three for the price – It is darling tho – I must be losing weight as it is a size 13 – 14s are way too big for me. Also got Bill’s ration book but I certainly don’t need it. I’m not supposed to have it as long as he eats at Officer’s Mess but heck – I never know when he might be home & I’d need it. I just sent the films on to Bill in Wash – yesterday. I suppose they will have to follow him around the world before he

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ever gets them.

Well, Evelyn is home by now. I must write her a letter I’ve so dam[darn?] many to write it takes half of my time. Well – anything to keep me busy. – I think a few more partings from Bill & I’ll be able to keep from bawling – I’ll soon run out of tears & they don’t do you a darn[dam?] bit of good. Exept to make you feel worse.

Write & let me know what you plan to do. All I can ever plan on doing is to wait. That’s all I’ll ever get done, I guess, is wait.

Love
Lois.

P.S. Don’t mind me – I’m just getting discouraged – And I might add – Damn this War!

Deacon Enoch Shepard…

John and Elizabeth (Noble) Shepard of Westfield, Massachusetts had two sons that we probably descend from, the famous General William and the not so famous Enoch. While William and his wife stayed in Westfield their whole lives, Enoch moved his family around eventually landing in Ohio when land became available there after the Revolutionary War. I use the term probably when discussing Shepard ancestors before Hartley because, while DNA indicates that we descend from these Shepards, and verbal family history has Hartley’s parents as Henry and Huldah Shepard, we still have no documented evidence to confirm this.

Enoch Shepard was born in Westfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts on 25 Oct 1742. He was five years younger than his brother William. In his formative years he appears to have received schooling, but by his own admission it was probably just enough to learn basic reading, writing and arithmetic. When he reached the age of 19 he married a cousin (of some degree), Esther Dewey, a descendant of Thomas Dewey and Constance Hawes. (We descend from the same Thomas Dewey and Constance Hawes three times in this Shepard line.) His brother William married Esther’s sister Sarah.

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Enoch and Esther’s marriage entry in Westfield, Massachusetts

In July of 1773 Enoch and Esther purchased a lot in the town of Murryfield, (which is now called Chester) and apparently they were dismissed from their church in Westfield to Murrayfield in July of 1775 and admitted to the church in Murrayfield in January of 1776. It was from here that Enoch signed up and joined the Revolution. And while he might not have had as much notariety as William, he was Captain of his own unit. Although according to this record he was uncomfortable with the assignment:

Petition addressed to the Council, dated Murrayfield, April 6, 1778, signed by said Shepard, stating that he held a commission as Captain, 13th company, Col. John Mosley’s (3d Hampshire Co.) regiment, although he had viewed himself as not equal to the discharge of the office when chosen, but having made the experiment and finding himself unable to discharge the duties of his office with credit to himself or benefit to the country, asking to be permitted to resign his commission; ordered in Council April 24, 1778, that the resignation be accepted.

Enoch shows up in a history of Murrayfield book1 usually as Capt. Enoch Shepard, involved in local goings on and committees for the time that they lived in the town. They even managed to be chastised by their church according to this interesting statement found online:

…on 23 May 1784, Capt Enoch Shepard and Esther his wife, “a beloved brother and sister,” were admonished for neglecting worship, and on 26 December, 1784 they were excommunicated. [from the church in Murrayfield]

When the town of Wolcott in Vermont was created in 1781, it is thought that our Enoch is one of the people listed as a proprietor.2 They appear to have moved to Vermont about 1784/5. But, if indeed this is the same Enoch and they did move to Wolcott, the family didn’t stay long before they packed up and headed further south, eventually making the move to Marietta, Ohio.

The first, frame house in Marietta was built in the summer of 1789… Captain Enoch Shepherd (brother of General Shepherd, who suppressed Shay’s rebellion in Massachusetts) prepared the timber and lumber for this house at Pennsylvania and made it into a raft, upon which he brought his family to Marietta.

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Enoch’s newspaper advertisement selling their property in 1778 in Murrayfield.

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Enoch’s receipt regarding their land in Marietta.

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Enoch supported the family as a Deacon and mill operator. He, along with a partner established the first mill in Marietta. As usual, we know very little of Esther, his wife. She died in 1794, and Enoch married again shortly afterward.

While the details of this Shepard family are currently unclear and spotty, I do get a good sense of Enoch through two books that he had published during his lifetime. It was here at Marietta that he appears to have taken his title of Deacon with great seriousness and fervour, because he wrote two books related to spritual matters. The first, which was more of a sermon, was quite boring (Dissertation on the quantity and quality of sin, 1814). I tried to muddle through but had a hard time keeping my eyes opened and never finished it. The second I discuss below.

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Above is the title page of the book, on the right is the newspaper advertisement regarding the publication. Printed in 1812.

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So here are my impressions of Thoughts on the Prophecies, by Enoch Shepard, copywrite 1812, written by Enoch in response to a Rev. Bishop Faber’s book, where Faber apparently favors the Catholic Church too much for his liking.

The first thing I noticed while reading this book, was that great Gramps was very long winded. His tome bombastically denigrates the Catholic church – repeatedly. Over and over. Hammering on the same points from different angles for over 150 pages. With, of course, snippets of disgust against Jews and Muslims thrown in for a little diversity. And, while I might even agree with some of his points regarding the Catholic church, I don’t at all condone his bigotry. Apparently Enoch didn’t really practice christian charity as well as one would expect from a Presbytarian Church Deacon.

However, I do have to admit that against my will I was amused and quite enjoying his ranting style. I expected to be very bored with the subject matter, but I wasn’t, even though I didn’t always understand what he was talking about, or referring to, as he used lots of bible quotes (I never read a bible) and ancient battle references.

In his conclusion Enoch indicates that he never received a liberal education, which comes across in the book quite clearly. Someone with a liberal education tends to be more inclusive of other’s ideas, beliefs and points of view. It is also pretty clear that he believed that the current state of the church foretold “the approach of the glorious millennial day” also known as armageddon, (well, I call it the zombie apocalypse, but that’s just me.)

Along with being very anti-catholic in tone, Enoch also speaks in a very derogatory and contemptuous manner of ancient Roman religious beliefs and practices. The usual tendency of all religions to denigrate those who don’t believe in their version of god/s.

“The Roman Empire included many idolatrous and heathen nations, who were zealous worshipers of their several Gods, and obstinately tenaciously of their absurd rites and ceremonies. Consequently the pure doctrines of the Gospel, which struck at the foundations of their folly, and sought to overturn all their heathenish superstitions, appear in their view either foolishness, or a rock of offence. So that they become enemies to the christians, who would not join them in their idolatry, and with the utmost avidity engaged in persecutions authorized by the Emperor. Hence the followers of Jesus were always treated with contempt, and wanton abuse.” p10

Enoch was misinformed about early Roman history regarding the matter of the Christians and their persecution. Even to this day many Christians still, erroneously, believe that Christians were killed in colosseums in droves because of their religious beliefs. The Romans were pretty liberal regarding the religious views of other cultures, live and let live was their motto.

He went on to brag that when Constantine came to power and brought Christianity to the empire

“Pagans were turned out of office and faithful christians pointed in their stead.” p16 “The idol images were destroyed, and polluted temples cleansed, and converted into houses for the worship of the true God.” p17

Speaking in regards to a story about Mohamed “In his [Mohamed’s] travels…he had an opportunity of observing the many divisions and contentions, which existed among the professors of Christianity; for the idolatrous practices, which soon after were established in the popish Church…”p25

In this statement he makes reference to his distaste for Jews and Muslims:

More regarding Mohamed, and his shutting himself in a cave “…he procured some Jews and apostate Christian; also a few scribes vile enough to answer his purpose. With these he shut himself up in a cave for several years…When he had obtained from these despicable creatures all that he wished, he then put the whole to death.”

He proceeds to denigrate Mohamed and his beliefs where in this example he speaks of the wars that Mohamed imposed to establish his own beliefs over the Christians:

“Those parts which Mohamed subdues, and in which he established his wicked abominations…”p32.

I would say this book gives a pretty good idea of Enoch’s worldview. It is possible that his wives shared in this prejudice, then again, they could have just rolled their eyes, shook their head and continued to put the dinner on the table. I don’t think Enoch made much profit on his book. Five hundred copies were made the first printing, and there doesn’t appear to have been a second one, so any hopes of his being celebrated and feted as a famous author never came to fruition. Enoch died in 1821 at the age of 78.

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Here are the moves of the Enoch and Esther Shepard family. Starting in Westfield, making a short hop to Murryfield, then possibly Vermont, and on to Pennsylvania, where they built the raft that floated them to their final destination of Marietta, Ohio.

If anyone is interested in reading his book let me know. It is out of copywrite but I can freely share my digital copy, which was created just for me and is not available anywhere online. Believe me I tried. Thank goodness for the persistance of our University’s ILL department.


Sources:

  1. https://archive.org/stream/historyoftownofm09cope
  2. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vermont/LamoilleWolcott.html

May 5, [1943] Lois Shepard to in-laws

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May 5th [1943?]

Dear Dick-

Four weeks ago I left. – with hopes high only to be dissappointed. Just received your letter of the 2nd but none from Bill- Haven’t heard from him for two days- He’s awfully busy I know as they have piled all sorts of responsabilities on him.

I have received two calls from friends of his that have flown in from Moses Lake. His address is-

301 Service Group
Moses Lake Army Air Base
Moses Lake, Wash.

He may get back for a day or two this week- I only hope so

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I went to Club with my neighbor last nite. Played pinocle & had a good time.

Sent you a little gift for Mother’s Day which I hope you like – Would like to see both of my mothers Sunday but guess that is impossible so will just send Best Wishes for the day. Evelyn is having a good time at Aunt Juanitas. She bought Eve a dress – $22.95. O.K. I guess-guess I’ll go visit her too.

The weather is nice again but cool at nights. Sue had a little cold which I hope gets better soon.

My girl from the N.Y.A. took care of the children again last

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without accident for a change. First time I had her she spilled ink on my table cloth- second time broke the baby’s bottle. – Maybe she was jinxed. – Must get asway to clean house as my land lady is coming for the rent today – Hope to see you soon.

Love
Lois

Sophia Catharina Wilhelmine Sachs…

3215373137_a36e6bab60_bOr as she was called by the family, Mina.

Mina was born in Dömitz, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany on the 28th of June in 1820 and was baptized two days later.1 Her parents were Johann Christoph Wilhelm Sachs and Ursula Margaretha Sophia Schult. In her picture on the right, she looks exactly like I would want a great grandmother to look, including that impish little smile.

Recently I have been able to search the indexed church records of Dömitz and expand Mina’s tree a few generations. So here it is now.sachs-sophia-catharina-willhelmine-meina

We have some pretty interesting German surnames to add to our family: Lütken / Lüthgen / Lütdan (apparently no one knows how to spell it), Schlein, and Schult. Schult has been on the surname list for a while, but these recent finds in the church records, make me more certain that the name is not Schultz, although I did see it in one record as Schulten.

Mina lost both of her grandmothers before she was even born. Of her grandfathers I have been unable to ascertain when they died. And, unfortunately for Mina, both of her parents were dead by the time she was almost 16 years of age, her father dying about 2 months before her birthday in 1836. She did have two sisters and one brother all older than her, the youngest of her siblings was 19 when they became orphans.

As none of her siblings were married when the last of their parent’s died, I am assuming that they were taken in by relatives until they were. Her sister Johanna married the next year to Christian George Heinrich Strempel.

In 1820 Mecklenburg abolished serfdom. While it is a good thing that this happened, it had  unintended side affects now that land owners were no longer responsible for the people who lived on their land. They reduced the amount of housing that was available, so the former serfs no longer had a place to live, land was not available for them to buy and farm for themselves, and work became much harder to find. About 250,000 people left Mecklenburg in several different waves of immigration. Many went to the United States, the rest went to other cities within Germany itself. The conditions at home left them very little choice. “Almost every third person from Mecklenburg left their home country, almost 90 % of them came from rural places.”2

Of great interest to me, is finding the answer to the question of how Mina and Friedrich Karl Isserstedt, who was born in Hessleben, Sömmerda, Thuringia, Germany, met. They were married somewhere in Germany, and came to America with 3 of their children who were born in Thuringia (where Hessleben is located).

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Here is a map showing the location of the two towns in Germany where Mina and Fred were from. Where and how did they meet? 

Was Friederick in the military and somehow ended up in Dömitz? Did Mina leave home because of the conditions in Mecklenburg and end up in Fred’s neck of the woods? I am hoping I can find the answer to these question with more digging. I would especially love to find out where they married as there is no record in Dömitz of their marriage. It doesn’t mean they weren’t married there, just that I can find no record if it.

In 1855 the Isserstedt family left their residence in Wandersleben3 and made the long trip to America. Sailing from Hamburg to the port of New York. Eventually ending up in Plymouth, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, where together they carved out a new home from the wilderness and prospered.

OBITUARY Mrs. Wilhelmine Isserstedt nee Sachs, one of the oldest settlers in this area, died on Friday in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Emilie Hamm, near Medford, at the age of over 70 years. Her husband, Mr. Friedrich Isserstedt, died about a year ago. She was born in Doemitz, Mecklenburg-Schwerin on 26 July 1820, and came to America in 1855 with her husband. At first they lived on a farm in the Town of Sheboygan Falls. Later they lived in the city for a time where Mr. Isserstedt has a shoemaker business. Then they again moved on a farm in the northeastern part of the Town of Plymouth. They lived there many years when they moved on the farm formerly owned by the deceased Chr. Komen where they lived until Mr. Isserstedt’s death. She is survived by a son, Mr. Fred. Isserstedt, in the northeastern part of Town Plymouth; three daughters, Mrs. Henriette Hoppe and Mrs. Emilie Hamm, Medford, and Mrs. Minna Kaestner, Town Plymouth. Another daughter, Mrs. Amanda Hoffmann, died several years ago. The funeral was held in Town Rhine on Sunday.4 [died 13 Aug 1899]


Sources:
1. Sophia Catharina Willhelmina Sachs baptism, Taufen, Hieraten, Toter, Konf. 1835-1852 vol. 2, entry ?3, (1820) page 12, Stadtkirche Kirchenbuecher Church Records Evangelical Lutheran, Doemitz, Mecklenburgische, Sippenkanzlei, Mecklenburg-Schwerin: FHL Film #69078, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
2. http://www.emecklenburg.de/Mecklenburg/en/emi_intr.html
3. According to the passport records from Hamburg. Wandersleben is near Gotha, which is also in Thuringia, where their only son was said to have been born. Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2008. 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 00.
4. Wilhelmine Sachs obituary, The Plymouth Post, Plymouth, Wisconsin; [reprinted in ‘From Here and There’, 17 August 1899, page 1??, Historical Research Center, Inc., Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin].

Lincoln and Hazel (Ward) (Jacobs) John…

Victor Hugo John, the youngest of Frederick William John and Johanna Deadrich’s children, had three children with his wife Gertrude Cain. They were all boys.

Today I want to talk about Lincoln William John (Link), their second son, and apparently the shortest. He must have gotten his height from his mother Gert.

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Here is a great picture of Victor with his three sons in order of birth: Clarence, Link, Vic jr.

Link was born 7 Feb 1901 in Wabeno, Forest County, Wisconsin. He grew up and played in the woods of Wisconsin, but when he hit the age of about 21 he must have developed restless feet because he left the bosom of his family and headed out to the wild west, and other exotic places. He was definitely no longer living in Wisconsin by 1930. (I believe that I found him in the 1930 census as: William John, living in Beckton, Sheridan County, Wyoming, age 23, lodging and working as a farm hand. The age is off, but he is also listed as being born in Wisconsin, so it could be the same Lincoln William of this biography. Then again, if Link was working for the railroad, he might have been missed in this census altogether.)

While I am not 100% that I have found him in the 1930 census, I did find this article in the Forest Republican, a weekly Crandon paper, from April of 1922:

Lincoln John, who has been employed at Casper, Wyoming, is expected to return to Crandon to-day to drive taxi for H. H. Patterson.

And in 1926 he took a trip to Cuba. Holiday?:

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Interestingly, the 1930 census for Hazel is dated April 1 of 1930, and it was only a few weeks later that Link was married in Hot Springs, Fall River County, South Dakota to Hazel (Ward) Jacobs, a 28 year old divorcé with an adopted son, Martin Jacobs. Martin was 5 years of age at the time.

Hazel and Link possibly met through the railroad company, because in 1920, when she was living in Kansas with her parents, Hazel was working as a messenger in a railroad office, and Link was employed as a railroad fireman in the 1940 census.

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Link’s employment in the railroad, no doubt came about because of his father and grand father’s involment with the railroad in Wisconsin. He grew up around trains and the railway. His father Victor, sr. was a station agent for many years before going into banking.

Ten years later, (1940), Link and Hazel were still living in Casper, Wyoming, however Martin is no longer in the household.

The family story was that Martin was ‘given up’ because Hazel and Link went to Panama, where Link was going to be working in the Canal Zone, and they weren’t allowed to take Martin with them. From my research, it appears that Martin went to live with his father in Texas, where he appears in the 1940 census. I don’t know when he went to live with his father, but it was before Link was starting to make trips Panama.

Passenger lists can be found from 1944, ’45, ’47 and ’48 with Link’s name on them. He is traveling to and from the Canal Zone in Panama for work. Hazel appears with him in 1945 and 1947. But I could find only one passenger list showing them leaving the US for Panama, the rest are all arrivals back to the US.

So it appears that a short time after 1940 (about 1944) to about 1948 the Johns had moved to Panama. I imagine that Link’s work with the railroad is what led to his being transferred to the Canal Zone to help with construction or other activities related to railroad work there.

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This is a cool passenger list from 1944, because it is actually from Pan American Airlines. Link is flying in to New Orleans from Panama on his way back to Wyoming. Maybe it had been his first trip to Panama to get things ready for Hazel to  join him.

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Unfortunately, I don’t know much about their experiences in Panama, other than that they were there. It was during part of WWII, and also in a time where there was much unrest in the area, as the majority of the locals really wanted the Americans out of their backyard. (Maybe someone in Hazel’s family has pictures and stories.) We do have one letter that Hazel wrote where she mentions that my mother should enjoy the ‘housegirls’ she had when we lived overseas, in reference to Hazel and Link’s time in Panama:

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This would be one of the types of ships that were traveling through the canals at the time they lived there.

When Link and Hazel retired they did so in Fresno, California. I can recall visiting with them in Fresno in the early 1970s, and being delighted with the train set-up Link had in the house. It was pretty cool, with all the little buildings and landscaping. They also kept a wonderful garden on their lot. Hazel always sent hand crocheted slippers for Christmas. I guess we always sent them cheese.

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This is a doodle drawing that Link made. Hazel makes a reference to Link always drawing train pictures in one of her letters to us.

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This is definitely a picture of Link, but I am not positive of the women beside him, it could be Hazel. Looks like she is working on the car.

Hazel passed away in 1987, Link stuck around a few years longer, passing away in 1992. They had no children of their own to pass on their legacy. I remember them fondly, and we do still have the letters they sent to us.


More on Hazel’s early life:
Hazel Ward was born in Kansas in 1899. Her mother Eva was married more than once. When we find the family in the 1910 census her mother is married to Henry Piper and they had one child together. Hazel had two sisters, Blanche and Gladys, and a brother Robert, also one half sister.
Hazel’s first husband was probably Martin Jacobs, sr. and they most likely married in Kansas, where they were both living in the 1910s. I don’t know when they were married, although the 1920 census indicates that she was already divorced. Martin had a child with another women when they were married, because Martin jr was adopted by Hazel according to the 1930 census.
A Martin Frank Jacobs jr., who appears in the Social Security applications and claims index at Ancestry, has the same year of birth as the Martin Jacobs from the 1930 census, and applied from Casper, Wyoming. He died in Texas in February of 1986. This same Martin, jr. appears in the 1940 census living with Martin, sr. and Lucy Jacobs in Texas. Martin, sr. was probably Hazel’s first husband, who took his son back to live with him sometime between 1930 and 1940.

 

May 1, 1943 William Shepard to parents

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301 Service Squadron
Moses Lake Air Base
Moses Lake, Washington
May 1, 1943

Dear Mother and Dad,

I have been transferred to another squadron, and temporarily to another state. I am doing about every kind of work imaginable. This is a God-forsaken hole and I wouldnt even put a  rat in it. I am fine & so is everyone else. We hope to be in Pendleton again soon. Why dont you plan to come out and stay a month or so mother? We would be glad to have you.

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Write and tell me how everyone is.
Love to all
Bill