Canada, oh Canada!

That’s a song–right? Nevermind.

The ‘never seems to be ending’ project of scanning my Shepard grandparent’s old family pictures has been fun and interesting, although admittedly sometimes a bit tedious*. But, I am really getting a chance to look them over and put together a picture timeline of their life, and even get ideas for future blog posts. Or, just remember the places that they lived and my own visits there. Some of the pictures are also triggering my research itch, because of questions I have about the time, or place, or who is in them.

I recently scanned more Canada pics from Dick and Dad’s part of the collection, a couple of them, thankfully, have been labeled ‘Cummings Lake.’ If I had the grandparents around to ask, I could find out exactly where this cottage was, (although I do enjoy putting the clues together, and solving the mystery myself). So the location has been narrowed down to Cummings Lake in Thessalon, Canada. Now the question is– where on the lake, exactly. Having the photograph below helps to narrow it down some more:

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Dick and Dad’s view of the dock below the cottage. Taken in 1954. This, by the way is a great picture.

I can narrow the location down because I found the following picture at the Grand Falls Camp website when searching online for information on Cummings Lake:

Grand Falls Camp Cummings Lake Thessalon

The cliff face in the background matches exactly the cliff in the first picture. This location is stated by the website as being between Lakes Tunnel and Cummings. When using Google map’s street view, I find this exact spot on Hwy 129 going North. It is facing Lake Cummings. Which means that the cottage was in the area on the topographic map below. It is difficult to tell where exactly, or even generally, from this view though.

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Google street view from highway.
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The arrow is pointing to the cliff area we see in all the pictures.

Looking at a larger overview of the area, I’m thinking that the cottage was, or is, if it is still there, on the big bump out of land above the falls area.

We have lots of photos of the cottage and the area around the lake, so I created an album of just those pictures at my flickr site (well I hope they are all from the cottage and lake area). Seeing the pictures and writing about this topic has given me an urge to drive up there next summer and visit. It is only a 7-8 hour drive, and I have my passport now!

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My grandfather, Bill Shepard, wrote lots of letters mentioning his parents cottage. They usually talked how envious he was, because he never got to go up and enjoy all that fishing everyone was always going on about. I know an uncle went there at one point when he was a kid. Other than Herman and Ruth, who else made the trip?

 

*I won’t complain too much about all that scanning, as we are fortunate to have so many family pictures that that been passed down. Some folks aren’t so lucky.

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July 5, 1954 William Shepard to His Parents

6 July 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

Very happy to hear from you. and also happy to hear that you are all well and having a good time.

Yes-I received the box of candy and thank you very much. It was sure tasty. [Hey Gramps aren’t you on a diet?]

By the time you get this – I will have about 7 more months to go. That isnt so long is it? Time is going by so fast now that I’m busy. I have all this office work I can do and I am learning jet fighters in my spare  ? time. Should get 20 hours flying time in jets this month. Still instructing in the C-47 too so it keeps me humping.

You tell Kenny that he had better take time out to write me a good letter because Im his old man and I said for him to do it!

That cartoon of the boat reminds me of our little 12 footer & the 25

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horsepower Johnson. The time has come to go to bed so Ill have to close. Have fun.

Bill

 

Hayes and Wheeler

Another recent scouring of Oconto newspapers brought this interesting tidbit to my attention just in time for mid-term elections:

newspaper_cainjohn_HayesandWheelerClub

So what was the Hayes and Wheeler Club and why was gramps John Cain a member?

newspaper_cain_hayeswheelerstartsnewspaper_cain_hayesandwheelermembers.png

From what little I have been able to find about this club, it looks like it was patriotic in nature and organized in many states across the country, for the purpose of “securing re-nomination and re- election of President Rutherford B. Hayes.”

John appears to have been republican in beliefs, and was enthusiastic enough for Hayes to be elected that he joined the club to help rouse the populace to vote for his favorite ticket.

Here is a small bit of biography on Hayes from his Wikipedia entry:

Hayes was a lawyer and staunch abolitionist who defended refugee slaves in court proceedings in the antebellum years.

He was nominated as the Republican candidate for the presidency in 1876 and elected through the Compromise of 1877 that officially ended the Reconstruction Era by leaving the South to govern itself. In office he withdrew military troops from the South, ending Army support for Republican state governments in the South and the efforts of African-American freedmen to establish their families as free citizens. He promoted civil service reform, and attempted to reconcile the divisions left over from the Civil War and Reconstruction.

John did not enlisted in the Civil War. Having been born in 1852, he was too young to have enlisted. (I am very thankful he was too young, because he might have died and I wouldn’t be here now talking about him.) Even though he was not in the war, he was a peripheral part of it, and was affected by the aftermath, as was the whole nation. His support for Hayes gives me a sense of his political leanings and beliefs, something he left no clue about to his descendants, until this article was found.

I’ll end this post with a friendly reminder. VOTE!


Sources:
Oconto County Reporter, 1876-07-22; v5issue38p3col4
Oconto County Reporter, 1876-08-19; v5issue42p3col4
Oconto County Reporter, 1876-09-02; v5issue44

June 21, 1954 William Shepard to Parents and Son

21 June 54

Dear Dick, Dad & Kenny:

When you get this you will have had time to get settled. How have you found everything at the cottage? I suppose that you are eating some nice golden brown lake trout by now. What I wouldnt give for some right now.

Work is heavy here. Im trying to do my regular work, and get my jet schooling in too. Start flying them next week. Im happy about it because they are easier to fly, and faster too.

I have been watching my weight lately with the help of the Flight surgeon and weigh less than anytime since OCS in 1942. Im at 184 now, and have 6 more pounds to be to my proper weight of 178#. It feels so good to be where I should be.

Kenny dont you make the mistake I did and eat that little bit too much of fat & fried food I never watched it and was always about 30 pounds overweight. The Doc says a person is healthier when

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they stay slim, and who wants to be unhealthy when they dont have to be?

I know I dont have to tell you to enjoy Canada, but dont overwork up there.

Ill try to write next week. Cant before then as I will be in an air-ground school which teaches us how to support the troops with our F-86’s. Ill be with the army for the next few days. (roughing it.) Well goodbye for now.

Bill.

Spreading Their Version of “The Word”

preaching
John Eliot, puritan, preaching.

When many of my ancestors came to this country in the 1600s, their prime motivation in coming was to have the freedom to practice their own version of religion, without fear for their lives.  So they came, and settled.

Then, they started to send their gaze out to the wilds of this new world that they were now inhabiting. It frightened them. A lot. The people that were living in this world when they arrived were these strange, incomprehensible ‘savages’. They dressed very differently, spoke bizarre languages, practiced scary religions that were nothing like their own.

Of course the first thought that pops into some of their tiny, closed minds is that these folk needed to be ‘civilized’. And by civilized, they meant converted over to their beliefs, their own system of values, way of dressing, language, rules of law. They needed to convert these ‘savages’ to make themselves feel more comfortable, self-satisfied, safe. They also needed everyone to believe in their version of God. They wanted to save them.

Sorry to say, one of those religious zealots is mine.

William French was born in England, some histories say about 1603, in Halsted, Essex County. He married there, and had four children with his wife Elizabeth. In the summer of 1635 William and his family boarded the ship Defense, along with the Rev. Thomas Shepard, and left England in order to practice, in freedom, their own interpretation of the christian religion.

William settled his family first in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They moved again in 1652, being one of the original proprietors, and earliest settlers of Billerica, Massachusetts.

He was very involved in his community, as were many of the early settlers. (Well, the male ones, of course. The women just had to stay home and mind the household, not worry their pretty little heads with men’s business.) He was a Lieutenant of the militia, and later a Captain. Was chosen “to sit in the Deacons seat” and as Commissioner to establish the county rates, [whatever that is]. Served nine years as a selectman starting in 1660. And he was also on the committee to examine children and servants in “reading, religion and the catechism.”

In 1652 the following volume was published in London:

strengthoutofweakness

This was a publication of several volumes consisting of testimonials, in the form of letters, sent to the Pastor Mr. Henry Whitfield.1

The introduction to the Reader is as follows:

Christian Reader.
These ensuing Letters doe represent unto thee, and to the Churches, the outgoings of Christ, as a Light to the Gentiles, that the grace which brings salvation hath appeared unto them also in the furtheset parts of the Earth, for the accomplishment of that ancient and glorious Promise; “I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou may’st be my Salvation to the Ends of the Earth”…The People of God have been greatly affected with the appearances of Christ, when he hath rode forth upon a red Horse to the destruction of his Enemies; for he “is glorious in his apparell, even when his garments are dipt in bloud”, but much more when he rides forth upon a white Horse, for the Conversion of Soules, and goes on “Conquering and to Conquer”.

It continues along this theme. The summary of which is that they were printing these volumes to show how they are enlarging the “Kingdome of Christ” making sure to spread the word of their God from sea to shining sea. “Hereby the soules of men are rescued out of the snare of the Devill.”

This particular volume was number V and included a letter from William French. I have included the pages from the volume below. Is this a true letter of a conversion, or merely an anecdote? The subject of the ‘conversion’ is not named or personalized in anyway, so it is hard to tell.

It starts out — The best news I can write you from New England is, the Lord is indeed converting the Indians, and for the refreshing of your heart, and the hearts of all the godly with you; I have sent you the relation of one Indian of two yeares profession, I that took from his owne mouth by an Interpreter, because he cannot speak or understand one word of English.

page1page3

page2

William’s first wife Elizabeth died in 1668 and he married his second wife Mary Lathrop (my 9x great grandmother up the Brooks/Hatch line). Mary was the granddaughter of John Lathrop, a famous religious martyr, who was imprisoned in England, and eventually released, with the promise he would leave the country and never come back.2

I am sure that William wasn’t the only one in my tree that pushed to convert others to their faith. He is just one we can point to, because he made his work known with this publication.


Source:

  1. “Strength Out of Weakness” afterwards republished in the Massachusetts Historical Society Collection 3d S. Vol. 4, pages 149, 196.
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lothropp

May 27, 1954 William Shepard to his parents

 

[I believe that Gramps is in Korea at the time he is writing these letters.]

27 May 1954

Dear Dick & Dad,

Received your letter of the 17th a few days ago. Im not much at writing outside the family. When I write Lois and each of the kids once in a while Im wrote out!

It sounds like everything will be going North in June, so this is the last letter Ill write to you at Park St. The address is Route 3, Thessalon Ont., isnt it?

I have been receiving the Sunday papers and they are sure welcome. I read every want add!

Had a touch of the flu for several days, but it is all cleared up by now. The next time I get to Tokyo I want to get some things and send them home. Ill send your present at that time. Ill try to get you something to wear but keep your fingers crossed.

The rain, real hard rain hasnt started yet. It is suppose to about now. Everything is green, the rice is about knee high. I have

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a lot of pictures on the way home now, so when they get there you can see how some of the things look.

If Kenny goes north with you, he will have a good time, I know. I wish that there was a way for me to spend a little time up there. Just doesnt seem to work out.

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This is Gramps in Korea.

 

Take care of yourselves. Ill write you in Canada.

 

Your Son
Bill

P.S. The fudge was good, in case I didnt tell you- Everyone in the barracks liked it too (too much)

Jane Jones Is Inspired

In my quest to learn more about my female ancestors than the usual boring facts, I am stymied, because I am mostly running into the usual boring facts. They were born, married, had kids, died. And sometimes we don’t even know their names. An egregious state of affairs, you will agree. Of course there was more to these women than this boring litany of facts, but unfortunately that is usually the only legacy they are able to leave. If you were one of the many who couldn’t read or write, there was little chance of you leaving a journal, or diary, for your children or grandchildren to pour over years after you were gone. Very rarely do they appear in newspaper articles or other publications either, the husbands, sons, brothers, or fathers got the bulk of local attention.

But, on occasion something different shows up. In this case it is my 6x great-grandmother Jane Jones, the mother of Nancy Lee who married Rev. Bethuel Riggs. (My grandmother Lois Shaw’s side of the family.)

Jane was born about 1739 in Rowan County, North Carolina. She married a man named James Lee, when she was about 15 or 16, and with him had at least two children: James, jr. and Nancy. Her husband, James, sr., was either killed by Indians, or just died, (no one really knows for sure, as far as I can tell), about 5 years after they were married. She married her second husband, Closs Thompson, a few months after James’ death.* The family was of the Baptist persuasion. Her husband James, and son James were renowned preachers. As was Bethuel Riggs, who married her daughter.

A Baptist publication called the Primitive Monitor, in 1887, published the following1:

Goldendale, W. T., February 15, 1887.
Brethren Thompson and Goble: The lines below were composed by old grandmother Jane Thompson when she was between 90 and 95 years old. She was Elder Wilson Thompson’s grandmother, and lived to be 104 years old. The cause of her composing them was as follows: Some of her grandchildren, by the name of Jones, had been out to hear a Campbellite preacher, and they had related to her, on their return, the substance of the discourse, after which, lying on her bed, she fell asleep while composing these lines. After waking she recited them to her grandchildren, who wrote them down [it is believed that she was blind or poorly sighted, so could not write them herself]. I, being a playmate of these children, copied them, and have preserved them. Not knowing they have ever been published, I send them to you for publication if you think best.  J.T. Brooks.

Jones Jane Poem (dragged)

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According to a descendant of Jane’s brother Thomas, Jane “was a staunch Primitive Baptist, and was quite upset with some of her grandchildren for associating with the “Campbellites” as the Disciples were then called.”2

What an excellent legacy to leave. And one that gives one a good sense of her personality.

(Right now, I have been unable to find much about her parentage, or her husband James’ lineage, they are both still a work in progress. So hopefully I will have more to share in the future.)

*Fun fact — Daniel Boone’s signature is on the marriage bond of Jane Jones Lee and Closs Thompson (Rowan County, mid October, 1759).


Source:

  1. Digital image of Primitive Monitor page with poem, posted by a descendant of Jane’s on the tjones-ky yahoo discussion group.
  2. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/tjones-ky/conversations/messages/1337

April 6, 1954 William Shepard to his parents

16 April 54

Dear Dick & Dad,

Received your letter yesterday. Even if I am out of ink, Ill write. Lois has probably kept you informed of what little news I have.

Work is  not very heavy. When I get my files straightened out the way I like them I wont have too much to do. That is, unless I get another job too.

The time goes fast enough, as there is plenty to do. I seem to be getting 9-10 hours sleep every night & feel like a million. The food is very good. Weather is typical spring weather. In fact it is hot today.

I have met quite a few people I knew previously, but that is to be expected

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expected. Ive been in the service almost 12 years now.

I suppose that you will be going to Canada soon. It will be time to fish in a few weeks!

When I get home next year it should be about April 1. If it isnt too cold I would like for Lois & I to go up for a week or 10 days. I cant remember when we have gone on a trip by outselves. Its our own fault I suppose because we were parents so young.

I hope that you & dad are feeing OK. Take it easy. Ill write gain sooner that you think! Not a year between letters any more!

Goodbye for now
Bill

Jail Not To His Liking

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No, this is not Frank. Just a mugshot that is a few years newer than I would like, but you get the jist.

In March of 1889 Frank Cross, my notorious cousin of past posts, found himself in trouble. Surprise! Not.

In this case we find him in the newspaper under court goings on. Whatever could he have done now?:

Circuit Court — Justice French’s Court.
People vs. Frank Cross, larceny of an axe on complaint of Elihu B. Averill, pleaded guilty on the 11th and sentenced to pay a fine of $5.00 and in default of payment to ten days in jail. The fine was not paid and commitment was issued today.1

So Frank, being short of blunt, or just cheap, thought that he would pass on paying his fine. The court had no problem having him picked up and sent to the hoosegow in lieu of payment. A day or two later this notice appeared in the newspaper:

Frank Cross tired of prison life and went before Justice French and paid up his fine after a few hours in the jail.2

Now that’s a knee slapper! Maybe he didn’t realize how hard it would be to get a drink in jail.


Sources:

  1. The Kalamazoo Daily Telegraph, Thu Feb 28, 1889, page 7, col 3
  2. The Kalamazoo Daily Telegraph, Fri Mar 1, 1889, page 7, col 1

March 28, 1954 William Shepard to parents

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1954_03_28

28 March 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

Things have slowed down enough for me to write a letter now. I have been managing to write Lois, and that is about all.

I had a good trip over, leaving 17 March and arriving on the 20th. I rode in a Lockheed Constellation, which is one of the more luxurious planes. We stopped 6 hours in Honolulu and one hour on Wake Island. I spent three days in Japan and arrived in Rosia[?] on 24 March.

Was assigned to the 18th Fighter Bomber Wing at Osass Kova[?]. They call this base K-55. I am communications — Electronics Staff Office for the wing. They have F-86s, however, I am flying C-47s and letting the young fellows have the jets.

I am just settled down now and ready to put in my time and today is Sunday, so Ill close to go to church.

Bill