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

 

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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.

4009345592_5238bb9812_z
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)

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

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

August 16, 1952 William Shepard to Parents

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1952_08_16_p02and03letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1952_08_16_p01and04

August 16, 1952

Dear Dick & Dad:

Summer is on its last legs now. About another month and the weather will start to be cool.

It wont be too long until you folks start west. I know you will like the winter here in California.

Kenny and I went deer hunting last week end. When

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opening day broke, I was sitting in one side of a tree on a ridge, and Kenny was on the other side. Kenny saw the dear and tryed to show him to me. It took several minutes & when I saw it was a buck I asked him to shoot it. Kenny was a little shaky and asked me to do it. We are eating venison now. I hope to take K W out again next week and let him get one.

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Havent seen Elsa lately. I was going to go fishing with him this summer but didn’t seem to make it. Perhaps we can before too long

Jean & Jenny haven’t been over for several months. We will have them all over when you get here.

Dont use up all your energy Dad. We have a walnut plantation that has to be harvested this fall.

Have you had any luck on selling the place yet?

What do you think of the Election? there seems to be more interest than in any since 1932. Its pretty divided out here. You want to be sure to get here before the election & football. We have TV!! Well Ill close. Take care of yourself and let me know when you are coming.

Bill

Letter June 25, 1951 William Shepard to parents

 

June 25, 1951

Dear Dad,

Better late than never. Happy “Fathers Day” I was going to get a present but didnt find anything suitable, so perhaps you can get what you need with the check.

Dick has written that you are recovering very well from your sickness. We are happy for that. She also mentioned you would be going to Canada for the summer. Be sure to take it easy and dont try any work. I know you will enjoy being up there and wish my family could go too.

Kenny and Sue are having a good time on their vacation. It would be better if we lived more in town as they dont have many other children to play with, but I do like living in the country.

David has grown a lot since you last

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saw him. He is going to be the largest one of my boys. Starting to talk now. Alan is coming out of it now, and is about average for his age. That is remarkable considering the slow start that he had. He is a very good baby, doesnt cry much or isnt much bother.

We have a new addition to the family now. Just bought a female collie pup. She is black, white and a little tan. Very quiet and intelligent. She should be fairly large by the time you folks come out for the winter.

We are planning on you and Dick spending the winter with us. I think you both would enjoy this country. When it gets time for you to come out, perhaps I can come back to help drive. Well thats about all except Happy Fathers Day again

Your Son Bill

Early 1951 William Shepard to parents

 

Electronics Station
Headquarters 15th Air Force
March Air Force Base, Cal

Dear Dick & Dad:

Here is my quarterly letter. Everyone here is fine Alan is gaining weight and very soon will be 4#. He reminds us so much of you Dad. He has the same configuration. Dave is growing so fast now. He is talking a little and runs us all ragged. I believe that he has almost doubled his weight in the last five months. Sue us doing very well in school and is also growing up. She and Kenny do the evening dishes all the time now. Kenny is the same as usual. His latest obsession is to be tied up with a rope and then to see how quick he can get loose. I cant tie him up any more, he seems to wiggle out every time.

Lois recuperated quickly from having Alan. I guess he was so small that it wasnt so complicated as usual, although Margaret Johnston,

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says that Lois had a serious trouble & we are sure lucky to have Alan.

I have been traveling quite a bit lately, but hope to start staying at home next month. In spare time I work with the radio station, ride with the kids, and shoot a little.

The weather has been fine so I wont bore you with details. I think that you would be much better off here in the south west Dad. It never gets cold and is dry all the time.

I hope that we can stay here long enough for you to visit us. As soon as you can travel let us know and we can have everything ready. I expect to stay here for a while. We have some new pricutes to send you in a few days.

Goodby for now.

You Son
Bill.

Someone call the doctor!

Farming has always been known as a dangerous job, even more so when complicated machinery started being invented to make farming faster and more efficient, as the machinery was built with very little to no thought of operator safety at the time.

That being said, the following farm accident which occured about 1811 was caused by a scythe, a very old timey, uncomplicated and simple tool, although, apparently, still extremely dangerous:

     “When [(Dr.) John George Rogers] the doctor was a lad only fourteen years old, William Goble, a farmer living near Bethel [Clermont County, Ohio], was severly and it was thought fatally cut by a scythe upon his back and shoulder, and a messenger came for his father to come and dress Mr. Goble’s wounds; but the father being miles away on his professional duties, his wife persuaded her son, John, to go and attend the wounded man. The boy went, examined and dressed the wounds, and sewed them, putting in eleven stitches an inch and a half apart, and such was his success that his father on examining him the next day, declared it to be a perfect surgical job.”1

          Dr. John George Rogers was one of the most noted of the physicians and surgeons of the pioneer days of Clermont County, who practiced at a time when it was necessary for great sacrifice of personal comfort for the taking of long, arduous rides over poor roads in sparsely settled districts.
After having acquired the knowledge usually taught in the schools of his day, John was placed under the instruction of his father at home…His father, having a large practice, was often away from home and many of the duties were placed on his son, who in boyhood acquired great dexterity in extracting teeth, bleeding and many of the operations of minor surgery, as well as dispensing medicine in the absence of his father. When fourteen years of age, William Goble, a farmer near Bethel, was severely and thought to be fatally wounded by a cut from a scythe upon the back and shoulder, which in the absence of his father, the boy was compelled to attend. He took eleven stitches into the wound, with such success that the next day, upon examination, his father pronounced a perfect surgical job.2

The William Goble of this story was my 4x great grandfather. He managed to survive the accident, and surgery, and went on to live another 40 years, still farming. No doubt due to the loving care administered by his wife Ruth, and of course the ‘perfect surgical job’ of his young doctor.

HW1875P772042
The scythe mentioned regarding the accident isn’t specified as being the type in this picture, it could have been a smaller hand scythe. Either way…ouch!

Sources:
1. The History of Clermont County 1795-1880, by Louis H. Everts. p414
2. History of Clermont and Brown Counties 1913, by Byron Williams p