Jacob I. Sheppard, lawyer, whose portrait appears on the opposite page, is one of the prominent members of the Bourbon county bar and has become well known because of his interest in labor matters. He was born in Jackson county, West Virginia, Dec. 17, 1861, son of Samuel and Mary J. (Ingrahm) Sheppard. His father was also a native of West Virginia, where he was reared and received his education. After leaving school he began to farm and followed that vocation until 1870, when he came to Kansas and located in Pawnee township, Bourbon county, where the family lived until 1885. That year the parents and all the children, excepting Jacob I., went to California, where Mr. Sheppard died in 1890; his wife still resides there. Jacob I. Sheppard attended the Bourbon county public schools and after graduating from the high school studied at the Fort Scott Normal School one year. In 1884 he began to teach in the schools of Bourbon county and continued in that profession five years. During this time he decided to devote his life to the study of law, and he began to read for the bar in the office of William Chenault. In 1889 he passed the bar examination, was admitted to practice, and at once opened an office at Fort Scott, where he has since been actively engaged with legal work. On July 4, 1885, Mr. Sheppard was united in marriage with Ida, daughter of Orin Gifford, of Fort Scott. Mr. Gifford was born in New York state but went to Michigan where he ran a hotel for some years and about 1880 he came to Fort Scott and bought land in Bourbon county, which he farmed until he came to make his home with his daughter. Three children have come to brighten the Sheppard home: James G. is a graduate of the law department of the University of Michigan; Kate is also a graduate of the University of Michigan, and both she and her brother are associated with their father in the law business; and Mary Jane is in the high school at Fort Scott. For six years Mr. Sheppard edited and published at Fort Scott a paper with a nation-wide circulation, known as "The Trackman," in the interests of railroad men. He organized the National Union of Railroad Trackmen, which was later consolidated with another organization of railroad trackmen which has its headquarters at St. Louis. Mr. Sheppard was president of the organization until it was absorbed, and is always interested in the cause of the working men and gives them every assistance within his power. He is warm hearted and generous and gives freely of money and of his time to the needy and to those whom he believes are not getting a square deal. In politics he is a Socialist and from 1896 to 1900 was attorney of Bourbon county. Fraternally he is a Thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and a charter member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Fort Scott.Pages 1232-1233 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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