Francis Marion Sheppard was born on 16 May 1827 in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, the son of Elisha Sheppard and Malinda (Blount) Sheppard. The 1840 Missouri census shows him as one of eight children at home. By 1850 he had migrated to Texas where he was residing with John Jones, a physician, and his wife, Sarah Jones. Francis M. Sheppard was shown as a 25 year old merchant. Francis Marion next appears back in the Cape Girardeau area where on 14 May 1857 he marries Louisa Blount (Book C Page 70 of County Marriages). On 8 March 1859, Francis M. Sheppard is appointed guardian for James Blount, a minor over the age of 14. This is believed to be a relative of Francis Marion's mother.
One son,I. Francis Marion Sheppard, (Jr,) , born September 1859 in Cobden, Illinois, results from this marriage. On 19 December 1859, Louisa filed for divorce and on 9 December 1863 a final decree is granted. On 23 July 1860 the census records show Louisa Sheppard and son, Francis M., living with Mary English and her two sons, William, age 24, and Columbus, age 18, in Jackson, Missouri.
On 29 June 1858 Francis M. Sheppard is appointed Administrator for the estate of his father, Elisha. Heirs are listed as his widow, Malinda; adult children, Martha M. Daughtery, Napoleon Sheppard, Margaret Bennett, Francis M. Sheppard; Zelema Sheppard and Missouri Sheppard, minor children, and Elisha Sheppard in Amavor (sp) County, California. Francis Marion also acted as agent for several of his brothers and sisters or their heirs at the dispersal of the estate of his aunt, Margaret (Sheppard) Duncan on 5 Jan 1859. Francis Marion apparently left the area sometime between 1861 and 18 Nov 1863 when final estate disbursements were made by Thomas B. English, attorney for Francis Marion. (Box 11, Bundle 206-Cape Girardeau County, MO Probate records)
Francis Marion Sheppard subsequently married Mary Elizabeth Thompson, the daughter of Nathaniel and Ann Thompson. Mary Elizabeth was born in Iuka, Mississippi on 21 October 1847. They were married in Lamar County, Texas on 12 July 1865. Francis Marion's younger sister, Missouri Adeline, also married Solomon P. Long in this same county on 5 October 1865.
On 29 August 1870 the census records show Francis Marion living in Clarksville, Arkansas where he is shown as a wheelwright. They have two children, II. George Pendelton Sheppard, born 17 May 1868 and III. Alice E, born 21 March 1870. Also living with them is a 26 year old blacksmith, John M. Lewis.
On 26 February 1874, Francis M. and Mary E. Sheppard purchase 1/2 of a lot in the town of Bellefonte, Arkansas for $375.00. On 20 February 1875 they purchase the remaining 1/2 of the lot and a house for $300.00. On 3 June 1880 the census records show them residing in Bellefonte where Francis M. is listed as a laborer. They now have 5 children living as follows: II. George P., III. Alice E., IV. Ida M. born 16 May 1873, V. Lela C. born 24 October 1875 and VI. Mettie U. born 26 January 1878.
In 1900 census records, Francis M. and Mary E. Sheppard reside in Harrison, Arkansas where Francis M. is shown as a 73 year old wagon repairman. Residing with them are two single daughters, Lela C and Mettie U. Records indicate Mary Elizabeth gave birth to 8 children, only 5 of whom were living in 1900.
On 28 May 1905 Francis Marion Sheppard died in Lowry, Arkansas and was buried there. Lowry, Arkansas is located east of Omaha in Boone County and some of the area is now under the Bull Shoals Lake. Many cemeteries were relocated as a result of the project but no record of Francis M. Sheppard has been found in graves relocation records or existing cemetery records of Boone County. However, many of the relocated graves were listed as unmarked.
In 1910 Mary Elizabeth (Thompson) Sheppard is shown in census records as a widow living on a farm in Bear Creek Township of Boone County, Arkansas. Residing with her are an unmarried daughter, Lela C.; a widowed daughter, Ida M. (Sheppard) Johnson and her 9 year old son, Frank A. Johnson; and a 20 year old grandson, Carl J. Vance (the son of Ida by a previous marriage).
In 1920 Mary Elizabeth (Thompson) Sheppard was living with her daughter, Alice E (Sheppard) Johnson and her son-in-law, Adam S. Johnson in Oliver Township, Taney County, Missouri. Residing with the Johnson's are their daughter, Mildred J. and son, Lex "Lee" C. Johnson. Alice's 44 year old single sister, Lela C., is also living here with the family.
Mary Elizabeth (Thompson) Sheppard died on 21 May 1926 in Washington Township, Stone County, Missouri and was buried in Hollister, Missouri (Ref: Death Certificate #18562 of Mary E.). According to her granddaughter, Agnes (Sheppard) Bradley, she is buried in Gobbler's Knob Cemetery but listings for this cemetery do not include her name and no gravestone has been located.
On 27 January 1886 the oldest daughter, III. Alice E., aged 15, married John Brown, aged 23, of Bellefonte (Book B page 375 Boone County Marriages). A daughter, Fannie is born of this marriage on 22 January 1887. Fannie married Jesse W. Parrish on 18 September 1904 and bears at least three children (Clyde born about 1907, Claude born about 1908 and Cona born about 1913). Ref: 1920 Arkansas Census, Boone County, Bear Creek Township, SD 3, ED 38, Family #63. On 21 April 1895 Alice married again, this time to Adam S. Johnson of Harrison, a widower with five daughters and one step-daughter. (Book E page 298) Status of Alice's first husband has not been determined (Deceased or divorced). In 1900 the family appears in the Boone County, Arkansas census and are living in Bear Creek Township. On 18 April 1902, Adam became the Postmaster of Lowry and served until 1911. Alice and Adam became the parents of a daughter, Mildred, born about 1906 and a son, Lex (Lee) C., born about 1909. The family appears in the 1910 Arkansas Census, Boone County, Bear Creek Township, SD 3, ED 36, Family #86. No additional children are shown in the 1920 census data. Alice died 22 September 1959 in Galena, Missouri and is buried in Crane, Missouri. The daughter IV. Ida M. married Wilton P. Vance of Harrison on 28 October 1888 (Book C page 80?). A son, Carl, was born of this marriage 12 December 1890. Carl, a resident of Lowry, married Minnie F. Dereberry, daughter of Dr. Robert and Sarah D. (Stewart) Dereberry, on 2 November 1910 (Book K, page 258). Minnie died 11 July 1914 and is buried in the Dereberry Cemetery in Boone County, Arkansas. IV. Ida M. married for a second time on 22 Dec 1897 to Daniel Johnson of Elmwood (Book F, page 327). They have one son, Francis "Frank" A., born 20 December 1900. Another son and daughter were born to the family but died at early ages. Daniel died 19 July 1902 and is buried in Elmwood. On 17 February 1914, IV. Ida M. married for a third time to Sanford E. Clark of Harrison (Book L, page 322). On 9 March 1917 in Muskogee, Oklahoma IV. Ida married for a fourth time to Henry C. Brazell, a widower. Henry's first wife, the daughter of Solomon and Missouri (Sheppard) Long, died 30 October 1915 in Oklahoma In January 1920 the Federal Census of Oklahoma, McIntosh County, Town of Checotah, SD 2, ED 42, page 71 Family #188 shows the Henry and Ida Brazell family. Living with the family is Ida's widowed aunt, Missouri (Sheppard) Long, and Ida's two sons by previous marriages. These are Francis A. (Frank) Johnson and Carl Vance together with his family consisting of wife, Margaret, age 21, a son, Vernon A., age 8 (Probably son of previous wife, Minnie) and James W., a 1 1/2 year old son. Henry Brazell died 20 January 1929 and is buried in Checotah, Oklahoma. Ida May died 17 February 1963 in Mack's Creek, Missouri and is buried there. The daughter VI. Mettie married L. H. (Henry) Davis of Boone County, Arkansas on 6 August 1904 in Taney County, Missouri. Three sons and a daughter are born to this family:
- 1) Marion Edmond "Ted" Davis born 26 Jan 1906 in Lowry, Arkansas. He died 1 September 1907 of diphtheria and was buried in Lowry.
- 2) Tommy Herbert Davis born 31 May 1907 in Lowry, Arkansas. He died in Lake County, California in March 1987.
- 3) Lucian Clarence "LC" Davis born 29 March 1913 in Lowry, Arkansas and died 19 November 1978 in Blue Eye, Missouri.
- 4) Lela Alice May Davis born 6 November 1914. She married Leonard McFarland. Leonard died in Jul 1985 in Missouri. Mettie died 10 Nov 1962 in Blue Eye, Missouri. The daughter Lela C. Sheppard never married and died in a nursing home in Springfield, Missouri on 19 December 1970. She is buried in Blue Eye, Missouri.