Nathan F. Varney was born in Vermont on October 7, 1802. His wife Mary was born in Vermont on January 20, 1805. The Varney's evidently came to Wisconsin by way of Illinois because a daughter was born there about 1841. Nathan Varney settled in Section 5 of Somers (see two parcels on map below). Nathan F. Varney died on April 1, 1872 and his wife Mary on June 6, 1888. The are buried at Sylvania Cemetery.
Known Children of Nathan F. and Mary Varney:
Mary Adelaide. Born March 1835 in Vermont. Married Chester C. Shepard, son of Reuben and Sarah Shepard on February 22, 1853 in Kenosha County. Died August 27, 1857 at the age of 22, possibly in childbirth. Left one son, Gaylord R. Shepard.
Ann Marah. Born about 1841 in Illinois. Died March 1860. Buried in Sylvania Cemetery.
Helen A. Born January 2, 1846 in Wisconsin. Died February 6, 1870. Buried Sylvania Cemetery.
Frank George. Born 1846 in Wisconsin. Died 1864. Veteran Gravesite "U.S. Army Civil War" at Sylvania Cemetery. Possibly a twin to Helen A.
Rhoda Linsley Bean, Mary Varney's mother, lived with the Varney family ever since they came to Wisconsin. Rhoda is buried at Sylvania Cemetery. She died November 8, 1861 at the age of 87.
|1861 Partial Map of Somers Township, Kenosha County|
Two 40 acre parcels owned by Varney in Section 5
About Gaylord Shepard
Gaylord R. Shepard was born On January 16, 1854 in Kenosha County. He was raised by Nathan Varney, his grandfather. Gaylord's mother died when she was 22. See above.
Gaylord farmed in Somers Township and Mt. Pleasant in Racine County. On June 28, 1880, Gaylord married R. (Rowena) Estella Clemons (also known as Estella Rowenta or Stella R.), who was born April 11, 1854. She was the daughter of Hosea Clemons. Estella died on March 29, 1909. Gaylord married again to Emma N. He died on June 26, 1928. Gaylord and his two wives are buried in Mound Cemetery, Racine.
(Source: Mary Ann Culshaw Falk and the Sylvania Cemetery Trustees)
The US 1880 Census shows Mary, Gaylord's grandmother, lived with him on the farm in Somers.
The US 1900 Census shows that Gaylord lived in Racine with his wife, Stella R., his children: Helen who was born May, 1883 and Chester who was born May, 1887.
Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord Shepard of Somers Township, suffered a sad bereavement when their beautiful little girl Velma died on the evening of November 4, 1895. The discovery of the fatal disease, tuberculosis of the spine was so sudden and its development so speedy that there was short time for reconciliation to her death. She was only 3 years old, but she had the rightful place in their loving hearts of an immortal personality, full of promise and hope in the possibilities of magnificent attainments. Their loving plans and purposes for her life in this world have been thwarted, but she herself only passed into the spiritual realm of activity. The services occurred at the home Wednesday morning November 6 and with a following of many relatives and friends. She was taken to Oakwood Cemetery to be buried.
(Source: Racine Weekly Journal, November 14, 1895)
|1908 Partial Map of Somers Township, Kenosha County|
Gaylord Shepard parcels
Section 5 and Section 4
March 2, 1899 Racine Journal
"Gaylord Shepard is taking treatments at a hospital in Chicago. Mr. Shepard has suffered with rheumatism for some time."
June 15, 1899 Racine Journal
"Friday evening of this week the Epworth League will give a strawberry festival at the home of Mr. and Mrs. F.R. Shepard."
June 21, 1899 Racine Daily
"The lawn festival given at the home of Mr. F.R. Shepard on Friday evening was a success in every way, there being about 125 people present."
January 13, 1898 Racine Journal
"The Pike Grove Bible society held their annual meeting at the M.E. Church. Officers were elected. G.R., Vice President."
July 19, 1899
"Chester Shepard was kicked by a colt Monday evening but received no serious results."
September 21, 1899 Racine Journal
"Gaylord R. Shepard having rented his farm will sell his stock, farm implements, etc. at auction on Friday of this week."
About Chester C. Shepard
Chester C. Shepard was a well known farmer of Bristol Township and gained a gratifying measure of success in his chosen occupation. A native of Oswego County, New York, he was born on the 14th of January 1830, of the marriage of Reuben and Sarah (Whitcomb) Shepard, who removed with their family to Racine, Wisconsin, in 1844. Our subject received a good common school education in New York, and as his father died a short time after the family came to Wisconsin he early assumed a man's responsibilities. He farmed for a short time in Racine County but subsequently came to Kenosha County, where he purchased forty acres of land. He added to his holdings as his resources increased and continued to follow agricultural pursuits until 1906. He then removed to Bristol, where he passed away January 27, 1907. He was not only an industrious and practical farmer but was also a man of good business ability and so managed his affairs that he accumulated more than a competence.
In 1852 Mr. Shepard was united in marriage to Miss Adelaide Varney, by whom they had a son, Gaylord, who resides in Racine and is married and has two children, Helen and Chester. Mrs. Shepard died in 1856, and eight years later Mr. Shepard married Miss Agnes Carver, and to this union three children were born, namely: Edwin, a resident of Kenosha, who is married and has two daughters; Will, of Spokane, Washington, who is also married and has two children; and George.
Mr. Shepard was a stanch Republican and served acceptably as a member of the school board. His religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his daily life was guided by the teachings of Christianity.
George Shepard, who was born in Bristol Township on the 30th of December, 1867, attended the common schools until he was eighteen years of age, and then continued his education in the Whitewater Normal School at Whitewater. After putting aside his textbooks he returned to the home farm and has since devoted his time to its operation. He has erected a fine modern home, uses up to date machinery in his work and is progressive in his methods. He is generally recognized as one of the prosperous farmers of the county and has found agricultural work both profitable and congenial. On June 24, 1896, he was united in marriage to Miss Grace Gunter, a daughter of William and Emily Gunter. In politics he is independent and his religious faith is that of the Congregational Church.
(Source: City and County of Kenosha Record of Settlement by Frank h. Lyman, Vol II, Chicago, S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1916)
About Reuben Shepard
(Although Reuben Shepard did not live in Somers, information is included here for family research purposes because Reuben Shepard was Chester C. Shepard's father, Mary Varney's father-in-law.)
Reuben Shepard was born in New York in 1804. He was married to Sarah Whitcomb who was born in 1807 in New York state. She was the daughter of Eli and Ruth Whitcomb.
Six of their children were born in Oswego Co., New York. This family came to Wisconsin in 1844. Their son, Francis was born in Wisconsin in 1845. The Shepards lived in the SW quarter of Section 32, Mt. Pleasant Township, Racine County.
Reuben Shepard died on June 12, 1850 and is buried at Sylvania Cemetery. his wife Sarah married again to Theodore Woodworth on January 25, 1853. Theodore was a carpenter and joiner from Bristol Township. After Reuben died, his son Chester C. Shepard seems to have occupied his farm, later acquiring more land in Paris Township, Kenosha County.
Children of Reuben and Sarah Whitcomb Shepard:
Chester C. Shepard. Born January 14, 1830 in Oswego Co., New York. Married Mary Adalaide Varney, daughter of Nathan F. and Mary Varney at the Varney home in Somers Township on February 22, 1853. The were married by the Rev. Ebenezer Washburn of the M.E. Church of Kellogg's Corners. Mary Varney Shepard died on August 27, 1857, possible in childbirth. She is buried at Sylvania Cemetery. Chester and Mary had a son, Gaylord, who was born January 16, 1854. He was raised by Mary's parents, Nathan and Mary Varney. Chester Shepard married again in 1864 to Agnes Carver and had three more children: Edwin, Will and George. Chester died at Bristol in Kenosha County on January 27, 1907 and is buried at North Bristol Cemetery.
Sarah Shepard. Born about 1832 in Oswego Co., New York. She died February 16, 1848.
Mary C. Shepard. Born about 1835 in Oswego Co., New York.
Edward R. Shepard. Born about 1839 in Oswego Co., New York. He was in the Civil War and died at Nashville, Tenn. on March 25, 1865.
Marinda R. Shepard. Born about 1841 is Oswego Co., New York. She became a schoolteacher. Married Gilbert O. Vincent, son of Owen and Elisa Vincent, on March 12, 1872 in Racine County. Gilbert was a farmer from Bristol who was born in Onondega Co., New York.
Esther Shepard. Born about 1843 in Oswego Co., New York, schoolteacher.
Francis Shepard. Born about 1845. Possibly in Racine County. Died February 8, 1847 and buried at Sylvania Cemetery.
NOTE: Ruth Whitcomb was the mother of Sarah (Mrs. Reuben) Shepard. She was born in 1771 and died on March 27, 1849 at the age of 78. She is buried at Sylvania Cemetery. Ruth was the widow of Eli Whitcomb
(Source: Mary Ann Culshaw Falk and the Sylvania Cemetery Trustees)