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Otis Shepard
 Otis Shepard, 1797-1859 and Otis Shepard, Jr., d. 1900.

From American Series of Popular Biographies. Massachusetts Edition. This Volume Contains Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston: Graves & Steinbarger, 1891.


OTIS SHEPARD, for many years a prominent and highly esteemed citizen of Dorchester, was a representative of an old New England family. Born in Stoughton, Mass., March 12, 1797, a son of Ralph Shepard, he was a descendant in the seventh generation from Ralph Shepard, who came to New England in 1635 and settled in Stoughton, the line being: Ralph, Thomas, Ralph, Thomas, Samuel, Ralph, and Otis.

Otis Shepard received a common-school education, and at the age of fifteen years began life on his own account as clerk in a store in Milton. Not liking the position, he remained with his parents for a while, and then became book-keeper for a Mr. Bent in Milton, remaining with him nine years. Forming a partnership with his brothers Hiram and James he then established in Dorchester the business that has since been known as Shepard's Bakery. Assuming from the start the clerical work connected with its management, he retained it until his death, on February 20, 1859. He took great interest in the welfare of the town and served as Justice of the Peace, Assessor, and in 1840 as Census Enumerator. He was active in religious affairs, and for several years served as parish clerk of the First Church of Dorchester.

On October 5, 1823, Mr. Shepard married Ann, daughter of William and Sarah (Pierce) Pope, of the well-known family of this name. She lived a long and useful life, passing away January 15, 1886, at a venerable age. They were the parents of thirteen children, namely: Otis, who died in infancy; Katherine Amelia; Otis, second; Charles Alexander; Horace Scudder; Ann Adaline; Lucy Elizabeth; Eliza Frances, Amasa Stetson; Amasa Stetson, the second, Rebecca Kettell; Rachel Pope; and Ellen Grace.

Otis Shepard, Jr., was born on Meeting House Hill, Dorchester. After being graduated from the grammar school he attended a private school. Industrious and ambitious, he earned his own spending money as a boy of eleven years by raising strawberries in his father's garden and selling them in the Boston markets, carrying them himself and walking the entire distance there and back. At the age of sixteen years he entered the employ of A. & W. Pope, lumber dealers in Dorchester, and was soon allowed a small interest in the business. He purchased the interest of the Pope Brothers in 1855, but continued the business under the same firm name for several years. Establishing a wholesale lumber office in Boston in 1865, he shortly afterward bought out the house of Flint & Hall; and the well-known firm of Shepard, Hall & Co., was formed. In 1878 the present corporation of the Shepard & Morse Lumber Company was organized, he being its president until his death, May 22, 1900. He was a man of great executive ability and the prime mover in increasing the business of this prominent firm, which had its main office in Boston, with a branch office in New York, a mill in Burlington, Vt., and large yards and extensive lumber lands in Canada. He was well known in Canada, having been identified with the lumber trade of the Ottawa valley for thirty-five years, and was considered an authority on all subjects connected with the business, ranking in that respect with the late James MacLaren and John Booth. He was a director and vice-president of the old Manufacturers' Bank, a vice-president of the Colonial Bank, a director in the United States Trust Company, and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. On May 4, 1854, he married Emily Elizabeth, daughter of John Wheeler and Sarah Ann (Badger) Blanchard. Four children were born of their union, one daughter and three sons.

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Created: November 27, 2004   Modified: November 27, 2004