Joseph Cheput Shepard
1816 – 1915
By Roger Kemps © 2010
Joseph Shepard was born Joseph Cheput (or Chaput) in Paris, France on July 4, 1816. His family settled in Montreal, Canada (they had a farm on the outskirts). When he was 16, his parents went to town, after warning him not to touch a new horse they had just bought. He rode it anyway and it died. He hid in the bushes when his parents returned from Montreal and then ran away from home and Americanized his name from Cheput to Shepard (or Sheppard). He never saw his family again. His brothers became wealthy and owned Cheput (or Chaput) Department Store in Montreal. Joseph met Rachel Stuart Winters, a widow with two children (John and Annie) from Buffalo, New York and they married on December 2, 1865. They lived in Toronto, then drifted down to Muskegon, Michigan. Joe worked in the woods in Michigan and Two Harbors, Minnesota in the sawmills and as a cook.
Including his two step children, Joseph and Rachel had at least twelve children:
· John Henry Winters, named after his father, was born on September 4, 1859 in Michigan. When he was quite young, he married Matilda (Tillie) who was 16. After his mother died, John and Tillie tried to keep the family together. However, Tillie and Josie were about the same age and did not get along well. They did raise his brother, Edward. John and Tillie had seven children. John died in Muskegon, Michigan on May 31, 1945 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.
· Annie Putnam was born in 1862.
· Josephine Lord was born in 1867. Josie raised her sister, Mayme’s child, Frederick. She went to New York for a while and was a child nurse. When her father was in his 90s, she took him to Detroit, Michigan to live with her until he died. Josephine died on May 2, 1928.
· Isabella was born on April 1, 1868 and died on August 19, 1868.
· Frances A. was also born on April 1, 1868. She died before the 1870 cencus.
· Alice was born on December 21, 1869.
· Lillian Cruse was born in 1870. She had two children; Marguerite and Eugene. Lillian died in 1928.
· Edward was born on February 22, 1872 and died in Duluth, Minnesota on January 12, 1957. He and his wife, Catherine, had four children.
· Marey was born in 1874.
· Rachel Beatrice Eggebrecht was born on February 20, 1877 and died in Chicago, Illinois on April 23, 1963.
· Mayme Cooper was born in 1878. She had a boy, Frederick, and died when her long hair caught fire while standing in front of a heater.
· Infant born in 1879.
Rachel Stuart Winters Shepard died in 1879 during childbirth, along with the infant. Joseph was unable to raise the children on his own so they were subsequently raised by different families. Beatrice and Edward were reunited after 57 years in July 1936, see Duluth newspaper article.
Joseph lived with his son, Edward, when he was in his late 80’s. He then lived with his daughter, Josephine, in Detroit, Michigan. Joseph Cheput Shepard died in Detroit, Michigan on June 11, 1915 at the age of 98 years, 11 months, and 7 days. See his Death Certificate for additional details. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Muskegon, Michigan.
The information comes from various sources and there is frequent disagreement about various "facts," including the spelling of last names. See notes.
1860_John_Winters.pdf see line 22
1870 Joseph Shepard.pdf see line 24
1880 Joseph Sheppard.pdf see lines 42 & 43
1880 Edward Shepard.pdf see lines 46 & 47
1880 Lilly Shephard.pdf see line 49
1900 Edward Shepard.pdf see line 8
1910 Edward Shepard.pdf see line 17
1920 Edward Shepard.pdf see line 54
1930 Edward G Shepard.jpg see line 8
1940 Edward G Shepard.jpg see line 58
1900 Josephine Lord.pdf see line 47
1910 Josephine Lord.pdf see line 7
1900 John Winters.pdf see line 39
1910 John Winters.pdf see line 67
1920 John Winters.pdf see line 13
1930 John H Winters.jpg see line 80
1940 John H Winters.jpg see line 61
Isabella Shepherd Death Register.jpg see number 212
Frances Shepard Birth Register.jpg see number 204
Alice Shepherd Birth Register.jpg see number 944
Joseph_Shepard.jpg Joseph Shepard and a friend
Last updated 6/22/2017
The information comes from various sources and there is frequent disagreement about various "facts," including the spelling of last names. Variations and their sources are as follows:
Abner - Abner Shepherd Rachael Winters Marriage Listing
Abner - Isabella Shepherd Death Register
Abner - Frances Shepard Birth Register
Adner - Edward Sheppard Birth Certificate
Joseph - Edward Shepard Death Certificate
Joseph - 1870 Census
Joseph - 1880 Census
Joseph - Alice Shepherd Birth Register
Joseph - Beatrice Eggebrecht Death Certificate
Shepherd - Abner Shepherd Rachael Winters Marriage Listing
Shepherd - Alice Shepherd Birth Register
Sheppard - 1880 Census
Sheppard - Edward Sheppard Birth Certificate
Shepard - Edward Shepard Death Certificate
Shepard - 1870 Census
Shepard - Frances Shepard Birth Register
Shepard- Beatrice Eggebrecht Death Certificate
Place of birth:
Canada - 1870 Census
Canada - Edward Sheppard Birth Certificate
Canada - Frances Shepard Birth Register
Canada - 1880 Census for Lilly Shephard
Canada - Joseph Shepard Death Certificate
France - 1910 Census for Josephine Lord
France - 1900, 1910 & 1930 Census for Edward Shepard
Paris, France - 1920 Census for Edward Shepard
England - 1880 Census
Germany - Alice Shepherd Birth Register
Date of birth:
1832 - Abner Shepherd Rachael Winters Marriage Listing
~1834 - 1870 Census
~1815 - 1880 Census
John Winters shows up consistently on all three census (1860, 1870 & 1880) and ties them together as the correct families and family members.
Numerous assumptions were made in creating the story and are consistent with the handwritten Eggebrecht notes and the typed version that Arthur Andersen documented.