873 Goodrich Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota


Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 68-545 6
Printed in the United States of America
by Saint Paul Associated Letter Company
Saint Paul, Minnesota



The interest in genealogy, both from the amateur and professional viewpoint has increased greatly in recent years. This interest is not generally due to the hope that private gain or increased social prestige will possibly result. Younger generations are curious to know about their ancestors: who they were, where and how they lived, and how they dressed. Two of the author's granddaughters, who at the time lived in Washington, took out research cards with him at the Archives Building and with great interest spent several days checking census and other records, normally a dull activity.

Having as a boy known the grandparents on both sides rather intimately, the author had been exposed to family legend and conversation during an impressionable age. Although notes had been taken, correspondence filed, and a clipping scrapbook kept, it was not until 1960 that the decision was made to proceed with the assembling and publishing of a genealogical history. Retirement in 1965 has given more time for this work.

To avoid endless ramification, the scope of this history is necessarily limited to the two couples of grandparents and their descendants, together with references to existing genealogies and records. The family branches are descended from the following:

Mary Jane Palmerlee Thrall and Willis Collins Thrall
Mary Hitchcock Shepard and Richard Shepard

In genealogy, as in legal procedure, the line of descent may be a factor as to whether or not an individual is included in the family tree. In settling the eligibility of jurors for a court case, the judge quoted this rhyme:

"The groom and bride each comes within
The circle of the others kin;
But kin and kin are still no more
Related than they were before."

The thought that we are descended from our grandfathers expresses the situation only partially. Research for this volume discloses the fact that wherever these pioneers have moved into new settlements where the going was tough, the grandmothers carried their share of the load.

Time has not permitted the search of all sources of genealogical information. It is trusted that those who read this volume will find it of interest and of possible future value in stimulating further study.


This volume is dedicated to the memory of the young men whose photographs follow. Of the many descendants listed in the volume, these three lost their lives in the active service of their country in World War II. They are Captain William M. Shepard, Sergeant Lloyd W. Hadley and First Lieutenant Robert C. Shepard. Their spirit of service is typical of that of the many other individuals included in these and other family lists, and who have given freely of their strength and ability to their country.


Captain William M. Shepard, 85th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, 5th U.S. Army, killed in action at Castel d’Aiano, west of Bologna, Italy, April 15, 1945. He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously for gallantry in action on February 21, 1945 and the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in combat on April 10, 1945.


Sergeant Lloyd W. Hadley, U.S. Air Force was returning from bombing action in Germany, when the U.S. bomber was sunk over the English Channel, losing Sgt. Hadley and two others on December 11, 1943. The Air Medal was awarded to Lloyd W. Hadley along with the other members of the crew for exceptionally meritorious achievement while participating in five separate combat missions. He was also given the Purple Heart and the Air Force Citation of Honor.


First Lieutenant Robert C. Shepard, 116th Infantry, 29th Division, was killed in action at St. Lo, Normandy, France, July 12, 1944. His regiment, the 116th Infantry, was cited by the President of the United States for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in the initial assault on D-Day.


The assembling of this history would not have been possible but for the research of and the accumulation of correspondence, anecdotes, clippings, and observations over the years by the author's cousin, the late Arrah B. Evarts, M.D. of Rochester, Minnesota. Having given up the idea of publishing such a family history herself many years ago, she has made all of her information available for this volume.

The author’s father, William Milson Shepard has provided the most reliable and comprehensive source of information for both the Shepard and Hitchcock families, he being the oldest of the second Richard Shepard family. For a number of years past notes and inserts in the author’s diary on talks with him of the early life of the Shepard family in Wisconsin and Minnesota were carefully kept. In addition to his important role as a boy of fifteen in the move from Wisconsin, he later made trips to Cattaraugus County, New York, both before and after his marriage to Lucy Mehitable (Hettie) Thrall in 1886. Until his death in 1940, his memory spanned the period of great settlement of the west and, incidentally, the important moves of the family.

Mrs. Flora Shepard Bemis, the youngest sister of William Shepard, was active and mentally alert until her death in Dresser, Wis., on March 16, 1965 at the age of 95. She was a reliable source of information. Mrs. Effie Thrall Alsworth, who died in Niagara, New York, June 9, 1942, was the youngest sister of Mrs. William (Hettie) Shepard. She was responsible for placing the Thrall family bible record in the New York State D.A.R., headquarters library. Harold E. Alsworth, western editor of the Buffalo Evening News, furnished pertinent data relative to the early history of the Buffalo-Arcade area. Victor Alsworth, the youngest son, furnished family records and transportation to the author during a visit in February 1965 to Olean, Little Valley, Hinsdale and Arcade.

Mrs. Henry (Ruth) Thrall, active at 82 years of age on December 8, 1966, has done a fine job in assembling data from her family, scattered in several areas of Canada and the northwest. Mrs. Herbert Childs (Ivah Thrall) and Mrs. Ruben Crandall (Helen Thrall), daughters of the late William Ernest Thrall, have supplied information for their respective families, Mrs. Venna Watkins has furnished news from the Ralph Evarts colony in California. Mrs. John Brommer (Faye Shepard) and Clarence E. Simpson have been of great assistance in the State of Washington and the West. The late Floyd W. Shepard and his wife Evelyn have supplied information for their Canadian and northwest U. S. residence. Helen Shepard and Mrs. Blanche Grimes, widow of Clifford Ray Shepard, and her daughter, Mrs. Eloise Sharrow, have helped greatly. Miss Sarah Howland of Northfield, Minnesota has given information regarding the Simpson and Howland genealogy. Miss Mabel LeFeber and Harry LeFeber have described the residence of the LeFebers in Wisconsin and Mrs. Chester Schmidt (Hazel Medway) her trips to England.

The late Mrs. George (Esther Rutherford) Shepard and her cousin Mrs. Lucia Hewitt Lee have faithfully preserved and furnished family correspondence, photographs, penciled genealogical tables, and other records relating to the Rutherford and Hewitt families. Clyde Silvernale, now of Los Angeles, formerly of Kenyon, Minnesota, has supplied information of the Thrall family in Kenyon and was responsible for the contact of the author with the late D. Stephen Thrall, Dean of Thrall genealogists of Weston, Mass.

Seward Abbott of Owatonna, Minnesota, has been very kind in providing the author, for use in this volume, a copy of his biography (May 1967) of William Henry Palmerlee, with copies of Palmerlee photographs, and with a copy of the 1892 biographical record of Hoel Palmerlee, as well as copies of 1851 and 1860 correspondence between W. H. (Henry) Palmerlee and Mary Jane and Willis Collins Thrall. Seward Abbott is a grandson of W. H. Palmerlee.

Mrs. Wm. E. Perry, daughter, and William Shepard Perry, grandson, have aided greatly in the final assembly and composition of the volume.

The author has consulted the Library of the Minnesota Historical Society and its early newspaper files, the Library of the City of Olean, New York, the county clerks office at Little Valley, New York, (Cattaraugus County), the clerks office at Mantorville Minnesota, (Dodge County), the Newberry Library at Chicago, and the Archives in Washington, D.C. To those who have been specifically mentioned herein and to all others who have aided in the preparation of this volume, the most sincere thanks is extended.