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George Shedd and Abigail Houston Shedd

   
George & Abigail Houston Shedd
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George Shedd's Education

From Chapman's "Sketches of the Alumni of Dartmouth College", (pp. 306):

George Shedd, the son of Asa and Rebecca (Adams) Shedd, was born at Rindge, May 13, 1810. He studied medicine at Dayton, Ohio, and at the Med. Institution of Cincinnati, Ohio, and became M.D. probably there; commenced practice at Denmark, Iowa, in 1842, and may be there still. He married Abby Houston of Lyndeborough, Sept, 5, 1844. Charles Shedd, D.C. 1826, is his brother.

The 1837 "Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Dartmouth College," lists George Shedd as a member of the junior class (57 members strong), residing in room 23 of one of the dormitories.

According to the "Catalogue," "A Candidate for admission to the College must satisfy the Faculty, by written testimonials, that he sustains a good moral character....For admission into the Freshman Class, it is required that the candidate be well versed in the grammar of the English, Latin and Greek Languages; in Virgil, Cicero's Select Orations...the Four Gospels, Arithmetic, ...Geography, Algebra....The tuition of the first term is required in advance....The Faculty wish it to be understood, that the College is a desirable place, not for the intractable and perverse, but for the regular, the gentlemanly, and the good,--for those whose object is intellectual and moral improvement." (pp. 18-19)

The course of study included Latin and Greek language, literature and philosophy, algebra, trigonometry, astronomy, chemistry, elocution and composition. Tuition was $27.00 a term; room and board another $55.00.

Info received from the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College.

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Brief Sketch of George Shedd

This was written by Charles F. Shedd, a nephew of George Shedd, dated Sept. 13, 1918 from Lincoln, Neb.

Our side of the Shedd family consisted of Abel Shedd & his four sons, Charles, James A., Curtis & Dr. George, your grandfather, & one daughter Rebecca who married Dr. Gallop. The Shedd children were born in Rindge N.H. Charles Shedd studied for the ministry & located in Minnesota. My father James A., practiced law in Dayton Ohio where his three sons & three daughters were born. Curtis Shedd, with a few New Englanders, settled in the village of Denmark, Lee Co., Iowa in 1836, & your grandfather, Dr. George Shedd joined the Denmark colony in 1842, & my father James A. joined the colony in 1847.

Denmark was 25 miles from the Missouri state line & was settled by New England anti-slavery people, Denmark being the first underground railroad station where runaway slaves were assisted to make their escape to Canada. Your grandfather was active in assisting runaway slaves. They would come to Denmark & there be taken in hand, your grandfather having much to do with planning their escape. Generally Deacon Trobridge with a light rig would take the runaway to Burlington, another underground railroad station, from there he would be piloted to Galesburg & from there, from station to station until he was safely landed in Canada. During the days of slavery hundreds of these runaway slaves passed through Denmark on their way to freedom. The slave masters followed their slaves & sometimes arrived in Denmark while their slaves were in hiding but I am sure they never recaptured any runaways but they threatened time & again to burn Denmark but did not do it.

[George Shedd] was a member of the state prison board. The state penitentiary was located in Ft. Madison, 10 miles from Denmark & Dr. Shedd was for a time at the head of the Board & had much to do with the working of the Board.

[George Shedd] was a very active man. His profession called him all over that section of the country, he kept two saddle horses or driving horses, he would be called into the country perhaps four miles north & when he would return home find a call three or four miles east, he would mount a fresh horse & make the trip, this might be in the night or midwinter but it made no difference & so his work passed on.

When the twins came — Mary & Mattie, Dr. Shedd was considered the biggest man in that section of the country, he was so well known, every body had something to say & they generally said it out loud. He was a worker in the church. Rev. Asa Turner was pastor of the church. The Denmark church was the first Congregational church organized west of the Miss. River.

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Land Records

George Shedd first bought land in 1847. He sold this property to his brother, James, 3 years later and bought other property in the Town of Denmark. He resold all these properties by 1858 except Lot No. 6, Block 19 and the north half of Block No. 7, so possibly his home was on one of these lots. According to personal letters, his office was on the same property as his house. Block No. 7 is in the north west corner of the inner section of the town.

View 1874 Map of Denmark Township

Lewis & Lucy Epps to George Shedd: $100, Out Lot No. 11 in the Town of Denmark. Signed 8 Sept. 1846, Recorded 13 Jul 1847. (Lee County Deed Book Vol 3, Page 435)

George & Abby Shedd to James A. Shedd: $575, Out Lot No. 11 in the Town of Denmark. Signed 24 Apr 1849, Recorded 1 June 1850.

Stephen P. Loomis to George Shedd: $125, Lots No. 1 & 2, Block 19 in the Town of Denmark. Signed 21 Nov 1855, Recorded 24 Nov 1855. (Lee County Deed Book Vol 6, Page 378)

Timothy & Mary Fox to George Shedd: $50, Lot No. 6, Block 19 in the Town of Denmark. Signed 26 Oct 1855, Recorded 24 Nov 1855. (Lee County Deed Book Vol 6, Page 379)

George & Abby H. Shedd to John Hoply: $20, a strip of land one rod wide to be taken from the west side of Lot No. 2, Block No. 19, as laid out in the recorded plot of the Town of Denmark, said strip lying East of and adjoining the lot owned by John Hoply and extending the whole length of Lot No. 2. Signed 1 Feb 1857, Recorded 26 Mar 1857 (Lee County Deed Book Vol A, Page 151)

William & Lucy K. Brown to George Shedd: $150, the North half of Block No. 7. Signed 4 Dec 1857, Recorded 8 May 1858 (Lee County Deed Book Vol A, Page 465)

George & Abby Shedd to Rufus Underwood: $210, Lot No. 1 and 83.5 feet off of the East side of Lot No. 2 adjoining to the West side of said Lot No. 1 of Block No. 19 in the Town of Denmark. Signed 16 July 1857, Recorded 5 Sept 1857 (Lee County Deed Book Vol A, Page 465)

Rufus & Harriet Underwood to George Shedd: $240, the North half of the West half of the South West Quarter of Section Twelve, Twp. 69, Range 5 West, containing 40 Acres. Signed 10 Aug 1858, Recorded 18 Jan 1870 (Lee County Deed Book Vol G, Page 446)

George & Abby H. Shedd to Joseph Goody: $300, the North half of the West half of the South West Quarter of Section Twelve, Twp. 69, Range 5 West, containing 40 Acres. Signed 3 Jan 1870, Recorded 4 Feb 1870 (Lee County Deed Book Vol G, Page 465)

George Shedd to A. M. Tuttle $1050, Lots 1, 2, and 3 in Block 7 in the Town of Denmark; Signed 25 July 1882, Recorded 22 February 1883. George Shedd was shown as a resident of Saunders County, Nebraska. (Town Lot Deed Book 7, Page 399)

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Description of The Shedd's Front Yard in Denmark

Written by Mattie Shedd for a school composition

Our front yard is about five rods long and four rods wide. There is a walk from the front gate to the house, on each side of the walk are rows of rose bushes some twenty in number. Outside of the rose bushes are Evergreens, Pines, Spruces, Balsams, Hemlocks, Cedars, Arbor Vilia. There are four kinds of Pines, two American and two Foreign. There are two Scotch Pines, one Austrian, one yellow and four white Pines, eight in all.

There are four Spruces, five Cedars, Hemlocks and Arbor Vitiae. Out side of the Evergreens are two rows of Maple trees which are very pretty. Among the Evergreens are shrubs and rose bushes, Flowering Almond, Flowering Currants, Snow drop, Sweet-briar, running rose, Lilacs, and others which I do not know the names of. Outside of the Maples on the west are five rows of Currants and Gooseberry bushes, and in the east are five or six rows of Raspberry and Currants.

There are six or seven kinds of Currants, four of raspberry and two Gooseberry's. Next to the house are two tall Larches, which I think are the prettiest trees in the yard. If our yard is not pretty, home is pleasant any way.

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Aunt Jessie's Memories of George Shedd

After Grandmother Shedd died, Grandfather closed his home in Denmark, Iowa and came to Ashland to live with mother and her brother, Uncle Hibbard. Uncle Hibbard and Aunt Kate had four children, Harry, George, Edith and Helen. Their home was a block away from our house. Grandfather Shedd was supposed to live six months with Uncle Hibbard and six months with mother, but it ended by his living with mother all the time.

He had the nice bedroom with the bay window, above the sitting room. He had a table in the bay window on which he kept all his papers. He reported the daily weather to the state weather bureau. He had some kind of weather thermometer up on the hill on Dr. Mansfeld's place. He was not paid for his work. It was his hobby.

In winter he had a small base burner in his room and we children would run in there in the morning to dress in front of the stove.

Our upstairs at that time in the winter was about as cold as outdoors. The windows must have had a half inch of frost on them. I remember long icicles hanging from the window frames and from the roof of the house.

Grandfather, in the winter time, instead of an overcoat, wore a big shawl, held together with a big, at least four inch, safety pin. He was much respected as a retired doctor and was often consulted by the doctors in Ashland. He always carried a gold headed cane. He suffered from asthma.

The big Seth Thomas clock which came from his old home sat on a shelf in his room and on the same shelf until we sold the house. I kept it until we moved to First Ave. in San Diego. It had been damaged during storage and I gave it to the Fine Arts Society for its annual sale, as I thought someone might be able to repair it. It had heavy lead weights and when it struck each hour, could be heard all over the house.

Grandfather Shedd was a man of great character. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College, won his medical degree at a University or College in Cincinnati. He was an abolitionist during the Civil War Period, also a member of the Underground Railroad in Denmark, Iowa where he settled. The Underground Railroad in Denmark was very active in helping runaway slaves to escape to Canada, and Grandfather was the leader in the group. After my mother passed away, I found among his papers the constitution signed by all the members of this organization. I gave the paper to the Iowa Historical Association.

Grandfather Shedd was a great temperance man and gave lectures on the subject. I am very sorry I destroyed his lectures which were among his papers. He had an illustrated map, a lithograph named the "Road to Hell" which he used with the lectures. There is an engine and train, the devil as engineer. At the sides are stations listed, beginning with Sippington and ending with Destruction. I gave this map to John and Betty.

Grandfather was a man interested in many subjects. In Denmark, at one time he had a singing school. He was much interested in growing fruit trees. He also had a large collection of rocks, some of them with veins of gold and silver and which I think came from Colorado. I gave this collection away and I am very sorry I never saved it.

He died in 1892 and is buried in Denmark, Iowa, besides Grandmother Shedd. I gave the Denmark Cemetery Association some money to always keep the graves in good condition and I hope this has been done.

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George Shedd's Appointment to Inspector of Iowa Penitentiary

George Shedd was appointed as Inspector of the Iowa Penitentiary in 1855. The following is a transcription of the original document. According to his personal letters, he traveled around the state of Iowa and worked for improvements to the conditions. He also wrote home of visiting prisons in the Northeast on a trip to New Hampshire.

State of Power:

To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting.

Know ye, That reposing special trust and confidence in the integrity and ability of George Shedd Esq. and his appointment having been duly confirmed by the Senate.

Therefore, I James W. Grimes Governor of the State of Iowa, in the name and by the authority of the people thereof, do hereby commission him Inspector of the Penitentiary in place of R. Walbright resigned, and do authorize, empower and require him to execute and fulfill the duties of that office according to law, and to have and to hold the said office, with all the rights, privileges and emoluments, thereto legally appertaining, for the term of four years unless sooner removed by the Governor.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the great Seal of the State of Iowa.

Done at Iowa City this Twelfth day of January One thousand eight hundred and fifty five, and of the independence of the United States the seventy ninth, and of this State the ninth.

[Signed] James W. Grimes

By the Governor, Geo. W. McCleary Secy. of State

I, George Shedd, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States of America, and that of the State of Iowa, and that as Inspector of the Iowa Penitentiary, I will faithfully discharge all the duties required by law, to the best of my ability. So help me God. [Signed] George Shedd

State of Iowa, County of Lee. On this day came before the undersigned Clerk of the District Court for said County, the above named George Shedd, who before me subscribed and was by me sworn to the above oath. Witness my hand and the Seal of said Court at Fort Madison, this 6th day of February, A.D. 1855.

Samuel A. James
Clerk D.C.


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Obituaries

Note: This was from Jessie Scott Millener's research - no newspaper reference was given

Death of Mrs. Dr. Shedd, of Denmark.

SHEDD - Died January 31, 1879, Mrs. Abbie, wife of Dr. George Shedd, of Denmark, Iowa.

Abigail Houston was born in Lyndboro, New Hampshire, April 2, 1815. At an early age she manifested a deep interest in the subject of religion, and when ten years old she gave her heart to the Savior. In 1832 her parents removed to Lowell, Massachusetts, where they resided till 1843, when the family came to Denmark, which place was then in its infancy. In the following year Miss Houston was married to Dr. Shedd, and the thirty-five years of her married life were passed in this place.

Mrs. Shedd was the mother of three children, one of whom, a daughter, preceded her mother to the spiritual world, while a son and daughter remain to comfort their sorrowing father under his bereavement. Our departed friend was an earnest and devoted member of the Congregational church of Denmark, and was deeply interested in its welfare and prosperity. In all the relations of life, as daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend, she was truly conscientious and faithful.

Thus has closed an earthly existence, made happy by trust in the Lord, by the ministrations of a loving and devoted husband, and by that sweet peace granted to those whose lives have been spent in the service of their Lord and Savior. And she was dearly beloved. Her place in the social circle is felt to be vacant, but we have the remembrance of her life and example, which will long remain with us.

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Nebraska State Journal: January 5, 1892


THE DEATH ROLL
Dr. George Shedd.

Ashland, Neb., Jan. 4. ---[Special.]---

Dr. George Shedd, well known throughout all Iowa and Nebraska, died about 5 o'clock yesterday morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Will Scott. For years he had been fighting against bronchitis and recently received a severe attack of paralysis from which he had never fully recovered.

His body was taken to his old home in Denmark, Ia., for interment yesterday evening.

Dr. Shedd was born in Rhinge, N. H., May 2, 1810. He was one of the early originators of the republican party in Iowa and was a nominee on the first republican state ticket of that state. He was an intimate friend of Senators Grimes, Wilson, Harland, McCleary and early republican workers. He was also one of the strongest abolitionists of his time. Ten or twelve years ago he removed to Nebraska and has since dwelt with his son, ex-Lieutenant-Governor Shedd and his daughter, Mrs. Will Scott, both in this place.

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