Monday, April 24, 2017

The Spencer Connection, April 24, 2017

The family --
that dear octopus
from whose tentacles
we never quite escape,
nor ever quite wish to.
~Dodie Smith

Greetings to all of you, family and friends! The Shepard's Crook is coming to you today from Anacortes, Washington where I happen to be this week while visiting family here. In particular I am catching up with my siblings Gary and Barbara, and my mom Maida Shepard, the senior member of our Shepard clan.

I received an email recently from my cousin Kim Boyd Clark who said that she and her husband Jeff visited Spencer, Indiana last weekend with her mother Thelma Shepard Boyd. They were there ostensibly to do some shopping, but they also chose to make it something of a genealogical trek. 

I am reminded of how important that little town is in the history of our family, in particular the Davis part of our family. My grandmother Bura Davis Shepard was born there in 1896 and lived there for the first 16 years of her life until her family moved to Beaver County, Oklahoma in 1913. Her Davis family had been settled in Indiana since about 1850 when her Great Grandparents Alexander and Jane Davis migrated from Monroe County, Ohio to Morgan County, Indiana.

Thelma Boyd, Kim Clark
When Kim, Jeff and Thelma visited Spencer recently, they went to the New Union Cemetery just outside Spencer. That Cemetery is next to the location where the New Union Church of Christ once stood, the home church for dozens of our Davis and Spear kinfolk in the second half of the 19th century. Indeed some of our kinfolk were members of that congregation until 1957 when the church finally closed its doors.

The first picture shows Thelma and Kim in the New Union Cemetery at the grave of Alexander Davis and his daughter Elizabeth Davis Carter. Six years ago several of you who are readers of this blog shared in an effort to replace the 144 year old headstones for Alexander and Elizabeth. The remnants of those headstones are on either side of Thelma and Kim. Select this link to read more about the new headstones.

This picture also shows that headstone that honors Alexander and Elizabeth Davis, who were among our first ancestors in Morgan County, Indiana and among the founding members of the New Union Church.

Many thanks to Thelma, Kim and Jeff for sharing this picture of their visit to Spencer and being a reminder of how important this little town is to the history of our family.

Bud Davis and sisters
Speaking of Davis kinfolk, I also heard recently from Bud Davis, a first cousin of my late father Gene Shepard. Bud's father Jesse Davis was the brother of my Grandmother Bura Davis. Bud recently posted on Facebook a picture of him and his 4 sisters. There was a fifth sister, Becky Davis, who passed away a few years ago.

Bud identified his sisters for me: Front row, left to right, are Jessie Bushong, Charlotte Taylor, and Nordeen Cochran.  Kathy Villanueva is in the back with Bud. All the sisters live in Bartlesville, Oklahoma except Nordeen who lives in Spearman, Texas.

Thanks so much to Bud for this picture. Select this link to view a wonderful Davis family video that Bud put together recently which includes a number of historic images.
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Steve Shepard

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