Biographies - Shippee, James Henry, 1839-1930


CORINTH, April 22—(Special)—Living in its midst today, Corinth has another veteran of the Civil War, a remarkable old man, who despite his 89 years, and near total blindness, recently completed a trip of over 1,400 miles unaccompanied, from near Kansas City to this village, where he is at present making his home with relatives.

J. Henry Shippee is herewith introduced to the residents of Corinth and vicinity; native of Vermont, resident in the past of a number of western states, homesteader, miner, marshal in the days of the two gunmen of the West, former inmate of four soldiers' home [sic] in the United States; a victim of three wounds in the Civil War fighting; one of four brothers who took up arms for the union cause; great grandfather of some 75 children, and the great, great grandfather of six more; these are just a few of the events, happenings and otherwise in the life of the man who today is looking forward to having his eyesight restored that he may enjoy "another 25 or 30 years of life" as he put it to a representative of The Saratogian yesterday.

Mr. Shippee, who is a brother of Albert Shippee of Oak street, and uncle of Henry Shippee also of that street, is at present residing with his brother, having arrived here over a week ago from the National Military Home of Kansas, unaccompanied and without the knowledge of his local relatives that he was making the journey. In connection with his trip Mr. Shippee paid glowing tribute to the "wonderful women" of the Travelers' Aid who assisted him in Chicago, Albany and Saratoga Springs, to the Corinth-Saratoga Springs auto bus.

In robust health, but for his near blindness, Mr. Shippee, in addition to looking forward to the full recovery of his eyesight, is contemplating a trip across the continent to California next fall, that he may visit, as he puts it, "some of my many descendants, including a large number of nieces and nephews."

That he is all in earnest in his expectation that he will live for another two decades or more, will not be taken too highly by the readers of this item, if thought is given to the fact that Mrs. [sic] Shippee's mother, who died in 1907 and was buried in the Baptist Cemetery in Conklingville, was 106 years of age when she passed from this life. And up to a short time before her death, she had had no serious illness. Her husband died at the age of 85 years. They were the parents of nine children, eight sons and one daughter; the Mr. Shippee, whose picture accompanies this article, being the eldest of the nine.

Mr. Shippeee [sic] was born and reared in Halifax, Vt. On the 5th day of May he will be 90 years of age. At the age of 22, or on the 7th day of May, 1861, two days after his 22d birthday, he enlisted in Co. A, 2d Vermont Volunteers; the first enlisted man credited to the town of Wilmington, and the last to be discharged from service to be returned to that town. One of Mr. Shippee's prized possessions is a testimonial certificate issued by the State of Vermont in 1873, in testimonial of his service during the war of the Rebellion.

Mr. Shippee's first wound was received on the 4th day of the 7-day fight of Cold Harbor. He was discharged on the first of November, 1862, and upon his recovery he re-entered the service. On September 6, 1863, he received his second wound at Cold Harbor and the third came during the charge on Petersburg on April 2, 1865. One of his three brothers who took up arms for the Union cause also received three wounds, and the other two were each wounded twice.

Mr. Shippee's discharge came to him on the 19th of November, 1865, after which he returned to Wilmington. He remained there two years, then migrated westward, settling in Iowa. Later he moved to Nebraska, then to Colorado and finally to California. His most interesting years, Mr. Shippee states, were spent in Colorado, where he lived in mining camps, then at the very height of their boom. He was a constable for a number of years in Red Cliff and a Marshall for Delta county, Colorado, for three years. Although never wounded while enforcing the laws of the then wild and wooly state, Mr. Shippee tells of a number of close calls and interesting experiences with the desperate characters who infested the western camps.

For the past 20 years Mr. Shippee has devoted his time to traveling to some extent and visiting relatives in various parts of the country; and to "taking it easy" in the four soldiers' homes in which he has lived in all, a number of years.

The homes in which he has been an inmate are: Colorado State; Battle Mountain, South Dakota; California State and the National Military Home of Kansas.

Source: Saratogian (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.). New ser., v. 59, no. 94 (Apr. 22, 1929), p. 8, Veteran, nearly blind, here after 1,400 mile trip.

Compiled and maintained by Robert V. Bremer
Shippee, Shippey, Shippy Genealogy