Biographies - Shippy, Benjamin, 1818-1899


Benjamin Shippy

Although the fate that comes to all in the course of human events has summoned Benjamin Shippy to his reward, time cannot readily relegate to oblivion the forces for good he set in motion and the remembrance of the many useful acts and kind deeds for which he was esteemed, for his life was one of long, consecutive endeavor in an effort to benefit himself, his family and his fellow men, and the career of such as he should be set up for an example before the youth whose destinies are yet matters for the future to determine. He was the representative of a sterling old Canadian family, he himself being a native of the far north, born in Rondeau, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada, March 8, 1818. His father was Thomas Shippy, who married Frances McLish. He grew to manhood at Rondeau and was educated there. On June 8, 1853 he was married to Annis Henry, daughter of Ira and Molly (Burss) Henry of Elgin county, Ontario, Canada, and in December, 1853, they moved to Walworth county, Wisconsin, and there followed farming in a very successful manner for about a year and a half, when he moved to Oran township, Fayette county, Iowa, in the spring of 1855. He took up eighty acres of government land and began farming there, developing a good farm and establishing an excellent home. Three years later he sold the first farm and bought another a mile away. When he first came to Iowa it was in covered wagons, drawn by ox teams, and they were compelled to live in wagons until they could build a log cabin, and they had to go to Independence, quite a distance for their mail and to do their trading. Eight children were born to them, named as follows: Victoria married Webster McQueen and lives in Oelwein, and they are the parents of six children; Leroy was drowned when twenty years of age; Benjamin married Emma Smith, of Waverly, Iowa, and he is employed in the shops of the Chicago Great Western railway; he and his wife are the parents of three children, Charles, Leslie and Norma; John McQueen was the third child in order of birth; the next was Ima, who married Earl Gay and lives in Rockford, Illinois, where he is proprietor of a "pantatorium"; Vesta and Bernice McQueen are the youngest of the family; Webster McQueen is in charge of the interlocking switches of the Chicago Great Western railway at Oelwein. Alvrettia Shippy died when twelve years of age. Kate M. Shippy married Samuel Speer and lived in Palo Alto county, Iowa, until her death on January 20, 1900; they lived on a farm and four children were born to them, Raymond, Cassie, Vera Rosamond and Clifford. Cassie Speer married Ray Miller, as[s]istant chief clerk in the offices of the Oregon Short Line railroad at Pocatello, Idaho. Locy Shippy married Elsie Miller, of Black Hawk county, Iowa, and three children have been born to them, Glennie, who died December 31, 1908, Lloyd and Jacob. Locy Shippy is farming in Oran township, Fayette county, Iowa. Ira Shippy is working on a farm in Buchanan county, Iowa. Charles Shippy married Ella Murray and lives at Hope, Steele county, North Dakota, where he is practicing law; he was county attorney there for eight years and he is the owner of eight hundred acres of farm land. Chiles Shippy married Catherine Kile, of Dubuque county, Iowa, and they are living in Oelwein, where he has been city clerk since May, 1907; eight children have been born to them, Leo C., Chester A., Harold E., Russell F., Claire W., Charles S., Ira M. and Marie M. Osceola Shippy died when five years of age.

When the Shippy family first moved to Oran township, Fayette county, wolves and rattlesnakes were very numerous, and they had to contend with the ordinary conditions obtaining in a new country, but they in due course of time established a good home here. Benjamin Shippy was an ardent Republican and took an interest in everything that tended to promote the general good. He was school director many years, constable for two terms, road supervisor and he held other local offices, always to the entire satisfaction of his constituents, for he was scrupulously honest, courteous and gave close attention to whatever he had entrusted to him. The death of this excellent citizen occurred in January, 1899. In 1903, Mrs. Shippy sold the farm and moved to Oelwein, where [s]he still resides. She is, with one exception, the oldest settler in Oran township now living in Fayette county, She is a women of beautiful Christian character and she is a blessing to all who come into her genial presence, and it is interesting to hear her recall reminiscences of the early days. In every way she proved to be a fit companion for her sterling husband, and no stronger character has ever lived in the southern part of the county than he.

Source: Past and present of Fayette County, Iowa (Indianapolis : B.F. Bowen & Co., 1910). v. 2, p. 830-831, Benjamin Shippy.


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