A worthy representative of some of the earliest settlers in Andrew County, Mo., James W. Shepherd, the rancher of the Rucker district in the vicinity of Gilroy, was born about twenty-five miles north of St. Joseph, on February 4. 1861, the son of James and Mary Jane (Conner) Shepherd, well-to-do farmers of that section, who removed to McDonough County, Ill., in 1863, and five years later returned to Missouri. They located this time in Cooper County, and engaged in the raising of mules, horses and stock. Mr. Shepherd also became an extensive grain-buyer, and operated throughout Missouri and Kansas. In 1870, the family removed to California, and located in Calistoga, Napa County, but in 1876, they bought a ranch in Santa Clara County; later they located at San Jose, where Mr. Shepherd died at the age of fifty-six years.

James W. Shepherd attended both the public schools and the Garden City Business College at San Jose, and near that city he entered into grain-farming with his brother. John L. Shepherd, with whom he continued for many years on leased land. In 1895 he removed to the Rucker district from San Jose, and here acquired five acres, where he set out an orchard. This in itself was an interesting pioneer movement, for he planted his orchard just as quickly as the Catherine Dunne rancho had been subdivided and sold, he being one of the very first to buy property. He was successful from the beginning, and little by little added to his holdings until now he has some sixty-three acres of peaches and prunes. Until 1908, Mr. Shepherd was the superintendent of the Dunne ranch—an important period, for the trees were then coming into bearing.

When Mr. Shepherd married in November, 1883, in San Jose, he chose for his bride Miss Flora Lanz,ried W. E. Keltner, and they reside near Manteca. She is a graduate Strom the art department of the University of the Pacific, and the manual training department of the State Normal at San Jose, and for six years successfully followed teaching in Stanislaus and Santa Clara Counties. Mr. Shepherd, who is a Democrat in matters of national political moment, rendered the Rucker district long and able service as a member of the local school board. He also belongs to the Fraternal Aid Union and the Redmen and he is a charter member of the California Prune & Apricot Association.

 Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1101


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight