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August 18, 2007
Shepherd Sesquicentennial 1857-2007
Welcome Featured Graves
James Campbell (1837-1875), and James Wilsey (1811-1882) I. N. Shepherd (1840-1920) Ellen Swix (1844-1944) “Spikehorn” John Meyer (1870-1959) Katherine Mullinax (1908-1996) James (Joker) Coon (1872-1931) Agatha Swenson (1912-2005) H. Herbert Perrine (1872-1964) Minnie Vautrin (1886-1941) Esther Mullet Kelley (1897- 1970), George Kelley (1897-1975) and Andrew Mullet (1864-1939) Lyle Rhynard (1919-1985) Russel Stilgenbauer (1894-1980)
Facts & Information
Salt River Cemetery History The Civil War Memorial:
2 | A Tour Through Time
Christian burial Practices: Cemetery Etiquette: Things you should not do in a cemetery Cemetery Trivia
10 About the Historical Society
The Historical Society Story Mission Statement Meetings Special Events Become a Member
Tour Guides: Jenna Sandel Cady Sandel Patti Sandel Deb McLoughlin Lisa Starry Joyce Noyes Larry Noyes Production: Arnie Hammel Merrie Hammel Jon Morgan Presenters: John Wilberding Ben Stacy Julie Salisbury Neil Nelson Heather Wolf Louis Holliday Anita Nartker Gordon Curtiss Cindy Vautrin Ron and Kaylie Rhynard Bill Kelley and Nancy Adams Frank Vautrin Supporters: Shepherd Public Schools Winding Brook Golf Course Shepherd Historical Society Taps performed by Claude Lemmer
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The Shepherd Area Historical Society is proud to present a unique opportunity to learn more about our community’s rich past. As you stroll through the Salt River Cemetery, you will encounter the spirits of Isacc N. Shepherd, “Spikehorn” John Meyer, Katherine Mullinax, James (Joker) Coon, and other notable leaders from Shepherd’s past. These apparitions will be joined by the living descendents of famous former Shepherd residents like Lyle Rhynard and George Kelley. You will hear about what life was like back in the mid-1800’s and early 1900’s as well as these individuals’ personal trials and accomplishments. The Cemetery Walk is intended to serve as both a memorial for the individuals buried in the Salt River Cemetery and a lesson about Shepherd’s past. We hope that you will leave the cemetery with a richer understanding of your community’s past and an appreciation for the part you play in your community. But your Journey Through Time does not need to end after you’ve left the cemetery. Museums like the Little Red Schoolhouse, Powerhouse, and the Train Depot exist to provide more glimpses into Shepherd’s history. Be sure to stop by either of these buildings for a tour.
Shepherd Area Historical Society Ofﬁcers
Larry G. Clayton Joyce M. Loretta Jack C. Sarah Max Noyes Lyon Noyes Koester Adams Ayris Berry President Vice President Secretary Treasurer Trustee Trustee Trustee Rose Newell Deanna Susan Cohoon Oren Saunders Sazima Trustee Trustee Trustee Trustee
4 | A Tour Through Time
The following former Shepherd residents will be portrayed during the Cemetery Walk:
I. N. Shepherd (1840-1920)
Early businessman for whom the Post Ofﬁce and depot were originally named in the 1880’s.
James Campbell (18371875), and James Wilsey (1811-1882)
Some of the earliest Coe Township settlers, arrived with their families around 1854. Portrayed by John Wilberding
Portrayed by Ben Stacy
Ellen Swix (1844-1944)
“Granny” Swix was a woman of many occupations who died one day before her 100th birthday. Portrayed by Julie Salisbury
“Spikehorn” John Meyer (1870-1959)
Shepherd native naturalist who lived near Harrison. Portrayed by Neil Nelson
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James (Joker) Coon (1872-1931) Katherine Mullinax (1908-1996)
20th century businesswoman who owned the Betty Barry Shop. Portrayed by Heather Wolf Most remembered as Isabella County Sheriff from 1917 to 1921. Portrayed by Louis Holliday
Agatha Swenson (19122005)
Multi-talented Shepherd High School teacher and musician. Remembered by Anita Nartker
H. Herbert Perrine (1872-1964)
Spanish-American War veteran who was Shepherd Depot master. Portrayed by grandson Gordon Curtiss
6 | A Tour Through Time
Minnie Vautrin (18861941)
Missionary to China who rescued many women during the Nanking massacre. Represented by her great-niece Cindy Vautrin
Esther Mullet Kelley (1897- 1970), George Kelley (1897-1975) and Andrew Mullet (18641939)
Long-time Shepherd mailman, his wife Esther and Esther’s father Andrew Mullet. Portrayed by grandson Bill Kelley and granddaughter Nancy Adams. Nancy Adams will also talk about Andrew Mullet
Lyle Rhynard (19191985)
One of the early leaders of the Maple Syrup Festival. Remembered by son Ron and granddaughter Kaylie
Russel Stilgenbauer (1894-1980)
He was a man of many trades: mortician, baker, hardware owner, implement dealer. Portrayed by Frank Vautrin
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Facts & Information
Salt River Cemetery History
The Salt River Cemetery was surveyed in 1861 and established February 5, 1862 when 1.7 acres of land was sold to Coe Township by William R. Robbins and his wife. It was deeded to the township for the sum of $5.00, and was to be used for a cemetery. It was called the Salt River Burying Grounds Since then it has been enlarged to approximately 12.83 acres with approximately 6408 burial sites with 4420 occupied with an additional 1784 sold but not yet occupied and another 204 available for sale. There is additional unimproved land, which could be used for approximately 1260 burials. The ﬁrst burial was believed to be Oliva Holland Born October 3, 1847 and buried April 22, 1851 eleven years before it became a formal cemetery.
The Civil War Memorial:
In 1880 Coe Township decided to establish a memorial in the cemetery to honor the men killed in the Civil War. The Boy Scouts raised up a mound and in 1911, a metal statue of a Civil War Soldier was mounted on a marble base. The Statue was refurbished just a few years ago.
Christian burial Practices:
The burials are made with the person face up with their head at the back of the stone or to the west, with there feet to the east so at the time of the resurrection the person raises to face the raising sun and the lord. The man is usually buried on the right side of the lot and the women on the left, except when the gravesites are next to a road then the man is on left. (There is an English custom that when a woman and a man are walking along a road that the man should walk between her and the road so she is shielded form mud water and such).
• It is the custom for visitors to walk in front of the grave of a loved one, the front of the marker is the side that the persons name and dates are written on, that way you are not walking on the grave of your loved one. • When visiting a cemetery be quiet and respectful if a funeral is going on.
8 | A Tour Through Time
Things you should not do in a cemetery
• Sit, Stand, or lean against tombstones • Walk across fresh gravesites • Eat or drink while in the cemetery • Throw paper, cans, gum or other liter in the cemetery • Enter the cemetery after dark or before dawn • Walk dogs or take other animals into the cemetery • Climb trees or fences • Play loud music or make loud noises in a cemetery • Block entrances • Park on the grass • Dig in a cemetery or desecrate a gravesite
Have you ever heard the term “saved by the bell” well here is one situation where you may have heard it? From approximately 1800 until about 1875 people were worried about being buried alive. This was due to stories of scratch marks on cofﬁn lids when graves were opened for various reasons. One remedy and there were several, was to attach a pipe to the cofﬁn with a piece of rope run down the pipe and into the hands of the deceased and a bell was on the other end. Then if the deceased woke up he could pull the rope and ring the bell for help, and he would be quickly dug up and saved. Of course you had to have someone sit watch and listen for the bell all day and all night usually for three days. There is no evidence that any of the above was practiced but you see references to it in history from time to time. Today this could not happen because the doctors have better methods of examining people and embalming,
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About the Historical Society
The Historical Society Story
The Shepherd Area Historical Society was organized May 15, 1978. One of the high priority projects was the preservation of the original Power House on Maple Avenue and its conversion to a museum as well as a meeting place for the Society.
Time has a way of getting away from us. Before we know it, we all grow up, marry, have children and grow old. People and events pass almost into oblivion as though a certain time period never existed. One of the historical society’s goals is to reacquaint our surrounding community with their roots and to remember and preserve all of the accomplishments and events of the past and make them a living reality for the generation of children yet to come.
Monthly meetings are held at the Power House Museum on the second Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. The society does not meet in January, February, or March. Varied and interesting programs are held. The public is welcome to attend our meetings. The Powerhouse and the Little Red Schoolhouses are your museums, so please support them. New memberships are always welcome.
A band concert and ice cream social, featuring the Area Community Band, is held at the park in July. In August we host a picnic.
Become a Member
Membership Level Annual Membership Contributing Membership Life Membership Cost $5.00 $10.00 $100.00
10 | A Tour Through Time
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