Putnam County


Frank SHIPLEY, who is interested in the Toluca Bottling works, of Toluca, Illinois, is a native of Marshall county, born on section 1, Evans township, November 4, 1855, and is a son of Benjamin and Rebecca (HUNT) SHIPLEY. The father’s birth occurred in Kentucky, but when only two years old he was taken by his parents to Indiana, locating near Bloomington on a farm, where he remained until seventeen years of age. He then accompanied a brother-in-law to Putnam county, Illinois, and later returned and brought his parents to the same place. It is believed hat the mother of our subject was the first white child born in what is now Marshall county, but was then a part of Putnam county, and that her birth occurred in the old fort there. Her father was one of its earliest pioneers, and took a prominent part in the Indian wars, during which time his family lived in the fort. For many years Benjamin SHIPLEY engaged in farming, but he and his estimable wife are now living retired in Wenona. Our subject is the oldest of their seven children, all of whom are still living and are married. Politically, the father is a republican, and has filled various township offices to the general satisfaction of all concerned, while religiously he was formerly a Presbyterian, but now holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal church.

Upon the old home farm in Evans township, Frank SHIPLEY grew to manhood, and in the public schools of the neighborhood obtained his education. His father giving him his time, he started out in life for himself at the age of nineteen years, working by the month at farm labor. He also purchased a threshing machine, which he operated very successfully for four years, thus securing a small capital.

On the 24th of February, 1876, he was married, the lady of his choice being Miss Mattie CURTIS, of Hope township, La Salle county, Illinois, who was born in Indiana, and is a daughter of Edward and Mary (MATHEWS) CURTIS. They had two children: Alice May, born in Evans township, in September, 1880, and Emma Florence, who was born in Bennington township, Marshall county, January 22, 1885, and died June 25, 1895.

Mr. and Mrs. SHIPLEY began their domestic life upon the old home farm in Evans township, where they remained until 1883, when he purchased one hundred and twenty acres on section 10, Bennington township, to the cultivation and improvement of which he devoted his time and attention until his removal to Toluca in March, 1896. Soon afterward he purchased an interest in the bottling works, with which he has since been connected. He is a charter member of the Knights of Pythias lodge of Toluca, and in politics has been an ardent republican since voting for R. B. Hayes in 1876. For six years he most acceptably served as commissioner of highways, and was the first republican elected in the township for a period of fifteen years, which fact plainly indicates his popularity and the high regard in which he is universally held.

Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois  published in 1896, page 550.

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