RUSSELL BENJAMIN SHEPHERD of Skowhegan was born of Quaker parentage in Fairfield,
Me., September 14, 1829. He attended the common schools of his native town and was fitted for college at Bloomfield
Academy. He then spent two years in the mines of California, after which he returned and entered Waterville College,
now Colby University, from which he was graduated in the class of 1857.
General Shepherd was engaged in teaching for the next five years. He was Principal of Bloomfield Academy and Principal
of the Girls' High School of Bangor, Me., until August, 1862. Desiring to aid in the suppression of the Rebellion,
he was, at that time, commissioned First Lieutenant and Adjutant of the Eighteenth Regiment, Maine Volunteers,
which was transferred to the First Maine Heavy Artillery. He served with his regiment in the defense of Washington
and in the Army of the Potomac, Second Army Corps, participating in all the battles in which the regiment was engaged,
his regiment losing more men killed during the war than any regiment in the United States service. I)uring the
time he was in service he was promoted to Major, Lieutenant-Colonel, Colonel, and was brevetted Brigadier-General;
was mustered out September 8, 1865.
General Shepherd was a planter and dealer in cotton in Georgia for nearly ten years immediately succeeding the
close of the war, after which he returned to Skowhegan, which has since been his home. He has served as Representative,
Senator, and member of the Executive Council; is Trustee of the Maine State College, Trustee of the State Insane
Hospital, and Trustee of Colby University. He has been actively engaged in banking, the manufacture of woolens,
and in general business. He has always been a Republican.
General Shepherd is held in high esteem by the people of Maine as one of its distinguished citizens and as a sagacious
and enterprising business man of experience and balance. In the town of his residence his opinion in matters of
business and finance is much sought and highly valued. He has always taken a deep interest in the welfare of the
town. He took a leading part, at different times, in bringing the school system up to a high standard of efficiency,
giving his vote, his influence, and energetic work, with others, to this end. This is also true with regard to
all matters of public goo(l. He has always been on the side of progress and advancement in public affairs. Himself
a heavy tax payer, he has always favored liberal appropriations for worthy objects.
By reason of his large interests in the water-power in Skowhegan and the prominent part he took in the building
and extension of the woolen mills there, also his interest in manufacturing woolens and wood l)ulp, he has contributed,
in a large degree, to the prosperity and growth of the town by furnishing desirable employment to labor.