Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, William Lemuel Shipp!

My great-great grandfather on my dad's side is William Lemuel Shipp. He was born on this day 155 years ago in Springfield, Missouri. (January 15, 1855). He was the second of nine children born to Rufus Earl Shipp and Olivia Freeman Shipp.

By his teenage years, William's family had moved to Johnson County, Missouri. This is where William would live the rest of his life. William married Mary Roop when he was 22. Together, they would have four children. Their eldest daughter, Jennie Olivia, was my great-grandmother. The family lived in Centerview, Missouri.

On the federal census, William always listed his occupation as "farmer." However, he was very involved in local affairs. He was the Justice of the Peace for Centerview Township in 1882. He was elected as County Officer in 1902 on the Democratic ticket. He was also very invovled in educating the children of Centerview. He was the Principal of Centerview school and was elected school superintendent in 1905, 1907 and 1909.

William died on September 1, 1933 at the age of 78. His death certificate is interesting in a couple of ways--I'm adding it here to see if anyone can help decipher and add meaning to it. Where it lists his area of work, it looks like "Poet Master and Teacher." A poet? I knew about the teacher part. But perhaps William had a talent for prose as well. If so, it would be amazing to find some of his writings. Any of my Graham cousins know anything about this??

As for his cause of death, the doctor who completed the death certificate has the sterotypical doctor's writing. It looks like William suffered from prostate cancer. Anyone want to take a try at translating? Leave a comment!

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