Biography of Benjamin F. Sheppard

Benjamin F. Sheppard was a leading figure in financial circles in Guernsey County, Ohio, and the president of the Cambridge Bank. Born on November 1, 1864, in Kirkwood Township, Belmont County, Ohio, he was the son of a successful practitioner, Dr. I. H. Sheppard, and grew up on the family farm. Sheppard was educated in public schools and the normal school at Fairview. He became a successful businessman from an early age, with interests in wool and tobacco dealing, telephone companies, and real estate. Sheppard was an accomplished organizer and promoter, and he played a significant role in founding the Cambridge Bank in 1905, serving as its first president. He was also an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a devoted family man.

To the average individual, so-called success is the reward of persistent striving and grim determination. It is sometimes gained through rivalry and competition, and frequently is attained by the aid of preference and influence. So powerful and necessary seem these aids that the one who does not command them is often disheartened at his prospects of success. Benjamin F. Sheppard, President of the Cambridge Bank, and one of the leading men of Guernsey County in financial circles, seems to have acquired the knowledge of how to achieve true success in the various walks. He holds worthy prestige in business circles and has always been distinctively a man of affairs and wields a wide influence among those with whom his lot has been cast, having won definite results in whatever he has turned his attention to and at the same time has shown what a man with lofty principles, honesty of purpose, and determination can accomplish when actuated with high motives and unselfish ideals.

Mr. Sheppard was born November 1, 1864, in Kirkwood Township, Belmont County, Ohio. He is the son of Dr. I. H. and Harriet (Grimes) Sheppard, an old and influential family. These parents still live in the vicinity mentioned above, the father being one of the best-known practitioners in that county, having practiced for many years, but he is now living retired and has reached the age of seventy-eight years. Doctor Sheppard was exceptionally successful in life, being a man of sound business judgment and keen discernment.

Benjamin F. Sheppard, of this review, was educated in the public schools of his native community and the normal school at Fairview, Guernsey County. He spent a part of his youth on the home farm and engaged in wool and tobacco dealing. He was successful as a businessman from the first and has accumulated a very comfortable competency, becoming the owner of large land interests in Guernsey County. He was the promoter of the Union Telephone Company of Fairview, which connects Fairview, Barnesville, Wheeling, West Virginia, Freeport, and St. Clairsville, and he was manager of the company for a period of nine years. His judicious management resulting in an extensive enterprise being built up. The company then sold out to a telephone company of Wheeling. Then Mr. Sheppard turned his attention to his large estate and to banking interests. He was one of the prime promoters of the Cambridge Bank, organized under the banking laws of Ohio, in April 1905. He was the first president of this institution and has held this position to the present time, managing its affairs in a manner entirely satisfactory to all concerned and building up one of the safest and most popular banking houses in eastern Ohio. He is essentially an organizer and promoter by nature, is a man of keen business acumen and discernment, and makes few mistakes in his deductions and inductions. He is broad-minded, liberal, and far-seeing, being a conservative banker, conducting his bank along safe yet liberal lines at all times. In addition to his banking interests, he has large real estate interests and other financial interests of a private nature.

Politically, Mr. Sheppard is a Republican, and he has long taken an abiding interest in public matters, but has never been an office seeker. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he has been a steward in the local church for many years, serving as trustee prior to that. They are active church workers and liberal in their support of the church.

Mr. Sheppard was married on November 20, 1895, to Deanna Giffee, daughter of Benjamin and Lida (Kannon) Giffee. Her father was a prominent farmer of Guernsey County, whose death occurred in 1902. Mrs. Giffee is still living. Mr. Giffee was eighty-two years of age at the time of his death; he was active in business and a man of sterling character and worth. He was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs. Sheppard is a lady of culture and refinement and is devoted to her home. Like her husband, she enjoys the friendship of a wide circle of acquaintances. This union has been graced by the birth of one son, Josiah B. G. Sheppard, now eleven years of age.

Mr. and Mrs. Sheppard became residents of Cambridge in November 1902. They have a modern, attractive, and commodious home on the corner of South Eleventh Street and Wheeling Avenue. It is one of the most pretentious residences in the city and is known as a place where old-time hospitality and good cheer ever prevail. The Sheppard family is prominent in commercial, social, church, and educational circles in Cambridge and Guernsey County.


Sarchet, Cyrus P. B. (Cyrus Parkinson Beatty). History of Guernsey County, Ohio. Vol. 2, B.F. Bowen & Company, 1911.

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