Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hibbard Houston Shedd (1847-1905)

                                                                        Portrait courtesy of BJS Genealogy.

    A former Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, Hibbard Houston Shedd first became a prominent office-holder in the Cornhusker State in the mid-1870s when he served as a delegate to that state's Constitutional Convention. He would attain further distinction as Speaker of the Nebraska House of Representatives and in 1885 began the first of two terms as Lieutenant Governor of his state.
   Born and raised in Iowa, Hibbard Houston Shedd's birth occurred in the small town of Denmark on January 27, 1847, being the son of Dr. George and Abigail Shedd.  Young Hibbard would graduate from the Denmark Academy and enlisted for service in the Civil War, joining the Forty-Fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. During his service, Shedd saw action in both Tennessee and Mississippi and at war's end returned home to Iowa. He would continue to reside here until 1870, whereafter he removed to Nebraska, settling in the town of Ashland. 
   Shortly after his resettlement, Shedd began a lengthy connection in the mercantile and religious life of Ashland, becoming a church trustee, organist and Sunday School teacher. He married on February 18, 1874 to Cincinnati, Ohio native Katherine Leigh Graves (1854-1936) and would become the father to five children: Harry Graves (1875-1932), George Clifford (1877-1937), Ralph Wayne (1879-1882), Mary (died in infancy in 1883) and Edith (1884-1925). Of these children, George Clifford Shedd is the most notable, as he would become a noted writer of fiction, authoring over a dozen works between 1910 and 1937. 
   Hibbard H. Shedd first became active in Nebraska politics in 1875, when he was selected as a delegate to the state constitutional convention being held that year in Lincoln. Shedd's time at the convention was recalled by a Nebraska Historical Proceeding as having made an impact on his later service as a state legislator and Lieutenant Governor, noting that:
"Here he gained the thorough insight into the fabric of our commonwealth, himself helping to build it, and of the principles fundamental in good citizenship."
   Six years after the constitutional convention Hibbard Shedd was elected as one of Saunders County's representatives to the Nebraska General Assembly in November 1880. His term extended from 1881-1883 and in 1882 won re-election to the house, and during the 17th session of the Nebraska Legislature would serve as Speaker of the House. occupying this post from 1883-1885. In the latter year, Shedd took office as Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, serving first under Republican Governor James Dawes. He would continue serving under Dawes' successor, John Milton Thayer, with his term as Lieutenant Governor concluding in 1889.
   Two years after leaving office Shedd was elected as the president of the Ashland school board, holding his seat until 1903. For the remainder of his life, he continued involvement in different aspects of Ashland public life, and was affiliated with local businessman George Scott in the clothing firm of G. Scott and Co. Shedd died at age 58 on October 6, 1905 in Ashland and was survived by his wife Katherine. She would outlive her husband by over thirty years, and following her passing in 1936 was interred alongside Hibbard at the Ashland Cemetery.

                                             Shedd's death notice from the Omaha Daily Bee, October 7, 1905.

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