John H. Shepperd

John H. ShepperdJohn Henry Shepperd joined the group of trained scientists at North Dakota Agricultural College and Experiment Station in 1893, swelling the total staff number to ten. It was a young College and Station served by a young and ambitious staff, and Shepperd added his youthful enthusiasm when he replaced his brother-in-law, W.M. Hays, who went to the University of Minnesota.1

John Henry Shepperd was born in January 1869 in Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa.2 The Shepperds were a pioneering clan. Shepperd's grandfather emigrated from Scotland to North Carolina and then to southern Indiana where the community still had to maintain a block house as a shelter against Indian attack. In 1851 Shepperd's father moved from Indiana to southern Iowa where John, the youngest of seven children, was born.3 Shepperd's youthful experiences were typical for a farm youth in the Corn Belt in the 19th century. He went to the district school in the winter and the rest of the time helped out with plowing and cutting and husking corn. Even in those early years he showed a definite predilection for livestock work, busying himself with his father's herd of Shorthorn cattle.4 He also received early training in agribusiness there on the farm when an older brother paid him a nickel a day to husk corn. When he used his meager earnings to buy a pig, he later said: "It was not a business proposition, for I bought this little animal for purely aesthetic reasons - the desire to have a pet."5 This episode indicated the love of animal life that would propel him into a crusade for an improved livestock industry in North Dakota.6

He completed the first eight grades in district school, then went on to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, in the fall of 1883. An older brother, Bruce, was teaching there and Shepperd enrolled in the preparatory department, taking accounting. Later he enrolled in the academic courses, but Shepperd soon determined that Greek, Latin and mathematics were not sufficiently practical to suit his tastes.7

At home for the Christmas holidays, Shepperd read a report by W.H. Brewer, professor at the University of Minnesota, that caused him to go to Iowa State Agricultural College at Ames for an education in agriculture. At the Iowa college he was the only student in agriculture for his freshman, sophomore and junior years and when he graduated with honors in 1891, he was the only agricultural graduate that year. Another famous graduate of Iowa State Agricultural College, George Washington Carver, entered the year Shepperd graduated.8

In addition to agricultural courses, he took spoken and written English, mathematics and related subjects, physical sciences, biological sciences, German, history, and military science. Although his specialty was agriculture, he nevertheless obtained a general education.9

In the year following his graduation Shepperd spent six months in agricultural study at the University of Minnesota, then a year at the University of Wisconsin studying livestock. Wisconsin awarded him a master of science degree in 1893.10

Shepperd picked up some of his germinal ideas concerning agriculture and livestock from his college instructors. At Iowa State he was influenced by James Wilson, who later became U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and Charles F. Curtiss, who later became dean of agriculture and director of the Experiment Station at Iowa. At Wisconsin, Shepperd came under the influence of John A. Craig, a brilliant and pioneering animal husbandman. Craig helped originate livestock judging as a means of teaching animal science, and much of Shepperd's life-long interest in judging stems from his study under Craig.11


Shepperd's first position after graduate school involved writing a series of articles for the Chicago-based farm weekly, theOrange Judd Farmer. As assistant editor for the journal, he sharpened his writing skills, which were already considerable.12

Shepperd accepted a position as professor of agriculture with the newly organized North Dakota Agricultural College and Experiment Station and began his work on November 1, 1893. At the time there were only two buildings on campus, the administration building (College Hall, later to be called Old Main) and Francis Hall where Shepperd boarded. College Hall provided space for offices, classrooms, and laboratories, and the tower room was the president's office. The library was also housed there. The unfinished third floor was the gymnasium used by both faculty and students. The campus itself was set in the middle of a wheat field a mile or more from the nearest Fargo residential section.13

Shepperd recalled the time he began his work at the Agricultural College: "When I began work at the AC on November 1, 1893, I met a staff of nine other men. . . .My arrival swelled the force of scientific workers to ten men and we carried the beginnings of college teaching, Experiment Station research, and agricultural extension work. Of course, all of these functions were meager. . . ."14 In addition to his work as professor of agriculture and agriculturalist in the Experiment Station, Shepperd taught arithmetic in the preparatory department. During the period James Buel Power served as acting president following the removal of Horace E. Stockbridge, Shepperd was appointed acting director of the Experiment Station. 15

In those early days, Professor Shepperd remembered, he had about 30 to 40 students, the experimental work was good, but limited, and the extension work consisted of some farmers' institutes and writing for the Dakota Farmer and for the daily and weekly press. Needless to say, the early-day staff members earned their pay by their versatility as well as by their long hours.16

It was the custom in those days to have a faculty meeting once a week and an Experiment Station staff meeting once a month. Shepperd recalled: "I remember well the faculty meetings that were held in the President's Office every Friday afternoon. I can to this day point out where each member sat. Once a month the Experiment Station members met. Those of us who were both teachers and investigators remained for our session after the teachers had retired. The President was also Director of the Experiment Station so that there was no change in chairman for the second meeting. . . ."17

During those first years students studied largely agriculture, domestic economy, chemistry, veterinary science, horticulture, biology, mechanics, mathematics, English, geography, and history. Degree courses in agriculture, engineering, and applied science were offered as required by the Morrill Act. Other courses were developed later.18

When Shepperd arrived in Fargo, he was a young bachelor and boarded at Francis Hall. On July 3, 1895, he married Adele Taylor, affectionately known as "Dell," and brought his bride back to Fargo. She had been raised on a neighboring farm in Iowa and had attended Drake University. She attended North Dakota Agricultural College, specializing in chemistry, and she became Edwin F. Ladd's assistant for a long period. The childless couple were mutually supportive and participated actively in social affairs for the students and faculty. Mrs. Shepperd was also an active club woman for a quarter of a century.19

A good teacher, Shepperd took an abiding interest in his students. He corresponded with them, encouraged them to remain in or return to school and he took them on stock judging tours. Of course, he was able to do this because he had relatively few students at a given time. Still, he went out of his way to help, often seeking employment for his charges.20

As agriculturalist of the College and Station, Shepperd was constantly looking for improved strains of crops or livestock that would benefit North Dakota farmers. Some agricultural historians argue that most U.S. Department of Agriculture programs were not designed to benefit farmers, but to make agriculture conform to the needs of urban society. This was not Shepperd's goal or idea.

One problem with North Dakota agriculture in the early 20th century was the fact that hard spring wheat did not do well in the western and drier regions of the state. Shepperd thought he had found the solution when Mark A. Carleton, USDA cerealist, discovered that durum, or macaroni wheat (particularly Kubanka) did so well in those areas. Carleton collected samples of durum in Russia in 1898-1900. Shepperd became an enthusiastic champion of durum wheat, and was appointed to a committee of three by the Tri-State Grain Growers Convention to advance the interests of durum wheat and its producers. He received numerous letters from people interested in macaroni wheat and was impatient with millers who discriminated against the new variety.21

But Shepperd's great love was livestock, especially dairy animals. One of his first actions when joining the Fargo agricultural staff was to buy a herd of dairy cows and to put dairying into the agricultural program. His work with dairy animals was also supported by Edwin F. Ladd. One of Shepperd's proudest accomplishments was the formation of the New Salem, North Dakota, Breeding Circuit. New Salem was a German settlement of both Reich Germans and Germans from Russia in the southwestern part of the state. The circuit, established in 1909 as the joint venture of the USDA, the North Dakota Experiment Station, and the New Salem Holstein Friesian Cattle Breeder's Association, furnished a means for testing for dairy herd improvement. The group established production records in 1910.22

In 1921 Shepperd published Extension Circular 45 "Wrong Side Up � The Indian's Dream, the White Man's Reality." It was the story of John Christiansen, an early settler of the New Salem region and an enterprising member of the New Salem Breeding Circuit. Central to the story was an old Indian telling Christian that plowing the virgin soil was turning the land "wrong side up." Shepperd agreed with the Indian's conservationist philosophy and he always advocated rotating crops, putting in pastures and storing feed in "fat years" to be used in the "lean years." Certain the success of Christiansen and others like him supported Shepperd's argument for blooded stock, rotation, feed storage, and soil conservation. Shepperd, on behalf of the Experiment Station, was advocating mixed farming and cattle raising instead of one-crop farming of wheat in the West River country. This advice has been more than vindicated over time and today ranching is emphasized as much as farming. This reflects credit on Shepperd and points out the utility of the Experiment Station in an agricultural state.23

Shepperd was knowledgeable about livestock production, but how would he get those facts and figures to the public in an era before there was an extension service? Former journalist Shepperd naturally turned to the printed word and decided that the best way of spreading the word would be through the short story, devoid of technical language. This led to a series of articles, "The Northern Pig from Birth to market," based on conversations with "Daddy" Geiken, the college herdsman. A later technique was to base his stories on conversations with a young grandnephew, John Budd Wentz. Thus, his career as a "story teller" was launched. The homey flavor of his Northern Pig stories is reflected in the following excerpt:

"Last spring I wanted to do some experiments with hogs and talked over my plans with Daddy Geiken, the college herdsman, telling him what I wanted to do.

" 'Then, I'll have to move Jennie,' Daddy said. Jennie was a Yorkshire sow with a nice litter of month-old pigs. 'Well, that is too bad -- but if I've got to do that experiment I suppose I'll have to move her.'

" 'Why?' I asked. 'There is a place good enough for her with a good yard down in the north annex.' We call it a temporary addition on the north end of the college hog barn, the north annex.

" 'Oh! Jennie will fret a lot if I move her and there will be far less milk come for the pigs. How soon must you start that experiment/' My experiments always are making Daddy trouble.

" 'In a week or ten days,' I replied.

" 'Well, maybe I can get her to move and be satisfied by that time,' he said."24

But there was a deeper reason for Shepperd's resorting to the short story form in writing his bulletins. He believed he had inherited his father's penchant for telling stories. Still and all, he was an agriculturalist with the soul of a dreamer and story teller. Later he wrote: "Trained as a scientist, I was always exposed to those with the harsh viewpoint and was led to think those who resorted to figures of speech (and) stories and drama were nature fakers and worse than pseudo scientists. . . ."25But his agricultural short stories were being well received as late as 1922 26

One very important aspect of Shepperd's life was his unending interest in livestock judging, particularly by students. It was in connection with the International Livestock Exposition that he did his mot enduring work. There had been a similar contest at the Omaha Exposition of 1898, but the premier show was the International held annually in Chicago beginning in 1900. Shepperd became the superintendent in charge of International judging and filled that role from 1905 to 1938. It was one of his crowning achievements. In 1921 Shepperd was honored when he was asked to sit for his portrait with the noted Swedish portrait artist, Arvid Nyhold. The portrait was commissioned by the Saddle and Sirloin Club of Chicago and later hung there. Shepperd was justifiably pleased with the honor, writing his brother: "It (the portrait) will be the ninth college man's portrait to be hung in the gallery. They have to be formally voted in by the club and they are supposed to be very exclusive." He also noted that the biographies of the portrait subjects were being prepared.27

At the University of Wisconsin Shepperd had developed an interest in dairying because of his opportunity to know Stephen M. Babcock, the inventor of the Babcock test for milk fat. Although North Dakota did not offer the same favorable environment for dairying as Wisconsin, Shepperd's interest in improving dairying continued and his last bulletin dealt with dairy cattle. He and his Station colleagues continued to work on North Dakota dairying, especially the problems of the harsh winters of the Northern Plains that killed out such traditional pasture crops as alfalfa. In 1900, Shepperd published an Experiment Station report stating that the alfalfa plants were not hardy enough to warrant sowing their seed. The Station staff, particularly L. R. Waldron, did not give up, but continued the search for a hardy variety. Ten years later, the Grimm strain of alfalfa was being grown by North Dakota farmers and ranchers.28

The federally funded Northern Great Plains Agricultural Experiment Station was established at Mandan in 1912-1913 primarily to furnish a spot to study livestock feeding. When the Mandan Station was founded, cooperative plans were made with the Animal Husbandry Department of the College. These involved establishing grazing trials to discover the carrying capacity of animals on a given tract of land with a certain forage growth. Shepperd's deep commitment to the Mandan Station stemmed from his belief that the land Grant institution should serve all the regions of the state and his conviction that plowing under the native grass would be destructive to the soil. As a result of his involvement and competence, he was offered the post of superintendent of the Mandan Station.29

In addition to his work with livestock, Shepperd also made valuable contributions to the study of roots, plants, and improved varieties of grain. Grain growing was the industry of settled North Dakota when he arrived in 1893. His efforts gave the state new, superior varieties of wheat, oats, barley, and rye. Some of his varieties such as Dakold (ND 959) rye, for example, became standard for a long period. Shepperd was awarded a gold medal for his plant breeding work at the Paris World Exposition in 1900.40

Although Henry Luke Bolley achieved fame as the conquerer of flax wilt, it was Shepperd as acting director of the Experiment Station who called Bolley's attention to flax experiments at the University of Minnesota Experiment Station. In the flax experimentation Professor Edwin F. Ladd examined the soil and Bolley did the planting and selection. By 1908 Bolley was able to make the first distribution of strains of wilt-resistant flax.31

In spite of his significant achievement, Shepperd was not particularly well satisfied with Fargo and North Dakota. During the period 1904-1920 he applied for many positions throughout the country. Apparently he was dissatisfied with the frigid climate of the Northern Great Plains because most of the positions he sought were in the South. There were other problems, of course. There was friction at the College and possibly Shepperd saw the Board and administration as unsympathetic. Still, there were powerful forces that moved to keep Shepperd at the North Dakota institution, among these the forceful intervention of his friends and colleagues. In 1904, when Shepperd was considering a move to Tennessee, Edwin F. Ladd wrote him a letter that was friendly, forceful, and candid. "Pardon me if I am somewhat personal in what I say. I don't want to see you go. . . . You cannot afford to go without good reason. Your reputation is in North Dakota."32 Ladd continued his argument: "North Dakota is a growing state, the institution new to develop with the state. Tenn. is old, fixed, Southern and every man in the main a fixed spoke in the wheel without the opportunities offered here. . . ." Ladd concluded: "Whatever friction there has been is now a thing of the past in my judgement.[sic]" Ladd was probably right for by the 20th century Shepperd had established a reputation in North Dakota that would have taken long labor to duplicate elsewhere.35Shepperd's long experience at the Agricultural College stood him in good stead in most cases. In 1906 he was made dean of the Division of Agriculture with several departments under his control -- applied agriculture with himself as head, agronomy with J.C. McDowell at the helm, and animal husbandry with W.B. Richards as instructor. He held the position of dean until 1915 when C.B. Waldron became dean.

In 1918, however, he suffered one of the greatest disappointments of his entire career. In that year, when the position of director of the Experiment Station opened up, he was passed over for the job, although he seemed to have been "the logical man for it." For some period Shepperd again pondered the idea of leaving the institution, but, for a variety of reasons he decided not to do so. In a quite practical sense he decided that he needed the $4,500 a year he and Mrs. Shepperd were paid for their Station and College jobs, and the Shepperds had acquired a considerable amount of Fargo property that had to be managed. Shepperd also found himself liking the new Station director, P.F. Trowbridge, and decided to see if Trowbridge would be fair to his work. Shepperd was made chairman of the Animal Husbandry Department, which gave him control of all College, Station, and Extension work in the field of his primary interest.36

There was more than campus politics involved in his failure to be named director of the Station. Edwin F. Ladd was president in 1918 and this should have assured Shepperd's selection. But his old friend Ladd did not appoint him. Shepperd himself believed that the complex state of North Dakota politics "had enough to do with it." He seems to have been conservative politically, and North Dakota at that time was controlled by the Nonpartisan League. Shepperd himself wrote: "It was also known that I am not a Nonpartisan leaguer and that settled it." Whether he was correct cannot be determined by the historical record, but it is instructive to recall that Ladd ran on the Nonpartisan ticket for the U.S. Senate in 1920, and he was the man ultimately responsible for Shepperd's failure to obtain the directorship.37

During the early and middle 1920s, Shepperd seems to have enjoyed his relief from most administrative chores and concentrated mainly on his distinctive style of writing bulletins. He wrote his brother that he was writing a "lot of odd typed stuff" and he found it meeting with a "surprisingly good reception." One achievement that gave Shepperd particular pride was writing an editorial for the Country Gentleman. Politics reared its head again when Edwin F. Ladd, now senator from North Dakota, talked of having Shepperd appointed as assistant U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Shepperd's wife, however, punctured that trial balloon while Shepperd was out of town. It was easy for Dell to dissuade Shepperd, since his brother-in-law, M.W. Hays, had suffered a breakdown while serving as assistant Secretary of Agriculture.

In 1928 his alma mater at Ames, Iowa, awarded him an honorary doctoral degree 38 Of greater importance, Shepperd was made acting president of the North Dakota Agricultural College in September 1928. He became the official president on March 31, 1930.39 His reaction to the new position was open and refreshing. He informed his brother: "To be frank with you I like the president job. I had not realized the power a man in this position has before. We have a state board here in charge of all penal and charitable institutions in the state which give them so much (to do) that they know little of one institution."40 Shepperd was to be president in difficult times. The stock market crash, the Depression, and the total collapse of farm prices coincided almost exactly with the period of his administration. From the beginning he realized that finances would be his most difficult responsibility. He wrote: "I do not face altogether roseate conditions as the finances are in rather bad shape and popularity and curtailment do not ordinarily go hand in hand."41

But not everything was retrenchment during the Shepperd presidency. In 1930 he was busily supervising the construction of two new buildings on the NDAC campus. One was a men's dormitory that was to cost around $200,000 and later was to be called Churchill Hall, and the other was a physical education-auditorium building erected for approximately $210,000. The men's dormitory was to house 200 students and the auditorium complex, now the Physical Education Building, would seat 3,600 for a basketball game and 8,300 for other public occasions. 42

As the Depression deepened, Shepperd's own economy measures were matched by those of the 1933 Legislature. The Legislature was determined to cut salaries, and even facing that problem, Shepperd was determined that the old foe, the University of North Dakota, should not do better than the Agricultural College. He wrote about the University-College rivalry: I am conceited enough to think I am holding my own with them. Our tactics are very different. The times are so bad that we will both have a terrible time to live on what we will get."43 In the midst of the legislative session Shepperd noted that President Kane of the University had resigned and remarked that he was not surprised. Perhaps under the circumstances it was not surprising.44

The legislative session turned out even worse than Shepperd feared. His own salary -- $7,800 annually -- was cut 62 percent. Worse from a morale and institutional point of view were the brutal cuts enforced on faculty and staff. Even taking into account low prices during the Depression, the cuts were severe. Most faculty members could expect reductions of 50 percent or even more. Returning home from Bismarck, Shepperd noted: "The workers on our staff are both peevish and irritable." 45

Rumors about Shepperd's possible retirement in the mid-30s reached a climax in 1935 when the Associated Press and theFargo Forum not only forecast the 66-year-old Shepperd's retirement, but named his successor, Dr. George Chaney of Des Moines. But the Board of Administration had never discussed Shepperd's retirement and there was absolutely no truth to the story. Perhaps rumbles of discontent caused the story to circulate, but the rumor was soon crushed.46

Shepperd's final troubles erupted during the legislative session of 1937 when he was brutally grilled by members of the House Appropriations Committee. Shepperd wrote: "I am just temporarily free from the fiendish legislative committee I have ever met or in fact any other group. . . . They have tried to throw me out of the institution and may yet succeed."47Still, Shepperd did not fear the outcome either way, since he felt that by age 68 a man's reputation had been either made or lost.48

The real motive behind the legislative grilling seems to have been the decision to go over the College books to see if there were any irregularities. The anti-Shepperd members of the Appropriations Committee were actively coached by College Secretary S.W. Hagen. In spite of their efforts, no sign of irregularities were found in college accounts. The psychological effect on Shepperd and his administration, however, was a telling one.49

College historian William C. Hunter interpreted Shepperd's fall from power as "a distinct note of censure against him." At the same time Hunter believed President Shepperd's efforts to carry on in spite of economic distress and political opposition should be appreciated.50 Shepperd himself appraised his record more mundanely. He wrote his brother: "I have removed $175,000 of debt from the College in my eight years in this office. The student attendance is the greatest (1936-37) that the institution has ever known. No red ink on our ledgers. It has been a pinching, saving eight years and the next two will be as bad or worse."51 It could be argued that Shepperd had attained his goal of fiscal solvency for the College before his resignation.

On March 24, 1937, Shepperd sent the following message to the Board of Administration: "I request to be transferred from the position of President of the College to that of President Emeritus and Associate Husbandman of the College, Station and Extension at a salary of sixty percent of my present compensation, at such time as a suitable successor for the presidency can be secured."52 Privately, Shepperd felt his age, 69, very keenly and he was "tired of executive work." Also, he wanted to get back to writing full time in his specialty, animal husbandry. He felt: "If I am going to write much, I must be at it."53 Another recurring theme in his correspondence is his weariness with politics. He wrote: "Politics are rampant in the state."54

Shepperd's resignation and its acceptance by the Board opened the gates for Governor William Langer and his associates to attain their ultimate goal -- control of the federally funded Experiment Station and Extension Service. No sooner was Shepperd gone than the Board embarked on the "Purge of 1937." Seven members of the Agricultural college's administration and staff were arbitrarily removed from their offices and duties and the position of NDAC president was given to John C. West, president of the University of North Dakota. Secure in his new position Shepperd found time in July to wire the Board in Bismarck asking it to grant a hearing to the dismissed faculty members 56

After his retirement as president, Shepperd found himself busy with a number of activities, not excluding reflection. In 1938 he commented on the new president, Frank Lissenden Eversull, by writing: "He is so much better than we expected to get that we feel reasonably well satisfied."57 Although he had spent 45 years at the College, he wrote that he could not feel conceited about the matter because Dell would not allow it. He was now teaching an introductory course in animal husbandry to young men on relief and found what he called the "folk course" very interesting. He was also involved in writing his tales. He wanted to revise his sheep tales, but found himself handicapped because one of his sources of inspiration was not available. "Daddy" Geiken was ill. Still Shepperd persisted. He declared: "The writing attracts me greatly but it I hard work. It seems like doing something with permanence."58 He was planning an article on grazing trials at Mandan.59


In his last letter to his brother before his unexpected death of pneumonia January 23, 1939, Shepperd wrote of the gift to the college of five horses by a former student. He was continuing in his "folk school" work, but had a few weeks off to concentrate on his writing.60 The Agricultural College honored his memory in 1942 when it named the newly erected livestock arena for him.61

Shepperd served the North Dakota Agricultural College for nearly 46 years in a variety of roles and had concrete accomplishments to his credit. He was not always happy in Fargo, but events and personalities riveted him to the school and city. But his fame transcended the local area. He was honored by his alma mater, received a gold medal from overseas, and his portrait was hung in the Saddle and Sirloin Club of Chicago in recognition of his work at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago. Shepperd did important work with plants, but his great love was livestock. Even his plant work was in connection with livestock.

Shepperd taught, did experimental work, and was an administrator on almost all levels, including the presidency of the College. Whether it was the International, the New Salem Breeding Circuit, or local judging contests, Shepperd left his impact on the livestock world of North Dakota. Perhaps his happiest years were the 1920s when he had left behind him the disappointment over the directorship of the Experiment Station and before he was offered the presidency of NDAC. He could study, research, or write without being bothered with details that had always gotten in his way in previous periods. His last months after the presidency also seemed tranquil and satisfying.

The most noteworthy thing about Shepperd, the livestock specialist and agriculturalist, was his singular way of writing up his scientific findings. He had the learning of a scientist, mixed with the soul of a man of letters. Early in his life he tried to stifle his literary bent, but he finally succumbed and used his writing style to put over his scientific findings. He had the learning of a scientist, mixed with the soul of a man of letters. Early in his life he tried to stifle his literary bent, but he finally succumbed and used his writing style to put over his scientific points. His bulletins were widely read and his voluminous writings for farm journals reached a wide audience. He reached a sort of apex for his career, or so he thought, when Country Gentlemen allowed him to write one of its editorials. Without his literary skills he might have research as much, but less talent in writing would have deprived that research of its broad impact.

Shepperd was a man of fortunate contrasts. He was well-educated but very practical. He was a shrewd businessman, but business was only a sideline. His letters to his older brother reveal a man who was sensitive and introspective, yet a good judge of people. His long tenure at the Agricultural College gave him a perspective on people and events that could not be matched. His failures seem to have prepared him for future success; he did not become Experiment Station director but he did become NDAC president. He served a young, growing institution in his youth, and guided the same College and Station in its middle years when a depression threatened the very life of the institution. All in all, he was a man of significant accomplishments, but unlike many of the successful, he remained humane and likable.



1J.H. Shepperd, "After Forty Years," handed to C.W. Johnson Friday evening, December 29, 1933, for Fargo Forum Sunday Issue, Typescript in the John Henry Shepperd papers, North Dakota Institute for Regional studies, Fargo, North Dakota. See also W.C. Hunger, BeaconAcross the Prairie: North Dakota's Land Grant College(Fargo: North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies, 1961), p. 24. 
2Short Biography of Shepperd, apparently written by Shepperd, Shepperd Papers, NDIRS. 
3J.H. Shepperd, "Tales of the Early Settlers," Quarterly Journal of the University of North Dakota, Vol. 13, No. 3, April, 1923, pp. 268-269. 
4Short Biography of Shepperd, Shepperd Papers, NDIRS.
5Dr. Shepperd Won International Fame, Developed North Dakota Livestock Industry," Fargo Forum, January 23, 1939. Clipping in Masonic Collection, NDIRS.
7Ibid. H. L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd" in Five for the Land, an unpublished manuscript in the holdings of the NDIRS; and Short Biography of Shepperd, Shepperd papers, NDIRS. Robert C. Shectz, registrar, Drake University to author, April 27, 1982.
8H.L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS, and Short Biography, NDIRS. See Earle D. Ross, The land-Grant Idea at Iowa State College (Ames, Iowa: Iowa State College Press, 1958), p. 90. For further confirmation of low enrollment in agriculture, Rackham Holt, George Washington Carver(Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc., 1943), p. 73.
9H.L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS.
10Dr. Shepperd Won International Fame, Developed North Dakota Livestock Industry," Fargo Forum January 23, 1938, and H.L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS.
11H. L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS, p. 12.
12" Dr. Shepperd Won International Fame, Developed North Dakota Livestock Industry," Fargo Forum January 23, 1938, and H.L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS. See also Hunter, Beacon Across the Prairie, p. 24.
13" Dr. Shepperd Won International Fame, Developed North Dakota Livestock Industry," Fargo Forum January 23, 1938, and H.L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS. Hunter, Beacon Across the Prairie, p. 26, for Shepperd's boarding and College Hall's various uses.
14 J. H. Shepperd, "After Forty Years," NDIRS.
15 Hunter, Beacon Across the Prairie, p. 25 and p. 28. 
17Shepperd, "After Forty Years."
19Hunter, Beacon Across the Prairie, p. 142, and "Mrs. Shepperd, Wife of Late N.D.A.C. President, Dies at 90," no name of paper, September 1, 1954, newspaper clipping in Shepperd Papers. Lewis F. Crawford, History of North Dakota (Chicago: A. Hist. Soc., 1931), p. 17.
20 Shepperd to J.S. Galesfska, Ardock, North Dakota, August 20, 1902, Shepperd Papers, urging a student to return to school; Shepperd to Thomas Canfield, Lake Park, Minnesota, March 12, 1902, Shepperd Papers for Shepperd seeking employment for a student; Shepperd to - - - - - - -, no address, no date, Shepperd Papers for a trip to tour livestock in the Twin Cities area, 30 students to go; and H.L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS for the "good teacher" judgment.
21Barteldes and Company, Colorado Seed House, Denver, Colorado, to Shepperd, August 24, 1901, Shepperd Papers for interest shown in the variety; Shepperd to Northwest Milling Company, Northwood, North dakota; Shepperd Papers for Shepperd's appointment to the committee; and Shepperd to Professor W.H. Olin, Ft. Collins, Colorado, November 7, 1905, Shepperd Papers, for Shepperd's gratitude that durum wheat now had a better market. David B. Danbom, The Resisted Revolution: Urban America and the Industrialization of Agriculture 1900-1930 (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1979). P. 132. For Carleton's role in discovering the durum consult: Cecil Salmon, USDA, and J. Allen Clark, USDA Durum Wheat, USDA Farmers' Bulletin 534, p. 5 
22 H.L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS.
23H.L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS, and John Shepperd, "Shepperd Says Pharoah's Dream Fits Case of the Great Plains," newspaper clipping, Daily Pentagraph and Bulletin, Bloomington, Illinois, no date on clipping, Shepperd Papers, NDIRS. The Shepperd article is the source for the "fat years" and "lean years" quote.
24H.L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS. J.H. Shepperd, "The Northern Pig From Birth to Market," North Dakota Experiment Station Bulletin, April 1922, p. 3. 25John Henry Shepperd to W.B. (Bruce) Shepperd, April 18, 1922, p. 4, in the Shepperd Papers. The John to Bruce Shepperd letters cover the period of time 1918-1938 and are revealing in the extreme. Shepperd lets his older brother Bruce know his inner side and related to him things he would never confide to almost anyone else.
26Ibid., See also newspaper clipping, Daily Pentagraph and Bulletin, Bloomington, Illinois, Saturday, December 31, 192____ for more information on the story telling.
27Consult the Shepperd Papers found in Hultz Hall which are totally about the International Livestock Exposition and Shepperd's involvement in it. See also John Henry Shepperd to W.B. (Bruce) Shepperd, April 3, 1921, NDIRS.
28H.L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS. J.H. Shepperd, "After Forty years."
29H.L. Walster, "John Henry Shepperd," NDIRS.
30Hunter, Beacon Across the Prairie, p. 51.
31Ibid., p. 52.
32Edwin F. Ladd to Shepperd, September 18, 1904, Shepperd Papers.
35See the file "Applications for Positions, 1904-1920," Shepperd Papers for Shepperd's various attempts to move. See John A. Craig, dean and director, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, to Shepperd, June 20, 1904, Shepperd Papers, for Shepperd's desire to move South.
36John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, August 29, 1918, and John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, February 12, 1919, Shepperd Papers, for the information in the above paragraph. Hunter, Beacon Across the Prairie, p. 39, p. 90, for the deanship.
37John H. Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, February 12, 1919, Shepperd Papers.
38John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, October 19, 1923, and John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, August 5, 1928, Shepperd Papers.
39Hunter, Beacon Across the Prairie, pp. 122-123.
40John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, October 1, 1929, Shepperd Papers.
41John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, October 1, 1929, Shepperd Papers.
42John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, March 30, 1930, and John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, April 19, 1930, Shepperd Papers.
43John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, February 29, 1933, Shepperd Papers.
45John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, July 30, 1930, for Shepperd's salary and John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, May 9, 1933, for depression time salary cuts. Both letters are in the Shepperd Papers.
46John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, November 22, 1935, Shepperd Papers.
47John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, February 20, 1937, Shepperd Papers.
49Hunter, Beacon Across the Prairie, p. 136
50Ibid., p. 142.
51John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, July 22, 1937, Shepperd papers. 52Ibid.
55Hunter, Beacon Across the Prairie, p. 144, and John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, August 12, 1937, Shepperd Papers.
56Ibid., pp. 145-146
57John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, October 30, 1938, Shepperd Papers.
58John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, January 5, 1938, Shepperd Papers.
59John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, October 30, 1938, Shepperd Papers, and John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, August 12, 1938, Shepperd Papers.
60John Shepperd to Bruce Shepperd, January 5, 1939 Shepperd Papers.
61Hunter, Beacon Across the Prairie, p. 201.