Historical Details

Shippen, John and Family

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 02/04/2021

THE JOHN SHIPPEN FAMILY by Mamie Shippen Rogers

When the first 13 colonies was formed, the Shippen brothers were among the immigrants settling in Pennsylvania; one drifted on west and founded the village of Shippensburg, and one became mayor of Philadelphia and was active in the political life of that city.

My grandfather, Minor Shippen, stemmed from this branch of the Shippen family. Grandpa Minoe Shippen seemed to be a rover, always keeping on the frontier.

In due course of time they found themselves in Indiana, my father's birth state. Next step was Missouri and the next step across the Mississippi River into Kansas.

My grandma Shippen told me about the crossing of the river. They were ferried across and they had a wait of six weeks be­ fore enough immigrants gathered; they had to have 30 or 40 wagons to make up a caravan they felt was sufficient to start out. They were equipped with guns and ammunition; one man was made foreman.     Mamma's people seemed to be more 

satisfied. They settled at Junction City, Iowa, and remained there for many years.  My father and mother were married at Conway, Iowa June 29, 1876.

In the spring ·of 1888 they found them­ selves stranded in Kansas. Three years of hot winds and drouth and the dread disease of glanders struck the horses.  Finally a rain­bow appeared on the horizon.

Uncle Nute Allen, a Civil War veteran, had been given a homestead right and they settled at Manville.  Aunt Cil wrote back there was lots of work at Manville and Lusk new towns starting up.

A young' man, Nute Maples, had an old gray mare left. Together they rigged up an outfit and started out. After a few weeks, Papa was able to send Mamma train fare to come to Kimball, Nebr., where her parents had located.

Uncle John Jochum took us to Red Cloud; as Aunt Mollie handed me up to Mamma she said, "Now Clara, don't you let one of those cowboys get you. If you see one coming toward the house, you get the children and hide". I also heard mother say many times "a cowboy was the best friend a woman or child could have".

We boarded the train, were given our supper and put to bed. The next morning we found new friends in a contingent of soldiers returning to Ft. Laramie from a furlough. They took possession of us and stuffed us with candy and treats until Mamma thought she would have three sick kids on her hands.

After about three weeks Papa arrived and we started to complete our journey to Uncle Nute's covered wagon.   After about three weeks on the road across a wide expanse of prairie land we landed at our first home in Wyoming about 3 o'clock in the afternoon of June 4th, 1888, tired but happy.

Ina was born Dec. 23, 1889.

Then, in some mysterious way, the- house caught fire and burned, a complete loss of everything, Jan. 16, 1890. After a few years in town, Papa homesteaded on the Muddy, our most beloved home in the west.

We had our Jennie's horses Punch and Judy (they were just a part of the family) and added a great deal to our lives both in pleasure and service.

As the family grew up and needed to be near schools; Papa sold the ranch and moved to town.

We grew up and commenced to take our places in the community. The folks continued to be active in the church and welfare of the community. Their last venture was a saw mill and located in the Big Horn Mountains near Buffalo and Kaycee.

Mamma passed away June 17, 1914; Papa passed away in March, 1924.

They are buried at Manville, Wyo., their first home and final resting place in the state they loved so much.


He was the sixth child in the family and third son of John Shippen's family.

Albert was born at Manville, March 9, 1892. He stayed with the folks pretty much, helping with the sawmill work.  After Papa passed away he continued on for a number of years.

He married Mamie Chopline Aug. 22, 1916.

They had four children; Harold, Bessie, and twin girls, Evelyn and Geneva born Dec. 22, 1920.                          

Mamie passed away on Jan. 28 when the twins were five weeks old, Dec. 22, 1920.

He then placed the twins in Fred and my . custody and carried on until World War II came along. He was with the construction gang working on the Red Mountain Tunnel; was there through the bombing, helped for three days to remove the injured and dead soldiers. Some of them died in their arms as they removed them.

The war had a bad effect on him, broke his nerves. He never fully recovered from the shock and exposures. After it all, he had a paralytic stroke and passed away.


Fred Rogers arrived with his parents and brothers and sister, Mabel, the day be­ fore Easter, 1896.

They settled on the Shipley Ranch and became active citizens in the community.

Fred worked on the roundups and with stock until Niobrara County was formed.

When Harry ran for Sheriff and was elected he made Fred his deputy and later Fred was elected sheriff and was in the sheriff's work until the oil boom came along and Fred and Lou Galbreathe put the first validating rig in the Lance Creek oil field.


Ina, the fifth child in the family was born on the place south of town three weeks before the house burned, Dec. 23, 1889.

Her young life was spent mostly on the Muddy Ranch and in Manville, moved to the Kaycee   and Buffalo Territory and made a hand for Papa at the sawmill.  She was married to Dave Knighten on Oct. 23, 1908 and had two children,  Ammon and Dallas.

She later married the second time to George Osborne.  She continued her outdoor life, very active and always helping her com­munity. She passed away and is buried in Casper.


Walter, eldest son of John Shippen, was born in Iowa and came to Wyoming with his parents arriving June 4, 1888.

Walter spent his young manhood days in and around Manville working with stock and at carpenter work. On April 7, 1901 he was married to Bertha Runyon.

They had twins, a boy, James and a girl, Sarah.

They spent the first years of their married life at Manville and the later years at San Bernardino, Calif. and are buried there.


Having now recorded in part the pioneer days of my family, I stand alone except for my memories.

Being the third child in the family, I pretty nearly followed the pattern of the older ones.

As I grew up my ambition was to be a school teacher. The day I was 17 I started my first term of school.  After a period of 5 years I was married to Fred Rogers, March 14, 1905.            We lived on his ranch until 1913 when he went to work as deputy sheriff in 1914, elected sheriff of Niobrara County in 1916.

After we moved into town he became ac­quainted with Dudley Willst, driller for the Ohio Oil Company.                    Willst influenced him to put a validating rig in the Lance Creek oil field, which he did.

The boom spread quickly and stock companies were organized. Fred carried on, his health failed and he passed away Nov. 2, 1928.

We had four children; Harley, Ethel, Edna, who passed away at 7 years, and Lois Eliose, who passed away at age of six months. The latter two were twins.

When Albert lost his wife we took his twins, Geneva and Evelyn and raised them as our own.

So I was connected to the pioneer days in Wyoming, beloved state of mine.


He was the second son and fourth child in the John Shippen family, born in Kansas Nov. 11, 1886.

Cody was 18 months old when he arrived with his parents in the covered wagon. He carried on as any small child would paying

little or no attention to the present-day events.   As Cody grew up he was very popular with the young people; it just wasn't a party without Cody and his wit.

We were the pals of the family, scarcely separated.  He worked with stock and on ranches and was married to Daisy Howard. He home­steaded up near Lost Springs, later buying Mr. Howard's (Daisy's father's) ranch and con­tinued ranching until his death March 19, 1927.

They had three children, Ruth, now Mrs. Clarence Mason, Russel and Rena.

Rena passed away at about the age of 13.

Russel is married and lives at Douglas near his mother.

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