Samuel Shepley Armstrong Valley Pioneer:
What I love about researching through old newspapers are the local news stories that appear in them giving you updates and gossip and the local news items of the day. Here is one particular story that I recently found from the Harrisburg Telegraph (october 7, 1915) that caught my attention.
This story is about 91 year old Samuel Shepley and his devotion to subscribing and reading to the newspaper since 1835! The fascinating part of this story is that Samuel Shepley lived on the same land that I currently live on myself. He was born and lived his entire life on the family farm in Halifax, Pennsylvania where he died in 1917 at age 93! The article details how his family settled in this area “when the woods were full of Indians”. Knowing this fact and reading more on his family history has given me a sense of satisfaction of knowing the history of the land I live on. How many of us really know the history of our lands? What families had owned and lived on these same lands as we do now? How much has the land changed? In my case I know that the land has changed little and is still a majority of farmlands with a few homes sparsely spread out and that little has changed in the nearly 100 years since the article was written, at least agriculturly wise much hasn’t changed. I had known of the Shepley family name in this area but not of it’s connection to the history of the town and area. It is also comforting to know that Samuel is buried just a few hundred yards always in the local church cemetery where I am sure he is keeping a good eye on the valley.