The first German families in Sheppton were the Bittlers, Peter Van Blargan, George Knelly and the Peifers. Thus in the beginning the German people were quite numerous; now there are only a few. The oldest living resident in Sheppton is Mr. Bittler, the son of the first settler.
The industries of Sheppton have not varied greatly since its beginning. The first really profitable industry was lumbering. The forests were so dense in some places that the sun could not penetrate them. After some time these were all cut down and the lumbering industry came to an end. Then came the mining industry, which was very profitable in the beginning, but is not remunerative at present. The prospect of wealth from these mines was really the motive for the settling of Sheppton.
One of the minor and temporary industries of Sheppton was the manufacture and bottling of temperance drinks. The bottling works was owned by the Longos and was located on the west side of Main Street.
Sheppton also had a silk mill which lasted for a few years and gave employment to some people. In the building was then a paper box factory. The owners from New York began operating this factory in 1934.
All the early roads of Sheppton were Indian trails and corduroy roads. The oldest road through this section is the road which continues from East Brandon Street through the valley into Park Place. Along this road is a group of rocks which verify tradition which relates that they were formerly an Indian Camp. The building of the road from Humboldt to Oneida was for the purpose of conveying machinery to Oneida for the mines.
The main road to the Valley was a road which skirted Sheppton on the west, continued down over the mountain across Samuel Deebel’s farm, and into the Valley. This road is now known as Sam’s Road and is rough and rock filled.
No. 2, a small clearing containing one house, is located directly below Oneida and is very easily reached. However, in the early days, No.2 was separated from Oneida by a dreadful swamp and the people were compelled to make a round trip and enter No. 2 from the rear. They started at Oneida then to Sheppton, out to the end of present market Street, over the mountain in Cemetery Hill and finally into No. 2.
The members of St. James Reformed Church first held services in the old frame school building on West Market Street. This building, since torn down, was dedicated August 4, 1892 and the Reformed congregation solemnized its first service here in the year 1893.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was consecrated August 15, 1895, and it is still standing on the right side of South Shepp Street. Before this church was erected the Catholic people of Sheppton attended the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of McAdoo.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was built in 1898. However, before the church was built the Lutherans held services in the old frame school building on West Market Street. The first service solemnized in the new church was on February 13, 1898, with Rev. Shlanker as the first pastor. It was through the efforts and influence of this pastor that the church was built.
During the early days of Sheppton, people usually walked or rode horseback over narrow Indian trails or stump-dotted clearings. Some people used the wagon and horses, but his was a very slow method of traveling, because every now and then the wagon sank to its axles in the mud. After the railroad was constructed by the Coxes, it was the main means of traveling and many people were accommodated by these trains. However, after the bus line was installed, the train service practically ceased. The first person to own a car in Sheppton was the first physician, Doctor Jenkins.
The first school house at Sheppton was a frame building erected August 4, 1892, and situated on what is the present West market Street. It had two floors, heated by a large furnace in the basement. The pupils sat on benches, and wrote on slates distributed once a year. The school term was eight months.
December 22, 1926, the school was declared unfit for use and in 1933, the building was dismantled.
The second school house, a brick construction, was erected in the year 1902, at the south end of the present Sheppton. This school has one floor, heated by a large furnace in each room. In 1912, a three year high school was organized.
In 1912, through the efforts of Mrs. Laundahl, a three year high school was organized. The members of the May 4, 1915, graduating class were: Nicholas Walters, Ralph Klingerman, Katherine Fellon, Esther Laundahl, Marina Brennar, John Sullivan, Olive Lorah, Dora Dietz , Lottie Steimling, Florence Dietz , Minerva Neverla, and Stanley Heppe. The school is a township high school to which all students of the township are admitted after completing the eighth grade.