Obituary Record

Marquis De Lafayette (Sr.) Shipley
Died on 4/28/1921

Shipley, Lafayette 5/ 1921

#1-Printed in May 5, 1921 Enterprise, Blair, Nebraska

Funeral Held for Pioneer of State and War Veteran.

Funeral services for Lafayette Shipley, 77, 3011 Craig Avenue, pioneer Washington County resident and Civil War veteran, who died Friday, were held yesterday afternoon in the chapel at Forest Lawn cemetery under the auspices of George Crook Post No. 162, G.A.R. Burial was in old soldiers circle in the cemetery.

Mr. Shipley came to Omaha with his parents from Iowa in 1854, settling on what is still known as the Shipley homestead, four miles north of Florence. With his father, William, he enlisted in the Union Army in 1862, Lafayette being assigned to frontier posts throughout the Civil War.

He engaged in many skirmishes with Indians while escorting the United States mail and pony express, and was one of a company of 28 men sent with a message from Fort Riley, Kan., to Fort Douglas, Utah.

On one occasion he and a comrade narrowly escaped death when attacked by a herd of buffalo. Armed only with revolvers and sabres, the two men were compelled to take refuge on the roof of an abandoned sod house, where they remained all night. Their horses which they had released, and the buffalo herd disappeared during the night and Shipley and his companion “footed” it to their post at Camp Kearney, 12 miles away.

Mr. Shipley was married to Mary Eliza McNeeley at DeSoto, Nebr. October 16, 1864, following his discharge from the army. He brought his bride to his home near Omaha where he engaged in farming until a few years ago, when infirmities of age forced his retirement.

He is survived by his second wife, formerly Julia Ingersol of Rochester, N.Y., whom he married in 1899; five sons by his first wife, C.E. of Albion, Neb; F.W. of McLean, Neb.; M.D. of Lyons, Neb.; Fred W. of Brandon, Manitoba, and D.D. of Tientsin, China; and four daughters by his first wife, Mrs. R.W. Schaub of Des Moines, Mrs. G.T. Richie of Corinne, Saskatchewan; Mrs. W.H. Thomas and Mrs. Jessie Houston of Omaha.—Omaha Bee.

#2-5 May, 1921 - The Tribune - Lafayette Shipley - Veteran


We were sorry to learn of the death of our friend, Lafayette Shipley, who with his wife, were both pioneer settlers of this Washington county in 1854. Mrs. Shipley came in January and he came in March of that year.

When we came here in 1871 he lived with his family at the head of Deep creek, probably half a mile from the present railroad station at Coffman. His father and mother and brother, James, were on two neighboring farms, and we became warm friends at once and often visited all three families. They all three had settled on timber claims, and probably cut and hauled several thousand cords of wood to Omaha and grubbed and cultivated crops among the stumps and Chaparral that took hard, steady work. Their principal products were potatoes and sorghum. Sometimes some of them made trips to Omaha six days in the week with early potatoes, and one time we remember they were getting $4.50 a bushel retail at the houses when the very first two cars of early potatoes came to Omaha by express and not a firm in Omaha could handle them and the Express Company sold them, one bushel or over at the car at 25 cents a bushel.

Afterwards he went to Walthill to one of his sons. Several times when we wrote him he came to attend pioneer and veteran funerals at Ft. Calhoun and complained how hard it was to make new friends in a strange neighborhood, till finally he had to come back to where he had lived for 50 years, and had so many hundred former friends. His memory is very dear to us and will be to may others.

Lafayette Shipley, 77, who was buried Sunday afternoon in Forest Lawn cemetery, Omaha, was a plainsman of early days in Nebraska and engaged in many skirmishes with Indians while escorting mail and the “Pony Express”. Mr. Shipley died at his home, 3011 Craig avenue. George Crook Post No. 262, G.A.R. conducted the funeral.

Mr. Shipley came with his parents, to the old Shipley homestead five miles north of Florence in 1854. He enlisted with his father in 1862 in the union army and was stationed at frontier posts during the Civil War, where he saw many Indian battles, buffalo hunts and stock stampedes.

He was one of twenty eight men who carried a vital message during the war from Fort Riley, Kas. to Fort Douglas, Utah. They reported to Brigham Young at Salt Lake City, received his permission to continue their journey and conveyed the message safely to the fort.

On one occasion which Mr. Shipley told of, he and a companion found themselves stranded on the plains and facing starvation for lack of provisions. They encountered a herd of buffalo. Armed only with Colts navy revolvers, they attacked and wounded one badly. Lack of ammunition forced them to abandon the fight. Enraged at the death of one of the herd, the buffalo charged the two soldiers, pursued them several miles until they sought refuge on the roof of an abandoned sod house. Their horses were released to spare them from attacks of the animals. Morning dawned and horses and buffalo were gone. A tramp of twelve miles took them back to camp.

Mr. Shipley’s grandfather was one of the Puritans.

~~~Obituary courtesy of Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings are on file in the Blair, Nebraska Public Library~~~

FindaGrave Memorial #161991019