Dr. Ledson Joseph Shepley was born on the 11th of December, 1906 in Charing Cross. His parents were Percy Leroy Clifford Shepley and the former Matilda Jane Padbury. His father was a blacksmith and he had a younger brother named Melvin. Dr. Shepley’s education began in a one-room school house, S.S. 2 1/2 located in Raleigh Township. According to the 1921 census, Dr. Shepley’s family resided at 214 Lacroix St. in Chatham. His high school education was obtained at Chatham Collegiate Institute. Dr. Shepley was an accomplished athlete, excelling in track and field, baseball, football and lacrosse.
Dr. Shepley attended Victoria College in Toronto and graduated with his B.A. in Biological and Medical Sciences in 1931. He attended The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and earned his M.D. in 1934. He interned at Toronto Western Hospital until 1935.
On May 30th 1934, an engagement announcement appeared in the St Thomas Times Journal, announcing the upcoming wedding of Dr. Ledson Shepley and Dr. Harriet ‘Jean’ Winnifred Mustard. They were married on June 23rd of 1934 in Toronto by W. M. Mustard, the brother of Dr. Jean Shepley. She was the youngest of 5 children born to Hugh Mustard and the former Harriett ElizabethTaylor. Her parents were farmers and her siblings were; Alexander, William, John and Mary.
After completing his internship, Dr. Shepley worked in private practice for a short time in Wyoming, Ontario, then moved to Hafford, Saskatchewan to become the Medical Superintendent of the United Church Hospital. He held this position from 1935 to 1938.
In 1938, the couple moved to Chatham and opened a medical practice together. According to the 1941 Shepherds City of Chatham Business Directory Dr. Ledson and Dr. Jean M. Shepleys office’s were located at 190 Wellington Street. Dr. Ledson Shepley was a District Councillor for the Ontario Medical Association and he was a member of the O.M.A. Board of Directors for 4 years. He served as the President of the Kent County Medical Society in 1951. Dr. Shepley was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Chatham and he sat on the Chatham Board of Education for 4 years. He was a member of the United Church and was a 32nd Degree Mason.
Dr. Shepley was the father of 4 children; Joan, Donald, Marion and Robert. Their home was located at 329 Wellington Street West in Chatham. He enjoyed water-color painting, music and poetry in his spare time.
Dr. Shepley died on the 8th of March, 1979. At the time of his death he resided at 601 Victoria Ave., in Chatham. His wife, Dr. Jean Shepley died on the 24th of July, 1991. Dr. and Dr. Shepley are buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Blenheim.
*His son, Donald became a physician but he did not practice medicine in Kent County. Dr. Donald Joseph Shepley died in Huntsville, Ontario on the 4th of April, 2018.
**His wife Dr. Harriett ‘Jean’ Winnifred (Mustard) Shepley, is also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.