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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Fort Benton in Chouteau County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Shep's Vigil

 
 
Shep's Vigil Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
1. Shep's Vigil Marker
Inscription.  In August 1936 a casket containing a sheepherder's body was loaded on a baggage car headed East for burial. A dog, of collie strain, watched with anxious eyes. He was to be there to meet every train year after year.
Conductor Ed Shields by 1939 pieced the dog's story together, linking Shep with the body shipped that August day. With the real story known, Shep became famous. Many, many well-intentioned offers to adopt him were gently declined; friends knew Shep's sole aim was to keep his vigil. Shep died on January 13, 1942, slipping on the tracks before an incoming train. His passing was mourned by all who knew his story. He was laid to rest atop the bluff above the depo (sic); his funeral was attended by hundreds. Reverend Ralph Underwood took as his theme Senator George Graham Vest's "Eulogy on the Dog," a tribute to a dog's faithfulness to his master which Shep so fully exemplified.
 
Erected by Fort Benton Community Improvement Association.
 
Location. 47° 48.999′ N, 110° 40.073′ W. Marker is in Fort Benton, Montana
Shep's Vigil Marker, reverse side image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
2. Shep's Vigil Marker, reverse side
1936 - 1942, Shep
, in Chouteau County. Marker is on Front Street near 14th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1311 Front Street, Fort Benton MT 59442, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Benton Levee (here, next to this marker); Grand Union Hotel (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Grand Union Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Stockmen's National Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); Masonic Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Benton Engine House (within shouting distance of this marker); First Fire Engine House (within shouting distance of this marker); Bank of Northern Montana (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Benton.
 
More about this marker. Shep's Vigil Monument is in Fort Benton's Levee park.
 
Categories. Animals
 
Shep's Vigil Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
3. Shep's Vigil Marker
Shep's Vigil Monument image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
4. Shep's Vigil Monument
Shep's Vigil Monument image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
5. Shep's Vigil Monument
Shep's Vigil, Ripley's Believe It or Not! image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
6. Shep's Vigil, Ripley's Believe It or Not!
 

More. Search the internet for Shep's Vigil.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 1, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 49 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 1, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   6. submitted on November 23, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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