Barber County Kansas
Here is Sam Shepler, Medicine Lodge mine superintendent and long time employee of the company.
When National Gypsum Company bought the Best Brother Keene's Cement plant at Medicine Lodge, Kan., one of the oldest and ablest employees of the plant was Sam Shepler. He had worked his way up in the plant to the position of mine foreman. After 28 years at Medicine Lodge, Sam is mine superintendent.
Sam started as a mechanic at the plant in 1916. In 1917 he volunteered for the Army, served overseas with the Engineers, and was discharged in July, 1919. Sam came right back to the work he liked best at Medicine Lodge.
After two years work on a mining operation for the company in Sun City, Sam returned to the Medicine Lodge plant and worked as a driller, mechanical shovel operator, and shop mechanic. Having built up experience through these years, Sam was made foreman of quarry No. 5, and later general quarry foreman.
When the company changed from quarrying the rock to mining, Sam's valuable experience made him able to fill the job of mine foreman, and in March, 1942, he became mine superintendent.
Sam is married, owns his own home, and gives all the time he can to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
(National Gypsum magazine, May 1944 - news clipping from the collection of Beth (Larkin) Davis.)
The Barber County Index, February 18, 1965.
Sun City Man Buried Tuesday
Funeral services were conducted Tuesday, at the Sun City Baptist Church, for Samuel Jefferson Shepler, 70, retired mine foreman for the National Gypsum Company, who died Saturday at Lake City.
Born Feb. 28, 1894 in Seiling, Okla., he lived in the Sun City community for 45 years.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Louise; one daughter, Mrs. Mary Ellen Larkin, Sun City; two sisters, Mrs. Claude Humes, Lamar, Mo., and Mrs. Noble Arb, Alva, Okla., and one grand daughter.
Rev. Sawatzky officiated and burial was in Sunnyside cemetery, Sun City.
SAMUEL J. SHEPLER
SGT. CO. F 315 ENGRS 90 DIV
WORLD WAR I
FEB. 28, 1894 - FEB. 13, 1965
Hugh Froman, at left, and Sam Shepler in the office of the National Gypsum Company mine
near Sun City, Barber County, Kansas, in 1954.
Photo from the collection of Beth (Larkin) Davis.
Sam Shepler and Hugh FromanBy Nate Massey
(E-mail from Nate Massey to Kim Fowles, 15 January 2007.)
Sam Shepler was superintendent of the mines - following Mr. Marquis - who was a mining engineer and, to most of us cow country kids, very impressive in his high shiny riding boots calvary pants and hat. He drove a new Buick touring car with spare tires on each side of the hood with chrome covers. He lived with his daughter Barbara in the company house near the terminal building south of the river. I think they left the same year that Barbara finished high school, I believe in '36.
Sam Shepler was a veteran of WWI and evidently in the engineers, I believe he had some advanced schooling in engineering also but am not sure. I know he was proficient in the civil aspect of surveying, etc, because I manned the stadia rod and helped him lay out tunnels the short time I was employed there. Sam was a really neat guy and was active in what civic activities that Sun had at that time and was in charge of the civil defense activities during the war and active in VFW at Pratt.
Hugh Froman and his brother Bill were in the mechanical and electrical end of the mine program. Bill was Mr. Marquis's right hand man over the mechanical part of the operation which was rather extensive, Hugh actually ran the shop and usually had 2 or 3 helpers. Mining at that time was a rather hard rock system with lots of drilling, 48 cases of dynamite per day, skip loaders and one D4 Cat cleanup tractor, plus 4 to 5 miles of railroad track, Narrow gauge, 2 Plymouth locomotives, etc.
I worked in the mines for about 8 or 9 months after getting out of the army, was involved in a train collision , broke a leg, went back to college and so forth.
Gypsum Mines and Mills in Barber County, Kansas
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!