Born: July 25, 1833

Died: March 24, 1893

Married: Margaret Louisa Vanderbilt (1845-1924)

Children: 5 daughters, 1 son

Colonel Elliott Fitch Shepard (variously spelled Eliot or Elliot; the spelling used here was taken from his obituary in the New York Times) was a colonel in the Union army in the Civil War, and son-in-law of William H. Vanderbilt. He was at various times a lawyer, and editor of The Mail and Express. When the First Presbyterian Church of Saranac Lake was being built, Shepard assumed the $900 church debt, paid for a manse, built a stable — later remodeled for the congregation's use and named Gurley Hall, after Reverend Alvin B. Gurley — and donated the church bell.

Shepard Avenue is named for him. "When a man curing here named Shepard built a home for the minister out of appreciation and respect, they named a street 'Shepard' for him." 1 One speculation is that the "manse" and the "home for the minister" that the quotations above refer to was the house at 24 Front Street, labeled on a circa 1911 or later map as "Parsonage." Until more recent years, the Presbyterians provided the house at 41 Church Street, now in use as offices for a real estate company, as a parsonage. Both the Episcopal and Methodist churches had early houses for their ministers, both of which are still in use for that purpose.

"Streetscapes," a column in the New York Times on October 26, 2014, discusses the Mail & Express Building, Shepard's skyscraper in Manhattan, designed by the firm of Carrere & Hastings. Shepard was such an avid Presbyterian that he bought control of the Fifth Avenue stage line to stop it from running on Sunday and violating the Sabbath.


See Wikipedia, Elliott Fitch Shepard


1. "Smoke gets in your eyes," Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 26, 1971, reprinted November 27, 2004.