SHEP, TEXAS . Shep is south of Lake Abilene and the Callahan Divide in the southwest corner of Taylor County. The first settler in the area was John Robert Crayton, who arrived in the 1870s and described it as an immense, beautiful valley with several clear creeks. Other settlers, mostly ranchers, followed, finding homes on Spring Creek, Cottonwood Creek, and Valley Creek. The community was later called Shep after an early settler, Andrew Martin Sheppard, who owned a ranch and a store and was the postmaster. The post office operated from 1903 to 1923. The first school, which also served as a church, was a one-room log cabin on the bank of Spring Creek. The Shep Methodist Church was founded about 1881; the building, which still stands, was built about 1914. The Shep Baptist Church was organized about 1895, and the Church of Christ in 1911. In early days Shep was a thriving community with several places of business, including a country store, a gin, a blacksmith shop, a barbershop, a cattle company, and a tailor shop. Dr. Carrington, one of the early doctors, also owned a drugstore. Other doctors came from Wingate and Winters. In 1920 a French pilot and an Englishman who had known a soldier from Shep in World War I landed in a pasture at Shep and gave plane rides for five dollars a person. In 1985 the population of Shep was sixty, and there were no businesses in the area. Some of the ranchland was still owned by descendants of the original settlers. On April 28, 1985, a tornado struck, demolishing much of the community and causing one death. In 1990 the population was estimated at eighty. The population dropped to sixty in 2000.

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