R. C. Shepherd was born at Knoxville, Marion County, Iowa, June 25, 1860, but his father’s family moved to Des Moines when he was quite young. In that city he learned the machinist’s trade, which he afterwards followed in many different parts of the country, living in several of the larger cities of the West, but finally returning and settling down in Des Moines. There he was married, in 1882, to Sophia V. Miller. They have four children, all of whom were born after their removal to California. Mr. Shepherd was in business at Des Moines for some time, but sold out and came to California in 1883. He spent two years at Los Angeles and two at San Bernardino, and came to Redlands in 1887. April 20 of that year he opened the first tin shop and plumbing establishment in Redlands, which was afterwards enlarged to include hardware. This was in a building on Citrus avenue, which has since been removed, Nov. 1, 1888, Mr. Shepherd moved to State street, and, on September 19, 1889, removed into his own two story brick building, which he had erected nearly opposite his former place of business.
He served Redlands township for five years as a constable. He is the inventor and owner of several useful mechanical devices, such as two-pieced valve for garden hose, a tree-prop bracket, of which a sale of 200,000 is probable this year, and the Shepherd Water Motor, of which 200 are now in use and which is selling constantly. This is an especially useful invention as it may be attached to water power of any kind and made to operate all sorts of light machinery.
(Source: Illustrated Redlands, 1897, p. 47)