Bill Sheppard

Bill Sheppard

William (Bill) Sheppard was born in Ferryhill in 1907. He played football for Ferryhill Athletic, Chilton Colliery and Crook Town before joining Watford in 1927. Over the next two seasons he scored 37 goals in 89 appearances for the club. He also played for Queen's Park Rangers (1930-31) and Coventry City (1931-32). In 1932 he joined Walsall in the Third Division.

On 14th January 1933, Sheppard played in the FA Cup tie against Arsenal, the First Division league champions. Injuries and illness robbed Arsenal of several key players including Eddie Hapgood, Joe Hulme, Jack Lambert and Bob John. Four inexperienced reserves were drafted into the side. They all performed badly and so did the regular members, with David Jack missing several opportunities to score. The tackling of the Walsall players, especially on Alex James and Cliff Bastin, also caused the team serious problems. As Bernard Joy pointed out: "They (Walsall) were aided by the narrow ground which was made more cramped by the encroachment of spectators up to the touchlines."

Fifteen minutes after the interval, Gilbert Allsop headed in from a corner. Soon afterwards, Tommy Black gave away a penalty with a blatant foul on Sheppard. He got up and scored from the spot and Walsall managed to hold out for a 2-0 win. It was the greatest giant-killing result in FA Cup history.

Sheppard retired from professional football in 1934. During his career he scored 75 goals in 196 games.

William Sheppard died in 1950.


The Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921

The Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921, informally called the Maternity Act, was the first federal law to provide significant funding to help people in need. The purpose of the Act was "to reduce maternal and infant mortality." The legislation was supported by progressives, social reformers, and feminists including Grace Abbott and Julia Lathrop. It was part of a larger movement called "scientific mothering"—applying scientific principles and to the care of infants and children, and educating mothers, especially those who were poor or less educated.


Bill Shepherd

As a recording artist, Bill Shepherd has released such successful albums as the pop instrumental LP Shepherd and His Flock in 1959 and, in 1968, the Aurora LP. It is as an engineer, and later a producer/arranger,…
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Artist Biography by Bruce Eder

As a recording artist, Bill Shepherd has released such successful albums as the pop instrumental LP Shepherd and His Flock in 1959 and, in 1968, the Aurora LP. It is as an engineer, and later a producer/arranger, however, that he had a major impact on popular music by virtue of his association with the Bee Gees. The British-born Shepherd had first achieved notice in the pop world in 1959 with his work as producer/composer on a film called Idle on Parade, which attempted to put Anthony Newley into a kind of rock & roll comedy vehicle. He also worked with legendary producer Joe Meek during the early '60s and cut a song with Gene Vincent, conducting the orchestral accompaniment for the American rock legend in 1963 before emigrating to Australia in 1964. Shepherd joined Festival Records and first began working with Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb in 1965 on their recording of Arthur Alexander's "Every Day I Have to Cry" and the Barry Gibb-authored B-side, "You Wouldn't Know." Shepherd departed Australia for England in 1966, and by 1967 was back working with the Bee Gees, this time under the auspices of manager/producer Robert Stigwood. He was responsible for many of the arrangements and the conducting of many accompaniments on their '60s recordings, from small string ensembles to 30-piece orchestras, in effect serving the same function with this group that George Martin had with the Beatles. Shepherd's good professional relationship with the group in those years, along with his musical range, allowed him to work in any of the idioms in which they chose to record, from psychedelia to pop ballads, and he was, at least as much as guitarist Vince Melouney or drummer Colin Petersen, a full-time member of the group in everything but name. Indeed, in those years the group often toured England and performed on-stage with an orchestra in tow, and Shepherd was very much the architect of their sound. In 1968, Shepherd also released an album entitled Aurora on which he conducted a soft pop chorus in performances of songs composed by the Gibb brothers. He remained closely involved with all of the group's work up to and including To Whom It May Concern, which was their last album done in England. Only on the rather more ambitious double-LP Odessa did he cede any of the arranging chores, in that instance to Paul Buckmaster. Although his relationship with the group ended in 1972, Shepherd's arrangements and conducting for the group are still spoken of highly by all concerned.


The 4th of January - the last time.

Donald arrived down at the lakeside shortly after 7.30, parking his Jaguar E-type in its usual position beside Pier Cottage. ‘Another bloody false alarm,’ he remarked, ‘but let’s just have a look and see how quickly we’ll be back for a proper breakfast.’ Donald walked to the end of the jetty with his binoculars to study conditions in the half-light before the sun finally rose behind the Grizedale fells. Scanning the lake, Donald saw the ‘smooth’ lake surface for himself. In no time, he had located Leo Villa, and asked his chief engineer to get everyone out to their stations and get Bluebird launched. Donald stepped into Bluebird’s cockpit just after 8.10, still some 25 minutes before sunrise proper. With a smile and his usual wink, Donald donned his leather helmet and began to do up his 4-point safety harness. The boat was lowered down the slipway and pulled round to the edge of the jetty once she had floated free of her cradle. At 8.40, Donald asked for a conditions update from Leo and Keith and received positive responses.

Campbell commenced the first run of his last record attempt at just after 8.45. Bluebird moved slowly out towards the middle of the lake, where she paused for a brief second as Donald lined her up. Here we go.. Here we go…. With a deafening blast of power, Donald applied full throttle and Bluebird began to surge forward. Clouds of spray issued from the jet pipe and after a few hundred yards, at 70 mph, Bluebird unstuck from the surface and rocketed off towards the southern end of the lake, producing her characteristic comet’s tail of spray.OK we’re up and away . and passing through er . tramping very hard at 150 . very hard indeed … FULL POWER . Passing through 2 . 25 out of the way… tramping like hell Leo, I don’t think I can get over the top, but I’ll try, She entered the measured kilometre at 8.46. Leo Villa witnessed her passing the first marker buoy at about 285 mph in perfect steady planing trim, her nose slightly down, still accelerating. 7.525 seconds later, Keith Harrison saw her leave the measured kilometre at a speed of over 310 mph. FULL HOUSE . and I can’t see where I am … FULL HOUSE – FULL HOUSE – FULL HOUSE . POWER OFF NOW! . I’M THROUGH!! .

K7 on her first run on the 4 th of January © Authors Collection & PA

Campbell lifted his foot from the throttle about 3/10 of a second before passing the southern kilometre marker. As he left the measured kilometre, Bluebird’s engine flamed out for some inexplicable reason. The water brake was applied as he came up to and passed Peel Island at around 200 mph. He referred to relighting the engine, but given the indistinct, excited voice coming from the cockpit, no one listening in on the radio loop at the time picked up on the comment. If it had been picked up, it would have alarmed Leo. The flame out would not have been caused by water entering the intakes – Bluebird was still in the planing position – but by an interruption in the fuel supply, caused by a fuel system or electrical problem. If that was repeated under maximum jet thrust, it could have catastrophic consequences.

Campbell was impatient to get his speed from his first run. Taking 250 mph as a baseline, his speed came back‘+ 47’ meant 47 mph over that figure he had in fact averaged 297.6 mph. Bluebird had peaked at around 315 mph just as Campbell lifted off, before she left the measured kilometre.

Under the rules laid down by the UIM, an hour was allowed in which to make both runs. This was more than enough time for the wash to disperse and the lake to regain its glassy appearance, assuming there was no adverse change in the weather. At speed, Bluebird’s planing created comparatively little wash and it took quite some time for the slow-moving wash to be reflected back into the centre of the lake. This gave the option of making the return run very soon after the first one. Donald knew how long he would have to do this.

Bluebird was now turning in a wide arc at the southernmost tip of the lake, about one kilometre south of Peel Island. Having heard his speed, Donald announced that he was starting his return run. Campbell commenced what was to be his final run at 8.48 – less than two minutes after exiting the kilometre on his first north–south run. The condition of the water two kilometres south of the actual measured kilometre was much rougher than Donald could have anticipated. He had used the water brake to shed about 130 mph of Bluebird’s speed at the narrowest part of the lake past Peel Island. The wash this created was now rippling back into the centre of the course, giving the water surface a corrugated profile.

His description of the water conditions in his commentary left none of his listeners in any doubt that he was having one hell of a rough ride.Donald maintained full power as Bluebird accelerated rapidly towards the measured distance. … Full nose up . Pitching a bit down here . coming through our own wash . er getting straightened up now on track . rather closer to Peel Island . and we’re tramping like mad . and er . FULL POWER . er tramping like hell OVER. I can’t see much and the water’s very bad indeed .Ten seconds after passing Peel Island, Bluebird was travelling at over 280 mph, still accelerating. About 700 metres from the southern kilometre marker, travelling by now at over 300 mph, Bluebird appeared to break free of the water for a moment. I'm galloping (I can't get) over the top … I'm getting hell of a bloody row in here.The starboard sponson bounced free of the water, twice in quick succession, each bounce lasting 0.5 and 0.3 seconds respectively. Still accelerating, Bluebird reached a point 450 metres south of the entry to the measured kilometre, where her speed peaked (later calculated at 328 mph). Her starboard sponson became airborne for the third time, by as much as 0.5m and for 0.6 seconds. When the sponson impacted with the water again, Bluebird began to decelerate quite rapidly. . I can't see anything.Donald and Bluebird were in terrible trouble. Less than half a second later, Bluebird’s starboard sponson bounced free of the water a fourth time and remained airborne for nearly half a second, before striking the water again. Passing the southern kilometre marker at a speed subsequently estimated to be 305 mph, the starboard sponson bounced clear of the water for a fifth time.

K7 approaching the measured Kilo on the second run. © Authors Collection

About 200 metres into the measured distance, both forward planing surfaces broke free of the water for the last time. Bluebird exceeded her safe pitching angle of 5.5 degreesand slowly took to the air. I’ve got the bows out …Some 250 metres further down the course, at about 290 mph, she stood on her tail. There was no jet thrust to disturb the water beneath the jet pipe . I'm going . U-hh …Bluebird's engine had, for whatever reason, ceased to produce any meaningful thrust. She climbed about 10 metres above the water and performed a near 360-degree flip before plunging back into the lake at an angle of around 45 degrees. The boat began to break up on impact and a massive cloud of spray briefly hid the worst of her gyrations from view. The impact broke Bluebird in half just behind the cockpit the sponsons were torn from their spars. The rear section of the hull barrel rolled along the lake for approximately 80 metres before coming to rest momentarily facing almost the direction she had just come from. As the spray settled, Bluebird slipped from sight and sank into the depths of Coniston Water. For a few moments, the eyewitnesses stood in stunned silence, unable to believe what they had just seen. It wasn't yet 8.50.

The end. K7 takes to the air. © Authors Collection

Courage is not the act of going quickly it is the act of knowing what could happen and then carrying on anyway. Campbell never forgot the Utah crash that had almost killed him in 1960. He was not without imagination. Campbell talked about death because he lived with it, not because he wanted to die. He knew there was no safety net when he walked out onto the tightrope. Everything depended on him, and him alone, he had to perform. That brought with it pressure – it meant that he would eventually have to take what he once described as‘a thoroughly unjustified risk’.

On that cold Wednesday morning, in the eyes of the uninformed he did just that, and he paid the ultimate price. But at the same time the legend of Donald Campbell was born…


Bill Sheppard had major career at the apex of rock and roll

Bill Sheppard performing. Photo courtesy Bill Sheppard

Bill Sheppard was there. Right in the center of West Coast rock and roll. Right when it was all happening.

And not many know how big his career was. It turns out, Bill is so modest even his wife and sons did not know how close to the sun he flew with the groups with which he played, sang and recorded.

When Bill tells his story, there is always a smile and a gentle knowingness. And if anyone who reads this had the experience of being fans or groupies of rock or pop groups, or were actually in music from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, you will understand what the smile and nod mean.

It was a unique time in American cultural history and musical evolution. A confluence of events political and social created a vibe that may never again be repeated. “Back then it was magic,” said Bill. “Not a lot of people were [rock] musicians then. You could walk into a room and be immediately accepted. The time was fun, harmless and we were more thoughtful, cheerful and a lot more accepting.”

Bill had his first professional gig when he was 13, playing sax Friday and Saturday nights in Huntington Beach with Denny and the Chancellors, a group with a current record. “We backed all the Motown singing groups that came in,” said Bill.

At the same time, while still in junior high school, Bill was a math brain, winning the Orange County-wide math award in eighth grade. And that is just the beginning of a regular music career that began at 13.

After a few years, the lead singer of D and C quit and Bill took over. Then a group called the Fabs, also with a record, heard Bill singing and offered him the lead singer position in the already successful band. At that time in Southern California, groups soon to be famous were forming and everyone knew everyone. “In 1965 I was asked into a recording studio to do vocals for a group whose lead singer was having pitch or phrasing problems so I laid the vocal on ‘Mister, You’re a Better Man Than I.’ The group was The Yardbirds.

“I would do it all over again in a minute,” said Bill. “It all flowed, it was all connected and it all seemed inevitable. Each new thing just presented itself as the next thing. We didn’t know we were naïve. We were just riding the waves and the waves kept coming.”

And the next wave was the biggest. At 18, five years into his pro career, Bill and two members of the Fabs formed the nucleus of Stack. Stack would develop its own cult following because of its high-energy concerts, and the quality of its instrumentals and vocals. Stack was endorsed by Sunn amplifiers as was The Who. “So, when The Who was not touring, we used their equipment,” remembered Bill. This was before the release of “Tommy.”

Stack released only one album, “Above All.” Bill noted that original copies of the vinyl album now sell for about $7,500, so strong was the concert following for this group.

After two years with Stack, managers wanted to book the group into clubs and require them to play for four hours each night. And that was it for Bill. “I could not perform, at the energy level we did, for four hours and I left for that reason,” he said.

After Stack, Bill arranged, sang and recorded a folk album, while based out of Running Springs. He toured Canada for a year in the summer of 1970 and came back to SoCal and started working night clubs.

As the musical waves continued to create flow, a producer heard Bill singing and tapped him to be part of a new group, Ruby Wheller. The producer bought a house and paid the new group to live and rehearse in the house for a year. “This was a great group,” said Bill. “The music was superb. But we came out of that year just when disco hit. And as a result, we played big venues one time only. We were doing original rock material and everyone wanted disco dancing.”

As part of musically surfing those exciting and formative years in rock and roll, Stack played on the bill with The New Yardbirds (soon to become Led Zeppelin), opened for Iron Butterfly, Three Dog Night, Chicago Transit Authority (later Chicago), The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Jimi Hendrix and Alice Cooper.

After the heady ride, Bill stopped playing for around 15 years, transitioning into being a representative for musical instruments and amps, and creating sound design for major Las Vegas hotels and concert venues.

“On May 15, 2006, my wife Debbie and I came up to Idyllwild on our 24th anniversary for a visit,” he remembered. “We had no plans of moving from our home in Orange County that we were still remodeling. But we drove by a house that was for sale. The price had just been lowered. Forty-six days later, our house had sold and we were living in Idyllwild.” The Sheppards own the local video store and Bill still plays and sings locally.

As an anecdote, underlining his modesty, Bill recounted taking Debbie and sons Billy and Danny to the Fender Museum in Fullerton where a 50-year exhibition about Orange County’s history as a rock and roll mecca was being mounted. “There were walls of displays and booths on each group, including Stack, said Bill. “The kids did not know anything about my history. Even Debbie did not know that much.”

That evening, the family attended a dinner honoring the groups, among them the Righteous Brothers and No Doubt. “Danny looked around and said, ‘You’re in here with all these groups. ’”

And yes, Bill Sheppard was. He was there. In the middle of it all, just as the Orange County rock and roll wave was ready to ride.


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Bill Sheppard, Jr.

North Carolina beekeepers suffered an enormous loss recently: the passing of one of our most influential and tireless honey bee advocates, Mr. William (“Bill”) H. Sheppard, Jr. on Dec. 2 nd , 2016. The grief over Bill’s death is far-reaching. His family lost a loving, loyal patriarch, and the beekeeping community lost a great friend, mentor, and faithful bee supporter. If ever there was true champion of honey bees, it was Bill.

Bill Sheppard was practically synonymous with North Carolina beekeeping. One would be hard-pressed to become a beekeeper in our state without hearing his name, or if you were really lucky, meeting him in person. A few moments of speaking with Bill and you would be hooked. Much like that mysterious force that draws us into beekeeping in the first place so too was Bill Sheppard a force to be reckoned with. But with Bill, there was no mystery. He was a man who devoted his entire life to bees and to the betterment of beekeeping in North Carolina. His influence reached far beyond the boundary lines of our state, and will continue to enlighten beekeepers and bee lovers for a very, very long time.

Bill was a helluva guy to know, a true character. I first met Bill when I was a beekeeping student at NCSU almost 20 years ago. He was instantly one of my favorites with his upbeat, endearingly quirky personality and indelible laughter, the kind that sticks in your brain and makes you smile. Such was Bill, always spreading light wherever he went. Bill was the kind of guy that was always helping somebody, always sharing his gift of wit and wisdom. Two decades later, he still had the same, positive energy and unwavering devotion to bees that was clearly ingrained in his spirit.

You might say Bill was born with beekeeping in his blood, literally, when his mother was stung by a bee when only a few months pregnant with him. Given the fact that he was from a long line of beekeepers, that single moment seemed to seal his apiarist fate, not to mention the fate of North Carolina beekeeping. The second oldest of seven children, Bill was the only one to follow in his father’s beekeeping footsteps. As a 6th generation beekeeper, Bill recited his ancestral ties to bees with precision and authority.

“My great, great, great grandfather Noah had 140 hives listed on the tax books in 1836,” Bill reflected fondly when I spoke with him recently. “There were no records prior to Noah, so there could have been more before him.”

All of the generations of Sheppards that followed continued in beekeeping, either as a supplement to farming or as a sole profession.

Bill’s grandfather, Frank, was a commercial beekeeper, and passed on the trade to his son, William H. Sheppard Sr., Bill’s father, who also made his living as a professional beekeeper. Bill’s son, William H. Sheppard III (Winky), carries the torch for the 7 th generation of beekeeping Sheppards.

14-year-old Bill with his father, William H. Sheppard, Sr. in 1954.

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Bill was merely two years old when he stepped into an apiary with his father for the first time, and remained a constant presence in the beekeeping community his entire life. His childhood was rife with beekeeping experiences that rival the best of them. Bill started queen grafting at the age of five, and by 16, partnered with his father in their commercial beekeeping business, when he took on a lot of the major responsibilities after his father had a heart attack.

Bill’s long history of serving the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association (NCSBA) began when he was asked at age six to serve as a youth representative for the organization. (I can’t help but smile when I conjure up the image of a six-year-old Bill.) Youth membership dues at the time were 25 cents, but once he reached the ripe old age of 16, he had to pay $1 dues like everybody else!

Bill was an active member of the 4-H club, and proudly won the state beekeeping contest for his requeening demonstration in 1957. For the next 20 years, Bill helped with the bee exhibit at the North Carolina State fair, giving live bee demonstrations for over 10 of those years. In 1975 Bill helped design, build and maintain a new exhibit that would be used for over 30 years.

By the mid-1970s, Bill was awarded lifetime membership for his years of service to the NCSBA.

Bill Sheppard, Lane Kreitlow, and Mr. Irvin Rackley at the
ribbon cutting ceremony for the Honey Bee Exhibit at the
NC Zoo in 2009.

Bill’s contributions to the NCSBA didn’t stop there – far from it. He went on to serve on the Board and as President, Vice President, Director, and on countless committees and other roles from 1975 until about 2008. Bill, along with Dr. John Ambrose and Mr. Irvin Rackley, started the Zoo Committee, which led the NCSBA in a successful fundraising campaign that went on to raise enough funds to build a permanent honey bee exhibit at the North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro. At roughly $160,000, this was no small feat! Bill and his wife Sandra also started the “Cooking with Honey” Program, a crowd favorite at state meetings and the state fair.

In 1977, Bill’s service to NC beekeeping took on a more formal role when he was hired on a two-year Coastal Plains grant to work as a state apiary inspector. Two years later, he became a permanent employee of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), where he would spend the next 32 years inspecting hives all throughout southwestern North Carolina, spreading his vast amount of knowledge and telling a lot of corny jokes along the way.

Bill’s many awards and honors are a testament to his long list of contributions to beekeeping: NCSBA Person of the Year, Life Membership, McIver-Hass Lifetime Achievement Award, Person of the Decade, President Emeritus, and nine different presidential awards. Bill helped start beekeeping chapters for at least 11 counties in North Carolina- many on his own- including Moore, Montgomery, and Chatham Counties, to name a few. Bill has also received at least 15 awards from various county chapters for his accomplishments. Ever the educator, Bill taught beekeeping at nine different community colleges for seven years, and taught a full credit-course at Montgomery Tech for a year.

Bill was married to his wife Sandra for 56 years! Together they had five children: William H. III (Winky), George Randolph (Randy), Donna Marie, and twins Wesley Eric and Abbey. They also have six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Bill’s accomplishments didn’t end in the beeyard. He was a superintendent of Sunday school for Page Memorial Methodist Church in Aberdeen, NC for 12 years, and a Sunday school teacher for 20 years. He was the president of the PTA, earned the rank of Eagle Scout, was a Scout Master for seven years, and was a member of the Order of the Arrow, a prestigious Boy Scout honorary organization.

Born in 1940, Bill was quite possibly the longest standing member of the NCSBA, with over 70 years under his belt. In recent years, Bill became virtually blind, but that didn’t stop him from perpetuating his legacy of contributions to North Carolina beekeeping. Bill continued to participate in speaking engagements at meetings all over the state, made possible by his devoted wife Sandra. When not interacting with other beekeepers, he spent much of his free time in his workshop, where he built various woodenware including miniature beehives and hexagon puzzles that he sold at state meetings, with proceeds benefiting the apiculture lab at North Carolina State University.

Bill was an avid photographer for most of his life, earning an honorary membership to the Sandhills Photography Club for over 35 years. Throughout his tenure as a state apiary inspector, Bill took over 140,000 photos, documenting his hive inspections. If anyone has seen it all inside a beehive it was Bill, and there is a good chance there is a photo of it somewhere. Bill donated a subset of his collection of over 4,000 personal photographs of bee plants to the NCSBA for use by its members.

I can’t say enough about Bill Sheppard. He contributed more to beekeeping in North Carolina than seems fathomable by a single person, and yet he never seemed to tire of it or run out of great stories. We are truly fortunate to have known him. Bill’s legacy will live on though his family and the many lives he touched, the countless beekeepers he inspired, and the untold number of bees that will be saved as the result of the unfaltering advocacy to which Bill devoted his life. Beekeeping, and indeed North Carolina, will never be the same without him.


The Embryo Project Encyclopedia

In November 1921, US Congress passed the National Maternity and Infancy Protection Act, also called the Sheppard-Towner Act. The Act provided federal funds to states to establish programs to educate people about prenatal health and infant welfare. Advocates argued that it would curb the high infant mortality rate in the US. Many states accepted funding through the Sheppard-Towner Act, leading to the establishment of nearly 3,000 prenatal care clinics, 180,000 infant care seminars, over three million home visits by traveling nurses, and a national distribution of educational literature between 1921 and 1928. The Act provided funding for five years, but was repealed in 1929 after Congress did not renew it. Historians note that infant mortality did decrease during the years the Act was in effect. The Act also influenced provisions aimed at infant and maternity welfare in later legislation, such as the Social Security Act of 1935.

The Sheppard-Towner Act grew out of the efforts the US Children’s Bureau in Washington, D.C., during the early part of the twentieth century. The US Children’s Bureau was established in 1912 as a federal department that dealt with issues concerning the welfare of infants and children. Bureau chief Julia Lathrop dedicated much of the department’s first decade to the issue of infant mortality. Between the years 1913 and 1915, the Bureau conducted several studies that indicated that infants had a higher mortality rate in areas affected by poverty and a lack of accurate information on health and hygiene. The Bureau found that pregnant women and infants in rural areas were at higher than normal risk of death due to a lack of access to nurses and hospitals.

In the 1917 annual report of the Children’s Bureau to the Secretary of Labor, Lathrop suggested creating a federal program that would empower states to promote prenatal and infant health and hygiene through educational seminars, literature distribution, and home visits by traveling nurses. Lathrop argued that such a program could prevent the deaths of many women and infants, particularly in rural areas. She noted programs that had already been implemented in England and New Zealand, which had reduced infant mortality in those countries. She cited the 1914 Smith-Lever Act as a legal precedent and model for how such a program would function in the US. The Smith-Lever Act provided federal matching funds for states that invested in education and outreach efforts promoting the latest advances in agriculture. Under the arrangement, every dollar that the state allocated to fund its own programs was matched by the federal government with a dollar of federal funding. Lathrop argued that a similar funding scheme could help states build programs to promote infant and maternal health and welfare. Lathrop traveled the country promoting the idea, gathering support from groups such as the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and the National Women’s Trade Union League, founded in Boston, Massachusetts.

Between 1918 and 1920, US Congress in Washington, D.C., considered several bills proposing federal appropriations for state maternity and infancy programs. Jeanette Rankin, a Republican representative of Montana and the first Congresswoman in the US, sponsored the first of the bills in July of 1918. The Rankin bill, which was drafted largely by Lathrop and Children’s Bureau staff, proposed to fund educational programs about pregnancy and infant care, focusing on rural populations. Despite support from many women’s organizations and groups like the American Federation of Labor, founded in Columbus, Ohio, the US Congress took no action and the bill did not go to a vote.

In late 1919, Morris Sheppard, a Democratic senator from Texas, and Horace Towner, a Republican congressman from Iowa, jointly introduced a similar bill. That bill, Senate Bill 3259, passed the Senate but stalled in the House of Representatives in December 1920. Sheppard and Towner reintroduced the bill when Congress reconvened in 1921 as Senate Bill 1039. The bill was called the National Maternity and Infancy Protection Act, commonly called the Sheppard-Towner Act.

Sheppard and Towner’s bill requested appropriations in the amount of $10,000 per state followed by an additional $4 million dollars to be distributed annually thereafter as part of a federal matching grant program. States would use a one-time $10,000 grant to design and set up programs to educate women on prenatal health and the proper care of infants, and after that, any state funding would be matched dollar-for-dollar by the $4 million dollars of federal funds provided under the Act. The Children’s Bureau would oversee and administer the Act, which obligated state officials to report back to the Bureau on the progress of the programs developed in their states.

From April to May 1921, the Senate Committee of Education and Labor discussed Sheppard and Towner’s bill during several hearings before the Senate Committee of Education and Labor. Proponents of the bill testified at the hearings, Including Florence Kelley, social reformer and chief spokeswoman for a coalition of national women’s organizations. Kelley and others argued that the Act would empower states to improve the health of women and infants in previously underserved areas. Others opposed the bill, including members of the American Gynecological Society, founded in New York City, New York, who argued that the Act would interfere with private medical practices and potentially lead to socialized medicine. Still others, such as Mary Kilbreth, president of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, headquartered in New York City, New York, claimed that the bill was part of a communist plot to put families under the control of government bureaucracy.

The bill passed in the Senate in July 1921 and in the House of Representatives that November, but only after being revised. The amount of money appropriated was decreased to $5,000 per state in annual grants and $1.2 million in matching federal funds, and states’ participation was entirely voluntary. In order to placate organizations like the American Medical Association, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the bill stated that it funded educational and preventative health programs only and that the Children’s Bureau would not provide medical care. Lastly, Congress agreed to fund the Act for five years, after which Congress would reconsider the Act. On 23 November 1921, US president, Warren Harding signed the bill into law. Some historians later claimed that the Act passed in part because women had received the right to vote in 1920. Those historians suggest that members of Congress were concerned that rejecting the Act might lose them the support of women voters in future elections.

After the passage of the Sheppard-Towner Act, many states passed laws to receive Sheppard-Towner funds. By 1922, forty-one states had passed legislation that enabled them to access Sheppard-Towner funds. States used the funding to establish prenatal clinics, host conferences on the subject of infant health, and distribute educational material such as the Children’s Bureau publications Prenatal Care and Infant Care. Public nurses hired with Sheppard-Towner funds made visits to the homes of families with young children, and several states established programs for training and licensing midwives. Historian Richard Meckel later noted that the Sheppard-Towner Act had a large impact in southern and western states, where access to maternity, pregnancy, or infant health programs had been especially scarce. Over 500 prenatal care clinics were established in 1925 alone, and by 1928, the total number was close to 3,000. Public nurses made over 3 million visits to the homes of women with infants during the time the Act was in effect, and local universities and town halls hosted thousands of educational seminars on infant health. Thousands of nurses, Children’s Bureau employees, and volunteers distributed information at fairs and local gatherings and encouraged birth registration.

Although the Children’s Bureau and many state organizations considered the Sheppard-Towner Act a success, the Act still faced opposition. In 1927, due to increasing pressure from the American Medical Association and a number of conservative senators, the US Congress failed to pass the bill that would have renewed the Sheppard-Towner Act. Instead, they approved a two year extension of funding, after which, in 1929, the Act was to be dismantled entirely. Historians later noted that by 1927, women’s voting patterns were less mysterious, and it became clear that women did not all vote alike on the same issues. Some historians argue that without the pressure of a potential women’s voting bloc, Congress was less motivated to continue funding the Act.

On 30 June 1929, the Sheppard-Towner Act expired and all Sheppard-Towner funding stopped. A few states continued the programs that they had established under the Act, but due to the lack of federal funding and the onset of the Great Depression in the early 1930s, most of those programs struggled. In many states, maternity and infant welfare programs were either cut back substantially or ended completely.

While temporary, the Sheppard-Towner Act had several legacies. In August 1935, US president Franklin Roosevelt, signed into law the Social Security Act. As amended by US Congress in 1939, the provisions in Part One of Title V of the Social Security Act, which provided federal matching grants to states for maternal and infant health programs, were closely modeled after those outlined in the Sheppard-Towner Act. Furthermore, workers hired with Sheppard-Towner funds also encouraged the collection of vital statistics. Through their efforts, the number of states requiring birth registration grew by an additional eighteen states. The infant mortality rate declined between the years of 1921 and 1929, and later commentators estimated that the Sheppard-Towner Act helped tens of thousands of infants.


Financial Support and Billing Information

We know that financing a hospital stay isn&rsquot always easy. Under the Sheppard Pratt financial assistance policy, you may be entitled to receive financial assistance for the cost of medically necessary hospital services if:

  • You have a low income
  • Do not have insurance
  • Or your insurance does not cover your medically-necessary hospital care and you meet certain low-income thresholds

Financial assistance eligibility is based on gross family income and family size of the patient and/or responsible person. Annual income criteria used will be 250% of the current federal poverty guidelines as established yearly in the Federal Register. Assets and liabilities will also be considered. Financial assistance may be awarded up to 100% of medical charges. If you wish to get more information about, or apply for financial assistance, please call 410-938-3370 or toll free at 1-800-264-0949 Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Patients that meet the financial assistance policy criteria may receive assistance from the hospital in paying their bill. If you believe you have been wrongly referred to a collection agency, you have the right to contact the Sheppard Pratt business office at 410-938-3370 or toll free at 1-800-264-0949.

You may be eligible for Maryland Medical Assistance. Medical Assistance is a program funded jointly by the State and Federal governments, and it pays up to the full cost of health coverage for low-income individuals who meet certain criteria. In some cases, you may have to apply and be denied for this coverage prior to being eligible for Sheppard Pratt financial assistance.

For more information regarding the application process for Maryland Medical Assistance, please call your local Department of Social Services by phone 1-800-332-6347 or internet www.dhr.state.md.us. We can also help you at Sheppard Pratt by calling 410-938-3370.

Learn more about the Financial Assistance Policy here.

Payment Responsibilities

For those patients with the ability to pay, it is their obligation to pay the hospital in a timely manner. Sheppard Pratt makes every effort to see that patient accounts are properly billed, and inpatients may expect to receive a uniform summary statement within 30 days of discharge. It is the patient&rsquos responsibility to provide correct insurance information.

If you do not have health coverage, we expect you to pay the bill in a timely manner. If you believe that you may be eligible under the hospital&rsquos financial assistance policy, or if you cannot afford to pay the bill in full, please contact the business office at 410-938-3370 to make arrangements.

If you fail to meet the financial obligations of this bill, you may be referred to a collection agency. It is the obligation of the patient to assure the hospital obtains accurate and complete information. If your financial position changes, it is your responsibility to contact the Sheppard Pratt business office to provide updated information.

Physicians who care for patients at Sheppard Pratt during an inpatient stay bill separately and their charges are not included on your hospital billing statement.


Bill Sheppard - History

Bill has led an impressive 110 or so service trips between WV and the Sierra Club since 1990 after having been a participant for six years. And then, in 1989 he was invited to the Sierra Club Midwest Subcommittee spring meeting, and was assigned to lead a second section of a full trip in late summer. It was a canoe service trip in the Sylvania Wilderness, located in the Superior National Forest in Michigan. In all his years traveling around the country and lending a hand to various national parks, forests and wilderness areas, Bill has seen a myriad of our public lands. However, Bill, who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, finds himself returning to his local favorite, Grand Canyon National Park. He also prefers leading trips that are within a day to a day-and-a-half drive from Flagstaff. Most of his most recent trips have been located in California, Arizona and New Mexico. He has conducted nearly every type of trip imaginable, from building trails to eradicating invasive species, and most of them have been in the back country, where WV sometimes receives assistance from packers and their mules hauling in gear from the trailhead to the camp site. It lessens the weight on the packs for everyone, which makes an 11-mile hike into a site much more manageable. On his various service trips, Bill has enjoyed meeting and working with the volunteers who hail from across the country and sometimes from overseas. He says, “almost all the volunteers have been wonderful. They’re motivated, flexible, physically fit and good comrades.

5 comments:

I was lucky to go on one of his last trips last year. A great leader and a great cook

Great piece. Thanks for all your service and leadership, Bill - you’ll be missed!

Bill taught me wilderness leadership skills on the leader training trip years ago, and I have learned so much more just by watching Bill in action. I carry a little bit of Bill with me on every outdoor adventure. Thanks Bill for your leadership, mentorship, and friendship over the years.

Bill was the leader on my first trip to Superstition Mountains and he taught me so much. I was lucky enough to work another project with him in New Mexico last year. Bill, thank you so much for your good humor, delicious meals, and leadership. Best of luck on your next venture!

I enjoyed a memorable week of training with Bill in North Fork John Day in 2014. When I encounter a dilemma as a leader, I ask: "What calm thoughts would Bill bring to this situation on the way to a solution?"


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