Biographies of American Seedsmen and Nurserymen Shepherd, Theodosia B.–(1845-1906)–Ventura-by-the-Sea, California–Mrs. Shepherd was born in Keosauqua, Iowa.  She married W. E. Shepherd of Oskaloosa, Iowa, on September 9, 1866.  They had four children, a son and three daughters.  The family moved to California for Mrs. Shepherd’s health in 1873.  For financial reasons, she began to sell objects she had collected in the California woods, including sea mosses, shells, birds, etc.  In 1881, she sent a package of curiosities to the seedsman Peter Henderson.  He encouraged her to start growing some seeds, because he saw California as a great seed and bulb growing area.  In 1884 Mrs. Shepherd began her career as a professional seed and bulb grower.  In 1892, she had eight acres under cultivation.  Her chief customers were Eastern seedsmen.  Some of her specialties were begonias, Smilax, Calla lilies, Cobaea scandans, Mexican orchids, and cacti.  In 1902, she incorporated her business.  She died on September 6, 1906 at age sixty one.
Sources:  FlorEx-Sep. 22, 1906; Bailey; CHSJ-Jul. 1961; Holl; cat.-008830