Jesse Shepard and the Spark of Genius
April 1, 1987
The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
Spring-Summer 1987, Volume 33, Numbers 2 & 3
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor
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Back cover: Jesse Shepard, author, musician and man for whom the Villa Montezuma was built, is seen here in a portrait done when he was twenty-three. The painting was completed in St. Petersburg, Russia by artist Mathieu Geslin while Shepard was touring there in 1872. It is an oil on canvas, mounted on board and hung in the Villa Montezuma during the years Shepard lived there. Now, returned to the house as part of the San Diego History Center’s furnishings, it may be seen again in its original location.
Jesse Shepard, c. 1870s.
Lawrence W. Tonner became Shepard’s companion and secretary for over forty years. In later years he supported him by giving French lessons.
Jesse Shepard as a young man. He lived in Chicago before coming to San Diego where he reputedly gave seances in the home of a prominent medium.
Shepard in a familiar pose – at the piano.
A copy of one of Shepard’s concert programs.
Shepard’s father Joseph Shepard.
Shepard’s mother Emily B. (Grierson) Shepard.
In an 1887 issue of The Golden Era magazine Shepard published his first essay.
Shepard’s sister, Leticia Shepard, 1888.
The World magazine, January 18, featured this cover of a now elderly Shepard billed as a “Psychic Pianist.”
Shepard’s Los Angeles Times obituary headline from 1927.
Shepard’s studio photograph from around 1900.