Benjamin Henry Jesse Francis Shepard (1848 - 1927)

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Birthplace: Birkenhead, Wirral, UK
Death: Died
Occupation: Composer, Pianist
Managed by: Lizzie Keitel
Last Updated:

About Benjamin Henry Jesse Francis Shepard

Benjamin Henry Jesse Francis Shepard (September 18, 1848 – May 29, 1927) was a composer and pianist, who also wrote under the pen name of Francis Grierson.

He was born in Birkenhead, England, but his family migrated to Illinois, United States while Jesse was still a baby. Shepard traveled in Europe, finding audiences even among royalty. Shepard impressed the French novelist Alexandre Dumas, fils. Shepard was involved with Spiritualism; he stated that many of his musical performances were the result of the spirits of famous composers channeling through him. Shepard traveled through California in 1876 performing at several of the old religious missions founded by the Spanish. He was invited to live in San Diego by a pair of real-estate developers, the High brothers, who enticed him by promising to build a mansion to his specifications. The result was the Villa Montezuma (named after the ocean liner which brought Shepard to America.

Shepard died on May 29, 1927 while giving a piano performance.



San Diego Haunted House, Villa Montezuma

Villa Montezuma Website

The Journal of San Diego History: Villa Montezuma

Francis Grierson: Beyond The Valley of Shadows to the halls of Villa Montezuma

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Jesse Shepard (AKA Francis Grierson)'s Timeline

September 18, 1848
Birkenhead, Wirral, UK
May 29, 1927
Age 78