Helen Miller Shepard

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Helen Miller Shepard (Gould)

Also Known As: "Nellie"
Birthplace: New York, New York, NY, United States
Death: December 21, 1938 (70)
Roxbury, Litchfield, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Jay Gould and Helen Day Miller
Wife of Finlay Johnston Shepard
Mother of Olivia Shepard; Finlay Jay Shepard; Helen Anna Shepard and Louis Seton
Sister of George Jay Gould I; Edwin Gould, I; Howard Gould; Anna Gould and Frank Jay Gould

Managed by: Private User
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About Helen Miller Shepard


Helen Miller Gould Shepard Born Helen Miller Gould June 20, 1868 Manhattan Died December 21, 1938 Roxbury, New York Occupation Socialite Spouse Finlay Johnson Shepard (1867-1942) Parents Jay Gould Helen Day Miller (1838-1889) Relatives George Jay Gould I, brother Edwin Gould I, brother Anna Gould, sister Frank Jay Gould, brother

Helen Miller Gould Shepard (June 20, 1868 – December 21, 1938) was an American philanthropist born in Manhattan in New York City.[1] Contents


Born as Helen Miller Gould she was the first born daughter of Jay Gould and Helen Day Miller (1838-1889).[1] Her sister Anna Gould was another prominent heiress.[2] Marriage

She attended New York University School of Law, and she married Finley Johnson Shepard (1867-1942) on January 22, 1913.[3][4][5]

They adopted three children,

  1. Finley Jay, named for Finley Johnson Shepard and Jay Gould
  2. Olivia, named for Helen's dear friend Mrs. Russell Sage
  3. Helen Anna, named for Helen and her sister, Anna

They also had had one foster child, Louis Seton.

The first of the adopted children, Finley Jay Shepard, was a three-year-old abandoned child who was found on the steps of Manhattan's St Patrick's Cathedral in 1914.

They later adopted two daughters, Margaret and Dorothy, of her brother Frank Gould.

American Bible Society

In 1918 she and Emma Baker Kennedy (c1833-1930) became the first female vice presidents of the American Bible Society.


At the commencement of the Spanish-American War, she donated US $100,000 to the United States government in support of the war. She gave an additional US $50,000 toward military hospital supplies and was active in the Women's National War Relief Association,[5] working in a hospital for wounded soldiers. She donated the library building at New York University and began the Hall of Fame. She gave US $10,000 for the engineering school. She gave additional contributions to Rutgers College. Both the YMCA and the YWCA benefited from her contributions, as well as other organizations. She was a member of the board of the Russell Sage Foundation and of the national board of the YWCA.[5]

Golf Course

She purchased Shepard Hills in Roxbury, New York including Kirkside Lake. The facility originally produced ice for the Roxbury in the winter months and the lake was used for recreation for the community in the summer months. Construction of the 9 hole golf course began around 1916 and upon completion served her estate.[1]


She died on December 21, 1938 and was buried in the family mausoleum on December 23, 1938.[7][8]

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Helen Miller Shepard's Timeline

June 20, 1868
New York, New York, NY, United States
June 22, 1910
Age 42
January 22, 1911
Age 42
December 21, 1938
Age 70
Roxbury, Litchfield, Connecticut, United States