William Wallace Shapley (1843-1870)

William Wallace Shapley was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1843, the son of Rufus and Susan Shapley and the younger brother of Rufus Shapley. He was educated locally and entered Carlisle's Dickinson College with the class of 1863. He was a member of the Union Philosophical Society but did not graduate. He later studied medicine and took up service in the Unites States Army as an Assistant Surgeon.

Shapley served with the Seventh Infantry in Florida between 1865 and 1869 before it was reassigned to Fort Shaw in the department of the Platte in Montana Territory in the spring of 1870. Conditions were difficult for infantry and Shapley, according to his fellow officers, had become quite stout and was suffering increasing apoplectic attacks. On a particularly arduous march into the Wind River Country, Shapley suffered a brain seizure near Silver Star, Montana and died in the early morning of August 12, 1870. He was buried in a lonely spot on the march, near the Fish Creek Post Office close to the road of the stage coach line. The nearest railway was then four hundred miles away.

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Dickinson College Archives
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