1854 – Eugene Shepard, Father of the Hodag

On this date Eugene Shepard was born near Green Bay. Although he made his career in the lumbering business near Rhinelander, he was best known for his story-telling and practical jokes. He told many tales of , the mythical lumberjack, and drew pictures of the giant at work that became famous. Shepard also started a new legend about a prehistoric monster that roamed the woods of Wisconsin – the . Shepard built the mythical monster out of wood and bull’s horns. He fooled everyone into believing it was alive, allowing it to be viewed only inside a dark tent. The beast was displayed at the Wausau and Antigo county fairs before Shepard admitted it was all a hoax. [Source: , by Fred L. Holmes, p.459-474]