Paul Harold Hinshaw

                                                        ┌── Uriah A. Hinshaw
                                                        │    1852-1933 
                             ┌── Orval Oakley Hinshaw ──┤
                             │    1888-1961             │
                             │                          └── Mary Elizabeth Baldwin
                             │                               1854-1896 
Paul Harold Hinshaw ─────────┤
B: 1909                      │
D: 1978                      │
                             └── Goldie Pearl Retz
M: Thelma Geraldine Sheppard
   ├── Jon Paul Hinshaw (1939-1992) 1
   ├── Nancy Louise Hinshaw (1944-) 1
   ├── William Orville Hinshaw (1947-) 1
   └── Stephen Harold Hinshaw (1950-) 1

Paul Harold Hinshaw     [ID 01224] Click here to switch to Ahnentafel view: Ahnentafel View

Born Sep 23 1909, Washington Township, Randolph County, Indiana.1,2,3,4  

He married Thelma Geraldine Sheppard, Nov 24 1932, at the bride's parents' home.1,3  Thelma, daughter of Z. William + Celina Sheppard, was born Dec 2 1906, Indiana.1,4,5  

Paul and Thelma lived near Farmland, Randolph County, Indiana,4,6 north of town on Rte. 1.7  

Thelma taught fourth grade for many years.  She was an "old school" teacher, believing in the goodness of Indiana state history.  She and her students baked pawpaw bread and persimmon pudding for "authentic" Thanksgivings, dried apple peels for candy, and they made crazy quilts and diaramas of early Hoosier life.  One of her students remembers Thelma as very tough, and very dear, with a good sense of humor.  Her class met in the school basement, and yet was always bright.  Her past students made a "signature quilt" for her upon her retirement.7  

Paul Harold Hinshaw died Sep 1 1978, Ball Memorial Hospital, Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana; buried Woodlawn Cemetery, Maxville, Randolph County, Indiana.1,3,4  

Thelma died Mar - 1984.1,4  

The following biographical sketch of Paul Harold Hinshaw was written January 2004 by grandson Greg Hinshaw:3

Paul Harold Hinshaw was born on September 23, 1909 in Washington Township, Randolph County, Indiana.  He was the oldest of three sons of Orval O. and Goldie P. (Retz) Hinshaw.  Paul's earliest years were spent in Washington Township, where he was a birthright member of the Rural Friends Church.  About 1916 Orval Hinshaw moved his family to a new farm in West River (now Union) Township, on County Road 600 S.  In 1919 the family transferred their memberships by certificate from Rural Friends Church (White River Monthly Meeting) to Martindale Friends Church (Cherry Grove Monthly Meeting).  Paul attended Huntsville School, where he and his brother, George, were well-known baseball players.  Paul also played basketball.  He graduated from Huntsville in 1928.  

After graduation, Paul worked in the automobile factories in Detroit, then toured the western United States by motorcycle with some other young men.  Upon his return home, he worked at various jobs.  He married Thelma Geraldine Sheppard, a neighbor three years his senior, on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1932.  The ceremony took place at the residence of Thelma's parents and was performed by Paul's mother, a Friends minister.  After their marriage, Paul and Thelma continued to reside with her parents, William and Celina Sheppard, because the Great Depression made a separate residence almost impossible.  They later moved to a house in Modoc, where Paul ran a welding shop.  They moved to the "Kabel Property" from another house in Modoc in February 1934.  During World War II, about 1943, Paul moved his family to Maceo, near Owensboro, Kentucky, where he was an airplane mechanic.  They returned to Indiana in 1945, but Paul retained his private pilot's license and a lifelong love of aviation.  Over the years, Paul's private airplanes were tied down on the family farm near Farmland.  The last was a Piper Cub.  Paul and Thelma purchased a forty-acre farm on 800 W, just south of Modoc, upon their return from Kentucky.  Paul worked at Warner Gear Automotive and Brodericks in Muncie and Thelma raised the children: Jon (1939), Nancy (1944), and William (1947).  

In January 1948 Paul moved his family to a ninety-acre farm on County Road 250 N in Monroe Township.  Paul and Thelma purchased the farm from Oliver B. H. and Rebeckah Miller.  Ollie Miller was a first cousin to Thelma's grandmother.  The Millers had rented the farm out and had owned it for nine years, having received it from Rebeckah's parents.  Jon was transferred to Farmland School.  Another son, Stephen Harold Hinshaw, was born in 1950 after the move to Farmland.  Paul continued to work at Warner Gear, but purchased a ditching machine about 1952 for use on his own farm.  After a glider accident about 1956, Paul was temporarily disabled, and Thelma returned to teaching.  When Paul recovered, he began ditching full-time.  In 1961 Jon joined his father as a full partner in Hinshaw Drainage.  A large building, "the tile plant," was constructed on the farm, and hundreds of thousands of feet of concrete tile were produced then installed on farms around Randolph and surrounding counties.  During his work, Paul became well-known throughout the area and almost universally respected for his diligence, accuracy, and humility.  He was a longtime member of the Land Improvement Contractors Association.  He retired from the drainage business in 1978 and sold his half to Jon.  

Though his youth was spent in the Friends Church, Paul transferred his membership to Huntsville Methodist Episcopal Church by letter on February 6, 1938.  His membership remained at Huntsville for the rest of his life.  He became progressively more active with age and served in several capacities in the church.  He served as a trustee from 1960 until his death.  He was a member of the Home Builders Sunday School Class.  His humble Christian faith has remained as a testimony to later generations of his family.  

Shortly after retiring from the drainage business, Paul suffered a massive heart attack and died on September 1, 1978 in Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.  He is buried in the Hinshaw Family Plot of Rhody's Addition to the Woodlawn Cemetery at Maxville, Randolph County.  His grandson, Mark Hinshaw, currently resides on his farm.  

Randolph County, Indiana Marriage Application Record Book (1932), p. 16
"Modoc" Winchester Journal-Herald, February 9, 1934.

Social Security information for Paul Harold Hinshaw: 310-05-9997

Social Security information for Thelma Geraldine Sheppard: 315-40-9272


  1. Family lineage contributed by Greg Hinshaw
  2. "Abstracts of the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana", Part 2, subtitled "Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Volume VII", (a compendium of many of the records left by William Wade Hinshaw on his death), edited by Willard Heiss; GS929.3 H47 in a local library.
  3. Contribution from Greg Hinshaw.
  4. "Social Security Death Index" (as it is commonly called), derived from the Social Security Administration "Death Master File". See:
  5. 1920 census, West River Township, Randolph County, Indiana; ED 167, page 6A, line #42, dwelling #137, family #137.
  6. Obituary of Leary Retz Hinshaw.
  7. Contribution from Denise Harlan ().

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