The Shepherd family can lay claim to one of Preston’s earliest settlers. In 1840 a parcel of land, bounded by High Street and the Merri Creek to the east and west and Bell Street and Murray Road to the south and north, was purchased by James Mitchell. Mitchell, in turn leased the entire 312 acres to Timothy Shepherd for use as a sheep run. The lease was signed in October 1856, although the Shepherd family may well have been there several years before hand. In 1851 Anna Eliza Young was born on Shepherd's Run. The granddaughter of Timothy Shepherd, she is credited with being the first white person born in Preston.
A homestead was built near the site of the present day Bruce Street. In 1859 the Commissioners of Sewers and Water Supply took control of some of ‘Shepherds Run’ for the laying of a water pipeline between Melbourne and the Yan Yean dam. In 1872 Mitchell sold the land to Francis Bell and the Shepherds had to leave as the land was subdivided into six allotments and resold. The Shepherd homestead was later relocated to Mary Street, Preston.
Carroll, Brian & Rule, Ian (1985). Preston: an Illustrated History. Preston: City of Preston.
Preston Historical Society (1968). Brief biographies of prominent Preston People. Preston, Vic: Author.