Levi Shepard and family are the conceded first settlers. “Mr. Shepard and his wife, without indicating their purpose to their fellow travelers, were careful to lead the way as they approached the selected territory, so as to be first on the ground. They crossed the line between Black River and Brownhelm some rods in advance of their associates, so as to secure the honor of being the first family of settlers to arrive in Brownhelm.” Levi was an early deacon and was the only blacksmith in town for many years. His home is still standing on North Ridge Road on the south side of the road just east of the Miller farm.