Mary Shellman was the daughter of Westminster's first mayor, and an ardent supporter of the Union soldiers in the Civil War. Shellman organized the first Decoration Day parade in 1868, a tradition that would soon evolve into a Memorial Day celebration. An active social crusader, Shellman worked for political reform, supported the Red Cross and worked with the Women's Christian Temperance Union, with a particular emphasis on aiding the residents of the Alms House, a place for the impoverished. Shellman was most passionate about her drive to ensure local Union soldiers could have proper burials, and her work to provide spiritual assistance to those in the Alms House. In the 1930s, Shellman moved to Texas, but returned for a brief visit in May of 1937 to lead another Memorial Day parade before her death in 1938.