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Biography of James Shanahan

JAMES SHANAHAN A STATE official whose long, industrious, persevering career in mechanical pursuits, and whose works in different parts of the country evince his superior powers as a master of his art is the Hon. James Shanahan, superintendent of public works of the state of New York. He belongs to a class of men whose talents and energy have advanced and enriched the interests of the empire state by the construction of works intimately connected with the railroads and canals, trade and commerce. He is a native of Ireland, and was born on the 6th of February, 1829, having now reached a period in life in which high purposes, aims and achievements are usually unfolded in full power. His ancestors were useful and substantial citizens of their country and some of them held responsible positions. His father, having determined to seek his fortune in “the land of the free,” cast a last lingering look on the home of his childhood and then boldly sailed away with his family from the coasts of “old Erin” for American soil. His son James, the subject of this sketch, was then but eight years of age, and distinctly remembers the roar and tossings of old ocean during the voyage. On reaching this country the family first turned their faces westward, traveling into central New York and taking up their residence in the rich county of Onondaga. There for seven years the elder Mr. Shanahan, who was not only an enterprising but an industrious man, labored hard to earn a livelihood and to make suitable provision for his young family. And there James received...

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