JOHN F. SHEEHAN. – The gentleman whose name heads this brief memoir, an excellent portrait of whom appears in this history, has been a leading business man and resident of Port Townsend, Washington for almost thirty years. Mr. Sheehan is a native of the Sunny south, and was born in Baltimore Maryland, in 1840. When but an infant he suffered the irreparable loss of his father by death. His widowed mother then, with her two sons, our subject being but eighteen months old, paid a visit to Ireland, and at the end of one year returned to Baltimore.
John F. was then taken by an uncle to New Orleans, where he received his education and resided until fifteen years of age. He then started out to do for himself, still being but a mere boy. He started for the Pacific coast, coming via the Nicaragua route, and arrived in San Francisco in the summer of 1856. The first two years in the Golden state were spent in the mines and at different occupations until the breaking out of the ever-memorable Frazer River excitement, when Mr. Sheehan joined the gold-seekers and came north, only to find on arriving at the mines that “All is not gold that glitters,” and also to find that the great excitement which had lured thousands was a humbug. On leaving the mines Mr. Sheehan came to Port Townsend and embarked in the stove and tinware business, in which he is still engaged. For the past twenty-nine years he has done a lucrative and very successful business, and in 1888 built the beautiful building in which his store is now located. Mr. Sheehan was a member of the city council of Port Townsend, and in 1882 was elected sheriff of Jefferson county, an office he held to the entire satisfaction of the citizens of the county, and with credit to himself for three successive terms.
Mr. Sheehan, coming as a boy to the Pacific coast, has through energy, perseverance and “pluck,” after many years, secured for himself a competency in the shape of a successful business, together with a large amount of valuable real estate in the city of the Port of entry, and enjoys the confidence and esteem, not only of the residents of Jefferson county, but the entire Sound. He is a man of fine physique; and in his official capacity was a man of Sterling integrity. Socially he is genial, and a gentleman whom it is a pleasure to meet.
Mr. Sheehan was married in Port Townsend the 8th of September, 1864, to Miss Mary Loftus, a native of St. Louis, Missouri. By this union he had a family of nine children, two of whom are deceased.