One of the self-made men, progressive farmers and recognized political leaders of Meredith township is J.P. Shea, a native of Wabash county, Indiana, born in 1856. His father was Jeremiah Shea, a native of the Emerald Isle, who left his native land when a young a man to make a home in America. He died when only thirty-two years of age, of pneumonia, leaving a wife and two sons. Mr. Shea's mother was Catherine Breen, also a native of Ireland. To this union four children were born, two of whom are living. A brother Michael, is one of the representative farmers of Meredith township. The mother was married a second time, her last husband, Jeremiah Sullivan, dying in 1877. To this union six children were born, viz: Patrick, Flurry, Lawrence, Mary, Johanna and Helena, all of whom are single and live at home with their mother on the farm In Meredith township.
When Mr. Shea was about one year old his father's family moved to Dubuque, Iowa, and two years later to Pettis county, Missouri, sixty miles east of Warrensburg, where Mr. Shea received a common school education. In 1872, he came to Kansas and located the homestead where he now lives. He began farming for himself at the age of twenty years. In 1900, he purchased the desirable original Burson homestead and now owns three hundred and twenty acres of very excellent land. They live in a comfortable cottage of five rooms. Most of Mr. Shea's ground is corn land but he intends raising in the future more wheat and alfalfa. He has thirty head of two-year-old Hereford and Shorthorn cattle and raises hogs extensively. For a period of eight years Mr. Shea was elected shipper, annually for the Glasco Shipping Association.
He was married February 4, 1884, to Margaret McLean, a native of Abilene, Dickenson county, Kansas. She was a daughter of F.A. McLean, who for several years was a farmer and blacksmith of Meredith township. He died in 1883. Mr. and Mrs. Shea's family consist of eight children, the oldest of whom is sixten.[sic] Joseph, Thomas, Tessie, Charles, Helen, James, Agnes and Jeremiah. Mr. Shea is a Populist but was elected trustee of the township in 1887-8 on the Democratic ticket. The family are regular attendants and active members of the Catholic church.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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