JAMES SHONE, blacksmith, foreman on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, residing at Parsons, Kansas, was born in Manchester, England, in December, 1847, and has lived in many parts of the United States. He is a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Chisnall) Shone, the former of Welsh, and the latter of Scotch descent.
Samuel Shone was a blacksmith by trade. He came to the United States about 1850, landing at Galveston, Texas, where he followed his trade for a year or two. While there, the family suffered an attack of the yellow fever, and James was one of the victims; no case, however, proved fatal. The prevalence of this dread disease in the South caused the family to remove further north. They traveled by steamboat to Cincinnati, Ohio, and thence went to Springfield, Massachusetts, where the elder Shone worked in the Springfield Armory. They next went to Meriden, Connecticut, where they remained a short time. From that place, they moved to Hamilton, Canada, where the father was employed, about a year and a half, in a wrench and vise factory. In the late "fifties," he went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he followed his trade successfully for many years. His death took place in that city, in 1870, when he had passed his forty-ninth birthday. His widow survived him until 1888, when she died at the home of her son, James, at the age of sixty-four years. One of her sisters, Mrs. Margaret Howarth, of Manchester, England, is still living, and is eighty-six years old.
Mr. Shone is the eldest of five children. The others are: Samuel, George, John, and Maggie Elizabeth. Samuel was born in England, and is a blacksmith foreman on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, at Denison, Texas. George was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is a competent master mechanic on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, residing at Alamosa, Colorado. John was also born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is roundhouse foreman at Parsons, Kansas. Maggie Elizabeth, the only sister, resides at Nevada, Missouri; she is the wife of Engineer Jennings, who is also employed on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, having a run on the branch leading to Eldorado Springs. The mechanical ability of the father was transmitted to the sons, all of whom are good mechanics and railroad employes.
In 1862, while living in St. Louis, Missouri, James Shone became an apprentice in the shops of the old Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, where he served for four years, mainly under Master Mechanic Charles Williams, finishing, however, under C. T. Ham and Harry Elliott. Completing his apprenticeship, he accepted a position as blacksmith on the old North Missouri Railroad at St. Charles, Missouri. A few months later, he obtained a more lucrative position on the Cairo Short Line, upon which he worked until 1877. Later, he worked on the M. 0. P. R. R. He then went west, to Parsons, Kansas, where he has remained ever since.
September 21, 1871, he was joined in wedlock with Mary A. Moore, the ceremony being performed at the home of the bride in Canton, Missouri. Mrs. Shone is of Scotch-Irish descent. She was born in St. Louis Missouri, in 1852, and is a daughter of Robert and Mary (Moore) Moore. Her parents, although having the same name, were not related to each other. Her father died in February, 1897, and her mother is still living at Canton, Missouri, aged seventy-five years. Mrs. Shone is the eldest of six children. The others are: Mrs. Lizzie Alderton, and Mrs. Nellie Marks, both of Canton, Missouri; Robert, a blacksmith, of Los Angeles, California; Mrs. Lydia Marks, also of Canton, Missouri; and Mrs. Mattie Meal, of Sugar Loaf, Colorado. Mrs. Shone was reared and schooled in St. Louis, Missouri, where the family lived for many years. They formerly lived upon and owned the land which is now occupied by the new union depot, of that city, but subsequently moved to Canton, Missouri.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Shone has been blessed with four children, - three daughters, and one son, namely: Mamie E., Nellie, Alice, and George. Alice died in infancy, and George, who was born in 1881, was accidentally drowned when twelve years and five days old. This was a sad blow to his fond parents, whose hopes are now centered in their two eldest daughters, who still brighten the home fireside. The three ladies of the household are members of the Order of the Eastern Star. In their religious views, they favor the Baptist church.
Mr. Shone was made a Mason at Parsons,, and now affiliates with the blue lodge, chapter and commandery, of that city. He is also a member of the Fraternal Aid and of the A. 0. U. W. In politics, he is a stanch Republican, and has served on the school board, and takes a decided interest in educational matters. Upon his arrival in Parsons, he engaged, at once, as a blacksmith on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, under W. T. Small. He was promoted in January, 1883, to be foreman of the blacksmith shops under Master Mechanic Joseph Haines, and has held that position up to the present time. Mr. Shone has charge of all blacksmith work, and of the locomotive department from Parsons to Hannibal, Missouri, and from Franklin Junction to St. Louis. He has charge of a force of about 25 men, ten of whom are expert blacksmiths. He succeeded D. K. McPherson, and the position was previously filled by only three or four foremen, who served short terms before McPherson's incumbency. In the successful performance of his various duties, Mr. Shone has at all times shown rare skill and judgment, and in all his dealings he is keen, accurate, and upright. His pleasant, sociable manners have made him a prime favorite on the road, and he has the esteem of all who know him. He has a comfortable home at No. 1926 Stevens avenue.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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