|Birth: ||Aug. 13, 1867|
|Death: ||May 12, 1943|
Ottumwa Courier, on May 14, 1943, page 1, and continued on page 12:
Death Call Wm. Shea, Railway Vet / William Shea Is Claimed By Death
William Shea, 75, Wapello County pioneer who rose to national prominence in the service of the Milwaukee railroad, died at 8:45 p. m. Thursday at the University Hospital, Iowa City.
Entering the employ of the Milwaukee railroad in 1884 when he first helped to build the line from Cedar Rapids to Ottumwa, Mr. Shea continued in the construction department of that railroad until in 1934 he attained the position of maintenance superintendent for the entire Milwaukee railroad system, with offices in Chicago.
Hener[sic] he was in charge of 11,000 miles of main line track and another 5,000 miles of side tracks, and was often required to travel as much as 12,000 miles a month in the supervision of that great company's transit lanes.
While his duties in this position required that he maintain an office in Chicago, he always clung to Wapello county, in general, where he began his railroad career, and Blakesburg, in particular, where he maintained his home and continued his farming business, specializing in the raising of prize Hereford cattle.
Born August 13, 1867 in Eddyville and without the benefit of more than an eighth grade formal schooling. Mr. Shea's rise in prominence in the railroad world held all the features of a storybook success. His father, John Shea, gave him his frist[sic] job with the Milwaukee when he was 17 years old. Only a year later he was made a section foreman here, but in 1887 he was called in as construction foreman in the building of the Milwaukee line from Ottumwa to Kansas City.
Roadmaster in 1891.
On January 1, 1891, he was made road master of the Ottumwa division, where he served until 1918, when he went to Chicago as general road master of the entire Milwaukee system. Ten years later he was named assistant engineer of maintenance and from that position, in 1934, he was promoted to the maintenance superintendency of the Milwaukee system, a position which he held until his retirement.
In the meantime, he retained his love for his Iowa farm where he kept constant contact in the business of raising fine cattle. He delegated the management of his farm, in his absence, to his son, John Shea but claimed Blakesburg as his personal residence throughout his career with the Milwaukee that took him through many states.
Mr. Shea is survived by his son, John B. Shea of Blakesburg, and by one daughter, Mrs. Edna Maloney of Ottumwa, and by one granddaughter, Patricia Alice Shea of Blakesburg. He is also survived by four brothers, John Shea of Two Harbors, Minn., James R. Shea of Grand Rapids, Minn., Jerry Shea and Dan R. Shea, both of Ottumwa. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mrs. Gertrude C. Shea, who died January 15, 1942, also by one daughter, Alice, and three brothers and one sister.
Funeral services will be held at 9 a. m. Monday from St. Mary's Catholic church, where a requiem high mass will be celebrated by the Rt. Rev. Msgr. J. M. Walsh, V. F., and burial will be made in the Blakesburg cemetery.
The body will remain at the Johnson funeral parlor until 1 p. m. Saturday when it will be taken to the home of his daughter, Mrs. Patrick Maloney of 316 North Jefferson Street.
Gertrude C. Fritz Shea (1871 - 1942)*
Edna Shea Maloney (1892 - 1959)*
Alice May Shea Baker (1894 - 1939)*
John B. Shea (1896 - 1979)*
Created by: IRISH EYES ARE SMILING
Record added: Aug 16, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40742560