Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Biography of John M. Shinn, Pelham Town Supervisor in Late 19th Century

John M. Shinn served as Pelham's Town Supervisor from 1895 until 1904. Below is a brief biography of Supervisor Shinn, followed by a citation to its source.


Mr. Shinn, Republican, who represents the town of Pelham in the Board of Supervisors, was born at Dubuque, Iowa, on October 25, 1849, of American parentage, his ancstors coming to this country in 1648 and settling in New Jersey. His parents are Asa and Azariah (Morgan) Shinn. He was educated at the Waterloo and Hannibal High School, in art at the Cooper Union Life Class, and Academy of Design, New York city, and in law at the New York Law School. He is by occupation an artist. He became a resident of the town of Pelham, in 1874. He was married in 1876 to Miss Isabel King, daughter of Robert and Susan (Hill) King, of New York city. Mr. Shinn was first elected as Supervisor in 1895, and has been re-elected to serve until 1899. In the proceedings of the Board of Supervisors he has always taken a prominent part, serving on the most important committees and, being a man of ideas, is recognized as a leader, and has succeeded in accomplishing much toward shaping legislation. He is ever zealous in behalf of what he considers the best interests of his town and the general taxpayer. Previous to his election as Supervisor, he overcame a Democratic majority, and was chosen Tax Collector for his town for two terms; has been a member of the Board of Education, Principal of the Pelham Manor School for about five years, and at Washington, D. C., was in charge of the collection and tabulation of statistics relating to Roman Catholic Churches, for census of 1890."

Source: Smith, Henry T., ed., Manual of Westchester County Past and Present Civil List To Date 1898, p. 180 (White Plains, NY: Henry T. Smith 1898).

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