Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
September 18, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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September 18, 1997

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Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, September 18, 1997 19 Gazette on the stree00t... Was Mother Teresa's life more significant than Princess Dtana s? I Q TESCH -- more engineer-- "No. Their lives were guide--"A lot of Japane people dedicated to the Lord and she had completely different, Each was know about Princess Di, butonly a lot more yearsofdedication put impomant in their own way," about half know about Mother in. Had Diana lived that long, she Teresa and what she was about or would have been more dedicated ' had done." also, but not quite as much." Civil KAZU YAMASHITA -- Tour VINCESORISIO-Musician- LARRY BROLSMA -. Road - 'I don't see how anyone could maintenance -. "I don't, know. say such a thing. They were a lot They were both great ladies that different. The death of a good didalotofgoodworkformankind. person is always a sad thing." There should be more people like them that help people in need." Compiled by Gazette sO" plUrs 482-3016 No to Abuse 751-11 lS Tonopah 24 Hr. Crisis Line Pahrump A Nevada'-then and now John F. Shaughnessy: Nevada public servant by Phillip L Earl Nevada Historical Society 11 too often, the literature of our history focuses upon those men who have served as governors or senators or have represented Nevada in the U.S. House of Representatives. Colorful city officials - Reno's Mayor E. E. Roberts for one - get some attention, but those who have served our state in lesser capacities are almost entirely over- looked. Among these is John F. Shaughnessy, who served on the Nevada Public Service Com- mission for 28 years. Born in Oshkosh, Wis. on October 8, 1874, he followed his father into railroading, going to work as a brakeman for the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad at the age of 18. Two years later, he transferred to the Santa Fe, working as a brakeman and switchman on the Chicago to Fort Madison, Iowa run. His tenure on this line was brief, however, since he was dismissed for taking part in the American Railway Union strike in the summer of 1894. Moving to Texas, he took a position with the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad, working his way up to conductor, su- perintendent of construction and trainmaster. In May 1904, Shaughnessy arrived in Nevada to take a position as assistant superintendent on the Southern Pacific in Wadsworth. Three months later, the division moved 30 miles west to the new community of Sparks and he was put in charge. "The company furnished the lots in the part of John Shaughnessy Sparks now known as the Reserve," he told a newsman many years later, "and the men drew for them, with engineers, firemen and conductors getting first chance. The lots were leveled and cleared and we started moving. Houses were sawed in half so they could be loaded on the flat cars and we moved everything, including cats, dogs, horses, buggies, chickens and anything the Nevada Historical Society Photo people wanted to bring along." When the Nevada Railroad Commission was created by the legislature in 1907, Governor John Sparks appointed him as a commissioner in fulfillment of the stipulation that one mem- ber should be a qualified railroad man. At that time, Nevada was in a boom phase, new rail- roads opening in the copper districts of White Pine County and in the gold mining camps of central Nevada. The San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake line through Las Vegas Valley had also just been completed and the Western Pacific began operations across the northern section of the state in 1910. In 1911, the Railroad Commission became the ex-officio Public Service Commission, vested with the additional responsibility of regulating and con- trolling electrical, telegraph and telephone rates. By that time, Shaughnessy had become First Associate Commissioner of the Railroad Com- mission, moving up to head the agency when Horace F. Bartine died in 1918. In 1913, the legislature created the Nevada Tax Commis- sion and Shaughnessy became an ex-officio member of that body. In 1935, Shaughnessy retired from state ser- vice, but took a position four years later with the Division of Procurement in the U.S. Treasury Department. He retired a second time in 1943, dying in Reno three years later, survived by three daughters and two grandchildren. Affiliated with various railroad unions, the Catholic Church, the Reno Elks Lodge, the Lions Club and the Sagebrush Club, Carson City, and being an active member of the Democratic Party, John Shaughnessy's funeral in Reno was one of the largest in years.