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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The president of the Sacramento Valley winery is one of the native sons of the capital city whose rising success furnishes evidence as to local possibilities and as to his own inherent qualities of mind. The twentieth century has marked an advance in the installation of new industries and the expansion of old-established plants. Out from a past of commercial lethargy has arisen a present of activity. Growth is the keynote of present upbuilding and the creed for future development. The winery takes rank among the recent accessions to the business life of the city, having been organized in May of 1910 by Mr. Sheehan, who has been the only manager as well as the first president of the concern. With an excellent location, a conservative management and a necessary amount of capital, future development is certain. There is therefore every reason to believe that the winery will develop into one of the most successful plants of the kind in this portion of the state.

As the name indicates, the Sheehan family comes of Celtic ancestry. The first representative in California, T. W. Sheehan, was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1844, and at a very early age crossed the ocean to Maine, where he found employment at Augusta. From that city he left in 1862 for service as a soldier in the Union army. With his regiment he participated in a number of fierce battles and remained at the front until after peace had been declared. After he had received an honorable discharge from the army he came to California in 1866 and settled in Sacramento, where he secured employment as a carriage-painter. Later he served as a deputy sheriff until 1871, when he engaged as a bookkeeper with the Sacramento Union, a popular daily of the capital city. Worth and fidelity won recognition in the newspaper office and he was promoted to be manager, which responsible position he filled until his retirement from all business activities in 1905. The following year occurred his death. During early manhood he had married Mollie F. Lynch, a native of New York. Among their family of five children Edgar M., born in January of 1871, was first in order of birth. As a- boy he attended the public schools and completed his studies in the high school in 1888, when he entered into business affairs.

A valuable experience while connected with the Sacramento Union came to Mr. Sheehan through his service as a reporter on the daily and a contributor to the editorial department. After a time he was delegated to travel for the paper and still later he was given a. position in the business department. Through these various positions he gained much valuable information not only concerning the operation of a great daily but also in regard to general business matters. In 1904 he accepted a place with the California winery as head of the publicity department, but resigned the ensuing year from that department in order to enter upon the more important duties of general manager and vice-president. In an official capacity his service was most helpful to the business and in addition the experience enabled him to successfully organize the Sacramento Valley winery, which he manages with notable skill and comprehensive alertness.

The environment of boyhood, the influences of the home and the relations to the church, were such as to cause Mr. Sheehan to identify himself with the Roman Catholic faith in his very early life and from that time to the present he has been devoted to the cause, generous to its philanthropies and loyal to its doctrines. His wife was formerly Miss Virginia Milne, whom he married in Sacramento April 25, 1908. In political views he holds to Republican principles and gives his ballot to the nominees of that party. The Sons of Veterans have numbered him among the active members of their post in Sacramento, while his social and fraternal relations have been further enlarged through an influential connection with the Sutter Club. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011