Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, CA

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  • ID: I4910
  • Name: Peter C. SHANNON
  • Surname: Shannon
  • Given Name: Peter C.
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1821 in , , Pennsylvania
  • Death: 13 Apr 1899 in San Diego, San Diego, California of organic heart disease, shock and internal injuries caused from being thrown to the ground in a runaway horse accident
  • Burial: 15 Apr 1899 Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, San Diego, California
  • _UID: 3C3E2A87EA962F4087F035C4F7D699CBBB3E
  • Note:
    DEATH: Death certificate on file at the San Diego County Recorder, County Administration Building, 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 260, San Diego, CA 92101, (619) 237-0502; Box 414, 1899 Death Certificates, P.C. Shannon, age - 76 years 10 months, born in Pennsylvania, resident of San Diego 1 year, previous residence - Dakota

    DEATH: San Diego County Recorder, San Diego, California, Death records, Volume L, 1899, page 361, Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1980, Family History Library, 35 North West Temple Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84150, USA, microfilm #1,290,439; P. C. Shannon; birth place - North Dakota

    BURIAL: West 1/2, Lot 7, Block A, Section 2, Calvary Cemetery [now a part of Calvary Pioneer Memorial Park, aka Pioneer Park; aka Catholic Cemetery, aka Mission Hills Cemetery, aka Old Catholic Cemetery], 1501 Washington Place, San Diego, CA 92103

    The Genealogical Records Committee, Daughters of the American Revolution of California, Vital Records from Cemeteries in Southern California, Volume II, Daughters of the American Revolution of California, 1934, pages 275-281, San Diego Regional Family History Center, 4195 Camino del Rio South, San Diego, CA, microfilm #844,409; Lt. Col. Peter C. Shannon, 13 Penn. Cav.

    1870 Ward 19, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, sheet 26, page 131B
    1880 Yankton, Yankton County, Dakota Territory, E.D. #106, sheet 4D, page 460D; P.C. Shannon, Judge

    Lt. Colonel, Regimental Staff of the 117th Pennsylvania Volunteers (aka 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry) ("The Irish Dragoons"), mustered in 27 Oct 1862, mustered out 7 Jan 1863
    Hand, Jr., Harold. One Good Regiment. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: Trafford Publishing, 2000.

    The Cambria Freeman, Edensburg, Pennsylvania, Friday, December 2, 1881, No. 45, page 2
    JUDGE PETER C. SHANNON, who was appointed Chief Justice of Dakota Territory eight years ago by Grant, and whose commission is about to expire, is just now engaged in a lively contest over his reappointment. Shannon, who is a native of Blairsville and is well known to many of our citizens, was originally a hard-shelled Democrat, read law in the office of Henry D. Foster, in Greensburg, and located in Pittsburgh, where he served about a year as Judge of the Courts under appointment by Gov. Bigler in 1854. Several years afterward he went to Yankton, Dakota, and became Chief Justice, as stated, eight years ago. The opposition to his reappointment is based on several reasons affecting Shannon personally, and is led by R. F. Pettigrew, the delegate in Congress from the Territory. The fight is said to be very bitter and the result doubtful. Shannon has one big advantage over his enemies in the fact that he was always a Grant man. This, his strong hold, is worth a ton of recommendations, and if he calls on Grant for assistance in his last hours of official existence, his appeal through him to Mr. Arthur cannot but be successful.
    [Transcript by Lisa Baker,, posted at, July 2005l]


    The San Diego Union, San Diego, California, Friday, April 14, 1899, page 5:3
    Thrown from a Carriage at Second and D Streets - Death Due to Internal Injuries - Brief Sketch of His Career in South Dakota.

    Judge P. C. Shannon, formerly district judge of South Dakota, died at 9:50 o'clock in this city last night from injuries sustained early yesterday afternoon in a runaway accident. Death is supposed to have resulted from internal injuries which Judge Shannon sustained by being thrown heavily to the ground from a carriage. He was 78 years old.

    Judge Shannon had been in this city for about a year, coming here from Yankton, S. D. He formerly had rooms at the Brewster, but for the past six months had been stopping at the Albemarle hotel. Yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock he got into a carriage in front of the Albemarle for the purpose of going to Point Loma to witness the opening exercise of the Universal Brotherhood congress. The driver, desirous of taking over a full load, invited Judge Shannon to go along. The judge hesitated at first, but finally consented to make the trip, and took a seat in the carriage. W. B. Maginn, manager of the Albemarle, having fears for Mr. Shannon's safety on account of his old age, decided to go along for the purpose of rendering any necessary assistance to his guest.

    The horses had no sooner started than the driver dropped one of the lines. In his efforts to regain it he lost control of the horses, and they turned and started on a wild run up the street. Mr. Maginn jumped out as soon as he saw that the horses were free, but the other occupants of the rig kept their seats. At Second and D streets the horses swerved in towards the sidewalk and struck the telegraph pole on the southeast corner of the street with a terrible force. The occupants of the vehicle were all thrown out, Judge Shannon falling on his left side in the street, several yards away.

    In an unconscious condition he was carried into a nearby store room, and later to his room at the Albemarle. When picked up he was bleeding freely from his nose and mouth, and it was seen at a glance that he was seriously and perhaps fatally injured. Several physicians were summoned and after an examination reported that no bones had been broken, but that there were internal injuries. The injured man regained consciousness shortly after he was taken to his room, but about 5 o'clock he sank into a comatose state, in which he remained until his death at 9:50 o'clock. Dr. Luscomb was summoned shortly before 10 o'clock, but the patient was dead when he arrived. The injured man had several hemorrhages and suffered somewhat during the evening, but his end was peaceful. He was a Catholic, and the last sacrament was administered to the dying man by the Rev. Father Brady of St. Joseph's church.

    Judge Shannon had been prominent in the affairs of the Dakotas ever since their organization as a territory in 1861. He took a prominent part in the organization movement and was at one time mentioned for governor of the territory. From 1876 to 1888 he was circuit judge in South Dakota district comprising seven counties. He was wealthy and prominent, and his influence was felt over the whole state. He leaves three sons and one daughter, the later residing in Pennsylvania. Two of the sons are in Salt Lake and the other is in Pittsburg, Pa.


    The San Diego Union, San Diego, California, Friday, April 21, 1899, page 3:1-2
    Was a Magistrate in Pennsylvania in the Early Days - Was a Friend of Lincoln and Stanton - His Services Appreciated by the Government.

    In the Pittsburg, Pa. Leader of Dec. 5 last appears the following interesting sketch of the late Judge P. C. Shannon, who died in this city on the 13th, from injuries received in a runaway accident. He was on a visit to Pittsburg at the time the article was written:

    Time was when Judge Shannon called Pittsburg his home and the city proudly proclaimed him her son. To this day, the distinguished jurist loves to acknowledge a sort of kinship to the great metropolis of western Pennsylvania, for here he achieved his first prominence as a member of the bar and bench, and here also reside one son and two daughters.

    Every old-timer knows Judge Shannon just as every old-timer recollects the stirring events of ante-bellum days and the period of civil strife and political apostaky which nearly wrecked the sacred institution of liberty. In the thick of the fiery debates incident to the abolition movement prior to the war, as in the fury of the sanguinary conflict, the tall form, the powerful personality and the magnificent oratory of Judge Shannon were always conspicuously in evidence to the glory and the fame of the grand old "State of Allegheny."

    Few men have had such eventful careers as Judge Shannon. Born at New Alexandria, Westmoreland county, in 1821, he has lived six years beyond man's allotted time, and is still in the vigor of life. Though 76 years of age he might pass for 55 without any very great shock to the student of human nature.

    In the early days Judge Shannon came to Pittsburg to practice law. In 1852 Governor William Bigler appointed him president judge of the district court of Pennsylvania, a tribunal for the trial of civil cases, which has given place to the common pleas courts of today. Judge Shannon presided over the court in this city and many of the country's most distinguished barristers plead before him. The famous secretary of war, Edwin M. Stanton, not only argued many a cause before Judge Shannon, but was his intimate friend. Hon. A. W. Loomis, a noted Whig of the period; Hon. Moses Hampton, afterward judge of the district court; Thomas Williams, afterward a member of congress; George P. Hamilton, Sr. Dunlop, the author of Dunlop's Digest; Col. Sam. W. Black; Thomas M. Marshall, Sr., Judge Shanler, then a partner of Secretary Stanton, and others equally prominent in politics and the legal profession, were among the lawyers who daily appeared [unreadable, blackened line on the newspaper microfilm] Judge Shannon was on the district bench during 1852-1853, but prior to that time he was the nominee of the Democratic party for congress, his opponent being Hon. David Ritchey, Whig. Judge Shannon was defeated by only a few hundred votes. It was shortly subsequent to the congressional fight that he was named to succeed Hon. Walter Forward as presiding judge of the district court. Judge Forward was a brilliant man, and was afterward appointed secretary of the treasury and minister to Denmark.

    When Judge Shannon left the bench, Hon. Moses Hampton succeeded him and he then took up the practice of his profession. In 1862, at the personal solicitation of his intimate friend, Governor Andrew J. Curtin, the famous "war governor of Pennsylvania," Judge Shannon stumped the state. Governor Curtin was a candidate for a second term and Judge Shannon was with him all through that most bitter and memorable campaign. The governor was re-elected by a majority of only 13,000 votes. The cooperhead sentiment was so strong even in Pennsylvania that day that tremendous fight was made against Curtin. When the war broke out Judge Shannon allied himself with the Union Republican party, and was elected on that ticket to the first general assembly of the state after the firing on Fort Sumter. He served two terms and was a member of all the important committees. In 1864 the Union League club of Philadelphia, and the executive committee of the state solicited Judge Shannon's services on the stump in behalf of the candidacy of Abraham Lincoln. The Pittsburg jurist answered the summons, and was a powerful factor in that remarkable campaign which resulted in Lincoln's re-election in the midst of the civil war.

    Those were troublous days for Pittsburg, but they demonstrated the valor and loyalty of her sons. Judge Shannon was prominent in the raising of troops to go to the front, and participated in every event of historical importance of those fruitful times. On the Fourth of July succeeding the first gun on Sumter, fired in April, never-to-be-forgotten incidents were happening in Pittsburg. The city was threatened with an invasion by the rebels from West Virginia, and reports that they were going to sack the Allegheny arsenal in Lawrenceville were rife. Judge Shannon and his companions had been busying themselves with the organization of the "Home Safety association." Companies, then regiments and brigades were formed. The war department was communicated with on the 3d and a request made that the government supply the "Home Guards" with arms and ammunition. They had already secured uniforms.

    The order came back to Judge Shannon to call upon the commandant at the arsenal and get everything that was needed. The committee of citizens proceeded to the arsenal and presented the order to the officer in charge. He was a fine specimen of the American soldier, and although somewhat astonished at the extraordinary order interpreted it as giving the citizens carte blanche to everything in the arsenal. Guns, swords, cannon and ammunition were hauled away from the arsenal all day and all night. It was know that rebel spies were lurking about the city, and this show of strength was intended to let them know that Pittsburg was prepared to protect herself. The following day, the Fourth of July, the guards paraded the streets. There were 7,000 men, all uniformed and armed, in the procession. They made a most imposing spectacle and aroused the patriotic fever to white heat. Of the men who were in line that day it is estimated that fully two thirds of them afterward went to the front.

    One day during the war a Capt. Gallagher, from Philadelphia, came to Pittsburg with a letter of introduction from Gov. Curtin to Judge Shannon. In the letter the governor stated that Capt. Gallagher had been endeavoring to raise a regiment in Philadelphia, but had only succeeded in mustering a single company. The governor felt that if a regiment could be raised any where in the state, Pittsburg was the place and Judge Shannon the man who could raise it. He was pretty accurate in his judgment, was Gov. Curtin, for the Thirteenth Pennsylvania volunteer cavalry, thirteen companies strong, was the fruit of his message to Judge Shannon. An election of officers was held. The major general selected was Gen. Wilkins, ex-Gov. Johnson brigadier general, George W. Cass brigadier general, and Dr. Robert Simpson brigadier general. Judge Shannon was elected lieutenant colonel, and the regiment was mustered in at Baltimore, where it was to do guard duty. As soon as Judge Shannon left town with his regiment Gov. Curtin entered a protest. The campaign for the governorship was approaching, and Judge Shannon was needed on the stump. On the other hand Secretary Stanton insisted that he remain with his regiment. The pressure from Harrisburg and Pittsburg was so great, however, that Judge Shannon was ultimately released from his regiment and came home in response to the invitation from the Union league, the state executive committee and Gov. Curtin.

    After the war Judge Shannon continued the practice of his profession, and when Grant went into the White House for his first term he tendered the judge a mission abroad in the second class with a salary of $7,500. This was declined, owing to important business matters at home, but in March, 1873, during Grant's second term, he was offered the commission of chief justice of the supreme court of Dakota, which he accepted. He was reappointed by President Hayes and served continuously for nine years, at the end of which time he was compelled to resign on account of failing health, due to overwork. A few months after his retirement from the bench, President Arthur appointed him a member of the Sioux Indian commission. This was an important post, as the commission was delegated to negotiate for the purchase of all the lands of the Sioux Indians lying between the White and Cheyenne rivers. For three or four years the judge participated in the negotiations, and many a time he was laid down to rest surrounded by from 10,000 to 12,000 savages. They all knew him, however, and he had so won their confidence and they his that never a fear was felt for his safety.

    The magnitude of Judge Shannon's labors while chief justice of Dakota can be imagined from the statement that the territory over which his jurisdiction extended was over 150,000 square miles, or about 30,000 square miles larger than England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales combined. In addition to the sessions of the United States court and the supreme court, he had a circuit of counties in which to conduct trials. He had held court as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 12 midnight. There were two associates on the bench with Judge Shannon. One was stationed at Fargo, one in Black Hills and the chief justice (Judge Shannon himself) at Yankton, the capital of the territory.

    Outlaws ruled the country before the Pittsburger went out into the wilds to administer justice. There had been murders, lynchings, and raids without number. Only one lynching came under his notice after Judge Shannon held his first sitting in Dakota. He made an attempt to apprehend the lynchers but failed. One of his first acts was to place on trail a notorious desperado, Jack McCaull for the murder of Wild Bill, a noted scout and fighter. This was a notorious trial and its termination had a salutary effect upon the people of the territory. McCaull was convicted and sentenced to be hung. The sentence was carried out. It was the first legal hanging in the history of Dakota. It was followed by another public execution. The desperadoes were terrorized. They had never known law before. There had been no restraint. Now churches were invading the territory and the majesty of the law was asserting itself. At the end of Judge Shannon's tenure there was a vast change in the conditions. When he discarded the ermine outlawry had been subdued and Dakota was as peaceable as a New England village. So it is today.

    Judge Shannon knew Abraham Lincoln well. He was a member of the committee of Pittsburgers appointed to escort him from Beaver to Pittsburg in 1861, when the great "rail-splitter" was enroute to Washington to be inaugurated for his first term. The country was in a turmoil, Lincoln and his wife were escorted to the Monongehela house, where a banquet was served in their honor. Judge Shannon sat at the side of the president-elect and chatted with him all the while becoming very well acquainted with him. He went to Harrisburg with the committee and listened to Lincoln's speech at the capital. That night there were rumors of a plot to assassinate the president before his inauguration. A council of prominent men was held and it was resolved that it would be dangerous to allow Lincoln to proceed direct to the national capital by way of Baltimore. The committee determined to take the president over to Philadelphia and thence to Washington. This was accomplished, the president traveling incog, practically in disguise. This incident happened in February, 1861.

    Judge Shannon regarded President Lincoln as the "most unique man he had ever met." He once said, "There will never be a second Abraham Lincoln. He was not a handsome man - tall, gaunt and awkward - but there was something in his eyes that appealed to every honest man and made 'Old Abe' look really handsome."

    The San Diego Union, San Diego, California, Saturday, April 15, 1899, page 8:1
    SHANNON - In this city, April 12,1899, P. C. Shannon, aged 77 years and 8 months, a native of Pennsylvania.
    Friends are invited to attend the funeral services at St. Joseph's church, at 9 a.m. today, where a Solemn Requiem Mass will be held.


    The San Diego Union, San Diego, California, Saturday, April 15, 1899, page 5:1
    The funeral of Judge Shannon, who was killed in a runaway accident Thursday will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic church this morning at 9 o'clock. A solemn requiem mass will be sung over the remains. The pallbearers will be Andrew Cassidy, Ed Dougherty, C. Elder, J.H. Kincaid, Dr. Wallian and C. Richards.


    The San Diego Union, San Diego, California, Sunday, April 16, 1899, page 5:4
    The funeral of the late Judge P. C. Shannon was held yesterday morning from St. Joseph's church, a large number of the friends of the deceased being present. A solemn requiem mass was sung over the remains and interment was made in the Catholic cemetery. The pallbearers were Ed Dougherty, C. Elder, J. H. Kincaid, C. Richards, Archibald Taylor and Capt. Mayes.


    The Indiana Democrat, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Wednesday, April 19, 1899
    Judge Peter C. Shannon, died last Friday night at San Diego, Cal. While out driving recently, his horse ran off and he sustained serious injuries which ultimately caused death. Deceased was born in Ireland in 1815, and was brought to this county when still a child by his father, Thomas Shannon, who settled near Bairdstown. The boy grew up and studied law with H. C. Foster, of Greensburg, and was admitted to the bar in 1845. He was for a while editor of the Pittsburg Daily Union and was appointed Judge of Common Pleas Court of Allegheny county in 1852. He was a candidate at the following election but was defeated by a narrow majority. In 1869 he was appointed Chief Justice of the United States Court, of Dakota, and since then has lived almost continuously in the west. Judge Shannon was married twice. His second wife, who is dead, was the daughter of the late Christian Ihmsen, of Blairsville. By her he had several children, of whom four survive him, two daughters, Mrs. Aliaga, of Marseilles, France, and Mrs. Lincoln D. Smith, of Washington, D.C., and two sons, Louis, now in Philadelphia, and Christian I., of Sewickly. Mrs. Carrie Shannon, of this place, was the wife of his brother James, who died many years ago. Judge Shannon had a great many friends in this county, who learned of his death with sincere sorrow. For the past two years he has been living in California, his health having broken down. He was in constant care of his valet, who kept his family informed about his health.
    [obituary provided by Bob Bowers, Lexington, Massachusetts,, August 2005]

    1873 - 1882 Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Dakota Territory

    Information from Bob Bowers, Lexington, Massachusetts,, July 2005
  • Change Date: 28 Jun 2006 at 18:18:41

    Marriage 1 Anna Elena IHMSEN b: ABT 1835 in , , Pennsylvania
      1. Has No Children Nellie SHANNON b: ABT 1860 in , , Pennsylvania
      2. Has No Children Bessie SHANNON b: ABT 1862 in , , Pennsylvania
      3. Has No Children Louis SHANNON b: ABT 1867 in , , Pennsylvania
      4. Has No Children Marie SHANNON b: ABT 1869 in , , Pennsylvania
      5. Has No Children Christian SHANNON b: ABT 1872 in , , Pennsylvania
      6. Has No Children C. SHANNON b: ABT 1876 in , , Dakota Territory
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