SHEEHAN, THOMAS. - Springfield is fortunate in the officers in whose hands are placed the safety and life of its residents. One of the most popular park policemen whose efficiency has been proven during long years of faithful service, is Thomas Sheehan. He was born in Waterford, Ireland, March 2, 1848, a son of James and Ellen (Flynn) Sheehan, both natives of Ireland. The parents, who were farming people, came to the United States in 1849, landing in New Orleans, where they remained a few days, when making their way to Naples, Ill. From there they went to Jacksonville, but after a short time there, once more made a change, this time selecting Springfield as their home, and there they remained until they died, the father passing away March 19, 1872, and the mother October 25, 1909. There were seven sons and three daughters in their family, and Thomas Sheehan was the oldest. Only six of this family now survive.
Thomas Sheehan was educated in Ireland and the Untied States, which he reached in 1867, not having made the trip with the rest of the family. He came direct to Springfield and entered the employ of the Chicago & Alton Railroad Company, working in the freight house. Two years later he was transferred to the roundhouse, and after four years in all, became fireman. He worked twenty-four years for this company, and one year in the rolling mills, when he entered the Wabash Railroad shops, where he remained a short time, leaving to enter the City Engineer's office. After three years there, he was appointed park policeman, served a year, then returned to the City Engineer's office. However, popular demand made him return to his position as park policeman, and he is now guarding the interests of the people in this capacity.
Mr. Sheehan was married in Springfield in May, 1872, to Bridget Tobin, born in Troy, N.Y., April 29, 1850. Her parents, coming from Ireland, located in Troy, later coming to Springfield, where they died when their daughter was but five years old. She was brought up by her grandmother. The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Sheehan: Catherine, wife of Edward Davelin, of the fire department; Ellen, wife of A. R. Connelly, an insurance agent, of Springfield; Mary, in the employ of the Illinois Watch Company; Margaret, living at home, and James, a painter of Springfield. Mr. Sheehan has a pleasant home at No. 121 West Reynolds Street, and is in comfortable circumstances. He is a member of the Court of Honor. A good Catholic, he belongs to St. Agnes Roman Catholic church, of Springfield. In political convictions he is a Democrat, and he lives up to his views. Genial, courteous and with the chivalry of his race, Officer Sheehan has friends all over the city and is one of the most popular men on the force.