Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 647] a respected citizen of Mahoningtown, is a trusted and efficient employee of the Pennsylvania R. R., serving that company as its car inspector at Lawrence Junction. He was born in Butler Co., Pa., Nov. 14, 1860, and is a son of Robert C. and Mary A. (McCoy) Shira, to whom were born four children: William McC., deceased; Theodore McA.; Alfred C.; and Hiram C.

Robert C. Shira was born in Parker township, Butler Co., Pa., May 4, 1824, and during the War of the Rebellion helped to support the flag of the Union. He is a Republican, politically. His wife was born in Harrisville, Pa., and was a daughter of Hon. Hiram C. McCoy, who married a Miss McCallen. Hiram C. McCoy served in the State Legislature of Pennsylvania, and left a creditable record, untarnished and unstained by any disreputable act. His father, Thomas McCoy, was born at Harper's Ferry, Va., of Irish parentage, his father having been born on the "ould sod."

The subject of this biography lived in Butler County the first seven years of his life, and then the family moved to New Castle, where he attended the schools till the age of sixteen. When eighteen years old, he worked in a meat market, located on the south side of Washington Street, for two years, and in the following year went to Cleveland, Ohio, where he labored at the carpenter's trade, working the two succeeding years for the W, N. Y. & P. R. R. in the bridge and construction department. From that time until 1884 he served as car inspector for that company at Stoneboro, Mercer County, this State. He then resigned, came to New Castle, and served in the same capacity for the P. & W. R. R. for the space of a year, after which he again entered the employ of the W. N. Y. & P. R. R., and worked for that company as car inspector in the yards at New Castle until Jan. 22, 1888, when he accepted a position as car inspector for the Pennsylvania R. R. at Mahoningtown, where he is pleasantly located at present.

Mr. Shira was married at Sandy Lake, Mercer Co., Pa., Oct. 11, 1884, to Agnes Spence, who was born near Ahoghill, County Antrim, Ireland, one of ten children born to her parents, of whom the following four survive: Agnes (Mrs. Shira); John; Isabel; and Thomas. Her father, William Spence, came to America in 1866, and the family followed a year later; his death occurred Dec. 23, 1892, at the age of forty-eight years. He was a business man, and lived first in Hoytdale, where he kept store many years. His parents were John and Isabel Spence. Mrs. Shira's mother was Agnes Craig, daughter of Thomas and Agnes (Campbell) Craig. To Mr. and Mrs. Shira have been born three children: Lucy F., who, died Jan. 2, 1894, at the age of eight years, five months and eleven clays; Lee L.; and an infant, son, deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Shira are members of the Presbyterian Church. Our subject is a Republican in regard to his political principiles, and has served two years in the borough council of Mahoningtown.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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