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Family
Marriage: Children:
  1. Robert Sylvanis Sheedy: Birth: 3 AUG 1908 in Northport, Stevens County, Washington. Death: 29 JUL 1970 in Coos County, Oregon

  2. Forrest Herman Sheedy: Birth: 3 DEC 1911 in Northport, Stevens County, Washington. Death: 26 FEB 2003 in Colville, Stevens County, Washington

  3. Carl Phillips Sheedy: Birth: 6 JUL 1914 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Death: 19 JUL 1991 in John Day, Grant County, Oregon

  4. Gale Holmes Sheedy: Birth: 27 JAN 1918 in Northport, Stevens County, Washington. Death: 6 OCT 1997 in Columbia City, Columbia County, Oregon


Notes
a. Continued:   Robin Carl Sheedy was commonly called Bob in his youth, and then Bompie by his grandchildren.
  Robin Carl Sheedy was seven years old when his family left Michigan and moved to Shelton, Washington Territory, where his father supervised construction of the Satsop and Peninsular Railroads. When he was thirteen, they moved to Northport, Stevens County where his father oversaw the construction of one of the earliest bridges across the Columbia River.
  That year, in 1897, he drafted a charter for a club, named for the marble mountain that looms over Northport. The old paper reads: "The Silver Crown Club. The Object of the club is to have a good time in general. Swimming, fishing, hunting and having parties among us. And also to help and protect ourselves." By-laws for the "Silver Crown Club: Any person will not be admitted into the club who is under 12 and over 16 years of age. This is to be a strictly secret club and anyone found guilty of violating the rules of the club will be expelled or else pay a small fine. The club shall consist of president, vise president and a marshall who shall collect the fines and take in the password. There Must be no unnecessary swearing. The president shall have absolute control over the meeting. Order must be kept."
  The Sheedys lived next door to the Phillips family in Northport. On one occasion Bob stuffed some rags into the chimney of a wood stove in the Phillips sisters' playhouse, smoking out the girls--including his future wife, Florence.
  As a boy, Robin Sheedy met Chief Joseph (1840-1905), of the Nez Perce who had been forcibly removed to the Colville Reservation in 1885. His father, Robert H. Sheedy, escorted Chief Joseph on a Great Northern passenger train from the Colville Reservation to Spokane in 1903, on the first leg of the Chief’s journey to Washington, D.C. to petition the Federal Government to allow his people to return to the Wallowa Valley.
  His father moved the family to Spokane in 1900 so they could benefit from a better education. Robin graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in the middle of his Senior year (1902) and, at the age of 17, enrolled at Washington Agricultural College (now Washington State University or WSU--pronounced Wha-Zoo) at Pullman. He enrolled in a two-year program called the School of Business, which was mainly concerned with practical business matters. Robin's date of admission was Feb. 10, 1902, which means he began his courses at that time. His transcripts indicate that he was absent from class for much of March and April. His name appears on a student list published in 1903, and so he may have enrolled in the fall, but may not have attended classes, as the list probably refers to students from 1902.
  He and his roommate Forrest V. Phillips (his future brother-in-law), knew each other from Northport. Robin and Forrest were "asked not to come back" to school their sophomore year following an interesting incident: rumor had it that they were tanning some pelts in their dorm room when the dean confiscated the smelly furs. In retaliation, they devised and executed an elaborate prank to remove all of the furniture from the office of either the college president or their dorm master, from a third-story room, through a window and, via ropes and pulleys, onto the roof of a neighboring building. Such a stunt has to rank with the best college pranks.
  As a young man, Robin worked for Great Northern Railway between Spokane, Northport, and Republic, Washington and into British Columbia. By 1904, he was working out of Ymir, British Columbia. He returned to Northport in mid-June and, with Fay Phillips, took a quick trip north of the border to Nelson, B.C., to witness the marriage of Forrest Phillips and Stella Berry. On one occasion, for the wager of one silver dollar, he shot an owl out of a tree with his rifle from the open boxcar door of a moving train, for which feat he earned the nickname the "Spokane Kid."
  Sometime in the mid- to late-summer of 1904, at the age of twenty, Robin Sheedy left Washington for Alaska in the employ of the Tanana Valley Mines Railroad as a professional hunter. He departed Seattle by steam ship, and probably took the inland passage as far north as Skagway, and thence by train over White Pass to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. He then traveled down the Yukon River to Dawson—perhaps on the sternwheeler Columbia, which was laden with railroad materials destined for Fairbanks. At Dawson, these supplies were transferred the J. P. Light, on which R. C. embarked down the Yukon River, and he took a few photographs of that journey, including a snapshot of Fort Yukon from the river.
  The J. P. Light, a sternwheeler of 718 tons, was built in Seattle by Moran bros. for the British-American Corp., delivered in May 1898, and operated on the Yukon from that date to the 1930s. The master in 1903 was J. H. McLean; in 1905 the master may have been John Worth; I couldn’t find a firm mention of the captain in 1904. Robin's "quarters" on the boat was an overturned rowboat on deck. They stopped briefly at Fort Gibbon, at the confluence of the Yukon and Tanana rivers. As it was late in the year (photographs shows snow and ice), they wasted no time, but would not make their destination.
  The J. P. Light had difficulty maneuvering the Tanana River with its heavy cargo of railroad gear and equipment and became grounded on a sandbar about sixty miles below Fairbanks—this would have been near the mouth of the Nenana River, or perhaps a few miles below Nenana. Being close to freeze-up, they had few options. Some supplies and heavy machinery intended for Fairbanks were unloaded there. Robin, being the youngest, was set off on an island to guard the cargo. He was given two bags of beans and some other supplies. His Model '99, 305-caliber Savage rifle became an indispensable tool. While the family stories I recall relate that R. C. Sheedy was set off to winter on the island, he may only have stayed there a short time until men from Chena and Fairbanks could arrive to retrieve what they could. If so, R. C. Sheedy may have spent the remainder of the winter off the island. He seems to have had a cache and a cabin at Nenana—which may have been different, and used when he was hunting to feed the men building the railroad. He found a dead body on the island, and remembered well the look of the dead man's face with it’s gaping mouth and swarming insects. This image made a lasting impression on him. (In fact, when R. C. Sheedy died in 1952, and his son, Forrest, found his body in bed with his mouth open, Forrest taped it shut, remembering his father’s stories from years before.)
  R. C. was at Chena in April 1905 where he took a photograph of sternwheelers still locked in the ice. In 1905, he stayed at least part of the time at Fairbanks where his "headquarters" was a one-room cabin with about a 6-foot ceiling. His main occupation was hunting to feed the men building the railroad, and he may have made hunting trips out of the immediate area to procure meat. He kept a cabin and cache on the Nenana River, perhaps for this purpose.
  The Tanana Mines Railway was incorporated in 1903 to construct a narrow-gauge line to access the Tanana Valley gold fields. By early 1905, the enterprise laid 45 miles of narrow-gauge track from Chena to Fairbanks, then on to the mines. In 1906, it was renamed the Tanana Valley Railroad and, in 1917, it was sold to the Alaska Railroad and widened to standard-gauge.
  During the winter (perhaps as early as the winter of 1904-05, but more likely the winter of 1905-06), Robin became a mail carrier and took up a sled-dog run between Fairbanks and Valdez—a distance of about 400 miles one-way. (As a side note, his father’s first job, at the age of 15, had been delivering mail by horse and sled near Canandaigua, in the "Finger Lake" region of Up-State New York.) One would think that the route from Fairbanks would have taken him to present-day Delta Junction and south through Paxson (and a mail route map from 1915 shows routes along that general course). However, from a couple photographs he took, he apparently went up the Tanana River and through the Good Pasture District. He might have continued on to present-day Tok, then southwest via Slena to the upper Copper River and down (probably following the general routes of Hwy 2 from Tok to Glenallen, and Hwy 4 to Valdez).
  He had many adventures: On one trip in early 1906, an old-timer was sick and needed to get south, so he was bundled up and strapped on the dogsled (a photo shows them crossing a pole bridge on the upper Copper River.) Another time, Robin and his sled broke through the ice on a creek he was crossing and thought he would die from exposure. Knowing that there were two teams ahead of him, he fired his rifle in the air. The other men circled back and took him to a trapper's cabin where they rubbed his legs with kerosene to get his circulation moving. On an extremely cold occasion, to keep from freezing to death, he walked in a circle all night, hitting a stick against a tree to keep himself awake. His dog team consisted of three canines: Bob (a big dog, who took up the rear), Whiskers (a husky-looking dog who took the lead), and Jingo (a short-haired boxer, who Robin said was his best dog). Bompie did suffer from frostbite, and lost the very tip of his nose from it! As the winter of 1904-'05 was apparently the first time that the trail was opened for the mail to be hauled overland between Valdez and Fairbanks, Robin Sheedy could have been on the inaugural run south from Fairbanks. It seems more likely, however, that he ran the mail only during the winter of 1905-06.
  A map of North America, with stars penned many places where R. C. Sheedy lived and worked, was kept by his son, Forrest Sheedy. In the far north, there are stars near Nenana, Fairbanks and Valdez. Interestingly, a fourth star is drawn southwest of Mt. McKinley or Denali (in a direct line between Mt. Foreaker and McGrath, closer to the former). It appears to be situated on the marshy tundra near the Tonzona River. As the scale of the map does not allow a precise location, is unclear where exactly it is meant to indicate, or what he was doing there, but allows a little speculation as to where he might have done his brief prospecting. Modern maps of the locale show some mines workings around Heart Mountain, just east of the upper Tonzona River. This would have been a lonely place to prospect, but with the rushing masses to Fairbanks and other areas, many an optimistic prospector struck out to try to find his own bonanza in virgin ground. At any rate, I speculate that this star indicates where Robin tried his hand as a gold hound, and he prospected the northwest slope of the Alaska Range, between the Swift Fork of the Kuskokwin River and the South Fork of the Kuskokwin River (at which point the Iditarod Trail enters the Alaska Range near Farewell Lake).
  During his time in Alaska, Bompie traded a 50-lb. bag of beans to some local Athabaskans for a beaded buckskin suit, lined with beaver fur. The suit originally included a jacket, pants, leggings, moccasins, gloves and a hat. About 1944, when Carl Sheedy returned from the Second World War, he visited his brother, Robert “Bob” Sheedy, at Powers, Oregon, and noticed that Bob had tossed the old moth-eaten suit on a burn pile. Carl looked it over and, while the fur had been mutilated, the leather and beadwork were pretty well intact, so he salvaged the jacket. It is not in possession of Bompie's great-grandson, Nick Sheedy (the compiler).
  Robin returned to Washington State by 1906 and again took up employment with Great Northern Railway. He worked in northeastern Washington and into British Columbia. In September 1906, he married Florence Winona Phillips at the Phillips ranch near Northport. During Robin's time in Alaska, Florence had attended finishing school in Sinclairville, Chautauqua Co., New York where her great-uncle, Joseph Holmes, was a successful vinegar distiller. She had been engaged to marry a Northport man named Leon Savage. Robin ("Bob") asked Florence ("Toots") to take a stroll over the old railroad bridge which spanned the Columbia River. Half way across, he asked to see her engagement ring. He took it off her finger and threw it into the Columbia River, saying that she would not marry Leon Savage. He proposed marriage, and she immediately accepted. (Coincidentally, Leon Savage afterward volunteered for military service in Canada and became a career military man. As Col. Savage, he was the commanding officer at Fort Roberts, California when Carl Philips Sheedy was stationed there in the early days of the Second World War.) Florence’s father, Fredrick Sylvanus Phillips, had located the first homestead west of the Columbia River (on the recently opened land of the original Colville Indian Reservation), across from Northport. Robin and other family members built a cedar log barn on the Phillips ranch which is still standing.
  Robin and Florence—Bob and Toots—first set up housekeeping in Northport where he continued railroading. He operated Engine No. 760 for Great Northern Railway. In 1912, he and his brother-in-law, Jack Christenson, decided to speculate in real estate in Canada and were planning developments. They opened a real estate and construction office in Edmonton, Alberta. Her father's journal, 20 March 1912, noted that "Bob came over this morning to bid us a goodbye ... Jack and Bob start for Edmonton tomorrow." Florence remained in Northport for a couple months with their two boys—Robert who would have been three and a half, and Forrest who was only a few months old. Her father's journal, 30 May 1912, reads: "Toody and the children went this morning and we are lonesome already. Did not like to have her go, but it may be for the best. Hope she gets along allright. Had a heavy frost last night down on the flat ..." The report of Admissions at the Port of Kings Gate, B.C. for 31 May 1912 shows: Mrs. R. Sheedy, 27, America, b. S. Dakota; Robert Sheedy, 3, America, b. Wash.; and Forrest Sheedy, 1, America, b. Wash.
  Their third son, Carl, was born in Edmonton in 1914—the other three boys, Robert (1908), Forrest (1911) and Gale (1918), being born at Northport. Bob and Toots brought their family back to the United States at outbreak of the First World War, and they resided in Northport for a time.
  During World War I, Bob became a building contractor. In September, 1918, (when Robin Carl Sheedy registered for the WWI Draft), the family lived in Port Angeles, Washington. His draft card described him as tall and slender with hazel eyes and brown hair.
  About 1920, Bob left the family with relatives in Pasadena, California, and went prospecting for gold or silver in Old Mexico. They didn't hear from him for some time, and the family became concerned. His brother-in-law, Forrest Phillips (who then had a real estate office in Victorville, California, and owned a large part of the Imperial Valley at the time), drive down to Mexico to look for Bob. He found him living in a stick shack in the desert, broke, but in good spirits. A photo of them in Mexico at the reunion shows them boasting wool suits, ties and felt fedoras. The marked map of North America (mentioned above) shows stars at Mazatlan, and north of there at Guaymas, on the eastern shore of the Gulf of California -- this would indicate that he was prospecting on the west slopes of the central Sierra Madre Occidental. It is interesting to note that his great-grandson, John Sheedy, is familiar with that area, and owns a home in the old silver mining town of Alamos (hometown of John's wife, Sandra).
  About 1923 to 1926, the family lived in Marshfield (now Coos Bay), Oregon, which had a reputation as a rough logging town. Toots worked in a cedar shingle mill and Bob worked in construction. He would continue working in construction for the remainder of his life. Their young sons free-ranged, often spending their days along the river, bay and beach, and even hitched rides as far out as the Oregon Dunes. It was here that their eldest son, Bob, met Ara Guinan, and married her in 1928. They would return to the area, and operated the Sheedy General Store in Powers for many years.
  R. C. Sheedy worked on many large construction projects. Most notably, he was a foreman and general foreman for the construction of the Arlington Memorial Bridge, Washington, D.C. in 1928-29 where he supervised the foundation work for approaches and all concrete work on the beams, columns, cross walls, deck and spandrel walls of the superstructure of the bridge. He also escorted then President Herbert Hoover on a brief tour of the construction site. The Sheedys had been present at a speech Hoover gave at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, while a candidate for president, and also at his inauguration in Washington, D.C. Robin C. Sheedy was a stanch Republican and corresponded with Hoover. (It is worth mentioning that Herbert Hoover was a distant cousin of Florence (Phillips) Sheedy, and her great-great-uncle, Dr. Jesse Holmes, was the attending physician at Hoover’s birth in West Branch, Iowa.)
  Over the years, during and between construction projects, the Sheedy family would live in the Los Angeles and South San Francisco Bay areas and Portland, Oregon where relatives of Bob and Toots lived at one time or another. Bob’s sister, Alice, had been an actress with the Baker Players who traveled considerably around the United States and Canada, and took a tour of Europe during WWI. She also had a few roles in silent films. By the time “talkies” emerged, she was an elocutionist in Hollywood, and gave voice lessons to inspiring actors and actresses. She was also a Christian Science Practitioner to many Hollywood stars, and retired to Twentynine Palms, California with her husband, Stanley Todd. Bob’s brother, Herman Sheedy, was for many years the chief station agent at the Union Pacific Rail Depot at Portland, Oregon.
  About 1928, while building the Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington D.C., Robin had occasion to visit with Ray Lyman Wilbur (also a distant cousin of his wife). Dr. Wilbur, long-time Dean of the Medical School and President of Stanford University, was at that time the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Robin informed Dr. Wilbur of a serious problem in the upper Columbia Basin: namely the invasive pollution from north of the border at the Trail Smelter in Trail, B.C. The smelter had polluted the air and water and caused a great deal of mortality in the forests of north-eastern Washington and caused other problems with livestock and agriculture. It had become so bad that the Philips family left the ranch and moved to Idaho for a time. Ray Lyman Wilbur took up the cause, and the Trail Smelter was shut down until the pollution could be brought under control. It was one of the first international environmental agreements.
  Traveling the country so much, the Sheedy family knew many homes, and even lived for a while in a train car--and for enduring that, Bompie bought Toots a set of sterling silverware. The boys attended as many as dozen different schools. When his younger boys were in high school, the family lived near John's Landing in Portland, Oregon. During the great depression, the family would go camping on Mount Adams, Washington to pick huckleberries, which they would sell in Portland for 50-cents a gallon.
  About 1932, R. C. Sheedy was a foreman on the Columbia Slough Bridge, Portland, Oregon.
  About 1933-1934, he was foreman of concrete work on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  The family spent about a year, 1934-1935, near Chloride and Mineral Park, just north of Kingman, Arizona, where Bob built a new ball mill for and operated the Keystone Mine, owned by Forrest V. Phillips. It was a silver mine at the time, but did not produce much. By the time it sold and it went into production during WWII, it became an enormous copper mine. The Sheedy boys also enjoyed visiting Uncle Forrest's Warm Springs Ranch in the Moapa Valley, Nevada with the fabulous hot springs. (The Warm Springs Ranch was later sold to the eccentric aviator and industrialist, Howard Hughes, and then passed to the Mormon Church, which operates the ranch as a youth camp.)
  About 1936, while constructing bridges and overpasses in the South-Bay area in California and building a cafeteria for the Newark High School, Robin and Florence bought the old Dugan's Hotel in Newark, which he and his boys demolished and salvaged the lumber. They also lived in Haywood where he owned a service station for a short time, about 1937. After this, they went to Paso Robles where R. C. worked on a bridge, and then returned to Portland, Oregon, where his brother, Herman Sheedy was for many years the station agent for Union Pacific Railroad. In 1938, R. C. Sheedy contracted to supervise the concrete work to reconstruct the "Bridge of the Gods" spanning the Columbia River 40 miles west of Portland, which was being raised 40 feet and lengthened 700 feet to accomodate the reservoir to be created by the completion of Bonneville Dam that year.
  About 1940-1941 R. C. Sheedy was Assistant Superintendent “throughout its construction”, under A.L. Funk, general Superintendent, Hauser-Buckler-McDougall Co., for Area No. 5 at the Portland-Columbia Airport Cantonment (now Portland International Airport).
  They lived at St. Helens, Oregon for a short time in 1941.
  R. C. Sheedy worked for J. A. Terteling & Sons (Boise, Idaho) in 1941-1942 as Assistant Superintendent in charge of building construction at the U.S. Army Ordinance Depot, Umatilla, Oregon. They lived in Boise a short time in late 1942. He was then transferred to Provo, South Dakota where he worked on building and utility construction, but resigned in the spring of 1943 due to ill health (he had varicose veins, for which he sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic.) In April, 1942 (when Robin Carl Sheedy registered for the WWII Draft), he indicated his residence was Edgemont, Fall River County, South Dakota, where he worked for J. A. Terteling & Sons. For his contact person, he gave H. Sheedy (his brother Herman) at 914 NW 20th Ave., in Portland, Oregon. His craft Card describes Robin as 6-foot tall, 190-pounds, with hazel eyes, gray hair, and a "dark" complexion.
  Robin and Florence retired to a small ranch at Rainier, Oregon about 1943 where he tried his hand as a gentleman farmer, raising pigs, chickens, strawberries, and milking a jersey cow. He always loved veal, and intended to raise milk-fed calves for this purpose, but couldn’t bring himself to eat the animals he raised from a bottle, and never ate veal again. After WWII, they removed to Placerville, California, where Florence’s brother, Forrest Sheedy had a real estate firm. Their son Carl also had an established real estate firm there, and Gale moved to Placerville as well.
  About 1948, Bompie and Gale took up and replaced all the wooden decking on the Bridge of the Gods spanning the Columbia River. They salvaged and stockpoled the wood and used it for other construction projects (including the the beams and floor joists for two homes in Placerville, California).
  While building a house for Gale, in Placerville about 1951, Robin was walking along a 6-inch wall frame at the second floor level, when the board broke, and he fell some 18 feet. He broke his back and was confined to bed for several months. During this time, he was also diagnosed with lung cancer. He died 20 June 1952. After his death, their sons built Florence a home in Placerville where she lived until 1962 when she moved to Scapoose, Oregon, and bought a house Gale built there. She afterward purchased a home and moved to John Day, Oregon, where Carl had moved in 1961, and lived there for a short time. She spent the next two decades dividing her time between her three sons, with Forrest in Carmichael, California, and then Northport, Washington, in Scapoose with son Gale, and at Carl Sheedy’s ranch near John Day, Oregon. Florence died 4 August 1983 at Canterbury Crest, Tigard, Washington Co., Oregon.
  During his career, R. C. Sheedy was employed by many companies to oversee men and heavy equipment in the construction and mining industries. He specialized in concrete work. Fortunately, after his son, my great-uncle Forrest H. Sheedy died in 2003, I (Nick Sheedy) found an envelope labeled "Dad's Resume" in R. C. Sheedy's toolbox out in the garden shed. It contained a dozen letters of reference. From these, we know that he worked as a superintendent and foreman for such firms as Strauss Engineering of San Francisco; Portland Dredging of Portland, Oregon; Keystone, Inc. of Los Angeles; Hunkin-Conkey Construction Co. of Cleveland, Ohio; Hauser-Buckler-McDougal Co. of Portland; and J. A. Terteling & Sons of Boise, Idaho.
  Some specific projects for which he was a construction foreman or superintendent include:
 The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. factory, Los Angeles, California.
 Concrete foundations and approaches on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
 A number of bridges along the Pacific Coast Highway in Oregon and California.
 The original Dunbarton Drawbridge, connecting Palo Alto and present-day Freemont, California.
 A number of bridges and overpasses around the South San Francisco Bay area, California.
 The Oceanside Pier, Oceanside, California.
 The concrete work for the approaches, foundations and superstructure of the Arlington Memorial Bridge, Washington, D. C.
 The St. John's Bridge in Portland, Oregon.
 The Portland-Columbia Airport Cantonment (now Portland International Airport), Portland, Oregon.
 Reconstruction of the Bridge of the Gods spanning the Columbia River.
 The Columbia River Slough Bridge, Portland, Oregon.
 U. S. Post Office, Duluth, Minnesota.
 The Hawthorne Navy Ammunition Depot (now Hawthorn Army Depot), Hawthorn, Nevada.
 The U.S. Army Ordinance and Weapons Depot, Umatilla, Oregon.
  Such structures are monuments to the men who erected them-men who dedicated their careers to building the infrastructure of their country.


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