Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Daniel Sheehy

From History of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley Vol. 1
By Joseph Green Butler

Daniel Sheehy was born in Tipperary County, Ireland, in 1759. He was given a classical education, having been destined for the law or the priesthood, but early in life left his native land to carve out a fortune in the New World. His decision was hastened by the fact that he was an outspoken enemy of the British government, and, impulsive in temperament, plunged wholeheartedly into the movement for Irish freedom. With two of his near relatives executed for opposing British domination and his own life certain to be forfeited if he remained in Ireland, Sheehy came to America and enlisted in the Revolutionary Army.

Image from Irish in Youngstown and the Greater Mahoning Valley of Jane McLean Sheehy, son Daniel Jr., and wife Charlotte Pearson Sheehy.

Serving until the end of the Revolution, Sheehy located in Connecticut or New York State and met John Young at Albany, New York, in 1796. Sheehy had $2,000 in gold which he wished to invest in land and he accepted John Young's proposal to emigrate to the Western Reserve. He contracted with Young for 1,000 acres of land, a contract that later caused difficulty between Sheehy and Young. Not having a title himself until 1800, Young could not give title at that time to sub-purchasers and Sheehy alleged that in 1799 Young made a second sale of part of Sheehy's land at an advance of 50 cents an acre. To prove his rights Sheehy was forced to make two trips to Connecticut, both of these being made afoot through the wilderness in the dead of winter. An adjustment was finally reached by which Sheehy retained title to 400 acres of land but relinquished his claim to another 600 acres.
For threatening Young's life during this controversy Sheehy was arrested and fined $25, but that their differences were later settled amicably is apparent from the fact that. Sheehy's second son was named after the founder of 'the city. According to one account this was a feminine wile adopted by Sheehy's wife, and really brought about the adjustment of the dispute instead of following it. This pioneer woman was born at Ligonier, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in 1775, a daughter of Robert McLain, an early settler of Central Pennsylvania. Having accompanied Hillman, Young and the others to Beavertown to celebrate the Fourth of July, 1797, Sheehy there met Jane McLain and later he journeyed to Beavertown on horseback for the wedding ceremony. Sheehy died at Youngstown on January 20, 1834, and his widow in 1856, leaving numerous descendants here.

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