The History of Shea, Part 1

by Shea Homes Northern California on August 13, 2012

The Shea family of companies have been passed down through the generations of the Shea family since 1881. They have a rich history deeply rooted in making quality products, pursuing customer satisfaction, and maintaining integrity throughout the company as a whole.

In 1846, Austin Shea emigrated with his family from Ireland to America, and in 1855 John Francis Shea was born in Dayton, Ohio. As an adult, John Francis Shea, a determined and motivated individual, decided to move west in pursuit of good quality work. He made his way to San Francisco, California and landed a job in plumbing. After a year with the company, John decided to pursue his own plumbing company in Portland, Oregon. He moved and in 1881, John Francis Shea opened up his own plumbing shop called the “J.F. Shea Plumbing Company”. This was John’s first attempt at running his own business, and he, unlike many others at that time, found success.

John Francis Shea valued his family, and even in his success, he never forgot about them back in Ohio. In 1891, John’s sister Katie, sent him a letter thanking him for the $20 gold piece he had sent to the family. Speaking of family, John was eager to start his own with his wife Anna, and together, they had 9 children. John taught his children about success and integrity in business and several of those children would go on to further their father’s legacy.

“Diligent and successful in business, he [John Francis Shea] left the deep impress of his individuality upon his work, and he belonged to that class or men who, although modest and unassuming, nevertheless shape the character and influence the development of the communities in which they live. His ability and energy placed him in a position of leadership…[He] owed his prosperity to tireless effort, good management and close conformity to a high standard of commercial ethics…his many good qualities endeared him to all with whom he was associated.” – Shea Times, 1988.

 John Francis Shea

*This is Part 1 in a series of posts chronicling the history of Shea Homes. 

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