Perhaps no one business enterprise or industry indicates more clearly the commercial and social status of a town than its hotels. The wide-awake, enterprising villages and cities must have pleasant accommodations for visitors and traveling men, and the foreign public judges of a community by the entertainment afforded to the strangers. In this regard the Idaho Hotel, of which Mr. Shea is proprietor, is an index of the character and advantages of Silver City, for the hostelry will rank favorably with those of many a larger place, and its genial proprietor neglects nothing that can add to the comfort of his guests.
He is a native of Canada, born January 7, 1852, and is of Irish lineage. His parents, Jeremiah and Teresa (Regan) Shea, were both born on the Emerald Isle, and in early life crossed the Atlantic to Canada, where the father died when quite a young man. His wife reached the advanced age of eighty-one years, and departed this life in Boise, Idaho. Our subject was only seventeen years of age when he first came to Idaho. In company with his brother, Con Shea, he brought a drove of cattle from Texas to this state, and here sold them. For three successive years they made similar trips and, although the long journey was often a trying one, they were unmolested by Indians and met with no loss. For a number of years they continued in the stock business, making Silver City their headquarters. Con Shea now makes his home in Santa Rosa, California, being one of the wealthy residents of that beautiful city. He of whom we write, however, has continued his residence in Silver City and has become an important factor in the business life of Owyhee County. In addition to his proprietor-ship of the Idaho Hotel, he is also the senior partner in the mercantile firm of Shea, McLain & Crete, proprietors of an extensive store, and has an interest in the Monmouth mine, which is located twelve miles from Silver City.
In 1881 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Shea and Miss Lizzy Conners. They reside in the hotel and in this community they are widely and favorably known. Mr. Shea has a wide acquaintance throughout the state, and is very popular with the traveling public. In politics he is a “silver” Republican, but has neither time nor inclination to seek office. His energies are largely devoted to his business interests, and he is a man of excellent business and executive ability, who carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes. He forms his plans readily, is determined in his execution, and his regard for the ethics of commercial life, combined with his enterprise, has won him success and the unqualified confidence of the community.