GEORGE D. SHANNON. – This well-known contractor, banker and successful farmer is a man whom Nature fitted with qualities that inevitably guide their possessor to success. He was born in what is now Schuyler county, New York, December 20, 1832, and is the son of Thomas and Mehitable (Corwin) Shannon. At the age of sixteen he entered upon business for himself, and with an abundance of self-reliance began railroading, following that and other employments until 1854. Soon afterwards he came to St. Paul, Minnesota, accepting employment for a large lumber company. In 1858 he was appointed superintendent of construction of its first train, which, in 1860, he was conductor of its first train, – the first passenger train ever run west of the Mississippi in Minnesota. He followed railroading in that state until 1868, and subsequently engaged in railroad contracting in New York, Indiana and Wisconsin, completing large works on different roads in many of the Eastern states.
In 1870 he came to Olympia and accepted the position of superintendent of construction for the Northern Pacific on their line from Kalama to Tacoma. In 1873 he purchased his present valuable farm containing eleven hundred acres, ten miles from Olympia, Washington Territory, all of which he maintains in a high state of cultivation, and has improved with a beautiful home, in which he is glad to entertain in his most genial way his numerous acquaintances from among the leading citizens of the Sound country, and indeed from more remote regions.
In his capacity as member of the building committee to which he was appointed by Governor Ferry, he has been of essential service to the state; and it is due to him and his associate, Mr. A.F. Tullis, that the state possesses such a commodious and handsome building for the insane asylum. He has for the past two years been chairman of the board of trustees of the asylum. He is also vice-president of the First National Bank of Olympia, an institution of which he was one of the incorporators. He is a gentlemen of large means, and is engaged in various enterprises that tend to improve and develop his county and community. In politics he is a Democrat. Personally he is a most genial gentleman; and his friends are only limited by the number of his acquaintances.
Mr. Shannon was married in the centennial year of 1876 at Cleveland, Ohio to Miss Mary A. Kennedy. An excellent portrait appears in this history.