William Wigmore Shannon, state printer of California, has throughout his entire business career been engaged in this department of business and has made steady and consecutive progress in keeping with the modern business spirit. Well qualified therefore for the duties which now devolve upon him, he was elected superintendent of the state printing office in 1902, and in his administration of its affairs has manifested the same enterprising spirit which characterized his control of individual business interests.
Mr. Shannon, born at San Francisco, on the 30th of May, 1858, is a son of Michael and Mary (Wigmore) Shannon, the former a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the latter of Fermoy, Ireland. In his childhood days the father accompanied his parents on their removal from Halifax to Boston, Massachusetts, where he remained until March 3, 1854, when he started for California, making the journey by way of the Nicaragua route. Prior to his removal to the Pacific coast he had worked at the cutlery business and at copper plate printing, and after reaching San Francisco he sought and obtained employment in the printing office of Frank Eastman, with whom he remained as a journeyman until 1878, when he was admitted to a partnership under the firm name of Frank Eastman & Company. This relation was maintained until the death of Mr. Eastman in 1890, when Mr. Michael shannon succeeded to the business, of which he is now the senior partner. The old firm name has been retained, and this is the pioneer printing establishment of California, having been started in 1850, and having had a continuous existence greater than that of any similar enterprises in the state. That the business has been profitable its long existence plainly indicates.
William W. Shannon pursued his education in the public schools of San Francisco and is a graduate of the Lincoln grammar school of the class of 1872. On putting aside his text-books he entered the employ of Bacon & Company, printers and publishers, with whom he remained two years. After a year spent in the employ of the Bancroft Company, he entered the service of Frank Eastman & Company, in the fall of 1874, and was foreman of the book department for many years, and his ability as a competent and faithful workman was so thoroughly recognized and appreciated by Frank Eastman & Company, that in 1898 he was admitted a member of the firm and continued his active connection with the business until his election to his present position of superintendent of the state printing office in 1902. he stands as one of the leading representatives of his line of business in California. He has given special attention to artistic work, has kept in touch with the latest processes and methods introduced into the business, and his own practical and original ideas have found exemplification in pleasing work that has given general satisfaction and which won for the house in which he was a partner a very desirable patronage. His course in office has been commendable and he has proved a worthy custodian of the printing interests of the state.
In 1880 Mr. Shannon was united in marriage to Miss Annie Dwyer, a native of The Dalles, Oregon. Two children were born to them, Austin F. and William W. The wofe and mother died in 1891, and in 1899, Mr. Shannon was again married, his second union being with Miss Annie Louise Fell, a native of San Francisco and a daughter of William Fell, who was a member of the firm of Gleason & Fell, dry-goods merchants of San Francisco.
Mr. Shannon is particularly prominent as a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West. He has filled all the chairs of California Parlor No. 1, has been a delegate to the grand parlor fifteen times, and in 1891 was elected a grand trustee of the order. He is one of the charter members and was the first chief ranger of Court Eldorado, A. O. F.; belongs to Manzanita Grove, Order of Druids; the Woodmen of the World; Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He is a past president of San Francisco Typographical Union No. 21, and was a delegate to the International Typographical Union, held at Atlanta, Georgia, in 1890. He belongs to the Union League Club and to the Press Club of San Francisco, and is well known throughout the state to representatives of the "art preservatives of all art." He has been a resident of Sacramento since his election to office, and in this as well as the city of his birth has gained a wide and favorable acquaintance.
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