Monday, March 5, 2007


1835 - 1900

Christian Bernard Shea was the brother-in-law of and founding partner with Joseph Horne of The Joseph Horne Company (along with Major and A. P. Burchfield).

C Bernard Shea was a very dignified looking fellow, with a full moustache and mutton chop sideburns which he kept neatly trimmed He was involved with both halves of the family business, retail (Joseph Horne Co. Department Store) and wholesale (Pittsburgh Dry Goods Company). Their family belonged to the Episcopal Church.

Christian Bernard Shea (1835-1900) married Elizabeth Galway (1837-? before 1895); in 1880 they lived in Allegheny and Elizabeth’s sister Mary Galway lived with them:

Their children include:

- Joseph Bernard Shea (June 2, 1863-January 7, 1930) who married Clara Bell Morgan.
Their son was Christian Bernard Shea Princeton class of 1916, who married (1) Miriam McDonald (2) Irene Ciemnolonski of Duquesne, Pa., the daughter of Julius and Catherine Nowaczynski Ciemnolonski. A nurse by training, Mrs. Shea was a major contributor to the new Hillman Cancer wing at Shadyside Hospital. Also, in 2000, Mrs. Irene Shea gave a $4 million gift to create the magnificent new Princeton Boathouse in hher husband's memory: The C. Bernard Shea Rowing Center. As the Princeton athletic department reported at that time:

"We are deeply grateful to Mrs. Shea for this generous gift," said Princeton President Harold T. Shapiro. "Bernard Shea was himself an enthusiastic oarsman at Princeton, and generations of Princeton rowers will remember him and benefit from this tribute to his memory." When boating sports began at Princeton, the team practiced on the nearby Delaware and Raritan Canal - a difficult process since the canal still had a steady stream of commercial traffic. It was not until 1906 that Andrew Carnegie, from the Sheas' hometown of Pittsburgh, funded the construction of a dam, creating what is now called Carnegie Lake. Having the lake for both practices and competitions greatly strengthened the University's rowing program, which grew continuously in strength and variety.

Lightweight crew was introduced in 1922, women came on board in 1972 and women's lightweight crew was added in the fall of 1997.

"I have wonderful memories of returning to campus with my husband in the 1950s to watch the crew races," said Mrs. Shea, "and it is especially meaningful to me to help the many students who love rowing and Princeton, just as my husband did."

Mr. Shea, who died in 1961, served with the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps during World War I and was vice president and director of the Joseph Horne Co. of Pittsburgh. A member of the Graduate Council of Princeton University, he was a director and trustee of many charitable institutions, including Shadyside Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Fairview Hospital of Great Barrington, Mass.
(Princeton Athletic Communications; Release: 06/18/2006)

Mrs. Shea has also made a wonderful contribution to young people's education through the Irene C. Shea Endowed Scholarship Fund.

- George Shea (1866-)

C B Shea was 54 at the time of the Johnstown Flood.


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Robert Hlebowicz said...

Irene Shea her maiden name was CIEMNOLONSKI of Duquesne, Pa.the daughter of Julius and Catherine Nowaczynski Ciemnolonski.

Vicomte Flesym said...

Thank you, James and Robert. Your comments are very helpful. VF