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William F. Sheehan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Francis Sheehan
William Francis Sheehan 001.jpg
Lieutenant Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1892 – December 31, 1894
GovernorRoswell P. Flower
Preceded byEdward F. Jones
Succeeded byCharles T. Saxton
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
In office
January 1, 1891 – December 31, 1891
Preceded byJames W. Husted
Succeeded byRobert P. Bush
Minority Leader of the New York State Assembly
In office
January 1, 1886 – December 31, 1890
Preceded byWilliam Caryl Ely
Succeeded byMilo M. Acker
Member of the
New York State Assembly
from the 1st Erie district
In office
January 1, 1885 – December 31, 1891
Preceded byCornelius Donohue
Succeeded byJohn J. Clahan
Personal details
Born(1859-11-06)November 6, 1859
Buffalo, New York, US
DiedMarch 14, 1917(1917-03-14) (aged 57)
Manhattan, New York, US
Resting placeHoly Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna, New York
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseBlanche Nellany (1869–1929)
EducationSt. Joseph's Collegiate Institute
NicknameBlue-Eyed Billy

William Francis Sheehan (November 6, 1859 – March 14, 1917) was an American lawyer and politician from New York.[1] A Democrat, he was most notable for serving as Speaker of the New York State Assembly in 1891 and Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1892 to 1894.

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He was born in Buffalo, New York, on November 6, 1859.[1] He was educated in the public schools of Buffalo and St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.[1] He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1881, and practiced in Buffalo.[1]

He began his political career as a clerk in the office of his brother John Sheehan, who was City Controller of Buffalo until Grover Cleveland refused to have him on the Democratic ticket when Cleveland ran for Mayor in 1881.

He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Erie Co., 1st D.) in 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890 and 1891. He was Minority Leader from 1886 to 1890, and Speaker of the New York State Assembly in 1891. As an assemblyman, he secured the appointments of his brother John as a clerk in the New York Aqueduct Board; and of his law partner Charles F. Tabor as First Deputy New York Attorney General.

Sheehan was the Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1892 to 1894, elected at the New York state election, 1891. Afterwards he established a prosperous law firm in New York City with Alton B. Parker. He was a member of the New York State Democratic Committee from 1889 to 1893, and a member from New York of the Democratic National Committee in 1891 and 1896. He was a delegate to the 1912 Democratic National Convention.

In the U.S. Senate election of 1911, he was the Democratic candidate to succeed Chauncey Depew as U.S. Senator from New York. Sheehan was nominated by the Democratic caucus, but was successfully blocked by a group of "Insurgents", led by State Senator Franklin D. Roosevelt.

He was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1915.

He died on March 14, 1917, at his home on 16 East Fifty-sixth Street in Manhattan at age 57. The funeral service was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral and he was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Lackawanna.[2][3]


He was married to Blanche Nellany (1869–1929), sister of Charles V. Nellany; her portrait by the Swiss-born American artist Adolfo Müller-Ury (1862–1947) painted in the autumn of 1903, is today in the Buffalo History Museum.


  1. ^ a b c d "William Francis Sheehan (1895-1917) Papers". Retrieved 2012-10-10. William F. Sheehan (1895-1917) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. Born in Buffalo, New York, he graduated from St. Joseph's College and was admitted to the bar in 1881. He practiced in Buffalo from 1881 to 1895 and in New York City from 1895 until his death. He directed several companies, and served in the New York State Assembly from 1885 to 1891 ...
  2. ^ "William Francis Sheehan". The journal of the American Irish Historical Society. American Irish Historical Society. 1918. Retrieved 2012-10-10. William Francis Sheehan, noted corporation lawyer, once lieutenant governor of New York, and a power in Democratic politics, died March 14, 1917 at his home, 16 East Fifty-sixth Street, after an illness of more than a year. He had been in Florida since January 10, and returned home late Tuesday afternoon. He was suffering from kidney disease, and a few hours after reaching his home he had a relapse.
  3. ^[user-generated source]


External links

New York State Assembly
Preceded by
Cornelius Donohue
New York State Assembly
Erie County, 1st District

Succeeded by
John J. Clahan
Political offices
Preceded by Minority Leader in the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
Preceded by Speaker of the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of New York
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 15 March 2023, at 16:38
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