Merced Sun Star, July 14, 1930



John H. Shine, who died in Sonora July 4 at the age of 82, was well known to many of the old timers in Merced county. He was an uncle of Mrs. Richard Meehan of Merced. Shine had a long and colorful career. As a soldier in the Union army at 14 and all through the Civil War, as an early California stage driver who had encounters with Black Bart, later as a Pony Express and stage line operator, he had plenty of thrills. For some years Shine operated the stage line between Oakdale and Sonora, prior to the building of the Sierra railway, which now connects those points. In his more mature years Shine served as state senator and United States marshall.

In the middle nineties Shine was Merced county's representative in the state senate when the district was composed of Merced, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties. This was in 1895 and 1897. In 1902 he was appointed U. S. marshall under McKinley and Roosevelt regimes. It was as a campaigner for the senate that Merced county got aquatinted with John Shine. He had a particularly warm spot in his affections for this county, especially Los Banos. He had a close race for the senate on one occasion, and Los Banos pulled him over the top.

The papers speak very kindly of this pioneer. One refers to him as the "grand old man of Tuolumne." Up in Sonora they used to say jokingly, "It was a man named Shine who brought us our first electric lights." He is certainly missed in Sonora, and there are regrets and reviewing of fond reminiscences in the foothills.


Transcribed by: Alma Stone