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Mike Shonsey

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Mike Shonsey

Posted: 980337600000
Classification: Biography
Edited: 993256515000
Surnames: Shonsey, O'Shaughnessy, McCarthy, Sisler, Masters
Mike Shonsey, was the second child/son of my gg grandparents Thomas (O')Shaughnessy and Margaret McCarthy. He was born 6 Sept. 1864 in Pickering, Ontario Co., Ontario, Canada and baptised on 23 October 1864 at St John the Evangelist Parish in Whitby, Ontario, Canada. He came to the United States about 1867 with his parents and 2 siblings, older brother John H. and younger sister Margaret Easther. 3 other children were born in Ohio, sister Mary Catherine, aka Mayme, and brothers Thomas and Daniel Dennis. The elder Thomas Shaughnessy was killed in an accident in 1871. In about 1879, Mike went west with Mr.Thomas Hord, a local cattleman, as a cowhand. Mike's early days in the western US are described in this except from the "Encyclopedia of Western Lawmen & Outlaws" by Jay Robert Nash.
"Shonsey, Mike, prom. 1890s-1900s, U.S., gunman. Moving to Wyoming's cattle country from Ohio, Mike Shonsey started out as a cowboy but soon became ranch foreman. During the infamous Johnson County War he joined forces with the powerful cattlemen and hired on as a gunman with the Woming Cattle Growers' Association. On Apr. 9, 1892, Shonsey rode into the camp of the Regulators association stating that he had found fourteen rustlers at the KC Ranch. The Regulators spread out before dawn to catch them, with Shonsey and five men posting themselves in a gulch behind a ranch cabin. When the Regulators closed in they only found Nate Champion and Nick Ray along with unemployed ranch hands Ben Jones and Bill Walker. Jones and Walker came out of the cabin at dawn and were captured. But when Ray appeared, shooting erupted and he was wounded. Champion covered the dying Ray and helped him back inside. In mid-afternoon Jack Flagg, a small-time rancher, came by and was shot at but escaped. Flagg left his wagon behind and the Regulators set it on fire and pushed it against the cabin. Champion came out firing a six-gun and a Winchester and ran barefoot toward the gulch. When Shonsey and his five companions opened fire, Champion fell with twenty-eight bullet holes in his body. The Regulators pinned a note to the dead man's shirt which read, "Cattle thieves, beware."
In May 1893 at a cattle camp twenty miles northeast of Lusk, Wyo., Shonsey found Dudley Champion, twin brother of the slain Nate. After a short talk with him Shonsey pulled a gun, shot Champion, and ran from the camp. Champion, whose gun was jammed with dirt, died without firing a shot. Shonsey went to Lusk, where he was released after pleading self-defense to a murder charge, then headed to Cheyenne to catch a southbound train. He eventually returned to Wyoming where he died of old age. He was one of the last survivors of the Johnson County War."

Mike married Olive Belle Sisler in 1891 in O'Neill, Holt Co., Nebraska. He and Olive had 4 children, namely, John Harold Shonsey, Michael Gerald Shonsey, Thomas B. Shonsey, and Margaret Shonsey (Mrs. Schuyler Masters). Following Olive's death he married Hannah L. ??. Mike died 5 Aug 1954 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
LBaker4000 980337600000 
Betty White 1109265807000 
retplnng 1321475681000 
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