Thomas J Shaner


THOMAS J. SHANER, sheriff of Armstrong county, and a man whose influence has been felt in this locality for some years, although he is still in the very prime of vigorous manhood, was born Feb. 12, 1877, in Westmoreland county, Pa., a son of David F. and Martha J. (Owens) Shaner.

The founder of the Shaner family in the United States was a native of Germany who settled in Westmoreland county at an early date, and became one of the prosperous farmers of that region.

Henry Shaner, father of David F. Shaner, and grandson of the first Shaner in America, was born and reared in Westmoreland county, Pa., where he spent his useful life. He, too was a successful farmer and good business man. His family numbered eighteen children, most of whom grew to maturity, and thirteen of them still survive, being numbered among the venerable residents of Westmoreland county.

David F. Shaner moved to Apollo, Armstrong county, about 1883, and has continued to make his home there ever since. For many years he was employed in the iron mills there, but is now retired from active life. He and his wife had seven children, as follows: Harry E.; Lazarus H.; William A.; Thomas J.; Frank B.; Bessie, deceased; and Jennie K.

Thomas J. Shaner was educated at the public schools of Apollo and in a commercial college, where he took a comprehensive business course. Following this he became a clerk in a hardware and grocery store, where he remained until Jan. 1, 1904, when he was appointed deputy sheriff under Erwin E. Cochrane. His three years of faithful service proved his worth, and three years later he was appointed to the same office by Sheriff Frick. For three years more he discharged the duties of this important office, and was the logical candidate of his party for sheriff in 1909, receiving a majority of 2,916, the largest ever given a nominee for this office.

On June 12, 1907, Mr. Shaner was married to Jennie E. Shaffer, daughter of Chambers A. Shaffer, of Kittanning. Two children, Mary Lucille and Kenneth Owen, have been born of this marriage. Mr. Shaner is a consistent member of the Baptist Church. Since he entered upon the duties of his office, Jan. 1, 1910, a decided improvement has been made in such county matters as come under his jurisdiction, and the people of Armstrong county feel that in him they have a first-class, conscientious and business-like sheriff.

Source: Pages 768-769 Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 1998 by Kathy Zagorac for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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