Saturday, April 23, 2016

Cheever Lewis Shine (1872-1960), Cheever Worthington Pettay (1877-1928)

Portrait from the 1935 Bench and Bar of Florida.

    A prominent attorney based in Escambia County, Florida, Cheever Lewis Shine earns a place here on the Strangest Names In American Political History due to his 1905 candidacy for Mayor of Pensacola, Florida. Born in Tallahassee, Florida on October 24, 1872, Cheever L, Shine was the son of Richard Alexander and Laura Shine. Cheever Shine would attend the University of Virginia and in 1895 graduated with his Bachelor of Laws degree. Prior to his graduation Shine had worked on the staff of then Florida Governor Henry Laurens, under whom he served as "official court reporter."
  In the same year as his graduation Shine was admitted to the bar and established a law practice in Tallahassee. He removed to Pensacola around 1899 and would continue in the practice of law, while also entering into the political life of that city in the early 1900s. Shine would serve as referee in bankruptcy and in 1905 is recorded as serving as Pensacola City Clerk. In that same year he received the nomination of the Citizens Good Government League as Mayor of Pensacola, being one of four candidates vying for that office. Shine's opponent in that year's contest was Charles Henry Bliss, a publisher running on the "White Democratic" platform that strongly advocated white supremacy in municipal affairs. 
   Shine's campaign platform (highlighted in his campaign notice below) advocated "Good and Progressive Municipal Government", as well as a "Continuation and Extension of Public Improvement". On election day, June 6, 1905, it was Charles Bliss who won election as Mayor, besting Shine by over 400 votes (1, 229 to 801.) Bliss would subsequently win a second term in 1907 and died two months into his new term.
   In the year following his loss for mayor Cheever L. Shine was again a candidate for public office, this time running for justice of the peace for Escambia County's second district. He would later "retire" from that race and in 1907 received the honor of being named as President of the Pensacola Bar Association. In October 1922 Cheever Shine married to Pensacola native Lillian Fannie Taylor (1861-1945). The couple would remain childless through the entirety of their marriage.

A Shine campaign notice from the Pensacola Journal, May 17, 1905.

  Four years following his marriage Shine entered the business life of Pensacola when he became the district manager of the Gulf Power Company, his length of service in that post  being unknown at this time. Widowed in 1945, Cheever L. Shine died in Pensacola on October 15, 1960, just a few days shy of his 88th birthday. He was later interred at the St. John's Cemetery in Pensacola, the same resting place as that of his wife.

Portrait from the 1908 OSU Law School composite photo.

  Several months after the above article on Cheever L. Shine was completed another politically inclined "Cheever" was located....Cheever Worthington Pettay of Ohio! A former Prosecuting Attorney for Harrison County, Ohio, Cheever W. Pettay was a lifelong native of that county, being born there on November 3, 1877, a son of Elihu and Mary Rowland Pettay. Pettay would attend schools local to Harrison County and later studied at the Scio College.
   A graduate of the Ohio State University law school in the class of 1908, Pettay also read law in the office of Barclay W. Rowland, a former Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney. After being admitted to the Ohio bar Pettay established a law practice in Cadiz and in 1910 won election as Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney. He would serve in that capacity from 1911-15 and married during his term to Lenora Cavin in 1913.
  After leaving the post of Prosecuting Attorney Pettay joined the law firm of Rowland and Pettay. Little is known of the remainder of Pettay's life, excepting mention of his death in Cadiz on September 20, 1928 at age 50. His cause of death is mentioned as "apoplexy and cancer of the lungs" and he was later interred at the Cadiz Union Cemetery.

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