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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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TOM SHELTON, mechanical engineer, McKeesport, was born at Abbotts Ripton, Huntingdonshire, England, Sept. 1, 1847. He was educated at Cowper’s House School, Huntingdon, and was apprenticed, to learn mechanical engineering and drafting, to James Armitage, of Ramsey, England, with whom he served three years, and two years with James and Frederick Howard, Bedford, England. He came to America in 1865, and located in Detroit, Mich., where he filled the position of mechanical engineer of the Detroit Locomotive-works one year, and in the same capacity he served two years under I. H. Condon, of the U. P. R. R., at Omaha, Neb. In the winter of 1868-69 he returned to his home in England, and in 1872 superintended the erection of the steam cultivating machinery and Howard safety boilers for J. & T. Howard for the world’s exposition at Vienna. In September, same year, he returned to England, and later sailed for New York to superintend the erection of cultivating and sugar machinery in Ascension county, La., for E. C. Palmer & Co., New Orleans, remaining there until April, 1874. He then went to Boston, Mass., and May 18, same year, engaged with the Howard Boiler Manufacturing company as mechanical engineer. June 1 he returned to England for his family, and arrived in New York city July 3, where he erected the Howard safety boilers in the Fifth avenue hotel and the American Institute. Being released by his firm for three months, he went to Cuba, as consulting engineer, to adjust some matters in regard to machinery that had been built in Scotland. He returned to New York in January, 1875, and resumed his position with the Howard Safety Boiler company.

In March, same year, he settled in McKeesport and began the erection of six fifty-horse power Howard safety boilers for the National Tube-works company, which were completed May 1, 1876. At the same time he built one fifty-horse power Howard boiler for exhibition at the centennial in Philadelphia, and also erected the exhibit of pipe, consisting of pipe from one-sixteenth to sixteen inches in diameter, and varying in length from one to twenty-seven feet, for the National Tube-works company, and which was pronounced by competent critics the best pipe display ever on exhibition. He then resigned his position as mechanical engineer for the Howard Safety Boiler company, and accepted that of chief engineer at the National Tube-works, which position he held ten years, and during that time, in 1883-84, he erected water-works at Duluth, Brainerd and Fergus Falls, Minn.; Corsicana and Dallas, Tex., Pueblo, Colo., and at Mamaroneck, N. Y., the last named being a private affair put up by prominent parties of New York to supply them pure water at their summer residences. In 1886 Mr. Shelton accepted a position with the National Tube-works company as consulting engineer and superintendent of their national gas-lines, and during the past three years has superintended the construction of upward of thirty different pipe-lines in Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland counties, most of which lines center in Pittsburgh. He has also patented several devices of joints and safety escapes for the different gas lines running into Pittsburgh and McKeesport, Pa., Youngstown and Findlay, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Ind. The pipe lines he has put in range from eight to twenty-four inches in diameter for natural-gas purposes, and exceed over eight hundred miles in different sizes. Mr. Shelton is a natural-gas expert, and has discovered and developed upward of a dozen wells in the Murrysville district.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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