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Francis C. Shenehon papers

Identifier: Mss060

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains both family papers of the Cross and Shenehon families and business papers of Francis Shenehon.

FAMILY PAPERS:The collection contains diaries, letters, clippings, diplomas, Christmas cards, and financial account books relating to the Shenehon and Cross families. There are five envelopes of photographs, mainly of members of the Cross and Shenehon families. Included are groups of papers of family members including:

Judson Cross, 1858-1901. He was the father of Katherine Byrd Shenehon. Included in the folders are his papers of service in the Confederate army, correspondence, and papers written by Judson Cross.

Mary Shenehon Hart Loring, 1909-1951. Included are diaries and letters.

Cross-Shenehon Family Ancestry, 1820-1929. Includes correspondence, obituaries, clippings, and Civil War papers.

Eleanor Shenehon, 1938-1946. Mainly includes correspondence.

Lewis Washburn Child, 1922-1972. He was the husband of Katherine Shenehon Child. Included are letters, account ledgers, and other miscellaneous items.

Katherine ("Casey") Shenehon Child, 1915-1951. There are six folders of letters received by Katherine, arranged chronologically. Also included are diaries and memorabilia from her high school and college years.

Clare Shenehon Boyd, 1929-1931. A small group of letters and miscellaneous memorabilia.

Katherine Byrd Cross Shenehon, 1880-1937. Includes letters to Katherine, her diaries, a household account book, and writings by Katherine.

Francis Clinton Shenehon Personal Papers, 1892-1941. One folder contains a few letters and miscellaneous items.

BUSINESS PAPERS of Francis C. Shenehon: There are thirteen reels of 8mm, silent, black-and-white motion picture film of European dams, power plants, towns, cities, and countryside, taken by Shenehon in the 1920s and 1930s. Also present are numerous reports of Shenehon from his work on the Lake Survey (1900-1906) and preservation of Niagara Falls (1911 and 1919). Also included is some business correspondence, copies of books written by Shenehon including Regulation of Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers(1919) and Preservation of Niagara Falls(1911), speeches given by Shenehon, and articles and clippings by or about him.

A detailed listing of materials in the collection is available in the Archives.


  • Creation: 1820-1972
  • Creation: (bulk 1909-1935)


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

The collection is open and available for use in the Andersen Library Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright was not transferred to the Archives. Please check with the curator.

Biographical Sketch for Francis Clinton Shenehon (1861-1939)

Francis Shenehon was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1861. He came to Minneapolis in 1878 and worked on a survey crew for the Soo Line Railroad, then as a member of the firm of Cox & Shenehon (1888-1890), and later as an employee in the U.S. War Department on the construction of New Fort Brady at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. He studied civil engineering at the University of Minnesota through correspondence courses and graduated in 1895. Following graduation, he was employed on the U.S. Lake Survey of the Great Lakes and a survey of the St. Lawrence River (1898-1909). This included a study of and report on the stabilization and preservation of Niagara Falls.

In 1909 Shenehon became Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Minnesota, a position he held until 1917. From 1917 to 1919 he was a consulting engineer to the Sanitary District of Chicago, then entered partnership with Adolph Meyer in the firm of Shenehon & Meyer in Minneapolis. The partnership was dissolved in 1923, and Shenehon was appointed vice president and general manager of Byllesby Engineering and Management Corporation of Chicago. In 1928 he resumed general engineering practice in Minneapolis.

Shenehon married Katherine Byrd Cross in 1891 and they had three daughters: Eleanor Shenehon, Clare Shenehon Boyd, and Katherine ("Casey") Shenehon Child. Shenehon died in Minneapolis on October 3, 1939.


4 boxes (6 cubic feet)


The collection includes Shenehon family papers including the Judson Cross papers, the Cross-Shenehon family ancestry papers, the Lewis Washburn Child papers, personal papers of family members, and many photographs. Included are F.C. Shenehon’s Regulation of Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers(1919), and Preservation of Niagara Falls(1911), with other publications and unpublished papers.

Physical Location

Mezz (R79, D5, S3-4); HB (R5, D5, S16)

Other Finding Aid

An unpublished finding aid with detailed contents is available. Please contact the Upper Midwest Literary Archives for details.


Donated to the Archives by Thomas Murphy circa 1980. The papers had been in an estate sale from the home of a Shenehon family member.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Archives staff.

Francis C. Shenehon papers
Archives staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Literary Archives Collecting Area