Aldrich History Project

Chapter LII

Richard Henry Shaw

SHAW, RICHARD HENRY. The subject of this sketch is a native of this county, born in Lawrence township on the 7th day of November, 1833. He was the youngest, save one, of ten children born to John and Sarah (Lee) Shaw. Young Richard was brought up on the farm of his father and lived there until he attained the age of twenty-one, when he purchased a part of the home farm, and at once commenced its improvement and cultivation, still making his home at his father's residence. For several winters he taught school in Girard, Pike, Bradford and Lawrence townships. In 1860 Mr. Shaw made a trip to Iowa with a view of locating in that country. He purchased some land and remained there a short time, when he returned home.

On the 23d day of September, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company K, of the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, for the three years service. He served

with the regiment in every engagement, except at the battle of Gettysburg, when the command were guarding a wagon train, and this service was rendered notwithstanding the fact that our subject had in the mean time been promoted to the position of hospital steward. Mr. Shaw retired from the service December 4, 1864. No better estimate of the character and worth of this man can be formed than is shown by the testimonial granted him by the officers of the regiment, upon his retirement from duty; and whatever is there said of him can be fully reiterated at the present day as indicating his moral character, integrity and position among his fellow men. The testimonial reads as follows:

"Hd. Qrs. Med. Dept., 84th Regt. Pa. Vol's.,
"2d Brigade, 3d Division, 2d Army Corps,
"Near Petersburg, Va., Dec. 5th, 1864.

"Richard H. Shaw enlisted as a private in the 84th Regt., Penn. Vols., September 23, 1861; was promoted to Hospital Steward, October 1, 1862, which position he has held until the term of his enlistment expired, December 4, 1864.

"A few of his many friends desire to add an expression of their appreciation of his high-toned moral character as a man and officer; his courteous and gentlemanly manner on all occasions, and the promptness and dispatch with which he has managed the business connected with his office. Possessing an unblemished private character, and superior business qualifications, we predict for Mr. Shaw success in any walk in life in which it shall please Providence to place him. While we sincerely regret the necessity which calls him from amongst us, we cannot but rejoice that he can, with so fair a record, leave the toils and hardships of the camp, and the battle-field, to return to his family and friends, away from the crimson field, and far from the shock of contending hosts. S. B. Sturdevant, surgeon; William Jack, asst. surgeon; John Thomas, chaplain; C. W. Forrester, adjutant, and asst. adjt.-gen.; Samuel Bryan, capt.; J. Edward Merchant, 1st lieut. and act adjt.; Joseph W. Dougherty, capt.; James H. Moore, lieut.; A. H. Taylor, 1st lieut.; John C. Wolf, 2d lieut.; John S. Jury, lieut.; James M. Lewis, 2d lieut.; L. B. Sampson, 1st lieut.; S. S. Fowler, sergt-maj.; Wm. H. Ruch, Henry Hayden and William A. Wilson, lieuts."

On the 25th day of May, 1865, Richard H. Shaw united in marriage with Sally J. Milligan, daughter of William Milligan, of Centre county, of which marriage one child has been born.

The excellent work done by Mrs. Shaw in the great cause of temperance, in the interest of humanity, is only emblematic of her true Christian character. The part taken by her in the organization and promoting the association of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, is certainly commendable and worthy of the highest praise. Since the year 1885 she has filled the office of president of the County Union and is, ex-officio, vice-president of the State Union; also she is general vice-president of the Clearfield Union.

In 1862, after having engaged for a time in farming, and holding a clerkship in Clearfield, and a few months spent in Illinois for his health, Mr. Shaw established a cigar and tobacco business in Clearfield, in which he engaged for several years, but sold out, and some months later went into the general merchandise business at Houtzdale. After remaining there about fife years, he again sold out and returned to Clearfield, where, about one year later, he opened a store in the dry goods and notion branch of trade. The latter he disposed of in 1886, since which he has not actively engaged in any business. Although frequently changing in location, Mr. Shaw has been reasonably success

ful in his various enterprises, and has been enabled to acquire sufficient means to live in comfortable retirement. During the last seven years of the life of his father, John Shaw, the latter made his home with our subject and his family, with whom his declining years were made perfectly comfortable and happy.


Source: Pages 692-694, History of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1887.
Transcribed August 1999 by Richard L. McKee for the Clearfield County Aldrich Project
Contributed for use by the Clearfield County Genealogy Project (

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