Aldrich History Project

Chapter LII

William M. Shaw

SHAW, WILLIAM M. William Milton, the youngest son, and the youngest of the children, but one, of Judge Richard and Mary Shaw, was born of the Shaw homestead, on the west side of the river, opposite Clearfield, on the 28th day of November, in the year 1832. Up to the time of arriving at the age of twenty-one years, William lived at the home of his parents, rendering them such assistance in the care and cultivation of the farm as was required of him, and in attending school at the old academy. On attaining the age of twenty-one, he married Martha Jane Irwin, daughter of Jacob Irwin, and thereafter for a period of about six years, he continued his residence on the farm. He then went west where he established a mercantile business at Lowden, Cedar county, Iowa. Just as he became fairly engaged in a successful business the war commenced, and, owing to the disturbed condition of the country, and the uncertainty and doubt that clouded every branch of trade, he deemed it prudent to, and did sell his business and stock.

Although Mr. Shaw never became a regularly enlisted volunteer in the service, he joined with the Fourteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry in the capacity of hospital steward, and passed one winter with the regiment at Helena, Ark. He then came back to Pennsylvania and resided for about a year at Hayesville, a small town a few miles distant from Pittsburgh, where he was considering a business proposition; but believing the investment to be unwise, he returned to Clearfield. After a short time he entered the office of Dr. Ashley P. Hills, with whom he learned the art of dental surgery, and up to the year 1886 the practice of dentistry was his chief occupation. In the last named year he entered the County National Bank, in the capacity of teller, and so continued until the year 1871, when he advanced to the position of cashier, which he has since held.

As one of the sons of Judge Shaw, our subject was given not only the advantages of early education in early academy of Clearfield, but was instructed by his father in such branches of business as he was for many years engaged. This training seems to have been well bestowed, as William M. Shaw is reputed to be one of the most careful, thorough and capable business men of the country and not only that, he is known to be a man of strict integrity and honesty in each and every business transaction; generous and ever willing to yield a point rather than to be considered in the slightest degree unfair. Of the start in life given him by a kind father, and a subsequent goodly inheritance from the same source, Mr. Shaw has made profitable use, and now lives in the full enjoyment thereof, and the respect and confidence of his fellowmen as well. His residence is one of the finest of the many that adorn the county-seat. While he has never been a conspicuous or enthusiastic advocate of the various affairs or measures that have been proposed for the benefit of the county, he is none the less interested in each of them, and renders such assistance and support as is productive of the most substantial results.

Both he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, and of their means contribute generously to the support of that church.

Source: Pages 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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