Biography of William Shaw
Audubon County, IA Biographies

The following is a brief sketch of a man who, by close attention to business, has achieved marked success in the world's affairs, and has risen to an honorable position among the enterprising farmers of Audubon county. His record is a plain one, rendered remarkable by no strange or mysterious adventures, no wonderful and lucky accidents and no tragic situations, he being simply an estimable citizen, whose integrity and strong personality have forced him into an admirable notoriety, which his modesty never would have sought, and he commands the respect of his contemporaries, he having created a deep impression upon the life of the community in which he has lived for so many years.

William Shaw is one of the largest landowners in Audubon county, if not the largest. He owns over seventeen hundred acres of land, ten hundred and seventy three acres of which are in Cameron township, two hundred and thirty eight acres of which are in Lincoln township, and a hundred and sixty six and five tenths acres of which are in Leroy township. Mr. Shaw at present is farming four hundred and twenty five acres, which comprises the home farm. He has a fine house of eighteen rooms, thoroughly modern, situated on a hill, surrounded by trees and shrubbery and flowers. All of the out buildings are neat and well kept, the whole place bespeaking the prosperity and good taste of its owner.

Mr. Shaw feeds annually sixty head of cattle and at least one car load of hogs every year. He raises one hundred and twenty acres of corn, which yields him fifty bushels to the acre. Mr. Shaw has six sets of buildings on his estate, and altogether carries on the most extensive operations of any farmer in Audubon county.

William Shaw was born in Scotland on March 1, 1850, the son of James and Elizabeth (Rennie) Shaw, farming people in that country, both of whom are now deceased. Robert, a brother of William Shaw, lives in Ohio. A sister, Mrs. Alice Schooler, lives in Canada. William Shaw was married in Scotland on June 26, 1878, to Margaret Taylor, who was born on September 17, 1853, in Ayrshire, made famous by Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet. She is a daughter of James and Agnes (Foote) Taylor, also farming people, and she had two sisters, Mrs. Agnes Wallace and Mrs. Isabelle Dikes, who also came to America, but both of whom are now deceased. In 1880 William Shaw and wife came to America, coming west with little delay. While Mrs. Shaw stopped for a time at her sister's home in Illinois, Mr. Shaw came on to Davenport, Iowa, finally coming to Audubon county, where he purchased one hundred and thirty five acres of raw prairie land in section 19 of Cameron township, at fifteen dollars an acre, and from that time he prospered. In 1890 he purchased more land and has continued buying land ever since, having been remarkably successful in his farming operations. His land has cost him fifteen, twenty, one hundred and forty and one hundred and seventy five dollars an acre, the latter price having been paid when he purchased land in 1915.

To William and Margaret (Taylor) Shaw eleven children have been born, all of whom are living save one, as follow: Agnes Fulton, born on June 21, 1879, married Ora Mischler, of Cameron township; James Taylor, February 22, 1881, married Nettie Wenig, of Cameron township; Elizabeth Rennie, February 22, 1881; William Wallace, May 5, 1883, died on April 17, 1889; John Slimen, November 20, 1884, residing in Gray, married Mabel Welsh; Margaret, November 5, 1887, wife of Charles King, of Cameron township; Isabelle, May 5, 1889, wife of William Summerville, of Carroll county; Jessie, July Jo, 1891; Archena, May 24, 1894; Pearl, February 25, 1897, and Effie, August 20, 1899.

It is a noteworthy fact that William Shaw purchased the first groceries and merchandise ever sold in the town of Gray. He also purchased the first pair of trousers sold in that town. Mr. Shaw is a Republican, and served as trustee of Cameron township for six years, giving a most efficient and satisfactory administration. He also has been school director for twelve years, his service in this connection having done much for the betterment of the schools. Though Mr. and Mrs. Shaw and family are members of the Presbyterian church, they all attend the Methodist Episcopal church.

History of Audubon County, Iowa
Its People, Industries and Instutions
H. F. Andrews, Editor
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis - 1915

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