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SHAW, George Henry

George H. SHAW, a farmer residing on section 30, Roberts township, is a native of Marshall county, and has here resided during his entire life. His father, George Henry SHAW, was born in Kentucky about 1798. He there grew to manhood and received a very liberal education for that day. About 1828, he came on horseback from his native state to Marshall county, and selected the present farm of our subject. He then taught school at Ox Bow Prairie, Putnam county, a few terms, and then returned to his Kentucky home. In 1831, he brought his family and took up his residence on the land which he had selected on his first visit to this state. His wife bore the maiden name of Penelope EDWARDS, and was also a native of Kentucky, in which state the wedding ceremony was performed. Their first house in this county was what was known as an open faced tent, in which they lived a short time, or until the erection of a substantial log cabin. In that dwelling they resided until 1844, when he built the brick residence now occupied by our subject.

On locating here Mr. SHAW found neighbors few and far between. Colonel STRAWN lived four miles away, and Jesse S. ROBERTS some three and a half miles distant. The place that he selected was composed of prairie and timber and was long known as Shaw’s Point. His house was an old landmark and was the temporary home of many of the early settlers in this locality. Before coming to this country, Mr. SHAW had learned surveying and his services were often in demand in this new country.

To George H. and Penelope SHAW were born seven children: Stoughton in early manhood fell from a tree and was killed; Elizabeth Ann, widow of Dr. Henry TESMER, is now postmistress at Sparland, Marshall county; Penelope R., deceased, was the wife of Fielding MILES, of Kansas; Thomas M., is judge of the circuit court of this district; Mary, wife of H. D. WHITCOMB, lives in Bloomington, Illinois; Almira is deceased; George H. completes the family. The mother of these children died in 1840, and the father married Emma EDWARDS, a sister of his first wife. She died about 1872. He survived her, dying in February, 1877.

During the first decade of the history of Marshall county, George H. SHAW was a prominent figure. In the Black Hawk war he served as a private soldier. In the establishment of the present school system he took a lively interest and helped organize many of the school districts of the county. Politically he was a democrat, and firmly believed in the principles of the party. For several years he served as supervisor and also collector of Roberts township. In religious belief he was a Universalist, though never a member of the church.

The subject of this sketch grew to manhood on the farm where he now resides and received his primary education in the district schools, after which he attended school at Lacon for one year and finished his course at Lombard college at Galesburg. After leaving that institution he taught the district school near his home and also in the district north. In August, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Fort, and was appointed one of the sergeants. The company was raised in this locality. It joined the regiment at Bird’s Point, and served under Grant, taking part in the engagements at Fort Donelson, and also both days at Shiloh. On the 10th of May, 1863, Mr. SHAW was promoted second lieutenant of his company, and shortly after was in the battle of Champion Hills, and later in the siege of Vicksburg. The regiment was then sent to the Yazoo river, and at Liverpool Heights and Yazoo City met the enemy. It was sent in numerous expeditions from Vicksburg and was in the Jackson, Mississippi, campaign, in which they had several fights, going and returning. Lieutenant SHAW was in command of a force protecting a transport of two boats in tow, going to Duvall’s Bluff. They landed at night, and were fired into, but came off all right.

In consequence of ill health, Lieutenant SHAW resigned his commission December 20, 1864, and returned home, and has since resided upon the old homestead, but has never been in the enjoyment of good health. He takes no active part in political affairs, but feels a lively interest in the various Grand Army re-unions of his district.

Extracted April 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

George Henry SHAW resides upon a farm in Roberts township but largely leaves the active work of the fields to others, while he is enjoying a well merited rest. He was born April 3, 1840, in a log cabin which occupied the site of his present fine brick residence on his farm in the southwestern corner of the township. His father, George Henry SHAW, was a native of Kentucky, born about 1798. He there grew to manhood and acquired a liberal education for that day, being a fellow student of Buchanan. About 1828 he came to Illinois, making the journey on horseback to Marshall county, where he selected the present farm of his son George. He then taught school at Washington, Illinois, for a few terms, after which he returned to his Kentucky home. In 1831, however, he brought his family to Marshall county and took up his residence upon the farm which he had selected on first coming to Illinois and which is now the home of George H. SHAW of this review. He continued to carry on farming throughout his active business career and died in 1877, at the age of eighty years. On the 5th of August, 1828, he wedded Penelope R. EDWARDS, also a native of Kentucky, in which state the marriage was celebrated. Their first home in this county was what was known as an open faced tent, in which they lived for a short time, or until the erection of a very substantial log cabin, which was the family home until 1844, when Mr. SHAW erected a brick residence. His wife died in May, 1840, during the infancy of their son George H., and the father afterward married Emma EDWARDS, who departed this life in 1871. By his first marriage he had seven children: Stoughton, who was killed by falling from a tree in early manhood; Elizabeth Ann, who is the widow of Dr. Henry TESMER and resides in Sparland, Illinois; Penelope R., the deceased wife of Fielding MILES, of Kansas; Thomas M., who was judge of the circuit court of this district, but is now deceased; Mary, the wife of H. D. WHITCOMB, a resident of Bloomington, Illinois; Almira, who died in infancy; and George H., of this review.

During the first decade of the history of Marshall county George Henry SHAW, the father, was a prominent figure. He served as a private soldier in the Black Hawk war and in the establishment of the present school system he took a lively interest and assisted in organizing many of the school districts of the county. Politically he was a democrat, with firm belief in the principles of the party. For several years he served as supervisor and also as collector of Roberts township. In religious belief he was a Universalist, though never a member of the church. His house was one of the early landmarks of the county and was the temporary home of many of the early settlers of this locality. Before coming to the county he had learned surveying and his services in this direction were often in demand. As a pioneer settler he took a most active and helpful part in laying the foundation for the present progress and prosperity of the county and in promoting the material, intellectual and moral welfare of the community.

George H. SHAW, whose name introduces this record, spent the days of his boyhood and youth upon the old home farm which is still his home, and he supplemented his preliminary education, acquired in the district schools, by a year's study in Lacon and as a pupil in Lombard College at Galesburg, Illinois. He afterward engaged in teaching in the district school near his home and also in the district north and was a capable educator, imparting clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he had acquired. After the outbreak of the Civil war, however, he put aside all business and personal considerations and in August, 1861, offered his services to the government, enlisting as a member of Company I, Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Fort. He was appointed sergeant of the company, which was raised in this locality and which joined the regiment at Bird's Point, serving under General Grant and taking part in the battles of Fort Donelson and of Shiloh. On the 10th of May, 1863, Mr. SHAW was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant of his company and shortly afterward was in the battle of Champion Hills and later in the siege of Vicksburg. The regiment was then: sent to- the Yazoo river and Liverpool Heights and Yazoo City encountered the enemy in battle. The command also participated in various expeditions out from Vicksburg and was in the Jackson, Mississippi, campaign, which included several fights. Lieutenant SHAW was in command of a force protecting a transport of two boats in tow going to Duvall's Bluff. They landed at night and were fired upon, but came off without severe loss. Mr. SHAW was slightly wounded at Fort Donelson by a minie ball, which first struck his musket and glanced, hitting him in the arm. He saw much active service in Mississippi and Tennessee and he is greatly interested in reunions of the Grand Army of this district.

Mr. SHAW now has a valuable farm of two hundred and eighty acres, but has rented his land for the past sixteen years. He still lives upon the old home place, which belonged to his father, the property having never been divided among the heirs, and derives therefrom an excellent income. In his political affiliation he is an independent republican without aspiration for office, and in religious faith is a Universalist. He has a wide acquaintance in the community where his entire life has been passed and where he has so directed his labors and controlled his interests that he may be said with single consistency to be one of the foremost representatives of the community.

Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.

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