Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
The Shaw family are of Welsh extraction. The progenitor of the American branch came from Wales many years ago,
and settled in Stonington, Conn., and from there removed to Rensselaer County, N. Y., where they engaged in agricultural
pursuits. Samuel Shaw, Sr., grandfather of James, was in the Revolutionary war, and held a Lieutenantís commission.
James Shaw was born in Berlin, Rensselaer Co., N. Y., February 28, 1813, and was reared onafarm, receiving a common-school
education. He remained with his parents, Samuel, Jr., and Elizabeth Shaw, and and assisted them on the farm until
1840, when he, accompanied by his wife, Maria P. (Wheeler), to whom he was married March 2, 1839, started for the
West to carve out for himself a home. He first purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Howard Township,
only twenty acres of which had been partially prepared for cultivation, and commenced life, after the manner of
all pioneers, in a log house. About twenty years subsequent, he disposed of this farm, intending to go farther
West, but eventually purchased the farm in Howard on which he now resides. He has been successful in accumulating
a competency, and is now enjoying the fruits of a well-spent life. In polities, he has been a conservative Democrat,
and has been honored with various township offices, including that of Supervisor, to which position he was unanimously
elected for 1844, and again for 1846, his name being placed on the head of both the Democrat and Whig tickets,
which is a testimonial of appreciation worthy the man. He served as member of the State Legislature in the sessions
of 1845 and 1847, and during the latter term was appointed Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Manufactures.
As candidate for the Legislature in 1860, in a Repnblican district, he ran far ahead of his ticket. He was also
candidate for the State Senate in 1868. He was frequently on the stump in important political campaigns, and was
accounted an efficient speaker. his public career has been such as to gain the full confidence, not only of his
political friends, but also those who opposed him, for he is a man who despises to engage in anything underhanded
to accomplish his objects, he being scrupnlonsly honest.
His first wife, who was born February 13, 1823, having departed this life in November, 1860, leaving one child,
A. J. Shaw, he married, December 21, 1868, Margaret E., daughter of .James Dennison, who was a descendant of George
Dennison, a Colonel in the war of 1812. Mrs. Shaw was born in Berlin, N. Y., February 24, 1829. They have no children.
History of Cass Couny, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of it's Prominent Men and Pioneers.
Waterman, Watkins & Co., Chicago 1882.