Biography of James W. Shaw
North Central Ohio Biographies

James Wilson Shaw, of Ashland, is one of the leading funeral directors of Ashland County, where he has followed his profession for the past 20 years. He was born on a farm east of Savannah, Ohio, Feb. 9, 1866, the son of John and Ann (Lindsay) Shaw.

The Shaw family came to Ohio from Pennsylvania in 1818 and were among the first settlers of Savannah. John Shaw was born here and spent his entire life in this section as a farmer. He died in 1906 and his wife died in 1918. Both are buried in Savannah Cemetery. Ann (Lindsay) Shaw was born in Ruggles Township, Ashland County, and was of Scotch ancestry. To Mr. and Mrs. Shaw were born two sons: James Wilson, the subject of this sketch; and Robert Nelson, who is a pharmacist in charge of the drug department of Akron City Hospital. He served in France throughout the World War, and his son, Harry, also was in the service.

James Wilson Shaw lived on his father's farm during his early life and attended the public schools of Savannah, also being a graduate of Savannah Academy. As a young man he became interested in the drug business at Savannah in partnership with his brother, and they continued in business for a period of 14 years. Mr. Shaw then took up the study of embalming in Columbus under the direction of Prof. Clark, and in 1892 obtained his license at Cleveland. It was numbered 309A, which indicates the fact that Mr. Shaw was among the first few hundred to be licensed in Ohio. He disposed of his business interests at Savannah in 1911 and at that time located in Ashland, where he has since been well known as a funeral director. His funeral home and chapel are located at Washington and Center streets.

Mr. Shaw was married (first) in 1888 to Miss Mary Gibson of Savannah, who died in 1916. She was the daughter of John and Catherine (Grissinger) Gibson, both deceased. To this union was born one daughter, Edna, who is the wife of Ralph Moore, of Ashland. Mr. Shaw was married (second) in 1918 at Ashland to Minnie (Hoover) Denbow, who was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, May 25, 1885, the daughter of Arthur C. and Adeline (McDaniel) Hoover. The former died in 1926 and the latter in 1890. By a former marriage Mrs. Shaw has three children: 1. Dorothy Faye, born in 1907, a graduate of Ashland High School, class of 1925, lives at home. 2. Harry Wilbur, born in 1909, a graduate of Ashland High School, class of 1927, lives at Painesville, Ohio. 3. Gladys Vera, born in 1912, a graduate of Ashland High School, class of 1930.

Mr. Shaw is a Republican and served as a member of the Ohio State Legislature from 1921 until 1924. He holds membership in the Presbyterian Church and is affiliated with the Masonic Lodge, 32nd degree. He also belongs to the Lions Club and Ashland Country Club.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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