The state of Maine has furnished the country with many prominent men in different lines of business and professions, and in central California the name of H. C. Shaw, whose death at the age of more than threescore years and ten occurred at Stockton, in October, 1904, stood out as a synonum for whatever good can be said of any good citizen. He figured most prominently in the business annals of California, and his record stands unblemished by any act calculated to bring forth adverse criticism.
He was born in Steuben, Maine, November 9, 1833, and was a son of William N. and Nancy (Stevens) Shaw, both deceased. Up to the age of thirteen he remained at home attending district school, at which time he went to North Yarmouth, Maine, and after a period in school in that locality entered Phillip's Academy an Andover, Massachusetts. His first business experience was in Boston as a clerk in a store, and in 1851 he came to San Francisco and for one year was with his brother in the shipping and commission business. Believing that a better future awaited him in mining, he entered into this occupation at Bidwell's bar on the north fork of the Feather river. Owing to sickness overtaking him he was unsuccessful in this venture, and the effects of his sickness remaining with him he went to the Sandwich islands to recuperate. On his return he went to Washington territory and accepted a position with C. L. Strong at a trading post on Neah bay, where he remained two years. He then went to Washoe district in Nevada, but, sickness again overtaking him at the big trees, he returned to Washington. In 1861 he came to Stockton and clerked in a hardware and agricultural implement store, and later on, when the business was incorporated, he was one of the stockholders. Since that time he has purchased the interests of his partners and owned the entire business at the time of his death. The Shaw plow works are known throughout the coast country, and from a small beginning the business has been built up to its present large proportions. It has a very large clientele of customers and an enormous business is transacted. Honorable methods and strict attention to business ethics and principles have placed the standing of the house second to none on the coast. Colonel Shaw had hosts of friends who were most loyal to him, and it is safe to say that no man in the state stood higher in their regard. A most pleasing personality, a true consideration for the rights of others and a warm-hearted and charitable nature have been dominant factors in drawing to him the regard of his associates. In a word, he was popular because he deserved to be.
In 1901 Colonel Shaw married Miss Laura Hart, a native daughter of the state. He was a Republican in politics, and a member of the Masonic order, having attained the Knight Templar degree, and also of the Elks and Odd Fellows fraternities.
Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume I
The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine
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