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Wilson Shaw

                                Beaver Township and Pleasant Valley Township.

WILSON SHAW was one of the earliest settlers who took up claims in Beaver Township, where he thereafter resided. His home was situated on section 25, township 33, range 3 east, and in addition to this he owned an adjoining 80 acres in Pleasant Valley Township.
Wilson Shaw was a native of Columbiana County, Ohio, where he was born May 8, 1840. Of his parents, he had very little recollection. His father died when he was very young, and his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Ann Shaw, died a few years later than her husband.
Wilson Shaw was the only child born to his parents, and remained in Ohio until he was fifteen years old. At that age, he moved to Indiana, where he began shifting for himself, mainly as a farm hand.
During the war Mr. Shaw enlisted as a private in Company B, 68th Reg., Ind. Vol. If., and remained in the service one year. Returning to Ripley County, Indiana, after the expiration of his term, he sojourned at the home of his uncle, but at his uncle’s advice, Wilson Shaw and his cousin started west to Kansas. They arrived in Cowley County in May, 1870, and Mr. Shaw filed a claim to the northeast quarter of section 25, in Beaver Township, and his cousin, David Shaw, took up an adjoining claim. They first built a log house on the claim owned by D. Shaw, and kept bachelor’s quarters in it three or four years. The logs for this house were obtained from the Arkansas River. During this period, Wilson Shaw set out shade trees and an orchard on his place, and also broke a number of acres of the virgin soil; the lane leading to the house was made several years later. In 1874, on May 17, Mr. Shaw married Nancy V. Woodruff, who journeyed to Wichita, Kansas, with his cousin, and was met in that city by the bridegroom. Teamsters then charged $10 to make the trip to Arkansas City, and therefore Mr. Shaw met his intended at Wichita, and he took his big wagon so that he could take home her baggage and some furniture she had purchased at Wichita. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw were married in the Holland schoolhouse in Pleasant Valley Township, and they commenced housekeeping at once in the little log house erected by the husband. Among the articles of furniture brought out from Wichita were half a dozen chairs, a notable incident in those days, as most families had but two; with the new furniture, the house proved entirely too small. Accordingly, Mr. Shaw hurriedly built a frame house on his claim, into which they moved August 26, 1874. From time to time a room was added, until its present size was attained in 1899. A granary was the next improvement made in the line of buildings, after the construction of the frame house, and this was put up three years later. The regular “Kansas” stable was made to answer for all purposes until about 1880, when the present substantial structure, 34 by 40 feet, in size, took its place.

Mr. Shaw’s farm was surrounded by a beautiful and well kept hedge fence. He raised the first timothy hay in the county, and also raised clover, but the latter suffered greatly from grasshoppers. Mrs. Shaw had $41.50, which she invested in two cows and two calves. From this start, in twelve years’ time, they sold $1,000 worth of stock, and had seven head still remaining. They were very successful in raising livestock, and Mr. Shaw formerly raised Poland-China hogs, from which his annual sales reached an amount between $800 and $1,000. Thirty acres of this farm were devoted to pasturage, and the remainder, including the 80 acres in Pleasant Valley Township, which he purchased at a later date, was cultivated every year. Mr. Shaw’s stock was well watered, as he had three first-class wells, over one of which was a large windmill.
Mrs. Shaw was born November 17, 1840, a daughter of George and Roxanna (Wells) Woodruff, and her native place was Switzerland County, Indiana. She was one of a family of seven children:  Nancy V., who married Wilson Shaw; Thaddeus, who was a carpenter living in Stark County, Illinois; Franklin P., who was a farmer in Gallatin County, Kentucky; Sarah F. (Denning), who lived in Cowley County, Kansas; E. J., who was a blacksmith at Hackney, Cowley County; Belle C. (Holmes), who married a farmer in Pleasant Valley Township; and Virginia (Whitford), who lived fifteen miles east of Mr. Shaw, in Cowley County. Mrs. Shaw’s people were from the Isle of Jersey, and her grandmother was born in Wales. On the mother’s side of the family, her ancestors were of French and Dutch origin. Though Mr. and Mrs. Shaw had no children of their own, their home was shared with two adopted children. One was Bessie Musselman, aged eighteen years; and the other was Hazel Beck, aged four years, who was the child of a niece.
Politically, Mr. Shaw was a Republican, and served on the school board. He was a member of the G. A. R., Siverd Post, No. 85, of Winfield, to which he belonged since 1898. Both he and wife were members of the Grange. The Shaws were Methodists. The brother of Mrs. Shaw’s grandmother was a bishop of the Methodist church, in Vermont, where the family resided many years ago.
The first Thanksgiving dinner of the neighborhood was given by Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, and Mr. Shaw had to make a special trip on horseback to Winfield for a platter of sufficient size to hold the large turkey, when taken from the oven. In attendance at the well remembered feast were Mr. and Mrs. Lucius Walton, Mr. and Mrs. Mumaw; Mr. and Mrs. Beach; Mrs. Timmerman; Mr. Hostetler; and Mr. and Mrs. Hunt, all of the oldest settlers in the neighborhood.
Wichita was the only wheat market for the county at that date, and from their home Mrs. Shaw often saw wagon trains many miles long, as far as her sight could reach, either way. The trip occupied four days, coming and going. Many times she remained alone while her husband went to market, and in those days Indians were no uncommon sight, and were not always friendly. Mr. Shaw was in company with three other men, when they met a band of 500 Indians, who were on the way to sign the treaty involving the sale of this land, and it is for Mr. Shaw to tell whether he was, or was not, nervous.
Beaver Township 1873:
Wilson Shaw, 32.
Beaver Township 1874:
Wilson Shaw, 34; spouse, Nan, 33.
Beaver Township 1875:
Wilson Shaw, 35; spouse, Nancy, 34.
Beaver Township 1878:

Wilson Shaw, 37; spouse, N. V., 37. Post Office Address: Winfield.
Beaver Township 1879:
Wilson Shaw, 38; spouse, Nancy, 38. Post Office Address: Winfield.
Beaver Township 1881:
Wilson Shaw, 40; spouse, N. V., 40.
Beaver Township 1882:
Wilson Shaw, 41; spouse, Nancy V., 40.
                                               FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Winfield Courier, June 5, 1874.
                                                        Marriage Licenses.
List of marriage licenses issued during the month of May.
                                              Wilson Shaw to Nan V. Bradford.
Winfield Courier, May 15, 1879.
                                                            MAY 10, 1879.
As Mr. John Lucas had the misfortune to lose a team this spring, thereby rendering him unable to put in a crop, several of our good citizens showed their appreciation of his manliness and sympathy for his condition by having a plowing bee Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week. The following named parties constitute the roll of honor, and who believe in helping a weary brother to pull against the stream: Messrs. John Miller, Buck Tannehill, Wilson Shaw, Wm. Beach, Wm. Butcher, James Williams, John Browning, Zack Whitson, Hilary Holtby, and another gentle­man whose modesty prevents publishing his name.
Winfield Courier, November 10, 1881.
Mr. Shaw and wife, of Indiana, and Wilsie Shaw and wife, of this place, were visiting H. Harbaugh’s Sunday.
Winfield Courier, August 17, 1882.
                                    Special Horticultural Meeting. August 12, 1882.
Society called to order in COURIER office. Minutes of regular meeting passed. Notice to Cowley County fruit growers by secretary, read by president. Messrs. Taylor, Gillett, and Hogue were appointed a committee to report on varieties of fruit on table, which was loaded with fine products of horticultural skill from orchards and garden. After an interesting discussion by members, committee and visitors present, among whom we noticed Mr. Myron Hall, of Newton, an old veteran horticulturist, who labeled, named, and arranged Kansas’ exhibition of fruit at the Centennial exhibition. We hope and expect his aid and assistance in preparing an exhibit for Topeka in September. The committee on fruit reported as follows.
We present the following on the present exhibit. I. H. Bonsall, peas, No. 1, unknown; No. 3, Bartlett; No. 2, Winter Nellis; No. 2, apples, Ben Davis. T. A. Blanchard, fine Conrad grapes. A. R. Gillett, Livingston tomato, new and fine. Capt. Lowry, very fine display of 17 Crawford’s Early peaches, 9½ inches in circumference and ½ pound weight each; also two apples, variety not determined. Mrs. Wilson Shaw, fine cluster of yellow Siberian crab.

Winfield Courier, August 17, 1882.
Among other fruit exhibits brought in during the past week were two small limbs covered with crab apples as thick as quills upon the fretful porcupine. They were presented to us by Mrs. Wilson Shaw.
Winfield Courier, October 12, 1882.
                                          PLEASANT VALLEY PENCILINGS.
Mr. Wilson Shaw obtained an average yield of twelve bushels from twenty-five acres of volunteer wheat, and thirty-three bushels from forty acres of drilled wheat.
The residence of Wilson Shaw has been remodeled, re-sided, and repainted, and now presents an attractive appearance. He and his energetic wife will next week start on a visiting tour to friends and relatives in Indiana and Ohio. They expect to be absent a couple of months.
Winfield Courier, January 25, 1883.
Mr. Wilson Shaw and wife wrote home that they are having a pleasant and enjoyable time in their visiting tour of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. They contemplate “doing” Iowa before returning. They left home last November.
Winfield Courier, February 22, 1883.
After a three months’ visiting tour among the aristocracy of the East, Mr. Wilson Shaw and wife returned home to the land that is fairer than all other lands, viz: Cowley County, Kansas. We expect to see a large immigration of their friends from the rock-bound hills and ague-laden valleys of Eastern states to this section of country.
Winfield Courier, October 11, 1883.
Mrs. Wilson Shaw, of Beaver, favored the COURIER with some splendid samples of fruit from her orchard. There were seven varieties of apples, large, well-formed, and altogether the finest collection we have ever seen. They have been the wonder of visitors from other states for several days past.
Winfield Courier, August 28, 1884.
The report of the committee on credentials was then submitted, and the following parties reported as entitled to seats in the convention.
BEAVER. L, K. Bonnewell, Wilson Shaw, Isaac Beach.
Winfield Courier, September 11, 1884.
                                      Monthly Meeting of the Horticultural Society.
                                                         September 6, 1884.
The Horticultural Society met in regular monthly session on the above date.
The Society was called to order by R. I. Hogue, President, Martin being absent.
Meeting appointed John Mentch, Secretary pro tem, in the absence of the Secretary.
President appointed committee on fruits and horticultural products on the table.
Messrs. G. W. Robertson, A. DeTurk, and Richardson, committee.
Report of committee as follows:

J. R. Richardson has apples of the following varieties: Fall Pippin, Priors Red, Pen Red Streak, two varieties unknown; all very large and fine.
Mr. Jennings: Fall Pippin and Pen Red Streak, fine.
G. W. Robertson: Rambo, Grimes Golden, Willow Twig, Jonathan, Rome Beauty, Finks Seedling, Maiden Blush, English Russet, Domine, Ben Davis, and Medium.
Mr. DeTurk: Apple unknown, Peon, Duchess De Angolene, Clapps Favorite. Grapes: Norton’s Virginia. Peach: Gross Mignonna, Ward’s Late, Foster, Late Delaware, unknown; all fine.
C. J. Brane: Jonathan Gravenstein, Ben Davis; all very large.
J. Nixon: Apples, Pa Red Streak or Wine, Autumn Strawberry, two varieties unknown.
Wilson Shaw: St. Lawrence apple; very large.
Wilson Shaw???...
Winfield Courier, December 4, 1884.
Mr. Shaw, one half mile west of Constant, has decorated his large house with a second coat of paint, which greatly improves its appearance. Mr. Shaw is an enterprising man and will do all he can to help the appearance of our country.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 22, 1885.
Mrs. Shaw is on the sick list.
Dave and Wilson Shaw???...
                                        HACKNEY HAPPENINGS. “JACK.”
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 12, 1885.
Dave Shaw has lost thirty head of young shoats by some lung disease resembling quinsy. He thinks the fatality is due to too warm sleeping apartments.
The corn trade is getting quite lively at Hackney. Steele & Co. shipped in three carloads last week. Messrs. Dave and Wilson Shaw each received a car; and Brown & Fisher one. They paid 25 cents per bushel. M. H. Markum is feeding the second carload of corn and will soon be ready for a third.
                                                  K. C. & S. W. DAMAGES.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 22, 1885.
The board of County Commissioners has filed its report of damages allowed on the K. C. & S. W. right of way from Winfield to the south line of Pleasant Valley township, as follows: J. H. Snyder, P. B. Lee and Dr. Marsh, $15; A. G. Robinson, $643.20; S. S. Linn, $725; M. E. Rodocker, $574; N. S. Perry, $31; H. R. Shaughness, $575; Z. B. Myers, $377; Uriah Copeland, $357; Lewis Fibbs, $519.50; W. H. H. Teter, $514; Z. S. Whitson, $431.50; Holtby Estate, $325; Lucius Walton, $349.50; John W. Snyder, $526.50; Wilson Shaw, $539; Daniel Mumaw, $509.50; L. Walton, $634; J. H. Wooley, $491.50; J. R. Turner, $460.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum