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Was born near Decatur, Macon county, Illinois, June 19, 1845. In 1846. his parents removed to Iowa and settled near Mount Pleasant. He completed his education in the Mount Pleasant high school under Prof. John. A. Smith, in 1861. From that time until 1864, he was employed as a clerk, excepting one year spent in visiting relatives at Lexington, Kentucky. In 1864 he enlisted in Company A, Forty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry for a term of 100 days. At the expiration of his enlistment he returned home and soon after made a prospecting tour to the Missouri River, visiting Omaha, Plattsmouth, and Nebraska City, and finally came to Gallatin in September 1865, where he began the study of law under Col. James H. B. McFerran and was admitted to the bar in May, 1865, by the Hon. K A. DeBolt and at once began the practice of law at Gallatin. In 1871 he was appointed, public administrator, to fill a vacancy, by Gov. Joseph McClurg, and in 1872 was elected to the same position. In 1876 he was elected Probate Judge and in 1880 was reelected his own successor.
September, 1867, Mr. Shaw was joined in marriage to Miss Jane Buchhols, a lady who was born and reared in Gallatin. They have five children; namely, Pinkie, Milo Francis, Charles Lewis, Preston and an infant.