Biography of Wayne F. Shaw

Wayne F. Shaw grew up on a farm in Kansas, but at an early age had an ambition to teach, and had made teaching a life work and vocation, attended by unusual success. He is now superintendent of the city schools of Kingman.

Mr. Shaw is of a New England family transplanted to Kansas. His ancestors were Scotch-Irish and English people who went to Massachusetts in colonial times. One of his ancestors was a Revolutionary soldier. His grandfather, Elijah Shaw, was born at Buckland, Massachusetts, in 1813, spent his life in that state as a farmer and died at Buckland in 1896.

W. R. Shaw, father of the Kingman educator, was born at Buckland in August, 1858, grew up and married there and followed the example of his father as a farmer. In 1896 he brought his family to Kansas, and was a farmer at Grenola for ten years, but since 1907 had been in the general merchandise business at Grenola. He is a republican voter. He married Pearl Sarah Bates, who was born at Cummington, Massachusetts, in 1860, and died at Grenola, Kansas, in 1896, soon after coming to this state. Wayne F. was the oldest of his three children. Harold M. is a dentist at Altoona, Kansas; and Robert L., the youngest, died at the age of four years. W. R. Shaw married for his second wife Ruth Thompson, and after her death married Floy Watson, a native of Kansas. They have four young children named Ernest, William, Earl and Floyd.

Wayne F. Shaw was born at Buckland, Massachusetts, October 20, 1884, and was twelve years of age when he came to Kansas. His early education was acquired in the schools of his native town and at the age of sixteen he graduated from the high school at Grenola, Kansas. Then followed a year of work on the farm and in order to equip himself for his chosen role as teacher he entered the high school at Hastings, Nebraska. He was there six months when he was given an opportunity to finish out a three months’ term of school four miles away at Prosser, Nebraska. After that he returned to Kansas, taught in rural schools in Elk and Chautauqua counties four years, for one year was in the seventh and eighth grades at Howard, Kansas, and for a year was assistant principal of the Howard High School. He then accepted a call to his home town of Grenola, where for three years he was superintendent of schools. Grenola is a town of about 600. In the meantime Mr. Shaw had been working steadily for a higher education, having attended summer terms for five years at the Emporia State Normal, and then spent two years in residence at the Emporia Normal School, completing the four years’ course and graduating A. B. in 1913. The next two years he spent as superintendent of schools at St. John, Kansas, and in the fall of 1913 came to Kingman as superintendent. Mr. Shaw had under his supervision three schools, a staff of twenty-nine teachers, with 480 pupils enrolled in the grades and 270 in the high school.

He is a member of the Kingman County Teachers’ Association, the National Superintendents’ Association, and his prestige is rapidly growing in educational circles in Kansas. He is an independent republican, member of the Congregational Church and is affiliated with Kingman Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. On June 1, 1910, at Howard, Kansas, Mr. Shaw married Miss Della Pearl Courtney, daughter of W. T. and Alice (Patterson) Courtney. Her parents live at Lawrence, Kansas, where her father is a retired pioneer farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw have one child, Darrel Thomas, born June 13, 1912.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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