Biography of Frederick Bridgman Shaw

FREDERICK BRIDGMAN SHAW, farmer, of South Amherst, Massachusetts, was born April 16, 1876. The family to which he belongs is one of the oldest and most noted in New England.

(I) The immigrant ancestor was Abraham Shaw, who came from Yorkshire, England, in 1636. He was admitted as a freeman, March 9, 1636-37, and at the time was a proprietor of Watertown. When his house there was burned down in October, 1636, he moved to Dedham. He signed the famous compact, and was elected, September 6, 1638, a constable of Dedham. Abraham Shaw moved to Cambridge, where he became a town officer. He received a grant of “Coal or iron ore which may be found in any common land in this country’s disposing.” The grant was dated November 2, 1637, and it is presumed he made a search for minerals at a time when the earth in New England was expected to yield great mineral wealth. He was permitted to erect a corn mill, February 12, 1636-37. He married Bridget Best. He died in 1638, and left a will bequeathing to his children, through his eldest son, Joseph. His son John, with Joseph, received his lot at Dedham. He also owned coal mines in Halifax, England. Edward Allen administered the estate. Children of Abraham Shaw: Joseph, who settled in Weymouth; John, of further mention; Mary, born about 1638; Martha, born about 1638 (probably twins); Susanna, married Nicholas Bryam, and moved to Weymouth.

(II) John Shaw, son of Abraham and Bridget (Best) Shaw, was born in Halifax, England, about 1630. He married Alice Phillips, of Weymouth, where he passed his active life. He was deacon of the church at Weymouth. He died March 21, 1718. His children, all born at Weymouth, were: John, of further mention; Elizabeth, born February 26, 1656; Abraham, born October 10, 1657; Mary, born May 24, 1660; Nicholas, born March 23, 1662; Joseph, born April 15, 1664; Alice, born July 6, 1666; Hannah, born April 7, 1668; Benjamin, born June 16, 1670; Abigail, born July 15, 1672; Ebenezer, born April 24, 1674.

(III) John Shaw, son of John and Alice (Phillips) Shaw, married Hannah Whitmarsh, who died May 4, 1736. Their children, born at Weymouth or Bridgewater, were: Hannah, born December 16, 1680, died young; Abraham, born February 14, 1685; Hannah, born April 26, 1687; John, born January 20, 1690; Mary, born May 5, 1691; Benjamin, born July 25, 1693; Joseph, of further mention.

(IV) Joseph Shaw, son of John and Hannah (Whitmarsh) Shaw, was born at Weymouth, and died November 13, 1744. He married, at Weymouth, Mary Blanchard, November 13, 1716. Their children were: Ebenezer, of further mention; Abraham, born September 8, 1720; Abigail, born December 27, 1721; Mary, born July 14, 1723; Susannah, born March 3, 1726; Alice, born April 22, 1728.

(V) Captain Ebenezer Shaw, son of Joseph and Mary (Blanchard) Shaw, was born at Weymouth, April 23, 1718, and died at Abington, Massachusetts, November 21, 1796. He was a lieutenant in Captain Cobb’s company at Lexington, when the alarm was sounded April 19, 1775; and also a captain in the War of the Revolution. He married, September 2, 1740, Ann Colson, who was born at Weymouth, January 1, 1725, and died at Abington, February 15, 1799, daughter of John and Susannah (Lincoln) Colson. They were the parents of Ebenezer, of further mention.

(VI) Ebenezer Shaw, son of Captain Ebenezer and Ann (Colson) Shaw, was born at Weymouth, September 30, 1741. He married, December 11, 1765, Sarah Porter, born August 22, 1746, daughter of Richard and Ruth (Whitman) Porter. They were the parents of Silas, of further mention.

(VII) Silas Shaw, son of Ebenezer and Sarah (Porter) Shaw, was born at Abington, March 31, 1767, and died at Amherst, April 28, 1848. In 1793 he married Lucy White, who was born in 1775, and died April 2, 1838, daughter of Micah White. Their children were: Lucy, Giles, Henry, Sarah, Whitman, Elizabeth, Ebenezer, Cushing, of further mention; Roland, Abigail, Nancy, Maria, Almira, Haxton, Spencer, Edward and Edwin.

(VIII) Cushing Shaw, son of Silas and Lucy (White) Shaw, was born at Hawley, February 24, 1804, and died in South Amherst, August 14, 1873. In Hawley he was engaged in the manufacture of potash. He removed to Huntington where for a time he engaged in farming.. He then moved to Northampton where he operated a hotel on what is now Pleasant Street. This hotel was destroyed by fire, entailing a heavy loss. He afterwards came to a small farm in South Amherst, where he lived to the time of his death. He married Betsy Sanford, and their children were: Frederick C., William, George, Alfred, Charles Alvin, of further mention; and Julia.

(IX) Charles Alvin Shaw, son of Cushing and Betsy (Sanford) Shaw, was born in Buckland, Massachusetts, April 20, 1846, died in Amherst, Massachusetts, January 8, 1922. He came to South Amherst in 1866, and tilled a farm. He was also a lumberman, storekeeper and postmaster. As a young man he worked in Easthampton and attended Williston Seminary and Ames Business College, of Poughkeepsie. In 1871 he owned and operated the first steam saw mill in this section of country. He followed lumbering successfully for a number of years. In 1880 he engaged in the grocery business in South Amherst. He bought the brick building in which his store was conducted, and which is now owned by his son. He conducted a store and was postmaster in South Amherst until 1907. He went to California in 1886 and passed some time there. Returning he bought the farm in South Amherst, now occupied by Mr. Barton, and lived there until 1910, and in 1915 he bought the farm property adjoining his store, and lived upon it until the time of his death. During his lifetime, he bought and cleared much land, and was active in promoting the welfare of the community. He was a member of the Congregational Church, and was clerk and treasurer of the society. He married Fannie R. Bridgman, of South Amherst, Massachusetts. She died June 11, 1911. She was a daughter of Edward and Elizabeth May (Blodgett) Bridgman. Children: Frederick Bridgman, of further mention; Ethel Elizabeth, and Charles Harlan.

(X) Frederick Bridgman Shaw, son of Charles Alvin and Fannie R. (Bridgman) Shaw, was educated in the town schools and the high school of South Amherst. He attended the Massachusetts Agricultural College, from which he was graduated in 1896. He learned telegraphy and for a period of years was a railroad and commercial telegraph operator. He was operator and station agent for the Boston & Maine Railroad in Amherst for a year. For a time he was operator for the Western Union Telegraph Company in the Parker House, Boston. He was in the employ of the Boston & Maine Railroad, and the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, as telegraph operator for a period of years. For a time he was manager of the Postal Telegraph Company and later of the Western Union Telegraph Company in Taunton, Massachusetts. He was for a time in the business of the “Taunton Daily Gazette.” He returned to Amherst in 1910, and since his father’s death has conducted his farming interests and looked after his property interests in South Amherst. Mr. Shaw is a member of King David Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of Taunton; a member of the Congregational Church, and active in the civic life of the community.

Mr. Shaw married, November 10, 1901, Josie B. Harris, of St. Johns, New Brunswick. They are the parents of five children: 1. Charles F., born July 11, 1902, died February 29, 1912. 2. Alfred Raymond, born February 7, 1904. 3. George William, born January 23, 1906. 4. Francis Ethelwyn, born January 26, 1908. 5. Ralph Sheldon, born January 9, 1910. Mr. Shaw’s address is South Amherst, Massachusetts.


Lockwood, John H. (John Hoyt); Bagg, Ernest Newton; Carson, Walter S. (Walter Scott); Riley, Herbert E. (Herbert Elihu); Boltwood, Edward; Clark, Will L. (Will Leach); Western Massachusetts A History 1636-1925; New York and Chicago: Lewis historical publishing company, inc., 1926

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