Andrew G. Shaw

Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen

Andrew G. Shaw, a successful mortgage attorney and conveyancer of 
Oneonta, located in that city November 2, 1840. He began life in
that place a young man, and was variously engaged for some years.
He then became a law student in the office of John B. Steele,
who was District Attorney and a prominent lawyer at the time.
From this office Mr. Shaw was admitted to the bar in 1848, and
immediately afterward opened an office of his own in Oneonta.
Since that time he has been engaged in practice in this city, but
more as a conveyancer and collector than as a general
practitioner. He has served as Justice of the Peace for
twenty-seven years, and is at present Notary Public, having held
this office for many years. He has also served as Village clerk
and as a member of the Board of Trustees, also as Superintendent
of schools under the administration of Presidents Pierce and
Buchanan. He was formerly a Democrat, but since the organization
of the Republican party has been a Republican. Mr. Shaw was born in the town of Butternuts, Otsego Co., NY, July 25
1821, grew up in his native town, and removed to Oneonta in 1840,
when its population amounted to about 400. He is a son of Daniel
Shaw, who was born in the town of Butternuts, Otsego County, and
there lived and died, his death occurring in 1832, when in the
prime of life. His father was Col. William Shaw, who, it is
believed, was a native of England, but came to America a young
man, and served as a Colonel through the Revolutionary War. In
the latter part of the last century he located in the town of
Butternuts, Otsego County, established a home in the wilderness,
and improved a farm, his principal companions being Indians and
the wild beasts and game of the forest. Col. William Shaw was
always a farmer, and died when about seventy years of age. He
was married in Connecticut to Lydia Ballard, a native of that
State. She died in the town of Butternuts, when within a few
days of one hundred years of age. She and her husband were
Presbyterians. They were the parents of twelve children, and the
foster-parents of three others. Three of their children died a
few years ago, aged respectively ninety-two, ninety-six and
ninety-eight years. All of the twelve lived to be men and women,
and to rear families of their own. Daniel Shaw, father of Andrew
G., was the tenth child, and died of the cholera when forty-one
years old, his being the first death in the family. He was
married in Otsego County to Miss Minerva Smith, who was born and
reared in Harpersfield, Delaware Col, NY, and died in the town of
Butternuts, when seventy-nine years old. She had been married
once before. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
of which her first husband was also an active member. He was a
Jackson Democrat in politics. Andrew G. Shaw is the eldest of three children, the others being
Adelia, widow of John A. Sturgins, and living on a farm in
Butternuts, and Ada A., the wife of Dr. Uriah Harmon, a dentist of
Gilbertsville, Otsego County. He was married to Melissa McDonald,
who was born and reared in Oneonta, and is now sixty-five years of
age. She is a good wife and mother, and a most worthy woman. She is
a daughter of John and Jennie (Houghtaling) McDonald, natives of New
York State, both now deceased, dying in Oneonta when advanced in
years. They were well and favorably known. Mr. McDonald was a farm
all his life. His father, James McDonald, was a native of New york,
and was born of Scotch parents. He located in what is now Oneonta
when a young married man, about 1790, and purchased large tracts of
land, a portion of which is now included in the site of the present
city. In the early part of the present century he built a gristmill
on the Susquehanna River at Oneonta, and died there when an old man.
He was a well-known pioneer of this portion of the State. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw are the parents of one son, Alfred G., who now
lives in Boston, and is inspector for Mr. Golding, the tool
manufacturer. He is not married. Mrs. Shaw is a Presbyterian.
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