NOAH F. SHAW, vice president of the First National Bank of Plainville, has been a Western Kansan forty years, and his broad experience makes him able to appreciate every element and influence that has entered into the life of his section. He is more than a representative citizen, his success in affairs having kept him prominently before the public for many years.
He was born in Highland County, Ohio, May 25, 1857, and his family saw and participated in the development of Ohio from the time of its first settlement. His great-grandfather, Samuel Shaw, was one of three brothers to come from England. He settled in Southern Ohio about the beginning of the nineteenth century. When the second war with Great Britain broke out he was called to the northern part of the state for service against the Indians, and on his way home was killed by them in 1813. He had acquired a large tract of land in Southern Ohio and was a civil engineer and surveyor. He left a wife and six children, and his widow proved herself a noble pioneer, reared her children on the frontier, and lived to a good old age. One of these children was William Shaw, grandfather of Noah F., and who was born in Southern Ohio in 1808. At an early day William Shaw moved to Highland County, followed farming there, also for three years in Illinois, then went to Missouri, and finally moved to the frontier of what is now South Dakota. He died at Hat Creek in that state in 1897. He was a republican in politics. He married Lydia Stivers. His wife was born in Southern Ohio and died at Memphis, Scotland County, Missouri.
James S. Shaw, father of the Plainville banker, was also a prominent Western Kansan. He was born in Brown County, Ohio, in 1830, grew up in Highland County, became a farmer, and in 1864 took his family to Illinois, locating near Carthage in Hancock County. He moved from his farm there to Columbia in Marion County, Iowa, in 1869, following both farming and merchandising. In 1881 he came to Plainville, Kansas, homesteaded a quarter section six miles south of Plainville, and after proving up his claim lived on it for ten years. He then retired to Plainville and carried on a real estate business for several years. He died there in 1900. He served as mayor of the town and, in 1893 represented his county in the State Legislature. He was a republican and a member of the Unitarian Church. He was made a Mason in Iowa and was affiliated with Paradise Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Plainville. James S. Shaw married Margaret Black. She was born in Highland County, Ohio, in 1837, grew up and was married there, and died at Columbia, Marion County, Iowa, in 1877. Of her four children Noah F. Shaw is the oldest. Emma, the second in age, married C. G. Cochran, one of the most successful bankers in Kansas, whose home is at Hays, reference to his career being made on other pages. William Walter died at the age of two years. Ethel B., the youngest, is the wife of M. McKenna, a furniture merchant at Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Noah F. Shaw was seven years old when his parents moved to Illinois, and he received most of his education at Columbia, Iowa. Between sixteen and seventeen he left school to work in his father's store. Four years later, in 1879, he came to Kansas and homesteaded 160 acres seven miles southeast of Plainville. He developed this and farmed it for three years, then sold it and has since been a factor in the business life of Plainville. He was a merchant there until 1887, and on the 5th of November of that year became cashier of the Citizens Bank. He filled that position steadily for fourteen years, and upon the organization of the First National Bank became its vice president and is also a director.
In 1908 Mr. Shaw bought his present business, a department store, the leading establishment of its kind in Rooks County. It is a large general store, and its proprietor has prided himself in building up a reliable service that represents a good business for the entire county as well as for the owner. The floor space is 48 by 100 feet, with basement and a second floor and balcony. Patrons come from a radius of thirty miles east and west of Plainville and fifteen miles north and south. Mr. Shaw is also a member of the firm of Colby & Shaw, operating another store at Ottawa, Kansas. He has invested heavily in land and is one of the large farm owners of Western Kansas. Much of his land is used for wheat production. He has 640 acres in Rooks County, a section in Wallace County, another section in Franklin County, and also has 640 acres in Old Mexico.
Mr. Shaw is a member of the Spiritualist Church and is president of the Delphos Spiritualist Society. He is affiliated with Paradise Lodge No. 290, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Plainville Camp No. 1699, Modern Woodmen of America, and is a republican. Like his father, he has also filled the office of mayor of Plainville.
In 1878, at Columbia, Iowa, Mr. Shaw married Miss Josephine Riddle, daughter of William and Sarah (Bible) Riddle. Mrs. Shaw was born on the farm where she married and is one of eight children. Her parents are both now deceased. For many years her father was an Iowa farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw have two children: Muriel is the wife of Dr. Ralph E. Cowgill, an osteopathic physician at Ottawa, Kansas, and is the mother of Josephine Slason; Ariel is the wife of James E. Colby, a merchant at Ottawa, and has a son, Henry Shaw Colby.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
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