CHARLES W. SHAW.
The history of a nation is nothing more than a history of the individuals comprising it, and as they are characterized by loftier or lower ideals, actuated by the spirit of ambition or indifference, so it is with a state, county or town. Success along any line of endeavor would never be properly appreciated if it came with a single effort and unaccompanied by some hardships, for it is the knocks and bruises in life that make success taste so sweet. The failures accentuate the successes, thus making recollections of the former as dear as those of the latter for having been the stepping-stones to achievement. The career of Charles W. Shaw, at the present time trainmaster of the
Illinois Southern Railway at Sparta, Illinois, is a combination of ambition, brains and a willingness to work.
Charles W. Shaw came to Illinois in 1885 from Evansville, Indiana, where he was born on the 12th of April, 1867. His father, Rev. Joseph W. Shaw, was a Methodist minister and he passed the major portion of his life time at Evansville, Indiana, where he was summoned to the life eternal in the year 1873. Rev. Shaw was strictly a self-made man. his early educational advantages having been of the most meager order. He made the most of his opportunities for study, however, and after being ordained as a minister in the Methodist church, filled a number of charges and did much effective religious work in southern Indiana. He was a son of John Shaw, who brought his family to America from England in an early day, settling at old Mechanicsburg, now String-town, Indiana. The senior Shaw was a blacksmith by trade and he passed the declining years of his life in the old Hoosier state, where he lies buried. The Rev. Shaw married Cornelia Clark, who passed to the great beyond in 1871. There were seven children born to this union and concerning them the following brief data are here incorporated:
Mrs. R. 0. Wood is a resident of Oakland, California; John W. maintains his home at Humboldt, Iowa; Elizabeth is the wife of W. F. lnderhill, of Oakland, California; George H. resides at Cairo, Illinois; Hettie is Mrs, M. H. Bilyer, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Ruel A. resides at Fort Dodge, Iowa; and Charles W. is the immediate subject of this review.
Having been early orphaned, Charles W. Shaw was reared to the age of twelve years in the home of an uncle at Evansville, Indiana, where he attended the public schools. His first employment was with a local ice company, and when sixteen years of age he came to Illinois, settling at Cairo, where he secured his first job in the railroad service and where he was a diligent student in a commercial night school. Through successive promotions he was engine foreman, yardmaster, conductor, bridge and building foreman, trainmaster and eventually superintendent of the terminals in East St. Louis, to which place he was transferred from Carbondale, Illinois. On the 1st of May, 1911, he became the efficient and popular incumbent of his present position—that of trainmaster of the Illinois Southern Railway at Sparta. His railroad service has extended over a period of twenty-six years, and as he approaches middle life, rewards for the strenuous service of former years are seeking him in a substantial way. Mr. Shaw is deeply and sincerely interested in community affairs, In the time-honored Masonic order he is a valued and appreciative member of the Chicago Consistory and of Mohammed Temple at Peoria. He became a Mason on the evening of his twenty-first birthday at Carbondale, Illinois, where he holds his junior membership.
At Marion, Illinois, on the 7th of February, 1897, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Shaw to Miss Clara White, a native of Carbondale, Illinois, and a daughter of Daniel White, who was long a prominent blacksmith in the latter place. Mrs. Shaw was one in a family of seven children. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw have two children, Harry and Edgar, both of whom are now attending school at Sparta.