One of the old and highly respected businessmen and reliable citizens of Sonora, Tuolumne County, California, is John Shaw, the subject of this sketch. He was a native of Ireland, born there November 24, 1824, his parents being James and Sarah (Archer) Shaw, both of them being natives of the same country. They were highly esteemed in their home, where they passed their whole lives, and died members of the Presbyterian Church.
John Shaw received his education in his native country, coming to the United States in 1846 and making the trip in the sailing vessel Fanny Foster. His first home was with his brother in North Carolina, who was engaged there in the drug business, and under this brother’s supervision he learned it, since which time it has been the principal occupation in which he has engaged. In 1853 he decided to make the long trip to California, accomplishing in the sailing vessels, the Illinois and the John Stephens. During 1853 he remained in San Francisco, but in the spring of 1854 came to Sonora, where he entered into the employ of a druggist, but later bought his business and has most successfully conducted it ever since. For forty-six years he has made an honorable business record in this county.
The marriage of Mr. Shaw took place in 1855 to Miss Hester Brangon, a native of his own land, and ten children were born to them. The eldest of these was William R., a graduate at the University of California, who died in September, 1900, at the age of forty-five years. The remainder of the family is as follows: Sarah, Mary, John Archer, Henry P., Hester, Edward, Herbert, Rachel and Lucy, the last named the wife of Hon. John Barry Curtin.
Mr. Shaw has been a life-long Democrat and has been called upon to serve in many of the town and county offices. He has been the treasurer and deputy treasurer of the county, and at one time was a city trustee. Since 1852 he has been an active member of the I. O. O. F., and both he and his family enjoy the high regard of the community.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.