Yuma County, Colorado

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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

David and Margaret Shaw, north of Joes.
Photographs and family information donated by Alex and Liz Shaw, lexandliz1983@yahoo.com


David Shaw (1833-1898) was born on March 1, 1833 in Alyth, Perthshire and raised in Braemer, Scotland. He married Margaret Mitchell (1830-1914) on July 8, 1859. Margaret was born in Forfar, Scotland in August 1830. They had three sons:

1. John Shepherd Shaw (1860-1932) who married Florence I. Pratt (1873-1941) in 1894. They had 2 children who both died in infancy.
2. David Mitchell Shaw (1866-1949) married Florence Harriet Standley (1872-1946) on Jan 29, 1896 in Kirk, CO. They had 6 children. The family moved to Nebraska sometime after 1905 and later to Kansas.
3. Alexander Shaw (1869-1953) married Elsie E. Boone (1884-1935) on April 8, 1902 in Kirk, CO. They had 4 children: Margaret L., Mabel R., David O. and John A. Alex and Elsie Shaw are buried in Kirk Cemetery.
David had worked as a farm laborer and as a railway station master in Scotland. At the encouragement of their oldest son, John, who had immigrated in 1883, David and Margaret decided to move to America where there was opportunity for their sons to own land. David immigrated to the USA in August 1885 to prepare the way for the rest of his family. In May 1887, Margaret Shaw left Scotland on the ship Furnessia with her other sons, David and Alexander, to join her husband and eldest son John in Chicago, Illinois.
Sons David and Alex worked the summer of 1887 and then traveled to Wray where they met a land agent who showed them the land near Joes. They filed the paperwork for homesteading and then went on to Denver to work and wait for their parents to arrive in the spring of 1888. David and Margaret Shaw lived year round on the farm in Yuma County. Part of the year, their sons worked on the homestead and the rest of the year they worked in Denver to earn income. By 1893, they were all living on their land year-round. David Shaw died in 1898. His wife Margaret lived with her son Alexander until her death in 1914. Both are buried in Kirk Cemetery.

Alex and Elsie (Boone) Shaw's ranch home in 1912 near Joes, Colorado. The people included are: L to R: Grandma Margaret (Mitchell) Shaw, Alexander Shaw, dau. Margaret (8 yrs), Elsie Shaw and dau. Mabel (5 yrs).

Children of Alex & Elsie Shaw: L-R: Margaret, David, Mabel, John in Wray, CO ~ 1921. (This was during Alex's service as County Commissioner.)

Yuma County Courthouse nearing completion in Wray, CO; County Commissioner Alex Shaw is 2nd from left.

Alexander Shaw was born on September 24, 1869 in Inverness, Scotland. Alex was 17 when his family moved from Scotland to Colorado in 1887. His parents and brothers homesteaded in Kirk (Joes) in Yuma County. When he turned 21 years old in 1889, Alex filed for a homestead adjacent to his father’s land. On April 8, 1902, he married Elsie E. Boone (1884-1935) in Kirk. They had 4 children: Margaret L., Mabel R., David O., and John A. “Jack”. Alexander Shaw was a successful stock farmer—raising Poland China hogs and beef cattle—and growing wheat, corn, and potatoes. In the early years, Alex and his two brothers, Jack and Dave, played violins and were the only musicians in the country so they traveled to Flagler, Seibert, Idalia, Friend, and Cope to play for dances. From 1917 and 1924, Alex served as a Yuma County Commissioner representing the third district. During his eight years in office, Alex and two other commissioners, Harry Strangways and Hud Jackson, were responsible for building or upgrading 2400 miles of highways in Yuma County, building the county courthouse, and leaving the county with no debt and $50,000 in the black [Source: Wray Gazette-1924]. Alex continued to farm his land. His son David O. worked with him after graduating from college until enlisting in the Army Air Corps in December 1941. From the 1940s, Alex’s son John continued ranching. Today, the Centennial ranch is owned by a fourth generation of Shaw. Alexander Shaw died on November 22, 1953, in Wray, Colorado and is buried in the Kirk Cemetery next to his wife Elsie.

February 21, 1935

Wedding photo of David Mitchell Shaw and Florence Harriet Standley, January 29, 1896.

David Mitchell Shaw homestead with the following people: L to R: Dave Shaw on horseback, his wife Florence holding son Jim, Grandma Margaret (Mitchell) Shaw with granddaughter Laura, Dave's brothers, Alexander Shaw (standing) and Jack Shaw on horseback. This ranch was located by the Arickaree River. Sometime after 1905, David and Florence Shaw moved to Nebraska and sold their homestead to John S. "Jack" Shaw.

David M. and Florence H. Shaw's family in 1915 and includes the following people: Left to Right: Della, David M., Jim, Ruth, Kenneth, Florence & Laura.

Marriage photo of Jack & Florence (Pratt) Shaw

Jack and Florence Shaw's home on the Arickaree River (which they had bought from Jack's brother David M. when he and his family moved to Nebraska sometime after 1905.)

John S. "Jack" Shaw in front of his soddy house.

John Shepherd Shaw (1860-1932) was born on August 30, 1860 in Forfar, Scotland, graduated from Perth Academy with a good education, and then decided to join a school friend in visiting America. He immigrated in 1883 and encouraged his parents and brothers to join him in America. John's nickname was Jack or Jock. About 1894, Jack married Florence I. Pratt (1873-1941) who was born in Iowa. Both of their children, Margaret A. and Amos D. died in infancy and are buried in Kirk Cemetery. From 1888 to 1927 he raised stock and farmed his homestead. About 1906, he purchased his brother David M.'s homestead on the Arickaree River where he continued to farm and raise livestock. Eventually, he had a herd of pure Hereford cattle and some dairy cows. In addition to farming, Jack Shaw was the first cashier at the Kirk State Bank which was chartered in 1917. About 1927, he sold his land and moved to Kirk where he lived until his death in 1932. John S. and Florence I. Shaw are buried in the Kirk Cemetery.

David & Margaret (Mitchell) Shaw homesteaded in 1887. Wedding photo dated July 8, 1859.

David & Margaret's sons: from Left to Right (and youngest to oldest): Alexander (Alex), David M. (Dave), John S. (Jack) Shaw.

David Mitchell Shaw (1866-1949) was born on June 16, 1866 in Lethendy, Perthshire, Scotland. Dave lived along the Arickaree River on land that was originally homesteaded by his mother Margaret Mitchell Shaw. Later, Dave built a house, barns and corrals there. His home was a white frame house trimmed in green and it was surrounded with cottonwood trees. On January 29, 1896, he married Florence Harriet Standley (1872-1946) in Kirk. They had six children: Laura M., David J., Kenneth W., Della M., Ernest A., and Florence R. Ernest died in a diphtheria epidemic in 1905. Sometime between 1905 and 1908, David and Florence Shaw moved from Yuma County to Nebraska, then to Orange, Kansas, and finally to California. Florence wrote a number of poems including one about pioneers. She died April 18, 1946 in Sacramento, California. David Mitchell Shaw died March 9, 1949 in Greeley, Colorado. They are buried in the Paskenta Cemetery near Corning, California.

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