John A. Shaw, a resident of Kempton, identified with both farming and carpentering, is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, born July 27, 1849. His parents were Jonathan and Martha Shaw, who were natives of England, and in 1842 came to America, crossing the Atlantic in a sailing vessel, after the slow and tedious method of marine travel of those days.
They located in Rockdale, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Mr. Shaw worked in the cotton mills for eighteen years. Thinking however, to find better business opportunities in the middle west, he removed to Winnebago county, Illinois, in 1858, and there resided until 1865, when he took up his abode in Grundy county, this state. Three years were passed there, during which time he followed general agricultural pursuits.
He next removed to Livingston county, where he carried on farming for ten years, and on the expiration of that period he became a resident of Ford county, establishing his home in Kempton. His wife died here on the 10th of September, 1886, and surviving her for only a brief period, Jonathan Shaw passed away November 6, 1886. In their family were nine children, as follows: Wright, who died during the voyage to this country and was buried at sea; Hannah, the wife of Thomas Greenwood, a resident of Ford county; Anne, the widow of Davis Travis, and a resident of Kempton; James, deceased; Joe, who lives in Brookton, New York; Mary, the wife of Joseph Schofield, a resident of Morris, Illinois; John A., of this review; Thomas, who resides in Kempton; and Maggie, the wife of John W. Bute, of Ford county.
John A. Shaw spent the first nine years of his life in the city of his nativity and was then brought to Illinois by his parents on their westward removal. He lived with them in Winnebago, Grundy and Livingston counties, remaining at home until twenty-three years of age, when he started out in life on his own account. He had previously been a pupil in the public schools, where he acquired a fair English education and through the summer months he had worked on the farm, early becoming thoroughly acquainted with the best methods of cultivating and caring for the crops. On leaving home he settled on a rented farm, which he improved for five years, at the end of which time, with the capital he had acquired from his labors, he purchased a farm on section 6, Mona township, where he now lives. He carries on general agricultural pursuits and at the same time works at the carpenter's trade, being thus closely associated with the industrial interests of his part of the county. In both lines of his business he is practical as well as progressive and his labors are bringing him a desirable measure of success.
In 1873 Mr. Shaw was united in marriage to Miss Martha J. Bute, who was born in Pennsylvania, July 18, 1854, a daughter of John F. and Eliza (Houston) Bute. Her parents were natives of Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and in 1858 arrived in Illinois, settling in Putnam county, where they lived for a year. On the expiration of that period they removed to La Salle county, where they resided for ten years and then came to Ford county where both parents died.
Mrs. Shaw was the eldest of a family of eight children. By her marriage she has become the mother of three daughters: Lottie May, at home; Laura E., now the wife of H. F. Stewart; and Lula, at home. The last named is a graduate of the Kempton high school. The eldest daughter possesses considerable musical talent and has been organist in the Methodist Episcopal church from the age of twelve years. Mr. Shaw and his family are all members of the Methodist church, of which he is a local preacher. They are much interested in the work of the church and their labors have contributed in substantial measure to its growth and upbuilding.
In politics Mr. Shaw is a republican. During the period of his residence in Mona township he has been regarded as one of its leading and representative men, whose position on all questions of moment is never an equivocal one. On the contrary he stands loyally in support of what he believes to be right and as the years have passed his labors and influence have contributed to the general welfare of the community.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 809-811.

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