William Shaw, Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

1853-1857: According to the website of the Kentucky Rifle foundation, William Shaw and Charles A. Pagenhardt worked together as gunsmiths in Maryland, and purchased property together at Westernport, Maryland in 1853 that Mr. Pagenhardt took over when William Shaw moved to Grantsville, Maryland in 1857. Westernport is located 22.8 miles south-southeast of Grantsville on modern roads. I haven't tried to document William Shaw in Grantsville because the research quickly becomes confusing. According to his obituary in the April 14, 1905 "Evening Times" newspaper (Cumberland, Maryland), Charles A. Pagenhardt followed the occupation of gunsmith in Westernport, and died on April 14, 1905 in the Westernport home where he had lived more than fifty years.

1862-1863: A transcript of the Veteran's schedule of the 1890 federal census indicates that William Shaw, with an Ursina Post Office address, served as a Private in Company C of the 67th Ohio Infantry from April 13, 1862 to July 5, 1863. This conflicts with the regiment number (62) shown on his tombstone.

1866 & 1872: The following material is from page 563 of the book "History of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania", which was published by Waterman, Watkins & Co. in 1884. Ursina is 16.9 miles northwest of Grantsville on modern roads. The battle of Malvern Hill occurred on August 5, 1862 and the Sixty-Seventh Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry participated in the battle.

William Shaw biographical information

1870: The following extract from Volume 1472 of the "United States Congressional Serial Set" shows that William Shaw voted in Lower Turkeyfoot Township on October 11, 1870.

1870: In the difficult-to-read 1870 federal census of Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Pennsylvania-born William Shaw is enumerated with the occupation of "Keeping Boarding H." Enumerated with him is Elizabeth, with the occupation of "Keeping House."

1872: The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania" indicates that William Shaw was identified as a gunsmith in the 1872 tax roll for Ursina, in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County.

1872: The following article from the February 1963 "Laurel Messenger" mentions William Shaw, and provides background information on the village of Ursina.

Post-1872: The Lower Turkeyfoot Township portion of the 1906 book "History of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania..." includes the statement, "Ursina was incorporated as a borough in 1872. The first burgess elected was Abraham S. Levy. His successors have been A. S. Levy, M. L. Keim, W. H. Berger, William Shaw, S. Bockman, B. F. Boyd, A. Holliday (three terms), B. F. Boyd, J. B. Jennings, P. H. Sellers, William Shaw, J. B. Jennings, C. F. Robinson, Andrew Holliday, J. B. Jennings (two terms), M. Andrews, J. B. Jennings, G. W. Anderson, J. B. Jennings (two terms), M. King, J. M. Marshall, J. B. Levy, B. F. Firestone, H. B. Altfather, C. Cunningham."

1873: William Shaw was a charter member of the Ursina Lodge of the I.O.O.F. (No. 806), which was established on July 12, 1873.

1876: The blacksmithing and gunsmithing advertisement included below is from "The Principal Merchants, Manufacturers and Farmers of Somerset Co, Penn" section of the 1876 "County Atlas of Somerset Pennsylvania" that was published by F. W. Beers & Co. in 1876. Ursina is a small town in Lower Turkeyfoot Township.

William Shaw advertisement

1876: The following excerpt from the Ursina town plat on page 79 of the 1876 "County Atlas of Somerset Pennsylvania" shows that Shaw's place was two lots on the corner of Park Street and Sugar Alley.

Location of William Shaw's blacksmithing and gunsmithing shop

1880: The following item from the July 2, 1880 issue of the "Somerset Herald" shows gunsmith Sam Mier running for the Pennsylvania State Assembly, and shows gunsmith William Shaw serving on the Republican Committee for Ursina borough:

1882: The following composite image from the March 1, 1885 issue of the Somerset Herald" newspaper announces the election of William Shaw as a Justice of the Peace in Ursina.

1883: William Shaw was a charter member of the Ross Rush Post of the G.A.R. (No. 361) which was established on July 23, 1883.

1884: The following marriage announcement appears in the June 18, 1884 issue of the "Somerset Herald" newspaper. William Shaw officiated at the wedding.

1884: The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania" indicates that in his February 28, 1884 will (Book 7 Page 139) William Shaw (1) referred to himself as a blacksmith and a gunsmith; (2) wanted his shop and his tools to go to his son, identified as W. J. D. Shaw; (3) identifies his wife's name as Elizabeth; and (4) identifies a daughter, Ella Blanche Shaw.

1885: The following item is from the February 4, 1885 issue of the "Somerset Herald":

1890: The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania" indicates that William Shaw died on March 24, 1890. William Shaw is buried in the cemetery at the Jersey Baptist Church near Ursina, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. His tombstone states: "Wm. Shaw Co. G, 62nd Ohio Inf." The cemetery is at Latitude 39.819320, Longitude -79.337591. The regiment number (62) on the tombstone conflicts with the regiment number (67) cited in the transcript of the 1890 federal census. From what I've found so far, the 67th Regiment participated in the battle of Malvern Hill where William Shaw was wounded, and the 62nd Regiment did not.

1890: William Shaw's obituary appears in the April 10, 1890 issue of the "Meyersdale Commercial", and states, "As March was closing the life of this brave, true-hearted veteran went out through its storms to everlasting peace and repose. We first became acquainted with him as a Justice of the Peace at Grantsville, Md., in 1860, Then the War came, that sundered so many ties, breaking up his family relations and sending him to the front. After peace was restored he settled in Ursina where he built his home anew..."

1890: The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania" indicates that The estate inventory of William Shaw was prepared on October 22, 1890 and included two guns valued at $20.00, a $1.50 charge for the repair of two revolvers, a shotgun valued at $5.00, two revolvers valued at $1.50, tools for gunsmithing and blacksmithing valued at $100.00, and lumber valued at $4.00.

1890: The 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Somerset County, Pennsylvania" indicates that On July 23, 1890, William Shaw's widow Elizabeth Shaw applied for a Civil War-related widow's pension.

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