Dr. Samuel Shaw

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Samuel Shaw, M.D.

Birthplace: Abington, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States
Death: September 24, 1870 (80)
Plainfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States (Casualty)
Place of Burial: Plainfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Josiah Shaw and Anna Shaw
Husband of Elizabeth Owen Shaw
Father of Sarah Elizabeth Shaw; Dr. Samuel Francis Shaw, M.D.; Stella Augusta Shaw; Sarah Gertrude Shaw; Charles Lyman Shaw and 1 other

Occupation: Physician
Managed by: Jessica Marie German
Last Updated:

About Dr. Samuel Shaw

  • Title: History of the town of Plainfield, Hampshire County, Mass., from its settlement to 1891, including a genealogical history of twenty three of the original settlers and their descendants, with anecdotes and sketches (1891)
  • Author: Dyer, Charles N. (Charles Newell), b. 1850
  • Volume: 1
  • Subject: Plainfield (Mass.) -- History; Plainfield (Mass.) -- Genealogy
  • Publisher: Northampton, Mass., Press of Gazette printing co.
  • Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
  • Language: English
  • Call number: 10065307
  • Digitizing sponsor: Sloan Foundation
  • Book contributor: The Library of Congress
  • Collection: library_of_congress; americana
  • Scanfactors: 2
  • Full catalog record: MARCXML

Page 74


who spent his life here, deserves more than a passing notice. He was a son of Josiah and Anna Shaw, who came from Abington, Mass., and settled here in 1792, on the homestead occupied by the late Freeman Shaw. Dr. Shaw was born in Abington, Mass., May 6, 1700, being less than two years old when his parents settled here. After attending for some time the school of Rev. Moses Hallock, he studied medicine with Dr. Peter Bryant of Cummington, father of Wm. Cullen Bryant. In 1819 and 1830 he attended medical lectures in Boston. He became Dr. Bryant's partner in practice, the partnership being continued until the death of the latter. In 1821 he married Dr. Bryant's daughter, Sarah Snell Bryant. He was licensed as a medical practitioner the same year. The following is a copy of his certificate:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

We the subscribers. Censors of the Massachusetts Med- ical Society, duly appointed and authorized, have examined Samuel Shaw of Cummington, in the County of Hampshire, a candidate for the Practice of Physick and Surgery; and having found him qualified, do appoint and license him as a Practitioner in Medicine, agreeable to the law in that case made and provided. Dated at Northampton, this 3rd day of May, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one.

Elihu Dwight, William Hooker, Jos. H. Flint.

By virtue of the power in me vested, I have hereunto affixed the seal of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

Jos. Fisher, M. D., President. Attest, John Dixwell, M. D., Rec. Secretary

After Dr. Bryant's death. Dr. Shaw in 1824 removed to Plainfield and commenced practice. His wife deceased Dec. 12, 1824, of consumption. This sad event inspired the beautiful poem of her distinguished brother, Wm. C. Bryant, entitled "The Death of the Flowers." In 1830 Dr. Shaw married Elizabeth Owen Clarke of Northampton. daughter of Joseph Clarke, a lawyer descended from the Cooks, Lynians, Pomeroys, and other early settlers of that town, and the adopted son of Major Joseph Hawley. Elizabeth's beauty, grace and lovely character, were the theme of many a letter written by old Dr. Flint of Northampton to Dr. Shaw, before the engagement. She died Sept. 27, 1863. Dr. Shaw at first lived in the house lately re-modeled by Wm. Winslow. In 1833 he built the house which he occupied during the remainder of his life, and which is still owned by his daughters, who occupy it during the summer and fall months. It was thoroughly built and is now in an excellent state of preservation. Dr. Shaw was in active practice until 1854. In the fall of that year he was called one evening to attend his married daughter then living in West Cummington. While descending the hill in the southwest part of the town, some portion of the carriage suddenly gave way, and he was thrown' violently to the ground. Being a large, heavy man, the shock was a very severe one, from which he never fully recovered.

He was able however to occasionally visit patients for some years after, but always with some one to drive his horse. The writer remembers him as one who always had a good story to tell and liked a joke. His jolly " Haw, haw, haw," rings in my ears yet. One little episode I will relate. A near neighbor had several large boys who were inclined to be unruly. The neighbor was a rather (quick tempered man, and one morning, one of his boys having provoked him in some way, he gave him a sounding box on the ear, the doctor being an unseen witness. The boy moaned greatly, and carried his head to one side, pretending that he could not lift it to its normal position. The doctor watching the boy occasionally through the day from his office window, noticed that when his father was out of sight, his head resumed its natural position. If his father appeared, his neck was at once bent as before. Toward evening, the father becoming somewhat alarmed, visited the doctor in company with his son, whose head still hung on one side. " Doctor," said lie, " I am a little hasty, and when I gave the boy a cuff this morning, I suppose I gave him a harder blow than I intended, and he don't seem to be able to straighten his neck since. Now what treatment would you advise?" "Well," said the doctor, deliberately, drawing down the corners of his eyebrows, In my opinion, the best thing you can do, would be to hit him a thundering crack on the other ear." The boy did not wait to have his father follow this advice, but at once made off with head erect.

--The doctor was tenderly cared for in his declining years by his daughters. He deceased Sept. 24, 1870, aged 80. He was for many years prominent in town affairs, being for eight years one of the selectmen. His office has been preserved in very much the same condition in which he left it. The case of books and the iron mortar and pestle used in compounding medicines, once belonged to Dr. Peter Bryant, and were used by him, previous to their coming into Dr. Shaw's possession. He was for forty years a member of the Mass. Medical Society. His quick intuitions and great skill, combined with a keen knowledge of human nature and a cheerful disposition, made him a successful and popular physician.


More extensive biography: http://plainfieldmahistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/country-d...




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Dr. Samuel Shaw's Timeline

May 6, 1790
Abington, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States
July 16, 1831
Plainfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States
September 7, 1833
Plainfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States
December 13, 1835
December 17, 1836
Plainfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States
February 7, 1842
Plainfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States
June 27, 1846
Plainfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States
September 24, 1870
Age 80
Plainfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States
Age 79
Hill Top Cemetery, Plainfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States