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Scots and Scots Descendant in America
Part V - Biographies
Rev. John Balcom Shaw, D.D., S.T.D.


DR. JOHN BALCOM SHAW was born in Bellport, New York, May 12, 1860, the sixth son of Joseph M. Shaw and Amanda C. Gerard. His father was descended from an old Yorkshire (England) family that originally came from Scotland, and his immediate forebears were United Empire Loyalists and emigrated to Canada from the United States at the outbreak of the War of 1812. Several of his mother ‘s relatives fought in the Revolutionary War. One brother, Dr. Edward R. Shaw, was Dean of the Department of Pedagogy of the University of New York.

Dr. Shaw studied at the Bridge-hampton Academy, 1875-1876, and at the Centenary Collegiate Institute, 1880-1881, and was graduated from Lafayette College as Valedictorian in 1885, receiving his A.M. in 1888. He was graduated from Union Theological Seminary, New York City, 1888, and ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in 1888. Dr. Shaw was for sixteen years, until 1904, pastor of the West End Presbyterian Church, New York City, where he built up one of the strongest and most active churches in the city. He was pastor of the Second Church, Chicago, 1904-1913, and of Immanuel Church, Los Angeles, Cal., 1913-1915. Since 1915, he has been President of Elmira College.

Dr. Shaw has been a trustee of Lafayette, Coe, and Occidental Colleges, McCormick, Dubuque and San Francisco theological seminaries, Chicago Training School and Clark Settlement; Ex-President of the Chicago Extension Board; and a director of the Presbyterian Hospital. He is Trustee of the United Society of Christian Endeavor; a member of the Council of the Federation of Churches, the Council of the Reform Churches, and of the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Delta Theta fraternities. He was a delegate to the Pan Presbyterian Alliance, Liverpool, 1914, and to the World’s Missionary Conference, 1910.

Dr. Shaw is author of many books. He was honoured with the degree of D.D. by Lafayette, S.T.D. by Hamilton, and LL.D. by Huron and Parsons.

Dr. Shaw married, June 28, 1893, Allena Bassett, daughter of Allen L. and Caroline Phillips Bassett of Newark, N. J. Allen L. Bassett was for many years President of the Newark Board of Trade. They have two sons:

Phillips Bassett Shaw, a graduate of Williams College, and John Balcom Shaw, now preparing for college. Their summer home is Keene Valley in the Adirondacks. Dr. Shaw ‘s office address is Elmira College, Elmira, N. Y.


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