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Charles C. Shaw. In his course as a physician, lawyer, legislator and public-spirited citizen Senator Shaw has been guided by the conservatism of discretion, with a native cleanness of thought and action. In his career there has been naught of the spectacular, but he has hewed straight to the line and has made his influence potent for good in all of the relations of life. He is engaged in the successful practice of his profession at Tishomingo, the judicial center of Johnston County, has been an influential figure in the councils of the democratic party in Oklahoma, and has effectively and worthily represented the Twenty-sixth Senatorial District of the state in the Fourth and Fifth General Assemblies of the Oklahoma Legislature.
Charles Cicero Shaw was born in Scott County, Arkansas, on the 6th of December, 1877, and is a son of William A. and Ellen Shaw, the former a native of Georgia and the latter of Alabama. The Shaw family was founded in America in the early colonial era, and representative of the same were patriot soldiers in the war for independence, so that by ancestral heritage Senator Shaw, of this review, is eligible for membership in the society of the Sons of the American Revolution. William A. Shaw became one of the pioneer settlers of Scott County, Arkansas, and was there a successful contractor for a long period prior to his death, which occurred in the year 1884, his devoted wife having been summoned to eternal rest in 1881, when her son, Charles C., of this sketch, was a child of three years. Her father was an able and influential clergyman of the Baptist Church in the State of Alabama.
Senator Shaw, who is a physician as well as a lawyer, acquired his rudimentary education in the public schools of his native state and was about seven years old at the time of his father’s death, so that he was doubly orphaned when a mere lad. In 1895 he went to Texas, in which state he continued his educational discipline, and in 1901 he became a resident of Oklahoma. Within a short time thereafter he went to Kansas City, Missouri, where he entered the University Medical College, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1904 and from which he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Thereafter he was engaged in the practice of medicine at Ada, Oklahoma, until 1907, the year which marked the admission of the state to the Union, and in the meanwhile he had studied law and been admitted to the bar, his tastes and ambition having led him thus to make a radical change of profession–a change which his success in the practice of law has fully justified.
In 1907 Senator Shaw removed to Johnston County, where he has since continued in the active practice of law and where he holds distinctive precedence as one of the leading members of the bar of this section of the state. He became actively associated with political affairs in the formative period of the state government and has proved a veritable stalwart in the camp of the democratic party. In 1910 the doctor was chairman of the Johnston County Democratic Convention, and from 1910 to 1912 he represented that county as a member of the Democratic State Central Committee. As a supporter of Hon. William H. Murray, democratic candidate for governor, Doctor Shaw was specially active in the campaign of 1910, and in 1912 he was elected to the State Senate as representative of the Twenty-sixth District, his loyal and effective service continuing through the Fourth and Fifth General Assemblies of the Legislature. In the Fourth Legislature Senator Shaw was chairman of the committee on revenue and taxation and was assigned also to membership on the following named committees: Legal advisory, constitution and constitutional amendments, appropriations, privileges and elections, fees and salaries, public buildings and capitol, public printing, public health and congressional apportionment. In the Fifth Legislature he was chairman of the committee on public-service corporations, and a member of the committees on legal advisory, rules and procedure, judiciary No. 2, appropriations, roads and highways, education, public buildings, public health and committee on committees.
In the Fourth Legislature Senator Shaw was the floor leader of the majority in the memorable contest over the state capitol bill, the passage of which resulted in an early institution of the construction of Oklahoma’s fine capitol. He was the author of the primary election law enacted in the same session of the Legislature, and in the Fifth Legislature he took a leading part in efforts to amend the election law of the state. As a loyal friend and supporter of the governor, Senator Shaw earnestly championed the policies of the administration in reference to a revision of the laws pertaining to courts and court proceedings and in the creation of a state tax commission. Concerning him the following estimate has been given and comes from an authoritative source: “Senator Shaw is a conservative political partisan and is one of the most popular members of the upper house of the Legislature. Quiet and unassuming, he has taken little part in debate, but his broad conceptions of governmental matters, his mature judgment and his talent for work have made him one of the useful of the law-makers of Oklahoma.” On June 1, 1916, Doctor Shaw was appointed physician and surgeon for the Oklahoma State Penitentiary located at McAlester, Oklahoma.
In the time-honored Masonic fraternity Senator Shaw has received the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, as a representative of which he is affiliated with the consistory at McAlester. He is identified also with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World, is a valued and appreciative member of the Johnston County Bar Association and the Oklahoma State Bar Association, and both he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church South. It may be noted that Senator Shaw has two brothers but no sisters and that both of his brothers are residents of Oklahoma, David A. being engaged in the practice of law at Poteau, LeFlore County, where he is also editor and publisher of the Poteau Sun, and William C., who is a traveling salesman, being a resident of Ada, Pontotoc County.
In May, 1899, in Hunt County, Texas, was solemnized the marriage of Senator Shaw to Miss Emily Jane Edwards, and they have three children–Otto Edward, Charles Haskell and Jewell.