A History of John and Polly Shaw
John was born on June 30 in 1790. His parents were Job and Lucy Sherman Shaw. He
was born at Bridgewater, Windsor County, Vermont, less than 20 miles from where
Joseph Smith was born. John was married to Polly Maria Fox on January 1, 1812.
Polly was born January 11, 1790, at Sheffield, Massachusetts. They lived in Victor,
Ontario County, New York. Polly gave birth to six boys here.
In 1825, they moved to Bennington, New York. Here, Polly gave birth to one boy and
two girls. Accepting the Restored Gospel.
In 1842, they accepted the restored gospel and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. It is known that Elder Sweet baptized John.
A year or two later, they moved to La Harpe, Illinois, with their family.
John and Polly received their endowments on February 7, 1846, in the Nauvoo Temple.
They made the journey to Council Bluffs with many other Saints. They located at
Kanesville until they made the trek west in June of 1848 in the Lorenzo Snow Company.
The Trek West Of their journey, a fellow pioneer, wrote, "All nature looked pleasant,
in the green dress of spring, when we commenced our journey; and in unison with
this, our hearts were light, our hopes buoyant, with the prospects before us that
we should now gain a resting place free from the molestations of our enemies, and
where we could serve God in peace. The usual incidents of a journey of that length,
under such circumstances, attended us; but upon all, the Lord blessed us abundantly
and led us by his power." The company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on September
John and Polly first settled in Salt Lake. They lived at 9th and Main Street.
On September 16, 1849, John and Polly received patriarchal blessings.
lived in Salt Lake until 1850. Ogden In 1850, they moved into Farr’s Fort
in Ogden. The fort was built that same year, with log cabins erected on each
of the four sides..., placed close together with the doors of each house opening
on the inside of the enclosure. There was a road through the center of the Fort
from west to east. Near the center...was built the first school house in Ogden city.
About two or three years later, John started a farm. It was located on the
northeast corner of 12th Street and Washington Boulevard. His sons also located
farms there. John raised many fine pigs, chickens, etc."
On April 4, 1854,
John entered into plural marriage and married Susannah Grant Luce.
Susannah's first husband, who she was eventually sealed to, had died in Nauvoo.
On April 9, 1854, John and Polly were sealed.
John received another patriarchal blessing on August 31, 1855.
during the 1860’s, John and Polly moved to North Ogden. They lived in Ogden during
the 1860 Census.
In 1861, they experienced a great tragedy when their daughter Olive Lucy died in
child birth. The new daughter was named Pleasant Polly after her two grandmothers.
They could have moved to North Ogden not long before their daughter Olive Lucy passed
away or possibly to help take care of her children after her death.
John and Polly built an adobe house by Benjamin and Olive Lucy’s flowing well
across the street from their home.
The home was on the east side of Pioneer Street, directly east of the present-day
municipal building at 2557 North 550 East. Their son-in-law was a military leader
in North Ogden. One of his duties was raising the flag for the fourth of July. His
son was excited to wake up early and help his father fulfill this duty.
In 1867, Polly became a member of the first ever Relief Society in North Ogden.
There were 43 members.
Polly's kindness is demonstrated by the following story. She "often made
biscuits for their meals. Those left over were put in a jar to be handed out later
to the neighbor children as they came to her door saying, 'Miss Shaw I want a biscuit.'"
Deaths John and Polly lived in North Ogden, Utah until she died on January 27, 1873. She was buried
in the Ogden City Cemetery. John then went to live with his sons in Ogden. He
died July 5, 1880, only 5 days after his 90th birthday. He was buried next to Polly
in the Ogden City Cemetery.
A Generous Granddaughter John and Polly's granddaughter was Mary Elizabeth Shaw Stewart, who donated millions
of dollars to Weber State University.
Susannah Grant Luce's first husband, Nathaniel, died a few days after the martyrdom
of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. She married Charles Dana in 1846 for time only. She
separated from him before marrying John.
Her marriage to John was only for a short time as well. She and John also
separated because during the 1860 census, her last name is Thomas again and she
is not living with John. During the 1870 census, she was living in Ogden and he
was living in North Ogden with Polly only.