Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tellis Trimble Shaw (1868-1951)

Portrait from the Ohio State University Monthly, Volume VIII, 1917.

   For many years a prominent figure in the public life of Defiance, Ohio, Tellis Trimbull Shaw served that city as its solicitor and for six years held the post of Probate Judge for Defiance County. A lifelong native of the Buckeye State, Tellis T. Shaw's birth occurred in Fairfield County on January 18, 1868, being the son of John W. and Elizabeth Reese Shaw. A student in the public schools of Fairfield County, Tellis Shaw would attend the Ohio Wesleyan University and Ohio State University, being a standout baseball player at the latter school. He earned his law degree from Ohio State University in the class of 1892 and was admitted to the Ohio bar in that same year.
  On November 14, 1896 Tellis T. Shaw married to Minnie Gertrude Sutphen (1872-1929), with whom he would have two daughters, Dorothy Shaw Squire (1903-1985) and Elizabeth Alice Shaw (1914-2012). 
   Following his admittance to the Ohio bar, Shaw's name was added to the Defiance-based firm of Harris, Cameron and Shaw, which later shortened its name to Harris and Shaw in 1906. Their firm would be retained as counsel for several major clients, including the Defiance Machine Works; the State Bank of Defiance; the American Steel Packing Company; the Merchants National Bank of Defiance and the First National Bank of Defiance.
   In 1903 Tellis Shaw made his first foray into elective office when he won election as Probate Judge for Defiance County. He would be reelected as Judge in 1905 and 1907 and after leaving office in 1909 was elected as City Solicitor of Defiance. He held that post for six years and throughout the remainder of his life was affiliated with a number of business concerns in his native city, including service as Director of the Defiance Home and Savings Loan Association and the Defiance Motor Truck Company. 
   In 1929 Minnie Gertrude Sutphen, Shaw's wife of over thirty years died at the age 57. He would survive his wife by sixteen years, dying at age 83 on August 24, 1951. Both Tellis and his wife were subsequently interred in a mausoleum at the Riverside Cemetery in Defiance.

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