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Guide to the Daniel Shaw Lumber Company Records,​ 1861-​1911

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Summary Information

Title: Daniel Shaw Lumber Company Records

Inclusive Dates: 1861-1911

Creator: Daniel Shaw Lumber Company, Inc.

Call Number: Eau Claire Mss CT; Eau Claire Micro 16; Micro 944

Quantity: 3.4 c.f. (3 record center cartons and 1 archives box) and 1 reel of microfilm (35mm)

Repository: Housed at the Area Research Center, William D. McIntyre Library, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society, Library-Archives Division

Archival Locations: UW-Eau Claire McIntyre Library / Eau Claire Area Research Ctr.

Abstract: Records, 1861-1911, of a lumber company headquartered at Eau Claire, Wisconsin, which owned thousands of acres of timber in Wisconsin's Chippewa River Valley and operated its own farms, flour mills, tow boats, and general stores in the area. The records consist of letterpress books, seventeen of which contain company correspondence and two of which contain General Manager Eugene Shaw's personal correspondence. Also included are miscellaneous loose records consisting of timber “scale” books (winters 1866-1867); field books delineating timber stands on sections of land (1899, undated); and miscellaneous correspondence, business receipts, and legal documents (1861-1911). The microfilmed portion of this collection includes a daybook recording sales in a company store in 1881, and the record of the Eau Claire dynamo and the production of city electric lights, 1893-1894.

Language: English

Biography/History

Daniel Shaw & Company of Eau Claire, Wisconsin was founded in 1858 as a lumber mill by Daniel Shaw (1813-1881), who was born and raised in Industry, Maine and settled in the Chippewa River valley of western Wisconsin in 1856. In Eau Claire, he expanded his original sawmill to a large and prosperous lumber business. In 1874, after a fire destroyed the company lumber stocks, he and his sons Eugene (1850-1912) and George B. (1854-1894) incorporated as the Daniel Shaw Lumber Company. After Daniel Shaw retired, the corporation continued in business with Eugene Shaw as President and General Manager and George B. Shaw as Secretary.

During its existence, the Daniel Shaw Lumber Company became one of the important lumber companies in the Old Northwest Territory. The company purchased thousands of acres of timberland. Each winter the company ran numerous logging camps throughout the upper Midwest, providing food from company owned farms and selling goods to lumberjacks from company owned stores. The millions of feet of timber cut each winter were rafted down rivers to the Mississippi and the waiting steamboats. To facilitate the river drives, the Shaw Company, along with other major timber companies, dammed many Wisconsin rivers. Later the river drives and steamboat transport were supplanted by the newly expanded railroads, which the Shaw Company helped to build.

Daniel, Eugene, and George became wealthy men of influence in Eau Claire and the region. The Shaws helped start many of Eau Claire's businesses, civic organizations, utility operations, and transportation systems. George Shaw held local elective office, and just before his death, represented Wisconsin in the U.S. Congress. The business stayed in the family but was dissolved upon Eugene's death.

Scope and Content Note

The collection principally consists of 19 letterpress books (1877-1909), 17 of which contain company correspondence and 2 of which contain Eugene Shaw's personal correspondence. Also included are miscellaneous loose records consisting of timber “scale” books (winters 1866-1867), field books delineating timber stands on sections of land (1899, undated), and miscellaneous correspondence, business receipts, and legal documents (1861-1911). The microfilm includes a daybook recording sales in a company store in 1881, and the records of the Eau Claire dynamo and the production of city electric lights, 1893-1894. No frame numbers appear on the microfilm.

Administrative/Restriction Information

Acquisition Information: Presented by the Chippewa Valley Museum, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1982 and the Minnesota Historical Society, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2003. Accession Number: M82345, M2003-018

Processing Information: Processed by Shan Thomas and Lindsay Tomaras, 2003.

Search Terms/Subject Terms

  • Electric power—Wisconsin
  • General stores—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
  • Lumbering—Wisconsin
  • Shaw, Eugene, 1850-1912

Contents List

Green Bay Mss CT

Letterpress Books
Note: Volume numbers indicated below are the original volume numbers. Volumes 1-4 and 11 were not received in the Archives.

Box/Volume 1/5

1877 October-1878 May

Box/Volume 1/6

1879 July-1880 March

Box/Volume 1/7

1880 April-December

Box/Volume 1/8

1880 December-1881 June

Box/Volume 1/9

1881 December-1882 May

Box/Volume 1/10

1887 December-1890 August

Box/Volume 2/12

1888 June-November

Box/Volume 2/13

1896 September-December

Box/Volume 2/14

1897 November-1898 March

Box/Volume 2/15

1898 March-June

Box/Volume 2/16

1899 August-November

Box/Volume 2/17

1898 October-1900 July

Box/Volume 3/18

1901 August-November

Box/Volume 3/19

1902 September-December

Box/Volume 3/20

1905 September-December

Box/Volume 3/21

1906 May-September

Box/Volume 3/22

1906 September-December

Box/Volume 3/23

1909 August-December

Box/Volume 4/1-9

Miscellaneous Business Records, 1861-1911, undated

Box/Volume 4/10-11

Timber scale books and field books, 1866-1904, undated

Eau Claire Micro 16 /Micro 944 Reel 1

Merchandise Sales No. 2, 1881

Reel 1

Dynamo Time Book, circa 1893 - 1894

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