Submitted by Sandra Shaw/Schoch Hartwick
Pinconning, MI email@example.com
Our surname is SHAW.
Mother, Virginia Helen Long SHAW, b. 02 Feb 1913, Cleveland, Cuyahoga
County, Ohio, d. 16 Mar 1988, Hampton Township, Bay County, Michigan.
Father, F. (for Frederick) Arnold SHAW, b. 10 Sep 1910, Kawkawlin, Bay
County, Michigan, d. 22 Oct 2001, Bay City, Bay County, Michigan.
Me, Sandra Virginia SHAW, b. 12 Jan 1940, Detroit, Wayne County,
Michigan. My brothers:
Jack Arnold SHAW, b. 09 Jan 1944, Niles, Berrien County, Michigan;
George Alexander SHAW, b. 18 Jul 1947, Niles, Berrien County, Michigan.
Both boys were born in Pawating Hospital. A relative said that the
hospital should be named 'Pa's a waiting.'
In elementary school we had to be tested for tuberculosis. My school
was on Sycamore, or the street north of it, in about the 1300 or 1400
block. As I recall, it was a rather new school.
The hotel was named Four Flags for the fact that the Spanish, French,
British, and American flags had all flown over the area.
My father was one of the founders of the Niles YMCA. He planted a
Victory Garden, in an empty lot across from our house in the 1600 block
of Regent St., which won second prize for the city. As a member of the
Niles Lions Club, he knew the man who was, or became, the oldest known
We attended the Presbyterian Church. Not sure if it had a prefix such
as First, Second, ?. The minister was Dr. Greenhoe. My mother sang in
the choir and was involved in women's groups. My father was
superintendent of the Sunday School.
During the Second World War, convoys of Army trucks traveled regularly
on the north/south street at the east end of our block - 1645 Regent
St., as far as Regent St. went at the time. They were guarded by MP's
(Military Police) riding heavy white motorcycles. I'm not sure if the
trucks carried war materiel (spelling is correct) or prisoners of war.
I believe there were German prisoners in the area who worked at farms.
A Mr. Tyler from Niles was wealthy, a successful businessman? The
student center at Alma College, Alma, Gratiot County, Michigan, is named
for him. Tragically, he was killed in a hotel fire in Chicago.
About 1943, an earthquake was felt in Niles. It is listed in some
compilations of known earthquakes. I believe its epicenter was in
Coldwater, MI. It began with a faint, but distinct, roaring sound. Our
house shook perceptively. It was in the summer, about 8-9 pm. All the
neighbors came running out of their houses. I thought it was hilarious
to see the German Shepard-guard-dog-owning man come running in his pj's.
One summer, probably 1945, we were finishing dinner on our screened
porch when we heard someone scratching on the screen. Scary! It was
two men with bedrolls who said they had just left a train from the west,
and they were hungry. My mother fed them, but my father insisted they
eat outside. No harm done.
When Dewey was running for President, his train made a whistle stop at
the Niles train station. I was sitting on my father's shoulders. He
tried to get close to Dewey, who was standing on the rear platform of
the train, but the train pulled out just before we got there. The Niles
train station was used in the movie Midnight Run, starring, Robert
DeNiro and Charles ? (the funny guy from Dave and the movies about the
Remember, all this stuff comes from 1941-1947.
This page was last modified <22 August 2006>
This website is created and copyrighted 2006 by Bev Edwards & Dea West