Hello Forest County Residents!
This week’s featured female historical figure for Women’s History Month is Louise Webb Shaw. She is well-known for being the first white female settler in Crandon. Louise was born in Waukesha in 1844 to Robert and Parnal Hulbert Beckwith Webb. When she was eight her family moved to Omro where she attended school and studied music. She was married to Samual Shaw on July 17th, 1865. The Shaws moved to Madison in 1873 where Samuel became superintendent of schools while he invested in timber in Northern Wisconsin. The Shaws relocated to Northern Wisconsin in 1883 and Louise named the region “Forest County” in 1885. She became the county’s first superintendent of schools and would frequently visit the schools on horseback. At the time Forest County schools included institutions in Pelican Lake, Monico, and Three Lakes. Louise brought a medical book with her to the Northwoods and would assist her neighbors when their children became ill. The first post office called Ayr was located in the Shaw home and Mrs. Shaw became the community’s first postmaster. She handled the mail which was brought in by stage coach twice a week. Louise was a devout Christian; she instituted the community’s first religious services which were held in the Shaw home. In 1930, she suffered a stroke which affected the left side of her body but she still maintained an active interest in her community, especially enjoying reading and visiting her friends. Two years later Louise passed away and the mayor declared that all stores and places of business would be closed during her funeral out of respect for such a beloved resident ( Forest Republican 1932).