The town, which was the trade, social, and intellectual nucleus of Kentucky, contained about three or four hundred homes which were clustered around the court-house. Although not a major market place, it consisted of smiths, shoemakers, hatters, and a local brewer. Land could be bought for seven shillings or $1.20 per acre, but in 1795 her father Joshua arranged to share crop a tract south of town below the road linking Lexington to Frankfort on the west and to Clark Courthouse in Winchester on the east.
It was here that Margaret grew up and on 25 Dec 1800 and was united in marriage to Hiram Shaw in Lexington. Hiram had been born in North Adams, Massachusetts and had come to Lexington sometime between 1785 and 1798 when he announced “the making of all kinds of furr and wool hats, at his factory on northeast corner of Main and Cross Streets."
In 1805 Hiram’s partner, John Lowry, turned over the hat making business to him and it was under Hiram's apprenticeship that Margaret’s youngest brother, Joshua Pilcher, the fur trader and Indian Agent (who later succeeded William Clark as Superintendent of Indian Affairs) learned the hatter trade.
The next children born to Margaret and Hiram were Ann T. Shaw, born 18 Apr 1806 and son Ammi Shaw born 18 Dec 1807. Their fifth child, Hiram Shaw, was born on 13 Aug 1809. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to Joseph Putman who manufactured wool carding machines and remained with him for about ten years. Several years after his brother Nathaniel and James White had gone into business, Hiram purchased White's interest and the firm became known as N & H Shaw. He was married to Ann E. "Nancy" Marsh, daughter of Richard Marsh and Catherine (Milward) in 1838 and they were the parents of five children. He was listed as a hatter in the 1850 census, and in the 1859 and 1860 Lexington Directories he was listed as a clerk boarding at south side of Short between Spring and Jefferson.
The following year, in the mid-summer of 1810 Margaret’s father died at the age of sixty-one. The family's crops, stock, furniture, and utensils were sold off and her mother Nancy moved in with one of her married children.
Margaret died on 24 Mar 1861 in Lexington and was laid to rest in the Lexington Cemetery in Section C, Lot 25, Part S½. Son Hiram and daughter Nancy Pilcher were also laid to rest at this cemetery.
Note: See also my Early St. Louis blog, "The Liggett and Myer Tobacco Company" successors to Hiram Shaw and Co.
- Kentucky Obituaries 1787-1854 compiled by G. Glenn Clift, index by Anita Comtois, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Frankfort, KY, 1977
- The Lexington Cemetery - Established in 1849
- Perrinn, William Henry, History of Fayette County, Kentucky, Southern Historical Press, 1882
- Peter, Robert, History of Fayette County, Kentucky, O.L. Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1882
- Pilcher, Margaret Campbell, Historical Sketches of the Campbell, Pilcher and Kindred Families, Press of Marshall & Bruce Co., Nashville, TN, 1911.
- Shaw, Ralph M., Typescript of The Shaw Pilcher Families, Missouri History Museum
- Sunder, John E. Joshua Pilcher Fur Trader and Indian Agent, University of Oklahoma Press, 1968
- United States Census, 1850 index and images, FamilySearch: Margaret Shaw in household of Hiram Shaw, Fayette county, Fayette, Kentucky, United States; citing family 585, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- United States Census, 1860 index, FamilySearch: Margaret Shaw in household of Hiram Shaw, Ward No 1 City Of Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky, United States, household ID 686, NARA microfilm publication M653, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; FHL microfilm 803,365