Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Samuel Carter Shaw was born in Redding, Connecticut, November 3d, 1866. He prepared for college in the Staples Free School and was graduated with honors from Yale University in 1891. He taught in private schools several years, studied law in New York Law School and Harvard Law School, and was admitted to the bar of this State in 1899. He practiced law in Bridgeport until 1927 when he was appointed judge of the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas, serving upon that bench until his retirement in 1936 by reason of the constitutional age limitation.
Judge Shaw's career at the bar was marked by devotion to the highest ideals of the profession. He was a student of the law, and a sound lawyer who gave his clients wise advice and upon whose judgment they could safely rely. He inspired confidence and deserved it, and thus quite naturally his services were frequently sought in a fiduciary capacity. He served as treasurer of the Fairfield County Law Library Association, as a member of the Fairfield County grievance committee and was president of the Bridgeport Bar Association in 1922. He represented his native town in the Legislature for three terms and was majority leader in the State Senate in the session of 1927.
Upon the bench of the Common Pleas Court Judge Shaw maintained the high repute of that court set by a long line of distinguished judges. He was eminently fitted in character and learning for judicial place. He possessed the judicial temperament - the ability to reserve judgment until all the evidence and arguments had been heard. He was an able, conscientious and just judge who loved his work and did it well. Always courteous, dignified and fair, he won the high regard and affection of the bar which was fittingly expressed in the tribute paid him the last day that he sat upon the bench.
Judge Shaw was active in all matters affecting the interests of Yale University of which he was an exceptionally loyal alumnus. He had served as president of the Yale Alumni Association of Fairfield County, and of the New England Yale Clubs and at the time of his death was a member of the Yale Alumni Board and president of the University Club of Bridgeport. He was deeply interested in the welfare of his native town and took a leading part in all town affairs.
Judge Shaw exemplified in his life the finest qualities of our New England tradition. He served his state with distinction in the Legislature and upon the bench. His private life was rich in friendship and unselfish deeds and devotion to his family. He married on November 22d, 1905, Margaret Seefeld Adams, who predeceased him by less than a year. He is survived by a son, Frederick Sanford Shaw, a daughter Margaret Elizabeth Shaw and two stepsons, Pierpoint Adams and Kempton Adams.