Robert Gould Shaw was born May 6, 1850 in Parkman, Maine, the son of Samuel Parkman Shaw and his wife Hannah Buck (daughter of Joshua Buck).
He married on September 14, 1875 to Isabella Pratt Hunnewell (b. 3Jul1849 in Wellesley MA; d. 26May1934), daughter of Horatio Hollis Hunnewell and his wife Isabella Pratt Welles (daughter of John Welles).
Robert Gould Shaw died on April 10, 1931 in Brookline.
Robert Shaw graduated from Harvard in 1869 and entered the business firm of Horatio Harris & Company. After travelling in Europe and then returning to the firm, he decided to go abroad again in February 1871. He spent six months at Heidelberg and Stuttgart, and then went to Munich, where he studied architecture at the Royal Polytechnic School.
In early 1874, he returned to Boston and worked as a draftsman in the offices of A. C. Martin. In December of 1874, he joined with his brother, George Russell Shaw, in the firm of Shaw and Shaw. In about 1882, he retired from architecture in order to manage properties as a trustee of various estates. At about the same time, his brother-in-law, Henry Sargent Hunnewell, went into partnership with George Shaw, forming the firm of Shaw and Hunnewell.
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