Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw
Dr. Shaw was an ordained Methodist minister, physician, temperance lecturer, women's suffrage orator,
and peace advocate. A member of a pioneer family, she lived in Big Rapids, Michigan USA when she was high school age. Her early education was in Big Rapids High School and Albion College. She became a friend and colleague of
Susan B. Anthony and was the first
woman to receive the highest civilian Presidential citation, the Distinguished Service
Medal, for her international efforts on behalf of world peace. In 1983 she was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall
of Fame and into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2000. This website focuses on Anna's time in Michigan and provides biographical material and links to other events in her life.
The statue pictured here stands next to the library in Big Rapids,
Michigan, USA. It was designed by Lloyd Radell and dedicated in 1988.
A bronze plaque on
a 3-ton rock was placed near the (then) high school in Big Rapids, Michigan, in 1930 by
the Big Rapids Women's Club, in time for the Big Rapids Diamond Jubilee. The plaque was later moved to the Mecosta County Historical Museum, with a rededication ceremony on
September 7, 2000. The plaque has the following inscription:
To the honor
and happy memory of
Anna Howard Shaw
Distinguished daughter of
the State of Michigan
Pioneer Resident of
the City of Big Rapids
"She cut a path through tangled underwood
of old traditions to broader ways."
The town of
Ashton, Michigan, in Osceola County, also has a monument to Anna Howard Shaw. It's just
north of the four-way stop in town, on the west side of the road, and commemorates her
first sermon, which was preached at the church in Ashton in 1870. (Thanks to Roger Elkins for this
The most recent commemoration of Dr. Shaw's life in Michigan was the establishment in June 2010 of a Michigan Historical Society plaque on 22-Mile Road just east of 220th Avenue, marking the homestead where Anna Howard Shaw lived as a young girl with her mother and her sisters. The placing of the plaque was accomplished through the efforts of the Mecosta County chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The home is now owned by Helen Sanders, whose in-laws bought the farm from the Shaw family in 1915. Particularly interesting is that Dr. Shaw visited the property and the family living there just before her death in 1919. Click here to read a copy of a Big Rapids Pioneer article about the plaque.