Heartwarming reunion of Hibbing civil war brothers

The Minnesota monument at the Gettysburg National Battlefield

The monument to Minnesota soldiers at the Gettysburg National Battlefield. PHOTO: Frank Kovalchek, Creative Commons

The holidays are a time to reunite families. I was interested to read a June 7, 1913 story from the (Hibbing, Minn.) Mesaba Ore, reprinted Sunday on Jack Lynch’s history page in the Hibbing Daily Tribune. Two Hibbing civil war brothers, separated for 35 years, realized late in life they had been living in different parts of the same small Iron Range city in northern Minnesota.

Here’s the story as it appeared in 1913 and again in Sunday’s paper:

Strange things happen every day, but one of the strangest incidents that has occurred in Hibbing for some time was the uniting of two brothers, John and James Shaw, veterans of the civil war, after a separation of thirty-five years. The meeting was brought about by Joseph Moran, township assessor, another of the local veterans of the civil war.

Both the Messrs. Shaw have been residents of Hibbing for a number of years.

James residing at the Webb location, while John has made his home at the Penobscot.

Neither have been able to get around to any extent on account of old age, and neither knew of the other’s whereabouts.

During the Memorial Day services, held on Friday of last week, Joseph Moran lean red from John Shaw, who took part in the ceremonies, that he had a brother who had joined a Wisconsin regiment, but whom he had not heard from in thirty-five years. Mr. Moran, who knew that there was another veteran residing at the Webb mine by the name of Shaw, but who had never been able to take part in any of the Memorial celebrations that had been held in Hibbing in the past, thought it more than likely that the two men were brothers, and arranged for a meeting between them on Tuesday, where it was established without a doubt that they were kin.

James Shaw, who has been in poor health for a number of years, is in a critical condition, but was able to relate several instances of when he and his brother were boys, which added much to the pleasure of the reunion after the long separation.

As we gather with family, some from afar, think of the notion that some reunions take place just across town.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.