LAWRENCE, May 15 - William Shackford died today, after an illness of short duration. He was one of the survivors of the
William Shackford was the fourth great grandson of WILLIAM SHACKFORD (Nathaniel-6,Nathaniel Cooper-5, Samuel-4, William-3, Samuel-2, WILLIAM-1). He was born in Saco, York, Maine May 28, 1834 to Nathaniel Shackford and Abigail Coleman and lived in Saco, York Maine in the 1850s[i]. By 1859 he had moved to Lawrence where he married Frances Sarah Tarbell (daughter of Calvin Tarbell and Rosetta Roundy)[ii]. He was working as an overseer[iii] in the Pemberton Mills when it collapsed on January 10, 1860[iv] and was one of the 139 people badly injured[v]. According to his obituary published in the Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, he was "thrown to the ground from an upper room, and pinned down by timbers, and when finally rescued was thought to be dead.[vi] He recovered from his injuries and on August 29, 1862 enlisted in the 4th Massachusetts Infantry Company H where he served for one year until August 28, 1863. Although his regiment traveled far from Massachusetts, William may have been able to see his newborn daughter Vesta E who was born in October 1862. According to the National Park Service, The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, the 4th was moved to New York in December 1862, then traveled by boat to New Orleans, La arriving in Feb 1863. The regiment fought in multiple battles in Louisiana including the siege of Port Hudson on the Mississippi River which lasted 48 days. After the Confederates surrendered, the regiment defended the garrison until August 4th when they began their journey home to Boston where they were
mustered out on August 28, 1863[vii]
After the his unit mustered out, William returned to Lawrence and was working as a clerk in a clothing store in 1870 living with his wife Frances, 7 year old daughter, and his in-laws. He filed for a pension as an invalid in 1879[viii] but by 1880 was able to work as a clerk in a printing office[ix] and shortly thereafter was hired as the bookkeeper at the Lawrence American[x] where he worked until his death at age 52 on May 15, 1887. His death certificate lists cause of death as inanition (a form of starvation) caused by malaria poison[xi]. This was a common cause of death for many civil war veterans who served in the deep south. William's obituary mentions that he was active in the Needham Post 30 G.A.R., the Merriman Lodge and the 162 Knights of Honor.[xii]
After his death, his widow Frances applied for a widow pension[xiii]. She remained in Lawrence staying active in the Methodist Church[xiv] until her death at the age of 75 and.
Vesta E. Shackford (1862 - ????) - schoolteacher
[i] Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh
Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432,;), Year: 1850; Census Place: Saco, York, Maine; Roll: M432_275; Page: 33
[iii] Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine, May 19, 1887
[vi] Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine), May 19, 1887
[vii] Regiment Details Union Massachusetts Volunteers, 4th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry, http://www.nps.gov/civilwar
[viii] National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]
[ix] Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census, Year: 1880; Census Place: Lawrence, Essex, Massachusetts; Roll: T9_530; Family History Film: 1254530;
Page: 193.3000; Enumeration District: 188; Image: 0007
[x][x] "Death of William Shackford," Boston Daily Globe, 16 May 1887; Access Newspaper Archives (http://access.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 1 June 2013).
[xi] Massachusetts, Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, page 111 (stamped), William Shackford, 15 May 1887; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 June 2013).
[xii] "Death of William Shackford," Boston Daily Globe, 16 May 1887; Access Newspaper Archives http://access.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 1 June 2013
[xiii] National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000
[xiv] Woman's Missionary Friend (August 1889), p. 85; digital images, Google e-Books
(http://books.google.com : accessed 2 June 2013
Copyright 2013 Joanne Shackford Parkes