Amasa W Shackford, Photographer, of Farmington, NH (1834-1913) (Blog 477)

Photographs and stereocards by Amasa W Shackford, also known as A W Shackford are featured on e-bay, at AbeBooks, in the New York Public Library, at the New Hampshire Historical Society, on Wikimedia, and at many other locations.  His exceptional photographs preserve the history of many people and towns of New Hampshire.

Normally we’ve written about Shackford’s but in this case we’ve chosen to share an exceptional biography and obituary about Amasa’ life.  The biography about Amasa was featured in the 1897 Biographical Review Volume XXI Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Belknap and Strafford Counties New Hampshire:

Amasa W Shackford Biographical Review Publishing, Biographical Review Volume XXI Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Strafford and Belknap Counties New Hampshire (Boston- Bi

Amasa W Shackford, a photographer, well versed in his art, and one of the foremost residents of Farmington, was born in Barnstead, this State, November 18, 1834. His grandfather Josiah Shackford, who was born and bred in Portsmouth, removed to Barnstead in the latter part of the past century. The father, Seth Shackford, spent the seventy-seven years of his life in Barnstead. Besides general farming he followed the occupation of cattle drover and general merchant. his reputation was that of a capable business man. A straightforward Democrat in politics, he was influential in local affairs, served in all the town offices and for a time in the respective capacities of County Commissioner and Representative to the General Court. His first wife, whose maiden name was Harriet Hill, died a few years after the marriage, leaving three children. These were: Horatio H., of Barnstead; Amasa W., the subject of this brief sketch; and Lydia A., the wife of Charles H. Dow. His second wife, Roxa A (Nute) Shackford, left no children at her death. He subsequently contracted a third marriage with Mrs. Pamelia Brown, of Barnstead.

Amasa W. Shackford received his education at Pittsfield and at the New London Literary Institute. He went soon after to Concord to learn photography, for a while being employed in the studio of Benjamin Carr. Having acquired a good knowledge of the business, he purchased and fitted up a photographer’s cart, with which he traveled for about six years. In 1886, or thereabouts, Mr. Shackford opened a gallery in Farmington, and has since continued in his chosen occupation in this town. For a score of years he taught school in Farmington, Barnstead, Northwood, and Gilmanton, including classes in penmanship in the public schools.  In 1884 he built the large block on Central Street in which his studio has since been located, his large and constantly increasing patronage having demanded more commodious quarters.  An artist of wide experience, and doing work that compares favorably with that of the leading photographers of the country, he has a large and constantly increasing patronage.  He is now assisted by his son, to whom he has relegated the larger part of the responsible work of the establishment.  In politics he acts with the Democratic party.  He served his fellow townsmen in the capacity of Town Clerk for five years and that of member of the School Board for three years.  He was made a Mason in Fraternal Lodge; is a member of Woodbine Lodge I.O.O.F.; and belongs to the Henry Wilson Colony of Pilgrim Fathers of Farmington.

  Mr. Shackford married Miss Clara A. Lougee, of Barnstead, a daughter of Simeon and Mary (Tibbetts) Lougee.  Mr. and Mrs. Shackford have but one child, John S., who has largely succeeded to the business of his father.  John S. Shackford competed the course of study at the Farmington High School, and was subsequently graduated from the Scientific and Literary Institute at New Hampton, N. H.  He is a man of good mental attainments, is gifted by nature with artistic ability, and has inherited his father’s skill in penmanship.  Mr. Amasa W. Shackford and his family are regular attendants of the Free Will Baptist church, and contribute their full share toward its maintenance.

Amasa’s life was further described in this obituary published in The Farmington News on February 7, 1913:

Obituary Amasa William Shackford In Memoriam. Mr Shackford, The Farmington News (Farmington, New Hampshire), 7 February 2018Amasa W Shackford died last Satur
day night at the home of his daughter-
in-law, Mrs. Adrian Hall of High street,
Rochester, after a long period of failing
heath from a slow form of paralysis
aged 78 years. Mr Shackford was a
native of Barnstead, the second son of
Seth and Harriet (Hill) Shackford of
that town. He received his early educa-
tion in the schools of Pittsfield, later
attending Wolfeboro academy and fin-
ishing at New London Seminary. He
taught school winters for twenty years
at Eliot, Me, Barnstead, Gilmanton,
New Durham and Farmington. He
was married in early life to Miss Clara
A Lougee of Barnstead and to them one
child was born, a son who died June
28, 1900, at the age of 25 years, leaving a
young widow, who, when failing health
made a change necessary, kindly opened
her home to Mr and Mrs Shackford
and with the help of her husband, made
“Pa’s last days pleasant and happy. Mr
Shackford was a photographer of promi-
nance, which profession he faollowed
during his 38 years as a resident of this
town. He was widely known and uni-
versally respected by a large number of
friends and acquaintenances. He had held
several town offices and for a number of
years was town clerk. He was a mem-
berof Woodblue lodge, I. I. O. F., of
this town. He is survived by his wife
and by one sister Mrs. Lydia Dow of
Barnstead. Funeral was held from the
home of Mrs Gall in Rochester last
Tuesday afternoon at on-o’clock, Rev.
T. H. Scammon of this town officiating,
with B. F. Perkins in charge. Singing
was by Rev. Wesley A. Paige. There
was a profusion of exquisite floral offer-
ings. The body was brought to Farm-
ington and internment made in the family
lot at Pine Grove cemetery.

Amasa Shackford Gravestone FindaGrave permission granted from Pittynh photographer
Photo of Amasa W Shackford’s gravestone taken by Pittnh who graciously gave permission for us to post it with this blog

The photographer of Amasa’s gravestone, Pittnh has graciously given permission to share a copy of the photograph of Amasa’s gravestone that he posted at FindAGrave here:

A reader of this blog informed me that a photo of Amasa can be found at the Farmington Historical Society’s WEB site which is from their February 1986 Mixed Photo Collection.

Note:  We had Amasa originally listed as Amasa William Shackford in the title of this blog after reviewing all the sources we have, we can’t find any reference to his middle name so have changed all references to his middle name to W.

All posts on this website are a work in progress.  We’d love to learn of any corrections or additions to the information shared.  Also we’d love it if  you’d like the post here or at as that helps share the post with others. Thanks!


Biographical Review Publishing, Biographical Review Volume XXI Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Belknap and Strafford Counties New Hampshire(Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1897), page 79-80; digital images, Google Books( : accessed 7 October 2013.

Find A Grave, Find A Grave, digital images ( : accessed 17 July 2014), Amasa W Shackford, Find A Grave Memorial# 130232058.

“In Memoriam. Mr Shackford,” The Farmington News (Farmington, New Hampshire), 7 February 2018; digital images, Farmington Preservation( : accessed 14 July 2018).

Copyright 2018 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not copy this material and paste it elsewhere).  Amasa is my fifth cousin three times removed.