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.

Sunday’s Obituary – “When the young are called hence” John S Shackford (1875-1900) of Farmington, NH (Blog 472)

John S Shackford the son of Amasa W and Clara (Lougee) Shackford was born on April 10, 1875 in Barnstead, New Hampshire.   John studied for a short time in New Hampton, New Hampshire and then married Lena Frances Whitehouse, the daughter of Warren and Emma A (York) Whitehouse on November 24, 1897.  The newly married couple lived with John’s parents at 11 Tappan St in Farmington as he began to work for his father who was a well known photographer.  Sadly, John died of tuberculosis on June 28, 1900 and was buried at the young age of 25 in the Farmington Village Cemetery.

John’s wife remained with the Shackford family for some time before marrying Adrian Elmer Hall in 1905.

Fortunately we can learn a bit more about this young man who died early from his obituary which was published by The Farmington News on July 6, 1900.

Obituary John Seth Shackford The Farmington News (Farmington, New Hampshire), 6 July 1900In Memorium.
In the passing onward of friends,
whose years have been many, whatever
be our grief in the loss of their com-
panionship and affectionate considera-
tion, we feel that they are happy in the
going forth from present or approaching
feebleness and probable pain, to become
strong and active again in good works
and to experiences which shall compen-
sate for the discomforts and sorrows of
the phase of existence with which they
have been acquainted; that they “have
live their life,” and have gone to a
world of sweetness and light to be a
part of the new Jerusalem, and to be
judged with the omniscient mercy. And
with such a faith we are consoled.
But when the young are called hense,
we are conscious of a disappointment
in connection with our sorrow of be-
reavement, and while the conditions
that await the aged may be equally
ready for those who are in the flush of
youth, we are slow to accept their con-
solation, for we are overwhelmed with
the sea of anguish of personal loss. We
are robbed, it seems to us, of all that
youth holds as promise of the joy and
comfort of advancing years, and we
feel ourselves desolate indeed.
Few sorrows are greater than is the
parting of parents from their only child,
or than in the giving up of her husband
by a wife.
Such an extreme affliction has been
laid upon Mr. and Mrs. Amasa W.
Shackford and their young daughter-in-
law Mrs. Lena Whitehouse Shackford,
in the decease of John S. Shackford
Thursday evening of last week.
Mr. Shackford was out of health
some time ago, but seemed to improve,
and it was hoped that a long life lay
before one so useful and so dear, bu the
became more and more feeble until at
last the supreme hour drew near and
the Golden Gates were opened for him.
“He could not stay his feet, that led thereto;
It yielded to his touch, and passing through,
He came into a world all bright and fair,
Free from the mists of age, of care, and strife,
Above whose portal shone the Gate of Life.”
Mr Shackford was the only child of
his parents, and had lived always with
them save for time spent in a course of
study at New Hampton, where he be-
came acquainted with the Rev. Frank
Pearson, now pastor of the Free Bap-
tist church in this town, whose minis-
trations to his friend, during the sad
season of illness, have been peculiarly
tender and welcome.
The association of the son in the
business of his father was exceedingly
helpful to the later, and everyone feels
deep sympathy for him who has been
deprived of not only a beloved child
but also of a stay and partner in busi-
ness at a period of life when he looked
reasonably toward a relinquishing of
care to the younger man.
A, like sympathy goes out to the
mother who has been made “to drink
of the Lord’s cup,” whose faith, which
has long been a worthy example to her
associates, has to endure this bitter
trial; and to the young wife, in this
sorrow and loss which charge the bright
promise of the past to this sad certainty
of present loneliness To these who
have laid away the body of their be-
loved, the skies seem dark with clouds
and joy is indeed far off. Yet there
shall be a gleam of blessed sunlight in
the memory of the years that were made
happy to him whom they mourn, by
their devoted love, years which were
gladdened by his kindly presence and
cheery companionship; and the prom-
ises of the watchful Father of all endure
from everlasting to everlasting, to save
his children from despair.
The funeral of Mr. Shackford took
place Sunday afternoon in charge of B.
F. Perkins, with the Free Baptist pas-
tor as the officiating clergyman. In
the performing of his sad duty Mr.
Pearson was both the pastor and the
friend. He has known the upright and
useful life of this young townsman, and
the happy relatinoship of which he was
a part, and he could speak with loving
sympathy, as well as with priestly au-
thority in directing the sticken family
to the true and unfailing source of con-
solation, and of courage to bear even
this exceeding anguish.
Among friends from out of town
who attended the service were Mrs.
Dow and her son, Mr William Dow,
of Barnstead; Mrs. Varney and Mr.
and Mrs. Dow of Laconia; Mr and
Mrs. Varney of Alton; Mrs. Leighton
of Haverhill, Mass; Mr. and Mrs
Warren Whitehouse, the parents of the
widow, with their daughter Mrs. Ed-
win Wallace and Mr. Wallace of San-
bornville, and their sons Albert and
Charles Whitehouse, and also from
Middleton, Mr. and Mrs. George
Stevens, with many friends and real-
tives from the nearer vicinity of Farm-
ington. Members of the Montauk
club were present, and a beautiful
floral pillow was received from the or-
ganization. Beautiful flowers were
received from many other friends,
among which were those from Mrs. U.
S Knox, a sister of the young widow;
bouquets from Mrs. George of Middle-
ton and Lewis Gilson of Alton; a cross
from Laconia friends, and a harp from
Mrs. Walter L. Chelsey and Mrs
Charles Crosby.
Internment was made in the Farming-
ton cemetery.

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!!


“In Memorium,” The Farmington News (Farmington, New Hampshire), 6 July 1900; digital images, Farmington Preservation( : accessed 8 August 2014).

New Hampshire, New Hampshire Birth Records, Early to 1900, , John S Shackford, 10 April 1875; digital images, FamilySearch( : accessed 17 August 2015).

New Hampshire, New Hampshire, Death Records, 1654-1947, , John S Shackford, 28 June 1900; digital images, FamilySearch, New Hampshire, Death Records, 1654-1947( : accessed 30 May 2014).

New Hampshire, New Hampshire Marriages, 1720-1920, , John S. Shackford and Lena F. Whitehouse, 24 November 1897; database, FamilySearch( : accessed 23 August 2015).

“,” The Farmington News (Farmington, New Hampshire), 22 June 1900; digital images, Farmington Preservation( : accessed 8 Aug

Copyright 2018 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not copy this material and paste it elsewhere)