Sunday’s Obituary – Bernice Evagaline (Norton) Shackford (1885-1916) (Blog 496)

Bernice Evagaline Norton was born Feb 11, 1885 in Buxton, Maine to Jonathan G and Josephine (Elder) Norton.  She attended Buxton High School and married Marshall Frank Shackford, the son of  Robert F and Caroline P (Usher) Shackford on Sept 8, 1908.  After their marriage, Marshall worked as a brakeman on the steam railroad.

On February 2, 1914, Bernice who was now the mother of a three year old became the postmistress in White Rock, Maine.  Sadly she died at the age of 31 on October 10, 1916 of uremia and complications of a pregnancy.  She was buried in the Highland Cemetery in Buxton, Maine.

This obituary was published on December 8, 1916 in the Biddeford Weekly by one of Bernice’s friends in the:

BERNICE NORTON SHACKFORD The Tribute of a Friend, The Biddeford Weekly Journal (Biddeford, Maine), 8 December 1916In the first shock of the tidings of
the sudden and unexpected passing
of a deer and tried friend, it is not
easy to think of anything but the
blow of the loss. But after a little,
we wish to tell others of the beauty,
and truth of the spirit which has
gone from earth; to sat what, per-
haps, we have all too sparingly said
to the departed in life.
It is thus that I wish to bear my
testimony to the character and life
of my friend who is gone. I knew her
well as a girl hardly past child-
hood, as young woman, wife and
monther, and each of these posit-
ions, she was amply worthy of the
love and appreciation which ever
followed her. Schoolmates know each
other very well, classmates even
better. We were both. As I look
back over the years we then spent
together, I wonder at the beauty of
the character which I then apprecia-
ted too little.
I knew her as a brilliant scholar,
who never did anything which was
not the soul of scholastic honor; as a
faithful, earnest teacher, and as a
loyal, true wife and mother, and a
dutiful and affectionate daughter,
even when family cares had come
into her life and occupied much of
her time.
Wherever she went she won and
kept the love of those about her. She
was a sweet, sunny Christian who
carried her profession into her work
and play. And she was a true, loving
friend. To her, those who were her
friends appeared to possess virtues
which they themselves realized where
not what she though them; but her
beautiful faith made them anxious to
be as near what she thought them as
they could. Her influence was ever
upward, ever towards making us
She has gone from our sight, but
she has drawn our hearts with her,
nearer to heaven; and in our grief,
we seem to hear her say, “Come
dear ones whom I loved, I can’t be
quite happy, even here, until you
come too.”
The following poem, written by a
neighbor, touchingly expresses the
feelings of those of us who knew and
loved her.
Lines written on the death of Ber-
nice Norton Shackford wife of Mar-
shall Shackford, White Rock, Maine.
You have laid her away in her beau-
ty to rest,
And sad, oh sad, is the home!
The Savior has taken the fairest,
the best;
The light of the household is gone!
We shall miss that dear form from
its love-wonted place.
We shall miss the footsteps light
And the sweet smile and the dear
winning face,
And the voice that was sweetest of
For the cheer that she gave, and the
words that she spake
Were filled with the music of love;
Forget not, dear friends, that Ber-
nice is gone.
For God in His wisdom knew best
He took her from earth, and all of
its cares,
And gave her eternal rest
Just a little while longer to want,
watch and weep,
A little while longer to pray,
And the voice of the Savior will
call us all home
And we’ll meet her, some beautiful
– Flora Gustin
White Rock, Maine

Marshall who was now raising a young child on his own married Mary M Chadbourne and moved to Haverhill, Massachusetts where he continued to work on the railroad.  He died September 6, 1952.


Louise Josephine Shackford (1911-1991) married Chester Hope Stamps

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1900 United States Federal Census, York, Maine, population schedule, Buxton, enumeration district (ED) 231, Sheet No 5A, dwelling 82, family 83, John G Norton; digital images, : accessed 7 September 2019).

1910 United States Federal Census, Cumberland County, Maine, population schedule, Gorham, enumeration district (ED) 52, Sheet No 5A, 51 Greene St, household 98, family 118, Marshall F Shackford; digital images, : accessed 7 September 2019).

Find A Grave, Find A Grave, digital images ( : accessed 17 July 2014), Bernice E Shackford, Find A Grave Memorial# 33980562.

Harmon Max C, Editor In Chief, The Crescent(Buxton, Maine: March 1914), page 28; digital images, : accessed 11 September 2017.

Maine, Death Records, 1617-1922, , Bernice E Shackford, 10 October 1916; digital records, : accessed 6 December 2013); Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; 1908-1922 Vital Records; Roll #: 10.

Maine State of Maine, “Maine Births and Christenings, 1739-1900,” database, FamilySearch( : accessed 7 September 2019), Bernice E. Norton.

“WEDDED. NORTON-SHACKFORD,” The Springvale Advocate (Springvale, Maine), 18 September 1908; digital image, The Springvale Public Library & Goodall Memorial Library( : accessed 19 August 2019).

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