CAPT. SAMUEL SHACKFORD

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 632-634

CAPT. SAMUEL SHACKFORD, an old-time shipmaster, and for many years prominent in official life in Chicago, was born February 22, 1821 at Eastport, Maine. His remote ancestors were natives of Bristol, England, whence the paternal great-great-great-grandfather, William Shackford, emigrated to America. The town records of Dover, New Hampshire, for 1660 show that he was taxed there in that year. He was a planter, possessed of a large tract of land, and by occupation was a house-wright.  He was one of the men appointed by the town to arrange for the settlement and due installment as a minister of the Gospel of Rev. Joseph Adams (an uncle of President John Adams), who preached at Dover for many years. William Shackford died in Dover in 1720, having been an honored and respected citizen for over sixty years. His wife was Deborah Trickey, whose father was one of the pioneers of that town.  He was one of those who signed a petition for the annexation of New Hampshire to Massachusetts in 1640. He took the oath of fidelity at a training in 1669. To William and Deborah Shackford were born the following children: Samuel, John, Joshua and Mary.

Joshua Shackford was a farmer, and lived and died on the old homestead, reaching a good old age. He was twice married, and had a family of six children. His first wife, Mary, was the mother of Sarah, Mary and Lazarus. The second wife, Elizabeth Barnes, had John, Samuel and Paul.

Samuel Shackford was a sea-captain, and lived in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he died. July 9, 1740, he married Mary Coombs, who became the mother of seven children, as follows: Mary, Sarah, William, John, Rebecca, Levi and Susannah. Of these Copt. John Shackford was the grandfather of the subject of this biography.

He was born at Newburyport, December 28, 1754, and died on Christmas Day, 1840. He permanently settled at Eastport, Maine, in 1783, and in that town he died. His first wife was Esther, daughter of Capt. Gideon Woodwell, an extensive shipbuilder of Newburyport. They were married November 26, 1780. Mrs. Shackford had been well reared and was a woman of much culture, who met the difficulties of life in the wilderness with unfailing cheerfulness. She was the mother of ten children, who owed their education to her loving care. The family secured the services as a teacher, for a short time, of the mother of William Lloyd Garrison, but Mrs. Shackford gave to her children the most of their tuition. She was born May 28, 1754, and died at Eastport, Maine, June 21, 1830. Capt. John Shackford, who was a soldier of the Revolution, was a trader and became possessed of a large landed estate. He was also an extensive vessel-owner, and his son John sailed the first packet between Eastport and Boston, Massachusetts. At the news of the battle of Lexington, the father joined a company of volunteers which started the same day for the seat of war. He was taken prisoner at the siege of Quebec, and was held in captivity for nine months. After his discharge he joined General Washington’s army, and after participating in many thrilling events of the war, was discharged in New Jersey. His children were: John, William, Samuel, Samuel (second), Jacob, Hannah, Esther, Sarah, Gideon W. and Jeremiah. All the sons were sailors, and the daughters married sailors.

Capt. Samuel Shackford was born in Eastport, Maine, and was probably the first white child born there. He was a shipmaster, and died at Demerara, South America, August 19, 1820. He married Elizabeth, a daughter of Otis Lincoln, of Perry, Maine, and a relative of Abraham Lincoln’s family. She was born August 2, 1795, in Hingham, Massachusetts, and died May 28, 1884, in Eastport, Maine, when she had reached the great age of ninety years.

Samuel Shackford is the only son of Samuel and Elizabeth Shackford. He was educated in his native town and there grew to manhood. He was, like his father, a shipmaster, which calling he followed until he came to Chicago, in November, 1853. Immediately on reaching this city, he engaged in the commission produce business, an enterprise which he carried on until the great Chicago fire, after which he removed to Winnetka.

While living in Chicago, he was one of the early members of the Board of Trade, and served two terms in the City Council during Mayor Rice’s administration. For five years he was a member of the Cook county Board of Supervisors, serving on several important committees, and for a time was Chairman of the Finance committee. During the Civil War over two and a-half million of dollars of soldiers’ bounties passed through the hands of this committee. He served about four years as a member of the Chicago Board of Education, rendering valuable service to the city, the benefit of which is in some cases enjoyed to this day. For many years he was a Trustee of Rev. Robert Collyer’s church in Chicago, and was an exemplary churchman, never noted for extreme piety, but highly respected for his practical ideas of Christianity. He has been for years a Trustee of the village of Winnetka, and has acted as President of the Board. For the last thirteen years he has been Police Magistrate of that village.

July 22, 1851, in Eastport, Maine, Captain Shackford married Miss Mary, daughter of Abiel and Charlotte (Ilsley) Tinkham. The Tinkhams were an old Massachusetts family. To Captain and Mrs. Shackford were given two children: Elizabeth Lincoln, now the wife of William A. Otis, of Chicago; and Frederick Tinkham, who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Otis have two children, Samuel S. and Louise.

Mr. Shackford has always been highly esteemed as a public-spirited and useful citizen. Before the Great Fire he had, perhaps, the finest and most complete records of city and county affairs ever in the possession of any one person, and his excellent memory aided him in the recollection of important transactions, which made all very valuable to the citizens. The people seemed to feel, and often expressed themselves in saying, that if he was chairman of a committee, that committee would do its full duty in advancing the interests of the city. He was indefatigable in looking after the affairs of the public in general, nor was he negligent of his own business.

He has the best genealogical record of the Shackford family, and more interesting family records and mementoes than any other man in the state. Members of the old Shackford family are related to the first families in New England, proof of which he has in his possession. Mr. Shackford has written and left to posterity many valuable genealogical records, which have been, from time to time published. Notable among these, because of national interest, is “The Lineage of President Abraham Lincoln,” as published in the “New England Historical and Genealogical Register” for April, 1887, in which the writer, whose mother was a Lincoln, proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the brothers, Mordecai and Abraham Lincoln, sons of Mordecai and Sarah (Jones) Lincoln, of Scituate, Massachusetts, were the ancestors of the Lincoln families of Pennsylvania, and that Abraham Lincoln, the Martyr President, was descended from the brother Mordecai, through John, Abraham and Thomas, his father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

— Submitted by Sherri Hessick on July 8, 2001

DISCLAIMER:  The submitter is not related to the subject of this biography nor is she related to anyone mentioned in the biography.