Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


JOHN H. SHACKELFORD. The Shackelford family has been known in Greene and Webster counties during the past three-quarters of a century, the father of the subject of this review having established the future home of the family here in the year 1840 when Springfield consisted of a few log huts, lately the site of the Kickapoo Indian village; when the county was sparsely settled and very little development had been done, the virgin soil being covered with immense woods or rank wild grass, the haunts of many kindreds of the wild. So the elder Shackelford was an important factor in the early civilization of the county, for he was a builder by profession and was a man who never quailed at hardships and loved to see reclaimed this region of promise. From that early day to this the name of the family here has been one against which no aspersions could be cast, and has always stood for good citizenship.

One of the best known of the present generation is John H. Shackelford, widely known contractor of North Campbell street, Springfield, who was born on October 7, 1855, in Greene county, Missouri, and who has spent his life here and in the adjoining county of Webster. He is a son of Garland and Mary E. (Forren) Shackelford, and is a scion of old Virginia people on his father's side. Garland Shackelford was born in Virginia, January 16, 1816, and there he grew to manhood and spent his life until 1840 when he emigrated overland to Missouri, reaching the present site of Springfield on June 17th of that year. He had learned the carpenter's trade when a young man in his native state and he at once began working at the same in his new community, and had the distinction of building the first frame house in Greene county, which was erected for Major Powell, father-in-law of Martin J. Hubble. He did a great deal of carpenter work and contracting and built many of the best houses in this locality in the pioneer days. In 1850 he joined the gold seekers across the great western plains, making the perilous journey to California, with Rip Weaver and Joe Farris. He returned to Springfield in 1851, on account of sickness, making the return trip by way of the Isthmus of Panama. Upon his arrival here he purchased a farm two miles from town, and continued building and farming for six years, and in 1857 removed to Marshfield, Webster county, this state, where there was a better field for his contracting and building business. There he also bought a fanning and carding mill. He became one of the leading men of that county, and there he spent the rest of his life, reaching the advanced age of ninety-two years, his death occurring on July 9, 1908. He was twice married, Mary E. Forren being his first wife, and to this union thirteen children were born, six sons and seven daughters, six of whom, two sons and four daughters survive, namely: Garland C., of Springfield; Mrs. Mattie Robertson, of Marshfield; Mrs. Loma Darby, of Center Point, Texas; Mrs. Amelia McKnight, of Nevada, Missouri; Mrs.. Josephine E. Lyon, of Marshfield, Oregon, and John H., of this review. The mother of these children was born in Tennessee where she spent her girlhood, coming to Springfield when twelve years of age, her mother having died some time previously. She came to this locality with her father who was a farmer, and here he died during one of the scourges of cholera which swept the country at intervals in those early times. The death of Mrs. Shackelford occurred on January 14, 1892, and the father of our subject subsequently married Miss Ellan Whiticar. His last union was without issue.

John H. Shackelford was two years old when his parents removed with him from Greene to Webster county in 1857, and he grew to manhood at Marshfield where he received his education in the common schools. He assisted his father with his general work as a carpenter, contractor and mill man while growing up, and upon reaching maturity engaged in business for himself first as a farmer and later, March 16, 1883, he came to Springfield and here he has resided ever since, engaging in business, for the most part as a contractor for gravel and composition roofing. His present establishment is located at 968 North Campbell street, where he is well equipped for the prompt and successful carrying on of his line of endeavor, and he has built up an extensive and constantly growing business and employs a large number of skilled workmen. He has a reputation for honest, high grade and quick work and is one of the popular contractors of Springfield, He always handles the best of materials and his prices are reasonable.

Mr. Shackelford was married on July 4, 1886, to Emma Donald, a daughter of William Donald, of Saline county, Missouri. His family consisted of five children, namely: Mrs. Julia Shelby, of Springfield, was twice married, first to ex-senator S. R. Bridges; she has three children; Mrs. Ella Louder is deceased; Emma, who is the wife of Mr. Shackelford of this sketch; Leander McCord Donnell, of Springfield, married Rosie Roberts, and they have four children; Royal, who is engaged in farming in Saline county, this state, married Mattie Crowder, and they have two children.

To John H. Shackelford and wife two children have been born, namely: Bessie E. Tolia Shackelford married Lake H. Gibson, of Springfield; he is city salesman for the G. D. Milligan Grocery Company, and Louis C. Shackelford, who was born on May 24, 1892, was educated in the Springfield schools and Christian Brothers College, St. Louis; he is engaged in the same line of business as his father--gravel and composition roofing, and is a promising young business man.

Politically, Mr. Shackelford is a Democrat. Fraternally, he is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Royal Arcanum and the Modern Woodmen of America. He and his family are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.

[1236-1238]


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