Thursday, July 15, 2010

1920 Note from ailing Mary R. Shaw, Eddington, Maine

 January 30, 1920 postcard sized note from Mary R. Shaw, to Mary, a former student.  According to what I could find online, Mary R. Shaw was born about 1846, the daughter of Seth Padleford Shaw and his wife Mary S. Shaw.   The note was either enclosed in an envelope or hand delivered, so I have no idea of who the recipient Mary was.

Mary was apparently Seth's second wife; his first was cousin Sarah Crossman Padleford.   I found a reference online to her father Seth Padleford Shaw as a Captain Mariner.  He was born in Wrentham, Massachusetts, but was living in Eddington, Maine, as early as the 1840 Census.  I don't have any information yet on Mary's mother Mary.

Mary R. Shaw had a younger full sister, Sarah H. Shaw.   In the 1880 Census, Mary and Sarah are both listed as schoolteachers, living with their mother Mary.  I couldn't find a death date for their father, but I'm assuming he had died before the 1880 Census was enumerated.   Perhaps Sarah H. Shaw married at some point after 1880 but before 1892, as I don't see her marriage in the Maine Marriages online database.  Of course, she could have married out of state.  If she married and had at least one child, this might account for the niece that Mary R. Shaw is living with in Eddington in 1920.

She also had an older half brother, Seth Padelford Shaw, Jr., who married Sarah Vose Fales of South Thomaston, Maine.  In the 1880 and 1900 Censuses, Seth Padleford Shaw, Jr., was living in New York City and working as a house painter.  From what I could gather online, Seth Jr. had three who died young; his eldest daughter,  Ella Rose Shaw, married John Ackerman and had three children who survived infancy.  She died, I believe, at the age of thirty.   I wonder if one of Ella Rose's children was Mary's "niece", albeit a grand niece.


                                                    East Holden, Jan 30, 1920
My dear Mary
"Your Christmas card was one of the forty or more which reached me in my country home, and I thank you for your loyalty to your old teacher.  My body is in East Eddington, but my mind is in dear old Bangor.  I am using only one crutch in the house now.  Since the deep snows and severe cold weather have come, I am confined to the house.  I am in my room most of the time and am very lonely.

This farm has been for sale ever since my niece's husband died last July.  I do not know where I may be next May.  I suppose you are very busy with your High School work. xcxc.  Are those brothers of yours all right? Please remember me to them.

I suppose you know that our dear Miss Field is in the E. M. G. Hospital.  I am very anxious about her.  I have your picture on my bureau and often look and speak at it.  When you have nothing else to do, please write to your loving friend and teacher.  Mary R. Shaw

If this heirloom is meaningful to you and/or if you have information about the family and teaching career of Mary R. Shaw, please contact me.   I've had a person contact me with some additional family information and a correction (which I've integrated above), but the mystery of the "niece" has not been solved.

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