Regarding Mrs. Fannie S. Gibbons

Posted on October 24, 2010 by


Having promised to tell more about the subject of the poem that I posted the other day

I really don’t know a great deal about Fannie Gibbons, but know much more about her husband. Nonetheless…

Fannie Shacklett, daughter of Samuel (1804-1886) and Maria Graham Henry Shacklett (1811-1870) was born April 27, 1834; Samuel Shacklett being a son of Edward and Elizabeth Rector Shacklett (and, yes, she is from the same family for which Rector’s Cross Roads, now known as Rectortown, was named), and Maria, a daughter of Samuel Henry and Sarah Stewart.

Having relocated from Northern Virginia (probably Fauquier County) in 1828, Fannie’s father became a successful merchant (James Madison University has Shacklett’s day books, which run from 1845-1866) in Harrisonburg (his store was on the northeast corner of Court Square and North Main Street, and, as of the latter 1930s, was occupied in part by the Fletcher Pharmacy), and, at times, may have worked in partnership with his father-in-law. Not only was Shacklett a successful merchant, but he was also active in town affairs, having been among elected trustees of the town for 1838. He also served as an appointee on the Harrisonburg subscription committee for the Harrisonburg and Staunton Turnpike Company.

S.B. Gibbons, ca. 1861

The Shacklett family experienced the births of five children between 1831 and 1847. The first two children, Henry and Fannie, survived past childhood, while the youngest, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Harriet, all died before the age of 4. Around the year 1854, Samuel Shacklett may have partnered with Simeon Beauford Gibbons (graduate of VMI… and more, see his bio sketch through the hyperlink)… who ended up marrying Fannie in 1855. Sadly, that marriage didn’t last long, and, as one can see from the photo of the headstone I shared the other day, she died February 27, 1856. As of the 1860 census, Shacklett was listed, residing with his wife, and as a retiree with assets in the amount of $27,000. Also listed in the household was son-in-law, S. B. Gibbons, with $13,500 in assets, with whom, it seems, the mercantile partnership had continued.

So, really, not a great deal of information on Fannie, but she and the poet that I haven’t named yet did move within the same social circles.

*Though it doesn’t provide much more than what you have read here, Samuel Shacklett’s biographical sketch has been added to my Biographical Sketches, and can be found, here. Col. S.B. Gibbons’ bio sketch can be found, here.