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Portrait

Garvin County, Oklahoma



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© Mallory R. Harvey

Bessie Mabel Jackson Shi
(1888-1968)

Burial in McGee Cemetery


Written & © by Mallory R. Harvey, Ph.D.



Bessie Mabel Jackson was the youngest child of a prominent territorial rancher, Adolphus Muer Jackson and his wife Sarah L. Hyden Jackson. Bessie met Dr. A. H. Shi while she was a young girl, and they married in 1903. She was a devoted wife to Doctor throughout her life in spite difficult health problems. He diagnosed her problem as pernicious anemia in about 1927 after the disease was reported in a medical journal. Hers was one of the first three documented cases of pernicious anemia in Oklahoma. She was the only one of these early patients to live a normal life span. Dr. Shi subsequently diagnosed this disease in their daughter, Dorothy, as well. Bessie had recurring health problems which, until medications were developed to help control the disease, sometimes required that she spend months in the hospital. Even though she always had to rest and watch her health, she led a very disciplined life and always attempted to keep their home life as normal as possible.

As a young woman and mother, Bessie was a very accomplished and impressive woman. She kept a beautiful and welcoming home. She had to do many things for the family herself, as Doctor was frequently away on calls. She was an excellent horsewoman (often riding sidesaddle), a sought-after solo vocalist, a talented pianist, and a proficient cook. She loved all types of sewing and needlework; tailoring and designing clothes; quilting; and upholstering furniture. She did very beautiful handwork, and her heirs treasure her many quilts and other articles of lovely crochet and embroidery. One of her baby quilts took first place at the Oklahoma State Fair in the Antique Quilt Division many years after her death. Bessie made many trips to Oklahoma City by herself with the children over cattle-trail roads and makeshift two ramp, board bridges. She was the first woman in the county to learn to drive an automobile. She also kept in close contact with distant family members by letter. For example, she made a point of writing daily to their daughter, Dorothy, during the years she was away at college. After her own children were grown, Mrs. Shi returned to school to obtain her high school diploma.

Because of Dr. Shi's busy schedule and frequent absences, Bessie often had to be flexible with her activities and schedule as well. In the early days before hospitals, Bessie made their home available to Doctor's patients for surgery or care; oftentimes she would have to clean off the kitchen table for him to operate. Later, she welcomed elderly and ailing relatives into their home to live. When she was able, she provided or supervised care for those who stayed in their home. Later when Dr. and Mrs. Shi invited their son and his family to live permanently in their home, she aided in the rearing of their grandchildren. She faithfully taught music and piano to her grandchildren just as she had taught her own children.

Bessie Shi "Munner" was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She was a devout Christian woman and longtime member of the Stratford Methodist Church.

OBITUARY- Stratford Star

FUNERAL HELD FOR MRS. BESSIE M. SHI NOVEMBER 6, 1968

Mrs. Bessie M. Shi, 80, of Stratford, passed away November 4, 1968 in the Stratford Nursing Home. She was the widow of the late Dr. A.H. Shi who died February 26, 1967.

Mrs. Shi, a member of the Methodist Church, was born June 24, 1888 in Jimtown, Oklahoma, I.T. She came to McGee in 1896 and had lived in this community since that time.

Funeral services were in the Methodist Church at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 6, 1968. Rev. Harold Hunt conducted the services.

Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Josephine Donham of Maysville and Mrs. Dorothy Robertson of Norman; one son, A. H. Shi, Jr., nine grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.

Pallbearers were Frosty Sheppard, Gus Gray, Tom Glass, Pete Collins, John Cothern and Louis Hart.

Interment was in the McGee Cemetery with arrangements by Stratford Funeral Home.


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