Wonderful Women of Norwood: Maude Alice Shattuck
Norwood Historical Society members Karen DeNapoli, Laurie Kearney, Linda Rau
We are proud to present Maude Alice Shattuck as this month’s Wonderful Woman of Norwood.
Maude was born September 1, 1880, in Norwood, to Edmund J. Shattuck and Emma L. (Morrill) Shattuck. She was one of five siblings: Lois, Louise, Edmund, and Sarah Bond Morrill (named for her aunt who died on March 7, 1895).
Maude was true ‘Norwood Royalty.’ Her grandfather was George H. Morrill of the Morrill Ink Works; her grandmother was Sarah Bond Tidd; her mother’s sister, Grace, married Howard Plimpton; another one of her mother’s sisters, Hannah, married Lewis Henry Plimpton; an aunt, Henrietta, (wife of Samuel S. Morrill) was the daughter of George Winslow and Olive Smith (daughter of John Smith and Anna Rhodes).
Maude’s father, Edmund, came to work at the George H. Morrill & Company Ink Works from Northfield, VT. This company manufactured ink and was among the foremost in its time in this country. In a short time, Edmund attained a high position in the company and married the owner’s daughter.
Maude graduated from Dana Hall, in Wellesley, in 1898, and Smith College, in 1902. As befitting a woman of her social position and that time, Maude never actually had a job or profession, but rather spent her entire life as a volunteer. In this way, she followed in her father’s footsteps: although a very prominent businessman, Edmund Shattuck also spent his life also giving back to the community of Norwood. He worked in public office giving his time freely for the public welfare. Edmund was the chairman of the Republican Town Committee, served on the board of the water commissioners, worked on bringing new industries into town (including the Norwood Press), and served on the building committee for Norwood schools (including Norwood High School, the Guild School, and the West School building).
With Edmund’s public service as her role mode, it’s not difficult to understand Maude’s lifelong passion for giving back to Norwood. In 1917, she was chairperson of ‘Surgical Dressings,’ ‘a branch that is known for excellent output,” as it was described in the Smith Alumni Magazine. In 1917, she served on the Naval Aid Society with Mrs. George Willett. In 1918, she was secretary/treasurer of the Smith College Alumni Committee. In 1927, Maude was chairperson of the Norwood branch of the American Red Cross. From 1923 to 1929, she served on the Norwood Playgrounds Committee. In 1941-1945, she served on the Norwood Committee for Public Safety and was chairperson of the War Services Committee.
In 1918, she began her long association with the Morrill Memorial Library (an institution named in honor of her aunt, Sarah Bond Morrill and given by the Morrill family to the town of Norwood). Maude served as a Library Trustee from 1918 to 1956 and as chairperson from 1947-1956. Sadly, in 1953, while Maude chaired the Board of Library Trustees, the board voted to fire South Norwood branch children’s librarian Mrs. Mary Knowles for suspicion of being “a known communist.”
After a lifetime of public service to Norwood, Maude Alice Shattuck passed in 1962, at the age of 82. She is interred in Highland Cemetery.
Her life was well lived—she was truly a “Wonderful Woman of Norwood!”
Photo credit: Smith College Yearbook, 1902