~ CHARLES SHAFFER, b. 15 April 1830 ~
Related Surnames - SHAFFER, LAMBORN, BAXTER, ELLINGHAUSEN, HARRINGTON, WRIGHT
This name represents one of the most popular and prosperous citizens of Washington
Township. He came to this region poor in purse but now occupies a high position socially
and financially, to which he has attained by the exercise of his excellent judgment, his
industry and economy. He possesses the faculty of management in a marked degree, which is
always a necessary qualification for success. His property embraces 160 acres of valuable
land, lying on sections 15 and 22, the residence being on section 15. He has given his
children good educational advantages, and in other respects signalized himself as a
progressive and liberal-minded citizen, a reader and thinker, willing to contribute his
full share in making the world wiser and better.
Nathaniel Shaffer, the father of our subject, was a native of New York State, and married
Miss Sarah Lamborn, who was born in Huntingdom County, Pa., The parents, in their youth,
emigrated to Columbiana County, Ohio, where they were married and lived afterward, the
father pursuing the trade of a hatter. He died at the age of forty-four years, and the
mother in 1856, came to the West and made her home in Washington Township, this county,
until 1879. She then removed to the home of her daughter, in Cass County, where she is
still living, and is hale and hearty, although eighty-eight years old.
The parental household of our subject included eleven children, eight of whom are living.
Charles, our subject, the third son was born April 15, 1830, in Columbiana County, Ohio,
where he was reared and received a limited education. When a boy of eleven years he went
to work in a woolen factory, and four years later he was thrown entirely upon his own
resources by the death of his father. At the age of seventeen he left the factory and was
variously occupied until his marriage, at the age of twenty-three. His bride, Miss
Harriet Baxter, a native of Monongahela City, Pa., was left an orphan when a child, and
was reared by her Grandmother Baxter in Columbiana County, Ohio. She was about eighteen
years old at the time of her marriage, and the young couple remained residents of the
Buckeye State probably eighteen months thereafter. They then started for the West, going
by rail to Galena, Ill., and from there to this county on a sled with their child,
arriving here in March!
In 1856 the mother of Mr. Shaffer came to this county, and they all settled on a farm near
the banks of the Mississippi. Mr. Shaffer came to this county with a capital of $10, and
became the tenant of Charles Harrington, who in addition to a piece of land furnished him
with a team and seed - corn and wheat. The country was only partially settled up and
there was plenty of deer, wild turkeys and other game. Mr. Shaffer made his first
purchase of land in 1870, when there was upon it only a log-cabin fourteen feet square.
The story of the toils and difficulties of the years which follwed has been illustrated in
the lives of many other of the pioneers who are represented in this work. The farm of Mr.
Shaffer has been brought to its present condition only by the exercise of incessant toil
and the outlay of thousands of dollars. The Shaffer family now occupy one of the finest
dwellings in Washington Township, and are unquestionably surrounded by all the comforts
and many of !
the luxuries of life. Mr. Shaffer met with an accident in 1875, being caught in the
tumbling rod of a threshing-machine, from which he suffered amputation of his left leg,
which has been substituted with a wooden one.
Children to the number of twelve, in due time gathered around the hearthstone of Mr. and
Mrs. Shaffer. Their eldest daughter, Martha, is now the wife of F. Ellinghausen, and they
have three children - George, Louis and Walter; they live in Montana. Edward, also a
resident of Montana, owns a silver mine there; George married Miss Elizabeth Harrington,
and remains at the homestead; his wife died in 1887, leaving his with two little daughters
- Luella M., and Hattie Belle; he at one time visited Montana, and then explored the Red
River Valley, finding his wife in that region. Della became the wife of Vernon
Harrington, and died in the Red River Valley, Minn., leaving three children - Alma,
Charles, and Eugene; William is operating a ranch in Montana; Margaret is the wife of
William Wright, a farmer and miller of Iowa Township, this county, and they have one child
- Elson; Nathaniel took kindly to his books and was graduated from the State Normal
School in Valparaiso, In!
d.; he is likewise in Montana; Charles also attended the above-named institution, and
with Libbie, Harry, and Nettie remain at home with their parents. The tenth child,
Hattie, died when a month old.
Mrs. Shaffer departed this life at the homestead on the 21st of September, 1886, at the
age of fifty-three years. Besides the family above-mentioned Mr. Shaffer has living with
him his three motherless grandchildren, whom he is bringing up as his own, and intends to
give them a first-class education. He has been President of the School Board in his
district, and a Director for the past five years. He has also served as Township Trustee
and as District Supervisor for several years. He is a member of the Congregational
Church; is public-spirited and liberal-minded, and assisted materially in the building of
the Congregational Church edifice at Green Island. He is one of those men forming the
bone and sinew of every well-regulated community, and has made a record which his children
will look upon with pride in coming years.
("Portrait and Biographical Album of Jackson County, Iowa", originally published
in 1889, by the Chapman Brothers, of Chicago, Illinois.)