A. C. Shaffer. Necessary requisites of a good newspaper man in these modern days are trained faculties and an enlightened understanding. The world at large, in greater and greater degree is requiring educated men, not alone for the learned professions, but also for those along less trained lines, and it is an important part of the work of the newspapers throughout the country to furnish the mental stimulus without which none can hope to succeed. Particularly does this apply to the newspapers which circulate through the smaller cities and in the country districts, and one of the papers which had accepted and is carrying out this work is the Tri-City Herald, of Gas City, Kansas, the proprietor of which, A. C. Shaffer, is not only a man of broad information and progressive spirit, but a newspaper man of long experience, who had gained his training through all the departments of newspaper work.
Mr. Shaffer was born at Muncie, Indiana, September 21, 1878, and is a son of Noah and Charlotte (Longenecker) Shaffer. The Shaffer family originated in Germany and was founded in Pennsylvania during colonial days. In that state was born the grandfather of A. C. Shaffer, who was a minister of the Universalist Church and died at Dayton, Ohio, at the remarkable age of one hundred and two years. Noah Shaffer was born in 1832, at Dayton, Ohio, and was there reared and educated, going as a young man to Germantown, Ohio, where he was married. Later he removed to the City of Muncie, Indiana, where he became chief of the Muncie Fire Department, and held that post until injured in a large conflagration, when he retired, after a service covering thirty-eight years. In 1886 he came to Kansas and located at Iola, as a pioneer in the field of concrete work, and continued in that business as a contractor until his death which occurred August 9, 1914. He was a republican in politics, but took only a good citizen’s interest in public matters. Reared in the faith of the Universalist Church, he was a member thereof all his life, and for a long period acted in the capacity of deacon. He was highly esteemed at Iola, where there are many who remember his sterling traits of character and his honorable methods of doing business. Fraternally, he was affiliated with De Ember Lodge No. 61, Improved Order of Red Men and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, both of Muncie, Indiana. Mrs. Shaffer, who was born in 1839, at Germantown, Ohio, still survives her husband and resided at Morris, Grundy County, Illinois. There were four children in the family: Leona, who is the wife of J. M. Howard, one of the prominent contractors of Los Angeles, California, who makes a specialty of erecting skyscrapers; Elfreda, who was ordained as a minister of the Universalist Church at Galesburg, Illinois, following which she preached for some years at Chicago, at a salary of $7,000 per annum, but gave up her ministerial duties at the time of her marriage to N. G. Newport, of Morris, Illinois, who is a grain merchant and owned a general store and elevator at Wauponsee, Illinois; Theodore L., a veteran of the Spanish-American war and of the fighting in the Philippine Islands, and now a contractor at Kansas City, Missouri, with 200 men in his employ, one of his achievements being the building of the Union Railroad Station at that city; and A. C., of this notice.
A. C. Shaffer received his early education in the public schools of Iola, Kansas, and in 1892 graduated from the Iola High School, following which he attended the Fort Scott Business College. He next took courses in journalism, engineering and mathematics in the Scranton Correspondence School, and in 1892 began his career as a newspaper man in the office of the Iola Daily Register. During the fifteen years that he was connected with that paper Mr. Shaffer missed but four days, and gained experience in almost every department. He became known as an all-around man, doing work in the composing room, as “devil,” as ad and job printer, as pressman, and finally as make-up man, in the latter capacity having from six to sixteen forms to handle daily. He was one of his employer’s most valued men and many inducements were offered him to remain with the paper indefinitely. Mr. Shaffer, however, desired to become a proprietor on his own account, and in 1904 took charge of the Tri-City Herald, of Iola, Gas City and La Harpe, of which he had been owner and editor ever since. The paper circulates throughout the three cities mentioned and in Allen and the surrounding counties, and had a semi-weekly circulation of 3,000. Its policies are republican in their nature, but it is the endeavor of the editor to give his readers a clear and unbiased view of all the happenings of importance, political or otherwise. The Herald is well printed and well edited, a clean, reliable sheet, and is considered an excellent advertising medium. The plant and offices are up-to-date in every particular, including the most modern machinery and equipment, are owned by Mr. Shaffer and are located on Second Street, Gas City. In addition Mr. Shaffer owned his own home at No. 217 South Elm Street, Iola. He belongs to the Kansas City Editorial Association and to Typographical Union No. 981. In politics Mr. Shaffer is a republican, while his religious connection is with the Universalist Church. Fraternally, he belongs to Iola Lodge No. 569, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Iola Camp No. 961, Modern Woodmen of America; Iola Camp No. 101, Woodmen of the World; Neosho Lodge No. 43, Knights of Pythias, Iola, of which he was formerly vice chancellor; the Occidental Mutual Benefit Association, of Salina; Council No. 84, Sons and Daughters of Justice, of Iola; Iola Lodge No. 21, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Mutual Benefit Health and Accident Association, of Omaha, Nebraska. He had always been a hard worker personally and through the columns of his newspaper in the interests of La Harpe, Iola and Gas City, and no movement is considered complete that does not have his support and co-operation.
Mr. Shaffer was married in 1906, at Iola, Kansas, to Miss Grace Hilliker, daughter of Frank and Emma (Buzzowitz) Hilliker, the latter of whom makes her home with her daughter and son-in-law at Iola. Mr. and Mrs. Shaffer are the parents of one child: Harold, who was born January 17, 1916.