Biography of Jacob Shafer

Jacob Shafer. An old and honored resident of Kansas, Jacob Shafer for the past ton years had lived on his fine farm north of Topeka, among his children and surrounded with the comforts which his life of earnest endeavor and industry have enabled him to accumulate.

A native of Indiana, he was born in 1844 in Tippecanoe County about nine miles south of the historic battleground where General Harrison fought the Indians just prior to the outbreak of the War of 1812. His father was Jacob Shafer Sr., a native of Ohio, while the grandfather was born in Pennsylvania about the close of the Revolutionary war. Jacob Shafer Sr. learned the trade of gunsmith while living in Ohio, and then as a young man became an early settler in Tippecance County, Indiana, where he acquired and developed a tract of land as one of the pioneer farmers. In 1866 he moved out to Mahaska County, Iowa, where he spent the rest of his years and where he died in 1908. He married Elizabeth Stettler of Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Their children were: Susan, Sarah, Laura and Jacob Jr. The senior Mr. Shafer was a man of generous heart and hospitable nature, friendly and accommodating, and his religious convictions were in line with those of the Baptist denomination and he helped to maintain a church of that name in every community where he lived. He also filled various township offices.

The early years of his life Jacob Shafer Jr. spent in his native county of Tippecanoe. While there he gained an education, and in 1862 at the age of eighteen enlisted in Company D of the 70th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Somewhat later he was transferred as a veteran to the 135th Illinois Regiment. His service was principally in Arkansas and Missouri. For a time he was under the command of General Grant. He participated in much of the fighting by which the Mississippi Valley was won to the Union, including the battle of Cape Girardeau and the capture of Little Rock. After being mustered out at Mattoon, Illinois, he returned to Vermilion County in that state and spent a year as a farmer. Then in 1866 he went to Mahaska County, Iowa, with his father and for a number of years was a progressive farmer of that section.

Mr. Shafer first came to Kansas in 1879, locating in Barton County. From this state he went on to New Mexico, where he followed mining for two years, and then returned to Mahaska County, Iowa. Not long afterward he came again to Kansas and for twenty-six consecutive years was identified with farming in Barton County. In 1906 Mr. Shafer moved to Shawnee County, buying eighty-three acres of land a mile and a half north of the Kaw River bridge on North Kansas Avenue. Since then he had spent his time in general farming and in dairying.

Mr. Shafer married for his first wife Laura Bryan. His second wife was Elizabeth Boyle of Mahaska County, Iowa. Mr. Shafer had six children: Lizzie, Lewis, Fred, Emmett, Stella and Ralph.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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