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Philip H. Shafer

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Philip H. Shafer

Mark Mann (View posts)
Posted: 927720000000
Classification: Biography
Edited: 993311417000
From the "History of Huntington County, Indiana 1914"


Since he was sixteen years of age Philip H Shafer has been a resident of Huntington county, and at that date began to assist his father in the clearing of a portion of the wilderness, and some of the land which his boyhood labors helped to develop is still in his possession. Having lived in Huntington county for half a century, Mr. Shafer bears an unusual relation to the soil in this locality, and presents in his history elements of unusual interest. The difference in the condition of the land now from what it was when the Shafer family first settled here represents not only the achievements of its occupants in cultivating and improving it, but also the general progress of this region since civilization was first planted in it. Personally Mr. Shafer is regarded as one of Huntington county's ablest and most prosperous farmer citizens, and a man who has used his own success not selfishly, but to promote the welfare and progress of his community and has always taken a helpful part in bearing the burdens of his neighbors.

Butler county, Ohio, is the native home of Philip H. Shafer, and be was born three miles northwest of Middletown March 6, 1846. His parents were George E. and Margaret (Wolf) Shafer, who moved to Huntington county in 1863, locating in Salamonie township, where the father bought one hundred and sixty acres of land. That Iand was covered practically as to every acre by heavy wood, and the original price paid for it was one thousand dollars, The father with the aid of his boys, of whom Philip was the oldest, started in to hew down the trees, to grub the stumps, and clear off a space for cultivation of field crops. That was a tremendous undertaking, and would be yet today, and it is with a natural pride that Mr. Shafer now regards his possession of one hundred acres of the original quarter section, his own toil having assisted materially in the, improvement of that place. The parents continued their residence on the old homestead until their death. The father was a devout member of the United Brethren church and one of the leaders in that denomination in Huntington county, There were six children in the family, five of whom are still living: Philip H.; Emily M., deceased; John W. Shafer, of Bluffton, Indiana; Mary A., wife of Jasper Jones of Warren; Sarah, who is unmarried and lives at Decatur, Indiana; and Jacob E. Shafer, of Salamonie township.

Philip H. Shafer when the family moved to Huntington county in 1863 was already at an age where he was ready to take up the serious responsibilities of life. His education had been acquired by attendance at the district schools of Butler county, Ohio, and the intervals had been filled in by practical training in the work of farm and household. However, he continued his education by one term in Huntington county. When he was twenty years of age he started out to win his fortune, having no capital, and after working for two years was given a small piece of land by his father. His subsequent prosperity has been the result of his steady labor, economy, good business judgment, and from the generous reward which Indiana agriculture has paid to all its devotees during the last half century.

Mr. Shafer first married Mary J. Thompson, daughter of Ebenezer and Pamelia (Ware) Thompson, who were early settlers of Salamonie township. Mrs. Shafer lived as wife and mother for sixteen years, and in that time six children were born, three of whom are yet living, namely: George E. Shafer; Jennie A., wife of Charles F. Bonewitz, of Michigan; and Fannie A., wife of Perry Keller of Huntington. After the death of his first wife Mr. Shafer was married on June 23, 1884, to Sarah L. E. Ruble, who was born in Salamonie township August 29, 1862, a daughter of Jonathan and Ruth (Ruse) Ruble. To this marriage were born eight children, six of whom are living in 1914, namely: Mildred L., who graduated from the common schools and is now the wife of Webster J. Thompson; Ruth E., wife of Ernest Poling; Harry P., a graduate of the common schools and who married Dalta Garretson; Howard M., who finished a common school course and lives at home Frances E. W., who has also finished her work in the common schools and is now at home; Weir L., who is thirteen years old and completed the grade school work in 1913.

The family attend worship in the Christian church at Buckeye, Indiana, and Mr. Shafer is very much interested in church affairs. Politically he was always a straight republican up to the campaign of 1912, when he accepted the principles and platform of the new party and voted as a progressive. His many years as a practical farmer has brought ample possessions, comprising four hundred and seventy acres of fine farm lands in Sections 14, 15, 22 and 23 in Salamonie township, situated three miles northeast of Warren on the Marion and Bluffton Pike. At the same time he has employed his prosperity to give his family all needed comforts and luxuries, and the children have all been, well trained both at home and in school.

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