HENRY D. SHAFFER located at Hays, Kansas, forty years ago, and at once became identified with the business and public affairs of Ellis County. He was a veteran of the Civil war and had been a teacher and public official in Eastern Ohio. He is now a farmer and land owner of Hays, and in former years was prominent among the stockmen of the county.
Mr. Shaffer was born near Somerset in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, February 13, 1843, and has rounded out three quarters of a century of life. His great-grandfather came from Germany and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, about 1763, the year which marked the termination of the Seven Years' war in Europe and the French and Indian war in America. He was a Pennsylvania farmer the rest of his life. John Shaffer, grandfather of Henry D., was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, saw some active service in the war for independence on the American side, and was a real frontiersman, supporting himself largely by the occupation of trapping. He died in Somerset County.
Daniel Shaffer, father of Henry D., was born in Somerset, Pennsylvania, in 1810, grew up and married there, and was a farmer and blacksmith while living at different localities of his county. He moved out to Illinois in 1876, and lived retired until his death, which occurred at Dixon, Illinois, in 1893. In politics he was a democrat. Daniel Shaffer married Sarah Brallier, a native of Somerset County, who died at Pocahontas, Pennsylvania. Henry D. was the oldest of their children. John, the second child, was a stockman and farmer who died at Dixon, Illinois. Mary is the wife of James Mangus, a farmer, stockman and horseman at Dixon. Joseph is a stockman and extensive landowner in Nebraska.
Henry D. Shaffer received his early education in the public schools of Somerset, and in 1861 enlisted in Company C of the Fifty-Fourth Pennsylvania Infantry. Altogether he was in the army 3 1/2 years. The important incidents of his service are marked by the battles of Newmarket, Piedmont, Lexington and Lynchburg. At Lynchburg he was severely wounded, lost an arm in battle, and was taken prisoner. From June 18 until September 12, 1864, he was a prisoner of war in Libby prison and was paroled on the latter date.
After leaving the army Mr. Shaffer sought opportunities of bettering his education and attending Mount Union College in Ohio through the junior year. In 1867 he took up work as a teacher, teaching for three terms in the rural districts of Stark County and one term in the City of Canton, county seat of Stark. After General Grant was elected president he was given a commission as postmaster of Canton, and served during both the President's terms.
In the spring of 1878 Mr. Shaffer came out to Kansas and was one of the first permanent settlers to locate near Hays. He became interested in farming and also in the lumber business at Hays, and still has capital invested in that business, while he owns 1,000 acres of good farming land in Ellis County.
In 1878, the same year he arrived in Kansas, he was elected clerk of the District Court of Ellis and other counties of the judicial district, and served until 1882. He is a stanch republican, a member of the Lutheran Church and is affiliated with Hays Camp, Modern Woodmen of America, Hays Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and for two terms was commander of Vance Post No. 2, Grand Army of the Republic.
October 17, 1867, at Canton, Ohio, Mr. Shaffer married Miss Adaline Ritz, daughter of David and Susanna Ritz, both now deceased. Her father was a farmer in Stark County, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Shaffer have five children, all of them educated and most capable men and women. Harry, the oldest, received his A. B. degree from Kansas University and is now a brick manufacturer at Everett, Washington, Joseph graduated A. B, and LL. B. from Kansas University and is a successful attorney at Dallas, Texas. Ida is a graduate of the College of Emporia and is with her parents. Frank, a graduate of the Hays High School, is a machinist at Everett, Washington. Susie is a graduate of Kansas University, is secretary to President Reynolds of the Northeast High School of Kansas City, and is now Mrs. B. D. Lewis, of Kansas City, her husband having served in the United States army during the World war.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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