From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 169-170, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
Mrs. Emeline Shafer, of Lee township, was born in Kingston,
Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, December 9, 1808. Her father was Peter
Shafer and her mother was Elizabeth Shoals, both of Pennsylvania.
Grandfather Shoals and his wife both came from Germany and both were
sold for their passage, as was the custom in those days, that their
time for one year should be sold to pay their passage. Being sold to
the same man in Philadelphia they became acquainted, and when they left
this place they were married and walked the whole distance from
Philadelphia to the Wyoming valley along the banks of the Susquehanna
river. Here they soon became tenant farmers, and by industry and
economy they became owners of a good farm there. Mrs. Shafer had grown
up in the same neighborhood with her husband, and though marriage did
not change her name, she was not related to him. Of course their means
were very small, but their neighbors were in the same condition. After
nine years they moved to Ohio by team. This was a pleasant trip of two
weeks in 1834. They lived four years in Union county, four more in
Madison county, and then traded their nice farm of 100 acres with good
buildings and orchard for 160 acres of timber, two miles west of Mt.
Sterling village, getting $200 in cash. They again took up the line of
march, bringing with them their four children. They moved into an old
log stable near their land, which they made tenable for a short time.
Mr. Shafer was tired of his trade when he found that much of the fine
timber had been cut, and upon making inquiry he found that the man who
had taken much out of this timber had used it to fence eighty acres
near what is now Fargo. They settled this by trading an eighty of Mr.
Shafer's for the improved eighty that had been fenced with his timber.
This was the place where Mrs. Shafer now lives, on which there was a
comfortable, but rough house 16 x 16, with a fireplace and
stick-and-mud chimney. They have lived here ever since. Here Mr. Shafer
died in 1864, aged sixty nine years.
They had buried three small children in Ohio and had eight
living at his death, although all had gone from home but three. Charles
Shafer and his brother Hiram D. were soldiers in the One Hundred and
Seventeenth Illinois Volunteers Infantry from Brown county; Charles
returned to die at his brother's at Mound Station at the age of twenty
eight years. Hiram was in active service as a musician for over three
years; Francis was in the ranks from February, 1864, to September of
the same year. Of the eleven children born to Mrs. Shafer, seven are
still living. Benjamin and Francis are at home conducting the farm for
their venerable old mother. She has 170 acres in this farm. She has
three motherless grandchildren with her, Maude, Cora and William. Perry
Shafer, the eldest son, is a farmer in Kingman county, Kansas; Denison
is a farmer in Smith county, Kansas; Wealthy Ann is the wife of Thomas
Crabb, a farmer in Smith county, Kansas; Emeline, wife of Jordan
Madison, a farmer in Leavenworth, Kansas; and Caroline, wife of James
Wilson, a farmer in Kingman county, Kansas.
This grand old lady is now nearly eighty-four years of age and
is still as vigorous as most women at fifty years. She thinks nothing
of walking three or five miles and attends church regularly in the
village. She has a lively recollection of much of her experience in
pioneer life. She tells how they shelled the corn by driving the horses
over it on the barn floor and drew it sixteen miles to the river market
and then sold it for ten cents a bushel. She tells her children that a
person can live entirely on corn meal, because she has tried it. All of
her experiences, with many of her rough ones, are told with a zest
which shows the stuff that this old heroine was made of, and it is
refreshing to hear her speak of it as a rich romance in which she took