Pifers of Woodford County

photo and information submitted by Avis Walker

Mr. and Mrs. Pifer

Pictures were taken in Findley, Ohio about 1860/1878

If you have information on this family, please e-mail me

View Michael Pifer obit. Pifers are buried in Olio Cemetary in Eureka.


Eureka's Pioneer Business Man
taken from 'The Democrat Journal' - July 3, 1900

Probably no one of Eureka's older citizens is better known and more highly esteemed by both young and old than is Michael Pifer. Although in his 88th year Mr. Pifer is still vigorous and active and is to be seen daily on our streets where he has a friendly greeting for everyone. Mr. Pifer came to Illinois from Ohio in 1854 and settle in Gardiner, Grundy County. In 1858 he came to Eureka and took charge of the boarding hall of the college which he conducted for two years. In 1859 he opened a tin and hardware store in the frame building which untul a few years ago stood north of the railroad. Later he moved to the building two doors north of Haecker's store. Here Mr. Pifer continued in business until 1892, when he sold out to W. H. Peard, and has since enjoyed the fruits of years of honest toil, and has made his home with his children. In 1871, Mr. Pifer was offered by David Fauber a lot near the present site of Roanoke if he would build and conduct a store there on. This offer was taken on condition that if a town should be laid out that Mr. Pifer should be given a lot near the center. This condition was accepted and a one story frame building was erected on a lot which is now in the southeast part of Roanoke, and in June, 1871, Mr. Pifer, with his son, Frank C., (now of Wellington, Kansas) opened up a general store. The next year the Santa Fe railroad was completed and the village of Roanoke was laid out. As his business in Eureka demanded his entire attention Mr. Pifer turned over the Roanoke store to his son Frank. The latter moved his store to a point east of the present site of the depot about midway between the depot and the coal shaft, and south of the track. January 9, 1873, Frank C. Pifer received the appointment as the first postmaster at Roanoke. He conducted the store and postoffice for about three years, when on account of his wife's failing health he sold out and went to the South in the hopes that his wife might be benefited. Contrary to hopes Mrs. Pifer did not improve and they returned to Eureka, where she died in 1875. Mr. Pifer was then engaged with his father in the mercantile business in Eureka for a number of years.
It will thus be seen that Micahel Pifer was not only amony the first of Eurek's business men but was the first business man in what is now the thriving village of Roanoke. Although an active busienss man, Mr. Pifer always found time to attend to his home, social and church duties. He has been a lifelong and consistant member of the Christian church. As a citizen he was ever active in promoting those things which in a legitimate way would benefit Eureka and her citizens. The Democrat Journal joins with Mr. Pifer's many friends in wishing for Mr. Pifer many more years of health and happiness.