Marshall County
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SHAFER, Frank D.

Frank D. SHAFER, supervisor of Lacon township, is the oldest member of the county board in point of service, and is well-known as a thorough and progressive farmer, and a sincere friend of the public school system. He was born October 5, 1837, in Knox county, Ohio, and is a son of Henry and Nancy (FEAZEL) SHAFER, the former a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, born July 4, 1800, and the latter of Knox county, Ohio, born in 1812. Henry SHAFER was of German descent, being a son of Michael SHAFER, a native of Germany. He was reared in Pennsylvania, but in early manhood removed to Knox county, Ohio, and there married Nancy FEAZEL, a daughter of Jeremiah FEAZEL, who settled in Hopewell township, Marshall county, in 1845.

Soon after their marriage, Henry SHAFER and wife came to Marshall county, Illinois, and in 1846, settled upon the farm where our subject now lives. In 1850 he bought the Williamson place on which was a large brick dwelling house and there the family permanently located. He improved that place and there died October 22, 1873. His wife died in April, 1888. They were the parents of three children: Mary, now the widow of George BELFORD, of Lacon township, who is the mother of four children – Annie, Fred, Dollie and William; Carrie, now the widow of Henry PHELPS, of Springfield, Missouri; and Frank D., the subject of the sketch. Henry SHAFER was an old fashioned farmer, a great reader and well posted in the various affairs of the day, especially in political matters. He was a democrat, and was very active in the councils of his party, although he would never accept public office. He was a friend of the public school system, and did all in his power to advance the interests of the public schools in the locality in which he resided. He was a successful farmer, and a man well known throughout Marshall county.

The subject of this sketch was born October 5, 1837, in Knox county, Ohio, and came with his parents to Marshall county. He was reared on the farm, and received his education in the Lacon schools. On the 3d of January, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Amelia CAIN, a native of Richland township, Marshall county, and a daughter of James and May (BURNS) CAIN, the former a native of Virginia, and the later of Ireland. James CAIN was a son of Abraham CAIN, who was born in Pennsylvania, and who was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill. The parents of Mrs. SHAFER were married at Wheeling, West Virginia, and came to Marshall county  in 1835, and settled in Richland township, where they made a permanent home and where he died March 7, 1888, and she in 1885. Their remains were interred in the Lacon cemetery. They were the parents of two children, Mrs. SHAFER being the only survivor. Her parents, however, reared James MADDEN, an orphan boy, bringing him with them to this county and caring for him as their own child. He married Susan HUSH, who died, leaving six children. He now lives in Livingston county, Illinois, and has served as justice of the peace and assessor for thirty years each.

Mr. and Mrs. SHAFER are the parents of five children – Jessie, now deceased; Marie, wife of William PORTERFIELD, living in Springfield, Missouri; James V., who married Alice HOLLAND, and lives in Richland township; Henry B., and Benjamin F. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. SHAFER located on their present farm on section 24, Lacon township, where they have since continued to reside. All of the improvements upon the place were made by him and he has here engaged in general farming and stock raising with great success. He is the owner of six hundred and sixty acres of fine farming land in Marshall county, all of which is under improvement and has also a tract of land in Rush county, Kansas.

Fraternally, Mr. SHAFER is a member of Lacon Lodge, No. 61, F. & A. M., and politically he is a democrat. During his entire life he has taken great interest in political matters, and is a firm believer in the principles of the democratic party as enunciated by Jefferson and Jackson. He has served his fellow-citizens in many of the local offices, having served as a member of the board of education of Lacon for seven years, twelve years as road commissioner, and is now serving his tenth year as supervisor of the township. In all matters pertaining to the best interests of Marshall county, he is ever at the front, and has done as much as any other one man in this locality to give it front rank among the sister counties of the state. He has been a hard-working, industrious man, and has been prospered much in this world’s goods. Few men in Marshall county are better known and none more highly respected.

Extracted March 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.


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