John H Schaeffer


JOHN H. SCHAEFFER, a resident of Burrell township, Armstrong county, was born there July 9, 1863, son of Michael and Susanna (Hartman) Schaeffer.

Anthony Schaeffer, a native of Germany, settled in Heidelberg township, Berks Co., Pa., in 1733, was married in Northampton county, Pa., to Maria Catherine Reeg, and came to Armstrong county among the very early settlers, making his home on the land in what was then Kittanning (now Burrell) township now owned by Elmer E. Schaeffer. The original tract he owned contained over six hundred acres. He died here when a very old man, and is buried in the old Schaeffer graveyard in Bethel township, where the first Lutheran Church, organized in 1806, was established. He was one of its founders and charter members, and was a most respected man in his section, where his high Christian character and nobility of disposition won him the loving esteem of all who knew him. To him and his wife were born five children: Eva Catherine, born Nov. 15, 1766; George P., March 27, 1769; Elizabeth Christina, Feb. 21, 1771; Susanna Margaret, April 13, 1774 (all born in Heidelberg township); John Philip, Nov. 18, or Dec. 20, 1778.

John Philip Schaeffer, Sr., born Nov. 18 or Dec. 20, 1778, on the old Schaeffer homestead in what is now Burrell township, Armstrong county, died July 9, 1848. His wife, Catherine Elizabeth (Zerfoss); died Nov. 27, 1830. Her father, John Zerfoss, was a soldier in the Revolution, and received a severe saber wound in the face in an encounter with a British colonel whom he shot. The British officer, who was captured, and lost a leg, complemented him on his bravery as both lay in the hospital.

Michael Schaeffer, father of John H. Schaeffer, was born in 1815, and died Dec. 23, 1897. He married Susanna Hartman, a native of Armstrong county, and they became the parents of eight children, six sons and two daughters: Samuel died when a young man, Stephen, who lives in Plum Creek township, this county, has been twice married and had six children by his first wife; Edward, who lives in Kittanning township, this county, married Sarah Borts (sister of Edward Borts), and had seven children; Maria, now living in Poland, Ohio, married David Kirkwood, a farmer, and had ten children; Catherine is deceased; Milton, who lives in Park township, this county, married Maggie Taylor, and had three children; John H., who is mentioned below; Manuel, who makes his home in Florida, has been married twice, and has one child by the first marriage. The mother of this family died in February, 1907, when nearly eighty-three years old.

John H. Schaeffer was brought up in Burrell township and obtained his early education there in the common schools, also attending the Elderton Academy. He learned the blacksmith�s trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years at Saltsburg, but had followed farming and clay mining, being at present pit boss at the Kittanning clay mine. He is one of the respected residents of his part of the county. On April 16, 1890, he married Eva McNett, who was born June 1, 1870, in Allegheny, Pa., and is of Scotch- Irish extraction. Eight children have been born to this union, namely: Charlotte, who died when three years old ; George Michael, born April 17, 1892, now working on the railroad tunnel at Red Bank; Joseph Manuel, born Feb. 14, 1894, who is on the farm; Anna Elizabeth, born Dec. 10, 1895; Florence Bertha, born Jan. 16, 1898; Howard Clark. born Feb. 23, 1904; Leona Rebecca, born March 6, 1909; and Jesse Emmet, born June, 1912. The family are Lutherans in religious connection, attending at the St, Michael�s, the Brick Church. Mr. Schaeffer is a Republican in his political views, has been judge of election, and is at present road supervisor.

Source: Pages 895-896, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Nanci Michalkiewicz for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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