Harvey G. Shafer


HARVEY G. SHAFER, of Red Bank township, Armstrong county, is an extensive dealer in produce, giving most of his time and attention to that business, and he is also interested in farming, raising only a percentage, however, of the vegetables, fruits, etc., which he handles.

His home is in Red Bank township, where the family has long been settled, and where he was born in a log house near New Salem, Aug. 10, 1866. Samuel Shafer, his great-grandfather, was an early settler in western Pennsylvania, and was a farmer by occupation.

Christian Shafer, son of Samuel, was born in Northampton county, Pa., and located in Armstrong county in young manhood, becoming one of the prosperous farmers of this region. He and his wife, Magdalena (Fueringer), had twelve children (of whom seven survive): Lewis; George, who died in infancy; John C., deceased; Israel; Samuel, deceased; Levi, who died young; Susanna; Elizabeth; Mary, who died young; Catherine; Caroline, and Sarah. The father died in 1881, the mother surviving until 1893. They were consistent members of the Evangelical Church.

Israel Shafer, son of Christian, was born May 1, 1845, in Red Bank township, Armstrong Co., Pa., and was educated in the public schools of Red Bank township and at Dayton Academy. In 1863 he enlisted in Company G, 78th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and served capably until the close of the war. Two of his brothers, Lewis and John, were also Union soldiers, both being in the same regiment as he. Returning to Armstrong county after the close of the war, Mr. Shafer engaged in farming in Red Bank township, and in 1886 entered the wholesale produce business at Kittanning, in which line he has been engaged ever since. He has been very successful in this undertaking, and ranks among the prosperous business men of the county. In 1899 he was the Republican candidate for county treasurer, and was elected by a good majority, serving one term of three years in that office. On Sept. 30, 1911, he was nominated by his party as a candidate for county commissioner, was elected, and is now filling that office.

On Jan. 25, 1866, Mr. Shafer married Catherine Shick, daughter of John Shick, of Armstrong county. Mr. And Mrs. Shafer became the parents of nine children: Harvey G., Amos C., William (deceased), Reed, Lillian (deceased), Nellie R. (wife of Dr. J. D. Sedwick, a dentist), Wallace H., and two who died in infancy. Mrs. Shafer died in 1890, and is buried at New Salem. The entire family early became members of the Evangelical Church, to which Mr. Shafer is a liberal contributor.

Harvey G. Shafer was educated in the schools of Red Bank township. He worked for his father on the farm where he still makes his home, and to which the family came from Dry Ridge when Harvey was four years old. He has been here ever since. The property consists of eighty-six acres, seven still in timber. There is an old orchard four acres in extent, and a new orchard of ten acres planted in 1907 with winter fruit Mr. Shafer believes in the economy of improving his surroundings and his home contains all of the up-to-date appliances, while his farm is well equipped for present-day farming. The house he occupies was built by his father in 1884. In his earlier manhood Mr. Shafer spent about three winters working in the mines, there being little to do on the farm at that time of the year, but he has been in the produce business for twenty-three years, buying most of his stuff in carload lots. His farm is operated by hired help entirely, Mr. Shafer devoting his energies principally to the produce business, of which he has made so pronounced a success. He makes a specialty of handling apples, potatoes and hay, by the carload only.

Mr. Shafer is a Republican and has been very active in the work of the party. He was a member of the county committee for twelve years, and served three years as judge of election. He is a member of the Evangelical Church at New Salem, in Red Bank township, Armstrong county.

On May 18, 1888, Mr. Shafer married Elizabeth Shick, who was born in Red Bank township Oct. 2, 1869, daughter of John M. Shick, and there received her education. She remained at home until her marriage. Mr. And Mrs. Shafer have had children born as follows: Grace, Nov. 18, 1889 (married to Charles Kunselman, of Mahoning township; they have one child, Percy William, born Nov. 8, 1911); Harry Calvin, July 23, 1891 (married Ocie Kunselman, and they have one child, Martha Elizabeth, born March 16, 1913); Dessie Pearl, Feb. 12, 1893 (died April 24, 1895); Boyd D., Oct. 9, 1894; Elsie May, Sept. 13, 1896; Katie Ruth, March 16, 1898; William Reed, April 11, 1901 (died April 1, 1913); Perry Paul, Oct. 22, 1903; Ruby Estella, Feb. 23, 1904; Charles Theodore, Jan. 29, 1906; Nellie Aldine and Della Geraldine, twins, Dec. 8, 1907; Clarence Armour, Sept. 28, 1910.

Jacob Shick, grandfather of Mrs. Shafer, was a farmer, and came to this section from Northumberland county, settling in sugar valley, Red Bank township, where he bought a tract of 140 Acres. He cleared the land, built a log house and barn, and carried on general farming all the rest of his life. To him and his wife Elizabeth (Mohney), daughter of Adam Mohney, were born the following children: Rebecca married Lewis Mohney of Clarion county (both are deceased); Adam married Mary Kunselman, of Red Bank township (both are deceased); John M. is mentioned below; Christopher, of Red Bank township, married Sarah Lankard, who is deceased; Susanna married Jacob Miller, of Mahoning township (both are deceased); Frederick married Sarah Kunselman, of Detroit; Elizabeth died aged sixty-two years; Tina married Jacob Wineburg, of Michigan (both are deceased); Annie married Adam Mohney, and both are deceased. The father lived to the age of eighty-two years; the mother died in the house built by him. He was a Democrat, and a member of the Steinmetz Lutheran Church, near Hawthorn, Clarion county, Pennsylvania.

John M. Shick, son of Jacob, was born July 4, 1840, in what is called sugar valley, in Red Bank township, near Hawthorn. He was educated in the schools of the township, and worked for his father on the farm until twenty-one years old. He remained on the farm and took care of his father and crippled sister, and he inherited the farm from his father, continuing to follow farming all his life. His first marriage was to Sophia Miller, daughter of Christopher Miller, and they had children: Amanda married Jacob George, of Red Bank township; Ambrose, at Pittsburgh, married Della Hoch, who is deceased; Lydia died when two years old; Elizabeth, who was born in the old log house on the farm, married Harvey G. Shafer; Elsie married William Gruber, of Red Bank township; Theodore died in infancy. The mother of these died in 1873, and is buried at the Brick Church at Hawthorn. She was a Lutheran in religion. Mr. Shick subsequently married (second) Sophia Rinard, daughter of Reuben and Angeline (Gruber) Rinard, and they had the following children: Angeline May married Calvin Copenhaver, of Pierce, Red Bank township; Clara married Raymond Troutman, of Red Bank township; Jesse, of Red Bank township, married Amanda Rearick; Charles, of Red Bank township, married Carrie Boddorf; Earl, of Red Bank township, this county, married Pearl Huffman; Catherine married Ralph Shaffer, of Red Bank, Armstrong county; Orpha and Irene live at home; Alva is now (1913) twenty-one years old. Mr. Shick was formerly a Democrat in politics, later becoming a

Republican. He was active in township affairs, serving as school director, overseer of the poor and treasurer. He was a member of the Evangelical church, to which Mrs. Shick also belongs, and he was one of the foremost workers in the church, holding the offices of trustee, elder, steward and class leader. He went out among the people and held prayer meetings, and his devotion was rewarded by excellent results.Mr. Shick died in February, 1910, and is buried in the Union cemetery at Hawthorn.

Source: Page(s) PAGES 348-349,
Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914

Transcribed July 1998 by Pat Godesky for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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