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Notes for John Christian Schafer and Maria Louisa Klink

1872 John Christian Schafer and Maria Louis Klink were married on February 18 in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri.

1873 A stillborn daughter of John and Maria Schaferwas buried in Jewell County, Kansas.

1874 Charles Franklin Schafer, son of John and Maria, was born on November 27 in Calvin Twp, Jewell County, Kansas.

1880 In the U.S. Census, John Schaffer (age 40, farmer) lived in Calvin Township, Jewell County, Kansas with wife Mary L. (age 29, housekeeping) and son Charles F. (age 5, at school). John and Mary and their parents born in Wurtemberg, Charles born in Kansas. [1]

1880 John William Schafer, son of John and Maria, was born on June 5 in Calvin Twp, Jewell County, Kansas.

1884 Edwin George Schafer, son of John and Maria, was born on February 18 in Calvin Twp, Jewell County, Kansas.

1888 Benjamin Harrison Schafer, son of John and Maria, was born on August 28 in Calvin Twp, Jewell County, Kansas.

1891 Raymond Walter Schafer, son of John and Maria, was born on January 3 in Calvin Twp, Jewell County, Kansas.



Schafer Brothers and cousin Matah, about 1898

1900 In the U.S. Census, John Schafer (age 60, born July 1839 in Germany) lived in Calvin Township, Jewell County, Kansas with his wife Mary L. (age 49, born Sep 1850 in Germany), sons Charles (age 25, born Nov 1874 in Kansas, farmer), William (age 20, born June 1880 in Kansas, farmer), Edwin (age 16, born Feb 1884 in Kansas, at school), Benjamin (age 11, born Aug 1888 in Kansas, at school), Raymond W. (age 10, born Jan 1891 in Kansas, at school), and nieces Gertrude (age 18, born Dec 1881 in Missouri) and Matah (age 14, born Oct 1885 in Missouri, at school) Schaeffer. John and Mary had been married 28 years. Mary had had 6 children and 5 were living. Both of her parents were born in Germany. John's year of immigration was 1854. He was a farmer, and both of his parents were born in Germany. [2]

1910 In the U.S. Census, John Schafer (age 70) lived in Calvin Township, Jewell County, Kansas with his wife Mary L. (age 59) and sons Benjamin H. (age 21) and Raymond (age 19). The sons were both farm laborers and were born in Kansas. John and Mary had been married 38 years and had had 6 children, with 5 living. Both they and their parents were born in Germany. [3]

1915 An article in the May 7 issue of the Jewell County Republican states, [4]

Mr. and Mrs. John C. Schafer will start for the Pacific Coast next Monday and expect to be absent two months. They will stop at Pullman, Washington and visit their son, Professor Edwin G. Schafer at the Washington State Agricultural College.

1920 In the U.S. Census, J.C. Schafer (age 80) lived in Jewell City, Jewell County, Kansas with his wife Marie L. (age 69) and brother-in-law Cris F. (age 71). Date of immigration 1954 for all three, date of naturalization 1863 for J.C. and 1856 for Marie and Cris. Cris was a laborer with the city. [5]



Golden Wedding Anniversary, John Christian and Maria Louisa (Klink) Schafer.

1923 John C. Schafer died on Jun 29 in Jewell, Kansas. He was buried at Jewell City Cemetery, Jewell, Jewell County, Kansas. [6]

1923 An Obituary for John C. Schafer was published in the Jewell County Republican on Friday, July 5: [7]

John C. Schafer, one of the early pioneers of Jewell county and a veteran of the Civil War, died at his home in Jewell, Friday morning, June 29, 1923. Mr. Schafer had been in ill health for several months, and though his death was not unexpected, it brought sorrow to hundreds of friends. At the funeral service at the Evangelical church Sunday afternoon, the Rev. C. F. Kliphardt delivered a sermon that gripped the hearts of his hearers. Mr. Kliphardt has been very close to Mr. Schafer since coming to Jewell and he spoke with the love and understanding which that acquaintance gave him. The Rev. G. J. Schumacher, who helped conduct the service, spoke of his admiration and love for Mr. Schafer from the basis of an acquaintance of thirty-eight years. Judge D. L. Palmer also spoke as neighbor in the pioneer days on Brown's Creek. The following obituary was read by Mr. Kliphardt.

John C. Schafer was born July 14, 1939 in Wurtemberg, Germany, and died at Jewell Kans., June 29, 1923, aged 83 years, 11 months and 15 days. At the age of 14 he came to America with an uncle and other young men who emigrated from Germany in a group desirous of seeking their fortunes in the new country. Mr. Schafer spent his young manhood in and near St. Joseph, Mo. He was 21 years of age when the Civil War broke out and was among the first to enlist in the defense of the principles enunciated by President Lincoln. At the close of the war he returned to St. Joseph and shortly afterwards made a an extended tour through most of the western states, arriving in St. Joe again in 1868. He was an honored member of the G.A.R.

In August of 1870 he came to Jewell county and homesteaded the farm four miles west of Jewell. On the 18th of February, 1872, he was married to Mary Louisa Klink. Of their six children, one, a daughter, died in infancy. Of the five sons Charles F. and Ben lived at Jewell, Will at Eskridge, Kans., Ed at Pullman, Wash., and Raymond at Ft. Collins, Colorado.

In 1874 Mr. Schafer was converted and united with the Evangelical church of Jewell, of which he remained a consistent and faithful member until death. He was unassuming but positive, not seeking preferment but ready with strength and means to support every worthy cause. He was faithful in his attendance at church and was one of the congregation's most liberal supporters.

1927 Maria L. Schafer died on October 2 in Jewell, Kansas. She was buried at Jewell City Cemetery, Jewell, Jewell County, Kansas. [8]

John and Maria's granddaughter Judith recalled being told, [9]

John Christian Schafer received farmland in Kansas as a veteran of the Civil War. He went to the homestead area and chose land with a creek and some elevation, trees along the stream, and other features good for farming. The stream had a section where his five sons later went diving. John met his wife Maria Louisa Klink through relatives. An aunt of one was married to an uncle of the other.

An essay by John and Maria's grandson Jack states, [10]

Today we have driven from Dalhart, Texas, thus from one end of Kansas to the other. Fourteen months ago we made a similar trip from Elkhart, KS--on highway 56 while today mostly on highway 54. These are part of our several recent annual trips from Minnesota to spend the winters in California. I think back on the many trips around Kansas when we lived here, just over 20 years ago, including some presence in all 105 counties.

But I also think much further back to when Grandfather and Grandmother Schafer homesteaded in north central Kansas in 1872. One may be on a horse, maybe walking, or possibly in a wagon. What do you look for in choosing land? How far can you go? When do you make a decision as to where you may live the rest of your life or look further for something possibly better?

I guess the first thing is reasonably good looking land--no soil testing lab nearby. Maybe even more important is access to water. Who knows when you might dig or drill a well? Certainly a little stream going by and smooth, grassy land without obvious rocks would seem great.

It now seems almost capricious that a couple from southwestern Germany--near Stuttgart--would spend most of their adult lives and raise a family on a farm in Jewell County in north central Kansas. What factors provided motivation and led to various decisions?

I believe both grandfather and grandmother were born at Nellmersbach, near Stuttgart, he in 1839, she in 1850. Grandmother immigrated as a child with her family, the Klinks, in the mid-1850s. They came through New Orleans, apparently in the midst of an epidemic, possibly malaria, yellow fever, or even cholera. I am not aware that they were affected. They proceeded up the Mississippi and then the Missouri to St. Joseph where they had relatives, and settled there.

Grandfather must have come about the same time, but by himself, as a teen-ager. He came from the same place there to the same place here where they apparently had intermarried relatives. By 1861, Grandfather was 22 years old. He served in the Union Army, likely through the full period of the Civil War. As far as I know he stayed in the Missouri area, possibly in the battle of Wilson Creek.

After the war, he went west and prospected. Two of his younger brothers then immigrated, and the three may have prospected together. After some years of this, grandfather returned to St. Joe to marry and settle down. He must have searched for the homestead during 1870 or 1871, likely by foot. He settled for land in Jewell Co, in the northern tier of counties along the Nebraska state line. It was about four miles west of Jewell City, along Brown's Creek. This provided him with water. I believe that he spent much of the winter in a dugout along the bank of the creek. Almost a century later, when my Dad visited us in Manhattan, Joyce and I took him out there and we explored the banks of the creek, with Dad reminiscing about his childhood there.

Just when or how a house was built, I am unaware. In any case, Grandfather returned to St. Joe where he and Grandmother were married on February 18, 1872. (Dad was born on this date 12 years later, the third of five sons.) Following their wedding, they proceeded by wagon to their claim in Kansas. From my experience, they could have had bright, sunny beautiful Kansas winter days or they could have had snow and rain, or they could have had all of these on the trip from St. Joe to Jewell. Having driven across Kansas in March of this year and January of last year I know that these could be cool but very nice days. I even recall one day in late February when we lived in Kansas that it got up to a record 88 F. Although lovely today (March 7), we saw many residual snow banks along the road in southwestern Kansas.


Footnotes:

[1] US census, 1880

[2] US census, 1900

[3] US census, 1910

[4] Newspaper, Jewell County Republican, May 7, 1915.

[5] US census, 1920

[6] Find A Grave Memorial 43729166, [Find_A_Grave].

[7] Newspaper, Obituary, Jewell County Republican, Friday, July 5, 1923.

[8] Find A Grave Memorial 43729168, [Find_A_Grave].

[9] Personal Communication, conversation with Judith Schafer Chevalley Hiss.

[10] Family Document, Jack (John Francis) Schafer, Ottawa, Kansas, 3-7-1993 (edited and typed, 3-29-2003).


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