Pages 566-567, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




CHARLES SCHAFFNER.—Progress is the result of the efforts of individual men. Its aiders and abettors are the guiding spirits in every community and its destiny is the glorious triumph of mankind over the perplexities and problems of the human race. In these triumphs all races and nations will participate and whether in their native heath or in their adopted country each particular and individual actor will receive some credit for his sacrifice. Chief among our progressive and prosperous people of foreign birth are the Germans. Almost wherever you find an American there you will find a German, also. In the early settlement of Kansas was this fact specially true. Humboldt, one of the oldest places in the state, had its German settler as soon as it had its American settler. Notwithstanding their new surroundings they entered as heartily and as intelligently into the making of an honorable community, on the American plan, as did those who never knew another country. In the past forty years many of the Kaiser's subjects have resided in Allen county. Some have gained more prominence than others but all, save a few, have done socially and financially well. Among these, and of the more recent settlers, is the subject of this brief mention, Charles Schaffner. He needs no personal introduction to the leading citizenship of Allen county for he has gone in and out among them for more than a score of years and they know him to respect and admire him. In his immediate vicinity he is especially esteemed. His character has been a subject of much public scrutiny for more than a generation, in Humboldt, and its elements are discovered to be of the higher sort. To no man can it be said that he has proven false and his reputation for regarding and maintaining his sacred word is of the highest order. To him his credit and his good name are his fortune and his material accumulations are not the result of any shady transactions.

Charley Schaffner was born in Buchheim, by Freiburg, in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Empire of Germany. His birth occurred December 26, 1844, and he is a son of Daniel Schaffner, a linen weaver. The latter war born in the same house as his son, Charles, in the year 1809 and was married to Ragina Fischer in 1835. He spent his entire life in Buchheim, dying in 1894. His wife died at the age of seventy-four. Of their five children our subject is the third. The other sons are Joseph, Henry and John. Henry and John and a sister remain in Germany while Joseph came to the United States in 1870 and resides now in Freemansburg, Pennsylvania.

Charley Schaffner secured what, in this country, would constitute a good common school education, with private lessons in French. Upon coming of age he determined to seek his fortune in America. He had some knowledge of the opportunities for young men in this new and enterprising country and it was in this far away country that he saw his future spread out before him. He sailed for New York in 1866 and was landed in the great American metropolis with only a single dollar; and this a ship-robber had failed to get. To become a barber seemed the best opening for him so he learned the trade and worked In the city till 1874. This latter


year he went westward to Copley, Pennsylvania, where he pursued his trade till his removal to Humboldt five years later.

In Humboldt Mr. Schaffner has been a busy man. His was the leading shop in the city for twelve years and when he retired from the business it was with a consciousness that he had acquired a competency which, if economically administered, and occasionally supplemented would endure and sustain till his race was run. To further engage his time and talents he took up the insurance, loan and real estate business. In this work he has succeeded scarcely less conspicuously than at his trade. His office is the mecca toward which those having conveyancing or insuring to do direct their steps

Our subject was first married February 22, 1869, to Wolpurka Schlenk. Two of their three children survive, namely, Emma K., wife of John W. Tholen, of Humboldt, was born May 15, 1870, and Charles H., born at Copley, Pennsylvania, October 7, 1871, is a resident of Central City, Colorado. September 27, 1887, Mrs. Schaffner died. Two years later Mr. Schaffner was married in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to Mary Vogt, a lady of the town of Buchheim, Baden.

When it is said that Charley Schaffner never profited by any legacy of his ancestors it will be seen that he has been the architect of his own fortunes. His material achievements have been ample for his personal needs and when all his business and social relations have been considered and his life work has been summed up it can not be truthfully said that an element of failure entered into it. He is prominent in local Odd Fellowship and in Woodcraft and his connection with the politics of Allen county has not been the least important of his acts. He became a Democrat from his observation of the conduct of the affairs of government and affiliated with that party till the reform movement which swept Kansas in 1890 when he joined hands with it. He was the nominee for County Treasurer in 1899 and has served upon different political committees of his party many years.

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