Page 7140715, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


S. Shaffer, a prominent stockman and farmer of Benton township and early settler in Butler county, is a native of Ohio. He was born in Starke county, and is a son of Conrad and Sarah Shaffer. His father died in early life leaving four children, two of whom are now living: S., the subject of this sketch, and Oliver, who now resides at Forgan, Okla. The mother married again in Ohio, to M. W. Priest, and in 1870 the family came to Kansas and located in Benton township, Butler county, where they pre-empted 160 acres of land. When they came here Emporia was the nearest railroad point, and Wichita was just in its initial stage. There were only two little stores there and only two long cabins between Benton and Wichita.

Mr. Shaffer began life for himself in 1877 when he bought a claim of 160 acres, for which he paid $50. After farming for a short time he sold his place at a good profit and bought 160 acres in Towanda township, and now owns 320 acres, which constitute one of the finest farms in Butler county, and which is known as the "Shaffer Stock Farm." Mr. Shaffer is considered to he one of the most successful farmers and stockmen in Butler county, having met with uniform success in that field of endeavor.

Mr. Shaffer was married in 1881 to Miss Sophrona Dunmire, a daughter of George and Anna Dunmire, of Illinois. Mrs. Shaffer has five living brothers, as follows: Robert, Seattle; James lives in Oregon; George, Iowa; Denton, Chandler, Okla., and William, Tulsa, Okla.


To Mr. and Mrs. Shaffer have been born the following children: Mrs. Elsie Poorbaugh, Zelma, Okla.; Edna, Mabel, Albert B. and Mrs. Ethel Boedecker, all living in the vicinity of Benton, Kans.

Mr. Shaffer lived alone on his claim in Benton township for the first five years, and endured all the hardships and inconveniences of pioneer life, and yet with it all, he enjoyed himself. Buffalo hunting was his favorite sport, and he has killed a great many buffalo on various hunting expeditions. Like all experienced buffalo hunters, he understood the habits and traits of those animals, and it is very interesting to hear him tell of some of the clever things which he gives the buffalo credit for knowing and doing. He says that large herds of buffalo were guarded by the buffalo bulls, after the plan of the picket line of an army, and sometimes this guard would be composed of several of these animals, who would frequently take up a position five or six miles from the herd, and when they saw any one approaching they apparently gave some sort of an alarm signal, and the whole herd would immediately sweep across the plains like the wind. One of the difficult problems, he says, of the buffalo hunter of the early days was to get by these guards or sentinels and get within the range of the herd to begin his execution.

Mr. Shaffer has taken a commendable interest in local affairs and has given especial attention to the public schools, always having been an advocate of good schools, and all his children have obtained good educations, and Edna and Mabel are teachers. Mr. Shaffer served on the school board of his district for twenty-five years.

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