Born C. 14 Dec. 1819
Portions of story were taken from Middleton History of Champaign County,
by B. F. Bowen Co. 1917 with new findings added through out.
Nicholas Schafer, Shafer, Shaffer, (All 3 spellings were found in our research) the subject of this search immigrated to America, in 1847. His age was recorded as 21 years at that time.
Nicholas Shafer (Shafer meaning Shepard) grew up on a farm in his native country of Hesse-Cassel and remained there till he was twenty six years of age,( New findings say he was only 21 years of age) when he came to this country, landing here with but a five-franc piece (one dollar) in his pocket. For a short time after coming to this country he worked as a farm hand in Virginia, ( probably around the Wheeling, W.Va . area but not proven) receiving for his services twenty-five cents a day. He then made his way over to Ohio (more than likely following the Northern trail, which is now State Route 40) and stopped in theTerre Haute neighborhood, in Mad River township this county where he worked as a farm hand ( residing with the Samuel and Nancy Huffman family in July of 1850, his age was recorded as 23 in the 1850 cences ) until his marriage to Louise Cook, who was born in this county.
On the 9th day of September 1851, Nicholas Shafer joined hands in marriage with Louisa Cook, by S.H. Robinson J.P.
Louisa was born 7 November 1828 the daughter of pioneer parents Lewis Cook and Broadrice Fay in this county.
Nicholas shortly after, bought his first farm and started farming on his own account. His first farm was a tract of one hundred and twenty –five acres, in the vicinity of Terre Haute, where he made his home. While living in Mad river township Terre Haute
Nicholas and Louise became the parents of 5 children: Elizabeth ( McGuire), John Henry found in cences 1860 &70 but was burried as Henry J.( My Great Grand Father), Martha Catherine ( Burk, Mauck), George W. And Charles F.
In 1867, when he moved to Salem Township and bought a farm of three hundred and fourteen acres at the point then known as Saratoga.
Nicholas built a home for his family back off the road on a small knoll. The C.D. & C. R.R. ran through a portion of his land .and a Grist mill stood across the road as well as an one room school house pictured on the 1874 township map Atlas of Champaign County by.Starr & Headington.
He established his home and as he prospered in his farming operations added to his holdings until he became the owner of nine hundred and seventy-five acres of land in Salem township and was regarded as one of the most substantial farmers in that part of the county. He gave much attention to the raising of livestock, particularly sheep, and always had about three hundred head of the latter on his place.
Nicholas passed away on 26 March 1900, in Salem township of Heart trouble at the age of 81
His wife Louisa proceeds him to the grave by eleven years on 1 Dec 1887 in Salem township of effects of a stroke & paralysis, being invalid for about 35 years, and blind prior to age of 42.
Nicholas land was divided between his son, two daughter and two grandsons. George W., Elizabeth ( McGuire) and Martha C. (Burk later Mauck) and his two grandsons were Edward and Harley, the sons of Henry who passed away on 2 April 1889 of Typhoid Fever, their mother Jerusha passed away 10 Sept 1888 of Jaundice
Another son Charles F. passed away 27 Feb.1889 of typhoid fever having no wife or child.
Much of the farm land today is still in the hands of descended families of Nicholas. The Grist Mill and school house are now gone, but the original house built by Nicholas still stands all though it has been remodled, and improved many times over the years.
A large lot at Oak Dale Cemetery 57 section 66 in Urbana Township is the final resting place of Nicholas and 21 other family members. They may be gone but will never be forgotten.