Michael (1820 - 1894)
Surnames: SHAFER ELDERKIN LOCKMAN STELZIG
----Sources: Colby Phonograph (Colby, Clark County, Wis.) 09/27/1894
Shafer, Michael (12 MAR 1820 - 27 SEP 1894)
Died, at West Salem, La Crosse Co., Wis., this morning, Sept. 27th, 1894, of general debility, Michael Shafer (our father), in the 75th year of his life.
Michael Shafer was born in Toronto, Province of Ontario, March 12th, 1820. Jan. 1st, 1846 he was united in marriage with Catherine A. Elderkin, who survives him. He was the father of six children, two of which died in childhood, two sons, Sam J. and Joel J., and two daughters, Mrs. L. K. Lockman of La Crosse, and Mrs. Jos. Stelzig of St. Cloud, Minn., survive to mourn the loss of one of the kindest and best parents that ever lived.
In early life he removed to the city of Hamilton where he was apprenticed to and learned the jewelers trade. In 1848 he visited Wisconsin but returned to Hamilton the following year, where he resided until 1854, when he removed with his family to Wisconsin and settled at Beaver Dam, and there made his home until five years ago, old age admonished him to give up. He came to Colby, Clark Co., Wis. and remained a couple of years but since then has made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Lockman, at La Crosse. For some time his mind kept weakening, even in greater pace than his body, until about six months ago he lost it entirely, so far as things of the past were concerned, not even recognizing his own family. He was placed in a hospital where he received the kindest care, attended, the most of the time, by the ever faithful wife and others who ministered to his every want.
Father was a man of strong active brain and inventive genius. Did he ever want a tool of any kind, he made it, and gloried in having it a little better than the ordinary run. In 1862, he conceived the idea of having a shot gun that would load at the breech and use fixed ammunition. He immediately set about and notwithstanding the pleasant jeers of friends, who did not believe the feat possible, before the year rolled around he had produced the first double barreled breech loading shot gun ever made in the United States. He was a workman of the highest order and many a specimen of his handicraft may be seen in the patent office at Washington, in the shape of models of inventions.
Personally he was a quiet, easy disposition, honest to the last degree; respected by all who knew him; kind hearted and generous. He was one of those of whom it can truthfully be said, "The world was the gainer by his having….(the rest of my copy was cut off)
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