Christian Shaffstall

Source: 1880 Atlas of Steuben County, IN p.53 c.2

Christian Shaffstall was born in Dauphin County, Penn., August 23,1807. His fatherís name was Solomon, and his motherís name was Catharine. His father was a farmer and also a very ingenious mechanic, and could make almost anything out of wood. Christian Shaffstall was married December 14, 1831, in Dauphin County, Penn., to Christiana, daughter of Adam and Christiana Row. She was born in April 1809. In the spring following his marriage he moved to Crawford County, Ohio, and settled in the green woods, on forty acres of land, given to him by his father. He lived on the land fourteen years, clearing it up and improving it and then trading the forty acres for 160 acres in Salem Township, Steuben County, Ind., where he now resides. Thus he settled again in the green woods, and went to work to clear up his farm, and also in winter and rainy days, on the shoemakerís bench, in order to support his young and growing family.

In all his labors, he was ably assisted by his good wife, who was not only a great worker, but an excellent manager. During the fourteen years of their residence in Ohio, she clothed herself, husband and family by her own labor. She first took a contract to pull a field of flax for a neighbor, giving him the seed and keeping the flax for her portion. This she rotted, broke and spun into linen, to clothe the family. And so every year, she continued working not only in the flax, but oat and wheat field, and potato-patch, outdoor and in unceasingly. So when they moved to Indiana, she had linen and linsey enough on hand to clothe the family for three years. In less than four years after coming to Indiana, she spun $120 worth of linen thread and sold it to her neighbors. Thus she continued from year to year, working in house and field, and now at the age of seventy years, she is quite vigorous and last year made and sold 350 pounds of butter from four cows, doing all the work herself, from the milking to the market. During the same time she knit 50 pairs of socks to sell plus doing all of her household work.

During all this time, they have raised a family of ten children, eight of whom are now living, doing well, and well respected. They inherited habits of industry from their mother, and her excellent moral training kept them from falling into the vices which are the ruin of so many families. The names and births of their children are as follows: Lavina (now Mrs. H. Slick), born December 26,1832; Susanna (now widow of William Leas, deceased), December 15,1834; Adam, December 18,1836; Isabella, December 28,1838 died September 15,1839; Hannah, born March 16,1841, died October 8, 1847; Franklin born December 23,1842; Amanda (now Mrs. Daniel Jenner) January 11, 1845; Nathaniel July 12,1847; Elmira (now Mrs. George Cary), October 27,1849; Cornelia (now Mrs. H. Zimmerman), January 28, 1852. Mrs. Shaffstall has been a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for thirty-six years, and has always given liberally of her means for its support.

Mr. Shaffstall is a Republican in politics, and was a strong Union man during the war. All three of his sons were in the army. Their children are all now married and living by themselves, and Mr. and Mrs. Shaffstall are thus left alone in their declining years; but they have the consolation of knowing that they have done their duty in life; and when they pass away from this earth, they will leave their children not only earthly possessions but the rich legacy of a well spent life.