Franklin County Ohio Early Settlers, Dr. Jacob SHAFFER Franklin County Ohio Early Settlers

Submitted by Mark E. Shaffer
Email: [email protected]
(3rd great-grandson)
514 Harford Square Dr.
Edgewood, MD 21040

Dr. Jacob SHAFFER was born September 2, 1794, in Westmoreland Co., PA. Jacob was a farmer and physician. He "...practiced (medicine) in Cleveland, OH, when that city was a mere hamlet."1 The 1820 census shows him living in Dover Twp., about 12 miles west of Cleveland.

Anna THATCHER, Dr. SHAFFER's first wife, was the daughter of Samuel and Susan THATCHER. She was born in New Jersey in April 1797. They had at least 3 children: Jacob, born in 1817; Isaac, born March 1818; and Silas Southworth, born April 11, 1819. In her father's will, Anna was identified as Anna SCHAFER. From this it can be deduced that Anna and Jacob were married prior to November 20, 1815, the date of the will.

In late 1827, Jacob and Anna left the Cleveland area and moved to what is now Reynoldsburg, OH. Reynoldsburg is 10 miles east of Columbus. There, in October 1828, Anna SHAFFER died.

On April 21, 1829, Jacob married Sarah A. JINKS. Jacob and Sally remained married for 28 years. They had 8 children: Eldon J., born in 1832; Anna S., born February 21, 1834; George E., born in 1837; John, born in 1838; Rebecca, born in 1841; William H., born in 1844; Louisa, born in 1846; and Adelaide, born in 1851.

The 1832 Asiatic cholera epidemic reached Franklin Co., OH in July of 1833. 125 deaths occurred in the city of Columbus from July 14th to September 29th. There are no figures for deaths outside of Columbus, with the exception of Madison Twp. Here, over 35 people perished. Dr. SHAFFER practiced in Truro and Jefferson Twps., just north of Madison Twp. Dr. Jacob SHAFFER "...was one of the first eclectic physicians in the United States, and was a skillful practitioner, who during the cholera scourge in 1832, was more successful in that disease than any other physician of his time."1

Demand for Dr. SHAFFER's services grew. In 1834, he purchased a building and land in what is now Reynoldsburg. He practiced medicine there until 1852, when he turned his pursuits back to farming, and practiced medicine only as needed. Jacob purchased his 101 acre farm in 1837. It was located in south central Jefferson Twp.. Because of the farms location, Jacob and his family were sometimes referred to as the SHAFFER's of Blacklick Creek.

Sons Jacob and Silas were candy makers. They moved to Lafayette, IN. Isaac died in August of 1835. Anna died December 2, 1853. George served in the 95th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. He enlisted on August 13, 1862. He was seriously wounded and was discharged disabled on March 3, 1863. He died later that year. John sold coal oil from a barrel on the back of a cart. Homemakers would bring their containers and he would measure it out by the quart. Rebecca's husband, Joseph GROVENBERRY, also served in the 95th. He enlisted on August 13, 1862. He was appointed a corporal on January 20, 1864. He was wounded on July 15, 1865 in the battle of Brice's Cross Roads, MS. He was discharged on August 14, 1865.

Jacob SHAFFER is mentioned in the History of Reynoldsburg as one of its early physicians. He was one of founding members of the Universalist Church of Reynoldsburg. Jacob died October 20, 1877. Sarah died November 30, 1891. Jacob, Anna, and Sarah are buried at the Seceder Cemetery, Truro Twp., Franklin Co., OH.

1 Biographical Record & Portrait Album of Tippecanoe Co., IN, (Lewis Pub. Co., 1888), Biography of Silas S. SHAFFER, p. 524

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