SCHAEFFER, MICHAEL, a retired farmer and a veteran of the Civil War, who owns a comfortable home at 1020 South Sixteenth Street, Springfield, is one of the many enterprising German-American citizens of the city who have identified themselves with its welfare and progress. He was born in Germany, February 18, 1836, and came to the United States with his parents in 1844. He received his education in the country schools of St. Clair County, Ill., and as a boy assisted with the work on his father's farm. He is a son of John H. and Christina (Geidel) Schaeffer, natives of Germany. The parents emigrated to the United States and lived on a farm in St. Clair County until their deaths.
After leaving school Michael Schaeffer worked at farming until his enlistment, August 25, 1861, in St. Clair County, in Company B, Forty-third Illinois Infantry, under Captain Samuel Shimmer, serving one year. He was wounded at Shiloh, the bloodiest battle of the war, sent to a hospital in St. Louis, April 17, 1862, then home until his wound was healed, and was discharged August 5th. He returned to St. Louis, and re-enlisted, January 5, 1864, at Belleville, Ill., in Company H, Eighth Illinois Cavalry, under Captain Dowd. He joined the Eastern Army, being sent to Washington, D.C., and was mustered out at the close of the war, in St. Louis. He took part in many skirmishes and was one of the nine men of his company who came out of the battle of Shiloh with their lives. He had many narrow escapes but was never captured by the enemy. He proved a brave and faithful soldier and has reason to be proud of his record. He is a prominent member of the G.A.R.
At the close of the war Mr. Schaeffer returned to St. Clair County, where he resided until 1870, then moved to Jackson County, and thence to Springfield, where he enjoys the rest he has earned by long years of toil and endeavor. He was a most ambitious and enterprising farmer and became successful through unremitting hard work. He is a member of the Lutheran Church and in politics is a Democrat. He is well known among those with whom he has had business dealings for his uprightness and integrity, and has many warm personal friends.
Mr. Schaeffer was married (first) in Jackson County, Ill., to Mary Bergner, a native of St. Clair County, daughter of George and Eva (Marout) Bergner, both natives of Germany and early settlers in Illinois. Mr. Bergner was a soldier in the Mexican War. Four children were born of Mr. Schaeffer's first marriage, namely: Caroline, born in Jackson County, February 11, 1871; Annie, July 16, 1872; Minnie, December 25, 1873; Elizabeth, died May 18, 1877. Mr. Schaeffer married (second) Sophronia Hartley, born in Jackson County, daughter of William H. and Martha (Crofton) Hartley, the father a native of Tennessee and the mother of Missouri, were early settlers in Illinois and the father took part in the Civil War. To Mr. Schaeffer's second marriage one child was born, Albert, May 21, 1891, in Jackson County.