Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Charles Henry Schaffer

Male 1846 - 1945  (99 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Charles Henry Schaffer 
    Born 8 Apr 1846  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Interesting story, business 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-93373 
    Died 8 Dec 1945  Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Buried Marquette Cemetery, Marquette, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I93373  Generations
    Last Modified 11 Mar 2021 

    Father John Schaffer,   b. Abt 1816, Of, German Mills (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F29779  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 

      C. H. Schaffer Died Shortly Before 100th Birthday

      Charles H. Schaffer, a resident of Marquette many years and one of the pioneers in the lumbering and charcoal iron industry in the Upper Peninsula, died in December, 1945 in Pasadena, Calif., where he had resided five years. If he had lived until April 8, 1946, he would have been 100 years old.

      Despite his advanced age, Mr. Schaffer was in fairly good health and his death was not preceded by serious illness. His body will be brought for interment, but arrangements have not been completed.

      Mr. Schaffer was born in Waterloo, Ontario, April 8, 1846, and moved with (his family) to Grand Rapids at about the age of six. He lived
      there until he was sixteen, when he went to Texas, riding overland on horseback to a point near where San Antonio now stands. Here he worked on a large ranch and saw the big cattle drives of those days to the northern markets.

      Built Kilns At Onota

      Mr. Schaffer went to old Munising in 1870 to complete his brother's-contract for loading pig iron and hauling charcoal to the Munising furnace. He later took a contract to supply the furnace at Pawell's point. About 1873 he built 40 charcoal kilns at a point about 25 miles west of Munising, which he called the Onota location, later building a battery of kilns three miles east of Onota and a battery at the White Fish loca-tion about five miles west of Onota.

      From these he supplied the Deer Lake furnace near Ishpeming, operated by W. H. Rood, and the Pioneer furnace at Negaunee. The DSS&A railway was built through Onota one year after his arrival.

      While Mr. Schaffer made his headquarters at Onota, he was on the board of supervisors for Sohoolcraft county, which then included the present county of Alger. In these days he had to travel on foot to Manistique, the county seat many times on snowshoes in the dead of winter.

      Sold Site Of Munising

      Mr. Schaffer cut the hardwood off several thousand acres of Alger county land and sold the present townsite of Munising to Timothy Nester, who started the village. Most of this timber was used at his kilns and sawmills at and around Onota location.

      About 1886 he purchased the Excelsior furnace at Ishpeming which was in a rundown condition. He rebuilt it mostly from material purchased from the owners of several old furnaces in the vicinity which had not been operated profitably.

      He began operating kilns along the Chicago and North Western rail-way with batteries at Kloman, Spaulding, Wilson, Deloughery and Schaffer, which were purchased through M. H. Maynard. About 1899 he purchased and rebuilt the Carp furnace at Marquette
      and took as a partner, Noah W. Gray, who came from the furnace at Ashland, Wisconsin.

      About 1904 he and Gray built the furnace at Boyne City, part of which was moved from the Martel furnace at St. Ignace. A few years later they built another furnace at East Jordan, part of which was moved from Valley Forge, and included among the parts were cannon balls cast during the Revolutionary war.

      His last furnace was built at and was called the Stephenson furnace in honor of U. S. Senator Isaac Stephenson, who was one of his partners in this venture. Also associated with him in the Stephenson furnace were the late . B. Eldridge, Austin Farrell and John R. Van Evera, of Marquette.

      In 1918 Mr. Schaffer sold his interests in the Boyne City, East Jordan and Stephenson furnaces and retired from the charcoal iron business.

      During his long residence in Marquette, Mr. Schaffer was prominent in business and banking circles and took an active part in civic affairs. He was a director of the old Marquette national bank and for many years was president of its successor, the Union National Bank. Shortly after his 99th birthday, he retired as president of the Union National and was believed to be the oldest bank president in the United States. He was succeeded by the late Arthur F. Jacques.

      Mr. Schaffer was a charter member of Marquette lodge, F. & A. M., and a member of Ahmed temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
      MARQUETTE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY Marquette, Michigan March 1964

      THE MINING JOURNAL, Marquette, Mich. May 10, 1949 Centennial Edition, Page 18, col.l

  • Sources 
    1. [S1128] Journal - The Mining Journal, "Charles H. Schaffer," 10 May 1949, p. Centennial Addition.

    2. [S329] Vit - California - Death Index, 14433-1226.
      Charles Henry Shaffer, b. 8 Apr 1846 Berlin, Waterloo, Ontario. d. 8 Dec 1945 Los Angeles, s/o John Schaffer (b. Germany) & unknown, cause: pneumonia (3 days)

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 8 Apr 1846 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 8 Dec 1945 - Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Marquette Cemetery, Marquette, Michigan, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth