The Sheffer Family Papers consist of family correspondence, Civil War military service documents, financial records, family records, and various other materials including photographs and news clippings. The correspondence includes letters to various members of the Sheffer family sent from family and friends who settled across the Midwest and West.
George K. Sheffer was born in Williamsport, Indiana in 1840. He served in company K of the 33rd regiment of Indiana Infantry during the Civil War and was wounded at the Battle of Peach Tree Creek. In 1864 he married Martha Walker and together they had ten children. Shortly after the war ended, they moved from Williamsport to Danville, Illinois, where Sheffer worked as a carpenter. In 1886, they moved to Champaign. George K. Sheffer was also member of the G.A.R. (Colonel Nodine Post, No. 140), and served multiple terms as the Champaign Township Clerk.
In addition to items related to George K. Sheffer himself, the collection also includes letters and other materials documenting aspects of the lives of his parents, Nicholas and Matilda Sheffer; his brother [?] N.V. Sheffer; his sister Cynthia Sheffer; his brother F. L. Sheffer and his wife Mary; his brother William Sheffer; his niece Catie Sheffer; his daughter Jennie and her husband Michael Fitzpatrick; the family of his daughter Minnie and her husband Harry Eastman, including their daughter Martha and their granddaughters Mary Ruth and Clara; his daughter Ina; his son George H.; his wife's sister Mary and her husband Oakley Conklin; his wife's brother Ira Walker; and others.
The collection is arranged in five series: Correspondence, Military Service Materials, Financial Materials, Family Records, and Mixed Materials. The correspondence consists primarily of letters between family members scattered across the Midwest and Western U.S. These provide insight into family relationships and personalities as well as the challenges and opportunities of living in different areas of the country during the time period. There are also a few letters related to George K. Sheffer's work as a carpenter. The military service materials relate to George K. Sheffer's service in the Civil War and include discharge papers and pension documents. The Financial records include an indenture as well as miscellaneous receipts and other items dating from 1836 to 1907. Family records include George and Martha's marriage certificate from 1864, with a list of their children on the reverse side, as well as obituaries and other items. The mixed materials include items relating to various organizations and clubs to which different family members belonged, photographs, news clippings, and miscellaneous ephemera.
The collection was donated to the Library by Christopher Millsap and Martha Walker in 1997.
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