Robert Frank Shafer
"Mike" Sharer as he is known to all his friends for the past 30 years was born at Buckner, Jackson County, Missouri on Sep. 18,1883. The family consisted of the father, mother, two daughters four sons and two step sons.
The Shafer family homesteaded in Jackson County in 1858 and were farmers and came from Newark, Ohi0. The father went through the Civil war on the Union side and was in 19th Kansas cavalry and served his country 4 years, 1 month and 28 days. He enlisted twice and served all through the war.
Frank's mother was Sarah Anthony Shafer and came from Charleston Miss. and was from Southern family. Most all the Anthony family were strict Methodists and several of the Anthony's were preachers. "Mikes" Grand father Anthony was a Chaplain in the Southern army during the Civil war. His mother's brother John Anthony lost his left leg In service in the battle of Tupalo Miss.
The Grand Father Sharer came from Holland and his Grand father on his Mother's side was a Welshman and was one of the earliest settlers in the United States. Grand Father Anthony was a German and settled in Mississippi and was a Lutheran preacher. The Grand father Shafer was a Mason but It is not known where he held membership.
All of his brothers and sisters are dead but One full brother Roy who lives in California One half brother and One sister. One brother lost his life in the Galveston flood and the Brother Roy was one of the first to enlist in the world War and Saw service overseas.
The family lived in Missouri from 1858 to 1885 when they moved to California where they lived for two years returning back to their old home in Jackson Co. Mo. Father died in 1914 at Buckner.
Mike attended his first term of school at Rinehart, Mo. and walked 2 1/2 miles; attended school at Monte Valley Mo. where he got as high as the 5th grade. Left school at 13 years of age and got a job on a farm for W. R. Waltan at $8.00 per month he worked here for 1 1/2 years until a bad accident happened to him. He was hauling corn one muddy day was jerked off the wagon and the loaded wagon running over him crushing his shoulder which laid him up for sometime. The shoulder healed up but he did not have any use of it and could not do any work. Finally he heard of a Medical school in California that would treat him free of charge so just having enough money to go there resolved to make the trip arriving there entering the hospital. They found that it Was necessary to break the shoulder over and reset it which was done. He was there three weeks and the shoulder healed perfectly and was almost as good as new.
He went to San Francisco Calif. In 1897 and got a job for a milliner store delivering hats later hired out to a building contractor as helper handling lumber and materials for different building projects. This job lasted for 3 years. in 1900 went to Palisade Nev. where he worked for a contractor on a railroad from Ogden to Sacremento. They were engaged in shortening the line eliminating the curves. He stayed with this same contractor and went to Pomona Colo. where he helped to build 14 miles of narrow gauge railroad and was on this job for 8 months. Came to Comiske Kansas near Council Grove Kansas and hired out as section hand. He went to Missouri from there to Lake City in April 1902 where he was placed In charge of a gang of men on a railroad construction job laying rails. This job occupied 7 months. went to Joplin and got a job as timekeeper and asst. foreman on a rail laying job. Came to Cedar Vale Kansas in 1909 and worked for Fran Berry section foreman. Spring 1910 went to Arkansas City, kansas then back to Hooser Kansas In charge of a section. From hooser went to Norwich Kansas and from Norwich back to Hooser and from Hooser to Dexter and has been at Dexter every Since as a MOP section foreman. In all has worked for the MOP RY co for 32 years unbroken service except two years he was out when he farmed near Hooser in 1914 and 1915. He has lived In Dexter for 15 years and Owns his own property-- the old Greenwell house in north part of town.
He was married at Winfield Kansas Mar, 24, 1913 to Minnie D. Rush who Was the daughter of Tom and Laurettia. Rush who were residents of Hooser for 50 years. The Rush people came from Kentucky and Was a Union soldier and were of English decent. Mrs. Rush's people were Moores and were Irish.
The Mike Shafer family consists of his wife and 8 children named as follows: Leota, Forest ,Vernon, Donald, Roy Cecil, Jack and Melva. The oldest is only one married. She married George Martin Jr. grand son of George Mart in who was a Charter Member of Maple City Lodge and has been a Mason for 62 years. He came to this country from Red Oak Iowa in the early 70's.
The Shafer children attend Dexter schools and the oldest Leoti was a graduate from the High school. Mike went thru a cyclone In Missouri when he was 5 years old. It blew the roof off of his fathers house and dropped it across a hedge but lucky that none were hurt although badly scared.
In his experience on Railroad has worked Greeks, Mexicans, Italians Turks and whites and has seen several bad wrecks but was never in one or hurt himself. Has never been in trouble never arrested or sued in the courts, reads everything he gets his hands on and is what you would call self educated.
His hobby is fishing and has fished In all the creeks and rivers every were he has ever lived. He says the largest fish he ever caught was a 30 lb cat caught on a trot line. He has made his own way since 13 years of age is a slow steady worker maintaining his large family. He hates a man that will get up and leave his family and thinks this is the worst criminal even worse than a murderer.
His father was a Republican but he has been a Democrat for the past 4 elections.