The German element in our national civilization has been a very important factor, the sterling qualities of the Teutonic race making its representatives in America valued citizens of the republic. Henry Schafer in his business career manifests the reliability and perseverance which are numbered among the sterling traits of his people and to-day he is accounted one of the successful farmers of Gilman township, Nemaha county, where he resides upon a valuable farm located on section 31.
Born in Prussia, Germany, on the 14th of January, 1840, he was reared in the place of his nativity, and on attaining his majority enlisted in the Prussian army and served for three years. For six months he participated in the war of 1866 and took part in a number of engagements, including the battles which occurred on the 28th of June and on the 3d of July of that year. In 1867 he came to America, making his way to St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained for three years, working by the month during much of the time.
During the last year of his residence in that locality, however, he operated a rented farm. In 1870 he came to Nemaha county, where he purchased a farm in Richmond township, now Gilman township. In 1872, however, he sold that property and bought the farm upon which he now resides. All the improvements upon the place stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise. He has erected a substantial residence, good barns and outbuildings, and fences, which divide his land into fields of convenient size. To the original purchase of eighty acres he added a quarter-section of land in 1880 and now has a valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres, all under a high state of cultivation. The rich pasture land of this section of the state affords excellent opportunity to the stock raiser and Mr. Schafer keeps a number of head of cattle for sale.
In 1872, in Nemaha county, occurred his marriage to Miss Nellie Hemmerbach, a native of Prussia, who came to America when four years of age, the family locating in Wisconsin. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Schafer have been born seven daughters, namely: Anna, the wife of Frank Pflance; Mary, the wife of Henry Seimer; Lizzie, the wife of Clements Wichman; Katie, Barbara, Phemie and Teressa. The family is one of prominence in the community and its members occupy a leading position in social circles. They are communicants of the Catholic church at Seneca and in his political views Mr. Schafer is a Democrat and has held a number of local offices. He is a public-spirited and progressive man, who gives an active support to all measures calculated to advance the general welfare, and in his business career he has met with a well merited success, so that he has never had occasion to regret his determination to try his fortune in the new world.