Shiffler Cemetery and Its Founding Family
By Pamela Pattison Lash
(I delivered a presentation of the Shiffler Cemetery and the Shiffler family at a cemetery walk-through in August 2006. Here are the rough notes that I prepared for this event, which was sponsored by the Williams County Historical Society and the Williams County Genealogical Society.)
Shiffler Cemetery in Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH began as a burial ground in 1849. The story goes as follows: during the evening of 11 Apr 1849, J and M Moss of PA, who were migrating west, halted their team and covered wagon at the Benjamin Shiffler home and requested shelter for themselves and their month-old baby son, Alpheus. The child died that night, and Mr. Shiffler offered a sandy knoll across the road, which he owned, for the burial, the first in what became the Shiffler Cemetery.
Many of the Shiffler family members are buried here and any presentation of the cemetery should also include information about its founding family.
Benjamin Shiffler, the son of Christian and Catherine Gilbert Schiffler, was born in 1808 near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co, PA. Father Christian, b 1779, in Berks Co, PA moved his family from there and set up residence in Dauphin Co where he and his wife died in 1843 and 1855, respectively. In 1831 son Benjamin Shiffler married Christianna Fackler, born 1806 in PA, daughter of Abraham and Barbara Hough Fackler. Abraham Fackler was a War of 1812 veteran and his father Johann Wendle Fackler fought in the Revolutionary War.
Shortly after the birth of their first son, the Benjamin Shifflers migrated to Richland Co, Ohio in the spring of 1832. The family was enumerated in the 1840 Blooming Grove, Richland Co, OH federal census. By 1844 Benjamin Shiffler had built the first red brick house in Williams Co, OH on his land 1 1/2 miles north of LaFayette (now Pulaski) on present US 127. Benjamin was both a farmer and a blacksmith. BTW the original spelling of Shiffler was Schieffler.
Benjamin and Christiana were the parents of the following seven children as listed with their spouses: John George and wife Elizabeth Hisey, Joseph and wife Charlotte Altaffer, Catharine and husband William Wineland, Eli and wives Mary Wineland and Eliza Wineland, Christian and wife Mary Jane Downs, Aaron and wife Hannah Wise, and Elizabeth and husband Albert D. Fraser. Christiana and Benjamin Shiffler had 46 grandchildren. Four of their sons, John George, Eli, Christian, and Aaron, were CW veterans.
John George Shiffler enlisted at the age of 31Y in Franklin Twp, Fulton Co, OH on 16 Sept 1864 as a corporal in Co F 182nd OVI 3rd Brigade 2nd Division 23rd AC. In May and June 1865 he was detailed to load timber to be used for forts and bridges and to take 1100 Rebels from Nashville, TN to Louisville, KY; he was honorably discharged at Nashville on 7 July 1865. John G. was a member of Post 149 GAR, drew a pension, was a farmer, and lived in Pulaski, OH.
Eli Shiffler served in the CW as part of the 182nd OVI for 10 months until the close of the war.
Military service record for Christian Shiffler, a carpenter, stated that he enlisted at age 20 in Co H 38th OVI 2nd Brigade 3rd Division 14th AC; 1862 was on special duty as nurse at Somerset, KY for one week; honorably discharged 14 Dec 1863 at Chattanooga, TN; reenlisted in the old command the same day; 7 Aug 1864 he received a gunshot wound in the left shoulder and arm in Atlanta, GA at the Battle of Jonesboro; hospitalized; honorably discharged at Camp Dennison, 21 June 1865. His wound disabled his right hand, wrist, and forearm but did not prevent him from farming duties. His brother-in-law Charles Downs starved to death in Andersonville Prison.
Aaron Shiffler served in the 182nd OVI and was also wounded at Jonesboro, GA. By 1915 he lived in Jackson, MI but when he died in 1926 he was buried in Shiffler Cemetery. He was the last of the original family to die.
The Shiffler daughters, Catharine Wineland and Betsey Fraser are also buried in this cemetery. Joseph Shiffler, the second son, moved his family to Amboy Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI sometime after the 1860 federal census and did not participate in any CW service that is currently known. He was visiting his Shiffler relatives on 16 Nov 1888 when he died of a burst blood vessel to the throat but he was buried in East Amboy Cem, Hillsdale Co, MI. This breaks the tradition of a Shiffler being buried in this cemetery.
Mother Christiana Shiffler died in 1875 and father Benjamin Shiffler died in 1891. Christiana did not rate an obituary in any of the county newspapers, but Benjamin did receive five lines and a word: “Benjamin Shiffler a formerly active and well-known citizen of Jefferson Twp died Sunday afternoon at the residence of his son-in-law William Wineland, 3 miles north of Bryan. He was about 84Y.”