SHEAFER, Henry J.
Back Up Next

SHEAFER, Maj. Henry Jackson, son of Michael Sheafer and Susan Cloud, was born May 21, 1826, in Lancaster county, Pa. When about six years of age his father removed to what was then called "Bear Gap," now Wiconisco, in the upper end of Dauphin county. Here he resided with his parents, getting a few months' schooling during the winter season, until the age of fifteen, when he went to learn the drug business at Harrisburg. He continued in this employment for four years, when he went to South Carolina and resided for some time in Columbia, the capital. Coming North, he settled in the town of Milton, Northumberland county, and engaged in the drug trade. In 1848 he was married to America O. Wood, daughter of Nicholas B. Wood. At the death of his father he removed to the old home at Wiconisco, for the purpose of settling his father's estate.

In 1856 he removed to Mendota, Dakota county, Minn., where he engaged in the lumber business in connection with Eli Pettijohn and Franklin Steele, of Fort Snelling. They built a large mill at the mouth of the Minnesota river, and had extensive yards on the Minnesota river. In the fall of 1858 he was elected a member of the Minnesota Legislature from Dakota county, and for some tune took an active part in the politics of the young State. After the breaking out of the war all business was completely paralyzed, and in the fall of 1861 he returned to Harrisburg. During the winter of 1861-62 he recruited a company for the One Hundred and Seventh regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers, and was mustered into service as captain of Company I. At the battle of Antietam his brigade fought in the noted cornfield almost fronting the Dunker church, and suffered terribly in killed and wounded. At one time the line being driven back, both color-bearers were shot dead and left on the field. Captain Sheafer, ascertaining the fact, returned alone and rescued the colors and rejoined his command without injury. On December 21, 1862, he was commissioned major of the regiment. In the Gettysburg campaign, on the first day of the fight, shortly after Reynolds was killed, Major Sheafer was severely wounded, but did not leave the field until the afternoon of the third day's fight. Early in the fall he rejoined his command and participated with his regiment in the many battles they were engaged in up to March 8, 1865 (the expiration of his term of service), and was mustered out. After the war he made Harrisburg his permanent home and engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1873 he was elected sheriff of Dauphin county, serving his term of three years.

Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Becky Tuszynski becky@voicenet.com for The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project - http://maley.net/transcription.

Date of Transcription: 30 Dec 2000

Copyright (c) 2000 - All Rights Reserved: Use, duplication or reproduction for profit or presentation by any person or organization is strictly prohibited.