Source: NMHS Newsletter, November 1998

Philip Shaffer, M. D.

Taken from the



Published in Chicago l901

Philip Shaffer, M.D. an old and reliable physician and surgeon of North Manchester, practicing his profession continuously since 1862, was born in Stark County, Ohio, September 22,1834. He was reared to agricultural pursuits and remained on his father's farm in the above state until about nineteen years old, when he accompanied his parents to Whitley County, IND., where he continued to till the soil until the age of twenty-four. Meantime young Shaffer concluded to enter the medical profession and about 1859 began a course of preliminary reading in the office of Dr. F.S.C. Grayston, of Huntington, under whose instruction he continued until entering the Lynn University, now the Chicago Medical College, and, after taking one course, went to Bracken, Huntington County, where he began the practice of medicine, which he continued at that place until 1863, when he entered the Rush Medical College of Chicago from which he was graduated in 1864.(The length of this sentence is in contrast to the brevity of medical training. ed)

He then returned to Bracken, Ind., and resumed his practice for a short time, then moved to Liberty Mills, in the county of Wabash, which he made his location for several years, meeting with good success in the meantime. From the above town the Doctor went to Elkhart County and located at Wakarusa. Here he again resumed his practice and remained until 1873, then removed to Bracken, Huntington County, where he resided until 1881 , then moved to North Manchester, Wabash County.

On locating in this city, Dr. Shaffer at once forged to the front as a successful practitioner and has ever since sustained that reputation, as is attested by the extensive business he built up and the high esteem in which he is held by the people in a large area of territory.

The Doctor has had a long and eminently satisfactory career, during which he has ministered relief to thousands of suffering mortals, earning a reputation for skill and efficiency which has

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brought him to the favorable notice of the leading medical men throughout the northern part of the state. While a long time in the practice and remarkably busy in responding to the numerous calls upon him for professional service, the Doctor has never permitted himself to fall behind the onward march of professional thought, and he stands today among the progressive physicians in a county noted for the high order of its medical talent. He was long a member of the medical societies of Huntington, Elkhart and Wabash counties, not a nominal member merely, but an active participant in their deliberations.

Believing that a physician should not be too closely tied to his profession, that is, to the exclusion of other matters of importance, the Doctor has long been a man of public spirit, deeply interested in the progress of the country and a factor in promoting the prosperity of the city of his residence. In politics he long ago manifested more than passing interest and voted with the Republican party from its organization in 1894. Not agreeing with its attitude on certain great questions, he repudiated it in that year and has since affiliated with the party of the opposition, though by no means a partisan in the sense of aspiring to official honors at the hands of his fellow citizens.

In matters religious he entertains decided views with the courage to express them when he finds it necessary so to do. He believes in being Christian only, consequently rejects all man-made creeds and statements of faith and worships with the Christian church, with which he has long been identified.

Dr. Shaffer was joined in marriage the first time in Huntington county to Miss Mary Ann Smith, who died in North Manchester on the 24th day of April, 1896, at the age of sixty years. The children born to this union are as follows: Michael; Lydia E. wife of Martin V. Kesler; William H; and one that died in infancy. The Doctor's second marriage occurred on the lst of July, 1897, when Mrs. Elizabeth Abbott, widow of the late Rev. George Abbott, of North Manchester, became his wife.

As a citizen the Doctor is highly respected by all classes of people is held by the community is a compliment to his worth. He is a man of sound judgment and unswerving integrity, and as far as known no

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breath of suspicion has ever attached to his character, nor has the rectitude of his intentions ever been called in question by captious critic or chronic fault-finder. His life has been read to his fellow men, and it is a more appropriate epitaph than cherished inscription on marble shaft or granite obelisk.

The Doctor has always been very kind to the poor in his profession doing much charity practice for the worthy poor, of which he never exacted a dollar, and also having been imposed on to a large sum by professional deadbeats. While he is not a wealthy man, the Doctor has accumulated a sufficient amount of this world's goods to place him in easy and comfortable circumstances the remainder of his life.