Source: Biographical Memoirs of Wabash County, Indiana (1901), 203-204.


The gentleman whose biography is herewith presented is one of the leading dental surgeons of northern Indiana and a son of Dr. Philip Shaffer, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. He is a native of Indiana and dates his birth from the 13th day of January, 1864, having first seen the light of day in the county of Huntington. He was educated in the schools of Huntington and in the town of Bremen, Marshall county. The training thus received was afterward supplemented by a course in the Northern Indiana Normal, at Valparaiso, from the scientific department of which institution he was graduated with a creditable record in the year 1883. During the time of completing his literary education he taught one year in the public schools of Huntington county, served two years as principal of the Liberty Mills graded school and one year as principal of the high school of North Manchester.

While meeting with encouraging success as an instructor, and no doubt would have achieved distinction in the field of education had he seen fit to devote his talents to that profession, he believed a wide sphere of usefulness was to be found in dentistry and turned his attention to the study of that profession. He entered the Wisconsin Dental College, from which he was graduated in 1885, and then began practice in North Manchester, where he soon built up a large and prosperous business.

Dr. Shaffer prepared himself for his life work under able and competent instructors, and brought to the profession a knowledge and skill such as few attain by long years of constant practice.

Determined to exhaust every means within his power to enlarge the scope of his professional training, he entered the American College of Dental Surgery in the fall of 1890, where he pursued his investigations under the direction of some of the most distinguished professors in the United States, completing the course and bringing to his patrons the results of a most profound and painstaking research. Dr. Shaffer stands in the front rank of technically educated dentists, while in the operative department of the profession his skill has won for him a reputation extending far beyond the limits of his city and county. Thoroughly conversant with the latest thought and research and familiar with the most approved modern appliances, he keeps fully abreast the times in all matters pertaining to his profession, and aims to make his work his most effective advertisement. He has all he can do among the best class of people as patrons, and his parlors are supplied with the latest and most approved devices and compare favorably with the most thoroughly equipped offices of the kind in the northern part of the state.

Dr. Shaffer is a man of public spirit, actively identified with the material and industrial interests of the city in which he lives. He was one of the originators of the Rex Manufacturing Company of North Manchester, and served as secretary of the same for some time after its organization. He laid out what is known as the Shaffer & Oppenheim addition to the city, and as a member of the common council, for some time its presiding officer, was largely instrumental in promoting much important municipal legislation. He has contributed materially to the city's appearance by erecting a number of neat buildings and has done much in the way of attracting to the place a desirable class of people and otherwise advertising its advantages as a place of residence and its resources as an industrial center. He was one of the organizers of the Indiana State Bank and is at this time the president of that institution.

The doctor is a pronounced Republican, and a such takes an active interest in behalf of his party, both as a counselor and a worker in the ranks during campaigns. He enters heart and soul into all political contests, contributing liberally of his means and sparing no reasonable sacrifices to insu8re victory for his party candidates. Notwithstanding his great activity and shrewdness as a party manager, his name has never been associated with anything but the most honorable methods, having no use for the ward politician or the man who secures votes by liberal use of a corruption fund. He is a fluent and forcible speaker and his voice is frequently heard in discussing political issues.

The doctor is a great friend of education, and has been untiring in his efforts in behalf of the public schools of North Manchester. For six years he has been a member of the school board, serving at different times in the capacities of secretary, treasurer and president, and to him is largely due the credit for the high standing which the schools today enjoy. The doctor is a present serving the school board as its treasurer. He holds membership with the Knights of Pythias and Masonic orders, and while not connected with any church, believes in religion as a potent factor for substantial good in the community.

In the best of the term Dr. Shaffer is a self-made man and the architect of his own fortune. His life is a commendable example of what may be accomplished by well-defined purpose, directed and controlled by principles of integrity and a judgment enlightened by experience. Energy and unselfish devotion to the public welfare are among his chief characteristics and a desire to promote the interest of his fellow men has been a salient feature throughout his career. Personally he is genial and companionable, and in every relation of life his conduct has been without censure and his good name above reproach. The city of North Manchester is proud of his citizenship and the county of Wabash numbers him among her most worthy and progressive men.