Source: North Manchester Journal, April 25, 1901
DEATH OF A PIONEER WOMAN.
Mrs. Shanafelt, One of the Earliest Settlers Here is Called to Her Reward.
Henrietta Harter was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, July 3, 1829, and died April 16, 1901, aged 71 years, 9 months and 13 days. With her parents, Israel and Charlotte Harter, she moved to Indiana when she was eight years old, and the remainder of her life has been spent within the bounds of Wabash county.
On Oct. 17, 1847, she was united in marriage to Peter Swank, with whom she lived in happy matrimony until death separated them in the year 1866. To this union were born seven children, two sons and five daughters, two of whom preceded her to the spirit land. In the year 1867 she was again married to John Shanafelt who died twenty years later. To this union were born one son and three daughters, one of whom died in infancy.
In her death she leaves, besides her children, four sisters, thirty grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends to mourn her departure. The life of this sainted mother is a record of good deeds. No task was ever too great for her to perform for those she loved; no opportunity for bestowing a deed of charity was left unimproved. Besides providing for the wants of her own family she was also a mother to the motherless, and the neglected ones always found a loving shelter in her home. For fifty years she had served in the cause of her blessed Master and she has now passed to the beautiful beyond to receive her reward.
The funeral service was held at the German Baptist church on Walnut street Friday at one o'clock. The service was conducted by Rev. Albert Wright, the discourse being based on the text found in II Peter, 1:13-14. It was filled with touching allusions to the noble life of the deceased. The large concourse of people who had assembled to pay their last respects to her memory fully attested to the esteem in which she was held by both old and young.
The early life of the deceased is especially interesting from the fact that her family were among the first immigrants to North Manchester, there being but six cottages in the town at the time of their arrival. She well remembered the first days spent at the home of her uncle, Joseph Harter, who occupied a cabin on the banks of Eel river near where the Strauss residence now stands. It was while visiting here that she acted the part of the heroine by saving her playmate, Jacob Harter, from drowning. When her father had finished the log cabin on the farm now owned by Joseph Blickenstaff, he removed his family to that place.
She had a distinct recollection of the long and bitter struggle of pioneer life; of the battle against poverty and want at a time when the wild, unbroken forests were threaded only by roads marked by sticks set against the trees, and the dusky Indians formed a population more numerous than the white settlers. Such were some of her early experiences; but she had there, perhaps, learned the secret of frugality and fostered the spirit of helpfulness which had always so endeared her to the hearts of her friends. From childhood her life had been one of unselfish devotion to others; an influence which can only be measured in eternity.