Valentine Schaefer

Valentine Schaefer was born on October 16, 1836, in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany.

Valentine immigrated to the United States and headed west, eventually settling in western Michigan. He was possibly the younger brother of one Phillip Shaffer (b. c. 1822) who was also from Darmstadt, and who was married there and had immigrated to the United States eventually settling in Michigan sometime before 1859. By 1860 Philip and his family were living in Chester, Ottawa County.

In any case, Valentine stood 5’11” with brown eyes and hair, and a dark complexion and was a 24-year-old farmer probably living in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was discharged for general debility on November 16, 1861, at Fort Lyon, Virginia.

Valentine eventually returned to Michigan and was living in Lisbon, Chester Township, Ottawa County when he married Wurtemberg native Katerina Breitmeier (1842-1923) on November 26, 1867, and they had at least one child, Karl or Charles (b. 1870).

In 1867 he was living in Lisbon, Kent County, along the County line with Ottawa County, and by 1870 Valentine and his wife were living on a large farm in Lisbon (near Philip and his family) and in 1880 he and his wife and son Charles were living on a farm next to his older brother (?) Philip and his family. He was living in Lisbon in 1888, in Lisbon or in Chester, Ottawa County in 1890. In fact Valentine probably lived the remainder of his life in the vicinity of Lisbon.

In 1886 he applied for and received a pension (no. 768495).

He died on December 3, 1910, presumably in Chester, and was buried in the Lutheran cemetery.

His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 714978).