Scaffers Were Early Residents of Gray County

On August 11, 1862, in London, Ohio, Alexander Schaffer joined Company A of the 113th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer infantry of the U. S. Army for a term of three years. The regiment was mustered out on July 6, 1865 in Louis- ville, Kentucky, and went to Columbus, Ohio for discharge.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

Alexander married Mary Elizabeth Peters on January 1, 1867, and in 1868 he moved his wife and infant son to Missouri where eleven more children were born. The Schaffers left Missouri in 1892 and traveled by covered wagon to Texas. Alexander first purchased land one mile north of Jericho, Texas, and later purchased more land in Gray County. Schaffer Road of f Highway 70 south of Pampa is named for the Schaffer family. Ephram Cappell Schaffer, third son and child of Alexander and Mary Elizabeth Schaffer, was born in Pettis County, Missouri on April 4, 1871.

About the time he came with his family to Texas, the family of William Thomas Morgan and his wife Sarah came from Tennessee to the community of Jericho, and the Schaffer and Mor- gan families became close friends. Sidney Thomas Morgan and Jettie Mae Schaffer were married on February 21, 1894, and Ephram Cappell Schaffer and Mary Ida Mor- gan were married on December 14, 1894. Ephram and Mary Ida made their home – first a dugout and later a three-room house – on McClellan Creek north of Jericho.

They had twelve children – two died at birth. In 1915 Mary Ida and the remaining ten children contracted smallpox from a visiting relative. Mary Ida died on March 26, 1915, and was buried in the Jericho cemetery. Eph’s mother came to help Eph with the children whose ages ranged from two to 18 years. Eph was a trustee for one of the first schools in Gray County, Schaffer School District Nb. 10. He served two terms as county commissioner when the Court House was at Lefors.

He loved the land on which he farmed and raised cattle. His knowledge of cattle became well known, and he was called on many times to organize cattle drives to market. In 1946 he purchased a home in Pampa and he and his daughter, Kate, moved to town. He always wore boots, hat, vest and a black scarf around his neck. He said that the liniment ha always carried would cure anything.

Also he carried lemon drops in his pocket, but they tasted like tobacco because they were carried with the pouch for his pipe. He told many stories of Indians, their burial grounds, and meeting with them. He told of the ranchers burning out the farmers, the great prairie fires and the making of molasses. He was truly a great pioneer who contributed to the growth of this country.

Claude Clifford Schaffer, third son of Ephram and Mary Ida Schaffer, was born on July 2, 1902. Listed in the county clerk’s records as an unnamed boy, he was one of the first children registered after Gray County was organized. He met Mertie Lula Elms at a party at a ranch house north of Alanreed. She was born in a ranch house about four and one-half miles northwest of “Gouge Eye” (Alanreed) where her parents owned and operated a cotton gin. Mertie graduated as salutatorian from school at Alanreed in 1924.

Claude and Mertie, married on September 27, 1925 at Claude in Armstrong County, moved back to a farm very near the Schaffer homestead. They had five children: Mildred Faye, James Earl, Clifford Leonard, Peggy Lou and Elizabeth Joan. All except Peggy and Joan attended the Schaffer School which by this time had relocated three times, the last time being near Highway 70 three miles from Interstate 40. In 1939 the school closed and the children were bused to Groom where each graduated.

In 1956 Claude and Mertie moved to Groom where they built a new home. Claude continued to raise cattle on the Schaffer place until he died on October 22, 1978. He was known as a man who loved to meet people and he enjoyed hunting coyotes, quail and dove. Mertie continued to live in Groom until her death on May 3, 1991. James Earl Schaffer, the second child of Claude and Mertie Schaffer, was born on February 12, 1928. He grew up having lots of relatives around to hunt, ride horses and help with the chores.

He went to school at Schaffer School District No. 10 and later to Groom where he played football and basketball for the Groom Tigers. After graduating from the school at Groom in 1945, he joined the Merchant Marines and sailed around the world before he was 18 years old.

He came back to Groom and in 1946 he met Betty Lou Harris who was born on October 26, 1928 near Skellytown in Carson County. James began to work for Phillips Petroleum Company in January, 1947, and on July 24, 1948 he and Betty Lou Harris were married in Panhandle, Carson County, by Rev. L. E. Godwin. James and Betty Schaffer have three children: Brenda Cloe, born June 9, 1949; Jamilou, born April 4, 1951, and Wesley Kent, born March 9, 1962.

Peggy Lou Schaffer, the fourth child of Claude and Mertie Schaffer, attended Texas State College for Women in Denton. She returned home to marry Doyle Beckham on November 6, 1955 in Groom. Doyle and Peggy Beckham have two children: Lana Dawn Browne of Lewisville and Robert Lynn Beckham of Amarillo. The five children of Claude and Mertie Schaffer now own the “old home place” near Lake McClellan and two of them live in Pampa. James and Betty Schaffer live in Walnut Creek Estates and Doyle and Peggy Beckham live at 2326 Aspen.

Over 200 Articles, written by Eloise Lane, were published in the Pampa News. These articles may be accessed by clicking on each section below. A list of articles will be revealed that are linked to a page containing the text of the article.

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