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SCHAEFFER, Anson J. (1864-1930)


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 8/21/2020 at 11:52:16

Anson J. Schaeffer
(June 26, 1864 – August 7, 1930)

Ida County Pioneer Records, Ida Grove, Iowa, Thurs., Sept 18, 1930, p.1
Frank Clarkson’s Tribute To “Dad” Schaeffer
By Frank P. Clarkson in VanNuys (Calif.) Tribune: We wish to tell you the story of a remarkable man, and that man was our competitor in business life. The editor of The Tribune returned from a three week’s vacation in Canada to learn of the death of his old friend, A. J. Schaeffer, who passed away in his sleep at his home, 651 Maltman Avenue, Los Angeles, presumably as the result of a stroke of apoplexy. Mr. Schaeffer, of “Dad” as he was familiarly known to a wide circle of friends, was one of the finest men it ever was our privilege to meet. You can get your best insight into the character of the man when we tell you that for a number of years he was the editor and owner of the Iowa newspaper which was the principal competitor of the one owned and edited by the writer of this column.
Mr. Schaeffer was a life-long Democrat while we were just as well founded in our Republicanism. As rival editors we had many a heated editorial argument on politics, but through all the years we remained the best of friends. We were not just fair weather friends. The equipment of each printing establishment was always at the disposal of the competing shop, not in a perfunctory way, by any means, but because we were real friends and neighbors. We not only loaned each other such things as type, paper and machinery, but, strange as it may seem to those who recall the old days when rival newspapers were usually bitter enemies, our friendship was such that upon more than one occasion there was an exchange of financial assistance. The writer recalls one time when the unexpected arrival of a large shipment of paper called for several hundred dollars more than we could demand, and “Dad” came to the rescue with the necessary cash. A time or two we had the privilege of helping him in a similar manner, and never was there a scratch of a pen to record the transaction. Someone has said that when you pass the first half century of your life and can county as many real friends as you have fingers on your right hand, you are blessed indeed. We counted “Dad” Schaeffer as one of our five, and he never failed us.
Born in 1863, Mr. Schaeffer edited and published newspapers in Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota and South Dakota, and everywhere he went he will be remembered with loving kindness. In 1901 he bought the Adrian, Minn., Democrat of John E. King, now the editor of the Hemet News, the greatest weekly newspaper on the Pacific coast, if not in all America. It was there he became acquainted with Mark Graves of VanNuys, and, needless to say, they became lifelong friends. The last work Mr. Schaeffer did was to write the story of the world trip Mr. Graves took last year, and that story is now being printed in installments by The Tribune. First stricken with paralysis in 1917, Mr. Schaeffer had lived for some years in Los Angeles in retirement. Though almost blinded, he still had the incentive to write, and this story of Mr. Graves’ trip gave him no little pleasure. At last the story was finished and that night he passed away in his sleep. When the Master calls that is the best way to go, in one’s sleep, and we are thankful our old friend was spared further pain and suffering at the end. Dad Schaeffer was a country editor and proud of it. His papers fairly sparked with his genius. He had opinions and expressed them in a most convincing manner, but he was never vindictive and always he held the respect of those he opposed. Mr. Schaeffer was a very unselfish man, always thoughtful of others. He had a keen and brilliant mind, was extremely well read and was not only a student of ancient and mediaeval history, but was well versed in astronomy. Scientists at Mt. Lowe observatory knew and respected him and more than one night he spent at the eye-piece of the great telescope there. Years ago he was invited by Wm. E. Johnston, a prominent northwest Iowa attorney, to accompany him on a trip abroad. A year ago Mark Graves invited him to go as a companion on his trip around the world. Dad would have made most any sacrifice to have taken those journeys, but he would not sacrifice his friends, and feeling that in his poor health he might be somewhat of a burden to them he made his excuses and said he could not go. That was just like him, and it was for things like that we most admired him. It is something to live a long and useful life and embark on the great adventure with the love and respect of all your friends. It is more of an achievement when you can number among those friends left behind your principal competitor.


Ida Obituaries maintained by Tonja Winekauf.
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