IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Xavier Schaefers

Xavier Schaefers & Wife

Xavier Schaefers came to Clayton county in the earlier sixties and through his resourceful and energetic activities as a farmer and stock grower he laid the foundation of large and worthy success. He was one of the extensive landholders of this section of Iowa at the time of his death, and his widow still resides on the fine old homestead, which is situated in section 6, Garnavillo township, and which is one of the splendidly improved and valuable landed estates of the county. Here Mr. Schaefers wedded the young woman who proved his devoted companion and helpmeet until he passed from the stage of life's mortal endeavors, and they reared an exceptionally large family of children, of whom nine survive the honored father; sterling citizens who have well upheld the high prestige of the family name. Xavier Schaefers was born and reared in Germany and was seventy-five years of age at the time of his death, which occurred on the 10th of February, 1910. His remains rest in the consecrated ground of the Catholic cemetery at Garnavillo and his memory is honored in the county that long represented his home and the stage of his earnest endeavors, all of which were governed by the highest principles of integrity and fairness. Mr. Schaefers was a youth of nineteen years when he severed the ties that bound him to his native land and set forth to win for himself a position of independence and prosperity in the United States. He remained for a time in the city of Buffalo, New York, and then went to Minnesota, where he found employment for a time and where he finally took up a homestead claim and initiated the development of a pioneer farm. On this claim he lived several years, his habitation having been a primitive log cabin, and he finally came to Iowa and established his residence in Clayton county. Here his marriage was solemnized in 1865, and he then purchased the nucleus of the extensive landed estate that is still held by the family and upon which his widow still resides, the old home being endeared to her by the hallowed memories and associations of the past. At the time of his demise, Mr. Schaefers was the owner not only of seven hundred and ninety-four acres of valuable Iowa land but also of three hundred and twenty acres in the Canadian northwest and a residence and block of buildings in the village of Garnavillo. His civic loyalty and liberality were ever of insistent order, his political support was given to the Democratic party and he was an earnest communicant of the Catholic church, as is also his widow. On the 21st of February, 1865, Mr. Schaefers wedded Miss Anna Mary Berns, who was born in Germany and who was but six months old at the time of the family immigration to America. She is a daughter of Henry and Anna M. (Knuber) Berns, who came to this country in 1847 and who were numbered among the very early settlers of Clayton county. The father obtained a tract of wild land in Jefferson township, and the original family domicile was a rude log house, the first barns on the place being mere sheds with straw roofs, though clapboard roofs were supplied as soon as possible. Mr. Berns became one of the prosperous farmers and valued citizens of the county and here both he and his wife passed the residue of their lives, both having been devout communicants of the Catholic church. Of their eight children four are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Schaefers became the parents of a fine family of fourteen children, of whom nine are living. The eldest of the number is Henry T., of Emery, S. D.; Mary H. is the wife of Henry Berns, a resident of Clayton county; Mary A. is the wife of Henry Hagermann, and they now reside in California; Xavier H. remains in his native county; Herman is deceased; Matilda R. is deceased; Theodore P., Joseph H., and Wilhelmina are now residents of the state of South Dakota; George F. and Louis are deceased; Guido has established his home in the state of Montana; Jacob and Regina C. are deceased; and Regina H. remains with her widowed mother. Mrs. Schaefers retains the finest mental and physical vigor and with much circumspection and ability, gives her general supervision to the affairs of the home farm and to her other large and important financial interests. She is active and liberal in the supporting of the various features of work in the Catholic church at Garnavillo, has a host of friends in the county that has been her home from childhood and has the distinction not only of having carefully reared her large family of children, all of whom accord to her the deepest filial solicitude, but also of having twenty-six grandchildren and one great-grandchild at the time of this writing, in 1916 - a truly remarkable record and one in which this veritable "mother in Israel" takes great pride.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg 360-361
-submitted by S. Ferrall


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