JOSEPH L. SHAVER
JOSEPH L. SHAVER is one of the highly esteemed citizens and pioneers of Eaton County, owning a farm of eighty-five acres, in section 8, Sunfield Township, and having been one of those loyal citizens who represented Eaton County in the Union army at the time of the Civil War. He was born in the state of Pennsylvania, June 10, 1825, being a son of David and Mary (Mountain) Shaver. The former native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Maryland. The father died in Ohio, at the age of forty-five years, and the mother passed her declining days with her daughter Mrs. Temperance Palmer, of Sunfield, where she died in 1865, at the age of seventy-six years. In 1840 the parents removed from Pennsylvania to Ohio, the subject of this sketch having been fifteen years of age at the time, and they located in Richland County, where the father died the following year. He was a farmer by vocation but never owned land of his own. Of the seven children, three are now living; Manasseh died in Ohio, a the age of seventy-three years; John died, in Carmel township, Eaton county, in 1903; Joseph L. was the next in order of birth; Hugh resides in the village of Sunfield, this county; Martha, born in 1829, died in the state of Iowa, at the age of twenty-six years; Samuel died August 7, 1864, while serving as a member of the Sixth Michigan Infantry, his death resulting from chronic diarrhea, soon after he had participated in the battle of Seven Pines; and Temperance is the wife of Cassius palmer, residing near Potterville, this county. Soon after the death of his father, Joseph L. Shaver, who had received a common school education came with his mother and other members of the family to Michigan and he cared for his mother up to the time of her death. He was a resident of Carmel Township, this county, at the time when he enlisted as a private in Company E, Ninth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, the date of his enlistment having been February 13, 1865. From Jackson he proceeded to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he joined his regiment, being sent thence to Nashville, and assigned to duty in guarding Confederate prisoners and thus having no active service on the field. September 15, 1865, Mr. Shaver was mustered out, at Nashville, and he returned with his company to Jackson, where they received their pay on the 27th of that month, being given their honorable discharge from the service. Mr. Shaver was not permitted to do active battle for the Union, but discharged his assigned duties with the utmost loyalty and fidelity, standing ready to go wherever he could be of service. Prior to the war he had purchased a quarter section of land where he now resides, the same having been covered with heavy timber, which the ax of the woodsman had not as yet violated in the least. He erected a log house, which was his home for several years, and he then built a frame dwelling, which he utilized until 1903, when it was destroyed by fire, being forthwith replaced by the present commodious and convenient residence. Mr. Shaver has reclaimed his land, retaining eighty-five acres and having sold the remainder of the original tract. In politics Mr. Shaver supported the Free Soil party until the organization of the Republican party, when he joined the latter, supporting its cause until the second nomination of President McKinley, when he voted the ticket of the Democracy, to which party he has since given his allegiance, being a man of well fortified opinions and ever showing the courage of his convictions. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and takes a deep interest in the affairs of his post. He has served the Post as chaplain for many years. His course has been marked by integrity and honor in all the relations of life, and the esteem in which he is held in the community gives evidence of this. January 28, 1851, Mr. Shaver was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Fitzgerald, who was born in Ashland County, Ohio, on December 1, 1822, being a daughter of William and Florinda (Clark) Fitzgerald, both natives of Ireland. Her father was a soldier in the British army in the war of 1812, but his sympathies were with the cause of the United States, and, in company with another man, he escaped from his command, in Canada, swam the Detroit River and later settled in Ohio, where he met the lady who later became his wife. He was a member of a wealthy Irish family, but never realized anything from the estate, as he did not dare to return to his native land, fearing prosecution for his desertion from the army. Mrs. Fitzgerald had previously been married to a man named Quinn, who was survived by four children, all of whom attained maturity and all of whom remained residents of Ohio until their deaths. Of the three children of the second marriage Mrs. Shaver was the second. Priscilla became the wife of John Kennedy and both died in Ohio, and Amanda died at the age of twenty-one years, the parents also continuing residents of Ohio until their deaths. Mr. and Mrs. Shaver have five children: Reuel, born September 17, 1852, married Miss Nettie Hough, and they reside in Wisconsin, having four children: John M., born April 19, 1855, is a bachelor and is associated in the work of the home farm; Loretta, who was born February 10, 1857, is the wife of William H. Gunthorp, of Kalamo township and they have had two children: Ira, who was born April 21, 1859, is a bachelor and resides at home; and Florinda, who was born January 8, 1864, is the wife of Henry Walter, of Saranac, Wexford County, and they have one son. Mrs. Shaver passed out of this life January 23, 1906, aged eighty-three years, one month and twenty-two days.