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Re: George Chaffee/N. Maria Smith-where?
Posted by: Yvonne Schreiber Date: June 23, 2001 at 09:56:09
In Reply to: George Chaffee/N. Maria Smith-where? by Marilyn Ferris of 1205

Hi Marilyn,

I have info on a George Daniel Chaffe, born July 2, 1839 in Pittsford, VT. Died March 6, 1927 in Shelbyville, Ilinois. He married Nancy Marie Smith and had four children: Lucia, Dudley, George and Olivia.

The following is some other info I obtained on George that you find interesting:

About 1855, young George Chaffee and three of his wife's younger brothers Grant, Curtis and Artie went on an expedition to gather blackberries. They passed a field where wheat was being thrashed. The farmer called out to them that 25 cents each would be paid for carrying sheaves, water, etc. Some of them took advantage of the magnificant offer, amoung them was George. One of the most exciting chores about the machine of those days was standing on the platform high above the ground so the thrashed grain would have a down fall to the waiting bags. With a sharp knife in hand, slashing the binding wisp about the sheaf and pushing the released bundle toward the lordly being who fed it to the maw, where two-toothed belts shook the grain free from straw and chaff. How, I do not know and probably he does not either, George fed his right arm into the machine. When it was stopped they led the pitiful boy, with fingers trailing on the ground, to a stump where with pocket knives and a farmer's saw, they performed their crude first aid.

This fourteen year old boy who had just had grown 4 inches in 2 months, had his right arm amputated crudely. When he arrived at his mother's home, he fell unconscious across the threshold and it was 2 weeks before he could stand on his feet.

Weeks later he rose from his bed with a piece of his arm about 5 inches long, which as he lived, was sensitive to changes of the weather and was sufficient to direct the motion of a crude wooden arm articulated at the elbow which he had made after he was married.

He graduated from Michigan University Law School in 1861 and immediately located in Shelbyville where he formed a law partnership with M.S. Moulton, which he still continued in 1895. He was U.S. Assistant Collector in his district for several years during and soon after the Civil War. He represented it also in the 32nd Illinios General Assembly being elected on a minority ticket and was also state senator. He was presidential elector in 1876 for Rutherford B Hayes and was subpoened to appear in Washington before the electorial court. He was sent before Proctor Knott's committee, the democrates claiming that he was not eligible to the office of an elector, sustained and he was cast one of the 185 electorial votes that elected Hayes. In 1906 Mr. Chaffee still lived in Shelbyville.

I also have other info, on George's children and his parents if you like. Just let me know.

Yvonne Schreiber (nee Chaffee)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


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