Contra Costa County











     The deputy sheriff and constable of Contra Costa county, George H. Shafer is a citizen widely known and esteemed for the many qualities which he has displayed both in his official and business capacities in the county and town of Brentwood.  Since 1887 he has conducted a livery stable at Brentwood, the only one in the place, and has shown himself to be a business man of no little executive force and judgment, and a citizen always ready to aid in any movement calculated to advance the prosperity of the community.  A native Californian, he was born at Rio Vista, Solano county, in 1866, a son of William Shafer.

     A son of Samuel Shafer, William Shafer was born in Everett, Bedford county, Pa., and was reared and educated in his native state.  At the age of twenty-one years, in 1851, he came to California via the Isthmus of Panama and located in Sacramento, and unlike the many who were immigrating to the west at that time instead of going to the mines he engaged in freighting on the Sacramento river, which was then the main course from San Francisco to the mines.  For several years he found profitable employment in this work, after which he entered a tract of land on Andrew's Island and engaged in stock-raising, making his home at Rio Vista, Solano county.  Disposing of his landed interests in 1868 he came to Contra Costa county and at the foot of Mt. Diablo, entered a quarter section of land and pre-empted eighty acres in addition to this.  During the years which followed he made three different purchases of land, the first of three hundred acres, the second of one hundred and sixty, and the last of three hundred.  At the present time he owns eight hundred and forty acres in two sections, one of five hundred and twenty acres and the other of thee hundred and twenty, this land being first devoted to stock-raising and afterward to wheat.  It is well improved with substantial, modern buildings, good fences and the necessary equipments for carrying on a successful farming enterprise.  A large part of his land is set out to almonds, from which in 1896 he gathered a very profitable crop.  He also has a fine family orchard.  To himself and wife, who was formerly Elizabeth Pierce, of Indiana, were born five children, namely:  Adrian H., who has charge of the homestead; Hannah J., who married C. B. Harris, a native of San Francisco; George H., the subject of this review; Mabel; and Winnie.

     Practically the entire life of George H. Shafer has been passed in Contra Costa county, as he was only a child in years when his parents located here.  He was reared on the paternal farm and received his education in the common school in the vicinity of his home, and was early trained to the practical duties which distinguished the sons of the early pioneers.  In young manhood he entered the Stockton Business College, and completed a commercial course and for three years thereafter engaged as a bookkeeper.  Desiring to enter into business for himself he purchased the livery business of P. J. Moody, of Brentwood, and with his brother Adrian H. Shafer, conducted the same successfully for three years.  His brother then withdrawing from the enterprise he has since conducted the business alone, and in spite of all reverses, one of which was the burning of his property, after which he erected the present building, he has attained a degree of success which places him along the representative business men of the place.  He keeps twelve horses and a good line of vehicles, an ample supply for the public demand.  For several years in the past he has given his attention in the fall of the year to buying up almonds and fruits for Johnson & Leck, a firm of San Francisco.  A stanch Republican in politics, he has taken an active part in local affairs and in 1888 his fitness for official capacity was recognized by his appointment to the position of deputy sheriff and constable of the county, since which time he has justified the high opinion in which he was held by the public.

     Mr. Shafer married Martha Bainbridge, a native of Missouri, and the daughter of J. C. Bainbridge, now of Lafayette, Contra Costa county.  They are the parents of one child, Earl, who was born in Brentwood, May 15, 1890.  In his fraternal relations Mr. Shafer is a member and has served officially in the Independent Order of Foresters, is a Royal Arch Mason, is associated with the Eastern Star, and also belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.





Transcribed 11-16-16  Marilyn R. Pankey.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1391-1392. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2016  Marilyn R. Pankey.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library