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Free Genealogy Biography of Rufus Edmonds Shapley,
Pennsylvania Volunteer of the Civil War

Rufus Edmonds Shapley

RUFUS EDMONDS SHAPLEY, jeweler, Mechanicsburg, PA, was born in Hummelstown, Dauphin Co., Penn., December 23, 1840, son of Edmons and Eliza (McElrath) Shapley, whose family consisted of eight children, four sons and four daughters. Edmons Shapley, born on Nov 14, 1810, was a cabinet- maker by trade, lived for a time in Carlisle, and died in Mechanicsburg in May 22, 1875, in the sixty-fifth year of his age. Rufus E., the eldest son, attended school in Hummelstown until, when twelve or thirteen years of age, he moved with his parents to Uniontown, Carroll Co., Md., where he attended school until he was eighteen, when he began to learn the trade of cabinet-maker with his father.

This was of brief duration, however, as he commenced an apprenticeship to the jeweler's and watch-maker's craft in Uniontown in 1859, at which he remained until, while on a visit to Hummelstown, he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, in 1862.

While a volunteer in Pennsylvania he was also drafted in Maryland, and although himself a soldier and not able to be in two places at the same time, was compelled to pay $300 commutation on account of the Maryland draft. After ten months' service, on the disbandment of his company, he was mustered out, receiving honorable discharge, and in 1863 located in Shippensburg, where he first engaged in the jewelry business upon his own account.

Two years afterward he came to Mechanicsburg, and here, after a brief partnership of two years with the late J. W. Swartz, an old resident jeweler of the place, he established his present business in April, 1867.

Our subject was married February 14, 1864, to Emma E. Landis, (b. June 15, 1846, d. Jan. 28, 1936), born in Cambridge, Lancaster Co., Penn., daughter of Isaac and Catharine (Weidman) Landis, both of Pennsylvania. To this union were born two children: Lenora C., (b. May 8, 1865 and d. 1954), and Edith R., (b. January 8, 1874 and d. 1954).

Mr. Shapley is a member of Eureka Lodge, No. 215, F. & A. M., Lodge No. 215, I. O. O. F., Col. H. I. Zinn Post, No. 415, G. A. R., Mechanicsburg.

He is one of the enterprising representative citizens of Mechanicsburg. The family, of English and Irish descent, is among the oldest of the early settlers of the county. Rufus died on March 16, 1906 in Mechanicsburg and is buried at the Chestnut Hill cemetery in Mechanicsburg.

Sources: History of Cumberland and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania. Containing History of the Counties, Their Townships, Towns, Villages, Schools, Churches, Industries, Etc.; Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men; Biographies; History of Pennsylvania; Statistical and Miscellaneous Matter, Etc., Etc. Illustrated. Chicago: Warner, Beers & Co., 1886.

Name corrections and dates provided by Steven Rohrbeck from cemetery and vital records.

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