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 Martha Nelsena “Nellie” <I>Sjurson</I> Shafer

Photo added by Curt Phillips

Martha Nelsena “Nellie” Sjurson Shafer

  • Birth 11 Apr 1863 Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, USA
  • Death 27 Dec 1956 Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, South Dakota, USA
  • Burial Valley Springs, Minnehaha County, South Dakota, USA
  • Memorial ID 82946949

301 N. Jessica Ave.
Age of 93

A long illness preceded the death of Mrs. Martha "Nellie" Shafer at her home Thursday afternoon. Mrs. Shafer had been living with her son, Harold, since coming here in 1954. She had been living with her children since 1946. She had 169 survivors.

Funeral services were held December 29, 1956 at the Federated Church of Valley Springs. The grandsons served as pallbearers. Miller Funeral Home was in charge.

Martha Nelsena Sjurson was born at Madison, Wisconsin. As a small child she moved to Decorah, Iowa, and in the early 1870s moved to Bruce, Minnesota, in a covered wagon. A short time before this, several of her mother's relatives were killed in the Indian massacre at Spirit Lake, IA. Martha grew to womanhood in Bruce, Rock County, MN. She was diminutive (4 foot 2).

After her marriage to Albertus Shafer, Nov. 4, 1881, at Valley Springs, SD, they homesteaded near Valley Springs until 1894. They experienced all the hardships which accompany pioneering -- grasshoppers, droughts, blizzards and panics. At one time a prairie fire threatened their home and, in helping fight it, Mrs. Shafer's clothing caught fire. She was saved by being wrapped in wet sacks, which men were using to fight the prairie fire. Mr. and Mrs. Shafer moved to a farm north of Hills, MN, in 1894 and to a farm near Valley Springs in 1906. Mrs. Shafer retired in 1919. He died in November, 1933, two years after the Shafers observed their golden wedding anniversary.

Survivors are five daughters, Mrs. Zona Bolton, Lyons, KS, Mrs. Josephine Wroe, Pine River, MN, Mrs. Hazel Tveidt, Garretson; Mrs. Edna Nerison, Sioux Falls, and Mrs. Mildred Smith, Valley Springs; five sons, Otho, Sioux City, G. Elmer, Valley Springs, Aaron, Brandon, and Lawrence and Harold, Sioux Falls; a sister, Mrs. Ida Johnson, Luverne, MN; a brother, Peter Nelson, Pine City; 45 grandchildren; 96 great-grandchildren, and 17 great-great-grandchildren -- with five sets of twins in the line of descendants.

Martha was preceded in death by two daughters, Viola, in 1913, and Ella in 1955, and nine grandchildren.





  • Created by: Curt Phillips
  • Added: 4 Jan 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 82946949
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Martha Nelsena “Nellie” Sjurson Shafer (11 Apr 1863–27 Dec 1956), Find A Grave Memorial no. 82946949, citing Pleasant View Cemetery, Valley Springs, Minnehaha County, South Dakota, USA ; Maintained by Curt Phillips (contributor 47145948) .