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Local business to give historical program

The Carnegie Resource Center in Mitchell will host a speaker today presenting the history on locally-owned Shafer Memorials.

Kim Shafer Swant will give the presentation at 7 p.m. at the Carnegie, 119 W. Third Ave.

For more than 95 years the Shafer family has been able to not only maintain their family values

and work ethic, but also overcome challenges and achieve excellence in a flourishing


Since 1919, when Harry and Cora Shafer started the family business, Shafer Memorials has gone from engraving headstones by hand and using mule teams to put the memorials in place, to now using electric hoists and modern technology that helps engrave and adds artwork to each piece.

Through all the years and all the technological transitions, Shafer Memorials has managed to prosper and remain true to their motto, "Friendly Counsel, Without Obligation."

Clyde and Norma Shafer ran the family business from the time Clyde returned from his service in the Navy until Norma sold the business to her son Gary and wife Kay after Clyde died while only in his 40s.

Clyde's father had worked in the family business until the age of 26 when he died in a work accident.

In 1971, Gary and Kay Shafer helped transform the business that had been run from the front porch to a larger office that you see now, they also assisted in the development of the Mitchell Graceland Baby Section.

To this day, the business donates time and reduced price products to non-profit groups for community projects.

Rick and Kim (Shafer) Swank later took over the family business as the fifth generation.

Since then, their son, Jeremy, has joined the family business, and by doing so has

successfully brought Shafer Memorials into the sixth generation.

The program is sponsored by the Mitchell Area Historical Society. Everyone is welcome to attend, admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

-- Source: Mitchell Area Historical Society