Peter Schaefer

Peter Schaefer is a veteran editor and publisher in the Iron Range country, having established more than a quarter of a century ago the Ely Miner, of which he is still editor and proprietor.

Mr. Schaefer was born in Germany June 27, 1867, son of Nicholas and Mary (Schaf) Schaefer. His father was a German soldier in the Franco-Prussian war in 1870-71. Military duty was extremely distasteful to him, and after that war he left Germany with his family and from New York came west, first to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and then to Medford.

While in the German military he had something to do with supplying shoes for the army, and that experience led him to engage in the shoe business at Medford, where he was a merchant for many years. He died in 1913, at the age of seventy-three, and his wife died in 1890, at the age of forty-six.

Peter Schaefer was one of four children and he was reared and educated at Medford. When only twelve years of age he went to work as a “devil” in the offices of the Taylor County Star and News, and while there acquired a practical training as a printer and newspaper man. He first came to the Iron Range in 1888 and was employed on the Vermillion Iron Journal at Tower for Dr. Barrett, and in 1890 came to Ely to take charge of Dr. Barrett’s publication interests there. He returned to the Journal at Tower in 1891, and in 1895 established the Ely Miner, one of the oldest and most influential journals in the Range district.

Mr. Schaefer in 1890 married Lillian M. Childers, of Soudan. They are the parents of three sons and one daughter. The oldest of the sons is Leroy Paul, who now has charge of the Manual Training Department at Glenwood, and during the World war was in the Ambulance Service Medical Corps. Alvin C., the second son, was trained at Camp Cody, New Mexico, with the 125th Field Artillery. The youngest son is Stuart P.

During all the years of his residence Mr. Schaefer has shown a very active interest in everything affecting the welfare of Ely and the surrounding district. He was city clerk, for nine years was postmaster under Roosevelt and Taft, and is now president of the Ely Commercial Club. He is a member of the Elks, Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows, Woodmen, Samaritans and the Rotary Club.


  • Van Brunt, Walter, ed. Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922.
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