The Shafer Legacy- “Something is missing.”

Leland Twichell Shafer, age 20.

The Emily Knapp Museum has acquired many boxes that were left behind in the attic of 19 Park Ave, a home that belonged first to Fred and Josephine Shafer, and passed to their children, Leland and Vivian Shafer. As we go through the five or so boxes containing personal correspondence, poetry, and finance records, we will attempt to put together a portrait of Western Monroe Historical Society’s benefactor, Leland Shafer, and Leland Shafer’s sister, Vivian, whose Shafer Trust generously supports the Emily L Knapp Museum, the Seymour Library and also the Western Monroe Historical Society. The only documents relating to Vivian in the collection are financial records, while the remaining documents pertain to Leland Shafer.

So far, we have found, in Leland’s correspondence with a woman in California named Anne Mueller, evidence that Leland was private, lonely, thrifty and sentimental, sometimes writing his pen-pal more than twice a day. Neither Leland nor his sister, Vivian, married or had children. And since we don’t have the letters he sent to Anne, we rely on the letters he saved from her to speak to his personality.

“Something is missing.”- Anne Mueller, in her letter to Leland, 1947.

Shafer Work
A snapshot of some of the letters we’ve found. You’ll notice that Anne Mueller, Leland’s pen-pal, wrote in her 1947 letter that “something is missing.” The two had a lengthy relationship, at times bordering on courtship, though they never committed.

We will keep you posted as we compile the profile of this important Brockport resident. Leland passed in 1980, and Vivian in 1975.

If you have any memories, photographs, or artifacts of Leland or Vivian Shafer, please comment below or contact us at

Published by Emily L Knapp Museum

The Emily L. Knapp Museum is a municipal museum associated with the Village of Brockport. The museum is located on the second and third floors in the former home of one of Brockport’s most prominent families, the Seymours, while the first floor contains the Village of Brockport offices. Those who visit Brockport’s collection of local history will feel they’ve entered a time when the Erie Canal was the bustling commercial center of this Victorian village: when ladies wore high-laced shoes and skirts that scraped the slate sidewalks, and the gentlemen sported tall silk hats; when phonographs and stereopticon views as well as novels by our famed authoress, Mary Jane Holmes, entertained the masses. Don’t take our word for it, see for yourself.

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