Emmanuel Washington Schaeffer was born on February 20, 1877, in Rock, Pennsylvania. In 1902, he relocated to Camden, New Jersey, where he married Mary Bartlett Williams. They started their married life at 209 Mickle Street according to the City Directories of 1903. A year later, their daughter Edna May was born, and they moved to 211 Mickle Street.
Emmanuel began his career with the Reading Railroad in 1905. A year later, he transferred to the Atlantic City Railroad, which later became the Pennsylvania-Reading-Seashore line. Their growing family moved to 320 Mickle Street in 1906, where their son Ralph was born. They resided at this address until 1910.
In 1911, the Schaeffers relocated to 412 Mickle Street, as noted in the City Directory. They continued living on Mickle Street and settled at 414 Mickle Street from 1912 to 1917. Finally, in September 1918, Emmanuel and Mary moved to 449 Benson Street, where they would spend the rest of their lives. During this time, they welcomed two more children, Dorothy and Elwood. However, tragedy struck the family when their eldest son, Ralph, passed away in June 1920.
Emmanuel Schaeffer dedicated his career to the railroad, working his way up through the ranks. After 42 years of service, he retired as an engineer on April 28, 1947. He became well-known in his neighborhood for his elaborate Christmas display, featuring hand-painted lights, which attracted attention and admiration. In fact, his Christmas display was featured in the Christmas Eve edition of the Courier-Post newspaper in 1965, further enhancing his local recognition.
After a long and eventful life, Mary Schaeffer passed away in July 1966. Emmanuel followed her in October of the same year. Their legacy and memories live on, cherished by their family and the community they were a part of.