A small collection of photos was recently gifted to this author from a second cousin, and it includes a terrific picture of my great-great-grandparents’ in front of their log cabin. I’ve occasionally remarked that Historic Bremen has no photos of log cabins from German township, so it was a great pleasure to have such a beautiful one from my own family fall into my lap.

The picture is Phillip and Martha [Shaffer] Senff with their youngest two children, Wayne and Mary (who married Lawrence Burch). The year is about 1906, shortly before the log house was moved and a new, frame house was built that stands today.

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Senff log cabin - 1906
Senff log cabin – 1906
Phillip Senff family
Portion: Martha with Mary, Wayne, and Phillip Senff

The farm had belonged to Martha’s father, Ben Shaffer, who sold it to Phillip and moved to town. It sits on 6th road, east of SR331 (which is the N-S road at far left in the maps below). The photo answers a questions about the dwelling marked on the 1881 atlas that is shown very close to the road. The cabin is very close indeed. The later house was set well back, perhaps too far; it was apparently moved closer to the road, where it sits today.

Shaffer farm - German Twp - 1881
Shaffer farm – German Twp – 1881
Senff farm - German Twp - 1908
Senff farm – German Twp – 1908

When the frame house was built, the log house was moved and the back opened up so that it could be used as a small barn. It lasted at least into the 1920s. In the picture below, the front door with the window immediately next to it is visible behind the figures of Clara [Redman] Senff (wife of Phillip’s son Ben) and her daughters Ardella and Leora.

Senff log barn - c1922
Senff log cabin barn – c1922
Senff house - 2014
The house that replaced the log cabin around 1907, now owned by the Helmuth family – 2014