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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Shaffner, Henry Fries

by Philip A. Walker, 1994

19 Sept. 1867–3 Dec. 1941

A photograph of Henry Fries Shaffner published in 1919. Image from the Internet Archive.Henry Fries Shaffner, banker, industrialist, and civic and church leader, was born in Salem, the son of Dr. John Francis and Caroline Louisa Fries Shaffner. He was educated in the Boys' School of the Moravian church and at The University of North Carolina, from which he was graduated in 1887 with a Ph.B. degree. His marriage to Agnes G. Siewers, which took place on 21 Nov. 1901, produced five children: Henry Siewers, who died in infancy, Eleanor Caroline (Mrs. R. E. Guthrie), Anna Pauline (Mrs. R. S. Slye), Emil Nathaniel, and Louis DeSchweinitz.

For several years following college Shaffner worked in his father's drug business, operated the pottery that had been established by his grandfather, and was involved in the tobacco business. In 1893 he and his uncle, Colonel F. H. Fries, organized the Wachovia Loan and Trust Company. Shaffner served as its secretary and treasurer until 1911, when the company was merged with the Wachovia National Bank to form the Wachovia Bank and Trust Company. He was vice-president of Wachovia Bank and Trust Company in Winston-Salem from 1911 to 1931 and chairman of its board of directors from 1931 to 1941. He was also president of Winston-Salem Building and Loan Association, president of Briggs-Shaffner Company, and a director of Oakdale Cotton Mills.

Shaffner was for ten years a commissioner of the town of Salem and was a member of the first board of aldermen of the consolidated towns of Winston and Salem. For several years he was secretary and treasurer of the Salem Water Supply Company. A lifelong member of the Moravian church, he served as president of its Central Board of Trustees and as a member of the Financial Board of the Southern Province of the Moravian church. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, the Democratic party, the Twin City Club, and the Forsyth Country Club. Shaffner was buried in Salem Cemetery.


Adelaide L. Fries and others, eds., Forsyth: The History of a County on the March (1976).

Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina (1924).

North Carolina Biography, vol. 4 (1928).

Who Was Who in America, vol. 2 (1950).

Additional Resources:

"Henry Fries Shaffner." Photograph. History of North Carolina. Vol. 6. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co. 1919. 11. (accessed September 23, 2013).

"History Of The Shaffner Family & House." Henry F. Shaffner House.

Craige, Burton. Henry Fries Shaffner, 1867-1941. S.l: s.n. 1941.

Image Credits:

"H. F. Shaffner." Photograph. History of North Carolina. Vol. 6. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co. 1919. 11. (accessed September 23, 2013).

Origin - location: