J. B. Shoenfelt

Ginette Kathleen Isenberg (b. 1950): “This is a newspaper article about Anna Isenberg’s husband… My Great-Grandmother thought he was a crook and a rogue and wouldn’t let Great-Grandfather have any business dealings with him. The story goes that he asked Great-Grandfather to buy some cemetery plots for him, but Great-Grandmother insisted that the deeds be left in her name until J.B. paid for them. I guess she was right, because it was  nearly two decades before he finally showed up with the money. Press coverage sure isn’t what it used to be………..”

Muskogee Phoenix (newspaper)

around 1910


Blair Shoenfelt was born in Martinsburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania in 1859. He went to public schools of his native town and went to the State Normal College at Huntingdon, finishing his education at the University of Indiana.

Upon graduation there he entered the law office of William Johnson, an eminent lawyer, prominent politician and member of Congress from Valparaiso, Indiana.

Upon the completion of his study with Mr. Johnson he was examined and admitted to the bar in Porter county, Indiana.

In the spring of 1883, he removed to South Dakota, locating at Estelline, where he engaged in the practice of law and also carried on an extensive banking and investment business, serving four years as Judge of this county. The time of his residence in South Dakota was that very important period which the Territory of Dakota was divided into North and South and formed into two states. Mr. Shoenfelt was very active in politics at this critical juncture, giving effective aid in efforts toward the admission of South Dakota as a state and being a member of the Constitutional Convention.

Removing to Wyoming in 1890, Mr. Shoenfelt continued the practice of law, for four years serving as prosecuting and county attorney of Congress County and being prominent in State and National politics in Wyoming. During these years of active legal and political life Mr. Shoenfelt had also many important private interests, both East and West, the prosecution of which required much travel and a consequent contract with men of affairs which has especially qualified him for the important position to which he was called by his appointment as Indian Agent in April last.

The rapidly changing conditions in Indian Territory, which seem trending so irresistibly in the direction of speedy statehood will make his experience in the formative periods of South Dakota and Wyoming invaluable here.

Mr. Shoenfelt is of very pleasing personality, courteous as an official, quick to grasp the details of matters submitted to him and equally quick in arriving at equitable conclusions.

The position to which he has been called has vastly increased in importance with changed conditions brought about by the Curtis Act. In May 1882, Mr. Shoenfelt was married to Miss Anna E. Isenberg of Pennsylvania. They have two charming daughters and a promising young son.

© 1995-2024 Ginette Kathleen Isenberg & Alex “Ash” Isenberg (Cluck)