Albert Minnerly Shumway

(1891-1976) grandson of Elijah Averett

by Blanche Shumway Hansen, a sister

Albert Minnerly Shumway was born Feb. 7, 1891 at Shumway, Navajo, Arizona, in a little cottage. The cottage was in an orchard below an irrigation ditch and was the first fairly comfortable home the family had ever lived in. Albert was the youngest of five sons, and the seventh child in a family of nine. Albert was usually called Al by his family and friends. His mother was Janette Mariah Averett. His father was Wilson Glen Shumway, a man with a great reputation for honesty. They were pioneers from Utah. They suffered great hardships in settling Arizona.

By the time Al came along and as the years went by and the family increased their economy had improved. Now there was enough to eat as long as everyone worked for it. Al inherited his share of the chores. He had to feed the animals, chop wood, milk cows, etc. He also had to do part of the farm work. Thus, he learned to work hard in his early youth. But, he also learned to play. None could outrun or outjump him. He delighted in swimming and outdoor games.

After spending more years than was necessary in the grades of the Shumway elementary school, he completed a couple of years of high school, then known as the Snowflake Academy. This was about all his formal school amounted to, but he was a great reader and learned much from books.

Some of Alís boyhood was spent earning what he could by doing farm work. At seventeen he got several jobs shearing sheep. Sheering sheep paid unusually well in those days, as much as 5 or 6 dollars a day. This was rough work but he was a tough, healthy, good-looking kid. He was of sturdy but rather slight build. He could take the hard knocks. This was before the coming of cars and trucks. When Al was about fifteen he took some of these trips. They occurred in all kinds of weather and were really rough, but it was all part of life in those days.

In 1913, Al bought several acres of land from his father. About that time he went to Clarkdale, Arizona, to work in some orchard picking and packing fruit for a farm and orchard company. He did this in order to pay off the $200 he owed for the land. Al worked there off and on for two or three years, as long as nine months at time. Afterwards he went to Mesa, Arizona and worked at a power plant for three months, with his brother, Lige (Elijah).

Albert Minnerly Shumway was married on October 4, 1916, to Dicia May Denham in the Salt Lake Temple in Utah. They settled down to married life in Shumway. Al farmed in Shumway for a few years.

In 1922 their third child, Mayola became quite ill with pneumonia. In December of 1922 they moved to Winslow, Arizona. Al got a job working in the shops for the Santa Fe railroad. Two more children were born to the couple in Winslow. The family now had five in all, three boys and two girls.(Boyd Albert, Duane Erwin, Mayola, Glenna, and Robert Walter)

Albert M. Shumway held the following church positions: Secretary of Sunday School at Shumway, 1915-16-17; 1st counselor in MIA at Shumway about 1912-1913; Ward clerk of Shumway Ward, 1922; Sunday School Assistant Superintendent at Winslow, 1928-1929. He was also appointed ward clerk of Winslow Ward, August 1932, and held that position until January 1, 1958, 26 years. He also served 1 year in Flagstaff, 1959, as Flagstaff Stake Secretary of Senior Aaronic Priesthood.

Though shy and independent by nature, Al was a loving husband and father. He was devoted to his family, and an honest citizen. He was always willing and ready to do his part in any good cause either church, or civic. He was a democrat and very patriotic. He offered to serve his country in World War I, but was rejected. He was proud to have his three sons volunteer in World War II. Two of his sons served in the Air Force and one son served in the Navy. Al was a quiet, unassuming man. He was much more knowledgeable than would appear on the surface. His family is very proud of their father.

Albert Minnerly Shumway died 27 Feb 1976 in Winslow, Navajo, Arizona.