MORMON ALMA SHUMWAY
By Franchon Richard Holiday
Mormon Alma was born 1 January 1854 at Big Cottonwood, Salt Lake County, Utah. Mormon was the second son of Charles and Henrietta Bird Shumway. When "Morm" was small, his father was called to assist in pioneering Cache Valley. The family lived in Cache Valley for about 18 years. When they moved to Wellsville, Henrietta had five children. Six more children were born in Cache Valley. Two of her children were deceased when very young.
In 1877 Charles was called by Brigham Young to help settle Arizona. The family moved as far as Kanab, Utah. They lived there for one year. Then they moved to Johnson, a few miles from Kanab. They lived there for two or three years. In 1879 Wilson and some of the other boys and Mormon, left for Arizona with the cattle and other stock. The stock was driven across the Colorado River and then to Concho. In the spring of 1880 the rest of the family joined them. They lived there a short time and moved to Taylor. Then, they moved to Shumway, Arizona, which proved to be the ultimate place of residence. The family was soon working, building homes and a building a flour mill there.
When Mormon was 26 years old, he married Sarah Ann Averett. Our family records tell us they were married 14 May 1880, but no one knows where. The St. George Temple records show that Sarah Ann Averett was endowed 21 May 1880 and was sealed to Mormon Alma Shumway on the same date. They went back to Arizona where Mormon was working for the government. He surveyed the state line between Arizona and Utah. Their first child, Delbert was born here on February 17, 1881 and passed away in 1882.
The next time we find them, they were living in Kanab, Utah. In Kanab their eight children were born: Elijah, Christina, Elma, Jed, Ione, Mardell, Andrew, Lynn and Vernell. Elma and Andrew died in infancy and were buried in Kanab. The children can remember when heir father herded sheep for $30 a month in the winter. Then family moved in the summer to Buckskin Mountain, now known as Kaibab Mountain. Mormon worked in his fatherís or brotherís sawmill. Sarah Ann and the older children cooked for the men who worked at the sawmill. They also milked cows and put down cheese and butter to do them through the winter months.
In 1902, work was hard to get, so they moved to Alamo, Lincoln County, Nevada. Mormon farmed and worked for the ranchers around Alamo. They were living on the Henry Sharp ranch in 1903 when their son, Jed was kicked by a mule and died a few hours later. He was 14 years old. Their daughter, Thelma was born about a month later.
They bought a home in Alamo and lived there for the rest of their lives. Mormon worked for the farmers in the Pahranagat Valley in the summer. Also, the sheep men from Utah would bring their sheep to the Nevada deserts for the winter and Mormon would herd their sheep for them in the winter, while he would be away from home most of the time. Their last child, Blanche was born in 1910.
Sarah Ann took sick in May 1928 and only lived a few days. Mormon was awfully broken up at the loss. He and his daughter Blanche continued to live at the family home. His grandchildren say he loved to bounce them on his knee and sing a snappy little song. Grandpa laid claim to having the coldest and best well water in town. We liked to watch him prime the pump. Blanche married Arthur Foremaster in December 1928. They lived with Mormon for a long time and then moved away. Then Mormon lived with his other children, but mostly at Christyís as she was a widow. In 1938 he got real sick, so his children took turn helping to care for him. As he got better, he kept talking about his 85th birthday, which he celebrated in January 1939. He passed away the next day.