WILSON AVERETT SHUMWAY
(1877-1956) Grandson of Elijah Averett
Son of Jennet Maria Averett and Wilson Glen Shumway
(In the book The Charles Shumway Family 1806-1979)
Wilson was born April 22, 1877, to Wilson Glen Shumway and Maria Averett Shumway. He was the first of nine children.
When Will was two years old his parents moved from Johnson, Utah, and to Concho, Arizona. In Concho they tried to make a living by farming. Farming wasnít a great success, so they moved to Shumway, where Grandpa Charles had started a grist mill. They bought a few acres and settled down. When Will was not helping with farm work he loved to roam the hills that surrounded the lovely Shumway valley. In the summer he loved to swim in the creek.
Schooling was a problem, because books and teachers were hard to obtain and children were needed to help with the farm work. Once Will learned to read, his course was set. He read every book he could find that he felt was worthwhile. The subjects that he loved to study were History, Philosophy, Politics, Geography, and especially Astronomy.
While helping to build a family home, Will fell from a ladder and broke his arm. There was no doctor for him, so his arm was set with splints and left to heal. His arm was a problem for him the rest of his life. He could never raise it above his head. However, this handicap did not prevent him from hiring out as a sheep sheerer. He could out shear any of the men.
At the age of twenty, Will took the teacher examination and passed it with ease. This began his teaching career. Will didnít enjoy teaching, but former pupils often came to him in later years to praise him for his knowledge and ability.
As a young man, Will was called on a mission to Pennsylvania. Upon returning after two years on his mission he returned. Then he decided the time had come to marry. After looking over the field, the shy young man fastened his attention on Ruth Smith. The attraction was mutual and the young couple married on April 5, 1905. They made the long trip to Salt Lake City to be married in the temple for eternity. Ruthís father Jesse N. Smith accompanied them, and spoke at a conference session at the tabernacle at the request of Heber J. Grant.
Ruth was the tenth child of Jesse N. and Janet Johnson Smith. She was born March 17, 1884. She was also interested in learning and had a better opportunity for education than Will, since Snowflake was larger than Shumway and had a better school. She loved literature, poetry, and art. At eleven, Ruth taught kindergarten, and worked at various jobs the rest of her life. Growing up in a house full of girls, with only one brother, Ruth spent much of her time doing outdoor chores. Later, she learned to be a fine seamstress, an expert quilter, and an accomplished cook.
After their marriage Will and Ruth spent some years in Taylor and Snowflake, where Will taught school. Later, they moved to Shumway, where he tried to support his growing family by farming. This was difficult. Will also had to work as a freighter along with other odd jobs. Will served in several bishoprics in his church. He also was a good speaker was in demand, especially for funerals.
Will was a strong character. Honor and integrity meant much to him. He was on time for any job and stayed until the work was done. His hands were callused and rough from constant labor. He was up before dawn and out after dark, plowing, watering, planting, and tending his animals. When he came in for meals he would also try to find time for reading. Usually a nap would follow.
Will never became wealthy, but he was always willing to share anything he had.
When a needy family moved to town, Will had the children come each day for a bucket of milk. His apples were also shared with those in need. Will died ten days before his 79th birthday, on April 12, 1956.
Will and Ruth had eleven children, eight sons and three daughters. Glenn Almon assumed responsibility at an early age. After marriage to Elva Richardson he settled in Shumway to farm and operate a dairy. With his brothers they built a new home for their parents. There, his long-awaited family was born, they had two daughters and a son. In 1952 he moved to Lordsburg, New Mexico and spent 15 years developing a half section of land. At the age of 61, a freak tractor accident claimed his life. He was always active in the Church. His lovely tenor voice brought pleasure to himself and others.
Ruth, a choice daughter in a long line of sons, brought great joy to the family. After marriage to Carl Brooks, they moved to Los Angeles and then San Diego. In San Diego Carl found a successful business and Ruth became involved in community affairs like the P.T.A and church work. Their family consists of 2 sons and a daughter. Ruth and Carl are now retired and live in Yuma, Arizona.
Their third child, Jesse Smith died of pneumonia at the age of 3 weeks.
Augustus Leland, known as Gus, lived in Shumway with his first wife, Faye Greer. Three sons and 2 daughters were born to them. A move to Gallup began 33 years of employment with the Santa Fe Railroad. Gus and Faye were divorced. Gus moved back to Winslow where he married Lois Hancock. They now live in Mesa where they enjoy temple work and a fine new home.
Lyle Wilson is like his father in the quest for knowledge and his bent for farming. After serving in the European Theater in World War II in the engineering corps, he married Ann Rudnyk. He brought her to Shumway where he purchased and operated the family farm. Ann managed a thriving beauty shop. Health problems forced an early retirement to Glendale, Arizona where they have time for study and Church service.
Joseph Fielding was stricken with Parkinsonís disease early in life. He married Emma Haymore of Prescott, Arizona and lived there for a time. They were divorced when their son and daughter were very young. After living and working in Shumway a number of years he moved his trailer home to Mesa. He worked in Mesa at Deseret Industries and attended to his Church duties. He was known for his sunny disposition and patience in trial. He passed away at the age of 65.
Gertrude is the only descendant of Charles Shumway still living in Shumway. With her husband, Elbert Solomon, she has reared a family of 2 sons and 4 daughters on the beautiful Solomon ranch spanning Silver Creek. Bert was bishop of Taylor Ward for 10 years. Gertrude sustains him and is busy with Church work.
Clarence Cornell, was a radar man on a minesweeper in the South Pacific during World War II. His marriage to Rose Christensen, a former teacher, brought him 3 sons and 3 daughters. They live in suburban Phoenix and all are busy with church work.
Blaine Grant saw action in Austria in an engineering outfit in World War II. His marriage to Jacqueline Dale brought him great happiness. They had two sons and two daughters. They lived in Taylor, Arizona. Blaine found employment with Southwest Paper Mills and did much Church activity. At the age of 45, Blaine and his son fell victim to a fatal traffic accident.
Rex Purley, the last of eight sons, served in the South Pacific, and Japan in World War II. He was employed by the Santa Fe Railroad in Winslow. He married Annabelle Hampshire and reared 2 sons and 2 daughters. The family is happy in Church service.
The last of 11 children, Mauretta, taught school at Show Low, Thatcher and Phoenix. She married Jack Walker, a driver for Greyhound Bus. She took time from teaching for the birth of a daughter, Ruthann. Ruthann was now made Mauretta a proud grandmother.