Wilson Glenn Shumway

(1850-1925) m. Jennet Averett, daughter of Elijah Averett

By His Son Wilson Averett Shumway

Taken from the book, "Averitt Lines and Related Families" by Christine Shumway Walser.

Wilson G. Shumway was born in Manti, Sanpete County, Utah, on 6 December 1850. He was born in a wagon box, the wagon standing on the hill, perhaps on the very spot where the Manti Temple has since been erected. He was the son of Charles Shumway by his second wife, Louisa Minnerly Shumway. Charles was the son of Purley, who was the son of Peter, the son of Jermiah, son of Peter, son of the first Peter. The first Peter was a French Huguenot coming to Massachusetts in the time of the Pilgrim fathers.

The family moved to Payson, Utah while he was a small child. They moved to Cottonwood before he was eight. As a boy he saw long columns of Johnstonís army as they marched along the road near his home. In 1859, his father and mother moved to Wellsville, where he was baptized in the wintertime when the snow was deep.

The Indians were troublesome at times. Wilsonís father was captain of the Minute Men. Wilson was given the task of herding the horses, which job continued from daylight Ďtill nighttime. One morning while at breakfast, the family discovered that the Indians had stolen the horses. They were later recovered or found.

The Shumways moved from Wellsville to Mendon where Wilson grew to manhood. Like most boys of those times, he knew all about hard useful work. Like others, he interspersed farm work with such jobs as were to be had on the roads, thrashing machines, and saw mills.

Charles Shumway received a call from Brigham Young in 1875 to go South. He left in September, taking Wilson along to drive the cattle. They went as far as Kanab, where the family made its first home in southern Utah. Here, Wilson met a seventeen-year-old girl, Maria Janette Averett. He married her, 28 May 1876. Their first son was born in Johnson, Utah, April 22, 1877. In 1878, the couple went to the St. George Temple in an old buggy, which was drawn by an old mule and a pony. There, they were married again 1 May 1878.

The winter of 1877-78 was spent working on John Seamanís sawmill at upper Kanab. This was followed by some very profitable work on a shingle mill at the same place. In 1879, Charles Shumway decided to move to Arizona. Wilson was asked to go ahead with a load of provisions for his brothers, Levi and Charley B. They were with the cattle at Grand Falls, on the Little Colorado River near Sunset, an early Mormon settlement in Arizona. The start was made on 14 December 1897. They went with a four-mule team hitched to a wagon. They loaded the wagon with grain, provisions and a few household things. Together, with his wife, two children, and a younger brother, Jim, they arrived at the Falls around Christmas time. James and Lee returned to Kanab with the team. They left the little boy Charley to help Wilson with the cattle. The two of them rigged up an ox team with which they dragged fourteen-foot cottonwood logs, built a house, and covered it with flat sandstone. They lived in comparative comfort there untill spring.

In March Wilsonís brother Pete and young wife joined them. They took the cattle up the river to Woodruff in April. There, after period of three weeks, their father and his wife (Aunt Lib) and her family joined them.

About this time the Mormon people bought the Mexican settlement of Concho. The family bought 20 acres of the land and planted crops.

Soon after, Charles Shumway moved to Spring Valley (now known as Shumway). There he built a flour mill. Wilson and Peter remained in Concho without cows or teams, but they each had ten acres of land.

Wilson started with his father back to Utah in October of 1881 to get his oxen. They hunted for two weeks, but could find only three of the four oxen. Wilson broke a three year old steer, made a wagon box, then started to Arizona in company of his father, his mother, and his and brother Lee.

In Concho he and his family lived in a dugout. The dugout had only a dirt floor and a dirt roof, and leaked streams of water and mud when it rained. Sometimes his father held a quilt up over the bed to protect his wife and babies. It was dreadful.

Indian troubles led by Geronimo caused the people of the little settlement of Concho to build a log fort of one hundred square feet. In a corner of this fort Wilson built a one-room log house. This was much better than the dugout. Concho was organized into a ward about this time. Wilson and his wife joined the choir and other social activities, which did much to relieve the monotony for the settlers who lived in poverty and isolation in those early days.

The mill that Wilsonís father had built in Spring Valley was in operation by 1883. He induced his son to move with his family to that place where two of Father Shumwayís families were living.

Wilson Glenn Shumway lived the remainder of his life here. He reared his family of nine children, four girls and five boys, on a little farm of ten or twelve acres of land. He always had plenty of field produce, a garden truck, fine apples, and other fruits in his little orchard. He served as presiding elder, and was active in the branch of the church there. During the course of his life he built four or five homes for himself. He also helped his neighbors to build. He was always ready and willing to help or donate to schoolhouses, meeting houses, roads, dams, and other projects.

The little settlement got its first district school, post office, and the name Shumway, in 1891. It was named in honor of Charles Shumway, who spent his last days in the little valley.

Before Wilsonís health began to fail, he did some freighting in addition to running the farm. He also ran the gristmill for a number of years.

The few people of Shumway and the vicinity were organized into a ward in 1915. Wallace Shumway, second son of Wilson, was made the first Bishop. From this time on Wilson did but little hard work on account of his poor health.

Maria Janette Shumway died suddenly on July 22, 1924. No one ever had a better or truer wife and helpmate than she had been. After this, he had no desire to live any longer. Early the next year on 19 April 1925, he passed away after several years of declining health. His life ended in an attack of the flu. He and his ever-faithful wife lie side by side in the little cemetery near Shumway, Arizona.


Warm summer sun,

Shine kindly here,

Warm southern wind,

Blow softly here.


Green sod above,

Lie light, lie light.

Good night, dear hears,

Goodnight! Goodnight!