Biography of Charles C. Shumway

Charles C. Shumway, who had been a resident of Rice County for over thirty years, was formerly a farmer and rancher and for the past five years had been a leading factor in the Little River State Bank, of which he is president.

Mr. Shumway is of old colonial stock. His ancestry in the paternal line goes back to Peter Shumway, who was born in 1635 and came to America from France between 1660 and 1675. He was of Huguenot stock. He was on the roll of colonial soldiers of Massachusetts as early as 1675. He was called out for service in a number of Indian uprisings and was in the war against the Narragansett tribes and helped capture their stronghold in Rhode Island. He was often called “Peter the Soldier.” His military service took him in the ranks of the earliest of American minute men. Some interesting items are found in connection with his estate. This estate which he left was valued at 83 pounds, 16 shillings, 6 pence, and one of the papers bears the following notation: “Apprised by us this 10th of June, 1695.” His wife, Frances Shumway, and her sons managed this property successfully until about 1714, when by reason of increasing bodily infirmity she was admonished of providing for its distribution, and on April 3, 1714, she made her last will and testament. The estate of Peter Shumway consisted of swine, lambs, oxen, cattle, horses and all things pertaining to what a successful farmer of those days would require. Other items were his “gun, knapsack, powder and bullets, valued at one pound.”

From the New England colonies the Shumways distributed themselves over the West and were pioneers in the State of Ohio. Charles Shumway’s grandfather, John Q. Shumway, was born in Scioto County of that state July 24, 1824. He spent his life there as a successful and influential farmer and died March 7, 1897. He made a record as a soldier of the Union, enlisting in the Second Ohio Heavy Artillery and serving throughout the war. When mustered out he was brevetted captain. On April 5, 1843, he married Miss Hettie Snyder. She was born in Scioto County November 26, 1826, and died there December 14, 1893.

It was in Scioto County, Ohio, that Charles C. Shumway was born August 13, 1872. His father, R. B. Shumway, was born in the same locality in 1844. He grew up and married in his native county and at the age of twenty years responded to the last call for hundred days men in the Civil war and was with the One Hundred and Fortieth Ohio Infantry. He was a man of education, taught in the Ohio schools for a number of years and was also county engineer of his county. In 1885 R. B. Shumway brought his family to Kansas and settled on a farm five miles northwest of Lyons. Thenceforward he was a resident of that community and acquired a fine body of farm land, which he owned until his death in 1914. He was also called upon to serve the public, eight years as deputy county treasurer and four years as county treasurer. In politics he was a republican and was a member and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic. R. B. Shumway married Barbara Schuster, who was born in Scioto County, Ohio, in 1844 and is still living at Lawrence. This worthy couple had a large family of children, several of whom have gained more than ordinary prominence in business and civic affairs. John W., the oldest, is president and manager of the Kansas City Stationery Company, a large firm handling stationery and office supplies in Kansas City, Missouri. The second child, Margaret, usually called Ella, married William D. Thompson, a farmer and stock raiser at Galt, Kansas. Henry L. was a farmer and died at Lyons at the age of thirty-two. The fourth child is Charles C. Edward A. is one of the large wheat farmers of Rice County and his home is 1½ miles south of Lyons. Thomas Clay died on the old farm in Rice County at the age of twenty-four. Bertha is the wife of James Williams, local agent at Lyons for the Standard Oil Company and also chief of the fire department. Hettie married Charles Plank, a farmer four miles north of Lyons. James M., the ninth and youngest of the family, manages the old homestead consisting of 640 acres, an entire section.

Charles C. Shumway was thirteen years of age when he came with the family to Rice County. He had attended school back in Ohio and finished his education in the rural schools of this county. Until he was twenty-four he lived with his father on the farm and then bought a ranch in the northeastern part of Rice  County and did a good business as a farmer and stock man for nine years. On selling the ranch Mr. Shumway identified himself with Little River in 1905, as cashier of the Little River State Bank. Much of the standing and success of this institution may be credited to the work and influence of Mr. Shumway, who was made its president in 1909. This by no means sums up his business interests. He is a stockholder in the Farmers State Bank of Mitchell and the Central State Bank at Hutchinson, is a director in the Sifers Candy Company of Hutchinson, owned a farm of 160 acres 2½ miles northeast of Lyons, is vice president and director of the Little River Mercantile Company, operating the largest store in Little River, is part owner of the building in which this store is operated, and also owned a comfortable home on Clinton Avenue.

In matters of politics Mr. Shumway is an active republican. For ten years he served as a member of the Little River School Board. He is a member and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, being affiliated with Corner Stone Lodge No. 219, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Wichita Consistory No. 2, and also belongs to Little River Camp No. 1689, Modern Woodmen of America, and Como Lodge No. 194, Knights of Pythias.

On November 19, 1896, at Lyons, Kansas, Mr. Shumway married Miss Hermea Bell, daughter of Aaron and Alice (Long) Bell. Her parents live at Lyons, her father being a retired farm owner, and his place is situated four miles north of Lyons. Mr. and Mrs. Shumway have a family of five children: Herbert A., born in November, 1899, is a senior in the Little River High School; Robert G., born November 22, 1903, is a freshman in the high school; Marjorie, born in January, 1905, is in the grammar school; while the two younger children are Ethel D., born in July, 1912, and George Neel, born in January, 1915.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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