Biography of Walter G. Shumway

Walter G. Shumway has been a lifelong resident of Raymond Township, where he still makes his home and where he was born February 12, 1867. He is a son of Lyman and Mary (Ellis) Shumway, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts. The paternal grandfather, Walter Shumway, was also a native of New England and became one of the pioneer residents of Wisconsin, arriving in Racine County in 1838, long before the admission of the state into the Union. The work of improvement and development had scarcely been begun in this district and such was the unsettled condition of the country around that even Chicago had been incorporated as a city only the year before. The greater part of the land was still in possession of the government and Walter Shumway purchased four hundred acres of such land, upon which he built a log cabin that the family occupied for a number of years. They experienced all of the hardships and privations of life on the frontier, but their industry and determination at length brought changed and improved conditions. Lyman Shumway was a young man of about nineteen years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to this state and took up the occupation of farming in connection with his father. His life thereafter was devoted to the work of tilling the soil and in time substantial harvests rewarded his labors, for at all times he displayed unremitting industry, guided by sound judgment. He started out with but eighty acres of land and at the time of his death was the owner of an excellent farm of one hundred and five acres. He was well known and well liked; his many substantial traits of character gaining him deserved popularity. He held membership in the Raymond Congregational church, in which he served as deacon for a number of years, and his life was guided by its teachings. His political views accorded with the principles of the Republican Party and he held many Township offices, including those of supervisor and treasurer. In early manhood he wedded Mary Ellis, a daughter of Gaius Ellis, who was born in Massachusetts and in 1839 arrived in Raymond Township. Racine County, where he, too, became a pioneer, contributing to the result which was wrought in transforming the district from a wild frontier region into a most habitable section. To Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Shumway were born seven children, but only two are now living, Walter G. and Elbert L., the latter also a farmer of Raymond Township.

Walter G. Shumway was educated in the district schools and began business life on a farm, having previously had thorough training in the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. At an early age he began assisting his father in the development of the home place and while his father was still living he purchased twenty acres of land. At present his holdings comprise one hundred and twenty-five acres, on which he has erected a large barn and added other substantial buildings. His farm is splendidly improved and gives evidence of his careful management and wise supervision. As soon as old enough he and his brother took over the business from their father and have since carried on the work of the farm, and in addition to cultivating the fields in the production of the crops best adapted to the soil and climate Mr. Shumway also engages in raising full blooded Holstein cattle and conducts a. dairy business, making butter, for which he finds a ready sale in the local market.

In 1890 occurred the marriage of Walter G. Shumway and Miss Charlotte West, a daughter of Thomas West, an early settler of Raymond Township. Three children have been born of this marriage, of whom two are living, Lynus and Charlotte, but the firstborn, Ly man William, died at the age of eighteen months.

The parents are consistent members of the Congregational church, of which Mr. Shumway is one of the directors. He votes with the Republican Party and is now filling the office of town clerk. He is not only much interested in the material development but also in the political, intellectual, social and moral progress of the community and his influence is always found on the side of right, progress and reform. He represents one of the old families of the County and has himself been a resident of Raymond Township for almost a half century, so that he is largely familiar with its history.

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Surnames:
Shumway,

Topics:
Biography,

Locations:
Racine County WI,

Collection:
Racine County Wisconsin History: Racine Belle City of the lakes and Racine County Wisconsin a record of settlement organization progress and achievement. SJ Clarke Pub Co. Chicago. 1916. 1216 pgs.

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