1806-1898

Charles Shumway, one of the original pioneers of Utah, was born August 1, 1806, at Oxford, Worcester County, Massachusetts, a son of Samuel and Polly Shumway. In 1832 Charles married Julia Ann Hooker of Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Following the move of his father and brother, Samuel and Polly purchased property and settled at Galena, Illinois, where Charles constructed a house and sawmill, and cleared land for farming.

In 1841 missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had the pleasure of teaching and baptizing Charles and Polly. After a visit to Nauvoo where he met the Prophet Joseph Smith, Charles returned to Galena and soon loaded his possessions on a raft and floated the raft down the Mississippi River to Nauvoo, a distance of approximately 200 miles. At Nauvoo, he took an active part in the community, working on the new Temple and helping with construction of homes and other buildings. And, as the need arose, he was involved in defending the saints against mob violence, being one of the city police. In 1845 Charles entered into the practice of polygamy, taking a second wife, Louisa Minnerly.

In February 1846, Charles was among the first to cross the Mississippi River with exiles from Nauvoo, and assisted to establish them at Winter Quarters (North Omaha, Nebraska). While at Winter Quarter he assisted in construction of a grist mill, a council house and homes. November 14, 1846, his wife Julie Ann passed away.

When he was selected as a member of the Brigham Young Pioneer Company, he asked that his son, Andrew P. Shumway, then a boy fourteen years of age, might accompany him, which he did. After a short sojourn in Great Salt Lake Valley he and his young son returned later the same year (1847) with President Brigham Young, to Winter Quarters. Having again come to the “Valley” in October 1849, Charles was asked to serve as the first counselor to Isaac Morley, responsible for leading a pioneering group to the area where Manti, Utah, is now located. Here he helped in the construction of the first saw mill in the area and in 1851 was elected to serve as a member of the legislature representing Sanpete County.

On June 31, 1851, Charles married a third wife, Henrietta Bird. In 1857 he married Adaliza Lauretta Truman, a brief marriage that ended in divorce.

Obedient to requests to help in the establishment of new settlements, he resided at Payson, Utah, South Cottonwood, Cache Valley and then Mendon, Utah, where he resided for some 18 years. At Mendon he constructed a rock chapel and established a saw mill. He also entered into his fifth marriage, marrying Elizabeth Jardine.

Brother Shumway filled two missions, one to Canada and one to the Eastern States.
When asked by President Brigham Young to move south, he assisted in founding settlements in southern Utah and then Arizona. In 1880 he erected a grist mill on the present site of Shumway, near Taylor, Arizona, which settlement was named in his honor.

Charles Shumway died at Johnson, Kane County, Utah, May 21, 1898, survived by a large family. His burial place: Taylor Cemetery, Taylor, Navajo County, Arizona.

Brigham Young, in speaking of Charles Shumway once made the following statement: “There was never a more faithful man in the Church. He was a man who was not wed to his gold. He would give everything he had to the Church, to the building of the Kingdom of God.”

 


 

References:

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, Brigham Young Pioneer Company (1847)

A History of Charles Shumway, 5-page history

Family reunion presentation – Charles Shumway by Dale R. Shumway

LDS Biographical Encyclopedia – Vol. 4 page 718

Pioneers & Prominent Men of Utah – page 1159

Pioneers & Prominent Men of Utah – photograph, page 63

US Federal 1850 Census for Manti, Sanpete, Utah Territory

Genealogy facts and photographs

Published book (available): The Charles Shumway Family, 1806-1979 – By Robert Owens

History in book Over the Rim, the Parley P. Pratt Exploring Expedition to Southern Utah, 1849-50 Page 38