From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 426
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902 


   In all life’s relations R B Shumway has enjoyed the confidence and respect of his fellow men, and today he is known as a representative and leading farmer and stock-raiser of Rice county, as one of its honored early settlers and as a veteran of the Civil war.  He has also occupied public offices, and as county treasurer displayed his fidelity to the best interests of the people whom he represented.  Mr Shumway is a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred in Scioto county, on the 3rd of January, 1844, his parents being John Q and Hettie (Snyder) Shumway, who were also natives of the Buckeye state.  The father was a son of Sylvanus T Shumway, of Pennsylvania, and the great-grandfather of our subject was Reuben Shumway, a native of New York. He was of French descent.  His ancestors were French Huguenots, who were banished from their country on account of the religious difficulties with the Catholics and therefore came to America during colonial days, settling in New York, whence they became loyal citizens of their adopted country.  Reuben Shumway served through the war of the Revolution, and his patriotic spirit has been manifest in the lives of his descendants, who have ever been true and loyal to the best interests of America.  He reared a family of four sons, namely:  Darias, Alvan, Sylvanus and Cyrus, all of whom served in the war of 1812.  After returning from the war of 1812 Sylvanus Shumway, the grandfather of our subject, emigrated to Ohio.  Building a raft, he with his family and effects floated down the Allegheny river to the Ohio river and thence to the mouth of the Big Scioto river, in Ohio.  This occurred about 1717 (1817) or 1718 (1818).  He established a home in that state, and there resided until his death.  He was a broad-minded, intelligent man and exercised strong influence for good in the community with which he was associated.  He was a civil engineer and in an early day followed surveying in the Buckeye state.  He also improved a large farm, upon which he spent the years of an active and honorable business career.  He was enterprising and public-spirited and was favorably known for his sterling integrity and honor.  His children were:  Polly, who became the wife of H Van Gorder and after his death married William Jenkins; Harriet, the wife of N McCowan; John Q; and Mrs Julia T Crabtree.  The parents held membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, and in his political views the grandfather of our subject was a Whig.  Both he and his wife were people of the highest respectability, their lives being in harmony with their Christian professions.

   John Q Shumway, the father of our subject, was born and reared in Ohio and his was an upright and useful career.  His birth occurred in Scioto county, July 24, 1823, and he died on the 7th of March, 1897.  When he had arrived at years of maturity he wedded Miss Hettie Snyder, who was born November 27, 1825, and died December 14, 1893.  They always resided in the state of their nativity and after their marriage located on the old Shumway homestead, which had been entered and improved by his father.  In early life John Q Shumway joined the Methodist Episcopal church and remained a loyal member throughout the years of his early pilgrimage.  He contributed liberally to the support of the church and was a man of high Christian character, cheerful disposition and of broad charity.  His many virtues made him an influential resident of his community, and he left the impress of his individuality not only upon the members of his own household but upon many friends, and his memory remains as a blessed benediction to all who knew him.  He voted with the Whig party in early manhood and on its dissolution joined the Republican party, but never sought or cared for office.  In 1862 he aided in organizing Company F, of the One Hundred and Seventeenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which on the 10th of August, 1863, was re-organized as a company of Ohio heavy artillery.  At that time he became lieutenant, serving as such until the company was mustered out, August 10, 1865.  He kept a complete diary during the war, giving a brief but concise account of army life with all the engagements.  It is now a valuable memoir, containing a record of the battles and incidents, and thus giving a correct and vivid picture of war life.  He voted for Abraham Lincoln on the 8th of November, 1864, while at the front.  No braver man shouldered a musket in defense of his country than John Q Shumway, but it was with great joy that he returned to his home and family when the war was over and the preservation of the Union was assured.  He re-entered the walks of civil life with an earnestness that was characteristic of the man and lived out his three score years and ten, until the Great Commander called his volunteers, and on the 7th of March, 1897, he answered the roll call above.  His was a noble and upright character, commanding uniform respect, and he was widely known as a considerate neighbor, a faithful friend and a devoted husband and father, as well as a man of sterling integrity and honor.  His wife was a daughter of John and Sally (Mead) Snyder, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of New York.  After their marriage they located in Ohio, where they became prominent and well known farming people.  Their children were Judah, Ezra, Hettie, Jonathan, Esther and Mary.  The three sons served their country in the Rebellion and Judah laid down his life in defense of the Union and was buried at Helena, Arkansas.  Both parents were members of the Baptist church.  The children of John Q and Hettie (Snyder) Shumway were Reuben B; Sarah, the wife of D W Strouse; Cyrus W, who came as a pioneer to Rice county in 1871 and here spent his remaining days as a prominent and honored early settler and a leading Republican, serving at one time as county treasurer; John, who is living in Ohio; Milton, who occupies the office of auditor of Scioto county, Ohio; Maria, the wife of H Ketter, of Ohio; and James Q, who owns and operates the old family homestead in the Buckeye state.

   It was upon that farm that Reuben B Shumway was born and reared.  He received his elementary education in the common schools and afterward attended an academy, his training at farm work being received in the fields under his father’s direction.  When about twenty years of age, aroused by a spirit of patriotism, he joined Company F, of the One Hundred and Fortieth Ohio Infantry, which was assigned to the Department of West Virginia.  He joined his regiment at Gallipolis, Ohio, and was there mustered out on the 3rd of September, 1864, receiving an honorable discharge.  His command was detailed to guard service and also engaged in skirmishing to some extent, but Mr Shumway received no wounds.  Returning home he resumed work on the farm and there remained until December 24, 1865, when he was married.  In the spring of that year he had been elected assessor and the following year was re-elected to the same office, thus serving for two years.  Having located upon a small farm, he cultivated the fields and in connection carried on surveying, executing some contracts on public works, such as turnpikes and bridges.  He superintended the construction of the big bridge over the Scioto river and continued farming and contracting until 1885.

   In that year Mr Shumway came to Kansas, where he has since made his home, locating in Rice county.  He took his family to the home of his brother, who was then county treasurer, and he employed Mr Shumway as his assistant.  For eight years he filled the position of deputy treasurer and was then elected to the office for a term of four years, so that he was connected with the position continuously for twelve years, a fact which indicates in an unmistakable manner his fidelity to duty and the care with which he superintended the financial interests of the community.  While acting as treasurer he was also made assignee of the Bank of Lyons to settle up its business.  In the fall of 1885 he purchased the farm upon which he yet resides, and there located his family, while each day for twelve years he drove to and from his business.  During the boom in Lyons, Mr Shumway was actively interested therein and lost considerable money in the collapse, but altogether his business career has been a profitable and successful one, and today he owns valuable farms, comprising altogether about twelve hundred acres.  He carries on general farming and raises, buys and handles stock.  He has improved the grade of stock, giving special attention to shorthorn cattle, and he now has a number of fine registered animals upon his place, including a head of registered Jerseys.

   Mr Shumway was joined in wedlock to Miss Barbara Schuster, who was born in Ohio, November 19, 1844, a daughter of John and Margaret (Getschell) Schuster, who were natives of Germany and became successful farming people of Ohio.  Her father died in 1865, after which his widow found a good home with her daughter, Mrs Shumway, there spending her last days, her death occurring in 1895, at the very advanced age of ninety-one years.  Both were consistent members of the Lutheran church.  Their children were Mrs Augusta Groff, Mrs Laura Mink, Christina, who became the wife of H Myers and is now deceased, and Barbara, wife of our subject.  The marriage of Mr and Mrs Shumway has been blessed with nine children:  John W, who is agent for the Wabash Railroad Company at Council Bluffs, Iowa; Ella, wife of W D Thompson, a resident farmer of Rice county; Henry, Charles and Edward A, who are also following agricultural pursuits in the same county; Bertha, at home; Hettie, wife of C Plank; and Clay and James M, who are with their parents.  Mr Shumway holds membership with Kit Carson Post, No. 20, GAR, of Lyons.  His wife belongs to the Lutheran church, while he is a worthy member of the Methodist church.  He takes a very active interest in Sunday-school work, is serving as superintendent and cooperates earnestly in the work of the church along lines of advancement.  During his residence in Kansas he has progressed financially and is today one of the substantial agriculturists of his adopted county.  He has a commendable record for fidelity in office, for loyalty to the duties of citizenship and for the faithful discharge of the obligations which devolve upon him in relation to his fellow men.


* Note – see the records for the Shumway Cemetery in the Rice county, KS cemetery records on this county site.