genealogy trails

Christian County Illinois

Named after Christian County in Kentucky through the influence of emigrants from that county.

Established February 15, 1839 as Dane County (Laws, 1839, p. 104). Name changed to Christian County in 1840.

Portrait and biographical record of Christian County, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and   representative citizens, together with biographies of all the Governors of the state, and of the Presidents of the United States.  Chicago, Ill. : Lake City Pub. Co., 1893.  Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.
DORICE DWIGHT SHUMWAY, of Taylorville, is a native of Christian County, and was born on a farm about four miles east of the city December 19, 1845. He is the second son and third child of D. D. and Emily R. A. (Rountree) Shumway, of whom extended mention is made in another part of this work.

Mr. Shumway spent the first few years of his life on the farm where he was born, and his education began in the country school. After the family removed to Taylorville he attended school for a short time in this place, and spent two years at an academy in Hillsboro.

In the spring of 1857, he entered the employ of W. W. Anderson, as clerk in a general store, and served until the fall of 1860, during which time he was also Deputy Postmaster of Taylorville. In the winter of 1860-61 he attended the Normal School at Normal, Ill., when failing health caused him to abandon his studies and return to Taylorville. The following winter he taught a country school, after which he spent a few years working on his father's farm and attending the public school.

In 1866 he practically commenced his business career on his own account, when he went to Hillsboro and engaged in merchandizing in partnership with his uncle, A. A. H. Rountree. This connection continued. until January 1, 1869, when he sold his interest to his partner.

Returning to Taylorville, he became a member of the firm of Shumway & Sons in a general store. The death of his father, which occurred in the spring of 1870, necessitated the closing out of this business. During the summer of 1870 Mr. Shumway and his brother, H. P. Shumway, compiled a set of abstract books of Christian County, which were the first ever made, and are now in use by the Christian County Loan & Abstract Company. In 1871 Mr. Shumway associated himself with W. W. Anderson in the banking business, under the firm name of W. W. Anderson & Co., and in 1874 they opened a branch house at Pana, under the name of Anderson & Shumway, which a year later they transferred to Messrs. Hayward & Schuyler, of that place.

On returning to Taylorville, he again assumed the management of the banking business here, and continued in charge until 1882. Subsequently he opened a grocery store in Taylorville, and did business in that line until 1889.

On the organization of the Taylorville Coal Company, in 1887, Mr. Shumway became one of the stockholders and was made its Secretary, which position he has held continuously since. In February, 1890, he was made general manager of the Coal Company, and holds that position at this writing. This is the most important industry of the city. It gives employment to about two hundred men all the year round, and under Mr. Shumway's able management yields satisfactory results to the stockholders.

Our subject is also President of, and the largest stockholder in, the Christian County Implement Company, a stockholder and Director in the First National Bank of Taylorville, a stockholder and Director in the Citizens' Gas, Fuel and Light Company, and in the Taylorville Electric Light Company. He has served the city for two terms in the Council, and was Chairman of the Board of Waterworks, and made the contract with George C. Morgan, of Chicago, for the construction of the present efficient system of waterworks now in use in this city.

Mr. Shumway is an enterprising and energetic business man, who is always alive to the bust interests of the city and county. In his many and varied business ventures he has achieved a well-earned success.

On the 25th of September, 1877, at Salem, Ill., Mr. Shumway was married to Miss Mary I. Finley, daughter and only child of Dr. W. M. and Lucy (Watson) Finley, of that place. She was born in White County, Ill., and comes of one of the pioneer families of southern Illinois. The family born of this union is three sons, Glenn Finley, Hiram McLin and Dorice Dwight. Mrs. Shumway is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in which she was reared, and she and her husband stand high in social circles in the city in which they live.


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