No id or date on paper.
LONG TREK RECALLED BY PIONEER
One who scuffed her bare feet on stones and cactus while walking much of the way from Iowa to Oregon in 1862 as a girl of 10 years, and who has lived on one Umatilla County farm continuously 67 years, is Mrs. James (Matilda) Shumway.
Today at 86, she is an alert and charming hostess who remembers the highlights of her eventful life, but modestly inclines toward minimizing her unique status as an outstanding pioneer.
Bread-Making Great Chore
Last week she told the roving reporter in an interview at her homestead that aside from her personal hardships, she remembers with greatest interest the terrible ordeals her mother and older sister struggled with in the daily preparation of food. The Mock family, to which she belonged lived near Des Moines, and when they started for the west there were 14 in the family, and 8 hired men.
"Bread-baking for a crew of that size was an enormous job." Mrs. Shumway related. "We had Dutch ovens. We used reflectors in baking bread (reflectors were V-shaped metal affairs so placed near a fire that bread would be baked on both sides at the same time-the direct heat from the fire baking one side, and the reflected heat the other) but you can imagine what the women in the party had to endure during the long trip.
Train Had 300 Wagons
"There were 300 wagons in the train part of the way, small groups joining up with the bigger group as they came together. This probably acted as a safeguard against Indians and we were not attacked, but saw the ashes and remnants of many smaller trains along the way.
"We soon ran out of shoes, and I remember all too well the trouble I had while helping drive the teams on foot.
"Our men folks declined to kill buffalo, fearing the act might anger the Indians; we even refused to kill game birds when we got to Oregon, notwithstanding we were short of food.
Lived in Baker County
"My parents stopped at what is now Baker and occupied the one and only house there then. The big town of the district was the mining center of Auburn, several miles away. Shortly, we moved to what is now Pleasant Valley. My mother named the place. We could see hundreds of mountain sheep from our home, ranging on the hills and wild foxes even came up to play with our dog.
"At the age of 14 I was married to James Shumway who had gone to California from Illinois in 1853 and had come to the Baker mines about the time we did.
Our honeymoon consisted of a ride in a wagon drawn by four horses to Umatilla after household goods with which to start housekeeping.
"We decided in 1870 to buy some Umatilla county land suited for stock raising and found what we wanted here on Couse Creek, about 5 miles from Milton. Here we have lived these 67 years since."
John Shumway died in 1909. Today, the family is clustered in and around Milton-Freewater - Olive J. Barton, widow, and Ada McConnell, widow live on the Shumway place; Amy Coghill lives at Freewater; the baby of the family and only boy is A.R. Shumway, who operates the farm and is nationally known for his interest in farm legislation. He was born in the place 67 years ago.
In the Shumway home are many antiques. Telling time with accuracy even now is a clock of old-day type, the history of which carries an odd twist.
"We bought the clock," said Mrs. Shumway, "July 5, 1871, from Z.K. Straight, the early-day Walla Walla jeweler. The clock still runs perfectly."
A Taber organ bought from the same firm in 1877 still holds its rich tones perfectly. Mrs. Barton displayed one of some wedding rings made for the girls by jeweler Straight from gold Father Shumway had obtained in the Baker mines.
Politically, Mrs. Shumway is a registered Republican.
Knew Hank Vaughn
Mrs. Shumway knew Hank Vaughn, Umatilla citizen of an early day who is now a tradition but then a very active youngster, quick on the draw and often in trouble for disturbing the peace. Her first contacts with him came in the early 60's when her father was running a stage station at Pleasant Valley. Hank was even then under arrest and in irons; Mrs. Shumway getting a close-up look at him while the officers stopped there enroute to jail with Vaughn who was charged with killing an officer. Mrs. Shumway's recollections of the Vaughn capers as he cut them around Pendleton, Athena and Weston are both accurate and of absorbing interest.
With familiar and attractive landscapes to look upon, her loved ones about her; her faculties in excellent control, Mrs. Shumway is indeed happily situated as the evening shadows grow longer.