Andrew Purley Shumway

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Question: How old was Andrew P. Shumway when he went with Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in 1847?

Answer: Andrew Purley Shumway was born on February 20, 1833, in Milbury, Massachusetts, to Charles and Ann Hooker Shumway. [Andrew wrote some of his life story while he was serving on a mission to England in 1869. The quotes listed in this story are taken from this journal.]

“...about the year 1840, Elder Elisha Groves came through that part of the country preaching the gospel. My father and mother believed and received the truth and were baptized by Elder Groves. Shortly after, he went to Nauvoo to see and visit the prophet Joseph. He soon returned bringing Elder Amasa (Lyman) with him who preached there for some length of time.”

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Andrew’s parents were baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1840. The family moved to Nauvoo, where they lived until the 1846 expulsion. Charles and Ann’s little son, Charles, died in Nauvoo in 1841. “We lived here in peace until the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith on the 27th day of June 1844, which circumstance I well remember as I attended their funeral. I was baptized in the baptismal font in the Temple in Nauvoo, in the year 1842. In the year 1845 the word of the Lord came to the Saints for them to prepare to move to the Rocky Mountains. My father being appointed captain of fifty erected a shop for the manufacture of wagons.”

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At Winter Quarters, in November 1846, Andrew’s mother died. That spring when his father prepared to leave for the trek west in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company, Andrew burst into tears and said that because his mother had just died, it was more than he could bear to be left alone. His father received permission from Brigham Young to take the fourteen-year-old youth along, although they were both sick at the start of the journey.

“The President said, ‘Let him go. It will be all right.’ This news gave me great joy. Brother John D. Lee furnished us a span of mules and a light wagon for the journey. Accordingly on the 14th of April we took our leave of absence from my sister Mary, and sister Harriet, who was lying on her deathbed, at the time with the canker. We went out a couple of days journey to a suitable camping place. Here we waited a few days for President Young and others to accompany us. While here we received information that my sister Harriet had died.”

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Andrew and his father were in the 6th Ten, and his father was the Captain. After being on the trail a while, Andrew and his father gained their strength back. Andrew caught mountain fever near the Big Sandy Creek in Wyoming but was healed when administered to by Brigham Young.

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“We pitched our tents for the first time in the Salt Lake Valley on the 24th of July, 1847 on what is now known as City Creek and just below where Emigration street crossed the creek. After holding a meeting and rendering due thanks to the almighty God for his blessings bestowed upon us on our journey we unloaded our wagons and commenced work, stocking ploughs, making harrows etc. We immediately went to work ploughing the ground and planting corn and a variety of vegetables... A fort was laid out which was commenced to be built of sun dried brick and logs. After staying here a few weeks President Young took a small company and started back to Winter Quarters. My father and myself went with them until we came to Rocky Ridge where we met the rest of our family in Jedidiah M. Grant’s Company and returned to the Valley with them.” (Charles’s second wife and Andrew’s sister Mary)

In 1856 Andrew was called on a mission to England. “After receiving my endowments in the house of the Lord, and being set apart by the servants of God I left home for Europe on the 13th of September. Brothers Wm. Brown, Thomas Terru, Orrin Lewis and myself each furnishing a horse, traveled together in the same wagon across the plains. Parley Pratt, president of the company (some twelve wagons) and E. T. Clark captain.” Andrew returned back to Salt Lake prematurely because of the trouble with Johnston's army in Utah.

“In March (the 7th) 1859, I married Miss Amanda S. Graham, daughter of Thomas B. Graham and Sarah Ann Graham. In April we loaded up our affects and with my father and family started to locate in Cache Valley. Cache Valley heretofore had been settled only by a few families. We located at what is now known as the town of Mendon in company with some seven or eight families.”

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“In January [1860] I received information from Ezra T. Benson that himself and Orson Hyde (President of the Quorum of Twelve) had organized a Stake of Zion in Cache County and that I had been appointed Bishop of Mendon. I was requested to call on him to receive my ordination. I therefore settled up my business and loading my effects into a wagon, I started for Cache Valley on the 19th of February. I called on Ezra T. Benson the same day who took me to President Young’s office where I received my ordination under the hands of President Young and Ezra T. Benson.”

“I built me a comfortable log house and in March moved my wife to Mendon. Soon after this she brought forth a daughter, who we named Julia. During this spring we had our numbers increased by the arrival of a few more families. I spent my time during the spring in giving out farms and attending to the duties of my office, putting in some grain and etc. All I can truly say is that I was greatly blessed in securing the confidence of the Saints, and we were united in all our efforts to lay a foundation for a prosperous and happy settlement.” [Andrew and Amanda had eight children together, the last two, a pair of twins, were born in Idaho.]

In April 1863, Andrew married in polygamy to Ane Marie Jorgensen Christensen. They had four children together but were later separated.

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In the early 1870s, Andrew moved his family to Franklin, Idaho. Andrew died in Franklin, Oneida County, Idaho, on June 12, 1909, at age 76, and was buried in the Franklin Cemetery. His wife Amanda died in 1922 and was buried beside Andrew.

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Source: “Biographies of the Original 1847 Pioneer Company,” Church News, Updated, 14 October 2009; “Life Sketch of Andrew Purley Shumway,” FamilySearch.org; FindAGrave.com