R. H. Shumway
Hallet (R. H.) Shumway was born on July 26, 1842 at the family farm in
Illinois. At the age of 19, in June of 1862, he enlisted in Company A of the 67th
Illinois Infantry, answering President Lincoln's call. Two
years later he re-enlisted in the 50th Illinois Volunteer.1
between enlistments, Roland returned home on leave and married Emma Davis on January 16, 1864.
He was discharged in July of 1865.
To their marriage, Roland and Emma were blessed with four sons and two
daughters. In 1870,
the year that his first son was born, he founded the R. H. Shumway Seed Company
on his farm south of
Rockford, Illinois. In 1872 he moved the company to East State and
Third Streets in town. In 1881, the company had expanded
and larger facilities were needed and they relocated to South
company adhered to a policy of remaining a strictly mail-order
seed company. By 1926, it was reported as being the
world's largest. Every spring 200,000 catalogs were mailed
Shumway died in Rockford
on Thursday evening, December 30, 1925 from injuries suffered after
being struck by an automobile three days prior. 1,2
his death, son Myron Raymond Shumway assumed the
responsibilities of running the large mail-order seed
business. M. Raymond "Ray" Shumway's health
started to fail and he eventually succumbed to heart disease and
high blood pressure on March 16, 1933.3
company was mentioned as being in business in the June 15, 1952
Rockford Morning Star. In 1968, Condon Brother's Seed Company
merged with R. H. Shumway Seeds.9 At some point, the company ceased
the company name (brand), along with several other recognizable
company names, was eventually purchased by an enterprising marketer in
the 1980s, none of the original seed stock existed and seed savers were
solicited for specimens.
control of the R. H. Shumway Seed Company name (along with Seymour's Select
Seeds, Totally Tomatoes, Vermont Bean Seed Company, and HPS) was
the J. W. Jung Seed Company of Randolph, Wisconsin.
- Tomato, 'Abraham
- Obituary, Rockford (Illinois) Daily Republic, January 2, 1926.
- "Rockford Seed Sellers Carry Name To World", Rockford
(Illinois) Morning Star, July 15, 1928.
- "M. R. Shumway, Prominent as Seedsman, Dies", Rockford
Register-Republic, March 16, 1933.
- Notes for Roland H. Shumway
- Roland H.
Shumway-Emma A. Davis
Encyclopedia of Illinois, Ed. by Newton Bateman, L.L.D. and
Paul Selby, A.M., Vol. II Winnebago County, ed. by Charles A.
Church, Chicago, Munsen Publishing Co., 1916
Tree Project Ancestry of David Shumway Bardue
Who Owns What
(Refer to Jung's)
- 1968 R. H.
Shumway Seed Annual