browse Family History
Histories & mysteries of the genealogical variety.

Shumate Family History

This article appeared in The Atlanta Constitution on November 14, 1886:

The Shumate Family
The Story of Some of the Pioneers of DeKalb County

Mason Shumate was of French Huguenot descent. The name in France was De Shumate, and the ancestors of Mason were called by that name for sometime after they emigrated to America; but they dropped the "De" and have since been called plain Shumate. Mason Shumate was born A.D. 1761 in Farquiar (sic) County, Virginia. He married Miss Nancy Gatewood of the same county. He moved from Virginia to Spartinsburg (sic), S. C., in 1804, and from there to Decatur, DeKalb county, Georgia in 1824.

Decatur, at that time, was nothing more than a collection of just about a dozen log huts. The Indians had just moved to the west side of the Chattahoochee. Decatur was a trading post, and the Indians would come over there in droves of thirty or forty to sell their peltries, baskets, moccasins and other wares. They were generally peaceable, but the remembrance of having been driven from their old hunting grounds would sometimes incite them to commit depredations on the whites, and the whites were so scattered in small settlements over the country that they fell easy victims of the savages before they could organize and drive the Indians over the river. Mr. Shumate kept the first hotel ever opened in Decatur. After living in Decatur a few years, he moved to his plantation, about one mile west of Decatur, where he and his slaves engaged in planting, as long as he lived. The land in and around Edgewood was owned by him. He used it for a hog range. His administrator, as late as 1850, sold 100 acres of it for $700. It is now worth about $300 per acre. He was one of the founders of the Presbyterian church in Decatur. He was an intelligent, well read man for his day, and gave his children the best education he could. He was thoroughly honest, and was kind and generous to a fault; was a devoted father and kind master. Everybody in the country knew him and honored him. He died in 1849, leaving 9 children, Joseph D., Lucinda, Harriet, Berryman, Sarah, Cynthia, Elizabeth, Franklin, and Eliza. His descendants now number about 125.

Joseph D. Shumate married Amelia Montgomery, daughter of Major J. M. C. Montgomery. He resided near Marietta, Ga., many years. He moved to near LaFayette, Ga., and from there to Texas in 1865, where he died. His family consisted of four sons and three daughters.

Lucinda Shumate married Reuben Cone, a northern man. He was a very influential and public spirited citizen. He was for some time judge of the inferior court of DeKalb county, and was quite wealthy. He owned a large quantity of land. He owned three or four hundred acres of the land upon which Atlanta is built. He moved here while Atlanta was Marthasville, and resided on the lot where Dr. W. F. Westmoreland now resides, and where the "Arlington House" stands. The "Arlington" is still owned by the family . Marietta and Peachtree streets, as far out as Simpson street, and many other parts of the city, are on land once owned by him. He donated the land on which the First Baptist and First Presbyterian churches are built. He was among the first to predict that Atlanta would be a large city, and he never lost faith in it. He was always ready to lend a helping hand to every thing that tended to build up our city. He divided his land up into small lots and sold at small figures on long term, in order to induce people to settle here. He laid off Marietta street and planted trees on either side with a row in the center. The center row is gone, but most of the others stand. Cone street was named for him. Atlanta never had a citizen more devoted to her interests. He was one of the founders of the First Presbyterian church; gave the lot and contributed as much as anybody to build the church building. In fact, the Shumate family and its connections constituted more than half, I think, of the small but devoted band that organized that church.

Judge Cone was a true Christian, kind hearted and charitable. No one ever went to him in trouble that his heart did not sympathize with and his hand relieve. I have often thought it was such a pity that he did not live to see the city of his love grow to the proportions he predicted for her. He died here in April, 1852, while building for himself and family the home now known as the "Austell" mansion. He left his widow and one child, a daughter, married to Judge Julius A. Hayden. Judge Hayden was also one of the judges of the inferior court, and held many other positions of honor and trust in the city and county. He was, and is, ever devoted to Atlanta's progress and prosperity, and ready to promote any enterprise tending to build up our city. He was president of the first gas company. He sold off his lots on reasonable terms and would give as long time as the purchasers wanted, and rarely pushed a party for the purchase money. On account of his kind, genial, hospitable, charitable, unselfish and public spirited disposition, he is and has been universally popular here. I do not believe he has an enemy in the world. He is one of our largest real estate owners. He and his good wife have a large and interesting family of six daughters and two sons. His daughters are Mrs. A. M. Thrasher, Mrs. T. J. Phillips, Mrs. George W. Harrison, Mrs. Harry Hightower, and two young ladies and two sons. The judge and his family reside here and in Florida, where he has large interests.

Harriet Shumate married Alexander Corry, who was for a long time justice of the peace here. They are both dead. They had four sons and three daughters. Most of them are dead.

Berryman D. Shumate married Miss Thurza Farrar. He was an elder of the First Presbyterian church of this city and was one of most devoted Christians I ever knew. They had four sons and three daughters. Their sons, G. D. Shumate, Jr. (sic), a lawyer, Chamberlain S., and Frances Shumate reside at Clarkston, Ga., and their daughter, Mrs. James Thompson, at Norcross, Ga.

Sarah Shumate married Colonel Jesse C. Farrar who was a remarkable man and well known all over Georgia. He died here a few years ago. their family consisted of three daughters and one son. Mrs. Laura E. White, the widow of the late John C. White, is one of these. Mr. and Mrs. White were among the earliest settlers of Atlanta. He was one of our most honest citizens, who by patient industry, and the aid of his good wife, accumulated a nice little fortune. She has two daughters, her only children. One of them married my particular friend, George M. Hope, of this city, and the other recently married Walter Tomlinson, of Sanford, Florida, where they now reside.

Another of Colonel Farrar's daughters married Dr. H. L. Currier, who was one of our first city surveyors and engineers, and a first class one he was, too. They are both dead, and their only child is our esteemed fellow townsman, Charles E. Currier, of the firm of Tanner, Currier & Heath. My old friend, R. M. Farrar, cashier of the Merchant's bank, is a son of Colonel Farrar, by second marriage, with the daughter of Lochlin Johnson, of DeKalb county.

Cynthia Shumate married Daniel Stone, of DeKalb county, of Scotch descent. He was for years clerk of the superior court of DeKalb county, and was one of the most popular men of that county. They are both now dead. Their family consisted of five sons and two daughters. Among these are O. M. Stone, of Augusta, Ga., and Frank J. Stone, of Chattanooga, Tenn., both gentlemen of high standing where they live.

Elizabeth Shumate married E. G. Adams. Their family consisted of two sons and three daughters, now residents of Mississippi. Franklin Shumate married Eliza Simms, of Troup county, Ga. They have two sons and two daughter, all residing near Clarkston, Ga. Eliza Shumate was the youngest of the family, and married John Glen. Mr. Glen was born in South Carolina, and is of Scotch Irish descent. One the mother's side he is a lineal descendant of Captain James Cook, the world renowned sailor, as the first of mankind who circumnavigated the earth. Mr. Glen was for ten years clerk of the superior court of DeKalb county, He was the agent of the Georgia railroad, at Decatur, before the road was completed to Atlanta, and has been connected with the road for over forty-one years. He was mayor of Atlanta in 1855. Besides this, he has held many other positions of honor and trust there.

I think John Glen is the most modest man I ever knew. He has never passed for what he is worth. He has been, and is, a man of considerable ability. He and Mrs. Glen have reared a family of ten children, four sons and six daughters -- seven of whom are now living. His daughters are Mrs. John C. Evins, Mrs. Charley Elzoe, Mrs. Robinson, Mrs. Johnson, and Mrs. Caldwell. They have two sons living, John Cook Glen and the other not married, I think. They nearly all live at or near Atlanta, and are a lovable and loving family. Mr. Glen now resides at Kirkwood, within a mile and a half where he and his good wife were married over fifty years ago. How beautiful and lovely that is! Linked together by the golden cares of love for over fifty-five years! May the evening of their days be spent without a shadow.

Altogether, I think, the distinguishing characteristic of the Shumate is, the pains they have taken to rear and educate their children, according to the old bible rule "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
-- S. B. Hoyt

* February 21, 2003 Lucinda Shumate Cone Underwood
©1994-2006, Julia Hayden. All Rights Reserved. Mine, All Mine. Mwahahahaha. [Details]