A 1919 biography from "The History of Fresno County" by Paul E Vandor
JOHN W. SHUEY Pride of ancestry will not alone achieve success. It will assist, for the stirring blood of men who have wrought for the well being of the nation will tell in the generations coming after them. To be well born is an asset that counts tremendously in the world effort to promote progress, provided the possessor of such birthright exerts himself in the direction of growth. There are many who do not thus exert themselves, but are content to live their lives depending upon their forbears to carry them along.
Preferring to add to rather than detract from such ancestry, John W. Shuey stands today an example of the type of men who will reflect credit upon their forefathers. Mr. Shuey was born near Quincy, Adams County, Ill., June 23. 1852. His father, John Shuey, was born in Ohio, but early went to Illinois and was a pioneer farmer near Quincy. In 1847 he came to California with one comrade, crossing the plains on horseback and with pack animals, but went back East again. In 1850 he started a second time for the Great West, as before on horseback and with pack horses, trading in stock. Again he returned East, this time via Cape Horn and New York, and in 1856 brought his family, consisting of wife and eight children, to San Francisco via Panama. They landed in the northern city the day Casey and Corey were hung. He located in Contra Costa County, buying a farm in the Moraga Valley, where they remained four years. He bought land in Fruitvale, 100 acres, where he resided until his death. The grandfather was Colonel Martin Shuey, who was a native of Pennsylvania : he gained his title of Colonel in the War of 1812. He enlisted in the War with Mexico, but was not sent out. Colonel Shuey, accompanied by his wife, drove a horse team across the plains in 1862, when he was seventyfive years old. He died in Oakland at the age of ninety-three years. The mother was Lucinda Stowe, a native of Massachusetts. They were married in Illinois, and to them were born six boys and four girls ; two boys and three girls are living. Mrs. Shuey died in Berkeley. John W. Shuey and brother Henry were twins, the youngest in the family. The brother now resides at San Lucas. San Luis Obispo County. John was brought up in Alameda County, getting his education in the public schools and at the same time working on the farm. He stayed at home until he was twenty-two years of age, when he went to Crow Canyon, near Hayward. where he and his twin brother bought a farm and engaged in raising grain and stock from 1875 to 1883, when they sold and dissolved partnership. During one of the years they farmed together they raised 38,000 sacks of wheat. John then went to Green Valley, Contra Costa County, and bought a ranch. In 1881 he made a trip to Fresno and never forgot it, and in 1887 returned there and engaged in farming on land owned by the California Bank. He was the first man to lease lands in this district, which is now Barstow District. He remained here three years, and then removed to Douglas County, Ore. He and his brother Henry bought a ranch near Oakland, and engaged in stock raising, continuing there for five years. They lost out in the panic of 1893.
After the panic. Mr. Shuey returned to Fresno County and located
on the Sharon estate, leased about 1,000 acres and engaged in grain-raising the first year; the second year he added another section where Biola is located : he drove two eight-horse teams and continued on the Sharon estate for three Years and on the Biola six vears, and was reasonably successful. In 1898 he bought his present place, beginning with twenty acres in the Empire Colony; upon this he raised alfalfa and also ran the Biola ranch and other land upon which he raised grain. This he continued until 1902 when he gave this up and farmed on the Jeff James tract five years, retaining his original twenty, to which he added twenty acres.
In 1907 he came back to his home place and has since given his entire attention to it. In 1905 he had set out ten acres to a vineyard. He bought more land, and now has sixty acres, all well improved. There are thirty-five acres in Thompson seedless grapes, and the balance is
in alfalfa. One year, at the Fresno County Fair, he exhibited in the Kerman booth a cane, about thirty inches long, cut from his vineyard, that had bunches of grapes attached, weighing forty pounds. At another time he exhibited a bunch weighing eight one-half pounds.
Mr. Shuey was married in Alameda County, Cal., to Miss Mary Cull, who was born in Kentucky, but came to California early in life. She is the daughter of S. T. Cull, one of the early settlers of Alameda. Mrs. Shuey was educated in the public schools of Alameda. They have four children : Bertha, now Mrs. Wm. Harrison, rancher in the Vinland District; Harry A., rancher near home, where he owns sixty acres in the Empire Colony; Grace, now Mrs. Arch Boucher, of Clovis. whose husband served in the Field Artillery. Ninety-first Division. U. S. A. ; and Mary, wife of A. G. Wetmore of Kerman. Mr. Shuey was at one time a member of the Board of Trustees of the Empire School District, and is a member of the California Associated Raisin Company. A descendant of one of the oldest families in the State.
Mr. Shuey is maintaining the reputation of his forbears. He has seen his district develop, from barren sheep-ranges, sand hills and weed patches, to one of the most productive in the state and one of the best known in the Avorld. He has seen prices so low that he could not make expenses, but he stuck to it and has been very successful.
died Madera County
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