Friday, May 3, 2013

Spinster Dies Leaving Gold-Packed Home, 1924

I have yet to find a connection between these Shumate's and Virginia Shumate Moran but she saved this newspaper clipping which indicates to me she thought there was a connection. Martha Shumate died in October 1924 in Winchester, Virginia.

Authorities Protect Fortune Crammed in Nooks and Crannies Before Death.

By the Associated Press.
WINCHESTER, Va., October 22--A bonded caretaker guards the residence property here of Miss Martha Shumate, wealthy spinster, who died last week, following the discovery of a hoarded fortune stuffed and crammed in nearly every nook and cranny of the house.

The guard was established when crowds of persons lured by the reports of hidden treasure threatened to overrun the premises.  Bank officials today admitted that the rich woman had drawn several thousand dollars from her account recently to distribute in modest bequests among her friends.  It also became known that hardly a receptacle in the house has failed to give up money. Clocks, picture frames, covered plates and cracks and crevices poured out old gold and bank notes.  Much of the gold coin is said to be of ancient vintage, many pieces from the California mint, coined while the gold rush was at its height, will command premiums.

Last of Old Family

Miss Shumate was the last of her line, a prominent Frederick County family that had conserved riches through a whole century.  It appears that she did not complete the work of writing her will for a document has been found in which only one bequest is made, and that for only a small portion of her holdings.

No mention was made of the disposition of enormous bank stock holdings, bank accounts, farms and city property, all of which her bank here, named as administrator, lists among her possessions.

Near and distant cousins will benefit in the Shumate riches after their appraisal by court orders, it was declared.
Martha Shumate was the daughter of Tilman Shumate and Eliza Brown.  Tilman was born about 1810 and died in 1847.  He was a merchant in Frederick County Virginia.  He and Eliza married on September 3, 1836.  When he died his wife was left with the task of raising their four small children: Elizabeth 8 yrs old, Rebecca 5 yrs old, Martha (the subject of the article) 3 yrs old and Tilman Jr was just 1 yr. old.

Census records show that Tilman Jr. was a bank cashier.  Tilman, the youngest of the siblings, died in 1883 leaving the spinster sisters to fend for themselves.  But perhaps they didn't have to fend too hard since they obviously had a hoard of money to rely on.  Elizabeth, or Lizzie, the oldest died in 1904.  Rebecca survived until 1923 and Martha followed her to the grave in 1924.

With the exception of Tilman Sr, the family is interred at Mt.Hebron Cemetery in Winchester Virginia.  At this time it is unknown where Tilman Sr. is resting.

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