Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 885
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
In the year 1874 Mr Shonyo cast in his lot with the early settlers of Rice county, and through the period which has since elapsed he has been an important factor in the progress and development of the state. He is a native of Vermont, born in Caledonia county, November 12, 1836, and is a member of a prominent and influential family of that state, noted for longevity, a number of its members having lived to the extreme age of one hundred years. His maternal grandfather was a native of France, and his grandmother was born in Canada, of English parentage. Michael Shonyo, the father of our subject, was born in the province of Quebec, Canada, but was reared in Vermont. He was there married to Lucy Hill, who was born, reared and educated in the Green Mountain state, and was a daughter of Dr Samuel Hill, a prominent and influential citizen of Vermont. His wife was a Miss Norris, and was a daughter of Captain Norris, a Scotchman and a prominent sea captain. Dr Hill aided the colonists in their struggle for independence and took part in the battle of Lexington. Michael Shonyo and wife had six children, three of whom still survive, - Frank, the subject of this review; Orrmel, who resides in Brown county, Kansas, near White Cloud; and Martin, a resident of Colorado. The deceased children are: Samuel, who died in Canada; Diana Bachelder, who died in Mobile, Alabama; and Merrill, who served for three years as a soldier in the Civil war, being a member of the Third Vermont Volunteer Infantry, and when last heard from he was in Minnesota. The father of this family had three brothers who served in the war of 1812. Michael Shonyo was a carpenter by trade, and his political support was given the Republican party. His wife was called to the home beyond at the comparatively early age of fifty years, but her husband survived her many years, passing away at the ripe old age of ninety-two years.
Frank Shonyo, the immediate subject of this review, was reared to manhood on a Vermont farm, and his education was received in the public schools of his neighborhood. On the 27th of July, 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil war, he became a member of the Third Vermont Infantry, Company B, in which he served for three years. He became a member of the Army of the Potomac and took part in the Wilderness campaign, after which he was on detached service as a member of Battery F, of the Fifth Regulars, serving therein from November, 1861, until February, 1864, when he returned to the Third Vermont. He was wounded by a minie ball and spent some time in a hospital, after which he was honorably discharged, and with a good military record he returned to his home in Vermont. Later Mr Shonyo removed to Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, locating at Owen Grove, near Mason City, where he still owns a well improved farm of two hundred and forty acres. He remained on that place until 1874, when he came to Kansas and secured a claim of one hundred and sixty acres in Rice county. As the years have passed success has rewarded his well directed efforts, and he has added to his original purchase until he now owns a beautiful and highly improved farm of six hundred and forty acres, one of the best farming properties in central Kansas. His land is located one mile from Bushton, and there he is surrounded by all the comforts and conveniences of life, his long years of toil having secured to him a handsome competence. He has also eighty acres in Mitchell.
In Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, Mr Shonyo was united in marriage to Miss Alice Wilson, who was born in Lasalle county, Illinois, but was reared and educated in Iowa. For a number of years before her marriage she was a prominent and successful teacher of Cerro Gordo county. Her father, Alonzo Wilson, was a prominent early settler of that county and was engaged in the loan, land and brokerage business. In 1855, Alonzo Wilson came with his wife, who was in her maidenhood Catherine Reynolds, to Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, casting in their lot with the early pioneers of that locality. They were the parents of eight children, as follows: Mrs Alice Shonyo; Bruce A, a resident of Mason City, Iowa; Emma C, deceased; Buferd B, who resides in Lyons, Kansas; Nora, now Mrs Squire, of Cerro Gordo county, Iowa; John, of Mason City, that state; Mary, now Mrs Barber, of Mason, Iowa; and Gertrude, who became Mrs Williams and resides in Washington, DC. The father of these children was a Democrat in his political views, and religiously was a member of the Congregational church. In an early day the Reynolds were a prominent family in the east and were members of the Catholic church, many of its members having served as bishops therein. The union of Mr and Mrs Shonyo has been blessed with ten children, namely: Wilson D, proprietor of the Bushton Machine Shops, Bushton, Kansas; Ben F, who resides near Beloit, in Mitchell county, Kansas; Burton C, who is engaged in business with his brother, Wilson D; Martin L, a grain merchant of Bushton; Shirley B, at home; and Aaron and Olin, twins, aged thirteen years, also at home. The three who have passed away are: Frederick, who was drowned while attending Manhattan College, and was then a bright young man of eighteen years; Victor H, who died at the age of seven months; and Melville, who died in infancy. Mrs Shonyo is a leading member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and is also identified with the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, of Frederick, Kansas. Our subject exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party, and in his social relations he is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, in which he maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades. He is a man of sterling worth, and in his upright and useful life has gained not only a competence, but has also won that good name which is rather to be chosen than great riches.