WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
(early settler, church leader)
BIOGRAPHYIn the fall of 1861, Brigham Young called a group of people to leave Sanpete County and go to settle in southern Utah. This group included Oliver DeMille and his wives and children. DeMille purchased some land along a small creek from an old Paiute Indian chief named Shunes (or Shones). A town site was laid out and a settlement commenced which the people called Shunesburg or Shonesburg and sometimes Shuensburg or Shirensburg.
Shunesburg was always closely tied to Rockville. Until about 1865, the people of Shunesburg had no ward of their own and would travel the six miles to Rockville for religious services. Then Oliver DeMille was called as the Presiding Elder in Shunesburg and John J. Allred was made superintendent of the Sunday Schools. This ecclesiastical organization lasted for about three decades.
Over the years as the flooding of the river washed away farmland, the Shunesburg settlers moved on, mostly to Rockville. Shunesburg was gradually abandoned. By the year 1900, only Oliver DeMille was left and even he moved to Rockville in 1902.
PHOTOSPhotos on the web:
Photo of the family of Oliver DeMille Sr. and his second wife Fidelia Winget in Shonesburg
Photo of the Oliver DeMille Family in Shonesburg