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Linly Stum: Evidentiary – Part 1

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Linly Rogene Stum


*Typed by Barb Wanderlingh during 2021-2022 as Linly remembered events.

Many years ago, Misty (Stum) Harkness (Lane & Tammy's only daughter) gave me a notebook and asked that I start writing down some of my thoughts. I wrote a few pages and then the notebook disappeared in a pile of paper somewhere and it recently resurfaced. Because I am almost 84, if I'm ever going to document any of those thoughts, l better get it done. So here goes ...

Perhaps the beginning of my story should start with a bit of family history back to the first Stums to come out of Germany.

I had briefly served as an Ag advisor in an area on the Volga River in Russia. This is where a major settlement of German farmers were asked by Catherine the Great to come and grow food for the growing cities. When I spoke to a large club of Volga German descendants at Greeley, Colorado, I acquired a book by the author, Karl Stumpp. Stumpp is the German spelling that, in my opinion, is the beginning of the now "Stum" spelling. The first Stump or Stumpp arriving here spoke German or Russian, and the English-speaking people who helped them fill out papers spelled the name as they heard it The ‘p’ was close to silent with a long ‘m’, resulting in the shortened Stum spelling. 

There is another version that I was told about on one of my trips to Washington, DC, many years ago. There was a single Stum listed in the DC phonebook, so I gave it a call. The DC Stum was a civilian employee at the Pentagon and had a more interesting story of our first Stums on US soil as follows: 

There were two Stum brothers in the 15,000 German Hessian mercenaries hired by the British to fight the Americans in the American Revolution. They were captured by Washington when he crossed the frozen Delaware River on Christmas night and took the German mercenaries and British troops who were bivouacked and asleep in the small town. There were very few casualties on either side because the English and German mercenaries had their rifles all stacked out in the street while they slept. 

Because the Germans were mercenaries for hire, some of them, including the two Stums, changed sides rather than going to prison camp. They fought for the Americans who agreed to pay, them. After the war, because the Americans had little or no money, the Germans were offered land in now Indiana where they settled instead of returning to Germany. The name seems to be concentrated in that area of the US (western Pennsylvania, Indiana and nearby states) based on a list of then-living Stum names I acquired many years ago.

I think it is also likely that the Stum mercenaries also had a 'p’ on the end when they left Germany.

Next: Not quite back to the beginning.

*Barb-Beaman Wanderlingh in the Thunderbird office could type as fast as Linly could relate memories, and over a 2 yr. period of rare spare time did the typing. Sherell and I so appreciate our super lady.