Prior to being one of the early settlers of St. Cloud, Florida, Levi Shambow was also a pioneer in the cities of Aurora, Illinois, Portland and Eugene, Oregon, Seattle, Washington and Butte, Montana.
Levi was born in Montreal, Canada on December 4, 1843. Enlisting at the age of 17, he mustered into Company A, Illinois 52ndInfantry in October 1861, served as a Private and was discharged July 6, 1865. The following February he married Mary Lacure; to this union six children were born. Soon after their marriage, Levi and Mary moved to Omaha, Nebraska, traveling from there to the Nebraska frontier by ox team. They lived in a sod house, with dirt roof and floors, farming for seven years until the devastating locust invasion forced them to resettle in Oregon. They later moved to Washington state before finally settling in the mining camp town of Butte, Montana in 1880. Their final move in the West was to the Centennial Valley where they took up ranching from 1887 to 1910.
A Pullman car brought Levi and Mary to St. Cloud, Florida where they became members of St. Thomas Catholic Church and Levi held the office of Mayor, as well as serving as President of the People’s Bank for several years. Levi Shambow was also a member of the L.L. Mitchell Post, Grand Army of the Republic.
Following his death on December 29, 1927, at the age of eighty-four, Levi was laid to rest in Mt. Peace Cemetery, St. Cloud, Florida.
Sources: “St. Cloud Tribune” January 13, 1928, August 4, 1938
Image: “St. Cloud Tribune”