James W. Sherman
Posted By: Dora Hildebrand (email)
Date: 6/6/2016 at 17:13:17
James W. Sherman by Dora Sherman Hildebrand (great granddaughter)
James William ďJ. W.Ē Sherman, was born 08 Sep 1852 in Sinclair County, Illinois, to Horace (1816-1856) and Martha Leach Sherman (1828-1868), who already had two children, Lyman (1848) and Emma (1850). In 1855 the family moved to Bonaparte, Van Buren, Iowa, and thatís where J. W.ís father died in 1856. At the time of Horaceís death, Martha was pregnant with their fourth child, John, born in 1857.
About 1859, Martha married John Besecker in Van Buren County, Iowa. Mid 1860 Martha gave birth to Adele Besecker and that same year Marthaís oldest daughter, Emma, died at age 10. According to the 1850 census John, 48, was a miller by trade.
Their children included Emma 10, James W. 8, John 3, Adele 1 mo. Lyman is missing from this census but no evidence has surfaced about what happened to him.
By 1870, J.W. was 17, John 13, and Adele was 10. They were living with John Besecker, age 61, in Van Buren County. Martha died in 1858 and is buried in the Bonaparte Cemetery.
On 19 Feb 1872 in Farmington, Iowa, J.W. married Jennie A. Brooker, daughter of Joseph Brooker (1818-1874), who as a child immigrated to the U. S. from England in 1827, and Moriah Brooker (1823-1904). Their first son, Joseph A., was born 10 Mar 1875. J.W. and his brother John were newspaper publishers who owned several different papers throughout Iowa. While in Bonaparte, they owned The Register. This is where their son, Leonard Farr Sherman. was born on 01 Dec 1878.
In 1879 the family moved to Osceola, Clarke, Iowa, and J. W. and John purchased The Osceola Democrat. At that time the Democratic vote of Clarke County was only about 400, and the paper scarcely known. By hard and diligent work the party vote was increased to about 1,000 by 1886 and the paper given standing and reputation among leading Democrats of the State and County, and placed on a paying basis.
According to the 1880 census, J. W., printer, Jennie, Joseph, Leonard and J.W.ís brother John were living together in Osceola. John is also listed as a printer. They attended the Baptist Church.
On 28 Feb1885, J. W.ís daughter, Laura, was born. That same year J. W. became postmaster at Osceola, taking office 11 Jul 1885 while John, who had been assisting in the management of a wealthy corporation in Kansas City, MO, returned to take control of The Democrat. There are many documents in the courthouse in Osceola indicating that throughout the years J. W. and Jennie were in Osceola, they bought and sold several homes. There are also documents pertaining to The Democrat. Before Joe went into the service he too purchased a home in Osceola. In 1886, Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa was published, which included an extensive biography of J. W. and J. H. Sherman.
On 7 June 1890, J.W. and Jennieís youngest child, Harry Boyce, was born, presumably in Osceola, though no proof has been found. Not much is known about Harry B. except that he married Bessie Forbes probably about 1911. They had a two daughters, Elizabeth and Carolyn (according to the 1920 census). Harry died young in 1929 at the age of 39.
J.W.ís eldest son, Joseph enlisted in the 51st Iowa Infantry in June 1898 and went to the Philippines, serving there until Nov 1899. Before he enlisted he was a foreman at the Osceola Democrat. He saw active service in clearing the rebel strongholds, making the first inroads into the interior along the Dagupan Railway. When he returned home, the family moved from Osceola to Kansas City, and Joseph worked with his father in the printing business. The family decided to move to Colorado to help Joseph recuperate from a malarial poison he picked up while in the Philippines. Joseph and his mother left ahead of the rest of the family, stopping in Hutchinson, Kansas, to visit his uncle, W. H. Brooker. Joseph became very sick and died 4-weeks later. The malarial poison he absorbed in the Philippines was believed to be the cause of his death. He was a Knight of Pythias (they had charge of funeral services). He is buried in Osceola at Maple Hill Cemetery (Sect 2, Row 14, Stone 16 from NW corner of section). His parents, brothers and sister attended the service.
J. W. and Jennie and their remaining three children (Leonard, Laura and Harry) continued on to Rocky Ford, Colorado. Dora Householder, who lived in Charitan, Iowa (near Osceola) and Leonard carried on their romance long distance between Iowa and Colorado. Dora traveled (probably by train) to Colorado alone in 1903, according to a newspaper article, and their marriage certificate shows they were married at Rocky Ford on 04 Nov 1903.
Laura died in Rocky Ford on 28 March 1905 of pulmonary tuberculosis contracted while still in Iowa (probably from her brother). The family was living at 307 So. 6th, Rocky Ford, Otero County, CO. She is buried in Osceola. Just two years later on 05 Sept 1907, Jennie died of a gastric ulcer that hemorrhaged. She too is buried in Osceola, Iowa, in Maple Hills Cemetery. She had been in ill health for many years, but this last sickness was of short duration according to her obituary. Her sons Leonard and Harry were with her when she died.
According to J.W.ís obituary, he had charge of a newspaper (name unknown) in Rocky Ford until 1909. Later he purchased a newspaper in Calhan, El Paso, Colorado. The 1920 census shows him living with a new wife, Sarah S., and working as an editor in Calhan.
By 1926, J. W. moves to Longmont, Boulder, Colorado to live with his son Leonard and his family. According to his granddaughter he was in poor health and almost totally deaf. He died 25 Nov 1927 from uremia, nephritis, and arterial sclerosis. He too was a member of the Knights of Pythias and also the Modern Woodmen of America, and is buried with his family at Maple Hill Cemetery, Osceola, Iowa.
:::copied to the obits from submission request from Dora Hildebrand by Dave Dinham
Clarke Biographies maintained by David Dinham.
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