HON. HIRAM T. SHARP,
Hiram T. Sharp, the mayor of Atlantic, is a son of John Sharp, farmer, and Sarah nee Mather, and was born near Watkins Glen, Steuben county, New York. The Sharps settled in New Jersey at an early day, and one of this branch of the family was General Sharp, who is buried at West Point. John Sharp was a captain of state militia.
The Mathers are an old American family, Sarah Mather being a direct descendant of Cotton Mather. She is still living, her home being in Delavan, Wisconsin, where her husband died in 1871. He moved with his family from Steuben county to Delavan when Hiram was about twelve years old, settling on a farm which the son aided in cultivating.
The mind of Hiram, however, was upon his books more than on his manual employment, he carrying a book in his pocket when engaged in plowing and other farm labor. He received his education in the district school and the normal department of Milton College, Rock county, teaching for several years; having charge, the last year of his teaching, of the English department of the Delavan Seminary.
Mr. Sharp commenced reading law in 1863, at Delavan, with A. S. Spooner; continued his legal studies for six months in Chicago, and finished them at the law school in Albany, New York, graduating in May, 1864. After practicing one year at Delavan and two years at Burlington, Wisconsin, he came to Iowa, prospecting awhile, and located at Atlantic in December, 1868, still continuing his law practice.
Mr. Sharp was elected justice of the peace in 1873, and still holds that office. Since settling in Cass county he has been county attorney and city attorney one term each, and a member of the school board three years. He was elected mayor in the spring of 1877, and makes an efficient and popular executive, filling that office to the entire satisfaction of the people.
In politics, he has always been connected with the republicans, and is active and influential in the party.
He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and a trustee of the same. He was the first Sunday-school superintendent in Atlantic.
On the 2d of May, 1867, Miss Sara T. Billings, of Burlington, Wisconsin, became the wife of Mr. Sharp, and they have had four children, losing one of them.
The subject of this brief sketch is a tall, sparely-built man, being six feet in height and weighing only one hundred and fifty pounds. He has gray eyes, a sandy complexion, an easy carriage, and a pleasing address. He is perfectly free from affectation, very cordial, and a good converser, using the language of a scholar without pedantry, and having the manners of a gentleman.
From "The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men. Iowa Volume." Chicago and New York: American Biographical Publishing Company, 1878, pg. 613.