IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.


Mark B. Sherman. Among the pioneers of Clayton County who have accumulated largely of this world's goods through their indomitable energy, and who are now enabled to retire from the active labors of life and spend their declining years in the enjoyment of a well earned competency, is the gentleman whose name introduces this sketch, and who is a member of the family that has given our county some of its most eminent statesmen. He came to this county in 1844, and since that time has been closely connected with the progress of Farmersburg Township. His home is now in National.

The family history in this country begins with the arrival of Edmund Sherman, who left Dedham, Essex County, England, in 1634, and came to America accompanied by his three sons, Edmund, Samuel and John. The early representatives of the family in New England were empoyed in getting out ship timber for the Government. Our subject's great-grandfather, Ephraim Sherman, was born in 1700 and died July 9, 1775. His wife, Sarah Willard, whose birth occurred in 1708, was the first white child born in Grafton, Mass. Grandfather Aaron Sherman was born August 25, 1748, and was a graduate of Harvard College at Cambridge, Mass. His son Elijah, was born in Grafton, Mass., September 19, 1776, and in 1801 married Miss Sallie Batchelor, who was born in 1777 at Sutton, Worcester County, Mass. She died January 29, 1845, and he passed away June 28, 1862. They were the parents of nine children, of whom the only survivors are Mark B. and Mrs. Maria Musson, of Champaign, Ill.

In Walpole, N.H., the subject of this sketch was born February 7, 1816. He was six years old when in 1822 the family removed to New York, and in Essex county he passed his boyhood years. Before he was sixteen he began in life for himself, and learning the trade of a boot and shoe maker he was thus engaged for some time. May 26, 1842, he married Melissa, daughter of David and Sybil (Adams) Clark, natives of Vermont. Her grandfather was drowned when her father was only eleven years old, and the latter, early obliged to become self-supporting, learned the trade of a boat builder and architect. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. For many years he lived in Addison, Vt., and thence in 1832 went to new York, settling in Essex county, where he and his wife died. Their family numbered six daughters and three sons, of whom one son and three daughters are now living. Mrs. Sherman was born in Addison County, Vt., September 13, 1822.

After his marriage our subject settled n the town of Lewis, Essex County, N.Y., where he was employed at his trade. In 1844 he came west and purchased land in Farmersburg Township, Clayton County. The property was then wholly unimproved. He put up, at an expense of seventy-five cents, a log pole house, but a year later, in 1845, erected a more substantial residence, which is still standing and in good repair. After living in that home for twenty-one years, he erected the house where he now resides. He and his wife enjoy the distinction of being the oldest surviving settlers of Farmersburg Township, and certainly no one in the community is more highly esteemed than they.

In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman were six children, and four are now living, namely: Julia Adelaide, who married Dr. P.D. St. John, of Wichita, Kan., and has two children; Dr. E. Amelia and Althea R., who are with their parents, and Mark R., who married Mary Celia Lull, and lives in Chicago. Emma Maria, who married Elihu F. Chase, became the mother of six children, and both she and her husband are now deceased. The daughters and son have been the recipients of the most thorough educational advantages. Mrs. St. John graduated from the Fayette (Iowa) Seminary, Oberlin College, and the Medical Department of the State University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She spent one year in the Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia and is now practicing her profession in Wichita, Kan. Dr. E. Amelia Sherman is a graduate of the classical course of Oberlin College, and studied medicine at the Woman's Medical College, Philadelphia. She also spent one year in the Woman's Hospital at Boston, Mass., and was graduated from the Medical Department of Michigan State University. Althea R., a graduate of Oberlin College in the classical course, studied art in New York and Chicago, and is now superintendent of drawing the public schools of Tacoma, Wash. Mark R. was a student in the high schools of Chicago, spent four years in Oberlin College and for two years took a classical course at Ann Arbor, Mich., and graduated, afterward taking a law course there. For one year he was in the law office of Judge Cheever, of Ann Arbor, and so practiced at Terre Haute, Ind., one year, and is now a member of a prominent law firm of Chicago. The sixth child, a daughter, Sibyl Melissa Sherman, died when about four years of age.

In politics our subject is a stanch Republican, which, in fact, has been the political faith of all of that name. In local matters he has exerted a remarkable influence and has been one to whom his fellow-citizens have always looked for counsel. He has served as Justice of the Peace and in other township offices, but as a rule has preferred to give his attention to personal matters rather than public affairs.

source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties; Chicago: Chapman Pub. Co., 1894; pg 547-548
-transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall

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