Published SOY Newsletter, April 2000
By Art Cohan
Some time back, a non-SOY correspondent from Wise River, Montana advised about a prominent Sherman she had heard about in White Sulfur Springs. A few calls located a local resident there, Helen HANSON, who was a volunteer who ran the small gift shop in a local museum. From Helen, I was able to purchase a copy of the Meagher County centennial Pictorial History, and a 46 page booklet about Byron Roger SHERMAN, "The Man who Built the Stone Castle".
Byron's story began with his birth to Norman C. & Julia A. Sherman on August 20, 1841. The couple had left their home near Lake Champlain in NY and joined many after the Revolutionary War who turned westward. They retired one evening in Moriah, Essex Co., NY. As they were expecting a baby soon, they spent much time talking about what they would like their child to become..
Mr. Gordon states, "Sherman was a miller by trade and hoping to exceed the honor of their grandfather was out of the question. Who could become more famous than a man who had signed the Declaration of Independence." and goes on to qualify that Byron Roger was named for "their grandfather", Roger Sherman, b: 1721.
[Art's note: Prof. Frank D. Sherman records that Byron's father, Norman Charles was a descendant of immigrant Hon. Samuel Sherman, while the Hon. Roger (signer) was descended from Samuel's distant cousin, Capt. John.]
The Shermans settled for five years in Moriah, where Norman opened and ran a general store until 1847, when they moved to Hazel Green, WI. Young Byron was given a good schooling in Hazel Green. In 1860, there was a good deal of traffic in Dubuque, Iowa (across the river from Hazel Green) - most of it heading west. The lure to develope his independence caused Byron to leave home, at he traveled down the Mississippi to St. Louis, and then westward to Sacramento. The following year he went to southern Oregon for the winter, and by the later part of 1862 he was in Boise Basin, Idaho, where he was fairly successful as a gold miner for four years.
For several years he followed his wanderlust to different parts of Idaho (now Montana), and engaged in numerous enterprises which always seemed to bode him well. He eventually ended up in a small town called Corvallis, where he met a charming widow named Adelaide Woods, and they had a son named Charles Henry. Six months later they moved to Diamond City, and there their second son was born in 1872; Byron Frederick.
Byron soon moved his young family about 35 miles east of Diamond City, onto 320 acres of prime ranchland, where he planted the finest grasses and had the best breeds of cattle and horses shipped in. An unusually shrewd man, he prospered in many vocations at the time, indulging in mining, stock raising, livery stable, etc. He became more and more a benefactor of many in the area, always taking a keen interest in politics and the growth of the area. He soon had a very successful stagecoach business running between Helena and White Sulfur Springs.
During his life there, he gave both time and money toward the growth of the area, and White Sulfur Springs in particular.
It is not known what inspired him to build his "castle". But his plans were begun, and this fine edifice was constructed over several years from granite stones hauled from a quarry about 12 miles from town. Byron moved his family into his castle in the center of White Sulfur Springs in 1892. The castle had 12 living rooms with 10 foot high ceilings, the finest woods available, and beautiful hardwood floors covered with Persian rugs.
It was dedicated as a local museum in 1967, and the story in the booklet about his several wives and children is fascinating. As noted above, it is doubtful that his father was descended directly from Hon. Roger, the signer. Perhaps his wife Julia was?? [Contact Art if you would like more info.]
Published SOY Newsletter, April 2000
By Art Cohan
Briefly, I exchanged occasional emails with Sherry Sharp over a few years time, regarding her unknown ancestry of Jacob SHERMAN and Rebecca STEBBINS. Then recently, there was a posting to SHERMAN-L from Martha Adcock, seeking info on her grandfather, Oscar Love SHERMAN. Finding him in my files from the TX Soundex records, and with a little more searching, we traced his ancestry back a few more generations, and ran into the same Jacob SHERMAN/Rebecca STEBBINS connection.
Another fairly close "cousin" connection, and they live in the same general area of Texas, northeast of Houston. A few films from my FHC uncovered several cemeteries in the area, and the graves of numerous SHERMANs from this family.
Coordinating with Sherry again, I learned that she had located another cousin in this line, who had put together a really well-done book on the line. LINDA CLARK STEWART (a descendant here) happily provides copies of her book for the repro costs.
"The Descendants of Jacob Haven Sherman Sr. and Rebecca Stebbins" follows Jacob (born 1787 in Portsmouth, NH; died 1850 in St. Louis, MO to Richard Sherman [unknown]) and Rebecca (born 1787 in Springfield, MA to a prominent STEBBINS family) through their travels westward. Although Jacob never set foot on Texas soil, Rebecca came to Chambers County, TX with six of their nine children from 1853-1855.
book documents about 1,200 descendants of this family, NOT INCLUDING
yet Martha's family from Oscar Love Sherman, and a few other recent "finds".
Martha and I will be providing that new info to Linda for her next update.
Published in SOY Newsletter, April 2000
Sent by Dick Cole, edited by Art Cohan, reprinted from
"The Firelands Pioneer", printed by the Firelands Historical Society, Norwalk, Ohio, October 1897.
Samuel SHERMAN was born in the state of Vermont, in 1778. He came to Huron county, Ohio in 1817. In 1820 he was married to Miss Polly Barbour, a native of Delaware, who came to this county in 1818, when 19 years of age. Their first home was in Townsend. It was a log cabin in the woods, and contained only one room, 14 feet square. It was not only the kitchen, bed-room and parlor, but also a miniature factory - for here stood the old-fashioned loom and spinning wheel, on which she spun the wool and wove the cloth from which their clothing was made. In the construction of this house there was nothing of iron, not even a nail, and no sawed board or timber. The woods around the house abounded in bears, wolves, deer and other wild animals, and less than a mile distant was an Indian camp. In 1831 they removed to their home on the Medina road, two and a half miles east of Norwalk. Here Mr. Sherman died in 1880, and Mrs. Sherman in 1888. They were both, from their youth, esteemed members of the Baptist church. There were born to them seven children, only two of whom are now living; Mrs. Harriet Roberts, widow of Warren D. Roberts, and Mrs. Lucy S., wife of Rev. G. E. Leonard, D.D.
[Art's notes: - This Samuel's ancestry is not positively identified in other resources I currently have located. The birth year given as 1778 appears to be an error, as the census and other evidence points to 1798. He is found in Norwalk in the 1850 census, with his mother Elizabeth (b: 1778), sister Fanny, and his children; Mary, George, Harriet, Stephen, and Lucy. He is called "Jr." in some records.]