"History of Deerfield" p. 132, August 1928, Gardian Press-"General William Tecumseh Sherman had relatives in Deerfield, the descendents of Joel Sterling Sherman. Who resembled the general. The ancestors of the Sherman family came from Dedham, England in 1632."
Alson Smith Sherman (1811-1903)
…early Chicago Mayor, was born at Barre, Vt., April 21, 1811, remaining there until 1836,when he came to Chicago and began business as a contractor and builder. Several years later he opened the first stone quarries at Lamont, Ill.
Mr. Sherman spent many years in the service of Chicago as a public official. From 1840 to 1842 he was Captain of a company of militia; for two years served as Chief of the Fire Department, and was elected Alderman in 1842, serving again in 1846. In 1844, he was chosen Mayor, his administration being marked by the first extensive public improvements made in Chicago. After his term as Mayor he did much so secure a better water supply for the city.
He was especially interested in promoting common school education, being for several years a member of the City School Board. He was Vice-President of the first Board of Trustees of Northwestern University. Retired from active pursuits, Mr. Sherman is now (1899) spending a serene old age at Waukegan, Ill.
Oren Sherman (1816-1898)
… brother of the preceding [Alson Smith Sherman] and early Chicago merchant, was born at Barre, Vt., March 5, 1816. After spending several years in a mercantile house in Montpelier, VT.
At the age of twenty he came west, first to New Buffalo, MI, and, in 1836, to Chicago, opening a dry goods store there the next spring. With various partners Mr. Sherman continued in a general mercantile business until 1853 at the same time being extensively engaged in the provision trade, one-half the entire transactions in pork in the city passing through his hands. Next he engaged in developing stone quarries at Lemount, Ill.; also became extensively interested in the marble business, continuing in this until he retired in consequence of a shock of paralysis. Died, in Chicago, Dec. 15, 1898.
Elijah Bernis Sherman (1832-1910)
… lawyer, was born at Fairfield,VT, June 18, 1832 – his family being distantly related to Roger Sherman, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the late Gen. W. T. Sherman; gained his education in the common schools and at Middlebury College, where he graduated in 1860; began teaching, but soon after enlisted as a private in the war for the Union; received a Lieutenant’s commission, and served until captured on the eve of the battle at Antietam, when he was paroled and sent to Camp Douglas, Chicago, awaiting exchange.
During this period he commenced reading law and, having resigned his commission, graduated from the law department of Chicago University in 1864. In 1876 he was elected Representative in the General Assembly from Cook County, and re-elected in 1878, and the following year appointed Master in Chancery of the United States District Court, a position which he still occupies. [1899?]
He has repeatedly been called upon to deliver addresses on political, literary and patriotic occasions, one of these being before the alumni of his alma mater, in 1884, when he was complimented with the degree of LL.D.
The following excerpt may have been written after Frnacis had completed
his last term as Mayor. The piece ends abruptly; no publication was indicated,
and it was written on an old typewriter.
One of the city’s most enterprising pioneers, he was born in Newton, CT in 1805. Sherman had less than the usual degree of education for a boy reared in a small New England town, but he had his full share of Yankee shrewdness. He was early married to Miss Electra Trowbridge of Danbury, CT. In April 1831 they removed to Chicago.
Shortly after his arrival he invested in real estate in the block where the present Hotel Sherman stands. He subsequently built the City Hotel on this site, in 1836-37. In 1844 Mr. Sherman remodeled the place, adding two stories, making it five stories high and changed its name to the Sherman House. Mr. Sherman was the first maker of brick in Chicago. In 1835 he moved to what was then called "out on the prairie" but which is about Adams Street and the Chicago River now, and commenced to manufacture brick. His principal business was that of brick making and building, through which by 1850 he had acquired a large property.
He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Town of Chicago. He remained on the Board until the town became a city, when he was transferred by election to the first City Council in 1837. He was subsequently City Treasurer in 1842. He was a member of the old Board of County Commissioners from August 1840 to February 1845, when he resigned, and chairman of the Board of Supervisors in 1851. He was sent to the State Legislature in 1844, and returned again in 1846 and 1848; also a member of the State Constitutional Convention of 1847.
At the time of Mayor Sherman’s first term (1841) the population of the city was 5,512, and its growth was relatively slow. In his first inaugural message to the Common Council when he assumed office he said: "The task, which we have undertaken, is an arduous one. The financial affairs of our city are considerably embarrassed, and the conflicting claims of individuals seeking important offices are to be decided upon. By studying economy, then, in our expenses, and the strictest moral rectitude, as well as the best talents in our officers, we shall best merit public approbation; which, through often late, is always sure."
In 1841, under Mayor Sherman, the first attempt was made to gather vital statistics. The City Council, in response to a petition by physicians of the city, passed an ordinance requiring attending physicians to give a certificate of death, which certificate was to be given to the city sexton before burials were made.
The predecessor, in time only, of the present public Library of this city was an institution called the "Chicago Library Association." It was organized in 1841 in the Common Council Chamber.
[In addition to the above, the following excerpts and different perspective is from "Chicago: It’s History and It’s Builders." Vol. 5, S.J.C. Clarck Publishing Co.]
Francis Cornwall Sherman
…who lived here for three years before the city was incorporated, its population numbering only a few hundred inhabitants and they were located in homes that clustered around the mouth of the river, while business houses largely bordered the water front. A native of Connecticut, Mr. Sherman was born in Newtown, on the 18th of September, 1805.
In early manhood he went to Buffalo, NY, where he was engaged for a short time in the manufacture of shell combs… He had journeyed with team and spring wagon to Buffalo and from there he shipped the wagon to Detroit from which point he rode across the state of MI on horseback with his oldest son, Francis T., reaching Chicago, April 7, 1834. …Soon after arrival, Mr. Sherman began the erection of a frame dwelling on Randolph, between La Salle and Wells streets… which was eighteen by thirty-four feet and twelve feet in height. It remained one of the early landmarks of the city until 1871, when it was destroyed by fire. …It was also in 1835 that Mr. Sherman began the manufacture of brick, finding a site for his plant on the open prairie, at what is now Adams street near Market, his kilns being situated between Market street and the river, near the present abutments of the Madison street bridge. …In 1855-6 he erected for himself the first four-story brick building of Chicago, its site being on Lake, near Clark Street. He continued in business as a brick-maker for over fourteen years and during that period erected a large number of houses…in 1850 he was able to retire from active business life… In 1836 he built a block of stores where the present Hotel Sherman stands. A little later the structure was somewhat remodeled and blossomed out as the City Hotel, the corner being used as a city hall, where the meetings of the common council were held… About the year 1848 additions were made and the hotel became known as the Sherman House. In 1860 this structure was torn down and in the spring of 1861 the Sherman House, a six-story structure was consumed in the great fire of 1871, was opened… rebuilt after the fire and was a seven-story structure, which stood until torn down to make room for the present Hotel Sherman, completed in 1910.
But while Mr. Sherman retired from participation in industrial interests, his life was one of more than ordinary activity. …He was chosen a member of the first board of trustees of Chicago and served until the incorporation of the city in 1837. He was elected a member of the first board of aldermen under the city government and repeated elections continued him in that office for a long period… He became a member of the board of county commissioner and filled other county offices and likewise served on the board of appraisers of the canal lands. He took and active part in preserving the courthouse square for public purposes. At that time he was a supervisor from one of the city wards and enjoyed the full confidence of the county members of the board. He was made president of the board at the time when the sale of the public square was ordered, the plan being to use the proceeds to build public offices on less expensive sites. Mr. Sherman’s personal influence probably defeated this scheme. His efforts induced the city to contribute largely to the erection of the courthouse building which stood until a few years ago and thus secured the square for all time for public purposes… In 1841 he was elected mayor of Chicago on the democratic ticket… In 1843 he was elected to the state legislature and four years later was again chosen to represent his district in the general assembly. In 1847 he was chosen a member of the constitutional convention which framed the organic law of the state. …and in 1856 he was his party’s candidate for the mayoralty but was defeated by Thomas Dyer. In 1862, however, he won. …in 1863 he was reelected for a two-year term…in one of the fiercest local contests known in the history of the city. In 1862 he was a democratic candidate for congress and again in 1865 and 1867 his party nominee for mayor.
Before coming to Chicago Mr. Sherman was married to Miss Electra Trowbridge, of Danbury, Connecticut, a daughter of Reuben and Susan Trowbridge and a representative of a family that has figured prominently in early history of New England. …Unto…were born six children: General T. Sherman, Edwin, George, Charles and Elizabeth, all of whom are now deceased; and Mrs. Martha E. Sherman, wife of William G. Sherman, of Barre, Vermont, who came to Chicago about 1848 and passed away in 1867. Mrs. Martha E. Sherman, who died January 28, 1911, had two children. The daughter, Ida E., is the wife of J.J. Charles, of Chicago, and has four children; Sherman, Francis, Martha and J.J. Charles Jr. Edwin Sherman, the son, wedded Alida White, and they have one child, Robert Trowbridge Sherman.
The death of Francis C. Sherman occurred November 7, 1870, and his wife surviving him for nine years, passed away November 18, 1879. Mr. Sherman had been a resident of Chicago for more that thirty-six years, living here throughout the formative period of the city…
April 1997 Newsletter
This page included a chart of the ancestry of singer Janis Joplin. Her
SHERMAN ancestry is included here, for researchers. Copies of the complete
chart can be found in the book "Love, Janis", by Laura Joplin, 1992,
Villard Books, Random House, Inc., NY, or you may contact the SOY editor
or membership chairman for a copy.
To date, Presidents TAFT, HOOVER, and the two BUSHs, are known to have Sherman ancestors. Their lines are:
1. Henry Sherman (1510/1520)
2. Edmund & Anne Pallette3. Edmund & Joan Makin2. Henry & Susan Lawrence
4. Grace & John Livermore
5. Hannah & John Coolidge
6. Grace & Jonas Bond
7. Josiah & Elizabeth Fuller
8. Anna & Samuel Trask
9. Susannah & Jonathan Holman
10. Susan & Asa Waters
11. Susan & Samuel Torry
12. Louisa & Alphonso Taft
13. William Howard TAFT, 27th President (1857-1930)3. Anne & Anthony Whiting
4. Phoebe & John Barnard
5. Elizabeth & John Dix
6. Abigail & Jonathan Grout
7. John & Joanna Boynton
8. John, Jr. & Phebe Spofford
9. Phebe & Jacob Winn
10. Endymia & Thomas Sherwood
11. Lucinda & John Minthorn
12. Theodore & Mary Wasley
13. Hulda & Jesse Hoover
14. Herbert Clark HOOVER, 31st President (1874-1964)
3. Samuel & Philippa Ward4. Philip & Sarah Odding
5. John & Sarah Spooner
6. Hannah & William Bourne
7. William & Mary Sheffield
8. Hannah & William Fitch
9. Anna & Isaac Pierce
10. Levi & Betsey Wheeler
11. Elizabeth & Courtland Butler
12. Mary & Robert Shelton
13. Flora & Samuel Bush
14. George Herbert Walker BUSH, 41st President (1924 - )
15. George Walker BUSH, 43rd President