Home | My Mother's Grandparents | Her parents Sara and Ledge (1881-1970) | Sisters and Brothers | John Sherman (1650-1730) | Lt. Col. William Ledyard (1738-1781) | Thomas Seymour (1757-1811) | Mary Hoyt (1787-1852) and Charles Robert Sherman (1789-1829) | Dan Moulton (1806-1875) | Timothy Danielson Lincoln (1815-1890) | Timothy Danielson (1733-1791) | Major Hoyt Sherman 1827-1904 and his son Frank Allen Sherman (1856-1902) | Robert (1811-1899) Furniture Magnate and son: Richard (1850-1925) | Frank B. Wiborg (1855-1930)

Mary Hoyt (1787-1852) and Charles Robert Sherman (1789-1829)

Mary Hoyt was born December 28, 1787 in Norwalk, Connecticut to Isaac and Mary Raymond Hoyt. Her mother’s family had been instrumental in the founding of Norwalk and her father was a prosperous merchant. At a time when schools were scarc e, private and very expensive, girls seldom were given the opportunity for a formal education. But Mary was fortunate to have parents who strongly believed that girls as well as boys should be educated. They sent her to Harlem Female Seminary in Norwalk th at was modeled after the fashionable English finishing schools. Classes were taught by two elegant English sisters, M. E. and A. Sketchley. After a while the Sketchleys decided to open a boarding school in Poughkeepsie, New York. Mary was allowed to follow the sisters to New York and enroll in their school as a boarding student. At Sketchley School Mary was taught the usual academic subjects as well as music, dance and fine embroidery. After she completed her schooling she went back home to live. On May 1 0, 1810 Mary married her neighbor and childhood sweetheart, Charles Robert Sherman. She was 22 years old and he was 9 months younger. His parents were Judge Taylor Sherman and Elizabeth Stoddard Sherman. It is likely that Charles studied law under his fath er. Charles was admitted to the Connecticut bar. His father owned 1280 acres in northern Ohio and Charles was eager to go west and explore the idea of settling on that land and open a law practice there. He left his new bride shortly after their marriage and headed for Ohio. When he reached Ohio he learned that relations between the white settlers in northern Ohio and the various Indian tribes were very tense and that it was not safe to travel there at that time. He’d already come a great distance so he de cided to then go south, instead and follow Zane’s trace to see what the land was like in that area. He liked Zanesville but decided to follow the trail to Lancaster A few settlers had arrived there in the late 1790’s and the town had been laid out by 1800. Charles admired the beauty of the hills and the great promise he saw in Lancaster with its several already established attorneys. He decided that was where he wanted to settle. Charles arrived home just in time for the birth of their first baby. Charles born February 3, 1811. Taylor Sherman was The Shermans purchased a team of horses and a wagon and began to prepare for their journey west. When the baby was only a couple of months old, they loaded all their possessions in the wagon and began the western journey with several other families who were heading in that direction. After a long and difficult journey, they arrived in Lancaster and settled in a little brown house on Main hill that was almost new. There were only a few streets that had been settled and the population was only about 500 at the time The dirt street in front of their home was the main east west street and located on the mail route from Washington D.C. to Cincinnati. Mary adapted quickly to her new home and loved entertaining the intell ectual people from the east who came through Lancaster. Among her guests for tea or for dinner were Henry Clay and

New York Governor DeWitt Clinton. She was the best educated woman in Lancaster and always eager for news from back home. She never again was able to go back to Connecticut The Shermans’ first daughter, Mary Elizabeth was born in their Lancaster home on April 21, 1812. Charles’ law practice was growing rapidly and their family continued to grow too. Their second son, James, was born December 12 , 1814. The baby was only a few months old when Charles’ father died unexpectedly in Connecticut. Charles’ mother and his sister came to live with Charles and Mary. Mary was glad for the help but their little fourthey added a parlor room home was full so and a law office downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs. In 1816 Mary gave birth to another daughter, Amelia. Despite their joy with their new baby and their added space in their home, 1816 was a disastrous year financially for the Shermans. Charles had bee n appointed by President James Madison to supervise deputy collectors of Internal Revenue for the Third District of Ohio, a position he would hold for four years. But in 1816, the U. S. Government suddenly decided that is would no longer accept paper curre ncy issued by local banks as payment for taxes. Charles’ deputies had already collected payment in local bank notes which was all people had. Charles might have pleaded with the government for relief but instead he mortgaged their home and borrowed money o n his future earnings to pay the taxes in acceptable legal tender. Charles soon had to declare bankruptcy and the Shermans lost their home. The Shermans’ friend, attorney Philomen Beecher, bought the home and allowed the Shermans to live there and to pay f or the house as they could. They were never again in a good financial situation and Charles spent the rest of his life trying to pay off those debts. In the next 15 years the Shermans had 7 more children. They were Julia Ann, Tecumseh, Lampson, Susan, Hoy t and Frances (Fanny). Mary’s best friend was Maria Ewing and they often visited back and forth even before the Ewings built their new, large home on Main Hill just beyond the Sherman Home. Mrs. Ewing helped Mary with her other children when new babies w ere born. When their 6 th child was born, Maria wondered about his Indian name. Mary explained to her that Charles had insisted that they name this one after the Indian Chief Tecumseh whom Charles admired. Mary wasn’t keen on it but she agreed to name him W illiam Tecumseh Sherman. The family first called him Tecumseh but Mary’s little children could not say “Tecumseh” so they called him “Cump” and he was known by that name by his family and friends for the rest of his life. With the needs of their family gr owing as the children grew, Charles accepted more legal cases and in order to earn even more money he took on the added job of serving as a circuitriding attorney. In 1823 he was made a Justice in the Ohio Supreme Court, an appointment that also required that he often be away from home riding the circuit, leaving Mary at home to attend to the children. With Mother Sherman and Elizabeth to care for the children while she traveled, Mary could sometimes get away and ride with Charles so they could have some time together. In June of 1829 when baby Fanny was only 7 weeks old, Charles was to hold court in Lebanon. He had ridden there from his last assignment in Cincinnati and after riding for hours in the hot sun, he caught a fever and a chill. He managed to o pen court the next morning but became so ill he had to cancel the afternoon session and go to bed. He was desperately ill for about 6 days

When Mary got word that he was ill she started immediately for Lebanon, a 100 mile ride from Lancaster. By the time she reached Washington Court House she was met by a messenger with word that her husband had died. It was probably typhoid fever. Mary returned home in a stupor. She was now a young widow with 11 children. The oldest was not quite 18 and the baby was only 7 weeks old. The house was mortgaged and there was no money. After a brief time, Charles’ good friend, attorney Thomas Ewing visited Mary and said he wanted to do something for the family in appreciation of Charles’ having helped him set up a law practice during the early, difficult years of his career. He asked her to let him help her by taking one of her boys to raise and educate as he was educating his own children. It was extremely difficult for her but Mary sent 9 year old Cump with him. Her oldest so n, Charles was almost 18 and near the end of his studies at Ohio University He went to live with an uncle who was an attorney in Mansfield and to “read law” under him. Seventeenmarried attorney William Reese that fall and they took 10yearyear old Mary Elizabeth old Julia to live with them. After a few years they built the mansion next door to Mary’s home. Jim was already working in Cincinnati and living with friends there. Over the next few years Mary was forced to give over most of her children to lovin g relatives and caring friends to raise. John, who was only 5 when his father died, stayed with Mary for a while and then went to live with relatives in Mt. Vernon and later with Charles’ sister and her attorney husband in Mansfield. They had already taken in Charles. Mary was able only to keep 3 year old Susan, 1 year old Hoyt and baby Fanny with her. During that tine she did everything to make ends meet including taking in boarders. When Cump was 16 he received through Senator Thomas Ewing an appointment to West Point Military Academy. After he graduated and began serving in the Army he faithfully sent Mary half of his Army pay each month. John also helped her when he could. She did, with their help, finally pay off the house. After all the children excep t Fanny were living on their own, Mary’s son John, who had become a successful attorney persuaded her to go and live with him in Mansfield. By then, several of her children were living in Mansfield so she left Lancaster to live with him. Mary had always l oved to travel. Just before her 65 th birthday she decided to celebrate her birthday early by going to Cleveland to the Ohio State Fair that was being held there that summer. She had a wonderful time and was able to see many old friends. But in her travel s he caught a cold that lingered for some time. The bad cold turned into pneumonia. Mary died in John Sherman’s home in the summer of 1852 just a few months shy of her 65 th body was returned to Lancaster to the Ewing home for calling hours. She birthday. Her was buried beside Charles in Elmwood Cemetery. Mary didn’t live to see her “Cump” recognized following the Civil War as one of the two most distinguished generals of his time and his subsequent advancement to Commanding General of the U.S. Army. It was t wo years after her death that her son, John, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served for six years before he was elected to the U. S. Senate. He served there for 30 years. He was author of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. He was appointed Secretary of the Treasury in President Rutherford B. Hayes’ cabinet and Secretary of State under President William McKinley

Judge Sherman, a descendant of John Sherman (1396-1487), is my mother's great grandfather.

1 John Sherman 1396-1487 +Mary Lance 1400-1487 m: 1419

2 Thomas Sherman 1420-1493 +Agnes Fuller b: 1437

3 John Sherman1460-1504+Agnes Fuller 1470-1528 m:1489

4 Thomas Sherman 1490-1551 Jane Waller 1495-1573 m: 1512

5 Henry Sr. Sherman 1524-1588+Agnes Butler1521-1580 m: 1541

6 Henry Sherman Jr. b: 1547 d: 1610

7 John Sherman b: 1585 +Grace Makin or Ravens (?)b: Abt1592

8 CAPTAIN JOHN SHERMAN b: 1612 d: 1690 +Martha Palmer

9 Deacon John Sherman 1651 1730 +Elizabeth _____

10 John Sherman 1687 1727 +Emm Preston m: July 22, 1714

11 Hon. Daniel Sherman 1721 1799+Mindwell Taylor m: 1744

12 Honorable Taylor Sherman b: Sept 05, 1758 d: May 04, 1815 +Betsey Stoddard

13. Charles Robert Sherman moves to Ohio

In 1810 at the age of twenty-one Charles Sherman came to Ohio from Norwalk, Connecticut originally heading to the Firelands in Northern Ohio. He had graduated from Dartmouth College and had recently been admitted to the bar in Connecticut, becoming a sixth generation lawyer. The Firelands, which now are Huron and Erie Counties, were 500,000 acres of land that Connecticut claimed by royal charter and had reserved for their citizens who had been burned out or suffered under the British during the Revolutionary War. Charles' father, Judge Taylor Sherman, had been appointed in 1805 as commissioner to survey and apportion this land. After making several trips to Ohio, he acquired two tracts of land for himself. In the summer of 1810 he sent his son Charles to Ohio to determine what opportunities were possible. Leaving his new bride, Mary Hoyt, behind Charles set off for Ohio. As he approached his destination he learned that the Indians were on the warpath in northern Ohio and the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh was organizing the tribes to resist the settlers moving onto their land. Being wary, Charles turned south and traveled Zane's Trace to Lancaster. Finding the town impressive and assured there would be sufficient legal work to sustain a family on the Ohio frontier, he returned to Connecticut. The following spring of 1811, Charles, Mary, and infant son, Charles, made the arduous six-week journey to Lancaster on horseback, accompanying a wagon train. They set up housekeeping in a little four-room house half way up the hill from the center of town. This little house later grew to an eight-room home to shelter the ten more children who would eventually be born there.
No sooner had the small family settled in than the War of 1812 took precedence over Charles' law practice. At an Ohio Militia recruitment meeting in Lancaster, Charles, being elected Major, served as recruiting officer. As such, he delivered a stirring speech which began, "Fellow soldiers, the crisis has arrived in which your country calls upon you, her constitutional guardians, to rally round her standard and to defend her rights and liberties." Fifty years later his son William Tecumseh would profess the same convictions as he fought to defend the constitution of his country in the Civil War. It would seem as if he was answering his father's call.
Although the war was not over, peace came to the frontier by the decisive victory in 1813 of General William Henry Harrison at the Battle of the Thames in Canada. The great Shawnee Chief Tecumseh was killed in this battle. He and 1,200 warriors had joined the British fight and although he was now a determined warrior against the encroaching settlers, he was respected as a humanitarian and for some time had been the hope of the white settlers as he had tried to remain on the Indian land in a peaceful manner. Seven years later, Charles Sherman would name a son after Tecumseh, declaring him "a great warrior.”

Sherman's house today is preserved as a museum. Click here.

The Judge Robert Sherman's home is now the Sherman House Museum in Lancaster, Ohio, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The original frame home built in 1811, consisted of a parlor/dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, and children’s bedroom. These rooms have been restored for visitors today. An 1816 addition to the front of the home included a parlor and study for Judge Sherman on the first floor, and two bedrooms on the second floor.


Charles turned back to his law practice and actively sought a presidential appointment as an Internal Revenue Collector. On November 9, 1813, President James Madison appointed him Collector for the Third District of Ohio. The appointment proved to be financially disastrous. United States Bank currency was scarce on the frontier and most of the money used was issued by local banks. It varied in value, depending on location and was never stable. In April 1816, the Federal Government passed a resolution stating that after February 1817, only United States Bank notes or gold would be accepted for payment of obligations to the Government. Although there was a ten-month period before the resolution took effect, it immediately greatly devalued the local bank currency. Charles had six deputies collecting under him, and they all had accepted local notes, which then became worthless. Instead of refusing the local notes, Charles assumed the burden of his deputies, and took on a great debt to the Federal Government which he would shoulder the rest of his life.

He then began to practice law on the Circuit Court, nicknamed the "Stirrup Court" as more time was spent in the saddle than in the court. Good friend and lawyer Thomas Ewing, who he had encouraged to settle in Lancaster, often joined him. They traveled by horseback accompanying other lawyers and the Supreme Court Judges to try the cases that awaited them throughout the district. There was great camaraderie among them and Charles was known to be gregarious and outgoing. The Supreme Court Judges were required to visit each county in their district once a year, and this made the circuit trips as long as two or three months.

In 1823 the Ohio Legislature elected Charles Sherman Judge of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Charles contracted typhoid fever during his circuit in 1829 and died at the Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, Ohio.

Wendy and I live near the Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, Ohio