Published in the SOY Newsletter, July 1999
By Carol Gums; edited by Art Cohan
As I have begun to compile SHERMAN info over the past couple of years, I never cease to be amazed at the thousands of wonderful accomplishments that they have made in the history of our country. While some were highly visible, most moved quietly, yet just as profoundly.
I am honored to present Carol (DITTMER) GUMS, whom I met via a chance email, who brings you her Dad's story. Art
Edward C. DITTMER was born in Luverne, Rock Co., MN, to Chris and Estelle (SHERMAN) DITTMER.
His contributions to space travel, and our men in uniform (and chimps?) in general, go unrecognized by the general public, but are nonetheless dramatic and historic in content.
Ed enlisted in the Army about 1941, and served with the 770th Army Engineers in the Aleutian Islands during WWII, as a hospital corpsman (medic). After the war, he was discharged from the Army, and enlisted again a year later in the Army Air Corps (which soon became the newly organized Air Force) where he was assigned to hospital duty at Bolling Field in Washington, D.C.
In 1949 he was transferred to Nome, Alaska, then Great Falls, MT and then England in 1951, where he worked with an Air Evacuation Unit. In mid-1955 he was assigned to the forerunner of the Air Force Systems Command in Baltimore, MD, and then on to Holloman AFB in New Mexico (1956), where his career took a major "leap".
At Holloman, Ed quickly became associated with all of the major space biology projects and the "great names" in research there. Col. John Stapp, who became know as the "fastest man on earth" with his 632mph rocket sled ride, had this sturdy quiet airman made the NCOIC of the laboratory's Space Biology Branch.
In that capacity, during the MANHIGH projects, he assisted all the pilots as they made ready for their 20-mile ascents above the earth (in baloons). During one MANHIGH practice flight, it was his instantaneous reaction and medical knowledge that saved the life of a pilot-elect, when the balloon car crashed.
The same resourcefulness was evident during many self-imposed hazards he undertook in space biology projects. Crashing to a split-second stop on a sled track, riding an aeromedical track for studies of human tolerances to increased G loads, enduring dizziness and blackouts in special aircraft flights for multi-G and weightlessness flights, and aqua-lunging for long hours in underwater tanks for sub-gravity studies..... a few of the many experiences of Ed Dittmer.
Between the hazardous duties, Ed continued to study, taking many USAF-sponsored technical-medical courses and learning more about biodynamics, life-support systems, astro-ecology, and space capsule development. Some of his ideas went into the construction of the MANHIGH capsule.
During the Project Mercury activities at Cape Canaveral, he was again the NCOIC for the many exercises which resulted in putting chimpanzees HAM and ENOS into space. Ed spent 18 months training six "chimps" to endure the rigors, and accomplish testing, during the early Mercury space flights. He taught them to pull levers in response to light signals, to prove that man would be able to operate levers during liftoff, weightlessness, and reentry. These tests were crucial to the safety of manned flights.
HAM's flight was faster than expected, and he landed 60 miles off course. His capsule was spotted by a helicopter and rescued before it could sink. HAM was rewarded with an apple.
The ENOS flight was longer than HAM's, and Ed was present at the loading and launch. This time he was aboard the retrieval ship. When the capsule was opened and ENOS released, he ran and jumped into Dittmer's arms.
Both chimps performed perfectly, and proved that manned flight could be accomplished.
In 1963, Master Sergeant Ed Dittmer was reassigned to the Military Advisory Group in Saigon, Vietnam, flying on many pilot rescue missions. He retired as a Senior Master Sergeant after 30 years of service.
Ed Dittmer's courage and experience touched the lives of many people, and his service to our country has earned him the respect and admiration of all Americans.
[Art's notes: Ed and wife Marian (who died in 1981) had six children: Jacque, Christine, Marianne, Ed. Jr., Carol, and Chris. Christine was an Army nurse during Vietnam, and met her husband (a Doctor) there. Carol's husband (Dan) was also in Vietnam. Her brother's Ed Jr. and Chris also served in the Air Force; Ed in England, and Chris in the Philippines and in Operation "Desert Storm".
Ed now resides in New Mexico enjoying the "retired" life of walking six-miles a day, and is looking forward to Carol and her sister Jacque locating his SHERMAN ancestry. We have located Estelle SHERMAN in the 1880 census for MN; father Thomas W. from PA. The search goes on!!]
The Sherman Genealogy That Isn't
Published in SOY Newsletter, July 1999
by Art Cohan - from information supplied by George Hebling
George Hebling's SHERMAN ancestry begins with his G.G. Grandmother, Elizabeth SHERMAN, b: 10 Jun 1843, New York (city?). Her father was Charles H. (B.?) SHERMAN, b: 29 June 1798 (place unknown) (ancestry unknown), who married Elizabeth's mother Delia F. JACKSON in Chesterfield, NY (date unknown).
In Febuary of 1998, George posted a note to the SHERMAN-L, inquiring if anyone had heard of a SHERMAN GENEALOGY to have been published by Frederick Clifton PIERCE around 1900. He sited a "form" that was amongst his mother's possessions. The "form" was completed by Elizabeth's sister, Helen M. SHERMAN (b: 1845).
SOY member Scott Sherman answered, pointing out that Frederick was listed as the author of two separate PIERCE Genealogies (pub. 1880 & 1889), used as sources in John H. Sherman's "Sherman Directories" (pub. 1991). Scott suggested that perhaps Mr. Pierce was gathering info for his PIERCE genealogies.
George responded with the note that the questionnaire has a SHERMAN Coat of Arms on it, and specifically refers to a "SHERMAN GENEALOGY".
I obtained a copy of the questionnaire from George, and the search was on. With over a year of searching between us, the mystery remains. I cannot find Mr. Pierce's other books (cited by JHS Directories) listed in the LDS Library Catalogue, or anywhere else. A query posted to the PIERCE-L on rootsweb has failed to produce anyone with knowledge of Frederick Clifton PIERCE..
What happened to Mr. Pierce's notes, and that SHERMAN GENEALOGY? Did Mr. Pierce die, and his SHERMAN book go unpublished? How many "answers" for SHERMAN researchers are contained in his notes?
The questionnaire is stamped that the book is "READY FOR PRESS" and to please respond immediately. It also states "As your family will be included in the book - ", leaving the supposition that perhaps he already had Elizabeth's ancestry documented, to be included in the book. As George has been unable to define his Sherman line beyond Charles, that probability is exciting. Where is the "book"???
Descendants of Charles H. Sherman (ancestry unknown)
1. Charles H. Sherman b: June 29, 1798 in NY
+ Delia F. Jackson b: September 04, 1800 m: in Chesterfield, NY
.. 2. Lucy M. Sherman b: October 01, 1824
.. 2. Henry B. Sherman b: September 19, 1827 living in Clayburg, NY in 1900
.. 2. Phoebe D. Sherman b: March 03, 1830
.. 2. Olive (prob:) Sherman b: Abt. 1832 in NY
.. 2. George D. Sherman b: September 24, 1833
.. 2. Samuel B. Sherman b: November 08, 1837 in NY
.. 2. Charles Sherman b: December 25, 1839 in NY
.. 2. Mary Jane Sherman b: March 04, 1842 in NY
.. 2. Elizabeth Sherman b: June 10, 1843 in NY d: 1912 in KS
... + George J. Hosea
... 3. Catherine "Kate" Hosea b: February 11, 1867 in IN
Vernon) d: April 19, 1927 in Poplar Bluff, MO
.... + George Helbling
.... 4. George Anthony Hebling b: August 16, 1881 in
d: March 04, 1940 in Poplar Bluff, MO (he changed spelling of last
..... + Leta Shular
..... 5. George (Jr.) Hebling b: May 07, 1907 in Piedmont,
MO d: November
26, 1987 in Little Rock, AR
….... + Mary Evelyn Knapp
........ 6. George (III) HEBLING b: Poplar Bluff, MO (this article)
........ 6. Jerome F. Hebling
.. 2. Helen M. Sherman b: August 19, 1845 in Keesville, NY
Northfield, VT when she filled out the Frederick PIERCE questionnaire
... + Aaron B. Houston (more info available here if anyone interested)
.. 2. Prudence Sherman b: April 29, 1848 in NY
[published here with permission from George Hebling]
Published in the SOY Newsletter – July 1999
By Mark (11) Sherman – edited for SOY by Art Cohan
[Some material from "The History of Carver, Mass. 1637-1910", pub. 1918 by the Historical Review. LDS film #1597830 - edited by Art Cohan]
Carver, Mass. (inc. in 1790) is a small town located in a swampy region four miles west of Plymouth Rock. It encompasses high pine ridges threading through grassy meadows at rivers edge, and vast cedar and maple swamps. Many of these were uninhabited and of almost no value, since they were under water during the winter rains and snows.
During the early 1800's, the townsfolk made their living pasturing and making hay. Later, they mined iron ore from the high ridges, and the industry flourished. Left behind were lakes and excavation sites. As the iron ore industry declined, some of the local gentry decided the sites were suitable for the cultivation of cranberries.
Cranberries came into production in 1856, when Benjamin Finney dyked a meadow, flooding the marsh and encouraging cultivation of the fruit. Native to the region with it's blueberry cousin, the cranberry overwintered in the flooded marsh and began to bear fruit. Although used by the Pilgrims since early colonial days, it was never cultivated, and did not become an article of commerce until the last years of the century. Flooding in winter and mowing in summer were the only things done to encourage the growth of berries by the "old" growers.
After the marsh owners came into undisputed possession of the property, cranberry harvesting began to develop into an industry. Harvesting berries was termed by the halves. The pickers got half for their work, and the owners got the other half. Harvesting was primitive at best. A sheet was spread on the ground while a man standing with a measure full of berries shook them out. The berries would fall to the sheet and the wind would blow the leaves away. The berries were then packed in boxes and shipped off to Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
From a hygenic standpoint, the experiences of the harvesters in the early days would call for an investigating committee today. The marshes were wet, cold and breeding places for rheumatism, etc. The older laborers were wise enough to refrain from contact with the water, but long files of shivering boys took no such precautions. When the word was given, they would plunge into the icy water with shouts of laughter, and would soon be numb with cold before the sun was high enough to warm them. But demand for the fruit offered a good living for the growers.
The New Meadows, 500 hundred acres of natural cranberry bog, was the most desirable property. It proved very valuable, giving jobs to the people of Carver and other surrounding towns. Prominent "old" growers were S. McFarlin, B. Finney, B.& J. Robbins, J. Dunham, L. Atwood, G. Shurtleff, E. Griffith, P. Bump, H. Lucas, N. Ryder, A. Shaw, M.& N. Cushing, - and Eben & Earl SHERMAN [see notes].
By 1878, George Bowers began building East Head Bog, located on the southeast edge of the Myles Standish State Forest. A.D. Makpeace began to take an interest, and the Wainkinco bog was the next built. This tract grew to be the largest in the state, and remains in production today. By the year 1890, records show there were 750 acres under production. The success of these two properties proved to be the birth of an industry which, by 1912, had grown to 2,461 acres. Carver's future was sealed as the "Cranberry Capitol" of the world, and it is still "the way of life" there. It is the highest producing town in the world, with annual production around 60,000 barrels. (A barrel equals 100 lb's of fruit.)
Today the industry has grown to thousands of acres in many countries - primarily the US, Canada, Chile and Russia. Total production today is around 4.5 million barrels domestic and .5 million barrels foreign. Cranberries are grown in ME, RI, NJ, CT, MI, WI, WA and OR, and it is the top agricultural commodity for Mass.
Through the years, SHERMANs have continued to be a part of cranberry growing and life around the "Wenham" section of Carver. With Eben settling around 1860, I now remain in the area. Born in New Bedford in 1954 to Theodore B. and Adele (Gula), I moved to Carver in 1979 with my wife Joanne (Ernst) to pursue a career in cranberries, after attending the Bristol County Agricultural School. Unaware at first of the history that surrounded us, our life as a cranberry-growing family has grown deep roots.
Living just a half mile from where Eben had resided, we have raised three daughters - Melissa, Colleen and Erin. I have grown berries now for 23 years, and now grow exclusively for Paradise Meadows-the private label for the Decas Co. I am a member of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Assn. and the Mass. Farm Bureau. Joanne is also a part-time grower, with her career in Laboratory Analysis.
My lineage is: Phillip1, Samuel2, John3, John4, Samuel5, George6, Ira7, Elmer8, Albert9, Thedore10.
My father was a commercial fisherman in the whaling city of New Bedford. My mother became a Bank teller after we had grown. I have three older brothers - Dennis, Alan, William - and four younger sisters - Michele, Debbie, Sheila and Sharon.
The history of our line began in Plymouth around 1634 and from there into Boston, then through Easton, Somerset and into Rhode Island. Around the early 1940's my family moved back into the Westport area of Mass.; then into New Bedford and lastly back to Carver and Plymouth County - where all my children were born - completing the circle - 365 years, 12 generations and a half mile later!
Also living in the Wenham section is a friend, Eileen MAKI, who I would like to thank. She and her husband Alan began growing in the 50's and they continued until his passing in 1991. Her search for her heritage took a path that included SHERMANs. Upon hearing the name, she remembered meeting me on the "bogs", and from that chance meeting we have shared our research and learned much about the history of this area. Thank you, Eileen, for your help.
Published in SOY Newsletter – July 1999
By Art Cohan
The following letter, forwarded to me by Natalie Rickner from a PERSI listing. This boy (James8) the son of John7 and Persis (WRIGHT) SHERMAN. John was born ca: 1785 in Newton, CT, died in 1841, leaving Persis in Vermont.
Edmund1, Hon. Samuel2, Benjamin3, Job4, John5, Ezra6, John7
You will I dare say think it stange that I should date a letter from this place, but then knowing me as well as you do it is no more than you would expect. I am now likely to get into steady business. Day after tomorrow I shall sail out of this port in the ship Euphrates on a whaling voiage. I shall be gone thirty months, I thought that I had got steady business in that store in Cambridgeport and it is not my fault that I am not there now, but finding there business rather dull after vacation commenced they told me they wanted I should find another place. All the reason they assigned was that they thought I was not calculated for the business. After looking three or four days for work and finding none I shiped myself for a whaling voige, I left such a name in Cambridgeport that I should not be afraid to show myself there again and be sure of a hearty welcome by those who know me there. Now mother I am about to engage in business where many ruin themselves soul and body, Probably there is not more than one in ten that engage in this business who do not become miserible drunken licentious brutes who are not fit associates for swine. So you can see what a chance I have for escape. And yet I think I shall escape. But if I become a poor drunken bloke you will never see me again for I never will return to my home without bringing a good character and a bunch of money. I have kept all my citizen's clothing. I have got a journal in which I shall write every day and I shall write things just as they are through the voiage and if I am lost and you come across my journal you will know whether I was a steady man or not. I owe Isaac seven dollars and Michael Dugan four dollars which I wish you to pay out of my great fortin there and that will make me square with the world. Yesterday (Sunday) I attended public worship at the Beathel and put my name to the temperance pledge. When you write to me direct your letter to Franklin P. Seabury, New Bedford, Mass.; or put my name on the letter without directions and then put an envelope with F. P. Seabury's name on it and he will send it to me. Write as soon as possible, I don't think of anything more of importance to write. Give my love to all my friends. Goodbye, Mother, Matilda Clark and all of you.
James H. Sherman
P.S. I came across George Nutting. I should not have known him if he had not told me who he was. He was drunk and black with fighting. I went with him aboard ship where he will get sober. J.H.S.
To Mrs. Persis Sherman, Fairfield, Vermont
Published in SOY NL, July 1999
[extracted from "Men of Vermont" by Jacob Ullery, pub. 1894, and edited for SOY by Art Cohan]
The stories of two prominent SHERMAN 1st cousins, living in Dover in the early 1800's and both descended from Capt. John1, Joseph2, John3, Joseph4, Joseph5, Nathan6.
Their g. grandfather (Joseph5) from Shrewsbury, MA was killed in the Revolutionary War at Morristown, NJ in the winter of 1777. Their grandfather (Nathan6), after participating in Shay's Rebellion, emigrated to Vermont and settled in what is now Dover about 1790, and was a silversmith and a farmer.
Oscar L. SHERMAN8 (Nathan7) was born in Dover, VT on Nov. 20th, 1831. Attending common schools until the age of 18, and laboring for some time on his father's farm, he then moved to Williamsville, where he was employed for two years in a general store.
Attracted by stories of the golden wealth of California, he emigrated to that state and was a successful miner. Returning to Williamsville in 1855, he went into partnership with G. I. Howe to do a general country store trade. After the death of Mr. Howe in 1865, he continued in the business alone.
In 1860 and 1861 he was elected to the Legislature as the candidate of the Democratic party. For four years he served as Postmaster under the administration of President Buchanan, which office he resigned at the end of his term. In 1894, he was the vice-president and director of the People's Bank of Brattleboro, which position he'd held since it was formed. He was also a trustee of the Windham County Savings Bank for six years.
As of the writing (1894), Oscar had been in his store for 37 years, and was well known and respected as an upright businessman and a generous and kind-hearted neighbor. He was married on Sept. 10th, 1856 to Betsey C. ROBINSON. They had three children, of whom two sons survived by 1894: Robinson M. and Albert N. SHERMAN.
Sidney Harvey SHERMAN8 was born in Dover on 11 May 1828. His father (Joseph7) was a clothier and a farmer. After enjoying the common advantages of the local schools, and three short terms in the village academies, he commenced his business career as a clerk in the store of P.F. Perry in 1847.
Quickly dissatisfied with his limited opportunities, he left and traveled to New York City, where he engaged as a book-keeper for the firm of NY Wire Mills. A year later he went to Amherst, MA where he was employed as a clerk for six years. After this he returned to Williamsville, VT and engaged in trade on his own, but later sold out to his cousin Oscar, and went to Illinois. He located in the town of Geneva for about two years.
He then returned to Dover, erected a store in Rock River, and was instrumental in establishing the first Post Office in that place (now East Dover) where he was the postmaster for many years. At the beginning of the Civil War, he was elected first selectman of the town, and worked diligently at filling the required quota of soldiers, and in raising East Dover's requisite share of war expenses. He was very successful at that, raising $16,000 in a single year, though the population was only 600.
He was prominent in public service, holding every elected position in the town, and elected to represent Dover in the Legislature of 1872-1874.
Mr. Sherman was always actively interested in the growth of East Dover, erecting new homes, a parsonage, remodeling the Baptist Church and purchasing the mills there. He invested several thousand dollars and ran the first circular board saw ever used in the town. He then carried on a very successful business in the manufacture of lumber, chair stock, sap buckets and pails - giving employment to a number of men. He also put in the first portable grist mill in town.
In 1875 he sold most of his real estate in Dover, and moved to Brattleboro. He first engaged in a hardware store, and about a year later bought out the Insurance firm of B. R. Jenne, taking into partnership Clarence Jenne, who later became his son-in-law.
He was one of the original incorporators of the Brattleboro Savings Bank and at one time was it's Vice President. He was the Justice of the Peace for several terms, and still held that office in 1894. He was always identified with the social, religious, and business interests of the town.
Mr. Sherman was by faith a Baptist, and was instrumental in raising the funds to liquidate the debt incurred by the erection of the Baptist Church of Brattleboro. He was the clerk and treasurer of the Windham Co. Baptist Association. He was chosen as treasurer of the Connecticut River Mutual Fire Insurance Co., at a time when it was financially embarrassed-and-by his arduous and judicious labors, the affairs of the company were settled on a satisfactory basis, and it's debts liquidated.
In addition to his own numerous successful business ventures, his services were often sought after in the settling of estates and other business relations.
Mr. Sherman first married in Dover on July 30th, 1854 to
They had one child, who died in infancy at Geneva, IL. Artie died at
in 1858. Mr. Sherman remarried Mary Farnsworth in North Leverett, MA on
Jan. 2nd, 1859. He and Mary had three children; Ida May (Mrs. Clarence
Jenne), Della, and Clifton (who became the editor of the Hartford, CT
John Jay Sherman (ca:1844-1922), member of the Bloody Eighth
Published in SOY Newsletter, July 1999
[Philip1, Eber2, Stephen3, Samuel4, Samuel5, Orren6, John Jay7]
Submitted by Jean Maris
Photos courtesy of Genesee Co. Historical Dept.
Corporal John Jay SHERMAN – taken prior to his capture at Reams Station.
John Jay SHERMAN was capture at Reams Station in August of 1864 and imprisioned at Salisbury, NC. This photo was taken two months after his release. He weighed 80 lbs.
John Jay SHERMAN – of Bethany, NY, taken in 1887.
John Jay Sherman was a member of the Eighth Heavy Artillery of NY Volunteers. He enlisted in 1862, and fought through numerous battles. On the morning of June 3, 1864, the Eighth and 50,000 men of the Army of the Potomac attacked the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee at Cold Harbor, VA. There, in 20 minutes, 7,000 Union soldiers were killed or wounded in the "bloodiest period of the Civil War".
On August 25, 1864, John Jay was captured at the battle of Reams Station and imprisioned at the Confederate prison camp at Salisbury, NC. The prison had the second worst death rate of all Confederate prisons, second only to Andersonville.
John Jay kept a record of his experiences at Salisbury - "waking in the morning covered with ice, a fourth pint of thin soup and a corn cake for daily rations." He was released on Feb. 22, 1865. When his brother Watt arrived and took him to a photographer's studio in Baltimore, two months later, he weighed only 80 lbs.
ex: While the regiment was occupied with thoughts of leaving for the front, John Jay was having his own personal crisis which he related to his mother in a letter dated May 13th .
"… I you have any linen shirts to spare I would like to have one sent. I am in a state boardering on starvation and I don’t know what will become of me if I don’t have something soon … I don’t want a very large box sent to me. One that will weigh 30 or 40 pounds will do."