1879 History of Menard & Mason Counties
Published by: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers
186 Dearborn Street

Mason County

Sherman Township
Page 670

When, in 1862, in accordance with a vote of the citizens adopting township organization, the county of Mason was divided into eleven townships. Sherman had no part or lot in the matter. The voting-places of its citizens were Havana, Forest City, and the eastern portion of Pennsylvania Township. The distance to be traveled and the difficulty experienced in reaching them, often deterred them from exercising this most inestimable right of the American citizen. In September, 1866, a petition was presented to the Board of Supervisors, praying that a new township by the name of Jackson might be created out of portions of Havana, Pennsylvania and Mason Plains (now Forest City) Townships. After mature deliberation, the prayer of the petitioners was granted. Through the name by which it had been christened was one which the American people had twice honored with the highest gift in their power to bestow, and was calculated to perpetuate the memory of the hero of New Orleans, yet a greater in military exploits than he had arisen. Sherman, who, at the head of his noble and victorious army, had "marched down to the sea," and by his successful warfare, waged in behalf on his country, had endeared himself to every true patriot heart, was a name well-pleasing to many of its citizens. At the January meeting of the Board, in 1867, upon motion, the name Jackson was stricken out, and that of Sherman substituted. It is designated as Town 21 north, Range 7 west of the Third Principal Meridian, and comprises thirty-six sections-a Congressional Township. The woodland districts are of a very limited extent. Excepting a small grove in the northeast corner, known as Crane Marsh timber, and the outskirts of Bull's Eye Prairie timber, along the western edge, the entire township is prairie. A county ditch, finding an outlet through Crane Creek, crosses the southeastern corner, and, with its tributaries, affords drainage to an extended scope of its territory. The C., H. & W. R. R. (formerly known as the Havana extension of the Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western) crosses its southern portion, the length of line through the township being about seven miles.

The geographical position of Sherman is south of Quiver and Forest City Townships, west of Pennsylvania, north of Crane Creek, and east of Havana. As an agricultural district, at present it ranks lower than any other township in the county. This is owing to the large amount of wet, swampy land included within its limits. Fully three-fourths of its entire area was comprised in that portion of the county known, a few years ago, as "swampy lands." Many of its broad acres were at one time held by the Government at the small sum of 25 cents per acre, and even this mere pittance it failed to realize. These lowlands, when effectually drained, have proved to be very productive, and the township, by a thorough system of artificial drainage, may be made to compare favorable with other portions of the county in its annual products. With this glance at its topographic features, we come at one to a notice of its early settlement.

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