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Richard U. Sherman

General Richard Updike Sherman was born in Vernon on June 26, 1819, the third child of Willett H. Shearman (the spelling was later changed to Sherman) and Catherine Schoolcraft. He was educated in the Utica Academy where he graduated at age 14. He was interested in the newspaper business and in 1840 he conducted a successful campaign paper in Utica for the Harrison and Van Buren Campaign. The Utica Gazette hired him the following year.


In 1846 he established the Utica Morning Herald, one of the strongest papers published in the state.

As a young man, he enlisted in the military service of his state. He was commissioned brigadier general of the twenty-first Brigade, Sixth Division, New York National Guard. He rose from the ranks through merit alone.

Sherman was one of the earliest members of the Oneida Historical Society.


In 1848 he married Mary F. Sherman, a granddaughter of Stalham Williams and a daughter of Richard W. Sherman, a well know steamboat captain on Lake Champlain. The two families were not related.

Sherman and his wife Mary had six children:      


Richard W., Mary, Louise, Stalham W., James Schoolcraft (who went on to become vice president of the United States from March 4, 1909 to October 30, 1912), Stanford Foster, and Willett H. (who died in infancy).

He became interested in public affairs in 1851 and had a very successful career, becoming assistant clerk of the house of representative in Washington in 1860.

One of his many interests was the Adirondacks. Sherman imported the first can of Scotch trout eggs directly from Scotland.  The eggs were placed in Woodhull lake in the Adirondacks.  Sherman later caught and preserved a fish weighing four and a half pounds, the largest of the species. He was the founder of the North Woods Walton Club and in 1878 organized the Bisby Club.

In 1857 Sherman moved to New Hartford and spent ten years on a farm on Tibbitts Road and then in 1867 moved to the village. In 1879 he became a trustee of the New Hartford Cotton Company and in 1880 he organized the New Hartford Canning Company. He was president of the village three times and when Butler Memorial Hall was opened, he was made president and trustee of that organization.

General Sherman died in 1895.

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