Bicentennial Biographies is a not-for-profit radio project designed to raise awareness and increase interest in local history. It is brought to you as a public service by the Chautauqua County Historical Society throughout 2011 to celebrate the county’s 200th birthday. To learn more, visit www.McClurgMuseum.org or contact your local historical society.
Judge Daniel Sherman was born in Busti, NY Nov. 29, 1821 to Daniel and Eunice Clark Sherman. His father was an early settler of Busti and had served as the town’s first supervisor as well as the county sheriff. He was also instrumental in the creation and management of the Chautauqua County Bank.
Sherman attended local schools and later studied at both the Jamestown and Fredonia academies. In 1844, he studied law with local attorneys Abner Hazeltine and Emory Warrenand was admitted to practice July 4, 1848. He then moved to Forestville and opened a practice which continued until 1882, when he was elected county surrogate.
In 1856 he was appointed by Governor Myron Clark attorney for the Indians, in which office he served under different administrations for twelve years. During that time he assisted the Seneca Nation by reversing prior court decisions that went against the tribe. One of those cases involved the acquisition of the Oil Spring Reservation near Cuba, NY. That claim had been inadvertently omitted in the Treaty of Big Tree, in 1798.
Sherman was also active in promoting the interests of education. He served for several years as town superintendent of schools, he helped to establish the Free Academy in Forestville, and he was a member of the board of education for many years.
Sherman married, on April 28, 1852, to Mary Colvill. They had 5 children together. He Died March 27, 1903 at the age of 81.
– J. Sample