Historical Narratives:  Sherman

from Minnehaha County Historic Sites Survey:  Final Projects Report, June 1996

Sherman , like Corson, was established as a station on the Willmar and Sioux Falls Railroad and platted in 1888.  Located approximately 25 miles northeast of Sioux Falls near the Minnesota state line, the town was named for E.A. Sherman, one of the directors of the railroad.

            Building of the community began immediately with the opening of a general store and post office.  By the turn of the century, there were two general stores, a hardware store, a drugstore, a blacksmith shop, and three grain elevators.  The town continued to grow for several years and eventually included five grain elevators, a passenger depot, the post office, a large two-story mercantile, two grocer stores, a hardware store, a drug store, a lumber yard, meat markets, a millinery shop, a pool hall, a saloon, five cafes, a harness and variety store, a blacksmith shop, a hotel, a firehall, an implement dealer, a car dealer, a gas station, two churches, a school, and several residences.

            There little is left of the business community and the number of residents has dwindled.  A number of things have contributed to Sherman ís demise.  Fire has taken its toll.  Over time, each of the elevators burned but only one was rebuilt.  In 1933, a devastating fire destroyed nearly an entire block of businesses in the town center.  When passenger rail service was discontinued, the depot was torn down.  Consolidation and a drop in the number of students resulted first in the demolition of the 1911 wooden portion of the school, and later, the abandonment of the 1925 brick addition.  One of the churches left town.  The last burial in the Sherman Cemetery was in 1932.  The post office was recently closed.

            Today, only one elevator, a honey processing plant, an antique store, a small convenience store, and a firehall/townhall comprise the business district.  The First Lutheran Church still conducts services.  And a number of families, who rely upon services and goods from Garretson, Dell Rapids and Sioux Falls , still call Sherman home.