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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Hoyt Sherman

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[Hoyt Sherman]


HOYT SHERMAN, son of Charles R. Sherman, Judge of the Supreme Court of Ohio, was born in Lancaster County, November 1, 1827, and is the younger brother of John Sherman, the distinguished Ohio statesman, and of General William T. Sherman of Civil War fame. Until eighteen years of age, Hoyt's time was divided between school and the printing office. In the spring of 1848 he came to Fort Des Moines, Iowa, then far out on the western frontier. In 1849 he was admitted to the bar and began to practice law, and also engaged in real estate business. In March of that year he was appointed by President Taylor postmaster of Des Moines, holding that position until the inauguration of President Pierce, when he resigned and was elected clerk of the District Court. In 1854 he was the senior member of the banking house of Hoyt Sherman & Co., and upon the establishment of the State Bank of Iowa he became cashier of the Des Moines branch and was one of the directors on part of the State to supervise the system and guard the public interests. When the Civil War began Mr. Sherman was appointed by President Lincoln paymaster in the Union army with the rank of major, holding the position for three years. He was one of the organizers of the Equitable Life Insurance Company of Iowa and for many years its general manager. That institution owes much of its stability and high standing to the fine executive ability and unquestioned integrity of Major Sherman. In 1866, Major Sherman was a member of the House of the Eleventh General Assembly where he was chairman of the committee on railroads and a member of the committee of ways and means. In 1886 he was one of the founders of the Pioneer Lawmakers' Association and has always been one of its most influential members, serving as president and long a member of the executive committee. He has contributed valuable historical articles to the Annals of Iowa on “Early Banking in Iowa,” and on the “State Bank of Iowa.” For many years he was the executive officer of the Associated Charities of Des Moines.