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 The Life and Times of a Book Called “Sherman”

By Derek Smith and Sarah Sherman Jett 

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Part 3

Let me re-introduce myself….

My real name is “Loren A. Sherman and Family, Personal Sketches and Memoranda”. I am a book about the life of Loren A. Sherman and the Sherman family.

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All my friends just call me “Sherman”, so that is the moniker we will use for this writing.

And so, Sherman begins Part 3 of his story: to reiterate,

Frederick Ward Sherman and his wife Charlotte Esther Wolfe were married on January 18, 1885.

Together they would have 5 children, Albert (1885-1965), Frederick (Ted) Sherman (1888-1957), Harold (1892-1893), Charlotte (1900-1980),

Mary Eleanor (1905-1992). All the children were born in Port Huron.

After the sale of the Port Huron Daily Times in 1910, the Frederick Ward Sherman family moved to California in 1911.

Here, Frederick was active as the editor of the Daily Independent in Santa Barbara.

He also spent his time managing some business concerns he was involved with in the Los Angeles area.

I joined the Sherman family on Hubbard Street in Los Angeles, in late August of 1924.

Life in California was quite different than that which I was used to in the small-town of Port Huron.

       Street Scene Los Angeles circa 1920

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The streets were crowded with people, folks of many nationalities, some seeking employment, all hoping to secure a better future for themselves and their families.

Employment opportunities were available in tourism, recreation, oil, film, education, and the technological industries, just to name a few. 

 The population of Los Angeles grew from around 100,000 people at the turn of the century to 577,000 inn 1920.

The 1920’s would be busy decade in a bustling city and a growing America.

      Oil Wells Dotting the Pacific Coast

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Most of the Frederick’s and Charlotte’s children were grown, had married, and were living in different parts of the country.

Mary Eleanor was the only sibling still living on Hubbard St when I arrived.

She was 18 at the time and spent much of her time outside the house, building new acquaintances and discovering the many adventures California had to offer.

There were several of my old book friends that had arrived along with me, from 1433 Military St in Port Huron, Mi.

                  Sherman Home 1433 Military Street

There were some books detailing the early histories of Michigan. One book of particular interest was, “St Clair County Michigan, Its History and Its People” by W. L. Jenks.

We called him “Jenkins” for short and he was an expert on St Clair County history, 

It was often that Jenkins and I would share conversations lasting long into the first hours of the morning light.

 Resting patiently in the study, I made many new book friends; books who spoke on a plethora of regional, national, and international topics.

I was only too happy to share with them my history of Loren A Sherman and the Sherman family.

It was indeed a symbiotic relationship of learning and kinship.

The conversations with my book friends were never dull, and always produced a few interesting historical nuances.

As Mark Twain quoted, “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

I found “this ideal life” as I settled into my surroundings in a growing Los Angeles. During the last few years, Frederick and Charlotte had become good friends of mine and I found a quiet peace in their home.

This “ideal life” would be interrupted on April 13, 1928.

Frederick Ward Sherman would pass away. 

He died after surgery for a gall bladder issue.

Death found him too young, as a man of only 61 years with a future that was not yet complete.

He had been a good and faithful husband of Charlotte, together they had raised four wonderful children, and comforted each other after the passing of their son Harold, at the age of one year.

Frederick was the last of the great Sherman newspapermen. 

Together with his father, Loren A Sherman, they had been involved in newspapers and publishing for near 60 years.

He would be remembered as a good journalist, a loving husband, a caring father, and a compassionate friend.

Following the funeral for Frederick the family gathered at the residence on Hubbard Street. 

As the day fell into the evening, Charlotte entered the study with her second oldest son, Frederick (Ted) Carl Sherman.

She reached up to my perch, picked me up and handed me to Ted.

Charlotte said, “this is the story of the Sherman family, it belongs with the next generation of the Sherman family.”

It is another moment I would remember well, a welcome moment I had previously met with Frederick’s brother-in -law, Ross Mahon, back in 1924 at 1433 Military Street in Port Huron.

With it came a deep sense of gratitude, honor, and responsibility; but most of all, it reinforced the fact that I was indeed a part of the Sherman family.

The following day I left on my new journey to the “Ted” and Fanny Sherman home on McCall Street in San Diego.

We boarded the Santa Fe Southern (the old Surf Line) in Los Angeles for a short rail trek along the Pacific Coast to San Diego.

I was amazed at the many colors of blue the ocean painted, and

how these blues all became white as its waves broke along the shoreline.

The track at times, came as close as 100 feet to the Pacific Ocean, a splendid view, but one that would make even the steadiest of nerves rebellious.

                               Surf Line. 1930-40’s

The house on McCall Street was an immaculate white stucco sporting a hat of red tile. The residence sat on a hill in Coronado overlooking the beautiful San Diego Bay. Their comfortable veranda offered the Shermans daily entertainment, a water venue, featuring an interesting parade of naval vessels and commercial ship traffic.

The office area, where I found my place, shared a great view of the bay area. 

It is there I would also fall in love with the waters of San Diego and its marine traffic. I took nightly amusement from the sounds and lights of the many buoys and channel markers directing boat traffic.

It is here in this office, I would meet new book friends, some older, some younger, most I found interesting.

Over the next few years, I would meet one book, that would become a lifelong friend.

Sherman will make that introduction in part 4, where he will also have many more tales of his new life on the west coast and beyond.

Stay tuned for Part 4…

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