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Arthur Sherwood

Early De Smet carpenter.

C.P. Ingalls will soon commence the erection of a house on Third Street for his brother-in-law, T. L. Quiner, now of Fountain City, Wis. When completed, Mr. Quiner’s house will be occupied by liveryman Peirson. Messrs. Ingalls and Sherwood are doing the work. – De Smet Leader, May 5, 1884

The Arthur Simon Sherwood family is mentioned in The Long Winter, Chapters 8-9 and 11, only as residents in De Smet during the Hard Winter, and that Mr. Sherwood was one of the men who went to Volga on the handcar With Pa. In Pioneer Girl, Mr. Foster is said to board with the Sherwoods, but others were known to have spent the winter with the family as well. Alfred Waters was one of the men, and later joked that it was “sixteen men in a house sixteen feet square.” The house stood on the corner of Third and Joliet.

After the Hard Winter had ended and melting snow caused widespread flooding, Arthur launched a boat from 120 Calumet and went all the way to Amos Whiting’s claim via Silver Lake and Vermillion Creek.

Arthur, the son of Andrew Lake Sherwood and a brother of Carter P. Sherwood, longtime editor of the De Smet Leader, was born in 1852 in Wisconsin, the son of Andrew Lake Sherwood and Nancy Philena (Parsons) Sherwood. His widowed father came to De Smet as well as several of his children, filing on a tree claim in 1884. Arthur’s sister Nettie married Joseph Floren; his sister Elsie married Louis Whiting, son of the first superintendent of schools in Kingsbury County, Amos Whiting. Arthur married Jennie Minerva Weston (born 1852) and they had four children: Roy Weston (1877-1959); Grace Elsie (1881-1959), Nellie Lenora (1883-1963) and Mabel Philena (1886-1991).

Like Charles Ingalls, Arthur Sherwood helped build many of the early houses in De Smet, including the Ingalls, Quiner, and Charleton Fuller home; he also built the county jail and the cheese factory. He was 5th Sergeant in Company E, Dakota Guard, and a founding member of the I.O.O.F. in De Smet. He was a member of the school board. He and Alvin Miner ran a feed mill, averaging 40 bushels per day of wheat ground into flour in 1885.

In the late 1880s, Arthur Sherwood fell and was seriously injured on a De Smet street, the result of tripping on uneven sidewalk boards. Following his crippling accident, he moved his family to Sioux Falls, where he died in September 1899.


Arthur Sherwood (TLW 8-9, 11)