LOOKING BACK: Sherman, the little town that faded away

Sherman was a small community in the vicinity of Annie Smith Road on what is known as Salt Creek Road. This thriving little community consisted of two dwellings, a country store and former post office, two barns, a school and a new church.

The Sherman general store was operated by Emmett and Annabelle Brown and had a summer kitchen built onto the back. There was another general store operated by Jesse and Lizzie Woods Marshall about two miles down Salt Creek Road. The Marshalls’ first store was a little log cabin.

Sherman was presumed to be named after Civil War Union General William Tecumseh Sherman. “Uncle Billy,” as he was known, once told his veterans at a reunion, “We don’t mind a little rain today; we’ve seen worse than this.” Sherman, Indiana, like its namesake, knew a thing or two about adversity, too.

The first post office at Nashville, formerly Jacksonburg, was established in 1837. The next post office to open was Bean Blossom, also called Georgetown, in 1842. Only Nashville’s and Helmsburg’s survive.

The first post office to close was Milo in Van Buren Township in 1861 and the last to close was Trevlac in 1966. The Sherman post office opened Sept. 20, 1905, with Emmett Brown the postmaster. It closed on Dec. 31, 1909, and Brown was still postmaster.

Along with the post offices came the country general stores, at least one to each community. In the wintertime, money was very scarce, so the store owners would let people buy commodities on credit. Then come summer or fall, when the crops would sell, everyone would pay off the store bill. The store owners also allowed bartering for all kinds of goods. A few store owners did go out of business because they let too many people have credit and some couldn’t pay their bills.

On Friday, July 13, 1917, Sherman was destroyed by a tornado. Nothing was left unscathed. Part of the store/post office was still standing but very battered. After the tornado, many things were scattered about, then picked up by the locals. There were reports of things being carried as far as Nelson Ridge Road.

Jim and Ida Henderson were fatally injured. The old Sherman neighborhood knew a lot more grief. Emmett and Anna Brown buried two babies in the Crouch Cemetery, also a teenager and finally their son, and Emmett himself who was killed in a farm tractor accident.

The Sherman general store was at the intersection of Brahaum Road and Salt Creek Road. When the place was still in operation there was no Salt Creek Road as we know it; instead, the public road ran across the creek and followed what is known as Annie Smith Road, at least on part of it. Salt Creek Road as we know it was relocated around 1918 or 1919. Brahaum Road, which was then called “the lane” or Charlie Brown Holler, extended all the way to the creek and across the old road.

The old store ran from 1898 to 1913, although there was limited business after that. Extended credit is what eventually took the store out of business.

— Brown County Historical Society