E. A. Sherman

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Edwin Alonzo Sherman (June 19, 1844 - June 15, 1916), also known as E. A. Sherman, was the father of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota park system and an early pioneer and booster for the city.[1] He was instrumental in the creation of McKennan Park, Sherman Park and Terrace Park.

Sherman was born in Wayland, Massachusetts on June 19, 1844 to Calvin and Lucy Parmenter Sherman.[2] After graduating from Wayland High School, he worked for a while as a clerk in an oil commission house. He then came west, taught school for a year in Sioux City and arrived in Sioux Falls in June 1873.

In Sioux Falls, Sherman was engaged in a number of different ventures. He was half owner of the Sioux Falls Independent newspaper for a short while. He was superintendent of schools of Minnehaha County from 1874-6, and organized most of the school districts in the county during that time. He was the treasurer of the Dakota Territory from 1877-8 and in 1910 was elected to the state legislature as a Republican. He helped organize and served as president of two or three banks. He was involved with the building of the Willmar and Sioux Falls Railway. He also was admitted to the bar as a lawyer in November 1886.[3]

Sherman helped his friend, Helen McKennan, prepare her will to donate the land to the city that would become McKennan Park. She died in September 1906.[4]

On March 10, 1910, he and his wife donated 52 acres to the city to create what became Sherman Park.

In 1915 and 1916 he negotiated the sale of the land that would become Terrace Park to the city at a discounted price.


  1. ^ http://www.siouxfalls.org/Information/history/park_history/Terrace.aspx
  2. ^ History of Dakota Territory by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915), pages 482-489 viewable at SDGENWEB archives
  3. ^ Bailey's History of Minnehaha County (1899), Chapter 3
  4. ^ http://www.siouxfalls.org/Information/history/park_history/sherman.aspx