Nicholas Sheran

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Nicholas Sheran (1841–1882) was an entrepreneur born in New York City. He spent his early years apprenticing as a printer, working on Arctic whalers, and serving in the United States Army.


After his service in the American Civil War, Sheran followed a fellow soldier (Joseph Healy, a member of the Kainai Nation who was adopted by the Healy family) to Montana where he worked as a prospecter and trader. In June 1874, he went north to Fort Whoop-Up, a whiskey-trading post started by Healy's older adoptive brother John J Healy in what is now Lethbridge, Alberta.

While in the area, Sheran started a ferry service across the Belly River (now Oldman). In addition, he also mined coal from a seam in the nearby coulees and sold it to traders who came to the fort.

In 1878, Sheran lived common-law with a Peigan woman named Mary Brown, and they had two sons together: Charles and William. Sheran drowned the May before his second son was born.


A park, leisure centre, a pool, and an elementary school in Lethbridge are named after Sheran.

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