BUREN R. SHERMAN, Iowa’s twelfth governor, was born in Phelps, New York on May 28, 1836. His education was attained in the public school system of New York. Sherman worked as a jeweler’s apprentice, but gave up the trade to study law. He was admitted to the bar in 1859 and then established a successful legal practice in Vinton, Iowa. During the Civil War, he enlisted as a private, rose to the rank of captain, was severely wounded in the Battle of Pittsburgh Landing and resigned in 1863 due to his injury. Sherman entered public service in 1865, serving as county judge of Benton County, a position he held until 1866. He also served four terms as clerk of the District Court, and was the auditor of the state from 1874 to 1881. Sherman won the 1881 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor. He was reelected to a second term in 1883. During his tenure, several new state agencies were authorized, which included a state veterinary surgeon office, as well as a state bureau of labor statistics and a state oil inspector office. Also, a liquor prohibition amendment was endorsed, and several significant tax reform measures were implemented. After leaving office on January 14, 1886, Sherman retired from public service, and stayed active pursuing his business interests. Governor Buren R. Sherman died on November 11, 1904, and was buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in Vinton, Iowa.
Iowa Historical Record, 5 (1889): 241-9.
Palimpsest, 65 (1984): 33-40.
The Political Graveyard
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn., Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
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