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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 277~


Col. Harvey Smith Sheldon

Col. Harvey Smith Sheldon, a leading attorney-at-law of West Union, was born in Troy, Rensselaer County, N. Y., April 23, 1849, and is a son of Frederick A. and Anna K. (Smith) Sheldon, both native born citizens of Troy. His father was born May 29, 1822, and was descended from one of the oldest American families of English and Holland Dutch lineage. The Sheldons trace their genealogy back to English ancestry as follows: Col. Harvey S., son of Frederick A., whose father was Daniel Sheldon, a native of Herkimer, N. Y., born in 1796, and who married a Miss Van Cott, who belonged to an old Holland family of Herkimer County. Daniel Sheldon was the son of Asa Sheldon, who was born in Pawtucket, R. I., in 1761, and was a son of Rev. James Sheldon, who was born in Providence, R. I., in 1727, and whose father was Timothy Sheldon, Jr. His birth occurred in Providence in 1687, he being the son of Timothy Sheldon, Sr., who was born in Pawtucket in 1666, and whose father, John Sheldon, was born in Pawtucket in 1640. Ten years previous to that time, his father, James Sheldon, a native of England, emigrated to America and settled in Pawtucket, R. I. The family had many representatives in the patriotic army in the War of the Revolution and several of its members were commissioned officers.


In 1792 Asa Sheldon removed to Troy, N. Y. and thence to Herkimer, where Daniel Sheldon, the grandfather of our subject, was born in 1796. His son, Frederick A., died September 5, 1889. He married Anna K. Smith, who was born in Troy, N. Y., December 27, 1827, and is a daughter of Harvey and Jane (McLeod) Smith, who was born in Troy, N. Y., December 27, 1827, and is a daughter of Harvey and Jane (McLeod) Smith. Her father was born in Middlesex County, Conn., and was a son of Michael and Mary (Hall) Smith. His father was a soldier of the War of the Revolution. Harvey Smith was married December 19, 1825, to Miss Jane, daughter of Mordecai and Catherine Jane (Anderson) McLeod, of Broadalbin, Fulton County, N. Y. Her father was born on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, and came to America as a soldier of the English army, serving under Gen. Burgoyne at the battle of Saratoga. Mrs. Smith was born in Broadalbin, N. Y., August 19, 1804, and has been a member of the Baptist Church for more than half a century. She resides in Troy.


Col. Sheldon was educated at the Polytechnic Institute of Troy. In 1879 he came to Iowa, and purchased the H. B. Hoyt farm of two hundred and forty-eight acres, situated two miles north of West Union, which he improved until it is one of the best farms in the county, probably the very best in quality and extent of buildings and appointments. Col. Sheldon was married in West Union May 17, 1880, to Ella Herriman, daughter of D. B. and Elizabeth (Dye) Herriman. She was born in the Township of Illyria, where her parents were among the very earliest settlers. Two children grace their union: a son and daughter, Mabel A. and Fred McLeod.


In politics the Colonel is a Republican on the principle of protection to American industries. He is a large stockholder in the Star Knitting Mills, of Cohoes, N. Y., which fact may or may not have had an influence in shaping his opinions. He was appointed to a position on the staff of his friend, Gov. Sherman, of Iowa, with rank of Lieutenant Colonel, through which service he acquired the title by which he is generally known. Having a taste for the legal profession, Col. Sheldon, after a course of study was admitted to the bar at West Union under Judge Cooley in 1880, and in February of that year opened an office at that place. He continued to carry on his farm and make it his residence until 1889, when he removed to West Union, where he now resides. The Colonel is a thirty-second degree Mason, one of the very few in the State, and attained that degree when not quite twenty-five years of age. He was made a Mason in Mt. Zion Lodge, of Troy, N. Y., was demitted and became a member of Stillwater Lodge of Stillwater, N. Y. He is now a member of Langridge Commandery, K. T. of West Union, and a life member of the Albany Sovereign Consistory of New York. Col. Sheldon has an interesting collection of antique family papers of the last century and the beginning of this. Deeds and titles issued to members of his family in early Colonial times under English rule are among them, one of the most interesting of which is a certificate of membership to Lieut. Daniel Sheldon (a brother of Col. Sheldon's great-grandfather) in the society of the Cincinnati, which bears the original signatures of George Washington and Henry Knox.




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