Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Minna E. Sherman


Among the names of the many remarkable women which America has produced must be enrolled that of Mrs. Minna E. Sherman, the owner and manager of eleven hundred acres of land in California. She came in possession of her original farm in rather a unique way. Her father, becoming disgusted with the Raw Hide Mining Company's affairs in which he held stock, one day, in a fit of anger, threw the stock certificates into the fire. Minna rescued these, and later, when this mine was developed and paying, her father received as his share fifty-four thousand dollars, on the presentation of the certificate which had been rescued by his daughter. He very generously divided this between his two daughters, each receiving twenty-seven thousand dollars. With this sum, Minna Sherman purchased an unimproved ranch of 688 acres in the San Joaquin Valley of California. To this she has constantly added from her profits until now her farm exceeds eleven hundred acres. On this ranch she has a herd of the finest Holstein cattle, sixty head of blooded Percherons, a piggery of registered Berkshires, twenty-five hundred rose bushes in thirty varieties, forty acres of olive groves; magnificent vineyards. It is said that her vineyards yield the palm to no ranch in California, whether managed by man or woman. Assisting her are two school teachers, Miss Austin and Miss Hatch.

Mrs. Sherman's practical common sense has proven her greatest aid and brought about her wonderful success. She has frequently gone in direct opposition to the advice given her by men of experience. Her first venture in this connection was the bringing of sixty head of Arizona cattle to her ranch when the prices about her were prohibitive for dairy cows. She sent to Arizona, paid but twelve dollars a head, and eventually established one of the finest milk ranches in that part of California from these cattle. In other ways she has proven that practice is far better than theory, and has frequently demonstrated also that the theory held by some of her masculine neighbors are absolutely incorrect. She manages personally this great farm, demanding the best results from each crop. She owns none but the best animals and plants none but the best seeds, trees, and shrubs.

Mrs. Sherman lectures before fanners' institutes and on demonstration trains, is a member of the State Agricultural College faculty, contributes largely to horticultural and agricultural publications, and takes an active part in the work of California's women's clubs. She was but twenty-five years of age when she began this work, and now is an attractive, interesting woman, of middle life, who has always insisted that the mental side is the side in which to put one's best efforts.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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