Joseph E. Sherfey, Biography



Source: Travis, William. A History of Clay County, Indiana. New York: Lewis Publishing, 1909, p. 13.
Submitted by: Karen Zach

Joseph E. SHERFEY, president of Sherfey & Kidd Company, dealers in furniture, carpets, draperies and other goods of this line, doing an extensive business at Brazil, Indiana was born in Fountain County, Indiana April 7, 1843 and has the honorable distinction of having been one of the soldiers who put down the great Civil War. He is the son of David and Mary McNEILL Sherfey. The father was born in Adams County, PA on what is now known as the battlefield of Gettysburg. The great grandfather, Casper Sherfey came from Germany in 1750 and located in PA and became the father of 15 children, a majority of whom reached maturity. The mother, Mary McNeill was born in Frederick City, MD and by her marriage to Mr. Sherfey became the mother of 9 children, six sons and 3 daughters - two of whom now survive - Samuel W. of New Mexico and Joseph E. who is the 8th child in his parents' family. The father came from Perrysville, Indiana about 1834 and was by trade a miller, which trade he followed throughout his entire life. He was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church and in political affiliations was a Whig, which was the forerunner of the present Republican party. Joseph E. Sherfey was educated in the common schools of Perrysville, Vermillion county, Indiana and at Asbury University, Greencastle, Indiana then in the winter of 1862-63 began teaching and taught in the winter of 1865-66. In the summer of 66 he opened a furniture store at Bainbridge, Indiana. One of the most important chapters in Mr. Sherfey's career however was the one relating to his Civil War record. He enlisted as a member of Co. D 55th Indiana Regiment in July 1862 for 3 months and was shot through the left hip at the battle of Richmond, KY Aug 30, 1862. The rebels marched over him and later he found himself in a hospital; in the month of Oct 1862 he was sent home on parole. In the spring of 1864 he enlisted in Co. F 133rd Indiana Regiment for 100 days and served at Bridgeport, AL guarding General Sherman's rear until the term of his enlistment had expired. In the autumn of 1867 he moved to Brazil, Indiana and has been engaged in the furniture trade ever since, except one year when he was city treasurer. He is identified with the Masonic Fraternity, being a member of Brazil Lodge No 264 AF&AM also belongs to Brazil Lodge, No 30, Knights of Pythias and Ben Hur Court NO. 8. Other societies of which he is a worthy member are the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Brazil Lodge 215 and Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, no. 762. He is a zealous temperance worker and firm believer in the principles of the Republican Party. He was married Oct 20, 1869 at Bainbridge, Indiana to Miss Helen E. ADER daughter of David and Elizabeth (Aldridge) ADER. She was born in Putnam Co Dec 1, 1845. Her father was born in NC and came to Indiana at an early day, locating in Putnam County where he followed farming and cattle raising. Politically, he was a Democrat. He was the father of 4 children, Mrs. Sherfey being the eldest child. His wife was a native of Indiana. Mr. And Mrs. Sherfey are the parents of 4 sons and two daughters: David A; Charles W; Winfield E; Mary McNeill; Elizabeth A and Henry E. Mr. Sherfey has in his possession a complete genealogy of the Sherfey family dating from March 15, 1735.