FRANCIS M. SHERER, one of the pioneers of Clarke County, and an enterprising citizen of Ward Township, was born in Holmes County, Ohio, June 5, 1836, where he was reared till the fall of 1849. His father, John Sherer, then removed with his family to Iowa, spending the first winter at Pella, and in the following March came to Clarke County, locating four miles south of Osceola, where he entered 160 acres of land. In the fall of 1850 he went with his family to Osceola, where he built a double log house, in which he kept an hotel, this being the only hotel in the place at that time. He ran the hotel till 1856, when he sold out and established an hotel in the north part of the town, which he kept for two years. He then removed to a farm two miles from Osceola, where he followed farming till 1861, when disposing of his farm, he returned to Osceola. In 1863 he went to California, where he met his death. Francis M., whose name heads this sketch, received a rudimentary education in the old court-house, which is still standing on the north side of the square, remaining with his parents till arriving at maturity. During the war he enlisted for three years in Company H, Sixth Missouri Cavalry, and in 1863 he was promoted to hospital steward, serving in that capacity till his term of enlistment had expired. He received an honorable discharge, being mustered out in April, 1865. He then returned to Clarke County, and for the two years following he was employed in clerking for E. Rankin. In 1866 he engaged in the furniture business, and in 1867 became engaged in the insurance business, acting as agent for several reliable Eastern companies until 1872. He then removed to section 23, Ward Township, where he has since followed agricultural pursuits, devoting some attention to stock-raising. His farm, which contains 140 acres, is under a high state of cultivation, and the surroundings of the place show the owner to be a thorough, practical farmer. Mr. Sherer has been twice married, his first marriage taking place in 1870, to Barbara Switzer, who died leaving four small children – Theodore M., born October 21, 1871; Belle A., born April 19, 1873; Henry F., born June 20, 1875, and John S., born November 25, 1876. Mr. Sherer was again married in 1878, to Mrs. Emma P. (Neikirke) Johnson, who was born in Seneca County, Ohio, in 1841. This union has been blessed with three children – Mabel L., born August 11, 1880; David A., born May 14, 1883, and George N. born August 23, 1885. Mr. Sherer is a member of the Masonic fraternity.
SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 342-3