Isaac Sherwood, 1769-1840

From the Auburn, N.Y., Cayuga Patriot of April 29, 1840:

Died, In this village, on Friday 24th instant, Isaac Sherwood, Esq., aged 70 years, 6  months, 11 days.

“The life of the deceased presents a remarkable instance of the successful application of a vigorous and practical mind to the pursuits of business, and it is due to his character, and to the extensive circle of his friends and acquaintances, to pay a passing tribute to his memory.

“Mr. Sherwood was born in Williamstown, Mass. 13th Oct. 1769. He came into this country in the year 1798, and settled on a farm within the limits of the present town of Sennett; in 1804 he removed to the village of Skaneateles where for a number of years he was engaged in mercantile business. In 1811, he joined the late Jason Parker, of Utica, in establishing a line of stages to run twice in a week between Utica and Geneva. It was in this last business in which he retained an interest to the time of his death, that he became more extensively identified with the interests of the community and so generally known. This business which had so lately so small a beginning was gradually extended under his supervision — as the population and business of the country increased until of late years five and six daily lines of Post Coaches have been insufficient to accommodate the traveling public.

“Decision and energy were perhaps the most prominent features in the character of the deceased and to these he added promptness and perseverance in action which stopped at no obstacles. These qualities imparted a marked character to all his business operations.

“Nor was it as a man of business alone that he excelled. His general intelligence and social qualities were no less conspicuous. Though his pursuits in life were not favorable to an extensive acquaintance with books, yet he read much and always to profit. His business pursuits enabled him to become acquainted with the leading men of the nation, and he had much of that best kind of knowledge — the knowledge of men and things.

“With a fund of information and of anecdote thus acquired and with a happy tact of communication — and a mind ever active and elastic his conversation possessed unusual point and interest.

“Of the kindlier qualities of his heart, the best evidences exist in the unwavering affections of the members of his family — and in the warm regard of those whose fortune it was to be his more familiar acquaintances.

“For the last five or six years he has resided in this village, and has had but little active participation in business. He however preserved his habits of exercise by travel and riding, down to the time of his confinement last fall; and though his great obesity of person rendered this necessary for the preservation of his health, however inconvenient it might be, yet he was equally impelled to it by his great activity and energy of mind — which made him impatient under inaction.

“He retained his reason to the last moment of his existence and died in the hope of an interest in the Redeemer.”

* * *

My thanks to the Cayuga County Historical Society and the Skaneateles Historical Society for this obituary of Isaac Sherwood, who founded “Sherwood’s Inn” in 1807.


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