William Elmer "Billy" Sherman
William Elmer Sherman was born May 15,1894 in Alice, Texas to E. E. and Winifred Kate Sherman. Billie’s father died, and his mother with Billie and his sister, Hazel, moved to Ft. Washakie by 1898 where Winnie Sherman was the matron at the Indian school. Billie Sherman was considered a very good cowboy even at a young age. He could ride broncs and rope. He placed and won money in many of the rodeos. He worked on the “67,” lived at Angus’s in Daniel, worked for Bill Luce and worked at Halter and Flick at Pacific Springs before becoming a brand inspector at Opal, Wyoming. When Billie was working for the "67" and Bill Luce they were in Lincoln County. That part of Sublette County was in Lincoln County from 1911 to 1923. He then moved to Opal, which is in Lincoln County, to be brand inspector at the stockyards for the railroad.
Billie was a member of the Woodsmen of the World. The following articles about Billy Sherman rodeoing were in the Lander Clipper newspaper:
July 7, 1911
Lander July 4th Rodeo bucking contest Archie
Campbell first; Billie Sherman, second.
August 16, 1912
The Riverton Celebration of the year 1912 as all good events is now a thing of the past, and the people of our neighboring city have again demonstrated that not only are they willing to show the people a good time but they are always there with the goods... Broncho Busting, W. Sherman won on Wind River Whirlwind. Wild horse race, W. Sherman won.
In the Pinedale Roundup, the following article was about Billie working at Halter and Flick:
September 16, 1915
Billy Sherman spent Sunday in town on his return home from Marbleton. He reports a fine time. Billie holds a position with Halter and Flick of Pacific Spring.
The Big Piney Examiner had the following articles about Billy Sherman working and playing:
July 9, 1914
William Sherman was entered in the bronc riding at the July 4th rodeo and made it to the finals by showing he could handle anything.
September 24, 1914
Billy Sherman won the steer roping and took second in the relay free for all at the rodeo in Big Piney.
February 18, 1915
Billie Sherman arrived in town Monday, and spent two or three days at the “67,” breaking horses. Billie is now a resident of Daniel; hanging his hat at the Angus home.
February 25, 1915
At the local meeting of the Woodsmen of the World (The largest fraternal benefit society with open membership in the United States, Woodmen of the World was founded in Omaha, Neb., by Joseph Cullen Root on June 6, 1890. From its humble beginnings more than a century ago, Woodmen of the World has grown into a financial services organization large enough to offer security, but small enough to still care about each individual member. In addition to providing life insurance protection to members, Root believed that Woodmen of the World members, through their local lodges, should be an active volunteer force within their communities, helping those in need.), William Sherman was one of ten new choppers admitted to the camp.
April 29, 1915
William Sherman went to the Woodmen dance in Big Piney. It took one hour and fifteen minutes to travel from Daniel to Big Piney.
June 10, 1915
Billie Sherman played on the Marbleton baseball team which went to Pinedale for a game instead of Diamondville.
June 24, 1915
Billie Sherman tied for third in the bronco busting and won the wild horse race at the rodeo.
September 9, 1915
Among the events that were especially worthy of notice during the three days' celebration might be noted the men's relay race, with Ralph Mills and Billy Sherman as the contesting riders. With five changes to make the two finished nose and nose, and not until the judges announced Ralph Mills the winner was anyone certain. The bandbox race was the chief merrymaker on Tuesday, Billy Sherman winning with ease. Billy Sherman won third in the bucking contest. Billy Sherman came over from Pacific to attend and participate in the Roundup. He had his usual luck with him, failing to carry off the honors in two or more events by narrow margins. He leaves tomorrow morning for Pacific, where he holds a responsible position.
January 20, 1916
Billy Sherman has accepted a position at the Circle Dot.
February 17, 1916
Buster (McIllvain), Billy Sherman and Billy Carr have finished riding the desert, Buster goes to Fontenelle and Billy Carr will ride the desert and look after the Griffin and Murdock horses. (Billy Sherman is working at Bill Luce’s place.)
July 6, 1916
The Piney citizens who attended the celebration at Pinedale were especially gratified over the riding of Billy Sherman, who won second money in the bucking contest and Ralph Mills, who won the first two heats in the chariot race. Billy rode the same classy style that he always uses and was fortunate for once in drawing horses that bucked. Ralph defeated the famous DeWolf team of Lander two straight, losing a special race the 5th. Bucking contest: 1st Frank Carter, ex-champion of the world 1912, $100; 2nd Wm. Sherman $75. saddle; 3rd Lou Snyder, $25.
September 21, 1916
The Green River Valley Roundup has again passed into history, the last events being held Saturday of last week and the winners named. Dave Holt was awarded first money in the bucking contest, Billy Sherman winning second and Henry Hittle third. The judges were Jesse Stull, Floyd Norris and Jonas Lindley.
October 25, 1917
Wm. Sherman and Clifford Spencer left this week for Ogden. The boys plan on riding inspection for the government. William Elmer “Billie” Sherman served in World War I. At the time he registered for the war, he was a cowboy for Buster McIllvain. William E. Sherman was enlisted or inducted on April 28, 1918 at Ogden, Utah as a Corporal, Company B, 13th Tn. Hq., & Military Police in The United States Army. He was 24 years old, and a cowboy. He had hazel eyes, brown hair, medium complexion, and was 5 feet 4 inches tall. He was a very good marksman. He was never in any battle, engagements, skirmishes or expeditions, so was never wounded. The “Victory Medal” was issued by the Army Recruiting Officer in Denver, Colorado. Triple prophylzis completed May 13, 1918 and paratyphoid prophylaxis completed. His character is excellent. Sherman was never A.W.O.L., never sick under G.O. 31, 1918 or G.O. 45, 1914 and was issued travel pay. He was honorably discharged on January 24, 1919 at Camp Lewis, American Lake, Washington.
William E. Sherman was married twice. The first time he was married to Sarah Bell Dumm, the sister of Mrs. Charles (Ethel) Fultz and Mrs. Charles E. (Hanella) Dailey. The second time William E. Sherman married Leola Geneva Coffey Shipley on July 7, 1927 in Kemmerer, Wyoming. Jeneva was the daughter of Dora Coffey Shipley and the stepdaughter of James F. Shipley. She was born in West Virginia on April 25, 1908. Jeneva came to Big Piney with her mother as a small child. Jeneva taught school for several years before marrying Billie Sherman. Billie and Geneva had three daughters, Phyllis I. (DeSart), Patricia Ann (Haffeman), Leona Jean (Morrison) along with one son, Billy. Phyllis was born in 1928 in Wyoming, and Patricia was born in 1929 in Wyoming. Jean was born on January 12, 1931 and Bill was born on March 24, 1933. William E. Sherman did file on a stock-raising homestead on September 21, 1927 for all of section 35 in Township 36N, Range 113W, and 6th Principal Meridian for 640 acres, but the land was relinquished on December 23, 1930. Sherman established residence in October 1927 and maintained residence until July 1928. There was no cultivation, but he built a house 14X 16 feet which cost $128.00 along with corrals that cost $12.00, 4 acres of fenced horse pasture which cost $20.00, and 3 1⁄4 miles of outside fence consisting of 3 wires and posts one rod apart which cost $487.00. He had to relinquish the land because he had a wife and two children and found it was impossible to reside upon the claim and support his family since his business was located at Big Piney a distance of 60 miles.
William E. Sherman filed on a second stock-raising homestead entry on September 1, 1931, which was very near the original filing. This filing was section 27 and 34, Township 36N, Range 113W, 6th P.M. Sherman first resided on the land starting September 16, 1931 while living in a tent as he built the house and did the fencing. He lived there until November 30, 1931. He moved back onto the land on May 1, 1932 through December 15, 1932, and again lived on the land from May 1, 1933 through September 15, 1933, May 15, 1934 through September 15, 1934, May 15, 1935 through September 15, 1935 and May 15, 1936 through September 15, 1936. Most of the land is covered with sagebrush, but about 80 acres has scrub pines and quaking aspen trees. Frank D. Ball grazed 300 head of cattle on the land each year from 1933 through 1936. Ball payed $60.00 per year for the use of the pasture. In 1932, Sherman built a house, feed and salt storage house, bridge for livestock and 3 1⁄2 miles of 4-wire fence around the property. In 1936, a barn, cow shed, corrals, 1 mile of fence was built for a horse pasture and 1⁄2 mile fence built for a wrangle pasture. All of these improvements cost $1175.00. Ben Stewart, Ted Cantrell, Pete C. Wagner and M.M. Baker were the witnesses for Sherman’s homestead. William E. Sherman’s stock-raising homestead was approved on April 1, 1937. Billy Sherman was the undersheriff in Big Piney and the brand inspector before they left Big Piney. Shermans left Big Piney, Wyoming in 1945 and went to Omaha, Nebraska where Billie was the brand inspector in the stockyards. They did not like Omaha because it was a city and moved to Mobridge, South Dakota where Billy became ranch manager for the Horseshoe Ranch.
After several years on the ranch, Billy was breaking horses and broke his left leg, which was a composed fracture. Shermans moved into town where Billy became brand inspector for that area. He remained active in rodeos competing in local and surrounding rodeos in calf roping. He won the over-fifty roping title for western South Dakota on his roping horse, Buttons. William E. Sherman became Chief Brand Inspector of South Dakota in 1952 and moved to Rapid City, South Dakota. William E. Sherman died May 24, 1955 in Rapid City, South Dakota.