Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 428-9
Having retired from the active proprietorship of agricultural interests, Sherman COMINGS makes his home in Rockford [Winnebago County, IL]. He was born in the town of Berkshire, Franklin County, VT, 17 Dec 1818, while his father, Samuel COMINGS, was a native of Windsor [Hillsborough County], NH, and of Scotch ancestry. He was one of the first settlers in Berkshire, where he cleared a tract of college land, erected a log house and commenced the work of improving a farm. As there were no railroads or canals in the vicinity for many years after his settlement there, the father of our subject hauled the products of the farm to the nearest markets, returning with the necessary articles for the family. He improved a large portion of the land, erected thereon first class buildings, and for a number of years made that place his home. Then disposing of this farm, Mr. COMINGS lived with a son-in-law until going to WI, where he spent his last years with his son Harvey. The mother of our subject was known in her maidenhood as Miss Martha AIKENS, her birth occurring in Canada.
Sherman COMINGS of this sketch attended the distrcit schools in his youth, and on reaching his 15th year learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner, which line he followed for six years, and then turned his attention to that of a millwright. He prosecuted that business in VT until 1848, and on emigrating to WI was accompanied by his wife, brother Harvey and family. The family came with teams to Burlington [Chittenden County, VT], thence by way of Lake Champlain to the canal of that name, and, going to Troy, came by way of the Erie Canal to Buffalo [Erie County, NY], where they took passage on the steamer "Empire State." At Conneaut the vessel foundered and the passengers were all transferred to the steamer "Michigan," which conveyed them to Milwaukee, where they shipped on the steamer "Sheboygan." On landing, Mr. COMINGS and family hired a team to take them to Linden Township, 16 miles distant, the latter part of the way following an Indian trail. There our subject purchased a claim to a tract of Government land, which was heavily timbered, and four acres of which were cleared; a log house constituted the only other improvement. He worked at his trade of a millwright, at the same time superintending the improvements on his farm, which he put under excellent cultivation. For some time, standing timber was of no value, and when it was found necessary to cut it, the logs were rolled together and burned. Mr. COMINGS did all his marketing and farm work by the aid of oxen, and remembers going ten miles away in order to buy iron to iron a cart, the woodwork of which vehicle he made from timber grown on his own land, and which he continued to use as long as he resided in WI.
In 1867 our subject sold his farm in the WI and came to Winnebago County [IL], purchasing a farm three miles south of the city of Rockford, which is most beautifully located on the Rock River. Soon after settling here, he started a creamery, being one of the pioneers in that business, and shipping the products of his dairy to St. Louis. Mr. COMINGS resided on the above farm until 1891, when he moved into the city and is now enjoying the fruits of former years of industry and toil.
The lady who became the wife of our subject, 31 Dec 1840, bore the maiden name of Elmina E. STONE. Her birth occurred in Berkshire [Franklin County], VT, and she is the daughter of James and Lucinda (DANFORTH) STONE. The two children born to them are Arthur F. and Everett S., the former of whom is a practicing physician in Rockford, and Everett S. is the editor of a first class paper [p 429] devoted to poultry and gardening. Mr. and Mrs. COMINGS are members of the Second Congregational Society, and in politics, our subject has voted the Republican ticket since the organization of the party.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.