Date of this Version
Scheiber, "Book Review," from Nebraska Bird Review (December 1996) 64(4).
This book contains 18 essays based on observations Miss Sherman made on a farm in northeastern Iowa six miles west of the Mississippi River, near McGregor. The essays were given at meetings of scientific societies (she belonged to 15) or were published in their journals, and included such titles as "Feeding Winter Birds" and "Experiments in Feeding Hummingbirds During Seven Summers." She was recognized for her knowledge of birds, and her forceful and pungent wit.
Miss Sherman was born on the Iowa farm in 1853 and died there in 1943. She was an artist and teacher for the first 20 years of her adult life. She received Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Oberlin College, Ohio, and taught in an Iowa country school for a few years. One former student said, "She took us into the woods. Showed us how flowers grew; how seeds ripen; how leaves are constructed and how they breathe; how to know trees by the bark." Later, she went to the Art Institute in Chicago and the Art' Students' League in New York City, then taught art in a number of locations. She attained recognition as an artist, and some of her illustrations are in the book. In 1895 she was called home to care for ailing parents. Her sister, Amelia, a doctor, returned in 1902 to practice rural medicine, and they lived on the farm for the rest of their lives. Amelia often helped Althea with bird studies.