Francis Joseph Scherman

FRANCIS JOSEPH SCHERMAN. A leading representative of the agricultural interests of Shawnee County, Francis Joseph Scherman is also a member of the Kansas bar and has taken more than an ordinarily prominent part in public affairs. His present fine farm, where he is engaged in general and stock raising operations, is located not far from the City of Topeka, and Mr. Scherman has a number of business interests at the Kansas capital, where he is widely and favorably known.

Mr. Scherman was born November 6, 1872, in Johnson County, Kansas, and is a son of Andrew Scherman, who was born in 1844 at Geresdorf, Hungary. His grandfather was an official of the Hungarian government, and, in the capacity of justice had charge of important government interests. In his official duties he was assisted by his son, Andrew, but when the latter was eighteen years of age he left his native land and came to America, locating at Lenexa, Johnson County, Kansas, in 1862. Very soon thereafter Mr. Scherman entered into railroad work, and was always proud of the fact that he assisted in the construction of the first railroad to enter Kansas, probably the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf. When he first arrived oxen were used in hauling, but as soon as possible these were discarded because of their slowness and because the constant shouting necessary in getting the proper amount of work out of the animals was too severe upon the men's voices. Mules were then used, and Mr. Scherman was able to demand double the salary of the other men, because he was capable of driving a four mule team. He it was who drove the team that hauled the first ties ever sawed in Kansas, these being from the Waldersmith sawmill on Mill Creek, twelve miles north of Olathe. One of Mr. Scherman's great friends was Mr. Bradshaw, one of the old pioneer settlers, who worked hard for the issuing of county bonds, and without whose constant efforts this road would not have been possible. After some years spent in the service of railroads in Kansas, Andrew Scherman bought a farm of 120 acres, in Johnson County, which is still in the family name, and there continued successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1913. In that year he retired to the City of Lenexa, where he is living retired. Mr. Scherman married in 1869 Miss Magdalena Bleier, of Johnson County, who also belonged to a family of Hungarian origin. To this union were born six sons and three daughters, namely: William, Francis, Joseph, Mary, Andrew, Albert, Walter, Sophia, George and Helen. Of these, William is engaged in farming in the vicinity of Lenexa; Mary is now Mrs. M. Zahner, and lives in the same locality; Andrew is also engaged in farming there; Walter is in the automobile business at Overland Park, Kansas City, Missouri; Sophie is the wife of Thomas Linn, who is in charge of the motor power for the Strang Electric Lines; George is a farmer on the old homestead; and Helen resides with her parents. Andrew Scherman was a man of very high principles, had the courage of his convictions, was absolutely fearless in his support of whatever he considered right, and possessed a moral character that was absolutely without blemish. He was a kind and indulgent father and a good provider, and as a citizen had the respect and esteem of other public-spirited men who had the welfare of their community at heart.

Francis Joseph Scherman was reared on the home farm, where he received a good training in agricultural matters, and in the common schools of Johnson County was given his early education. This was supplemented by a course in Spaulding's Business College, at Kansas City, Missouri, and he next studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1909. Purchasing a farm on West Tenth Street Road, on Topeka Rural Route No. 8, he has since devoted his attention to general farming and the breeding of blooded stock there. In the latter field he has given particular attention to horses, and on his farm was born the famous "Aaron McGregor," a stallion with the fastest record of any Kansas horse, which was sold for more than $2,000 by Mr. Scherman, and which was sent to California to head a big stock farm. Mr. Scherman has always taken an interest in public affairs, and at present is making the race for representative from his district to the Kansas State Legislature. As his past record is an excellent one, in agricultural, business, legal and civic matters, he looks like the logical candidate for the position, and the high esteem in which he is held makes it certain that he will receive a large vote.

Mr. Scherman was married in 1905 to Miss Lois Brady Wolfe, of Johnson County, Kansas, who is closely related to the Brady family, of religious and literary fame. To this union there have been born three children, namely: Francis, Paul and Isabel.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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