Downtown Sherman recognized the city’s namesake Friday morning with the unveiling of a new mural along wall of Old Iron Post.
The mural pays honor to Col. Sidney Sherman, who gained recognition as one of the heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto during the Texas Revolutionary War, and who the city is named after.
The mural is the latest in a series of public art displays that have been commissioned on downtown buildings in recent years, in both the cities of Sherman and Denison.
"It became clear over the course of the past five years the one of the things we haven’t done well enough is not only preserving and protecting our history, but highlighting our history and using that as an advantage," Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said. "The city has a very storied history, both good and bad and it is something we should wear on our sleeve more."
Sidney Sherman is seen as a hero of the Battle of San Jacinto, which led to the formation of the Republic of Texas. While Sherman was recognized as a colonel during the revolution, he was later promoted to general of the militia in the Republic.
Sidney Sherman was born in Massachusetts in the early 1800s and eventually moved to Frankfort Kentucky. He was among many Kentuckians who pledged support for the burgeoning resistance in Mexican-controlled Texas and arrived in the territory in 1836. During the battle of San Jacinto, he led one of the two regiments in Sam Houston’s army, and his troops believed to be the originators of the war cry, "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!"
The Mural was made possible through one of Sherman Main Street’s annual grants. Main Street Manager Sarah McRae said the grant for this project was initially awarded in 2019, but the project was delayed.
The mural itself was painted by Heather Shields, who previously painted a mural for the Sherman Farmers Market near the Sidney Sherman Mural.
"I am just really excited to be a part of this," She said. "They know so much about the history and I’ve only been here about five years. It inspired me to dig deep and learn more about Sherman and I hope it inspires more people who drive by to find out more about who the city is named after."
Robert Little, co-owner of Old Iron Post, said his building has a long wall against Houston Street, which makes it a prime location for murals. For many years, Little said he has told many people about the city and who it is named for, after many confuse it for another Sherman who served during the Civil War.
"Over the years I found it disappoint how many people didn’t know who Sherman, Texas was named for.Frequently they would think of people like William Tecumseh Sherman or they think of a Sherman tank, and can find out who a Sherman tank is named for and think it is the same guy. Well, it’s not," he said.
Inside the restaurant, a copy of the battle flag of San Jacinto hangs from the ceiling, serving as a constant reminder of the city’s origin and name sake. The original flag, which is believed to be the only flag flown during the short battle, was carried by Sidney Sherman’s troops, and now hangs in the Texas House of Representatives.
McRae said one of the benefits of public art is that it serves as an attraction and draw for downtown Sherman.
"Murals are are a bit trendier," she said. "People enjoy them and they are fun and add vibrancy to downtown. People enjoy vibrancy and public art with the ability to take selfies."
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at email@example.com.