Birds of an Iowa Dooryard (Bur Oak Book) by Althea R. Sherman

By Althea R. Sherman

Written within the early a part of this century, Birds of an Iowa Dooryard is stuffed with meticulous and witty observations of species either avian and human.

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Doors allowed entrance into the chimney, and numerous peepholes and windows which jutted into the chimney in a V allowed observation without frightening the swifts. Enclosed bookcases lined the walls on all four floors. The tower's small, irregularly placed windows may seem a bit odd when viewed from the outside, but inside it becomes apparent that these were strategically located to allow light onto the stairs and into the chimney itself. Small boards and pegs nailed to the oak posts and Page x to the edges of the chimney were placed for hanging the kerosene lanterns Sherman used in her night studies of the swifts.

He made loans with discretion. When borrowers became enmeshed in financial difficulties he gave wise counsel. He usually collected the prevailing high rate of interest. Seldom did he have to resort to severe measures to liquidate a loan. He was well regarded by those who dealt with him. Mr. and Mrs. Sherman reared to manhood and womanhood five daughters and one son. One of the daughters died as a young woman. The others received a college education. The son received a legal education. Two of the daughters became doctors of medicine at a time when that attainment was rare for women.

Mr. Sherman died in 1896 and left a substantial estate to his family. A daughter, Miss Althea R. Sherman, author of this work, was born on October 10, 1853. After receiving a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College she taught for several years in the public schools. After post graduate work at Oberlin she received her Master's degree and spent several years in the study of art. For a time she was instructor in drawing at Carleton College and then supervisor of drawing in the public schools of Tacoma, Washington.

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