Sherwood, Thomas Emory (1835–1897)

By: Kristi Nedderman

Type: Biography

Updated: February 3, 2021

Thomas Emory Sherwood, mayor of Dallas and minister, was born in La Porte County, Indiana, to Reverend Jeremiah Sherwood and Sarah (Elrod) Sherwood on May 31, 1835. About 1842 his parents moved the family to Kaufman County, Texas, where his father was a Methodist minister. On October 30, 1856, Thomas Sherwood married Nancy “Nannie” Lavinia McCreary in Rockwall, Texas, which was in Kaufman County at the time. The couple had a number of children, although it is unclear how many. Possibly only one son, Marvin, and one daughter, Effie, survived to adulthood.

From 1857 to 1859 Sherwood served as the postmaster in Farmersville, Texas, in Collin County. He left this post and moved to Dallas, where, at the age of twenty-six, he was elected mayor in August 1861. Serving with him was Peter Stevenson as marshal and George W. Guess, James N. Smith, Edward W. Hunt, William W. Peak, and Dr. Samuel B. Pryor as aldermen.

Records of city government at this time are sparse, and it is unknown whether Sherwood resigned as mayor to join the Civil War or if his term had ended. In either case, he was the last mayor for the city until 1866. During the Civil War, no mayors, either appointed or elected, served Dallas.

In 1862, at age twenty-seven, he enlisted in the Confederate States Army. He was part of Company C of the Fifteenth Texas Cavalry Regiment led by Col. George Sweet. Sherwood was promoted from his enlistment rank of private to Commissary of Subsistence before being discharged.

After the war, following in this father’s footsteps, Sherwood was licensed as a Methodist minister in 1866. He worked as a circuit rider and moved around North Central and East Texas as assigned until 1897. His assignment locations included Scyene, Honey Grove, and Greenville, Texas. While in Scyene, he was also a teacher from 1869 to 1871 at the Scyene Masonic Institute. His final assignment was in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Thomas Emory Sherwood died on April 10, 1897, in Dodd City in Fannin County, Texas, and was buried in the City Cemetery of Sulphur Springs, Texas.

Christian Messenger (Bonham, Texas), November 14, 1877. City of Dallas, City Secretary's Office, History of Mayors and City Councils 1866–Present (Dallas, Texas: City of Dallas, n.d). Dallas Daily Herald, November 18, 1871; November 13, 1875.  Dallas Morning News, March 26, 1933. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1892). J. Lee Stambaugh and Lillian J. Stambaugh, A History of Collin County (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1958).

  • Military
  • Confederate Military
  • Regimental and Staff Officers
  • Politics and Government
  • Civic and Community Leaders
  • Religion
  • Methodist
Time Periods:
  • Antebellum Texas
  • Civil War
  • Reconstruction
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • East Texas
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Kristi Nedderman, “Sherwood, Thomas Emory,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 27, 2022,

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February 3, 2021

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