Sherman Minerva Library Receives Grant To Help Replace Handicap Door

The Sherman Minerva Free Library board recently received a grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to help defray the cost of replacing the handicap door entering into the rear of the building.

The Minerva Free Library building was built in 1901 thanks to Oliver W. Norton who said he would put up a building for the library if the town would raise $500 annually for its support. In the late 1850s the Norton family moved to Sherman and remained for a few years as he attended school at Sherman Central School. After which he served with the 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War. At war end, he became involved in the manufacture of tin cans, the beginning of the American Can Company, where he became very wealthy.

At that time his brother Grant still lived in Sherman and Norton was interested in the welfare of the town. His many benefactors in Sherman included electric lights, and a water system and of course, the Minerva Library building. It is estimated that his gifts to Sherman were nearly $75,000. Norton also donated books from his personal collection to the library during that time period.