Posted on Fri, 05/06/2022 - 09:10am

By Pamela Knudson
Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – Father William Sherman, well-known and beloved parish priest who led St. Michael’s Catholic Church for 27 years, died Wednesday afternoon, May 4, at Valley Living Center. He was 94....

Father Phillip Ackerman, of Holy Cross Catholic Church, West Fargo, served as an associate pastor with Sherman from 1980 to 1984 at St. Michael’s Church.

“I’ve always enjoyed his very folksy approach to celebrating weddings, anniversaries and funerals,” Ackerman said. "He had an informal and very personable way of celebrating them. I learned from that.”

Ackerman also credited Sherman, as an NDSU sociology teacher, for his extraordinary research on “the people of North Dakota and their ethnicity." Sherman wrote books detailing his findings.

Click here to read the full article from the Grand Forks Herald.

Father William C. Sherman was a well-known and celebrated North Dakota scholar and educator. He taught Sociology of the Great Plains and Religion at NDSU from 1971-2001. Father Sherman has been awarded two honorary doctorates, one from the University of Mary, Bismarck, and one from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. His work highlights the unique and complex history of North Dakota inhabitants, especially that of the Germans from Russia.

In 2012, Father Sherman donated over 13,000 photographs, negatives, slides, floorplans, and site survey documents detailing homesteads in North Dakota. Most of these images and documents were created during the summers between 1972 and 1976. Father Sherman would take NDSU students to explore central and western North Dakota in search of ethnic homesteads and vernacular architecture. Today, many of these homesteads no longer exist.

"For about 10 years at NDSU, I'd get the architecture and history students together and we'd saturate the state studying the housing Germans from Russia built out there. They built houses just like they did back in the Black Sea area near Odessa, Ukraine."

Click here to explore the images and documents from the Father William C. Sherman Photograph Collection on Digital Horizons.