The Sharman blacksmith business led to the establishment of the settlement’s first foundry on Birmingham Street opposite St Patrick Street. The family business prospered with its manufacture of machines such as The Little Giant Thresher and other equipment farmers used to plant and harvest their crops. The Little Giant Thresher was powered by a three-horse treadmill. The family business was called Sharman and Foster Mfg. Co.
John's eldest son, Joseph Sharman, was born in 1841, perhaps the first immigrant child born in Stratford. He, too, became a deputy Crown lands agent, and served on both the Perth County and Stratford municipal councils. With his brothers John Junior and James, Joseph managed and operated the foundry and agricultural implements manufacturing businesses.
In 1885, Joseph moved to Manitoba with his wife Isabella (Logan), their 11 children and a herd of pure-bred Hereford cattle. There, he established a successful farming operation and eventually retired in Russell, Man., after living in Winnipeg and other locations.
In addition to his involvement with the family foundry and agricultural implements manufacturing business, James Sharman, the third son of John, and the only family member to remain in Stratford, took a prominent role in the city’s civic affairs. He served as a councillor in 1888 and was also the city assessor. Too, he was a school board trustee when Central Collegiate opened in 1885. He died in 1925 and is buried in Avondale Cemetery.
The fourth son, John Sharman Jr, his father’s namesake, was also active in the family business endeavors but branched into one of Stratford and area’s early businesses, cheese-making. In 1873 he was operating the Town of Stratford Cheese Factory. By 1881, still a cheese-maker, he and his wife, Annie Skidmore Brown, also of Stratford, were living on a farm in Downie Township with their three children.
According to assessment and census records, John J. Odbert, a 25-year-old tinsmith, acquired the quarter-acre acre property at 110 ( then numbered 31) Douglas St. in 1872. He built the first residential structure (see below) there in 1873, but almost immediately sold it to John and Isabella Sharman, who were by then in their 60s, and living nearby on Avon Street. The Sharmans enlarged the existing dwelling, which doubled the assessed value from $900 to $1,800 by 1876. John Sharman died in May 1883. His wife Isabella lived until 1902. Source: Historical Plaque Properties John Sharman picture thanks to Debra Mackie