History: Sherwood Township (1874 - 1953)
Contact: Dee Zimmerman
Clark County News: August, 1953; Compiled by Dee Zimmerman for her weekly column "The Good Ole Days" published July 9, 2003.
The 17th township in Clark County, known at the present time as Sherwood, was created by an order of the county board on the 8tn day of January 1874. It consisted of township 23, range I east and is the southeastern town in Clark County. It was originally called the town of Perkins, taking its name from Hugh Perkins, one of the prominent settlers residing there. The first town meeting was held at the house of Perkins on the first Tuesday of April 1874.
It was known as the town of Perkins for a little over two years. Then, the county board of supervisors changed its name from Perkins to Sherwood Forest, under which name it existed for nearly 20 years.
In 1884, Hugh Perkins became involved in an altercation with Isaac Meddaugh, a resident of the township, at the sawmill belonging to Perkins. The quarrel resulted in the death of Meddaugh. Perkins was arrested and charged with murder. In November 1884, while confined in the Clark County jail; he broke jail and made his escape.
Nearly four years later, in October 1888, he was recaptured at Windsor, Ontario, opposite Detroit, Michigan. Perkins was tried in June 1989 and was convicted of manslaughter in the first degree. This verdict was set aside by Judge Newman and Perkins was again tried in December 1889, the jury finding him guilty of manslaughter in the second degree. On appeal to the Supreme Court, the last conviction was reversed and a new trial was ordered, but nothing further was done with the case.
The name, Sherwood Forest, was suggested by Gov. C.C. Washburn, who had lands and logging interests in the town. It was an appropriate name, purely sentimental, but like its ancient namesake in Nottingham Shire, England, was suggestive of the traditions of Robin Hood, Little John, Friar Tuck and Maid Marian. On the 12th of January 1900, the county board, on the application of the chairman of the township, changed its name from Sherwood Forest to Sherwood.
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