Tuesday, January 3, 2017

He Ran Away From Home

If you would have asked his wife, Evelyn, up until October 28, 1913, she would have never guessed that her husband, Sherman Salisbury, would run away from home. Everything seemed to indicate that Sherman was a good husband and father. He had a successful career in the printing industry, volunteered often for his church, and enjoyed fishing and vacationing at the family cottage at Farley's-On-Cayuga.

Sherman was born in Auburn, New York in October of 1869. He was the son of George W. Salisbury and Caroline Matilda Smith. He was raised in Auburn and attended the public schools there along with his older sisters, Helen and Charlotte. A younger sister, Harriet, had died in early childhood. 

In 1891, Sherman married Evelyn Galbraith, daughter of Robert Ralph Henderson Galbraith and Mary Ann Hodgson. About 8 months later, a daughter, Caroline, was born.

The family remained in Auburn for quite a few years, vacationing at Farley's, attending the Central Presbyterian Church, and being active in the community. 

In October of 1905, Sherman was accidentally hit by a car. It appears that he suffered some minor injuries to his knee, but nothing life-threatening.

Evelyn Salisbury was a very successful woman. She was president of the Young Woman's Bible Class at the Central Presbyterian Church. She was a recognized authority on social problems, traveling throughout the country giving lectures on various topics of city reform.

In 1910, Sherman accepted a job as a general agent at the Kavmor Automatic Press Company. His office would be based in Chicago and his territory would include: Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. 

In February of 1911, Sherman suffered from a case of appendicitis and returned to Auburn for an operation. About a month later, he was well enough to return to Chicago. The Salisbury family relocated to Chicago.

Sometime between March of 1911 and October 1913, Sherman returned from Chicago and took a job as a traveling salesman with the Black River Paper Company of Watertown, NY. Sherman made three complete trips through his sales territory and on the fourth trip, he disappeared. On October 28, 1913, he sent a telegram from Malone, NY to his wife, Evelyn, stating that he was on his way home to Auburn and would arrive on October 30th. He never arrived.

On December 4th, the chief of police in Watertown, NY reported that a man of Sherman Salisbury's description had been found at Tupper Lake working for a lumber company, using a different name. Because Salisbury typically wrote his wife every day when he was away, she assumed that he was dead due to foul play and did not believe the reports that her husband could be at Tupper Lake.

In February of 1914, it was reported that Salisbury's sample case that he used for sales calls had been found at Tupper Lake. The contents of the case contained memorandums of the amounts collected by Salisbury and letters from Salisbury's wife, Evelyn. The letters had been received by Salisbury two and three weeks before his disappearance. They were unopened. Upon hearing this news, Mrs. Salisbury continued to believe that her husband was a victim of foul play or an accident. Reports began to circulate that Mr. Salisbury was perhaps "mentally unbalanced".

On February 9, 1914, it was confirmed that Sherman Salisbury was alive and had been located at an Adirondack lumber camp. Nothing else is mentioned. Various newspaper articles indicate that the Salisbury family remained in Auburn, NY until late 1915 to early 1916, at which time they moved to Grand Rapids, MI.

In 1930, Sherman Salisbury lives in Grand Rapids, MI. He is a sales manager for a printing company. Living with him are his wife, Evelyn, and his daughter, Caroline. Caroline is an accountant in an auto garage. Sherman Salisbury died in Grand Rapids, MI in March of 1947. Evelyn died in December of 1951. Caroline never married. She remained in Grand Rapids until her death in November of 1971.

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