"Worth coming home to."
The town of Defiance began with the man Jacob Winemiller. Jacob Winemiller was born in York County, PA. at 42 years old, in 1865 Winemiller moved his family ( his wife, 7 children and 1 nephew, John Bainum) to Worth County, where he bought a tract of land from Warren and Martha Judd. This parcel of land was in Township 66, Range 33, Section 14.
Mr. Winemiller first operated a water-powered saw mill on the west side of the Platte River. He also built a home for his family on the east side of the river on the bluff overlooking the valley. It was around this time that the area became known as Winemiller’s Mill.
There were several businesses in the little trading post, including a blacksmith shop, mercantile and drug store. A stage line operated between Grant City and Hopkins and stopped at Winemiller’s Mill. Eventually a post office was established there. In 1872 the town was platted and post office established, the town officially became Defiance P.O. with Jacob Winemiller as the first postmaster.
In the March 2nd, 1876 issue of the Grant City Star it listed a business directory of Defiance. The town had 2 blacksmith shops, one wagon maker, two doctors, one grist mill, one hotel, one drug and notion store, one hardware and on furniture store. There was also a church and a school in Defiance.
Rumors of a railroad coming through the area caused quite a stir. The citizens hoped their little settlement would grow tremendously. By 1882 it seems certain that a railroad would be built near Winemiller’s Mill. But unfortunately in 1882 the Chicago, St. Paul and Kansas City Railroad built the grade and laid the steel down the scenic Platte River Valley, missing Defiance by one-half mile to the west. As with many other cities and villages close to railway lines, if the tracks were too far away the city soon disappeared. In 1887 Defiance moved closer to the railroad and changed the name to Sheridan in honor of General Sheridan, a civil war general.
The first settler to locate in Sheridan was James Boyle, who laid out the town in 1887. This year also marked the building of the Chicago Great Western Railroad through the western part of Worth County. Walter M. Bond erected the first building in the new town, which was used for a hotel. Velley Davidson, now with the Citizens Bank at Grant City, erected and conducted the first store. Dr. J. M. F. Copper was the first physician and Judge Dale was the first lawyer. Simons and Mitchell ran the first blacksmith shop, and F. D. Wetherald the first lumber yard. The Methodist and Baptist churches were built about the same time in the early '90s. Sheridan is now a thriving commercial center, being the largest "Great Western" town in the county. The buildings are neat and modern and occupy a striking location in the level valley of Platte River, twelve miles west of Grant City. The town has a population of about six hundred.
The City of Sheridan is a lovely community. They have an active Community Betterment group that works tirelessly to keep Sheridan thriving. The group recently rebuilt the rodeo grounds, and built a new community room that can accommodate many activities.
Some annual events are the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, all over town garage sales, Old Defiance Days Celebration and Rodeo, Christmas Lighted Parade.