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U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865

Name:  John Earman

Age:  18

Birth Date:  abt 1846

Enlistment Date:  1864

Military Unit:  First Cavalry

Household Members

Name:  Age

John Earman

John Sites Earman  


First Mayor of West Palm Beach
     John Sites Earman was the son of John B Earman and Amanda Jane Sites.  His father John B. Ear-man was born in Virginia about 1819.  He married first, Amanda Jane Sites prior to 1845 (the year of the birth of their first child).  Amanda was the daughter of John Samuel Sites and Elizabeth Henton, both buried in Woodbine Cemetery in Harrisonburg, Rockingham County , Virginia.  Amanda was born in 1820 and died at 37 years of age in 1855.  John married a second time to Mary Ann Sites, a cousin of his first wife prior to 1860 in Rockingham County.  Mary Ann was born about 1825 and died in Charleston, South Carolina where she was living with her daughter, an only child, Alice M. C. Earman Sherer.  After the death of her husband in 1883, Mary Ann apparently went to live with Alice who at that time was living in Newberry, South Carolina where her husband was serving on the faculty of Newberry College, prior to living in Charleston  Alice was married to Dr. Melanchthon Gideon Groseclose Sherer in Bridgewater, Rockingham County, Virginia Oct 20, 1886.  M. G. G. Scherer was of the very prominanr Scherer family, Lutheran ministers.  His brother, Dr. James Augustin Brown Scherer would become the President of Newberry College in South Carolina and later the President of what would become Caltech.  Mary Ann was buried back in Virginia at St. Mathews Cemetery in New Market, Virginia. 

     John B. Earman served his state in the 9th Battalion Reserves of Rockingham County.  He was mustered in at Harrisonburg April 28, 1864 when he was 47 years old.

     John Sites Earman was born about 1845 in Rockingham County.  He volunteered and fought with the CSA where he served as a scout for Stonewall Jackson’s army.  He signed his parole papers May 31, 1865.  He was only 18 at the time.  His occupation at that time was that of a carpenter and cabinet maker.  On February 27, 1873 he married Susan Elizabeth Burke, the daughter of Col. John Wesley Burke and Asnith Jane Adelia Pratt.  The Colonel was in the stage coach, mail and livery business mainly in New Market, Virginia.  Both he and his wife are buried in the Friedans church Cemetery in Mt. Crawford, Virginia, the same cemetery that John B. and Amanda Sites Earman are buried in. 

     John Sites Earman and Susie E. Burke Earman are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida.  In addition, his eldest son, Joseph Lucien  Earman and his wife, Georgia Alberta Farwell Earman are buried there, all in Plot B.

     Per census information, we see that John and Susan had relocated to Florida after 1880 but prior to 1887 when his second son,  John Burke Earman, was born in Tavares, Lake County, Florida.  After a short stint in Tavares, John and his family are found in West Palm Beach, Florida.   Although he lived with his family in downtown West Palm Beach, Earman farmed north of town in the area that is now Lake Park and North Palm Beach. When the city was incorporated in 1894, John Sites Earman was elected as the first Mayor.   

     Temptation often crosses class lines. West Palm Beach's first mayor, John Earman, was nearly booted from office in 1895 when he was charged with being "in a state of intoxication" in the company of a lady of the evening who went by "Specks." Earman denied the charges and they were dismissed a month later.

John and Susan had two sons, Joseph Lucien Earman and John Burke Earman.  


     Joseph was born in Virginia in 1875 and as mentioned above, John Burke was born in Florida.  Joseph would go on and become quite successful as the Editor of the Palm Beach Post and later on as a judge. He was Editor of the Palm Beach Post from 1913 to 1920, Earman resigned to start the Palm Beach Independent, noted for its editorials. Earman became the only man ever elected to the Palm Beach City Commission running independent of the two major political parties. Governor Sidney Catts appointed him chairman of the board of control and he became known as one of Catts major advisors during a stormy period of Florida's politics. He served three terms.  He was appointed municipal court judge. He became known for his philanthropic activities later in life.

     Joseph and Georgia had a son named John Simms Earman, born July 15, 1901 in West Palm Florida and died August 30, 1983 in Vero Beach, Florida.  He attended Cornell University in New York.  He married Elizabeth Anne Albers June 18, 1925.  They were the parents of three children. 

       His younger brother, John Burke Earman would become a prominent dentist, one of the few in West Palm Beach at that time, eventually having offices in West Palm Beach, Dade City and Charleston, South Carolina.  Dr. Earman and his wife are both buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, West Palm Beach.
As preparation for the dredging of the Florida East Coast Canal in 1897, a ditch was dug south of the haulover from Lake Worth Creek in order to help drain the land for farming. Joseph Borman, before he became Palm Beach’s first town marshal, helped to dig “Dimick’s Ditch” by hand, along with Nathan Pitts (Pitts Island), Elisha N. Dimick, and George Lainhart.  Borman said in an interview in 1962: “I worked in it all the winter of [18]97, cutting muck down that floated out in the lake.” Today the waterway is known as the Earman River, or C-17 Canal. 


March 23, 2015

By Eliot Kleinberg, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Readers: Twenty-five years ago this week, West Palm Beach voted to switch the name of First Street back to Banyan, ending 64 years of exile for the city’s most notorious road. We’ll revisit columns from 2002 and 2009:

From 1925 to 1989, it was First Street. Before that, it was Banyan Street. The reason for the change all those years: sin.

In the 1890s, if you wanted whiskey, women or trouble in the fledgling city, Banyan Street was the only place to go.

It was the only street in town where alcohol was permitted — at least officially — and it earned the notorious nickname “Whiskey Street.”

Its saloons, gambling halls and brothels operated around the clock, luring the laborers building the Palm Beach resorts.

Temptation often crosses class lines. West Palm Beach’s first mayor, John Earman, was nearly booted from office in 1895 when he was charged with being “in a state of intoxication” in the company of a lady of the eve-ning who went by “Specks.” Earman denied the charges and they were dismissed a month later.  In 1904, fed-up local women called in the “Kansas Cyclone”: Carry Nation, the 6-foot-tall, black-clad, Bible-clutching matron of temperance who smashed saloons across America with her holy hatchet.  There’s no indication she smashed any bars on Banyan, but the city finally decided in 1925 to change the street’s name to First Street. That backfired when locals began calling it “Thirst Street.”  On Nov. 6, 1989, apparently satisfied that time had buried Banyan’s sordid reputation, West Palm Beach restored its name.

Tallahassee Democrat, Friday, October 2, 1931,  Page 1


West Palm Beach-- Palm Beach county waited until after the death of John Sites Earman, first mayor of West Palm Beach, to award recognition for an act of courage performed 16 years before.  The same resolution presented at the time but never acted upon was passed by the county com-mission changing the name of Sawgrass river to Earman river in recognition of the pioneer mayor's bravery.  Sixteen years ago, Mr. Earman was 68, he saved the county bridge across that river and properties of the Florida East Coast railroad from destruction by flood waters.  He was obliged to work all night at his self-imposed task of stemming the waters aided only by one negro.

The Palm Beach Post, Wednesday, September 23, 1931, 


John Sites Earman Is Claimed By Death


First Mayor, Father of Present Commissioner, Succumbs.


     John sites Earman, long time pioneer, first mayor of West Palm Beach and father of Commissioner Joe L. Earman died Tuesday morning at a Lake Worth hospital following a two weeks illness.  He was 84 years old.


     Although Mr. Earman had been in feeble health for some time, he had been critically ill for two weeks and his death came unexpectedly from a heart attack.  For the last 18 years, he had lived at his home north of Kelsey City where he had engaged in farming.


     Funeral services will be held tonight at 8 o'clock at the Ferguson Chapel, after which the body will be taken to Jacksonville tonight at 11:25 o'clock to be buried in the family lot there.  The Rev. Framk Atkin--  son, pastor of the Congregational Church, will officiate at the service here.


     Born Sept. 4, 1847, in Rockingham County, Va., John Sites Earman was married in 1869 to Miss Susan Elizabeth Burke of Cross Keys, Va.  The family moved to Florida 51 years ago, settling first in Leesburg and coming to West Palm Beach in 1893  When West Palm Beach was incorporated in 1894, Mr. Earman was elected the first Mayor of the municipality.  He was affectionately known by his many friends as "Dad" Earman.


     During the Civil War, Mr. Earman served as a scout through the mountains if Virginia for the Con-federacy, and he was honored as one of the county's most distinguished veterans by the Thomas Benton Ellis Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.


     Surviving is one sister, Mrs. Alice Schearer. of New York whose husband is Moderator of the Lutheran Church, New York Synod.; Two sons, Joe L. Earman, Commissioner, Dr. J. Burke Earman, well-known dentist of this city,, two grandsons, Joe S. Earman and John Robert Eraman, two great-grandchildren, Joe Henry Earman and Georgia Ann Earman.


     Pallbearers will be M. E. Gruber, George Butler, R. C. Baker, C. W. Calley, C. S. Raulerson, David Reed, A. B. Otwell and Fred Farwell.


     Mrs. W. R Bowler, president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy issued a call  last night for all members to attend the funeral tonight. 

John B. Earman and His Two wives, Amanda Sites, and her cousin, Mary Ann Sites                                         (John B. and Amanda Earman were the parents of John Sites Earman)

Parents of John Sites Earman

John B Earman

Amanda Sites Earman

 Mary Ann Sites Earman

Published in the Palm Beach Post
                   May 16, 1916


                               IT WAS TORN DOWN TO MAKE WAY FOR THE SALT AIR HOTEL

                 Col. John Wesley Burke 

     (Father of Susan Burke, wife of John Sites Earman)

Col John Wesley Burke

Birth: Sep. 24, 1817

Death: Feb. 20, 1898

Family links: 
  Nancy Weaver Burke (1777 - 1850)
  Julia Burke Chelf (1807 - 1881)*
  Jurietta Burke Level (1810 - 1882)*
  John Wesley Burke (1817 - 1898)
  Allen F Burke (1819 - 1877)*
*Calculated relationship


Friedens United Church of Christ Cemetery 
Rockingham County
Virginia, USA

Created by: Karen Sites
Record added: Jul 10, 2010 
Find A Grave Memorial# 54746768

Jane A Burke

Birth: Jan. 1, 1834

Death: Jul. 19, 1896


Friedens United Church of Christ Cemetery 
Rockingham County
Virginia, USA

Created by: Karen Sites
Record added: Jul 10, 2010 
Find A Grave Memorial# 54746767

1860 United States Federal Census

NameJohn W Burk


Birth Yearabt 1820


Birth PlaceVirginia

Home in 1860District 1, Rockingham, Virginia

Post OfficeHarrisonburg

Family Number447

Household Members


John W Burk40

Asenath J Burk26

Nancy J Burk7

Susan E Burk5

Laura V Burk3

Ida Bell Burk5/12

Cross Keyes, Virginia

Picture given to Mamie Genevieve Austin Welcker by Ida Belle Burke Bowers in 1937. Standing on Porch: Luther Thomas Burke, Ada Leavell, Olin F. Leavell, Asenith Jane Adelia Pratt, John Wesley Burke's Wife.

Parents of Susan Elizabeth Birke Earman

Eldest son of John Sites Earman


Publisher, editor, politician, jurist, philanthropist, mason.

Editor of the Palm Beach Post from 1913 to 1920, Earman resigned to start the Palm Beach Independent, noted for its editorials. Earman became the only man ever elected to the Palm Beach City Commission running independent of the two major political parties. Governor Sidney


Catts appointed him chairman of the board of control and he became known as one of Catts major advisors during a stormy period of Florida's politics. He served three terms.


As a police court and was appointed municipal court judge. He became known for his philanthropic activities later in life.

J. L Earman Home,  217 Valencia Street, West Palm Beach, Florida
Home of J. L. Earman, 217 Valencia Street, West Palm Beach, Florida

Joe L. Earman is probably as well known as any other man in the state, and his name is one of merited distinction because of his personal character and what he has done and is doing. Mr. Earman for many years was on the road as a traveling salesman, and in that way built up a large acquaintance throughout the state. His home is at West Palm Beach, where he is in the investment business, and for several years was president and majority stockholder of the Palm Beach Daily Post. He is a former chairman of the State Board of Control and president of the State Board of Health, and as municipal judge

Mr. Earman is a native of Rockingham County, Virginia, and when he was four years of age his parents moved to Florida and located in that part of old Sumter County now Lake County. He lived there until he was seventeen years of age, left home and went on the road as a traveling salesman for a Jacksonville firm. His work as a traveling salesman continued for twenty-five years, taking him to all the cities and villages of the state.

When he left the road in 1916 Mr. Earman located permanently at West Palm Beach, and here established the Daily Post and was active on that paper five years. He made of it a real institution carrying all the local news and the associated press dispatches and made it a substantial asset to the city. He sold his interest in this paper on January 1, 1921, and since then his active business interests have been confined to investments, with offices in the Professional Building.

Mr. Earman was appointed a member and president of the State Board of Control of Florida in 1917. After two years Governor Catts transferred him to the office of president of the State Board of Health, and he continued to serve in that capacity for two years, until 1921.

His service as municipal judge of West Palm Beach began in September 1921. He accepted this responsibility through the urgent solicitation of the best citizens and not from any desire for political advancement or for any of the emoluments that pertained to the office. It is an office that suffered greatly by abuse or by routine performance of its duties, and in this case- the judge has proved greater than the office. Mr. Earman disposes of the cases that come before him each day from the viewpoint of the good citizen and humanitarian rather than from the legalistic point of view of the lawyer. He dispenses with legal technicalities, judges his cases solely on the main facts and always tempers justice with mercy. He is especially concerned with juvenile cases, boys or girls brought before him for a first or often trivial offense. He goes to the bottom of each case, studies the conditions of the environment out of which the offense might arise, and he employs all his official influence and the kindliness of his nature to set the offender on the right path and shut off further opportunity for a life of crime. Out of his experience as a municipal judge he has founded at West Palm Beach an institution that has become famous, the School of Opportunity, an institution where the boys work during the day and study rudimentary educational courses at night. This has proved a boom to illiterate boys, and some of them as old as eighteen or more have acquired their first education in this school and at the same time acquired the self-respect which such a course inculcates. Mayor Hylan of New York when in Palm Beach in the winter of 1922 took particular note of Judge Earman's School of Opportunity, declaring his intention to establish similar schools in New York. Judge Earman bought over $500 worth of books for this school, and has given it his constant care and attention. Judge Earman is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Dixie Highway Association and the Rotary Club.

He married  Georgia  Alberta Farwell, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, and  daughter of James

A. Farwell. Mrs. Earman is president of the Women's Club of West Palm Beach and is also active in civic and social movements. Judge and Mrs. Earman have a son, Joseph Simms Earman, who is a graduate of Woodbcrry College and is now a student in Cornell University


History of Florida: Past and Present, Historical and Biographical, Volume 2   PAGE 195



Son of Joseph L. Earman, grandson of John Sites Earman

Joseph Simms Earman

Elizabeth Ann Albers

Earman Oil Office Dedication 1960 L-R     Joe H. Earman,     Ralph Catron,                                                          CA Malcolm,   Joe H. Earman Sr.


Joseph Henry Earman Sr. Obituary


Joe Henry Earman Sr., 84, died May 4, 2010. He was born in Washington, D.C., and was a lifelong resident of Vero Beach. He enlisted in the Army Air Force at 17 and served in the Pacific Theater from 1942 until the end of the war. Upon returning to Vero Beach after the war he worked for his father, Joe S. Earman, at the Indian River Citrus Bank. In 1949,


he founded and was president of Earman Oil Co. until selling it in 1980. He also served as president of Vero Beach Ice and Storage and Blue Crystal Water and Ice Co. He was founder of Vero Chemical Distributors and was part owner with Jim Coffey of the Interstate 95/State Road 60 Union 76 Truck Stop. He also had other businesses throughout the Treasure Coast. In 1986, he served as general manager of the Wolf Laurel Golf and Ski Resort in Mars Hill, N.C. He was past president of the Vero Beach/Indian River County Chamber of Commerce and received the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award in 1959.


He also was past president of the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association in 1968 to 1969, past president of the Wolf Laurel Property Owners Association and Blue Mountain Country Club and was past member of the Vero Beach Country Club. He was the first director of the Indian River County Civil Defense and served during hurricanes and the Cuban Missile Crisis. He also served on the Indian River Memorial Hospital District Board of Trustees from 1966 through 1970, and was chairman for three of those years. From 1981 to 1989, he served on the Florida Inland Navigation District and served a term as its vice chairman. He also was the former chairman of the Indian River County Democratic Executive Committee from 1977 to 1979. He served as a political adviser to Florida Gov. Reuben Askew from 1972 to 1980 and as an energy adviser to President Jimmy Carter. He was one of the original founders of the 100 Club of Indian River County.


He also was the founder of the Swine Club, a hunting club he established with friends at the Charles T. Scott Ranch in Okeechobee County. He attended Woodberry Forest Prep School in Virginia, Vero Beach High School, University of Miami and the University of Florida.


Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Gladys Holmes Earman; daughters, Mary Beth Waddell of Jensen Beach and Gail Frierson of Easley, S.C.; son, Joseph H. Earman Jr. of Vero Beach; sister, Georgeanne Russell of Ashland, Ky.; brother, William A. Earman of Vero Beach; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild on the way.


Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimers/Parkinsons Foundation of Indian River County, 2300 Fifth Ave., Vero Beach, FL 32960. services: A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. May 7 at the First United Methodist Church in Vero Beach, with the Rev. Richard Flick officiating. Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home and Crematory in Vero Beach. A guest book is available at

Second son of Johns Sites Ear,am

John Burke Earman Patent
DESCRIPTION   (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 27, 1934. J. B. EARMAN 5 DENTAL SLAB Filed April 4, 1933 Patented Nov. 27, 1934 UNITED STATES PATENT} OFFICE.

DENTAL SLAB John Burke Earman, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Application April 4, 1933, Serial No. 664,436

3 Claims.

My invention relates to slabs used in dentistry for the preparation of fillings andother similar materials used in the art of dentistry and it particularly has for its object to provide a slab which may be given, at little or no expense, a fresh working surface at each operation without using up the slab or wearing out its working face.

Further, the invention has for an object to provide a dental slab with means temporarily to re- '10 tain a film or sheet of suitable material, such as celluloid, wax-paper, etc., the slab being made of any suitable hard material such as cement, stone or in fact almost any material which will give a hard working surface.

Further, it is an object to provide a slab over whose working face a thin sheet is removably held by a frame which has provisions cooperating with the slab for drawing the sheet taut and, by the weight of the frame supplemented by friction, holding the sheet in place taut while being used.

Other objects will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out hereinafter.

To the attainment of the aforesaid objects and ends, the invention still further resides in the novel details of construction, combination and arrangement of parts, all of which will be first fully described in the following detailed description, then be particularly pointed out in the appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawing, in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of my invention.

Figure 2 is a vertical longitudinal section of the same.

Figure 3 is a vertical longitudinal section showing the position of the parts when a new sheet is about to be secured to the slab.

In the drawing in which like numerals of reference indicate like parts in all of the figures, 1 represents the slab composed of cement, stone or other suitable hard material capable of taking on a hard surface which constitutes the working face 2 of the slab.

The slab has an ofiset portion 3 and a base surface 4, the latter being engaged by the skirt 8 of the frame 9 when in the assembled position.

The slab has a gutter or groove around the same and a rib 6 the latter entering the groove 10 of the frame 9. The frame 9 also has a rib 11 which is adapted to be received by the gutter or groove 5 of the slab 1 when the parts are assembled. The film or sheet 7 is laid over the working face 2 of the slab and then the frame 9 is placed on the same and pushed down from the position shown in Figure 3 to the position shown in Figure 2. This folds over the sheet and clamps its marginal portion between the slab and the frame. V

In lowering the frame 9 from the position shown in Figure 3 to fit the film to the slab, the lower border of the skirt 8 will grip the film 7 at the rib 6 on the slab. As the frame passes down around the slab the film is at an angle from the margin of the working face 2 of the slab to the border of the rib 6. Now as the frame is moved 5 farther down the rib 11 engages the film (its margin now being held by a skirt 8) and forces the film tight to the border of the slab, thus making the film tight on the face of the slab and creating a smooth working surface.

The frame is preferably made of heavy metal such as lead, non-corrosive iron, or the like, so that the weight of the frame plus the friction of the parts in contact will be sufiicient to hold the sheet taut over the working face 2.

A new sheet is used at the commencement of each operation so that in this way a fresh working surface is given the slab each time it is used.

The frame 9 may be provided with a knob 12 at each end to permit its easy withdrawal from the slab.

From the foregoing description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, it is thought the construction, operation and advantages of my invention will be clear to those skilled in the art to which it relates.

What I claim is:

1. An appliance of the character described, comprising the combination with a slab having a working face, and having stepped sides and ends, the step having a downwardly cut V-shaped groove, a film placed over the working face and a frame embracing said stepped sides and ends of said slab and the marginal portion of the film, said frame having a downwardly directed V- shaped rib to enter said groove, said frame having a weighted and a skirt portion, the weighted portion serving to hold the frame down and effect the holding of the film taut over the working face of the slab, the upper face of said frame being downwardly beveled away from the slab.

2. A dental appliance of the character described comprising a slab provided with a raised work supporting body and an outstanding base portion, said outstanding base portion being provided with a vertical channelway extending entirely around the said block, a sheet of flexible material for disposition over the top surface of the block, a frame provided with a depending rib, said frame being adapted to snugly engage material, a frame for snug slidable fit over the side walls 6f the slab portion and being provided with 2. depending rib for nested disposition in the channel when the frame is urged downwardly and into the base to clamp the sheet in a U-shaped bend, said frame being provided with a depending apron outwardly offset with respect to the rib and adapted to snugly clamp the edge portion of the sheet against the side walls of the said base portion.


Son of Dr. Robert Burke Earman, grandson of John Sites Earman

Earman Home in Vero Beach... Still held by family
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