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Coldwater, Texas

Coldwater, on Coldwater Creek in the central part of the county, became the county seat when Sherman County was organized in 1889. Some fifteen cowboys of the William B. Slaughter ranch (Coldwater Cattle Company) lived in the community, which in 1890 had the only post office in the county. By 1891 a hotel, a courthouse, a jail, and a mercantile store had been erected. Charles Randolph and George Loomis began the county's first newspaper, the Sherman County Banner, in July 1893. C. F. Williams based his windmill and well-drilling enterprise in Coldwater for a time. However, the railroads bypassed the community, and an election moved the county seat to Stratford in July 1901. By 1904 the only business left in Coldwater was George Loomis's store and post office. This post office closed in 1907. Though Coldwater continued as a ranch supply point, by 1940 only the old brick courthouse, often used as a rural church, remained. In the past several decades, the name of the community has been perpetuated by the Coldwater gas field. Source: The Handbook of Texas Online.

Early Settlers on Coldwater Creek. First area in Sherman County to be settled, and only live water for miles. First settler, buffalo hunter J.D. Rawlings, came 1870s. Later County Judge. W.B. Slaughter acquired the Rawlings place about 1894. Later ran bank and store in Stratford. John Lanners (arrived 1892) was a cowboy at Slaughter's ranch; acquired land and ran a mule-drawn supply line. One of largest spreads was owned by Thomas Snyder (also arrived in 1892). Among other prominent early settlers were J.H. Williams, freighter, and Geo. Loomis, merchant. - Historical Marker Text, marker erected 1971. Location: From Stratford take US 287 about 2 miles north to roadside park.

Removal of Archives From Coldwater to Stratford. On May 2, 1901, an election was held to determine whether the Sherman County seat should be moved from Coldwater (a ranching center in the central part of the county) to Stratford (a growing town on the new railroad). Partisan feelings ran high and the legality of certain votes was questioned. Because of a threatened injunction against the move, a special session of court was held at 1 a.m. on May 6. Votes were canvassed and, under cover of darkness, the county records were spirited to a tent about 2 blocks south of here. A horseman bringing the injunction to halt the move arrived too late. For several days apprehensive Stratford citizens kept an armed guard posted around the tent. Proponents of Coldwater then filed a suit titled "W.B. Slaughter Et Al. vs. D.W. Snyder Et Al.", but by the time court convened, Stratford had been widely accepted as county seat and the suit was dismissed. Those who helped move the records included D.W. Snyder, County Judge; C.F. Rudolph, County Clerk; Dick Pincham, Sheriff; D.D. Spurlock, Deputy Sheriff; Tom Chambers, Treasurer; W.J. Potts and J.H. Bowman, Jr., Commissioners; and J.M. Upshaw, a hired freighter. - Historical Marker Text, marker erected 1969. Location: At Sherman County Courthouse, Stratford.


36° 14' 0.132" N, 101° 44' 2.616" W