Sherman County, Texas

Sherman County is located in the Texas Panhandle on the Oklahoma border, surrounded by Hansford County to the east, Moore County to the south, Dallam County to the west and Oklahoma to the north. Stratford, the county seat is 81 miles north of Amarillo.

Cities, Towns and Communities

Coldwater | Stratford – county seat | Texhoma


In 1876 the Texas state legislature established Sherman County from lands formerly assigned to Bexar County. The area was attached to Oldham County for administrative purposes until 1889. The county was organized in 1889. Coldwater, a small settlement founded by the Loomis family near the center of the county, was designated the county seat by 1890. According to the United States census, there were thirty-four people living in Sherman County in 1890. A small rock courthouse was built at Coldwater in 1891, and soon C. F. Randolf began to publish the Sherman County Banner, the area’s first newspaper, there. During the 1890s much of the land in the county was incorporated into large ranches by men such as Dick Pincham, J. M. Turner, and William B. Slaughter. John Lanners, who settled on a claim under the Four-Section Act, ran a mule-drawn freight line between 1890 and 1898 to supply the area’s ranchers. By 1900 there were eighteen ranches and farms, encompassing 195,000 acres, in the county, and the population had increased to 104. Farmers began to move into the area in numbers during the first years of the twentieth century, especially after 1901, when the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway built across the northwest corner of the county. Growth was also encouraged by the introduction of mechanized water-well drilling. The D. D. Spurlocks settled in the south central part of the county about this time, and the J. T. Brown family moved in with well-drilling equipment in 1902. The Norton family, from Kentucky, bought ninety-six sections of railroad land, which were managed for them by Walter Colton. Efforts to move the county seat to a site on the railroad began before the tracks were laid. Walter Colton, who owned a section of land on the line, formed a partnership with C. F. Rudolph to form a townsite (called Stratford) and to make it the new county seat. Their hopes were realized in an election held in May 1901, when voters chose to move the local government to Stratford. Opposition to the move was so strong that county officials transferred the county records in the middle of the night and held court in a tent in Stratford after midnight to make the move official. Bitterness between the factions caused Governor Joseph D. Sayers to order Texas Rangers to Stratford to keep the peace. By the time the rangers arrived, however, the district court suit had been dismissed and Stratford was generally accepted as the new site. A new newspaper, the Stratford Star, began to be published about this time. Read More Sherman County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>

Though organized with a county government on June 13, 1899, Sherman County was an almost exclusive stock range until the construction of the Rock Island Railroad across its northwest corner in 1901. That brought a large influx of settlers, and from a population in 1890 of thirty-four and in 1900 of 104, the increase during the succeeding ten years gave the county by 1910, 1,376 inhabitants. When the county was organized the courthouse was placed at the old town of Coldwater. which now no longer appears on the map. Continue Reading Sherman County History Written in 1922 >>

Sherman County. Formed from Young and Bexar Territories; Created August 21, 1876; Organized June 13, 1889; Named in Honor of General Sidney Sherman 1805-1873; Commander of the Left Wing of the Army at the Battle of San Jacinto; Member of the Texas Congress 1842-1843; County Seat, Coldwater, 1889; Stratford, Since 1901. – Historical Marker Text. 1936 Centennial Pink Granite Marker. Location: 2 miles south of Stratford on US 287.

County Histories

God, Grass, and Grit, 2 volumes, 1971, 1975 by the Sherman County Historical Survey Committee.


Sherman County Postcards and Photographs >>


Sherman County Government website


Stratford, TX 36° 20′ 10.104″ N, 102° 4′ 19.6284″ W