History of Sherman TX: Chronological Insights into the Texan City’s Past

by Ray Roman Updated on Dec 28, 2023

Sherman, Texas, a city with a historical tapestry woven from the early days of statehood, stands today as a testament to the resilience and evolution of a community through centuries.

Established in 1846, Sherman was named after General Sidney Sherman, a notable figure in the Texas Revolution, and was designated as the county seat of the newly formed Grayson County.

The city’s early development was marked by its strategic relocation to better accommodate the needs for water and resources, a common challenge of the era.

Sherman TX

As the town grew, Sherman played a notable role during pivotal moments in American history, including the Civil War and the Reconstruction era. Following these times, Sherman embraced economic changes that shaped its identity, shifting from an economy that heavily relied on agriculture to one that integrated manufacturing and industry.

This evolution not only altered its economic footprint but also cultivated a rich cultural and social scene within the city. Sherman’s perseverance through periods of challenge and change demonstrates the dynamic character of this North Texan city.

Key Takeaways

  • Sherman was founded in 1846 and named after a Texas Revolution hero, General Sidney Sherman.
  • It has played significant roles in historical events like the Civil War and has undergone considerable economic evolution.
  • The city has developed a diverse cultural and social landscape reflective of its historical journey.

Origins and Early History

Sherman TX old days

In this section, you’ll explore the beginnings of Sherman, Texas – from its founding moment to the challenges and opportunities that shaped its early growth.

Founding of Sherman

Sherman was established in 1846 by the Grayson County commissioners. Originally, it was four miles west of where it stands today, positioned near what are now highways 56 and 289. Due to a lack of essential resources like wood and water, a decision was made to relocate Sherman in 1848 to its current location.

Early Settlers and Development

Upon its relocation, Sherman saw an immediate establishment of a post office in 1847, signaling the onset of community development. By 1850, Sherman was recognized as an incorporated town under Texas law.

During this period, the town became an integral stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route, facilitating mail and people’s movement across Texas.

This development catalyzed its growth, attracting settlers who laid the groundwork for Sherman’s transformation into a pivotal economic and cultural hub in the region.

Civil War and Reconstruction

During the Civil War, Sherman, Texas, experienced significant strife, with vestiges of conflict palpable even today. Your understanding of Sherman’s past can be deepened by exploring both the tumultuous war period and the era of reshaping that followed.

Impact of the Civil War

Sherman’s involvement in the Civil War was marked by occupancy and conflict. For instance, well-known Confederate guerrilla leader William Quantrill chose to spend the winter in Sherman.

Also, the notorious outlaw Jesse James visited Sherman for his honeymoon and was even photographed on horseback in the town. This suggests your city’s streets once echoed with the presence of these formidable historical figures, demonstrating the significant impact of the Civil War on Sherman’s daily life.

Rebuilding and Growth Post-War

After the war, Sherman faced the daunting task of reconstruction, along with other parts of the South. Efforts focused on rebuilding the city’s infrastructure and institutions.

By the late 1860s, secondary education began to flourish in North Texas, signaling a shift towards recovery and progress for the city.

Your city’s commitment to growth post-war laid the foundations for the educational resources that residents benefit from today.

Economic Evolution

Your journey through Sherman’s economic landscape reveals a tale of transformation and diversification. From its early industrial strides to agricultural shifts, you’ll see how the local economy adapted and thrived over time.

Industrial Advancements

In the mid-1800s, Sherman experienced an industrial boom with the construction of the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway. This railway was the first in Texas and signaled the beginning of Sherman’s industrial significance.

By the 1860s, Sherman’s economic foundation was further solidified with the establishment of its first flour mill, paving the way for the city to become a regional processing hub.

Agricultural Changes

The agricultural landscape in Sherman saw significant changes with the evolution of crop types and agricultural methods. Initially focused on cotton, the local farms expanded to include more diverse crops as the demand and economic conditions shifted.

During the 20th century, advancements in farming technology and the introduction of mechanized equipment changed not only what your ancestors farmed, but also how they farmed, steadily increasing productivity and efficiency on Sherman’s farms.

Cultural and Social Aspects

Your exploration of Sherman, Texas, will reveal a community with a lasting heritage shaped by education and social engagement, highlighted by historical figures and significant events that have left an indelible mark on the city’s identity.

Education and Institutions

In Sherman, education has always been a cornerstone for local development. You’ll find that institutions like Austin College, founded in 1849, have provided rigorous academic training for generations.

This institution stands as the oldest college in Texas operating under its original name and charter. It has become a cultural hub for the city, offering numerous educational opportunities and enriching local community life.

Notable Events and Figures

As you delve into Sherman’s past, the Great Hanging remains one of the most notable events in its history. Occurring in 1862 during the Civil War, this tragic episode saw the execution of suspected unionists and casts a long shadow over the city’s historical narrative.

n terms of public figures, the city’s namesake, General Sidney Sherman, a hero of the Texas Revolution, exemplifies the type of enduring legacy that has shaped Sherman’s identity. His contributions to Texas’ independence are woven into the cultural fabric of the area.

Modern Developments

In Sherman, TX, you’ll witness a city undergoing significant growth and economic shift. Urban development and industrial expansion are spearheading this transformation.

Urban Expansion

Recent years have seen Sherman embark on a path of urban expansion. City officials have been focusing on the northward progression, a vision that’s been in the pipeline for decades.

This includes the planning of numerous new developments, which could potentially add around 8,000 single-family lots to the city’s landscape, reshaping Sherman’s residential footprint in the process.

Contemporary Economy

Sherman’s economic landscape is evolving, with traditional industries being supplemented by high-tech investments. For example, the local economy, once spurred by the cotton market and railways, is now getting a boost from the semiconductor industry.

Additionally, the city’s oldest industry, the Washington Iron Works, which opened in 1876, is still operational, symbolizing the city’s resilience and adaptability. Sherman’s proactive approach in economic development is evidenced by these transitions, ensuring longevity and relevance in an ever-changing economy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you’ll find concise answers to common questions about the historical aspects of Sherman, TX, offering insights into its growth, development, and major events.

What are the historical factors contributing to the population growth of Sherman, TX?

Sherman experienced population growth due to its position as a business hub and its transportation networks, including major railroads and highways aiding commerce and trade.

How has the presence of Texas Instruments impacted the development of Sherman, Texas?

The establishment of a Texas Instruments facility in the 1960s drove technological advancement and job creation, significantly influencing Sherman’s economic landscape.

What are the notable historical events that have occurred in Sherman, Texas?

Sherman was the site of a tragic courthouse riot in 1930. More positively, Sherman was incorporated in 1858 and played a role in both the cotton industry and the civil rights movement.

How has Sherman, TX’s demographic composition changed over the years?

Sherman’s demographics historically reflected a mix of settlers, and over the years, there has been a trend toward a more culturally and ethnically diverse population.

Which major historic figures or outlaws are associated with Sherman, Texas?

General Sidney Sherman, a notable figure in the Texas Revolution, is a prominent name associated with the city, which is also named after him.

What role has the proximity to major cities played in the history of Sherman, TX?

Proximity to Dallas has bolstered Sherman’s development, making it a strategic location for trade and an accessible destination for those seeking economic opportunity within easy reach of a metropolitan area.

Ray Roman
Ray is the founder/author of Go Lake Texoma. He and his wife Tammy live on Lake Texoma. They created this Lake Texoma visitor's guide to help the millions of visitors yearly enjoy all the great things Lake Texoma has to offer.