Sherman, Texas

Sherman is a U.S. city in and the county seat of Grayson County, Texas.[4] The city's population in 2010 was 38,521.[5] It is one of the two principal cities in the Sherman–Denison Metropolitan Statistical Area, and it is part of the Texoma region of North Texas and southern Oklahoma.

Sherman, Texas
Paul Brown United States Courthouse in Sherman
"Classic Town. Broad Horizon."
Location of Sherman, Texas
Coordinates: 33°38′28″N 96°36′36″W
CountryUnited States
  City CouncilMayor David Plyler
Deputy Mayor Willie Steele
Pam Howeth
Shawn Teamann
Daron Holland
Josh Stevenson
Sandra Melton
  City41.5 sq mi (107.4 km2)
  Land41.4 sq mi (107.2 km2)
  Water0.08 sq mi (0.2 km2)
35.9 sq mi (93.1 km2)
979 sq mi (2,536 km2)
735 ft (224 m)
  Density926/sq mi (357.4/km2)
61,900[1] (US: 438th)
  Urban density1,722.9/sq mi (665.2/km2)
  Metro density130/sq mi (50/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)903
FIPS code48-67496[2]
GNIS feature ID1368131[3]


Sherman was named after General Sidney Sherman (July 23, 1805 – August 1, 1873), a hero of the Texas Revolution. The community was designated as the county seat by the act of the Texas legislature which created Grayson County on March 17, 1846. In 1847, a post office began operation. Sherman was originally located at the center of the county, but in 1848 it was moved about 3 miles (5 km) east to its current location. By 1850, Sherman had become an incorporated town under Texas law. It had also become a stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route through Texas. By 1852, Sherman had a population of 300. It consisted of a public square with a log court house, and several businesses, a district clerk's office, and a church along the east side of the square.

During the 1850s and 1860s, Sherman continued to develop and to participate in regional politics. The first flour mill was built in 1861. Because many residents of North Texas had migrated from the Upper South and only a low percentage were slaveholders, there was considerable Unionist sentiment in the region. E. Junius Foster, the publisher of Sherman's anti-secessionist Whig newspaper, the Patriot, circulated a petition to establish North Texas as an independent free state. Following Confederate passage of a conscription law, there was resistance in North Texas to conscription, especially as owners of many slaves were exempt.

A group of slaveholders in nearby Cooke County feared the Unionists might join together others and perform acts of sabotage. In October 1862, a unit of state militia arrested between 150 and 200 men in on suspicion of insurrection. In the Great Hanging at Gainesville, the Sherman county seat, 42 of the were killed, most of them hanged by a mob, while others men were sentenced to death by a self-appointed "citizens' court". Following the lynchings, Colonel William Young as killed by unknown assailants. Young had organized the jury for the "citizens court", and he was responsible for more than 20 deaths. Newspaper publisher Foster "applauded" Young's death, and was soon gunned down by Capt. Jim Young, the colonel's son.[6]

Pro-Confederate militiamen rounded up even more "suspects" in Sherman, but Confederate Brigadier General James W. Throckmorton intervened to stop the killings. By the time Throckmorton restored order, only five men of the men arrested were still alive.[6]

Late in the Civil War, pro-Confederate guerrillas led by William Quantrill spent the winter in Sherman. Former guerrilla Jesse James also came to Sherman for his honeymoon. He was photographed seated on his horse in Sherman.

During the 1860s, secondary education developed in north Texas. The Sherman Male and Female High School began accepting students in 1866, under the patronage of the North Texas Methodist Conference. It became one of three private schools opporating in Sherman. The male and female high school school operated under several names, including as the North Texas Female College and Conservatory of Music from 1892 and Kidd-Key College and Conservatory, from 1919 to 1935.[7] It gradually lost Methodist support, following the opening of Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1915. In 1876, Austin College, the oldest continuously operating college in Texas, was relocated to Sherman from Huntsville. The Sherman Female Institute, later called as Mary Nash College,[8] opened in 1877 under sponsorship of the Baptist Church. It continued to operate until 1901, when the campus was sold to Kidd-Key College. Carr–Burdette College, a women's college affiliated with the Disciples of Christ, operated from 1894 to 1929. The Jewish community also have had a long history in Sherman, arriving in the area and meeting for the High Holidays by 1873.[9]

While there was general depression and lawlessness during Reconstruction, Sherman remained commercially active. During the 1870s Sherman's population reached 6,000. In 1875, two fires destroyed many buildings east of the square. They were rebuilt with superior materials. This included a new Grayson County Courthouse built in 1876. In 1879, the Old Settlers' Association of North Texas formed and met near Sherman. The Old Settlers' Association of Grayson County incorporated in 1898 and completed purchase of Old Settlers' Park in 1909.

On May 15, 1896, a tornado measuring F5 on the Fujita scale struck Sherman. The tornado had a damage path 400 yards (370 m) wide and 28 miles (45 km) long, killing 73 people and injuring 200. About 50 homes were destroyed, with 20 of them being completely obliterated.

In 1901 the first electric "Interurban" railway in Texas, the Denison and Sherman Railway, was completed between Sherman and Denison.[10] The Texas Traction Company completed a 65-mile (105 km) interurban between Sherman and Dallas in 1908, and it purchased the Denison and Sherman Railway in 1911. Through the connections in Dallas and Denison, it was possible to travel to the Texas destinations of Terrell, Corsicana, Waco, Fort Worth, Cleburne, and Denton, as well as to Durant, Oklahoma, by interurban railways. One popular destination on the Interurban between Sherman and Denison was Wood Lake Park, a private amusement park at the time. By 1948, all interurban rail service in Texas had been discontinued.

Sherman Riot of 1930

During the Sherman Riot of May 9, 1930,[11] the Grayson County Courthouse was burned down by local citizens in an attempt to lynch George Hughes, and African American suspected of assaulting a white woman.[12] During the riot, Hughes was locked in the vault at the courthouse and died in--or was left unconscious by--the fire;[13] fire hoses were cut. After rioters retrieved Hughes' body from the vault, it was dragged behind a car, hanged, and set afire. The black business section of Sherman was also burned down, and many African Americans fled. Texas Ranger Frank Hamer was in Sherman during this riot and reported the situation to Texas Governor Dan Moody.[14] Governor Moody sent National Guard troops to Sherman on May 9 and martial law was declared in Sherman for ten days.[15] Fourteen men were later indicted. Two were convicted, of arson and rioting.[11]


Sherman is located slightly east of the center of Grayson County, between Denison to the north and Howe to the south. The city has a total area of 41.5 square miles (107.4 km2), of which 41.4 square miles (107.2 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.20%, are water.[5]

Sherman is 70 miles (110 km) north of Dallas[16] and 31 miles (50 km) southwest of Durant, Oklahoma. Gainesville is 32 miles (51 km) to the west, and Bonham is 26 miles (42 km) to the east.


Sherman is part of the humid subtropical climate area.


Historical population
Est. 201842,462[17]10.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]

As of the 2010 census,[2] there were 38,521 people, 14,864 households, and 8,820 families residing in the city. The population density was 910.0 people per square mile (351.4/km²). There were 14,926 housing units at an average density of 387.2/sq mi (149.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.6% White, 11.4% African American, 0.8% Native American, 2.1% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.8% of the population.

There were 14,864 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 13.1% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $43,557. Males have a median income of $31,828 versus $23,363 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,029. About 19.9% of the population is below the poverty line.


Sherman operates under a Council-Manager form of local government, and is a home rule city under Texas state law. As of 2020, the city is led by manager Robby Hefton and Mayor David Plyler.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Sherman District Parole Office in Sherman.[19]


Public schools

Most children in Sherman are zoned to the Sherman Independent School District, which includes Sherman High School. Some parts are in Denison Independent School District or Howe Independent School District.

Private schools

A small percent of children attend one of the three private schools in Sherman. The three schools are Grayson Christian School, St. Mary's Catholic School, and Texoma Christian School.

Colleges and universities

Austin College, a private, Presbyterian, liberal arts college, relocated to Sherman in 1876. Founded in 1849, it is the oldest college or university in Texas operating under its original charter. Grayson College, a community college based in neighboring Denison, operates a branch campus in Sherman.


The Sherman Public Library serves the city of Sherman and all citizens. The library underwent a $2 million, floor-to-ceiling renovation in 2017, reopening to the public in August 2018.



  • Texoma Living! magazine[20]


Radio stations

Television stations



Sherman is served by two U.S. Highways: US 75 (Sam Rayburn Freeway) and US 82. (The latter is locally designated as the Buck Owens Freeway after the famous musician who was born in Sherman.) It is also served by three Texas State Highways which extend beyond Grayson County: State Highway 11, State Highway 56, and State Highway 91 (Texoma Parkway), one of the main commercial strips that connects Sherman and Denison and also extends to Lake Texoma.

General aviation service is provided by Sherman Municipal Airport and North Texas Regional Airport/Perrin Field in Denison.

TAPS Public Transit is the sole transit provider for Sherman, with curb-to-curb paratransit for all residents.[21]

Medical care

The city of Sherman is served locally by Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center, Texoma Medical Center, and a Baylor Scott & White surgery center.

Top employers

Notable people

See also


  1. Census of Urban areas
  2. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Sherman city, Texas (revised 08-09-2012)". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  6. McCaslin, Richard B. "Great Hanging of Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  7. Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Kidd-Key College", (accessed March 18, 2007)
  8. Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Mary Nash College", (accessed March 18, 2007)
  9. "Sherman/Denison, Texas" Archived 2012-06-16 at the Wayback Machine, found in the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities,
  10. Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Electric Interurban Railways" (accessed March 31, 2007)
  11. Nolan Thompson, "SHERMAN RIOT OF 1930," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed June 04, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on February 7, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  12. E. R. Bills. Black Holocaust: The Paris Horror and a Legacy of Texas Terror. Fort Worth, TX: Eakin Press, 2015.
  13. E. R. Bills. Texas Far & Wide: The Tornado with Eyes, Gettysburg's Last Casualty, The Celestial Skipping Stone and Other Tales. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2017.
  14. Statement of Frank Hamer on May 13, 1930 (accessed March 6, 2007)
  15. E. R. Bills. Black Holocaust: The Paris Horror and a Legacy of Texas Terror. Fort Worth, TX: Eakin Press, 2015.
  16. Google Maps
  17. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  18. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  19. "Parole Division Region II Archived 2011-08-20 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  20. "Search every page of every issue published by Texoma Living! Magazine from 2006 to 2010". Texoma Living! Online. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  21. "TAPS Public Transit". TAPS Public Transit. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  22. "Denison Development Alliance: Community Profile". Retrieved 2016-06-04.

Further reading

  • Grayson County Frontier Village, The History of Grayson County Texas, Hunter Publishing Co., Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1979.
  • Redshaw, Peggy A., "Sherman, Texas, and the 1918 Pandemic Flu," East Texas Historical Journal, 51 (Spring 2013), 67–85.
  • E. R. Bills (author). Black Holocaust: The Paris Horror and a Legacy of Texas Terror. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2015.
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