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History of Sherman, TX
Sherman is the county seat of Grayson County, TX. It was founded in 1846 by the county commissioners. The city of Sherman was not always located in its current location. It used to be located four miles west of its present site, however, due to lack of water and wood, a decision was made to move the town in 1848 to its current site.
The Pecan Tree of Sherman
When the town was moved in 1848, the center of the town was determined by a giant pecan tree. This area is now what serves as the public square. Many towns have a town center, but Sherman’s town center is very unique in this aspect.
After the town was established, many activities centered around the pecan tree in the town square. Court sessions were held in its shade; it served as the community center, church, post office, and general meeting place. On Sundays, church services were held under the tree. The tree even served for some time to help men protect their guns against Indian raids, as they would lay them against the huge trunk of the tree for cover.
The pecan tree was important to the beginning of the town and continues to serve as the center of the town to this day.
Sherman and Education
In the 1870s the city of Sherman earned the nickname, “The Athens of Texas,” because many Academies began to develop in the town. First, the Sherman Male and Female Academy was opened in 1870. Then an all-male school was opened in 1871. And, in 1976, St. Joseph’s Academy (now known as St. Mary’s School) was opened. Also, that year Austin College moved to Sherman and in 1877 Mary Nash College was developed in Sherman.
The town was full of educational opportunities. In the 1880s, Grayson county had the largest population of any Texas county and Sherman was known as the financial center of Texas by 1885.
On top of the higher education that was being established in the area, the Sherman Public School System was established in 1883, which was a major accomplishment for the town and the surrounding areas.
The Sherman Male and Female Academy eventually became North Texas female College. After years of Lucy A. Kidd working to raise funds and grow the college, it finally became a junior college in 1916. However, due to the depression coupled with the growth of larger state institutions, enrollment in the college started to decline and in 1933 there were only 165 students. The college was closed in 1935. The building is now used for a Municipal building.
Even with the growth of larger colleges, and the closing of a major school in Sherman, Texas, the town was continuing to grow. A municipal airport was opened which was able to bring a lot of traffic to the area. This, coupled with the development of Lake Texoma was great for the city.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the industrial boom in the area brought a lot of growth to Sherman. IBM, Johnson and Johnson, Texas Instruments, and Texoma all located their plants in the city. Considering the size of the city, this is a large number of industrial plants.
The town population continues to grow. In 1930 the population was only around fifteen thousand. By 1950 it had grown to twenty thousand. Today the population is around forty-two thousand. With all of the industry in the area, there is no doubt that the city needs to and is going to continue to grow.