National Register Listing in
Sterling County, Texas

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The University of Texas at Austin, founded in 1883, is one of the largest universities in the United States and has produced many notable alumni, including several U.S. presidents.
Sterling County is located in central Texas, and its history dates back to the mid-1800s. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Comanche and Apache. The county was officially established in 1891, and it was named after W.S. Sterling, a prominent early settler in the region.

Like many other areas in Texas, Sterling County experienced a boom in population and economic development during the late 1800s due to the discovery of oil. The Texas & Pacific Railway line passing through the county further contributed to its growth, as it allowed for easier transportation of people and goods. Oil drilling and production became a major industry in Sterling County, attracting many workers and bringing prosperity to the area.

However, in the early 20th century, the oil boom began to decline, and the county faced economic challenges. Agriculture, particularly ranching, became the primary source of livelihood for the residents. The vast grasslands of Sterling County provided ample grazing opportunities, and cattle ranching became a key industry.

In recent years, Sterling County has embraced its rich natural resources and attracted tourists to enjoy its scenic landscapes and outdoor activities. Hunting, fishing, and camping are popular recreational activities in the county, drawing visitors from both within and outside Texas. The county continues to maintain its rural character, offering a peaceful and picturesque atmosphere for both residents and visitors alike.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Sterling County, Texas.

  • 1885 - Sterling County established and named after W.S. Sterling, a buffalo hunter and early settler.
  • 1890 - First post office opened in the county.
  • 1895 - Sterling City, the county seat, founded.
  • 1899 - First school established in the county.
  • 1900 - Population of the county reaches 1,000.
  • 1916 - Sterling City incorporated.
  • 1924 - First oil well drilled in the county, leading to an oil boom.
  • 1930s - Great Depression hits the county hard, but oil production helps the local economy.
  • 1950s - Population of the county peaks at around 3,000.
  • 1970s - Oil production declines, affecting the local economy.
  • 1995 - Sterling City celebrates its centennial.
  • 2000s - County experiences a decline in population due to economic changes.
  • Present - Sterling County continues to rely on agriculture and oil production as important industries.