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SHERWOOD, TEXAS

Irion County, West Texas
On Hwy 67
NE of Mertzon
about 25 miles SW of San Angelo

Population: about 75


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Sherwood TX 1901 Irion County Courthouse
Former Irion County Courthouse in Sherwood
"The old Irion County courthouse in Sherwood is surrounded by empty fields and a smattering of residences and mobile homes. The near desolation adds a nostalgic charm to this remarkable building." - Terry Jeanson, June 2005 photo
In a familiar case of death-by-railroad, Mertzon became the county seat in 1936. This was merely a technicality since Sherwood had all but been abandoned when the railroad by-passed it by two miles in 1910.

The now privately owned courthouse is available for special events and festivals. The clock faces had painted hands. This was not an uncommon practice in counties across the U.S. in the 19th Century.

The present Irion County Courthouse in Mertzon is one of the ugliest in Texas. The entire Irion County population is less than 2,000 with about half living in Mertzon.

Nearby is the site of the Battle of Dove Creek (see marker), although it is on private land. This fight took place in January of 1865 and involved a Confederate Frontier Battalion and a large number of Kickapoo Indians who were en route to Mexico (where they remain today). The Confederates engaged the Indians who were well defended by terrain. A rare snow was falling and after the battle the defeated Southerners resorted to eating some of their horses. Nothing was accomplished except for creating a hostile border environment for many years later. The Kickapoo Indians today maintain dual Mexican - U.S. Citizenship.

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Sherwood TX -  Irion CountyCourthouse Historical Marker
Sherwood Courthouse historical marker.
Courtesy Terry Jeanson, June 2005
 
Historical Marker Text

Sherwood Courthouse

(Built 1900-1901)
First permanent courthouse for Irion County, locally organized 1889. Replaced temporary housing in several buildings. Site was gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ripley. Contractors: Martin and Moody. Stone was quarried nearby.

Courthouse was used for dances, teachers' institutes, community events; yard, for summer socials.

Enclosed to keep out grazing stock, approach was by a stile over fence beside which were water troughs and hitching posts for teams and saddle horses.

A 1936 election made Mertzon county seat. Once pride of area, this is now a community center.
(1971)

See
Irion County Courthouse in Mertzon
Sherwood TX - 1901 Irion CountyCourthouseClockTower with painted clock face
The courthouse's clock tower with the time painted on.
Courtesy Terry Jeanson, June 2005
Sherwood TX 1901 Irion County Courthouse Entrance
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, June 2005
Former Irion County courthouse in Sherwood Texas
Sherwood courthouse tower
TE photos, 2000
TX Dove Creek Battlefield TX Centennial Marker
Dove Creek Battlefield Marker
Click on photo for large image
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014
Irion County Texas 1940s map
1940s Irion County map
Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Sherwood Texas Forum

  • While it is true that the Kickapoo do live near Nacimientos, Coahuila, Mexico, they also live near Eagle Pass, Texas and in Kansas and travel between all locations freely. I really enjoy Texas Escapes and thank you for your dedicated work on it. - Bick Eubanks, June 22, 2002

  • I was recently doing some metal detecting in Mertzon, TX area and found a token with the following on one side: Ranchman's Retreat J.W. Murphy - Propr. Sherwood Texas and the following on the other: Good for one 12 1/2cent drink. If you could help me identify this piece, or give me some idea where I might get additional information, it would be greatly appreciated. - Ray Bartek, May 10, 2002


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