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 Texas : Towns A-Z / West Texas : Sheffield

SHEFFIELD, TEXAS

Pecos County, West Texas
FM 1217
US 290 and 349
16 miles SE of Iraan
44 miles West of Ozona
60 miles East of Fort Stockton

Population: 600

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Sheffield Texas main street
Downtown Sheffield
Photo Courtesy Fiddle Blue

History in a Pecan Shell

The Spanish explorer Gaspar Sosa is said to have visited the area as early as 1590.

In 1849, the Army surveyed a road from San Antonio to El Paso and they included what is now Sheffield on their route because of the Pecos Spring and the Pecos River.

The first settler, a man named John Cannon moved into the area and bought the spring. Another early settler was Will Sheffield. He had a slight advantage in having the town named after him since he was the town's first postmaster (1898).

Six years into the new century, Sheffield had all the amenities of a thriving town. The oil boom of the 20s changed the entire region - including Sheffield - permanently. Sheffield didn't experience the type of lawlessness of other oil boom towns like Ranger, Kilgore, Mexia or Freer.

On the map, Sheffield is tucked into the smallest little cranny available in Pecos County like a spider in a huge room.

Cactus and vacant hotel
Sheffield Texas old building
Sanderson doesn't have all the cactus
TE Photo
Another older building in Sheffield
TE Photo
Lancaster Hill on Hwy 290
You can enter Sheffield a short 5 miles from I-10 or you can enter Sheffield after a 20-mile scenic drive on Hwy 290 off I-10. We suggest the latter if you're heading west.

Hwy 290 Pecos River Bridge >

State Highway 290 is a loop that lets you know you're not in East Texas (not that there's anything wrong with being in East Texas). The road seems very nondescript until you suddenly come to an overlook. Here is where the elevation drops dramatically into the valley that once was the home for Fort Lancaster. Picnic tables are arranged in a roadside park so you can take in this great view. It's a good place to unwind after the long stretches of I-10.

Continue on - stopping to visit the Fort if it's open and finally you'll pass an old iron bridge like they used to sell miniatures of for model train layouts. Now you're coming into Sheffield.

Nearby Destinations:
Fort Lancaster State Historic Site >
Lancaster Hill  overlooking Pecos River valley
The sudden drop in altitude on Highway 290

TE Photo
Sheffield Shack
Windmill

Sheffield Shack
"This is another house my siblings and I lived in 1953 about 2 miles south of Sheffield. We rented it off of a man named H. C. Noelke. " - Fiddle Blue, Photo Courtesy Fiddle Blue

Old Pecos Hotel, Sheffield Tx
The former Pecos Hotel
".. I have 6 brothers and 4 sisters. In 1952 my family rented this hotel for $65.00 per month. We needed it with 11 kids...." - Fiddle Blue

Watch your step

TE Photo, 2000
Sheffield Texas Abandoned motel
Abandoned motel in Sheffield

Photo courtesy Patrick Cantrell, June 2006

Sheffield Texas Forum

We received a letter from Charles "Fiddle" Blue, whose daughter Charlotte sent us the (now nearly famous) photos of the Oasis Gas Station. Mr. Blue is a retired County Judge who now motorcycles around West Texas and has recently acquired a digital camera. His letter provides the identity of the building in the introductory photo of the Sheffield page.

Our thanks to Mr. Blue for his contribution and insight on Sheffield and also to his daughter Charlotte for our introduction. - Editor, June 2001

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