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Sterling County TX
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STERLING CITY, TEXAS

Sterling County Seat, Texas Panhandle / West Texas

On the North Concho River
US 87, Hwy 163 and 158
43 miles NW of San Angelo
42 miles SE of Big Spring
ZIP code 76951
Area code 325
Population: 1,121 (2020)
888 (2010) 1081 (2000) 1,096 (1990)

Sterling City, Texas Area Hotels
Big Spring Hotels | San Angelo Hotels

Sterling City Tx Painted Wall Mural showing main street
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
More Texas Murals

History in a Pecan Shell

Named for buffalo hunter and Indian fighter W. S. Sterling when the town became the county seat in July 1891. There wasn't any competetion for the county seat and Sterling City remains the population core for the county.

R. C. Stewart was the man who donated the land for the town in January of 1891. It was platted the following month by H. B. Tarver.

By June of that year the town had its own newspaper as well as a hotel and several essential businesses and before the year was out Sterling City had a post office.

The first school was built in1892 and four years later the population was 300 Sterling Citizens.

The Santa Fe Railroad arrived in 1910, but later abandoned its service.

At one time the town had 150 windmills providing water to the town. By 1914 the population had increased to 900.

No figures were given through the thirties, but after WWII the population had decreased by about 10%. By 1970 it was down to 780 but increased back to 915 by 1980. The population finally broke the 1,000 person mark in the late 80s or early 90s and is listed on the 2004 highway map as 1,081.



Sterling City, Texas
Landmarks / Attractions


Sterling County Courthouse, Sterling City, Texas old photo
Sterling County Courthouse


Sterling County Jail - Sterling City Tx
Sterling County Jail
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Photos coutesy Barclay Gibson


Sterling City Tx Depot, historic landmark
Sterling City Depot
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Photos courtesy Barclay Gibson


Sterling City Tx Church
Sterling City Church.
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
More Texas Churches


Sterling City Tx - City Cafe
City Cafe
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009


Sterling City Tx Closed Pony Bridge
Sterling City Closed Pony Bridge
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009


Sterling City Tx Closed Pony Bridge
The Closed Pony Bridge.
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
More Texas Bridges


Sterling City Tx - SH158 Old Cabin
Hwy 158 - An old cabin beside the road
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009


Sterling City Tx City Limit Road Sign
Sterling City City Limit
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009


Sterling City , Texas water tower
Windmill in Sterling City, Texas
L - Sterling City water tower.
R- At one time the town had 150 windmills.
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2005
More Texas Water Towers | Texas Windmills



Camp Elizabeth Sterling County Tx - Centennial Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009

Camp Elizabeth >



Sterling City Forum

  • Subject: Camp Elizabeth
    This is one of those Centennial Markers that no one knows what to do with. Camp Elizabeth "is thought" to have been about 10 miles northwest of Sterling City. If the Centennial Committee didn't know for sure that it was there. How could we? And why did they go to all the trouble to have one of this markers carved, delivered and erected in such a remote location? - Barclay Gibson, December 28, 2009

  • Subject: Sterling City, Texas
    I just read the letter of January 2006 from Debra Wimberly. She was commenting on the building diagonally across from the Sterling County Courthouse. When my family moved to Sterling City in 1945, that building housed the Deal Pharmacy. It was always a very busy place and was a hangout for us kids while we were in town. In the same building, round the corner East toward the school, Dr. Swann had his offices. Upstairs was the telephone system and where the central operator worked.

    Sometimes a photographer from San Angelo would come to Sterling and set up for kids’ portraits, and he used rooms upstairs in this building.

    When we moved to Sterling City we actually lived in Coke County, managing the 7 ˝ section Mendenhall Ranch. The only road from the ranch to pavement went to Sterling City. We were supposed to attend school in Robert Lee, but arrangements were made for my brother George and me to attend Sterling City schools.

    We lived in Sterling City until 1955 and some of my fondest memories are from this period in my life. - Johnny Thompson, Midland, Texas, December 01, 2006

  • I was born and raised in Sterling City. In 1974 I was one of the last babies to be delivered by Dr. Swan in the hospital there.

    I just wanted to let y'all know that one building [in your coverage] has been left out. That would be the landmark on main street catercorner from the courthouse and the jail. That building has been there forever. It was a motel at one time and a bank and is supposed to be haunted. It was redone to be a restaurant then the ownership changed and it was reopened up as a restaurant again and again. I remember hearing about it being haunted more than once. I thought that y'all would like [to share] that little tidbit - Debra Wimberly, former Sterling Citizen, January 19, 2006

  • Sterling City School,  Texas
    Sterling City ISD
    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2005



    Take a road trip

    West Texas | Texas Panhandle | Central Texas N

    Sterling City , Texas Nearby Towns:
    Big Spring | Colorado City | San Angelo | Sweetwater
    See Sterling County

    Book Hotel Here:
    Big Spring Hotels | San Angelo Hotels | More Hotels

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