Sherman is a city in and the county seat of Grayson County, Texas, United States. The city's population as of 2010 was 38,521. It is also one of two principal cities in the Sherman-Denison Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The City of Sherman was named after General Sidney Sherman (July 23, 1805 – August 1, 1873), a hero of the Texas Revolution. The community was designated as the county seat by the act of the Texas legislature which created Grayson County on March 17, 1846. In 1847, a post office began operation. Sherman was originally located at the center of the county, but in 1848 it was moved about three miles (5 km) east to its current location. By 1850, Sherman had become an incorporated town under Texas law. It had also become a stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route through Texas. By 1852, Sherman had a population of 300. It consisted of a public square with a log court house, and several businesses, a district clerk's office, and a church along the east side of the square.
During the 1850s and 1860s, Sherman continued to develop and it participated in the regional politics. The first flour mill was built in 1861. In 1862 the publisher of Sherman's anti-secessionist Whig newspaper, the Patriot, was murdered. During and after the Civil War, north Texas outlaw bands led by Jesse James and William Quantrill were seen in Sherman. Years later, James spent at least part of his honeymoon in Sherman, where he was photographed on horseback.
Education also developed in north Texas during this time. The Sherman Male and Female High School started accepting students during 1866, under the patronage of the North Texas Methodist Conference. It was one of three private schools in Sherman at the time. This school operated under several names (North Texas Female College and Conservatory of Music beginning in 1892 and Kidd-Key College and Conservatory beginning in 1919) until 1935. It gradually lost Methodist support, after the opening of Southern Methodist University in 1915 in Dallas, TX. In 1876, Austin College, the oldest continuously operating college in Texas, relocated from Huntsville to Sherman. Sherman Female Institute, later known as Mary Nash College, opened in 1877 under sponsorship of the Baptist Church. It continued operation until 1901 when the campus was sold to Kidd-Key College. Carr-Burdette College, a women's college affiliated with Disciples of Christ, operated there from 1894 to 1929. Though lacking a Sunday School, Jews have had a long history in Sherman, too, settling in the area and meeting for the High Holidays by 1873.
While there was general depression and lawlessness during Reconstruction, Sherman remained commercially active. During the 1870s Sherman's population reached 6000. In 1875, two fires destroyed many buildings east of the square. They were rebuilt with superior materials. This included a new Grayson County Courthouse built in 1876. In 1879, Old Settlers' Association of North Texas formed and met near Sherman. The Old Settlers' Association of Grayson County incorporated in 1898 and completed purchase of Old Settlers' Park in 1909.
On May 15, 1896, a tornado measuring F5 on the Fujita scale struck Sherman. The tornado had a damage path wide and long, killing 73 people and injuring 200. About 50 homes were destroyed, with 20 of them being completely obliterated.
In 1901 the first electric "Interurban" railway in Texas, the Denison and Sherman Railway, was completed between Sherman and Denison, Texas. The Texas Traction Company completed a interurban between Sherman and Dallas, Texas in 1908 and it purchased the Denison and Sherman Railway in 1911. Through the connections in Dallas and Denison, it was possible to travel to Terrell, Texas; Corsicana, Texas; Waco, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Cleburne, Texas; Denton, Texas; and to Durant, Oklahoma by interurban railways. One popular destination on the Interurban between Sherman and Denison was Wood Lake Park, a private amusement park at the time. By 1948, all interurban rail service in Texas had been discontinued.
During the Sherman Riot of 1930 (May 9, 1930), Sherman's elegant second courthouse was burned down by arson during the trial of an African American man, George Hughes. During the riot, Hughes was locked in the vault at the courthouse and died in the fire. After rioters retrieved Hughes' body from the vault, it was dragged behind a car, hanged, and set afire. Texas Ranger Frank Hamer was in Sherman during this riot and reported the situation to Texas Governor Dan Moody. Governor Moody sent National Guard troops to Sherman on May 9 and more on May 10 to control the situation.