The Butterfield Overland Coach Company & Mail Rt.
Sherman was one of the scheduled stops on the Butterfield Overland Coach Company and Mail Route--you might be thinking, "What's that"?
The Butterfield Overland Stage Company was an overland passenger and mail route service which received the US mail contract in 1857, after bidding against nine other overland stage companies.
Unbeknownst to them, the Postmaster General overseeing the southern district was wanting to open up new territory through Texas and El Paso to San Francisco, California known as the Ox Bow route*.
This extra 600 miles of territory required extra relay stations and frontier forts along the way. The company was required to cover the 2,800 miles in 25 days if they wanted to receive the $600,000 government grant for the mail service. To do this, Butterfield had to employ over 800 men and keep 250 Concord Overland stages running, not to mention the 1800 stock necessary.
Wells Fargo and Company took over the Butterfield Overland Stage Company in 1860, due to the debt owed them by John Butterfield. Wells Fargo became a monopoly in long distance overland coach and mail service by 1866.
*The OxBow route was eliminated at the start of the Civil War.
Butterfield Overland Mail operated passenger and mail service every other week (1858-1861) from St. Louis, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee across northern Texas to San Francisco, California. Sherman, Texas was one of the stops on the route.
- Historical Travel
Early Residents of Grayson County
Before Grayson County* was created, when the area was unsettled yet by travelers venturing to the area, the Caddo Indians lived here. These various groups were the first inhabitants which included the Kichai, Ionis and Tonkawa Indians--the original east Texas farmers.
These people lived off the fertile land, which was ideal for agriculture. When the Spanish and French came to the area in the 1700's to set up trading posts along the Red River, the native people traded with the new visitors.
Early Spanish and French settlements were Preston Bend on the Red River, Pilot Grove to the county's southwest and Warren (1836-37).
*FYI: Grayson County is named for Peter Wagener Grayson, attorney general of the Republic of Texas
(Pictured is a painting is by George Catlin, Comanche Camp in 1834)
- Historical Travel
April - Tour of Homes
The Sherman Preservation League Tour of Homes - Tours take place over the 2nd or third weekend in April. You can visit 8 of the historic homes in Sherman which were built between 1896 and 1912 as well as 2 museums and the historic West Hill Cemetery.
September - International Aerobatic Competition. The national aerobatic competitions are held in the first week of September and involve more than 50 aerobatic pilots in various events. Attendances are high and the admission is free.
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