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TXGenWeb - NOLAN COUNTY, TEXAS - Genealogy

"The Lone Star State"


Local Information

The first land surveys in Nolan County were made along Sweetwater creek in 1853, and did not cross the creek now known as Sweetwater creek. It was then known as Elm fork of the Clear Fork of the Brazos river.

Between 1871 and 1875 the United States was especially active on the frontiers of northwest Texas, and in 1875 engineers made a map of the region on which the streams were located and named on the trails made by the various army commanders in their warfare with the Indians. That map clearly lists Sweetwater creek as we know it, but under the name of South Elbow creek. During this time the Texas Rangers were on the frontier of this region stationed in the south of Nolan County.

About 1874, Indians made a raid down into Coleman and other counties. A posse of Rangers got on their trail and followed them through Nolan County and up on the plains. As the Rangers passed, the streams being unnamed, they proceeded to name them Bittercreek, Sweetwater creek and gave names to the other streams.

When Nolan County got enough people to justify a post office, it was naturally located on Sweetwater Creek, located up in the Panhandle which in the buffalo hunting days became the site for the location of another Sweetwater which was named county seat of Wheeler county before a post office was established. When the town applied for a post office and it was discovered there was already another Sweetwater, the name of the place was changed to Mobeetie (said to be the Kiowa name for Sweetwater).

There is also a third Sweetwater in Texas, known as Auga Dulce and located in Nueces County, which is the Spanish version of Sweetwater.

Sweet Water (the name was in two words until 1918) was originally established on the banks of Sweetwater Creek in a dugout, for the benefit of the few ranchmen and the buffalo hunters then in the country.

On April 12, 1881, when the town of Sweetwater was declared the permanent county seat of Nolan County, there was not a building on the site constructed of wood, brick or stone, and N. I. Dulaney had opened a store in a tent along with several other 'tent stores'.

The railway donated to Nolan County two blocks for a courthouse and jail on August 22, 1881.

Sweetwater's first water supply system consisted of a small muddy pond out near the stock pens and a drilled water well and windmill at the north west corner of the public square with a capacity (when the wind blew) of about 100 barrels of gyp water per day.

Joseph Boone was the first mayor in 1884. T. D. Farris was elected first city secretary and W. A. Corbett, first marshal.

C. E. Gilbert of Abilene established the Abilene Reporter in 1881, about the same time put in the first paper in Sweetwater and called it the Sweetwater Advance. In less than a year, R.A. Musgrove purchased the paper and changed the name to the Nolan County Review. Both were weekly newspapers.

Musgrove sold the paper to Professor Grogan. On May 1, 1909, John W. Millsapps bought the paper for $900. In 1907, W. A. Perry bought a half interest in the paper and joined the staff as editor.

During 1919 State Senator Terrell purchased the Reporter, adding it to a chain of weeklies and daily papers over the state. Houston Harte of San Angelo was the next owner of the Reporter, 1924, selling to George and Russell Bennitt in 1937. After a few years they sold to McBeth Publishing Co., who published the Reporter until March, 1973, selling to Donrey Media Group.

George and Russell Bennitt also built Sweetwater's first radio station, KXOX.

1879 - 1930

COURTHOUSE INFORMATION - County Offices, District Court, County Information, Public

            Notices, News

COUNTY-CITY LIBRARY: PO Box 780, Sweetwater, TX 79556


            Cates-Spencer & Trent Funeral Home, 403 Locust, Sweetwater, TX; 325--236-6717

             McCoy Funeral Home, Inc, 401 E. 3rd, Sweetwater, TX; 325-236-6677

GENEALOGY SOCIETY - Nolan County Genealogical Association
            c/o County-City Library
            PO Box 780
            Sweetwater, TX 79556


First National Bank Building
Also known as Butler Abstract Company Building
101 E. 3rd St., Sweetwater


Newman, I.M. and Margaret, House
309 Ragland St., Sweetwater


Ragland, R. A., Building
113 -117 3rd St., Sweetwater


Sweetwater Commercial Historic District
Roughly between 1st and 5th, and Ash and Texas and Pacific RR tracks, Sweetwater


MAPS - MapQuest - print your own maps.

             1895 MAP

             TIGER MAP Server Browser


MUSEUM - Pioneer Museum, on the corner of Ragland and East Third Streets,

         Sweetwater, TX.;   325-235-8547


NEWSPAPER - Sweetwater Reporter, 112 W 3rd, Sweetwater, TX; 325-236-6677


NOLAN COUNTY COLISEUM:  1699 Cypress St Sweetwater, TX 79556 - 325-235-9259



Comfort Inn
216 SE Georgia Ave


Holiday Inn

500 NW Georgia Ave


Longhorn Motor Lodge
325- 235-1547
2201 E Broadway St


Motel 6
325- 235-4387
510 NW Georgia Ave

Mulberry Mansion B & B
325- 235-3811
1400 Sam Houston St


Palomino Motel
325- 235-9085
1500 E Broadway St


Ramada Inn
325- 235-4853
701 SW Georgia Ave




Ranch House Motel & Restaurant
325- 236-6341
301 SW Georgia Ave


Sweetwater Inn
325- 236-6887
500 NW Georgia Ave


Travelers Motel
325- 235-2850
1413 E Broadway St





County Population: 15,802
County Houses: 7,112
Land area: 912.0 sq. mi.
Water area: 1.9 sq. mi.

Type of workers:

  • Private wage or salary: 68%
  • Government: 19%
  • Self-employed, not incorporated: 11%
  • Unpaid family work: 1%

Races in Nolan County:

  • White Non-Hispanic (66.3%)
  • Hispanic (28.0%)
  • Other race (14.0%)
  • Black (4.7%)
  • Two or more races (2.1%)
  • American Indian (0.8%)

Median age: 37.4 years
Males: 48.6%, Females: 51.4%
Average household size in Nolan County: 2.48
Median household income: $26,209 (year 2000)
Median house value: $35,300 (year 2000)
Median montly rent in 2000: $340
Institutionalized population: 338
Median monthly costs for houses with a mortgage in Nolan County in 2000: $648

Cities/towns in this county include: 

         Blackwell,  Champion, Decker, Hylton, Maryneal,  Nolan,  RoscoeSweetwater,


Notable locations in this county outside city limits:

Notable locations in Nolan County: Adrian Ranch, Double Heart Ranch, Sixty-nine Ranch, High Lonesome Windmill, Tecific, White Hall Ranch, Memphis Public Library.

Cemeteries: Blackwell Cemetery, Champion Cemetery, Coffee Cemetery, Decker Cemetery, Garden Of memories Cemetery, Nolan Cemetery, Slater Chapel Cemetery, Sweetwater Cemetery.

Reservoirs: Willow Tank, Soil Conservation Service Site 4a Reservoir, Soil Conservation Service Site 1 Reservoir, Soil Conservation Service Site 2a Reservoir, Silver Lake, Country Club Lake, H and H Conditioning Tank, H and H Feedlot Tank.

Streams, rivers, and creeks: Holder Creek, Rock Creek, Seale Creek, Bear Creek, Prong Creek, Barnett Creek, Pecan Creek, Wilson Creek, Idlewild Creek.

Parks in Nolan County include: Lake Sweetwater Municipal Park, Sweetwater Park.

Current college students: 559
People 25 years of age or older with a high school degree or higher: 69.9%
People 25 years of age or older with a bachelor's degree or higher: 13.2%

Number of foreign born residents: 669 (57% naturalized citizens)

Mean travel time to work: 16.4 minutes

Housing units in structures:

  • One, detached: 5,540
  • One, attached: 174
  • Two: 196
  • 3 or 4: 191
  • 5 to 9: 95
  • 10 to 19: 187
  • 20 or more: 274
  • Mobile homes: 446
  • Boats, RVs, vans, etc.: 9

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Contact:  TXGenWeb Nolan Co., TX - Coordinator