City of Coleman, Texas

City of Coleman, Texas

Downtown of the City of Coleman, Texas. Photograph by Renelibrary.

Coleman, the county seat of Coleman County, is at the junction of U.S. highways 84 and 283 and Farm Road 53 in the central part of the county. It had its origin in 1876 when R. J. Clow donated a 160-acre site on Hords Creek for a county seat. J. F. Gordon and R. S. Bowen surveyed the land, and town lots were sold. With its location on the Western Trail, Coleman boomed as a supply and recreation center for trail drivers bound for Dodge City, Kansas. The town was named after the county, which was named for Sam Houston's aide Robert M. Coleman. Soon after the county was organized it had a courthouse in Coleman, built of lumber taken from elms found along Jim Ned Creek. The courthouse also housed bachelor quarters and a general store and was used for religious services and community gatherings. A second general store was moved to Coleman from Echo by a man named King. A cowboy shootout in front of this store led to a fatality and the first use of the town cemetery. In 1879 a private school was established with Anna Miles as teacher, and three years later a public school opened. A printer started the short-lived Coleman Telegram in 1877. In 1881 J. J. Callan published the Coleman Voice, which competed with the Coleman Democrat, published by Will Hubert, from 1897 until the papers merged as the Democrat-Voice in 1906. The population grew from 1,362 in 1904 to over 3,000 in 1912. The town prospered as school lands were sold to ranchers. The Santa Fe Railroad missed the town by five miles, but a spur line was built to it by 1886. After 1900 the economy shifted to cotton raising. The Great Depression years hit county farmers hard, and many left their land to live in town. Coleman subsequently became been a meat-processing and wool center and a thriving manufacturing center producing brick and clay tile, clothing, leather goods, office supplies, and furniture. The population was 6,530 in 1954, 6,371 in 1960, and 5,608 in 1972, when the town had 138 businesses. Annual events include a stock show in January, a rattlesnake hunt and antique show in March, and a rodeo in July. In the city park is a replica of Camp Colorado. The population was 5,410 in 1990, but dropped to 5,127 in 2000.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Coleman by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
4,432 2019 Texas Demographic Center
4,709 2010 Texas Demographic Center
5,127 2000 Texas Demographic Center
5,410 1990 Texas Demographic Center
5,960 1980 Texas Demographic Center
5,608 1970 Texas Demographic Center
6,371 1960 Texas Demographic Center
6,530 1950 Texas Demographic Center
6,054 1940 Texas Demographic Center
6,078 1930 Texas Demographic Center
2,868 1920 Texas Demographic Center
3,046 1910 Texas Demographic Center
1,362 1900 Texas Demographic Center
906 1890 Texas Demographic Center
400 1880 Texas Demographic Center