Shepherd is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 59, State Highway 150, and Farm roads 2666 and 222, sixty miles north of Houston in southeastern San Jacinto County. The town was named for Houston banker and landowner B. A. Shepherd, who came to San Jacinto County in 1875 to build a town on the proposed Houston, East and West Texas Railway. Selecting a site near a former Coushatta Indian village, Shepherd laid out a townsite and depot, which subsequently became a local center for sawmilling and agricultural activities. The post office was established in 1879. The population of Shepherd, set at 278 in the 1900 census, grew to 500 during the 1920s before declining to an estimated 350 by the early 1950s. A Gulf States Utilities Company power line from Shepherd to Coldspring was completed in 1936, thus providing residents with electricity on a much larger scale than was heretofore possible. In more recent years Shepherd has undergone many changes, largely resulting from the completion of the man-made Lake Livingston in 1968. By the early 1970s the population had grown to more than 900, and by the mid-1980s the figure had surpassed 1,600, which made Shepherd the largest town in San Jacinto County. The number of businesses, largely related to serving the needs of new residents and visitors interested in the recreational opportunities afforded by nearby Lake Livingston, also rose sharply. In 1961–62 only seventeen such businesses were located in Shepherd, but the figure had risen to twenty-six by the mid-1980s. Seeking to accommodate the changes, Shepherd electors voted to incorporate their town in April 1967. In 1990 the population was 1,812. The population reached 2,029 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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Shepherd by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
2,600 2019 Texas Demographic Center
2,319 2010 Texas Demographic Center
2,029 2000 Texas Demographic Center
1,812 1990 Texas Demographic Center
1,674 1980 Texas Demographic Center
928 1970 Texas Demographic Center
1,300 1960 Texas Demographic Center
350 1950 Texas Demographic Center
500 1940 Texas Demographic Center
450 1930 Texas Demographic Center
500 1920 Texas Demographic Center
278 1900 Texas Demographic Center