Sweetwater, Texas

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Sweetwater, Texas
City
Municipal building north of the Nolan County Courthouse.
Municipal building north of the Nolan County Courthouse.
Motto: "Life Is Sweet In Texas"
Location of Sweetwater, Texas
Location of Sweetwater, Texas
Nolan County Sweetwater.svg
Coordinates: 32°28′5″N 100°24′26″W / 32.46806°N 100.40722°W / 32.46806; -100.40722Coordinates: 32°28′5″N 100°24′26″W / 32.46806°N 100.40722°W / 32.46806; -100.40722
Country United States
State Texas
County Nolan
Area
 • Total 10.0 sq mi (26 km2)
 • Land 10.0 sq mi (26 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 2,169 ft (661 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 11,415
 • Density 1,139.4/sq mi (439.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 79556
Area code(s) 325
FIPS code 48-71540[1]
GNIS feature ID 1348139[2]
Website The City of Sweetwater Texas

Sweetwater is the county seat of Nolan County, Texas, United States.[3] The population was 11,415 at the 2000 census.

History[edit]

Sweetwater received a U.S. post office in 1879. The Texas and Pacific Railway started service in 1881, with the first train arriving on March 12 of that year, beginning Sweetwater's long history as a railroad town. To encourage the railroads, Sweetwater increased its water supply by building a small town lake in 1898, and three larger lakes thereafter. Construction began on the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway in 1903. Sweetwater became a railroad town, with businesses and homes built along the rail line. Rail passenger service was discontinued in 1969.[4]

Gulf Refinery operated there from 1929 to 1954, and at one time the town was a large telegraph center. The International Harvester Company operated a factory in Sweetwater from 1920 to 1950. Gypsum plants, apparel manufacturers, cement plants, cotton compresses, a cottonseed oil mill, and packing companies were among the nearly 250 businesses operating there from the 1970s. Many still operate today. Sweetwater remains a production hub for cotton, oil, and cattle. The population of Sweetwater has remained steady between 11,000 and 13,000 since 1940.[5]

At Sweetwater during World War II, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) were trained under the direction of the famed aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran at Sweetwater's Avenger Field. These WASPs were the first women to fly American military aircraft. The military airstrip closed abruptly at the end of the war, but pilots flying over Sweetwater can still land at Avenger Field – the Sweetwater Airport (SWW). The National WASP WWII Museum is located at Avenger Field.[6] The WASP women were not recognized for having served in the armed forces until 1977, when U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona and Colonel Bruce Arnold, late son of General Hap Arnold, persisted in obtaining their official recognition as military veterans. In 1970, the field became the site of Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater.[7]

Sweetwater also has a Pioneer Museum, with display rooms depicting the lives of early settlers with extensive photograph files, farm and ranch exhibits, Indian artifacts, and WASP exhibits.[8]

Sweetwater has a hospital (founded 1976),[9] an 18-hole golf course (opened 1958),[10] a local newspaper (founded 1881),[11] a municipal auditorium (whereh Elvis Presley once performed), a historic renovated movie theater, and a large public swimming pool, as well as public fishing and recreational facilities at Lake Sweetwater.

One of the earliest congregations that continues to exist in Sweetwater is First Baptist Church.[12]

Sweetwater High School has a rich tradition in amateur sports. SHS's football teams play in the Mustang Bowl, built in the 1930s by the CCC. Sweetwater's football tradition has produced 627 wins, fourth-most all-time in Texas class 3A rankings. Football legend Sammy Baugh played for Sweetwater in the Mustang Bowl, and is a member of the UIL All Century Team.[13][14] Kathleen Darnell won the 1927-1928 (all schools) State Championship in tennis. Walter Romine won the 1961-62 3A Tennis Singles Championship and Fred Scott and Mike Boles won the 1971-1972 3A Doubles Championship. In 1979-80, Sylvia Layfield and Connie Weber won the State 3A Doubles title. In golf, Sweetwater won back-to-back 3A State Golf Championships in 1971-72 and 1972–73, with Scott Morgan winning the 1971-72 3A Individual state title. Sweetwater again won the 3A State Golf Championship in 2000-2001.[15] Sweetwater won the Texas 4A State Football Championship in 1985, beating Austin Westlake and then Tomball to claim the title. Sweetwater's girls basketball team competed in the 1984-85 4A State Championship game against Waco Richfield. SHS basketball star Nicole "Nikki" Heath was a starter on Texas Tech University's 1993 National Championship team. In track and field, Sweetwater won the 1983-84 Girls 4A State Team Championship and the following represent Sweetwater's Individual State Champions:

  • M. Willis won the 1924-25 (all schools) One Mile Run state championship for Sweetwater with a time of 4:38.3
  • 1949-50, legendary poker player Doyle Brunson won the 2A State Championship in the One Mile Run with a time of 4:38.1.[16]
  • 1978-79, Lowell Williams won the 3A State Championship in the Discus with a throw of 187' 7".
  • 1979-80, Tina Lopez was the 3A State Champion in boththe 1600 Meter Run (5:05.90) and the 800 Meter Run (2:11.20).
  • 1979-80, Teresa West won both the 3A Girls Shot Put Championship (41' 11") and the 3A Girls Discus Championship (144' 4").
  • 1980-81, Teresa West repeated, but as the 4A Girls Discus Champion (136').
  • 1983-84, the Sweetwater 4A Girls 400 Meter Relay team won the State Championship with a time of 47.90.
  • Tara Lemmons won back-to-back 4A State Championships in Girls Discus in 1986-87 (142' 5") and 1987–88 (156'3").
  • 1990-91, Kiley Anglin won the 4A State Championship in the 800 Yard Run with a time of 1:51.90.
  • 1996-1997, Robert Reed was 4A State Triple Jump Champion with a leap of 49-4 1/2"
  • 1999-2000, Willie Amos won the 3A 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles Championship with a time of 36.29.
  • 2007-08, Keke Wallace was 3A 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles Champion with a time of 37.70.
  • 2006-07, Skye Green won the 3A 100 Meter Dash Championship with a time of 10.49.
  • 2008-09, Morgan Shelton won the Girls 3A 300 Meter Hurdles Championship with a time of 43.93.

Parts of the south side of Sweetwater were devastated by an estimated EF3 tornado that swept through town early in the morning of April 19, 1986.[citation needed]

Sweetwater is the center of the Western Hemisphere's leading wind power generation region. It is sometimes called the "Wind Turbine Capital of Texas", which does not regulate wind power.[citation needed] About 1,330 direct wind-related jobs were created in Nolan County alone (in 2009), with almost $18,000,000 in annual landowner royalties and over $12,000,000 in annual local school taxes (2007).[17]

The world's largest rattlesnake Round-Up has been held annually by the Sweetwater Jaycees on the second weekend in March since 1958,[18] along with the Gun and Coin Show hosted by the Sweetwater Rifle and Pistol Club which was founded in the 1940s.[19]

According to Tom Henderson, a member of the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors:

"If you're bored here, it's your own fault."[20]

Geography[edit]

Sweetwater is located at 32°28′5″N 100°24′26″W / 32.46806°N 100.40722°W / 32.46806; -100.40722 (32.468147, -100.407125).[21]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.0 square miles (26 km2), all of it land.[citation needed]

Sweetwater is the center of the Western Hemisphere's leading wind power generation region and West Texas has more than 4,000 MW of operational wind energy. Nolan County alone would currently rank as the eighth largest "nation" in terms of wind energy generation - with more than 1,500 MW installed.[22]

Climate[edit]

Climate type occurs primarily on the periphery of the true deserts in low-latitude semiarid steppe regions. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is BSk. (Tropical and Subtropical Steppe Climate).[23]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[1] of 2000, 11,415 people, 4,545 households, and 3,017 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,139.4 people per square mile (439.9/km²). There were 5,202 housing units at an average density of 519.2 per square mile (200.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.29% White, 5.83% African American, 0.58% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 15.71% from other races, and 2.21% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 31.70% of the population.

In the city, the population was distributed as 28.1% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,293, and for a family was $29,953. Males had a median income of $27,722 versus $18,064 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,065. About 20.5% of families and 23.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.5% of those under age 18 and 22.0% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Wind turbine near Sweetwater, Texas

The City of Sweetwater is served by the Sweetwater Independent School District, which includes J.P.Cowen Early Childhood Center, East Ridge Elementary, Southeast Elementary, Sweetwater Intermediate School, Sweetwater Middle School, and Sweetwater High School. For more information about Sweetwater ISD, visit the official SISD website.

Sweetwater is the home of the West Texas campus of the Texas State Technical College System, which added the first community college wind energy program in Texas in 2007.[24] Also in 2007, TSTC constructed a demonstration 2 MW 60 Hz DeWind D8.2 prototype wind turbine for student training.[25]

In popular culture[edit]

In King of the Pecos 1936 John Wayne, Muriel Evans, and Cy Kendall. Sweetwater is portrayed as a single homestead and said to be a necessary watering stop for the first cattle drive presumably up what would become the Pecos Trail towards Abilene, where a new railhead has been completed. Pecos to Abilene is about 250 miles, but said to be 1600 miles by characters in the movie, though they cross the distance with cattle in a short time.

Sweetwater, Texas is the last song on the 1976 Charlie Daniels Band album Saddle Tramp.

"Sweetwater, Texas" is the title of the sixth episode of the CBS Western television series Trackdown, starring Robert Culp as Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman. The episode aired on November 8, 1957. In the story line, Gilman finds an abandoned baby in a stagecoach which has been robbed, and all other passengers were killed. His clue is the photograph of a woman, presumably the mother of the child. Paul Richards and Ray Danton guest star.[26]

On the album All the Pain Money Can Buy by Fastball, "Sweetwater, Texas" is name of the last song.[27]

Sweetwater is the namesake for the town in the film 1968 Sergio Leone spaghetti western Once Upon a Time in the West. The town was a location in an episode of the American television show Maverick . Willie Nelson's movie Red Headed Stranger was filmed in Sweetwater.

In Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical "Oklahoma", Jud Fry refers to an act of arson that takes place in Sweetwater.


In J.K. Rowling's book Quidditch Through the Ages, one of the United States teams mentioned is the Sweetwater All-Stars.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ http://www.flickr.com/photos/texasmarkers/5928759465/
  5. ^ http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hes09
  6. ^ http://waspmuseum.org/%7CNational WASP WWII Museum website.
  7. ^ Marina Nemir of Sweetwater, "WASP (Women's Airforce Pilots) and the Avenger Field in Sweetwater", West Texas Historical Association, annual meeting, West Texas A&M University at Canyon, April 5, 2008.
  8. ^ "City of Sweetwater, TX - Official Website - Pioneer Museum". Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  9. ^ http://www.rpmh.net
  10. ^ http://www.golfnow.com/course-directory/texas-golf-courses/sweetwater-golf-courses/sweetwater-country-club
  11. ^ http://www.sweetwaterreporter.com
  12. ^ http://9key.com/markers/marker_detail.asp?atlas_number=5353001679
  13. ^ http://uil100.org/vote.php
  14. ^ http://www.texasfootball.com/win-loss-records/
  15. ^ http://uil100.org/archives/athletics/golf-boys.php
  16. ^ http://uil100.org/archives/athletics/track-field-event-time.php?event==One+Mile+Run&boys_girls=Boys
  17. ^ http://www.moakcasey.com/articles/viewarticledoc.aspx/Nolan%20County%20Case%20Study.pdf?AID=168&DID=288
  18. ^ The Sweetwater Jaycees' Annual Rattlesnake RoundUp - Home Page.
  19. ^ http://www.sweetwaterrifleandpistolclub.com/index_Page385.htm
  20. ^ Henderson, Tom (2009). The Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce Home Page. Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved from http://www.sweetwatertexas.org/main.html.
  21. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  22. ^ Composite Technology's DeWind Announces Texas Wind Turbine Demonstration Site.
  23. ^ Climate Summary for Sweetwater, Texas
  24. ^ Block, Ben (2008-07-24). "In Windy West Texas, An Economic Boom". Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  25. ^ "DeWind Plans Wind Turbine Demo Site in Sweetwater, Texas". BNET Business Network. 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  26. ^ "Trackdown". Classic TV Archives. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  27. ^ http://www.fastballtheband.com/?page_id=11
  28. ^ a b "Biography - Sammy Baugh". Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Retrieved 22 Nov 2011. 
  29. ^ "Doyle Brunson Official Website". Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  30. ^ istria camping quantitative analysis pula at reiresearch.com
  31. ^ "Ernest Wallace, "West Texas Historical Association"". tshaonline.org. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  32. ^ Zollie Coffer Steakley.
  33. ^ "Online World of Wrestling". Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  34. ^ "Online World of Wrestling". Retrieved 2012-07-29. 

External links[edit]