Sterling City, Texas

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Sterling City, Texas
U.S. Highway 87 as it passes through Sterling City, Texas
U.S. Highway 87 as it passes through Sterling City, Texas
The Windmill City
Location of Sterling City, Texas
Location of Sterling City, Texas
Sterling County SterlingCity.svg
Coordinates: 31°50′21″N 100°59′9″W / 31.83917°N 100.98583°W / 31.83917; -100.98583Coordinates: 31°50′21″N 100°59′9″W / 31.83917°N 100.98583°W / 31.83917; -100.98583
CountryUnited States
 • Total0.98 sq mi (2.54 km2)
 • Land0.98 sq mi (2.54 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
2,287 ft (697 m)
 • Total1,121
 • Density1,143.88/sq mi (441.34/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)325
FIPS code48-70232[2]
GNIS feature ID1347899[3]

Sterling City is the county seat of Sterling County, Texas, United States.[4] Its population was 1,121 at the 2020 census.[5]


Sterling City was named for W.S. Sterling, a buffalo hunter and Indian fighter. Land for the new town was donated in January 1891 by R.C. Stewart, and was platted by H.B. Tarver in February. That same year, it was designated the seat of Sterling County. The town soon grew to 300 residents and had its own newspaper, a hotel, a post office, several other businesses, a school, and three churches.[6]

Sterling City was a stop on the Santa Fe Railroad by 1910, but the service was eventually abandoned. The depot still exists as a tourist site.[6]

During World War Two, Sterling City's population decreased by 10%. When it was incorporated in August, 1955, Sterling City had a population of some 800 and had added three more churches, a hospital, a bank, and a library.

On May 25, 1955, 15 United States Air Force personnel, flying in a B-36 bomber under the callsign Abbot 27, perished in a crash near Sterling City.[7] The airmen were members of the 40th Bomb Squadron of the 6th Bombardment Wing at Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, New Mexico. A monument in their honor was erected in 2007 at the Tom Green County Courthouse in San Angelo.


Sterling City is located on the Edwards Plateau in west-central Texas along the North Concho River at 31°50′21″N 100°59′9″W / 31.83917°N 100.98583°W / 31.83917; -100.98583 (31.839066, –100.985871).[8] It is accessed by U.S. Highway 87 and State Highways 158 and 163, and covers area of 0.98 sq mi (2.5 km2), all of it land.

Windmills have been a feature of Sterling City since the early 20th century, when the town claimed to have more windmills per acre than any other place in the world, totaling some 300.[9] Today, most of Sterling City's windmills are giant turbines in modern wind farms on a ridge about 20 miles northwest of the town and visible from U.S. Highway 87.[10]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

2020 census[edit]

Sterling City racial composition[12]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 652 58.16%
Black or African American (NH) 3 0.27%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 4 0.36%
Asian (NH) 1 0.09%
Pacific Islander (NH) 2 0.18%
Some Other Race (NH) 2 0.18%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 35 3.12%
Hispanic or Latino 422 37.64%
Total 1,121

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 1,121 people, 344 households, and 291 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, 1,081 people, 393 households, and 297 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,105.9 people/sq mi (425.9/km2). The 467 housing units averaged 477.7/sq mi (184.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.05% White, 0.09% African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 14.80% from other races, and 2.59% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 33.30% of the population.

Of the 393 households, 36.9% had children under 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.4% were not families. About 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.69, and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city, the age distribution was 29.6% under 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,359, and for a family was $38,958. Males had a median income of $32,500 versus $18,654 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,955. About 14.3% of families and 17.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.3% of those under age 18 and 19.3% of those age 65 or over.


The city of Sterling City is served by the Sterling City Independent School District and home to the Sterling City High School Eagles.



  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Counts, 2020 Census of Population and Housing".
  6. ^ a b "Sterling City, Texas: Concho, San Saba & Llano Valley Railroad Station, Texas Historic Landmark". Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  7. ^ "RICK SMITH: Monument remembers crew of bomber crash". Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  9. ^ Abernethy, Francis Edward. Built in Texas, Issue 42, University of North Texas Press, p. 215.
  10. ^ Flippin, Perry. "Wind Power's New Pioneers." Standard-Times, 27 Aug. 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2022-05-19.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[13][14]

External links[edit]