Sutton County, Texas

Sutton County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,128.[1] Its county seat is Sonora.[2] The county was created in 1887 and organized in 1890.[3] Sutton County is named for John S. Sutton, an officer in the Confederate Army.

Sutton County, Texas
Sutton county courthouse 2009
The Sutton County Courthouse in Sonora
Map of Texas highlighting Sutton County

Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas

Texas's location within the U.S.
Largest citySonora
 • Total1,454 sq mi (3,766 km2)
 • Land1,454 sq mi (3,766 km2)
 • Water0.5 sq mi (1 km2), 0.03%
 • (2010)4,128
 • Density2.8/sq mi (1.1/km2)
Congressional district23rd
Time zoneCentral: UTC−6/−5
Mercantile Garden, Sonora, TX IMG 1365
Mercantile Garden, located at the foot of the hill containing the Sutton County Courthouse
Sutton County, TX, Public Library IMG 1372
The Sutton County Library in Sonora
Veterans and Pioneer Ranch Women Museum, Sonora, TX IMG 1377
Veterans & Pioneer Ranch Women Museum in Sonora


  • 9500 BC – c. 1860s AD Paleo-Indians in the county leave behind archaeological remains of a burned-rock midden with mortar and pestle, as well as other tools. Later native inhabitants include Tonkawa, Comanche and Lipan Apache.[4]
  • 1736 Lt. Miguel de la Garza Falcón leads 100 soldiers along the Devils River[5][6]
  • 1852, February 2 - Camp Terrett, later known as Fort Terrett, established to protect settlers from Comanches. Founded by Lt. Col. Henry Bainbridge and named for Lt. John Terrett, who was killed in the Battle of Monterrey in 1846.[7]
  • 1881 Wall’s Well discovered by Tim Birtrong and Ed Wall. Town of Wentworth discovered. Birtrong Ranch is the area’s only ranch.[8]
  • 1885 Charles G. Adams, a merchant and sometime rancher from Fort McKavett, founds Sonora, Texas, named after a family servant from Sonora, Mexico.[9]
  • 1887 The Texas legislature establishes Sutton County, carved out of eastern Crockett County named for Confederate officer John Schuyler Sutton.[4]
  • 1890 Sonora becomes the county seat.[4]
  • 1915 Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers’ Association organized.[10]
  • 1928 The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway acquires Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway to connect Sonora with San Angelo, Del Rio, and the outside world by rail.[4]
  • 1930 Sonora Wool and Mohair Company established.[4]
  • 1936 WPA projects help local economy.[4]
  • 1958, August 1 – Sonora Municipal Airport activated.[11]
  • 1960, July 16 – Caverns of Sonora open to the public.[12]
  • 1965 Caverns of Sonora designated National Natural Landmark.[13]
  • 1975 Fort Terrett Ranch is purchased by the Texas oil industrrialist Bill Noël and used in part for the growing of pecans.[14]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,454 square miles (3,770 km2), of which 1,454 square miles (3,770 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (0.03%) is water.[15]

Major highways

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20163,869[16]−6.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[17]
1850–2010[18] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 4,077 people, 1,515 households, and 1,145 families residing in the county. The population density was 3 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 1,998 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 45.28% White, 0.25% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 2.27% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. 49.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,515 households out of which 38.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.60% were married couples living together, 7.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.40% were non-families. 22.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the county, the population was spread out with 28.80% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 12.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 99.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,385, and the median income for a family was $38,143. Males had a median income of $31,193 versus $18,587 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,105. About 14.10% of families and 18.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.20% of those under age 18 and 16.10% of those age 65 or over.


Sutton County is served by the Sonora Independent School District based in Sonora.



Ghost Towns

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ "Texas: Individual County Chronologies". Texas Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hosmer, Brian C. "Sutton County, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  5. ^ Smith, Julia Cauble. "Devils River". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  6. ^ Skiles, Jack; Kelton, Elmer (1996). Judge Roy Bean Country. Texas Tech University Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-89672-369-6.
  7. ^ Uglow, Loyd and Loyd M (2001). Standing in the Gap: Army Outposts, Picket Stations, and the Pacification of the Texas Frontier, 1866-1886. Texas Christian University. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-87565-246-7.
  8. ^ "Wentworth - Sonora, Sutton County, Texas". Texas Historical Markers. William Nienke, Sam Morrow. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  9. ^ "Sonora, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  10. ^ Lackey, Jerry (21 December 2009). "HOMESTEAD: 'Stockman's Paradise' true to the past". San Angelo Standard Times.
  11. ^ "Sonora Municipal Airport". AirNav. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  12. ^ "History Caverns of Sonora". Caverns of Sonora. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  13. ^ "NPS Caverns of Sonora". National Park Service. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  14. ^ "William Douglas Noël". The Handbook of Texas. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  15. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  16. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  17. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  18. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 11 April 2018.

External links

Media related to Sutton County, Texas at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 30°30′N 100°32′W / 30.50°N 100.54°W

Bill Ratliff

William Roark Ratliff (born August 16, 1936), is a Texas politician who served as a member of the Texas State Senate from 1988 to 2004. Between 2000 and 2003 he served as the 40th Lieutenant Governor of Texas, after previous Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry succeeded to the governorship to replace George W. Bush who resigned to become President of the United States.

Caverns of Sonora

The Caverns of Sonora, a National Natural Landmark, is a unique cave located 8 miles (13 km) west of the small city of Sonora, the seat of Sutton County, Texas. It is a world-class cave because of its stunning array of calcite crystal formations, especially helictites. These helictites are found in extreme abundance, often with a rare purity and complexity. One formation is so densely packed with them, it has been dubbed the "snake pit". The founder of the National Speleological Society, Bill Stephenson, said of the cave after his first visit: "This is the most indescribably beautiful cave in the world, its beauty cannot be exaggerated, not even by a Texan."

Dan Blocker

Bobby Dan Davis Blocker (December 10, 1928 – May 13, 1972) was an American television actor and Korean War veteran. He is best remembered for his role as Hoss Cartwright in the NBC Western television series Bonanza.

Devils River (Texas)

The Devils River in southwestern Texas, part of the Rio Grande drainage basin, has limited areas of whitewater along its length. It begins in northwest Sutton County, at 30°19′40″N 100°56′31″W, where six watercourses come together, Dry Devils River, Granger Draw, House Draw, Jackson, Flat Rock Draw, and Rough Canyon. It flows southwest for 94 miles (151 km) through Val Verde County and empties into the northeastern shore of the Amistad Reservoir, an impoundment of the Rio Grande near Del Rio, Texas on the Texas/Mexico border, 29°27′33″N 101°3′34″W. The discharge of the Devils River, as measured at IBWC gaging station 08-4494.00 near the river's mouth, averages 362 cubic feet per second (10.3 m3/s), with a maximum of 122,895 cubic feet per second (3,480 m3/s) and a minimum of 54 cubic feet per second (1.53 m3/s). Its drainage basin above that point is 10,259 square kilometres (3,961 sq mi).The Devils River is considered the most unspoiled river in Texas. Its remote location in a hostile environment limits pollution from human and domestic animal populations. In addition, the river flows underground for part of its journey. As it passes underground, the gravel, sand and limestone scrub the river water clean before it re-emerges some 20 miles (32 km) downstream.

The Devils River Conservancy is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Devils River for future generations of Texans and works throughout the basin to promote conservation ethics among landowners and paddlers.

Fisher–Miller Land Grant

The Fisher–Miller Land Grant was part of an early colonization effort of the Republic of Texas. Its 3,878,000 acres covered 5,000 square miles (13,000 km2) between the Llano River and Colorado River. Originally granted to Henry Francis Fisher and Burchard Miller, the grant was sold to the German colonization company of Adelsverein. Very few colonizations resulted from the land grant, as most settlers preferred Fredericksburg and New Braunfels, which lay outside the land grant boundaries. Designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1964, Marker number 9438.

Fort Terrett, Texas

Fort Terrett was a U.S. Army post from 1852 - 1854, later the site of a ranch, an historic locale in Sutton County, Texas, United States.Originally named “Post on the Rio Llano or Post on the North Fork River Llano and Camp Lugubre” renamed in 1852 after Lt John Terrett. Terrett was killed in the Battle of Monterrey in 1846. Lt. Col. Henry Bainbridge established the camp in February 1852 for protection for the settlements and travelers along the Upper San Antonio Road. It was located along the North Llano River in Sutton County, Texas. The post was abandoned on February 1854 the troops locating farther to the west and north on the advancing frontier. The fort buildings were then used for the Noel Ranch. The state of Texas constructed a site marker now located off CR 307 near I-10 Exit 429.

Howard College

Howard College is a community college with its main campus in Big Spring, Texas and branch campuses in San Angelo and Lamesa.

Interstate 10 in Texas

Interstate 10 (I-10) is the major east–west Interstate Highway in the Southern United States. In the U.S. state of Texas, it runs east from Anthony, at the border with New Mexico, through El Paso, San Antonio and Houston to the border with Louisiana in Orange, Texas. At just under 880 miles (1,420 km), the Texas segment of I-10, maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation, is the longest continuous untolled freeway in North America that is operated by a single authority,. It is also the longest stretch of highway with a single designation within a single state. Mile marker 880 and its corresponding exit number in Orange, Texas, are the highest numbered mile marker and exit on any freeway in North America. After widening was completed in 2008, a portion of the highway west of Houston is now also believed to be the widest in the world, at 26 lanes. There is a wider section in China on the G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway; however, that section is a toll plaza approach.More than a third of I-10's entire length is located in Texas alone. El Paso, near the Texas–New Mexico state line, is 785 miles (1,263 km) from the western terminus of I-10 in Santa Monica, California, making it closer to Los Angeles than it is to Orange, Texas, 857 miles (1,379 km) away at the Texas–Louisiana state line. Likewise, Orange is only 789 miles (1,270 km) from the eastern terminus of I-10 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Jack Taylor (politician)

Jerald Jackson Taylor (May 23, 1907 – March 31, 1995), known as Jack Taylor, was an educator and Republican politician from Mesa, Arizona. He was the mayor of Mesa and served in both houses of the Arizona State Legislature.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Sutton County, Texas

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Sutton County, Texas.

This is intended to be a complete list of properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Sutton County, Texas. There are three properties listed on the National Register in the county. Two of these are Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks including one that is also a State Antiquities Landmark.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted May 17, 2019.

Owenville, Texas

Owenville was a ghost town in Sutton County, Texas, United States. It was originally founded in the late 1800s. The location of the town is now a privately owned property. There are old foundations and roads from the town.

San Saba River

The San Saba River (San Sabá) is a river in the U.S. state of Texas. It is an undeveloped and scenic waterway located on the northern boundary of the Edwards Plateau.

Sonora, Texas

Sonora is a city in and the county seat of Sutton County, Texas, United States. The population was 3,027 at the 2010 census.

Sonora High School (Texas)

Sonora High School is a public high school located in Sonora, Texas and classified as a 3A school by the UIL. It is part of the Sonora Independent School District which covers all of Sutton County. In 2013, the school was rated "Met Standard" by the Texas Education Agency.

Sonora Independent School District

Sonora Independent School District is a public school district based in Sonora, Texas (USA). The district's boundaries parallel that of Sutton County.

In 2009, the school district was rated "academically acceptable" by the Texas Education Agency.A former board member, Mallory Ann Barnhart Rousellot operates a downtown restaurant, Mercantile on Main, in Sonora. She is chairman of the Sutton County Republican Party. She and her husband, Mark W. Rousellot, operate a ranch in Sutton County.

Sutton County Courthouse

The Sutton County Courthouse, on Public Square in Sonora, Texas, was built in 1891. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.It was designed in Second Empire style by architect Oscar Ruffini.It is a Texas State Antiquities Landmark and a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.

Texas Hill Country

The Texas Hill Country is a geographic region located in the Edwards Plateau at the crossroads of West Texas, Central Texas, and South Texas. Given its location, climate, terrain, and vegetation, the Hill Country can be considered the border between the American Southwest and Southeast.

The region is notable for its karst topography and tall rugged hills of limestone or granite. Many of the hills rise to a height of 400-500 feet above the surrounding plains and valleys, with Packsaddle Mountain rising to a height of 800 feet above the Llano River in Kingsland. The Hill Country also includes the Llano Uplift and the second-largest granite dome in the United States, Enchanted Rock. The terrain throughout the region is punctuated by a thin layer of topsoil and a large number of exposed rocks and boulders, making the region very dry and prone to flash flooding. Native vegetation in the region includes various yucca, prickly pear cactus, desert spoon, and wildflowers in the Llano Uplift. The predominant trees in the region are ashe juniper and Texas live oak.Bound on the east by the Balcones Escarpment, the Hill Country reaches into the far northern portions of San Antonio and the western portions of Austin. As a result of springs discharging water stored in the Edwards Aquifer, several cities such as Austin, San Marcos, and New Braunfels were settled at the base of the Balcones Escarpment. The region's economy is one of the fastest growing in the United States.

U.S. Route 277

U.S. Route 277 (US 277, US-277) is a north–south United States Highway. It is a spur of U.S. Route 77. It runs for 633 miles (1,019 km) across Oklahoma and Texas. US 277's northern terminus is in Newcastle, Oklahoma at Interstate 44, which is also the northern terminus of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. Its southern terminus is in Carrizo Springs, Texas at U.S. Route 83. It passes through the states of Oklahoma and Texas.

Most of U.S. 277's route through the two states overlaps other U.S. highways. Those include U.S. 62 from Newcastle to Chickasha, Oklahoma, U.S. 62 and U.S. 281 from five miles (8 km) west of Elgin, Oklahoma, to Lawton, U.S. 281 from Lawton to Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S. 82 from Wichita Falls to Seymour, Texas, and U.S. 83 from Anson, Texas to Abilene, Texas. Through the Lawton area and again from Randlett, Oklahoma, to near downtown Wichita Falls, U.S. 277 is also co-signed with I-44.

Places adjacent to Sutton County, Texas
Municipalities and communities of Sutton County, Texas, United States
Ghost towns

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