Stamford is a city located on the border of Jones and Haskell counties in west central Texas. The population was 3,124 according to the 2010 census. Henry McHarg, president of the Texas Central Railroad, named the site in 1900 for his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut.The city is home to the Texas Cowboy Reunion.
Stamford is located on US Highway 277 and State Highway 6. Most of the city is in Jones County, one of 46 dry counties in Texas. The portion of the city within Jones County is part of the Abilene, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area.
|City of Stamford|
Location of Stamford, Texas
|Coordinates: 32°56′57″N 99°47′24″W|
While the town was named by Henry King McHarg for Stamford, Connecticut, the townsite was donated by the family of Swante Magnus Swenson. Mr. Swenson was the first Swedish immigrant to Texas. He became one of the largest landowners in Texas, and by 1860 his holdings in West Texas approached 500,000 acres (202,343 ha). These ranches, which spread across twelve Texas counties, became known as SMS Ranches. Later reorganized as the Swenson Land and Cattle Company, it is headquartered in Stamford to this day. Mr. Swenson had two sons, Eric Pierson and Swen Albin, who became known as the Swenson brothers. They ran SMS Ranches, and even developed a Morab horse breeding program near the city.
Swante M. Swenson is largely responsible for initiating and supporting Swedish immigration to Texas starting in 1847. Mr. Swenson would assist Swedish immigrants with the cost of their passage from Sweden to Texas in exchange for their labor. In 1899, the Swenson brothers persuaded Henry McHarg, president of the Texas Central Railroad, to extend the railroad through their land. The brothers then founded Stamford in 1900 and provided the townsite of 640 acres (259 ha). The town and surrounding area was then partially settled by immigrants from Sweden. Many of the cotton farmers who moved to the area bought tracts of land from the Swenson brothers. Stamford's main street is named Swenson.
Stamford College was founded as Stamford Collegiate Institute in September 1907 by the Northwest Texas Methodist Conference. Drought and World War I caused declining enrollments, and the college was closed in 1918 after a fire. The President of Stamford College went on to found McMurry University in Abilene.
In 1930, the Swenson's were largely responsible for the founding of the annual Texas Cowboy Reunion.
The city's general aviation airport, Arledge Field, began operation in April 1941 as an Army Air Corps training center during World War II.
For the city's first half century, order was kept by police chief George G. Flournoy. A small, crippled, cigar-chewing man, Flournoy began each day's work with target shooting at a stump outside city hall.
Stamford is located in west central Texas, and is part of the American Southwest. The city is also part of the physical region in West Texas known as the Rolling Plains.
Stamford is 41 miles (66 km) north of Abilene, 132 miles (212 km) west of Fort Worth, 137 miles (220 km) east southeast of Lubbock, and 160 miles (257 km) due west of DFW Airport.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.9 square miles (33.4 km2), of which 6.0 square miles (15.5 km2) are land and 6.9 square miles (17.9 km2) (53.62%) are water.
Of the 32 original Carnegie libraries built in Texas, Stamford Carnegie Library is one of only four that remains a library, and one of 13 that survive.
The first annual Texas Cowboy Reunion was held on June 28, 1930. It was established as a tribute to the Texas cowboy, to preserve their traditions, and to counteract the depression-era morale. Will Rogers made one of his last public appearances at the Texas Cowboy Reunion in 1935, less than two months before he died. The reunion grew to be billed as the "World's Largest Amateur Rodeo", and is held for four days each year around July 4 at the Texas Cowboy Reunion Grounds, just west of Stamford. Annual events include the parade, rodeo, roping, chuckwagon cook-off, Western Art Show & Sale, and dances.
Elvis Presley performed at the Roundup Hall on the Texas Cowboy Reunion Grounds on Friday, April 15, 1955. Earlier that evening, Elvis performed a stage show at the Stamford High School Auditorium.Just over two months later, Elvis performed at the Roundup Hall on Friday, June 17, 1955.
The Stamford Cowboy Country Museum celebrates the area's ranching heritage by showcasing original paintings and prints by noted cowboy artists, farm and ranch artifacts from the early 20th century, antique furnishings, period clothing, and a chuck wagon.
The economy of Stamford is based largely on Education, Healthcare, and Agriculture.
Many thousands of acres of arable farmland surround the city, the majority of which are used to cultivate upland cotton. There is a cotton gin in Stamford, and several more within 8 miles (13 km) of the city. Other businesses include a cotton delinting plant, cotton compress, cottonseed oil mill, clothing factory, and grain elevator.