Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sherman in Grayson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Butterfield Overland Mail Route Through Grayson County

 
 
Butterfield Overland Mail Route Through Grayson County Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 9, 2014
1. Butterfield Overland Mail Route Through Grayson County Marker
Inscription.

In the mid-19th century, mail traffic between the eastern United States and the western states and territories was accomplished via Panama and Cape Horn. In 1857, Congress authorized the postmaster to contract a new overland mail service. The successful bidder for the southern route was John Butterfield, who agreed to convey mail twice weekly in 25 days per run. The "Oxbow Trail" originated at St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee, then merged at Fort Smith, Arkansas. The stagecoaches traveled through Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) and across northern Texas to Tucson, Arizona, and on to Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, traveling 2,795 miles from St. Louis.

The trail entered Grayson County by crossing the Red River at Colbert's Ferry and proceeding into Sherman. It crossed the county toward Gainesville in Cooke County en route to Franklin (later El Paso). The citizens of Sherman are credited with especially courting the mail route to use Colbert's Ferry instead of entering Texas near Preston (8 mi. upriver). Sherman became a distribution point in 1858, bringing mail service to Texas settlements.

Waterman L. Ormsby of The New York Herald was the first through passenger on the Butterfield Trail in September 1858. He described Sherman as "a pleasant little village of about six hundred
Butterfield Overland Mail Route Through Grayson County Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 9, 2014
2. Butterfield Overland Mail Route Through Grayson County Marker
Left marker along the county courthouse south fašade.
inhabitants," and chronicled the remainder of his trip across Grayson County, writing "our course lay across a fine rolling prairie, covered with fine grass,...the beautiful moonlight lit up the vast prairies making its sameness appear like the boundless sea and its hills like the rolling waves." The southern route was terminated in March 1861. The course of the trail is still visible in a number of locations in Grayson County.
 
Erected 1999 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 11905.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Butterfield Overland Mail marker series.
 
Location. 33° 38.139′ N, 96° 36.572′ W. Marker is in Sherman, Texas, in Grayson County. Marker is on Lamar Street (State Highway 56) east of Crockett Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is on the south grounds of the county courthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 West Houston Street, Sherman TX 75090, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Courthouses of Grayson County (here, next to this marker); Stone from Old Ox Mill (a few steps from this marker); Japanese Model 92 (within shouting distance of this marker); Hall Furniture Building (within shouting distance of this marker); World War I Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); President Roosevelt's Visit to Grayson County (within shouting distance of this marker); Eleventh Texas Cavalry (within shouting distance of this marker); Ninth Texas Cavalry (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sherman.
 
Also see . . .
1. Butterfield Overland Mail. (Submitted on April 24, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Butterfield Overland Mail Route. (Submitted on April 24, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. CommunicationsSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 24, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 259 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 24, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Paid Advertisement