County Seat: Coleman * Population: 8,903
Coleman County’s one and only courthouse was built in 1884 and remodeled in 1852. The original county capitol was buried in the new Modern brick structure.
The county, organized in 1876, and its county seat of Coleman were named for Robert Morris Coleman, a Virginia emigrant who was an aide-de-camp to General Sam Houston and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Coleman County is located near the geographical center of Texas, about 54 miles southeast of Abilene.
The area houses several historic points of interest including the town of Santa Anna, located on the south slope of two large hills named Santa Anna’s Peak. These two knolls were the only landmarks, except for streams, recorded on the Texas Map of 1835 and served as lookout points for Indians and Texas Rangers.
Coleman County was home to Camp Colorado, established on Jim Ned Creek in the summer of 1856 by the U.S. Army. Remnants of the post’s stone and wooden buildings still exist at the site.
In 1875, Coleman County became known for its range stock industry, with the population consisting mainly of cattlemen and their outfits. In 1880, the pending arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad lured farmers to the area, as well.
Still, Coleman County remained mainly cattle country. As historians describe it, ordinary trail movements involved eight to 10 men including the trail boss. Journeys to Dodge City, which could take three to five months, generally were preceded by trail parties, where the trail crew would dance the night away before leaving with the herd the following morning.
Merchants in Coleman reaped the benefits during the cattle season, which ran from about April until September, when good grass would sustain the herds. In fact, some Coleman store owners allowed cowboys – who could earn as much as a dollar a day and “beans and beef” – to spend the night on their store floors.
Visitors frequent Coleman County for several special events, including the annual rodeo, the Coleman County Livestock Show, one of the largest livestock shows in the nation, and the Coleman County Fiesta de la Paloma and Dove Cook-off.
Others come to Coleman County – known as the Hunting Capital of Texas – to enjoy the county’s plentiful populations of deer, turkey, duck, dove and quail.
Water lovers frequent the area’s six major lakes: Lake Coleman, lvie Reservoir, Lake Scarborough, Memory Lake, Lake Santa Anna and Hord’s Creek.
Coleman’s City Park is located on the banks of Hord’s Creek and offers a western museum, tennis courts, and a recreation center with an Olympic-size swimming pool and playground equipment.
(Texas Almanac 2004-2005)