Coleman County, in the heart of Texas, is between the Edwards Plateau and the Rolling Plains, which lend the county’s terrain both mountainous regions and softly rolling hills. The small county has a population of around 9,000, and was founded in 1858.
The county seat, Coleman, is a community surrounded by six major freshwater lakes including Lake Coleman, Ivie Reservoir, Lake Scarborough, Memory Lake, Lake Santa Anna, and Hord’s Creek, which support a healthy natural tourism industry.
Indigenous peoples were the first to inhabit the land that would later become Coleman County, beginning as early as 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Closer to modern times, Coleman County was inhabited by the Jumano, Lipan Apache, and Comanche tribes.
While Coleman County wasn’t officially founded until 1858, the county’s oldest community of Trickham was founded in 1855 as a cowboy trading post for the cattle ranches already in the area.
During the early history of Coleman County, cattle ranching and agriculture were at the forefront of the local economy, with 435 individual large farms mostly worked by tenant farmers. However, a drought between 1910 and 1920 caused a slump in the agricultural industry, as Coleman County had to import water to survive.
It was during this period of agricultural depression that the first oil wells were established in the county and quickly overtook the struggling agricultural industry until the 1970s, when the agricultural industry had fully recovered.
Today, Coleman is rich in natural resources which has resulted in a diverse economy based on farming, ranching, coal, oil, and gas production. In 2000, the Wind Clean Corporation was founded, which harnesses energy from renewable wind power. The economy is sure to continue to diversify in the future, creating new opportunities.