Sanderson was once a part of the Real Wild West. A brawling ranch and railroad town, its excesses were legendary. Even the famous Judge Roy Bean encountered trouble at Sanderson. When he attempted to start a saloon, local entrepreneur and competing saloon man Charlie Wilson arranged for Bean's whiskey barrels to be spiked with kerosene, sending his patrons to the street, spitting out the foul-tasting mix, and sending Bean down the road to Langtry to put up a new saloon. This forever branded Sanderson as "The Town Too Mean for Bean." The town has calmed down, now, but bits of its wild and woolly frontier beginnings are still around. The old railroad bunkhouse from 1883 is being restored, but our ancient depot, once the scene in 1912 of two dead trainrobbers propped against a baggage cart, forever immortalized in a very famous photo, is gone. The train robbers, however, are buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery in a common grave, which you can visit.
But aside from a very raucus early history, the town and the county are not that far removed from those days of Texas legend and lore. The strong influence of the pioneer days of cowboy culture, railroading, oil and gas lives on in the descendants of its original founders, many of whom still run their family ranches and businesses.
The town has strived over the years to stay afloat. A series of floods, culminating in the disastrous flood of 1965, destroyed homes, businesses and lives. But, Sanderson, like a wily ant, shook off its destruction and rebuilt itself and is still here to welcome all who want to be a part of this wonderful town or just to stop for an idyllic time and enjoy the climate, the excellent water and the friendly people. An especially good time to visit would be during our annual Cinco de Mayo or 4th of July Celebrations, always held the weekend closest to their calendar dates.
For more about our history, check out our Terrell County Museum at www.terrellmuseum.info. You may also contact the Visitors Center, go to the Terrell County Library, or find more history in the book titled TERRELL COUNTY, TEXAS IT'S PAST IT'S PEOPLE, compiled by Alice Evans Downie and available at the Visitor's Center. Be sure to check out our informative BROCHURES on another page in this web site.
Our mission is to not only grow the community of Sanderson, but to promote business and economic growth by marketing throughout the region of West Texas and to provide excellence in services to you, our member. By working together, Chamber member of the Chamber, we can improve the economy and quality of life in Sanderson. Being a part of the Chamber illustrates your pride in our great town as well your willingness to work together. We are proud of all our members and of the work they do! The Sanderson Chamber of Commerce, which consists of more than 60 members, is proud to be a civic organization that has been serving our community since 2003. The Chamber membership contains a full range of professionals such has health care providers, local and nonlocal business owners, educators, bankers, ranchers and local officials. The Chamber strives to keep businesses evolving and the quality of life enriched in Sanderson. We work hard every day to fulfill the Chamber’s mission with your support and commitment.