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SHER-HAN, TX

SHER-HAN, TEXAS. Sher-Han was an industrial camp in northwestern Hansford County near the Oklahoma border. Originally this community was composed of three separate camps constructed during World War II for employees of the Phillips Petroleum Company, the Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company, and the Michigan Wisconsin Pipe Line Company. Since the site was in a remote location with no paved roads, low-rent housing was provided by the companies for their employees working at the Phillips gasoline compressor stations. Most of the houses were erected between 1944 and 1949.

The name Sher-Han was derived from the Phillips Hansford natural gas liquids extraction plant, which started up in December 1944, and its Sherman plant, which began operation in 1949. At first the camps and facilities they served were planned to be closer to Guymon, Oklahoma, since they took gas from the Hugoton field, but they were instead placed south of the state line to take advantage of cheaper property tax rates in Texas. Two school buses carried children to and from schools in Guymon, and later in Gruver, Texas, after roads were completed from that town. At its peak the Phillips camp contained more than 300 residents and eighty-five houses, eleven of which were occupied by supervisors. The two pipeline company camps had twenty-eight housing units. There was also a grocery store, a small general store that sold gasoline, a Baptist church, and a community center. A ball park, tennis courts, and a nine-hole golf course provided recreation. In 1957–58 twenty-five houses were erected for the Texas Booster Station. In 1962 Phillips built a helium extraction plant near Sher-Han and in 1978 added an ethane plant to the complex.

Despite these latest additions, the construction of paved roads resulted in a decline in Sher-Han's resident population during the 1960s. The stores and recreation facilities were closed, and the church building was moved to Guymon, where it now serves a Hispanic congregation. All of the houses were sold and most of them were moved to neighboring towns. Although Michigan Wisconsin's E. G. Hill Compressor Station, located on the state line, has remained in continuous operation since 1949, the last of its employees' houses was sold and moved by 1969. By 1985 only eight houses, all individually owned, remained at the Phillips camp and two at the Texas Booster Station. The Sher-Han community building was still in use.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

T. Lindsay Baker, Ghost Towns of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986).

H. Allen Anderson

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

H. Allen Anderson, "SHER-HAN, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrs82), accessed December 27, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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