Sheldon is on U.S. Highway 90 and the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, east of Sheldon Reservoir and Wildlife Management Area seventeen miles northeast of Houston in northeastern Harris County. It was established in the early 1860s and named for a stockholder in the railroad company, Henry K. Sheldon of New York. It originally served as the retail marketing point for an agricultural and lumbering area on the San Jacinto River. A post office operated from 1887 until 1955. By 1896 the community had a general store, a grocer, and fifty residents. In 1905 a local school had fifteen White students and one teacher, and another had thirty-nine Black pupils and one teacher. Sheldon had a population of 150 and ten businesses in the 1940s. The population was 200 in the 1950s and 1,665 by 1980. In 1990 it was 1,653. By 2000 the population was 1,831.