STERLING, W. S.
STERLING, W. S. (?–ca. 1881). W. S. Sterling, buffalo hunter, rancher, and Indian fighter, settled on Sterling Creek in what is now Sterling County probably at least as early as 1858, when the creek was identified by his name in a surveyor's field notes. He is known to have camped in the area in the early 1860s while he hunted buffalo for hides, which he shipped to Fort Concho. In 1863 the Fort Worth Gazette stated that "Captain" Sterling was "an old frontiersman without fear and was distinguished for his unselfish devotion to the cause of justice and humanity. The Indians feared him for his cool courage and the deadly crack of his Winchester." After leaving Sterling County possibly about 1881, he became a United States marshal in Arizona, where he was ambushed and killed by Apache Indians near Fort Apache. Sterling County, Texas, established in 1891, and its county seat, Sterling City, were named in his honor. The remains of a half-dugout, identified by other buffalo hunters as Sterling's abode, were an early county landmark for many years.
Beverly Daniels, ed., Milling around Sterling County (Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1976). Zachary T. Fulmore, History and Geography of Texas As Told in County Names (Austin: Steck, 1915; facsimile, 1935). Ira Lee Watkins, The History of Sterling County (M.A. thesis, Texas Technological College, 1939).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article."STERLING, W. S.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fst43), accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles