SUNSET, TEXAS. Sunset is on a spur of State Highway 101 at the western end of Farm Road 1749, fifteen miles south of Montague in southern Montague County. A Butterfield Overland Mail station was located two miles from the present townsite. The first settlers came from Denton County in 1870. Sam Smith opened a grocery store in the 1870s and in 1880 applied for a post office under the name Smithville. The name was already taken, however, and postal authorities suggested the name Sunset. Two years later the Fort Worth and Denver Railway built through the community. Residents of nearby Pella left their settlement and moved to Sunset to be near the tracks. On July 26, 1884, residents voted to incorporate, although the corporation did not last long. By 1900 the estimated number of residents had surpassed 600. A canning factory, a weekly newspaper, the Sunset Signal, two churches, a school, a gristmill, cotton gins, and two banks served the community and area farmers. Before 1900 Sunset was in Wise County due to a surveying error; that year a lawsuit awarded land including the site of Sunset to Montague County. Sunset remained a thriving market center for the first four decades of the twentieth century. The Great Depression, World War II, the mechanization of farming, and a decline in the size and number of ranches contributed to a decline in businesses and population. In the late 1950s Sunset had 260 residents and eight businesses. Those figures decreased to 200 residents and four businesses by the late 1980s. In 1990 the population was 200. The population was 339 in 2000.
Guy Renfro Donnell, The History of Montague County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940). Montague County Historical Commission, Story of Montague County (Dallas: Curtis, 1989). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
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.David Minor, "SUNSET, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hls89), accessed February 11, 2016. 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