Sheridan was plotted as a town by John D. Loucks in 1882 on the back of a sheet of wrapping paper. Sheridan was named after one of John Loucks’ civil war officers, General Sheridan. The town was approved and incorporated in 1884. With the coming of the railroad, the opening of many coal mines, the settling of the ranch lands and the arrival of the townspeople, Sheridan quickly grew to a populated town of 1,559 people by 1900. The early wood frame, false front buildings were replaced by sturdier structures of brick and stone between 1910 and 1920. These are the buildings which you will see on your walking tour. Sheridan’s Main Street District was enrolled in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It is officially known as Sheridan Main Street Historic District #164.
Sheridan, the early days . . .
In 1897, a telephone system was started under the name of the Rocky Mountain Telephone Company. It was purchased by Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph in 1902.
In 1909, the top event was the rodeo. At that time, the rodeo included a race for a bride. That year, Hazel Foster was won by Harry Lewis.
In 1910, Sheridan’s population was 12,000. There were two newspapers published, “The Daily Enterprise,” which published six days a week with special editions on Fridays and “The Sheridan Post” which was printed twice weekly.
A new Federal Building which housed government offices as well as the Sheridan Post Office had just been built. It is now the PO Office Building.
There were six public schools. At 403 S. Main was a private boarding school for girls which flourished in the years 1908-1914.
There were eleven churches in the town with a combined membership of more than 2,000.
There were thirteen doctors of medicine in Sheridan and four others were located in towns around Sheridan. Also, there were four dentists and two osteopaths located here.
A county-supported “Poor Farm” was located on East Burrows Street between Gladstone and Sumner streets.
George Levi Smith operated Sheridan’s only mortuary located on South Main.
There were five banking institutions in Sheridan.
Sheridan was a good business town; records show:
* a blacksmith shop
* two large department stores
* two soft-drink manufacturers
* a brewery under construction
* a public library
* a candy kitchen
* a brick yard
* a smoker’s supply that produced handmade cigars (There were 5 cigar factories in Sheridan at one time.)
* A government weather bureau, large brick building on South Main three laundries, one of them a Chinese laundry