a Pecan Shell
community dates from around 1870 with William Yarbrough and J. A.
Wright are listed as early pioneers or founders. It had previously
been known as either Round Mountain or Jimmie's Creek.
When the town was granted a post office in 1886, the postmaster (John
Sapp) submitted the name Sidney - which was the name of his son.
The community had a school in operation in the 1870s and a single
store in 1883. Nothing much happened through the first few decades
of the 20th Century, but by 1940, Sidney had four stores in operation
and a population that numbered 200. The population was given as 196
people for the 1980 census - which is where it has remained through
the year 2000.
Baptist Church welcome sign
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, April 2015
(From Sidney, take FM 1689 south about 1 mile, then go east on county
road about 1 mile.)
and rancher William Pendergrass (1818-98) and his wife, Emaline (1819-1907),
moved from Tennessee to Smith
County, Texas, in 1849. They first came to Comanche
County in 1859, then settled here permanently after a brief return
to Smith County (1866-73).
Some of the Pendergrasses' nine children also settled in this area.
A leader in this frontier community, Pendergrass helped to establish
several churches and a school, as well as this cemetery. The first
interment here was in 1883, when Pendergrass offered a plot of his
land for the burial of a stranger whose body was found nearby. Soon
afterward, he moved graves of two of his grandchildren, Hilliard Pendergrass
and Pearly Cook, to this site from a tract of land he had sold. In
1888 he deeded the one-acre cemetery to the community. Emaline Pendergrass
donated another acre shortly after her husband's death in 1898. The
525 graves now (1975) here include those of Pendergrass, his wife,
and many of their descendants.
The Pendergrass Cemetery Association, formed as the result of a community
beautification drive, fenced the site and erected gates in 1959. The
well-maintained cemetery is still used for burials.
County 1920s map showing Sidney (NW of Comanche)
From Texas state map #10749
Texas General Land Office
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