Sweetwater is a municipality in and the seat of Nolan County, Texas, United States. It is 236 miles southeast of Amarillo and 181 miles west of Fort Worth. The population was 10,906 at the 2010 census. The town’s name “Sweetwater” is the English translation of the Kiowa language word “Mobeetie”.Sweetwater received a U.S. post office in 1879. The Texas and Pacific Railway started service in 1881, with the first train arriving on March 12 of that year, beginning Sweetwater’s long history as a railroad town. To encourage the railroads, Sweetwater increased its water supply by building a small town lake (where Newman Park is today) called City Lake in 1898; and three larger lakes thereafter. Construction began on the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway in 1903.
Sweetwater became a railroad town, with businesses and homes built along the rail lines. Texas & Pacific Railroad passenger service was discontinued in 1969.Gulf Refinery operated there from 1929 to 1954, and at one time the town was a large telegraph center. The International Harvester Company operated a factory on W. Third Street in Sweetwater from 1920 to 1950. Gypsum plants, apparel manufacturers, cement plants, cotton compresses, a cottonseed oil mill, and packing companies were among the nearly 250 businesses operating there from the 1970s. Many still operate today. Sweetwater remains a production hub for such commodities as cotton, oil, and cattle. The population of Sweetwater has remained steady between 11,000 and 13,000 since 1940.
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