Just outside Sherman, Texas there is a small farming and ranching community called Dorchester, Texas. There isn’t much left of the town. You will find several modern buildings, houses, a church and grain silos/elevator that can be seen for miles. When you drive through the downtown area you find a couple of abandoned row buildings. These buildings are a few of the remaining buildings left in town. The building sitting at the corner is the Old Dorchester Bank in Dorchester Texas.
Dorchester, Texas – History
Dorchester, Texas started out as a trading post for the Frank Sperry Stock Farm, the Harrison Davis Ranch other ranches in the area. The town was named after C.B. Dorchester, a cashier at the Merchants and Planter’s Bank in Sherman, Texas. From 1910 to 1930 the town had a grain elevator, two cotton gins, a bank, doctors, a barbershop, post office, a Baptist Church, and a lumberyard. Dorchester also had blacksmith shop, Masonic Lodge, depot, shipping pens, telephone exchange, post office, elementary school, high school, its own baseball team, and two filling stations.
The main street through town had matching brick buildings with white trim on both sides of the road. The main road was wider than most and had a well and water trough in the middle of the road.
The town’s businessmen were…
- Lawrence Harmon, drug store
- E. M. Simpson, drug store
- Bill Moss, first general store
- Ed Abbott, general store
- William Bain, general store
- “Scotty” Mercer ran on of the gins
- Mr. Caudle ran the grain elevator
- Andrew Tucker, grocery store
Three doctors: Ridings, Ledbetter, Swafford
Barbers: Mr. Whitehead, Bob Lamb
For a complete list of people that worked in town in the early days, check out the Dorchester, Texas link at the bottom of the page.
Eventually the buildings were torn down or sold off. The well was paved over once it wasn’t needed. The schools were consolidated with nearby school districts and eventually torn down. I believe one of school’s foundations can still be found. At some point the Kay Kimbell’s cotton gin was demolished.
The only non-modern building left in town besides a few old homes and falling down downtown buildings is Kay Kimbell’s grain elevator that was built in the 1950s. The grain elevator is a landmark that can be seen for miles and is at the highest point in the county.
The Dorchester Bank
The Dorchester Bank was originally the First State Bank of Dorchester and the building next door was the F. C. L. Sperry Building. At one time it was grocery store. I’m not sure what the other buildings were. Both buildings were designed by local Grayson County Architect John Tulloch who designed many notable buildings in North Texas.
Plans were drawn up by John Tulloch in 1911 and was in operation until the 1930s. The bank was closed in the 1930s when President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed the banks. The Dorchester Bank was one of those rural banks that never reopened. Over the years the bank has been a few things but those other business were never documented or those businesses were lost to history.
According to Chad Underwood – Facebook Group
“My family owned this building from ’95 to ’05 and we lived directly across the street. It once had a safe but its long gone. The building was designed by John Tulloch who designed many buildings in the Grayson area. There are 2 rooms sealed off in the back of the bank only reachable through the windows there were old pictures of Dorchester and old yearbooks wish I had kept them. Sadly the guy we sold it too could care less about the history and don’t allow people to enter. It won’t last too much longer. This building also contained the Grocery store there was an identical building directly across the street but it’s been gone for a long time the foundation can still be seen though..”
- local source, prefers to be anonymous
- Chad Underwood via a Facebook Group Post
- Dorchester History – Image Source
- Dorchester, Texas
Please Note: The Dorchester Bank section of this article was originally written for my personal site. That article will no longer be updated
About the Images
The images were shot on a late gloomy morning. I used my Sony a6000 and my Sony SELP18105G E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS lens. The images were then edited with Adobe Lightroom CC and Topaz Labs A.I. Clear and Topaz Labs Denoise AI and Topaz Labs Sharpen AI and DXO NIK Collection