Stratford was established in the middle of a night in May, 1901, when Sherman County records were moved from the former county seat at Coldwater to land owned by Walter Colton along the new Rock Island Railroad route. Texas Rangers were called to settle the dispute over the location of the county seat.
Coldwater has snice disappeared. There is a dispute, too, over the origin of the city name. Colton, an Englishman, named it for Stratford-on-Avon, or for a Virginia plantation, the birthplace of Robert E. Lee, whom he admired.
The local economy is based on wheat and corn, and feed grains that are used in large feedlot operations.