From buffalo hunters and ranchers to rattlesnake hunters and wind farmers, Sweetwater has a rich and diverse history of hearty people flourishing in a harsh environment. Beginning with the Kiowa, Apaches, and Comanche, who migrated through the area following herds, and continuing with hunters after the Civil War, Sweetwater, like many West Texas towns, owes its inception to the buffalo. After the war, the demand for beef, hides, and tallow in the North escalated, requiring hunters to reduce buffalo populations, both for their prized hides and to make room for cattle. The slaughter reached its peak in the South in the 1870s, and in 1877, Billie Knight set up a small store on the banks of Sweetwater Creek to accommodate hunters and ranchers. Since the construction of this humble dugout, the town of Sweetwater has had one racetrack, two locations, three names, four courthouses, and countless snakes, wild fires, and tornadoes.