The seat of Nolan County, Sweetwater is located 42 miles west of Abilene toward Colorado City on I-20 and Hwy 70.
The post office at the site was first known as Blue Goose, supposedly because some local cowboys killed a great blue heron under the impression that it was a variety of goose.
The population of Sweetwater was 10,367 in 1940, 13,914 in 1960, and 12,242 in 1980. In 1990 it was 11,967.
In 1998 the Texas Department of Agriculture listed the nearby Blue Goose Ranch, established in 1889, in its Family Land Heritage Program, which recognizes farms and ranches that have been in continuous agricultural operation by the same family for 100 years or more.
Sweetwater has a pioneer museum, a hospital, and a golf course, and the swimming, fishing, and other recreational facilities of Lake Sweetwater are significant amenities.