The seat of Terrell County, Sanderson is located south of Fort Stockton between Marathon and Del Rio on US 90 and US 285.
In early days, Sanderson was an unruly frontier town: Roy Bean operated a saloon there for a short time; Charlie Wilson's Cottage Bar was a favorite spot for railroad workers, cowboys, and local ranchers.
On June 11, 1965, Sanderson was devastated by a flash flood. A wall of water roared down Sanderson Canyon into Sanderson, destroying numerous homes and businesses. Twenty-four people died in the flood. Eleven flood-control dams were constructed to protect Sanderson against another such catastrophe. The region is devoted to the raising of livestock, including cattle, horses, polo ponies, burros, sheep, and Angora goats. In 1970 over one million pounds of wool and mohair were shipped out of Sanderson.
The town had a population of 1,500 in 1980 and 1,128 in 1990.