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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Central Texas North : Stephenville

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS

Erath County Seat, North Central Texas
Hwys 281, 377 and 67
20 miles NW of Hico
32 miles W of Glen Rose
100 miles SW of Dallas | Fort Worth
Population : 14,921 (2000)
County Population 33,001 (2000)

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Stephenville limestone bank building

The 1889 First National Bank of Stephenville
Photo courtesy Sam Fenstermacher
History in a Milk Bottle

1854 - John M. Stephen settles in the area - donates land for town
1856 - George Bernard Erath, lays out the town when county was organized
1857 - Town gets approved for post office - John Stephens is postmaster
1858 - population reaches 766 people - but Indian attacks and the Civil War reduce it to 300 by 1871
1870 - First newspaper - The Texas Pacific is printed for Erath county
1889 - Ft. Worth and Rio Grande Railroad arrives
1890s - Second newspaper appears - John Tarleton Agricultural College opens
1892 - Erath County courthouse is built. Designed by J. Riely Gordon.

The 20th Century History of Erath County is rather quiet. The growth has been slow and steady with John Tarleton College becoming Tarleton University.

Erath County became the top producing dairy county in the state - as proclaimed on the square by Moola the cow.

Stephenville Attractions

Erath County courthouse  tower
  • Erath County Courthouse
    Text and photos
    by Sam Fenstermacher



  • Erath County Courthouse
    by Lou Ann Herda, Ed. D.
  • Stephenville Historical House Museum Church
  • Stephenville Historical House Museum
    by Sam Fenstermacher
  • Stephenville Chronicles

  • Strange News by Mike Cox -
    Meteor, killer pachyderm, nine lives, dog ghost ...
  • The McDow Hole by Bob Hopkins
    "The story of the McDow ghost became very popular by the end of the 19th century ... many people would come to the water hole hoping to get a glimpse of the specter."

    Stephenville Hotels
  • Stephenville Tourist Information
    Stephenville Chamber of Commerce:
    187 West Washington, Texas 76401
    Phone: 254-965-5313, 1-800-658-6490.
    website: http://www.stephenvilletexas.org/
    The chamber of commerce has a good walking / windshield tour of 21 of the towns interesting buildings complete with background information. Want to know how much the fiberglass cow cost? It's provided.

    The Historical House Museum Complex at 525 E. Washington St. has seven more buildings on display.

    Nearby Destinations - A Sunday drive

    Stephenville Hotels
    Stephenville, Texas
    Area Day Trips:

    Hico
    Glen Rose

    Where To Stay:
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