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Erath County TX
Erath County

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STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS

Erath County Seat, Central Texas North

Hwys 281, 377 and 67
20 miles NW of Hico
32 miles W of Glen Rose
100 miles SW of Dallas | Fort Worth
Population : 17,833 (2010) 14,921 (2000)

Book Hotel Here › Stephenville Hotels

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 Erath 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 Landmarks / Attractions

Erath County courthouse  tower
Photo courtesy Sam Fenstermacher, 2003
Erath County Courthouse by Sam Fenstermacher
Erath County Courthouse by Lou Ann Herda, Ed. D.

Stephenville Historical House Museum Church
Photo courtesy Sam Fenstermacher, 2003
Stephenville Historical House Museum
Stephenville Historical House Museum
by Sam Fenstermacher

The museum's collection of structures includes several log cabin style frontier homes, a church, an old schoolhouse, and a carriage house. These buildings are all on display in the grassy field behind the Berry Cottage... more
Log cabin, Stephenville, Texas
Stephenville Historical House Museum Log Cabin
Photo courtesy Sam Fenstermacher, 2003

Stephenville limestone bank building
The 1889 First National Bank of Stephenville
Photo courtesy Sam Fenstermacher, 2003
More Texas Banks

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 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.

    Take a road trip

    Stephenville, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Hico | Glen Rose
    See Erath County | Central Texas North

    Book Hotel Here:
    Stephenville Hotels | More Hotels
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

     


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