Stephenville, Texas

Stephenville is a city in and the county seat of Erath County, Texas, United States.[5] As of the 2019 U.S. Census estimate, the city population was 21,247 and is the principal city in the Stephenville Micropolitan Statistical Area 42,698. Founded in 1854, it is home to Tarleton State University. Stephenville is among several communities that call themselves the "Cowboy Capital of the World".

Stephenville, Texas
Stephenville City Hall
Stephenville City Hall
The "Ville"
Location of Stephenville, Texas
Location of Stephenville, Texas
Erath County Stephenville.svg
Coordinates: 32°13′13″N 98°12′49″W / 32.22028°N 98.21361°W / 32.22028; -98.21361Coordinates: 32°13′13″N 98°12′49″W / 32.22028°N 98.21361°W / 32.22028; -98.21361
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Doug Svien
Mark McClinton
Carla Trussell
Brady Pendleton
Rhett Harrison
Alan Nix
Sherry Zachery
Brandon Huckabee
 • City ManagerAllen L. Barnes
 • Total11.91 sq mi (30.85 km2)
 • Land11.89 sq mi (30.79 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.06 km2)
1,273 ft (388 m)
 • Total17,123
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,787.41/sq mi (690.14/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)254
FIPS code48-70208[3]
GNIS feature ID1347894[4]
WebsiteStephenville, Texas


Presbyterian Church at the Stephenville Historical Museum

Stephenville is named after John M. Stephen, who settled there in 1854, and donated the land for the townsite laid out by George B. Erath when the county was organized in 1856. In the first two years of its settlement, the townsite was successful; by 1858, the population reached 776. However, the townsite was located in Comanche territory and raids were common. Also, the hardships of the American Civil War forced citizens to leave. The population declined until 1871, when it grew after Stephenville became an agriculture and livestock center. Coal mining also became important to the area in 1886, and was a major segment of the economy for the following three decades.

Stephenville was incorporated in 1889, with the arrival of the Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway. In the 1890s, many of the buildings around the town square were built, Tarleton State University opened, and the community's two newspapers merged to become the Empire-Tribune, which is still in existence. In February 1907, the Stephenville North and South Texas Railway was chartered by Stephenville and Hamilton business interests which later sold the line in 1910 to the historic St. Louis Southwestern Railway of Texas system. In the 20th century, industry became an important part of Stephenville, and the population has steadily increased since the 1920s.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.89 square miles (30.8 km2), of which 11.89 square miles (30.8 km2) are land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is covered by water.

Stephenville is served by three major US highways - US Highway 377, US Highway 281, and US Highway 67 (which joins into US Hwy 377).


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Stephenville has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)21,247[2]24.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
Historical House Museum in Stephenville is an 1869 Victorian home with period furnishings and relics of area history, and a carriage house and a reconstructed log cabin.

As of the census[3] of 2020, 20,897people, 6,276 households, and 3,351 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,440.4 people per square mile (556.1/km2). The 7,579 housing units averaged 637.4 per square mile (246.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.3% White, 5.9% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 16.8% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 20.8% of the population.[8]

Of the 6,276 households, 25.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.1% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.2% were not families. About 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city, the population was distributed as 27.8% under the age of 19, 21.4% from 20 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 17.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25.3 years. There were 8,130 males and 8,933 females.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,175, and the median income for a family was $52,320. Males had a median income of $36,139 versus $30,007 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,596. About 13.6% of families and 26.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.1% of those under age 18 and 14.3% of those age 65 or over.


Public libraryEdit

  • Stephenville Public Library[9]

Public schoolsEdit

  • Stephenville Independent School District
    • Stephenville High School (grades 9–12)
    • Henderson Jr. High School (grades 7–8)
    • Gilbert Intermediate School (grades 5–6)
    • Hook Elementary School (grades 3–4)
    • Chamberlin Elementary School (grades 1–2)
    • Central Elementary School (grades PK-K)
    • Huston Academy (grades 7–12) (previously Erath Excels! Academy)[10]

Postsecondary educationEdit

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ Climate Summary for Stephenville, Texas
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Library". City of Stephenville. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  10. ^ "Huston Academy". Huston Academy. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  11. ^ "Erath County Center". Ranger College. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  12. ^ "Houston's Briles set to interview at Baylor". Houston Chronicle.
  13. ^, Mark. "Storyteller: Erath native exploring 'expanse of possibilities' in film world". Stephenville Empire-Tribune. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Ty Murray's Saddle House". Texas Monthly. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  16. ^ Raymond B. Nixon (June 17, 1945). "Constitution's Founder Fought for Georgia with Pen and Sword". The Atlanta Constitution. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  17. ^ "Jess Lockwood wins second Professional Bull Riders title in 3 years at World Finals". Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  18. ^ Writer, Mark Wilson?Staff. "Holt honored with retirement of SHS baseball jersey No. 1". Stephenville Empire-Tribune. Retrieved August 11, 2021.

External linksEdit